Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The closing..

This is for Dawn... thanks for missing me .. you're a good mate !!! ;-) muah!!!

We had the closing evening of our second class in the Alpha series called "A Life Worth Living". Here is a bit of history into Alpha, which by the way may very well be offered in a church near you! I will give the website at the end of my post and you can check and see if there is a course offered near you if you are interested.

Alpha actually originated in England. It is run in the Holy Trinity Brompton Church by Nicky Gumbel who is the Vicar of the church. The Alpha course was founded by clergy at HTB who over a period of twenty years kept adapting the programme in accordance with feedback until in the early 1990s the Alpha course started gaining worldwide attention. As Alpha grew it became the main focus for HTB as it sought to support Alpha's spread and growth. Today this involves the production of advertising material and course material such as videos, books and tapes for each Alpha session and leader training material. Alpha is now run as a separate enterprise with separate fundraising and accounting but it remains closely tied to HTB, with most of Alpha's staff being accommodated in HTB's offices. The clergy of HTB also share Alpha duties such as overseeing Alpha conferences and training events in the UK and overseas.
Since the mid-1990's the Alpha course programme has remained largely unchanged allowing the energy of the church to develop other initiatives which fit with the Alpha course such as creating courses on marriage preparation, parenting teenagers and recovering from divorce as well as publishing new books.
HTB itself runs Alpha courses three times a year and these are typically on a large scale requiring all of the available space in the church buildings to accommodate the attendees.

It is a unique course in beginning Christianity. It doesn't matter what religion you are ... we have a very mixed small group. We have a Catholic couple, a Methodist and evangelical and some Lutheran's.
Although I considered myself a Christian before I took this course I don't think my eyes or my heart were truly open and this course really changed that. The course is set up somewhat different in each church I would imagine, but in our church a meal is served to you at no cost, babysitting is offered free of charge and then of course you worship for a bit and watch a video by Nicky Gumbel and the most awesome part is you then gather in a small group and discuss the topic for the evening. I never thought I would really like a small group setting, but I can tell you that I am closer to the members in my small group than any other friends.We have shared our hearts,our laughter,our sorrows and our hardships. We get into very deep discussions about what is means to really live a Christian life. It's certainly not easy in today's society. We all fall short that's for sure. The next in the series for us is a class called " Challenging Life Styles". It is a very deep class about challenging the way we live our lives now and what the bible tells us about how we should be living our lives. It's a long bugger too- 18-19 weeks! It'll be worth it though,I'm looking forward to it. Here is the website: ALPHA . It is life changing. If you do decide to take a class, I would love to hear what you thought of it and how it may have changed your life.

God Bless!


Nick said...

Good for you, Becky

You may be interested to know the HTB marriage preparation course is also linked with the FOCCUS marriage preparation inventory from Omaha.

Becky Heisler said...

Hi Nick, I am familiar with the Alpha marriage course,our church just purchased all the materials for the course.My husband and I are going to be one of the test couples for this course and then we will be facilitating a group sometime late winter/early spring.Looking so forward to it! I was not familiar with Foccus but I will study up on that! Thanks!