Alpha is a simple, practical introduction to the Christian faith. It was developed by Nikki Gumbel, Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, the largest Anglican Church in Britain.
Gene, Chris, Linda, and Lynn were at the leadership team meeting at 7:15 am. Gene, pictured here with Pastor Chris, has been the director for the ten years they’ve run it. He calls himself an Alphaholic. He’s actually not a member. Roman Catholic background, he’s one of the most active at Hosanna, but has never officially joined.
Tonight is the first night. It’s the longest and most important of the talks. Pastor Chris will give it. 31 people are signed up. Half are members and half are non-members. TW class is free and includes dinner. Several college students are signed up.
They don’t really know how many will show up. Some of the registrants won’t show. Others non registered will walk on. Hosanna does Alpha once a year. Alpha is 15 sessions, but they’ve combined talks to bring it down to nine weeks. It ends with a Holy Spirit retreat. This is the powerful part: getting away. Liminal space.
They will have 5 guest tables and one leadership table. The team covered child care, dinner prep, room arrangement, seating chart. They went over the list of who was coming, name by name, considering their needs, and deciding who to connect with whom. Three families coming lost children recently. One guy’s son just got out of jail. Some folks they don’t know. They arranged people at tables. These groups will sit together all nine weeks. They hope the group will bond sothey can spin off a small group.
One of the Alpha rules is: Jesus didn’t chase anyone. So people are told they are free to come or go. If they don’t come back the next week they won’t be called.
They closed by praying for all who come tonight. Then, around 8:20 Pastor Chris walked me over to the prayer room, where a group meets each week to pray for the fls who make prayer requests and any other needs of the church. The Louisiana pastors of the Bayou Conference start showing up at 9:00.