Alpha



If you are looking for a way to deepen your relationship with Jesus Christ, seeking to reignite the fire of that relationship, or wanting to learn how to share that relationship with others, please join us for the Alpha course starting:

Sunday, October 1 @ 9:30pm (between the Masses)

                    at Our Lady of Grace Parish




Why Alpha?

In response to the bishop’s visit in March and his challenge to be a church that evangelizes and not just maintains, the Education Commission has spent the summer piloting the Alpha course and is excited to be able to offer it to Our Lady of Grace Parish. The goal of Alpha is to develop a living, breathing relationship with Jesus Christ, who is alive and living among us, the body of Christ on earth. Before we can invite or attract anybody to the Church, we first must be alive in our relationship with the Lord. Alpha tries to help us grow that relationship, or renew it if it has become cold. Once we renew or develop our relationship with Jesus Christ we can better experience Him in our faith community and then invite others to know Him as we know Him.

 

What is Alpha?

Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation. Alpha is run all around the globe, and everyone is welcome. No two Alphas look the same, but they generally have three key things in common: food, a talk and good conversation.


            Food: Whether it’s a group of friends gathered around a kitchen table, or a quick catch-up over coffee and                      cake, food has a way of bringing people together. It’s no different at Alpha. We start with food, because it’s a               great way to encourage community and get to know each other. Jesus often preferred to engage people in                  conversation over a meal for the same reason

            Talk: The talks are designed to engage and inspire conversation. Generally, thirty minutes long, they explore                  the big issues around faith and unpack the basics of Christianity, addressing questions such as:                                     Who is Jesus?  How can we have faith?  How does God guide us?

            Discussion: Probably the most important part of any Alpha: the chance to share thoughts and ideas on                 the topic, and simply discuss it in a small group. There's no obligation to say anything and there's                         nothing you can't say (seriously). It's an opportunity to hear from others and contribute your own                         perspective in an honest, friendly and open environment. The discussion is not a class on theology,                     catechesis, or doctrine, but simply a time to share thoughts on the videos and your feelings about what              you heard. This, after all, is the core foundation of evangelization.


Frequently asked questions:

 

Who Is Alpha For?
Alpha is for anyone. Everyone is welcome! The Alpha course has proved 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. More than 16 million people in 168 countries around the world have taken the Alpha Course already, and it is being offered by Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant churches. The basic truths of Christianity are presented with energy and enthusiasm. Catholics should not have to go to other churches to hear that message. 


Catholic Endorsements?
Although it originated with an Anglican parish in London, the Alpha Course has received enthusiastic endorsements from Catholic cardinals, bishops and archbishops. One of its strongest supporters is Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the papal household for Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI and now for Pope Francis. For the List of those on the Catholic Advisory Board for Alpha go to https://alphausa.org/catholic-board

How does an Alpha Session work?                                                                                                                  An Alpha session lasts for 2 hours. You come for a meal, watch a short video, and share your thoughts on the talk with your table (who you will meet at the first session). Most people come nervous! So no worries. During the discussion portion of the session, you can ask your table mates any questions you want. Your session host will ensure the discussion ends on time.

How long is an Alpha Course?                                                                                                                    Alpha lasts 11 weeks with a Saturday retreat day in the middle. 

How much does Alpha cost?                                                                                                                       Great news! Alpha is free.

I am coming and will not know anybody else. Is that normal?                                                                     Yes! Most people come to Alpha without knowing anybody else in the course. By the end of the course, most people become good friends. Alpha is a great way to meet new people!

Do I have to talk and share my thoughts?                                                                                                      No! You may remain silent if you wish.

Can I just ‘come and see’ for the first week?                                                                                                Yes! Just register to let us know you’re coming (so we have enough food prepared for you).

Is there childcare available?                                                                                                                          Yes, at the Wednesday evening sessions, and it’s free! Reserve your spot when you register.

How do I register?

Call: 687-5657 ext. 4

Sign-up on the sheets in the vestibules of Our Lady of Grace

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSerd6zSCoem7a6zPHisw1nXxu8ejk8oMiXP42IVeHmTXpR5xw/viewform?usp=sf_link

I have more questions. Who do I contact?                                                                                            Questions can be directed to Marybeth Stuart or Deb McGraw at 687-5657 ext. 4 or by email at marybeth.stuart@ourladyofgracemi.org or deb.mcgraw@ourladyofgracemi.org 



Alpha Schedule

We have four class times for you to choose from:

Wednesdays at 9:45am at St. Anne (already started)

Wednesdays at 6:00pm at St. Agnes (babysitting provided) (already started)

Thursdays at 9:45am at St. Agnes

Sundays starting October 1st – see below**

 

A meal will be provided at each session. 

Wed.

Thurs.

Topic

Sept. 6

Sept. 7

Is there more to life than this?

Sept. 13

Sept. 14

Who is Jesus?

Sept. 20

Sept. 21

Why did Jesus have to die?

Sept. 27

    Evening class will start

    at 7:00PM                                   

Sept. 28

How do I have faith?

Oct. 4

Oct. 5

Why and How do I pray?

Oct. 11

Oct. 12

Why and how should I read the Bible?

Oct. 18

Oct. 19

How does God guide us?

Saturday Oct. 21

    (9:00am – 2:00pm)

    Breakfast, lunch and

    Babysitting provided

 

 

Holy Spirit Retreat

  • ·         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?

Oct. 25

    Evening class will start

    at 7:00PM                                  

Oct. 26

How do I resist evil?

Nov. 8

Nov. 2

Why and how should I tell others?

Nov. 15                                   

Nov. 9

Does God heal today?

Nov. 29

   Evening class will start

    at 7:00PM                                   

Nov. 16

What about the Church?


**If these sessions do not work for you, we will be offering the sessions on Sundays between the Masses starting the first weekend in October. These classes will coincide with the Children’s Faith Formation schedule.

Dates are as follows:           Oct. 1, 8, 15, Nov. 5, 12, 19, Dec. 3, 10, 17, Jan. 7, 14, 21, Feb. 11, 18 and Mar. 4 


                                                For a PDF version of the schedule, please click HERE


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