alpha

 

The Alpha Course: Questions and Answers

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What Is The Alpha Course?
The Alpha Course is a practical introduction to the Christian faith, a place where guests have an opportunity to explore the meaning of life in a relaxed, friendly setting. The course usually meets once per week for 10 weeks and includes a day or weekend getaway in the middle. Each session, people enjoy great food, laughter and learning about the teachings of Jesus in a fun and friendly atmosphere where no question about life or God is seen as too simple or too hostile. There is no charge to attend the Alpha course.

Who Is Alpha For?
Alpha is for anyone. People attend Alpha from all backgrounds, religions and viewpoints. They come to investigate questions about the existence of God, the purpose of life, what happens after death, the teachings of Jesus and more. Many guests have never been to church; others may have attended church occasionally but feel they have never really understood the basics of the Christian faith; others attend church regularly. Everyone is welcome.

How Did Alpha Start?
The Alpha course began at Holy Trinity Brompton Church in central London in the late 1970s as a means of presenting the basic principles of Christianity to new Christians. The Alpha course teaches only the basic biblical teachings on which all Christians agree. Alpha has spread around the world, as more churches and courses found it an effective way to answer people’s questions about the Christian faith.

What Is Alpha For Catholics?
Alpha for Catholics is simply the Alpha course hosted in a Catholic setting. Alpha is a practical tool that parishes use to inspire Catholic renewal and answer the call of Christ and His church to “go and make disciples of all nations.” The Alpha course is often lay-driven and has proven to be an effective tool for awakening faith in people who are on the fringe of parish life, faithful Catholics and those outside the faith.

What Happens In An Alpha Course?
The Alpha course lasts for 10 weeks, with a retreat-type session in the middle. The talks each week cover the following topics, acting as a springboard for the small group discussions:
Week 1: Life – Is This It?
Week 2: Jesus – Who Is He?
Week 3: Cross – Why did Jesus Die?
Week 4: How Can I Have Faith?
Week 5: Why and How Do I Pray?
Week 6: Why and How Do I Read the Bible?
Week 7: How Does God Guide us into Full Life?
Week 8: Does God Heal Today?
ALPHA Day Away:
-Who is the Holy Spirit and What Does He Do?
-How Can I Be Filled with the Holy Spirit?
Week 9: How Can I Resist Evil?
Week 10: What About the Church and Telling Others?

A Typical Evening on the Alpha Course

Part 1:
Each gathering begins with a meal, snack or refreshments. This is a time of relaxation and fun. You may be asked to bring food to share, or to contribute to the cost of the food

Part 2:
Welcome and introduction.

Part 3:
Then there is a talk that looks at a different aspect of the Christian faith each week.

Part 4:
A time of small group discussion follows where everyone is welcome to contribute opinions and ask questions. People will usually stay in the same small group for the duration of the course so they will get to know one another, continue discussions and deepen friendships. The emphasis is upon exploration and discovery in a relaxed and nonjudgmental environment.