In that interesting era when we were between buildings (Feb 2003 – August 2008) we ran Alpha. We hosted it at Bramalea Alliance Church and in the “Church Street House”. Our weekend away was held at various retreat centres including Fairhavens/Fair Glen and Mt Alverno. For some of you this may brings back memories.
Whether you have memory of Alpha at Immanuel or not, you are invited to check out the new improved Alpha. We will be doing Alpha on Sunday evenings starting January 8, 2017. The teaching material for Alpha used to be videos (VHS, if that means something to you), then DVD, but always a “talking head” as they recorded Nicky Gumbel, aka “Mr Alpha”, giving talks. Now it is online with a totally new style as two hosts travel the world and use interviews to supplement and support the teaching. So it is the same great teaching with a brand new format.
For our purposes, Alpha is a great place to invite people you know who are wondering about Jesus and Church and God. Don’t know anyone who is wondering? Good news, we will be running Alpha regularly in the future and so there is time for you to start having spiritual conversations with people to find out if perhaps they are wondering. Don’t know how to do that? Good news again. Alpha teaches that too, so come on Alpha and prepare yourself to invite others.
Alpha is also a good summary of the basics of Christianity and includes a regular invitation to faith in Jesus. As such, it is a great tool to prepare people for membership in the church. So if you are someone who has not yet formally joined the church (made profession of faith) then Alpha is a great opportunity for that too. And if you know someone else who may want to take that step, invite them along.
The new Alpha is geared toward young adults. Invite young adults in your life who are seeking or wandering or wondering. The refrain of Alpha is “ask any question” and it is designed to let people wonder out loud without judgement.
I have participated in Alpha 15-20 times. I have taught the weekend material on the Holy Spirit more than ten times. I have quoted Nicky Gumbel regularly as his stories and illustrations are embedded in my mind. And I am very excited to be part of Alpha again as I have seen how lives are transformed by going on the Alpha journey.
You can join in. We need people to help prepare food, lead groups, set up the space and generally be hospitable to give our guests the best experience possible.
Your small group can join Alpha as your group gathering for a season.
You can also help us deliver invitations in the community. On Sunday December 4 we plan to distribute invitation cards that list our Christmas services on one side and promote Alpha on the other.