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19th November at 4:30pm
We are having a board games afternoon on Saturday 18th November, from 2:30pm.
There will be tea/coffee and cake available.
Bring a game or just yourself and enjoy a game or two with like-minded people. Donation towards costs appreciated.
Everyone of any age very welcome. If possible do let me know if you are coming for catering purposes.
What is Hope Zone?
Hope Zone was set up as an after-school safe place for children of secondary school age. The Drop-In centre opened on Wednesday 9th September 2009 under the auspices of Churches Together in Crowthorne. Hope Zone subsequently became a Charity in its own right. The original Drop-In Centre is currently suspended.
Zone Six was set up in 2013 for year 6 pupils from all the primary schools to aid them in the transition from primary to secondary school, enabling children to meet and make friends with children from other schools in their catchment area.
A new youth worker, Carin Hunter, was appointed in September 2022 replacing Louise Truscott who had held the post from its inauguration 13 years ago. The drop-in centres are staffed by at least two adults, volunteers from all the Crowthorne churches, who are checked for work with minors. More volunteers are always needed especially male role models!
What goes on?
The Hub is converted into a games area for young people with stations providing computer games for up to four players each. There is also a tuck shop, table football, table tennis, board games and lounging cushions with additional activities laid on for special occasions – pancake making, Easter egg hunts etc. Zone 6 takes place on a Monday during term time from 3.30 – 5.00pm and, since the Covid lockdown, those attending need to book their place online.
Hope Zone also organises the Summer Activities which take place on four Friday afternoons on the Morgan Recreation Ground during the long summer holiday. These provide free entertainment/activities for local children from 3 to 5 pm. and are very popular with up to 150 participants attending each week. They are staffed by volunteers from all the Crowthorne Churches who take turns to provide a craft tent for the children. Other activities include bouncy castles, a climbing wall, tag rugby, cycling, a visit from the fire brigade and the afternoon is rounded off with a slice of pizza for each child.
As we continue to pray for all those caught up in the violence in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, Embrace the Middle East, one of the missions which we support here at St John’s, is continuing to support its Christian partners working in the Holy Land.
The following is taken from an article on the Embrace website.
“The Christian faith has a long history in Gaza, going back over 1,600 years. Although there are now only around 1,000 Christians left in the Gaza Strip, the Christian community continues to make a deep impact by serving those in need.
During the current Israel/Hamas war, the Orthodox and Latin churches in Gaza City have become places of refuge for those who need it, including for around 800 Christians, approximately 80% of the Christian population in Gaza.
Although there are now only two functioning churches, they are part of the small but strong Christian community in Gaza. The Orthodox Church shares a boundary with the local mosque, and they are immensely proud that there is no wall to separate the two buildings. Christians and Muslims are neighbours; they are one community; they wish to get on with their lives, provide for their families and practise their faith.
On 19 October, those sheltering in the Orthodox church were packing up and distributing food parcels to their neighbours and other families who cannot flee the city. Later that evening, a missile landed close by, causing the hall where many were sleeping to collapse. Whole families died, and many were injured. Even churches like this one are no longer a safe place for people to shelter.
As they seek to remain and continue to serve their community, we can carry them in our prayers, we can share messages of solidarity and assure them that they are not forgotten. We can push back against polarising language and we can call for justice and accountability for all those who have been lost or who are suffering amidst this conflict.
In this time of challenge in Gaza, we too have a responsibility, as part of the one household of God, to help support our Christian sisters and brothers as they carry the heavy weight of the cross that they bear.“
News, updates, prayers and resources can all be accessed on the Embrace website at https://embraceme.org/israel-palestine-news
At this time of remembrance, we think of all those who have lost and are losing loved ones through war and conflict. We pray for peace wherever there is suffering and especially for Israel, for Gaza and for Ukraine as we see the terrible distress conflict brings. We pray this in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.