Volunteers prepare for the start-up of the internationally acclaimed Alpha Course beginning Sept. 20 at IHM. Courtesy photo
The internationally acclaimed Alpha Course is coming back to Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.
Beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20 at the Parish Hall at 3700 Canyon Road, the course will address questions such as:
- Is there more to life than this?
- How can you make the most out of life?
- Does God exist?
- Who is Jesus?
- How can we have faith?
Dinner and free childcare are provided, and there is no charge or commitment for the course, which runs Tuesdays through Dec. 6.
The Alpha Course is being used by thousands of Catholic parishes, Christian and Orthodox churches around the world and has attracted more than 29 million people in 169 countries. It has been translated into 112 different languages. Having begun in Central London in the 1970s, more and more churches have found it to be an effective way to answer people’s questions about the Christian faith and to spark a deepening of existing Christian faith.
Participants range from those who have never been to church, to those who attend occasionally, to lifelong church-goers. They dine together, listen to a talk on a different topic each week, and join in a relaxed discussion with other participants in small groups where everyone is able to contribute their thoughts and ask questions. Remaining in their small groups throughout the course, participants form attachments both for the people they meet and for the course itself, and many have returned as volunteers for subsequent courses.
“If you are seeking more out of life or questioning what life is all about, you are invited to our third Alpha Course,” said IHM Deacon and Alpha Coordinator Jim O’Hara. “All are welcome at Alpha, whether they know a great deal about religion or nothing at all. You find out that a lot of people have the same questions you do. As Bear Grylls, a past Alpha participant and Discovery Channel host says, ‘Alpha is a way to explore what we hunger after – meaning, intimacy and relationship, in a very non-pressed, non-judgmental environment.’”
When asked why IHM is running the Alpha course, O’Hara said, “We have found Alpha to be a great way to carry out the mission of the Church, which is to help people come to know and share the incredibly good news of the Gospel. We love running Alpha here at IHM because of the many new friends we have made, people whom we wouldn’t ever have gotten to know otherwise. It has been extremely rewarding to me personally to see people come alive in the faith and grow in their relationship with God.”
O’Hara says most people find out about Alpha through an invitation from a friend, a flyer, newspaper article or ad. Visit http://ihmcc.org/alpha.html
to view the weekly topics.
For more information or to express an interest in attending, call 505.662.6193.