Homelessness & Hospitality.
The Methodist Church's theme for this year's Advent Offering for the Mission in Britain Fund is 'Homelessness & Hospitality'. It focuses on personal stories from people with experience of homelessness who are making positive changes to their life thanks to the hospitality of the Bristol Methodist Centre. The support they are receiving is varied: from meals, clothes and shower facilities to one-to-one counselling, help with benefits and prayer.
According to the housing charity Shelter, more than 320,000 people in the UK were without a home at the end of 2018 — and the numbers just keep on rising. Join us in lifting the veil of stigma surrounding homeless people to reveal the real human heart beating beneath.
We also take a look at the Homeless Jesus statues that, from 2013 onward, have mushroomed all around the world. The life-size sculptures are a visual translation of Matthew 25:37-40, a powerful reminder that "... just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."
What resources are available?
Go here and scroll down the page feel free to pick and choose what will work best for your church!
The resources range from the more traditional — such as the popular Candle Liturgy, suggested Bible passages and hymns to complement this year's theme — to interactive materials such as a video and PowerPoint as well as concrete ideas on how you can put your faith into action and help the homeless.
There are role plays and talking points which are particularly suited for engaging children and young people. We have also included Leader's Notes, a suggested Order of Service and prayers you can use at different parts of your service.
At the heart of the resources are the first-hand stories from the people being helped by the Bristol Methodist Centre. These stories can be shared by showing the short video, using the PowerPoint or through printing out the pdf of the stories, which can then be read out.
The Advent Offering service is a Connexion-wide event to ask for your prayers and help for our work. The donations collected will go towards the Mission in Britain Fund, which supports many inspiring projects across Britain.
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