‘Celebration of Hope’ and HOPE 2008:
Is there/was there an ‘official association’?
By Cecil Andrews
Posted on our ministry website are articles concerning two upcoming initiatives – one local in Northern Ireland and the other national in the UK. The local initiative is called ‘Celebration of Hope’ and the national initiative is called HOPE 2008.
In the articles posted I have to a degree ‘interlinked’ these 2 initiatives. A brother in Christ has just contacted me and in his email he said this –
|I’ve looked at the website for the Franklin Graham “Celebration of Hope” event, and on its FAQ page (http://www.celebrationofhope.co.uk/faq.php) they claim the following:
Q. What is the relationship between Hope 2008 and Celebration of Hope?A. Hope 2008 is a collaboration of local church outreach in different parts of the UK; there is no official association between the two organizations.
So it doesn’t appear that they are one and the same. There’s plenty concerning about ‘Celebration of Hope’, but perhaps you could look into this and correct your article if necessary?
Why did I ‘interlink’ these two initiatives in the first place? I will give my reasons and in so doing I will leave it to you the reader to draw your own conclusions as to the veracity of the answer given above that there is ‘no official association between the two organisations’.
One of the important marketing tools employed today to promote some major event or initiative is an official ‘LOGO’. I’m sure many can remember the reaction some months ago when the very costly ‘LOGO’ for the 2012 Olympics to be held in London was officially unveiled. What I want to do now is to reproduce some pages from the national HOPE 2008 website and to reproduce copies of literature distributed by the local ‘Celebration of Hope’ organisers. Not being a technical ‘wizard’ these reproductions are spread over quite an area in this article –
Item 1 (click on the image to enlarge.)
Fran Beckett OBE – CEO of Church Urban Fund
Hope 2008 has great potential as a catalyst for grassroots More …
Joel Edwards – General Director of Evangelical Alliance
Hope 2008 will be an excellent example of how the UK church More …
Keith Civval – Scripture Union
Hope 2008 will be a wonderful context in which churches can More …
Mark Russell – Chief Executive of Church Army
Hope08 is an amazing opportunity, for Christians across the land More …
Nicky Gumbel – Alpha
HOPE2008 is bringing people and churches together, serving God More …
Olawale Opayinka – Awesome Praise
This is great news for the UK More …
Pete Greig – founder of 24-7 Prayer
What a brilliant More …
Item 2 (click on the image to enlarge.)
|Hope in Ireland
There have been several key meetings in Ireland over the last 18 months, churches and individuals in 17 villages, towns and cities have registered on the website. However we would also be delighted to hear from individuals or organisations interested in acting as advocates or champions for Hope.
What is the role of a Hope Champion?
Item 3 (click on the image to enlarge.)
Item 4 (click on the image to enlarge.)
The first two items are from the national HOPE 2008 website and the last two images are items of literature issued by the local Celebration of Hope’ organisers. I’m sure it will not have escaped your notice that on each image there is a very distinct HOPE 2008 ‘LOGO’. – A red H, a black O, a white P in a blue circle, a yellow E in a black rectangle followed by an equally distinctive bold font 2008. If these two organisations/initiatives have ‘no official association’ then why are their promotional materials ‘sporting’ the same very distinct ‘LOGO’?
In my articles on our ministry website I made reference to an advert that appeared in the Belfast Telegraph on 15th September 2007 announcing the official launch of the local ‘Celebration of Hope’ initiative at the Kings Hall Complex, Belfast. At the foot of the advert, for all to see, was the very distinct HOPE 2008 ‘LOGO.’ In my article on the national HOPE 2008 initiative I listed the members of the ‘Board of Reference’ and one of those serving on that ‘Board’ is Joel Edwards, General Director of Evangelical Alliance. In my article on the ‘Ecumenical-friendly Basis of Faith’ I wrote this – “In my earlier article I noted the involvement of Evangelical Alliance through their General director, Joel Edwards being listed as a member of the HOPE 2008 Board of reference. Locally here the Northern Ireland ‘branch’ of Evangelical Alliance has been to the fore in the planning of some of these liberal, pseudo evangelical events [such as Kingdom Come in early 2006]. Their input to HOPE 2008 is identified on the local [Northern Ireland] website where the main article encouraging support for HOPE 2008 is signed off by
National Director Evangelical Alliance
Vice-chair Celebration of Hope.
