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Alpha Course Offered at Christ the King Dorchester

Christ the King Dorchester offers the Alpha Course twice each year - Spring and Fall.  Designed to teach the basics of the Christian faith, the course originated in Great Britain in the late 1970's but has since taken on a life of its own.  For example, in 2008, the course was offered more than 33,000 times in over 150 countries by a wide variety of Christian denominations from Anglican to Baptist, Roman Catholic, Orthodox and many others between.  Christ the King's comfortable setting offers learning in a caring Christian community - dinner first.


Alpha Course offered at Christ the King DorchesterChrist the King Offers Alpha Course

Christ the King (CTK) Presbyterian Church meets for Sunday worship at 50 Stoughton Street, the Saturday home of the Hispanic Seventh-day Adventist church.  This is also where CTK holds their twice-annual presentations of the Alpha Course.

Each of the 10 sessions in the course begins with dinner then moves into study of the topic for that week.  The formal presentation, often a video, is followed by smaller discussion groups. The talks aim to cover the basic beliefs of the Christian faith.

Christ the King scheduled their fall 2013 Alpha Course beginning the last Thursday of September (9/26/13) and lasting through mid-December.  A small sign posted on the gates at 50 Stoughton Street invited anyone and everyone to attend - FREE. 

Local restaurant, Paraiso, prepared the mouth-watering community meal, then a Nicky Gumbel video covering the topic for the week.  An excellent speaker and knowledgeable about the basics of Christianity as embodied in Alpha's perspective, Mr. Gumbel's presentation formed the basis for the small-group conversation that followed. 


Small-Group Discussion

For a more intimate setting, the group moved to a smaller room.  Michael, one of the facilitators, opened the discussion with a question:  "So what did you think?"  Any and all answers were quite acceptable.  He was not there to judge, limit, correct or to criticize.  He facilitated and encouraged everyone to share.  Those gathered at the discussion table appeared to be caring and loving people trying to understand God's place in their own lives. Many told stories about how God was directing their lives, providing them comfort.  If you listened carefully, you could also hear new ideas and experience a new understanding about your own relationship with God. 

The first person to speak established the starting point of the conversation but each subsequent contributor helped the group meander down a path that was meaningful to all. By the end of the evening, everyone had arrived at a sense of closure.  "Any more comments?"  No.  We had said our peace and were ready to go home.

How did attendees experience the Alpha evening?  The setting was comfortable, the food delicious, the people friendly and totally welcoming.  The evening, itself, was engaging, funny and spiritually enlightening. 

Some people came away with a better understanding of the Bible and its popularity throughout the world.  Others learned about the importance of prayer and including God more in their lives. A common theme, expressed more by behavior than words, was the importance of the Christian community.  In these simple ways, the Alpha Course is accomplishing  its objective of teaching the basics of the Christian faith. 


Additional Information

Christ the King offers the Alpha course twice a year. 

http://www.ctkdorchester.org/
Official website of the Alpha Course

http://www.alpha.org/
Wikipedia information on the Alpha Course

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_course
New Christian Alpha videos **

http://www.newchristian.org.uk/alphasessions.html


**Nicky Gumbel / Alpha Course videos are not generally available on the internet.  They are made available to a religious setting that goes through some level of training.

However, the New Christian website has provided online its own set of 10 videos covering the standard Alpha Course topics.  The New Christian videos are not hosted by Nicky Gumbel but they are equally entertaining and informative. 
  • Is there more to life than this?
  • Who is Jesus?
  • Why did Jesus die?
  • How can I have faith?
  • Why and How do I pray?
  • How and why should I read the Bible?
  • How can I resist evil?
  • Does God heal today?
  • Why and how should I tell others?
  • What about the Church?

What you miss when you watch the videos alone, outside a community setting, is the opportunity to have your questions answered and your ideas and new experiences reinforced through the presence of community.  Attending a Christ the King course provides this communal opportunity for growth and learning.   Click here for more information http://www.ctkdorchester.org/


Alpha Course offered at Christ the King Dorchester

Posted: January 1, 2014     Nancy J Conrad


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