Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Alpha course at Holy Family Featured

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We've started offering the Alpha course here at Holy Family. This past fall we had our first run, and it was a great success. We’re running the next course again, starting in January, and we’re opening it up to the whole parish.

Our next course starts January 13th, 2015.
Would you consider joining us? More information is on our Alpha page.


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What is Alpha?

Alpha is a strange beast. It’s a basic introduction to the faith for those who know little or nothing about Christianity. It’s an experience of the love of God. It’s an opportunity to build relationships and get to know people. It’s a way of awakening our faith, or diving deeper into it. It’s a place to ask questions. It’s a time to get to know God.

It’s all these things and more, so it’s hard to pin down.

This was my first time through the Alpha course. I’d heard many things about it (all good), but never experienced it before. It was good. It was very good. I heartily recommend checking it out.

The past

Alpha was run here in the past, way back in the pre-Andy days (you know, at least 3 years ago). I’ve heard stories and legends. I’ve heard many people come to some of our other events and say it’s what brought them back to the church, or gave their faith a boost, or simply transformed their lives.

Alpha had been on my mind a lot over the last couple years. Finally it felt like it was time, and Pat Hagel was pestering me about it, so I decided to take the plunge and run the course here again.

We wanted to start small and build a solid foundation for future courses, so we limited the first course to those who were interested in helping in the future. We tried out the 7-week “Campus Alpha” version, with talks by Jamie Haith. It worked well, and fit nicely into the schedule (starting in September and easily wrapping up before Advent). We had a fantastic group of 18 participants. I ate too much. It was good.

The present

This time we’re running the 10-week “Classic Alpha” version, with talks by Nicky Gumbel (the original developer of the Alpha course). We start in mid-January and run right up to Easter. I’m looking forward to it (and to the food).

The full schedule for the Winter-Spring 2015 course, starting Tuesday, January 13th, can be found on our Alpha page.

The future

I hope that Alpha, in its various incarnations, will become like a heartbeat in our parish, providing a life-giving rhythm to all aspects of our church life. We are running a course this winter, and we’ll be running another again in the fall, and then another after that, and another after that, and another…
If you want to join us, but this course doesn’t fit your schedule, there will be other opportunities. Let me know what days/times would work better for you (email is easiest: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Alpha may not be the be-all-and-end-all of our faith, but it is a fantastic experience, an amazing evangelization tool, and includes a free meal.

Check it out. Try us. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

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