I recognise now that the portion underlined should have been more accurately phrased Their input to Celebration of Hope is identified on the local [Northern Ireland] website where the main article encouraging support for Celebration of Hope is signed off by
That aside, what is interesting is that at today’s date [15 November 2007] ‘the main article encouraging support for Celebration of Hope’ and that was signed off by Stephen Cave is no longer on the Celebration of Hope website. It is still however posted on the Northern Ireland website of Evangelical Alliance on http://www.eauk.org/northern-ireland/reach/ and this is what it says –
Celebration of Hope
Who would have thought it? A genuine power-sharing government in Northern Ireland with the two most intractable parties – or so it seemed – now working together for the good of all! Of course we still have a long way to go but the initial signs are hopeful, including a peaceful conclusion to the usually tense ‘marching season’. There is a new wind blowing and certainly a new sense of hope that at long last we are putting the worst of the past behind us and moving into a new future. What better time then, for us in NI to have a Celebration of Hope that goes way beyond a political settlement for this small country; an opportunity for Christians to stand together and speak out the eternal hope found in the Good News of Jesus Christ?
The Odyssey Arena in Belfast has been booked in April 2008 for that very purpose – a Celebration of Hope. Over 3 evenings Franklin Graham – son of Billy Graham – will bring the good news of the hope to be found in Jesus Christ, supported by Robin Mark, The Newsboys and other well known artists. But these events are just a small fraction of what Celebration of Hope is all about. There will be months of preparation, with churches coming together to mobilise Christians to pray for friends to come to know Jesus, and courses designed to help Christians understand and share their faith better, and following the April programme, churches will be engaged in follow-up and discipleship with those who have taken steps of faith. For more information on Celebration of Hope contact the office on 028 9022 0862 or click here to go onto the website!
One has to wonder why the hitherto clear involvement of Evangelical Alliance [NI] in the promotion of Celebration of Hope, an initiative linked with Franklin Graham of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association [BGEA] has been downplayed almost to the point of extinction on the official Celebration of Hope website.
Such distancing of EA [NI] from this event involving the BGEA seems all the more strange in the light of this current posting on the website of EA [NI] –
Kingdom Come… more than words
Perhaps it was felt that local evangelicals might not be too keen to support an initiative, Celebration of Hope, that had an ‘official association’ with a national initiative [HOPE 2008], that for its part had ecumenical support at the highest ecclesiastical level [Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor], that had active support/involvement from the General Director of Evangelical Alliance [Joel Edwards] and that was being ‘fronted’ locally for promotional purposes by the Northern Ireland Director of Evangelical Alliance, Stephen Cave.
‘Is there /was there’ an ‘official association’ between Celebration of Hope and HOPE 2008? – the official ‘party line’ on the website of Celebration of Hope says that ‘there is no official association between the two organizations’. In the light of what I have shared in this article perhaps the issue is not just as ‘clear-cut’ as that denial claims.
We should never forget the previous ‘shady’ dealings that took place between CARE [NI] and Evangelical Alliance [NI] as they sought to involve so-called ‘Evangelical Catholics’ in their ‘evangelistic’ ‘Passion Movie Café’ outreach in Central Belfast. In the article that I wrote about that sorry episode http://www.takeheed.net/CAREEAAGENDAS.htm I wrote [and still stand over] –
“Information that is now in my possession shows that there was no ‘naïveté’ on the part of Hugh Marcus [of CARE] but rather this was a calculated strategy and ‘agenda’ on the part of both Hugh Marcus and Stephen Cave [of Evangelical Alliance] and their aim was to keep their hopes for ‘Evangelical Catholic’ involvement hidden from the public”
In closing, let me just point out that sadly, where Franklin Graham is concerned, he is adopting the same ecumenical view of the Papacy that his father held as this website posting clearly shows –
Regrettably when it comes to unscriptural co-operation with the false Roman Catholic system headed up by The Papacy, where Franklin Graham is concerned, it appears to be a sorry case/example of the old adage – ‘like father, like son’.
Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 15 November 2007