It’s been a long time since most of us sat in a religion class where we could discuss, examine or even question our Christian beliefs. Depending on your background, maybe you’ve never had the chance to openly ponder questions such as why did Jesus die? Or, how can I resist evil?
This month marks the return of a small group for anyone who is curious and wants to discover or deepen their relationship with Jesus. The Alpha Experience is a St. Ann ministry that welcomes people so they can encounter the Lord, either for the first time or in a renewed way.
“Alpha is a fantastic way to kind of get your spark back,” said parishioner Kevin Gibbs.
Alpha’s formula has been a hit among its graduates. The gatherings begin with a meal, include a talk or presentation and wrap up with discussion. Many of the 250 people who have completed Alpha have deepened their connection to parish life at St. Ann, said Leslie Albizzatti, who leads the ministry.
“They have gone on to volunteer on subsequent Alpha courses and from there join bible studies or become caseworkers for St. Vincent de Paul, volunteers for Launch and members of the Parish Pastoral Council,” she said.
The topics each week – such as How does God guide us? And does God still heal today? – are designed to encourage debate and explore the foundations of the Christian faith. “Alpha makes people feel welcome, loved, listened to and understood,” Albizzatti said. “It creates an environment to experience the transformative power of the gospel.”
The next 11-week Alpha session begins August 19 from 6:30-8:30pm. For more information or to register, visit stannalpha.com.
pictured: Attendees enjoy an Alpha gathering.