what is Alpha?
Alpha gives everyone the opportunity to explore the meaning of life in a relaxed, friendly setting. The Alpha course usually meets once a week for 10 weeks, including a one-day or weekend getaway. Sessions begin with a meal, followed by a short talk and time to discuss what's been taught.
During the discussion, everyone is welcome to contribute their opinions and no question is considered hostile or too simple. Questions might include—Is there a God? Why am I here? Where did I come from? Where am I going?
Courses vary in size, from one small group meeting in a home, to hundreds of people in a church. Some courses are held over morning coffee or during a lunch hour. Most are evening courses, typically lasting 2 hours.
Who Is Alpha For?
Alpha is for anyone and people attend from all backgrounds, religions, and viewpoints. They come to investigate questions about the existence of God, the purpose of life, the afterlife, the claims of Jesus and more. Some people want to get beyond religion and find a relationship with God that really changes life. Others come for the close, long-lasting friendships that are built during the Alpha course.
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. Everyone is welcome.
How Much Will It Cost?
There is no charge for attending the Alpha course. Some courses might ask for a small contribution to help cover meal and weekend getaway costs.
What Happens At Alpha?
Each gathering begins with a meal or refreshments - a chance to get to know others. Then there is a short talk which looks at a different aspect of the Christian faith each week. This is followed by a time of discussion in small groups, where everyone is welcome to contribute their opinion and ask questions. People usually stay in the same small groups for the duration of the course so they can get to know each other, continue discussions and deepen friendships. The emphasis is upon exploration and discovery in a relaxed and informal environment.
The talks each week cover the following topics, which serve as a springboard for the small group discussions:
| Introduction Dinner:
||Is there more to life than this?
| Week 1:
||Who is Jesus?
| Week 2:
||Why did Jesus die?
| Week 3:
||How can we have faith?
| Week 4:
||Why and how do I pray?
| Week 5:
||Why and how should I read the Bible?
| Week 6:
||How does God guide us?
| Week 7:
||How can I resist evil?
| Week 8:
||Why & how should we tell others?
| Week 9:
||Does God heal today?
| Week 10:
||What about the Church?
||Who is the Holy Spirit?
||What does the Holy Spirit do?
||How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?
||How can I make the most of the rest of my life?