Opening Our Hearts To Renewal

My dear friends,

Before you head out this summer for vacations, trips to the cabin and other ventures, I want to tell you more about Alpha, which we plan to launch this September. There are more and more parishes within our archdiocese and around the country that are using Alpha as a way to help create an environment of personal encounter with Jesus, growing as His disciples and living by the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Alpha is an 11 week course that focuses on the core message of the Gospel: God’s love for us and His desire to give us a new life through His Son, Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The evenings are structured very simply: there’s a meal, a talk and a time for discussion. Each session in the series explores different questions around faith, such as: Who is Jesus? What does it mean to have faith? How does God guide us? Who is the Holy Spirit? How can I resist evil? These and more questions will be discussed.

While the Alpha Series is especially suited to help those with little or no faith, it is at the same time very helpful for those with faith, to take them deeper in their relationship with God. This is what will renew us, renew marriage and family life, renew the whole Church – if each of us allows God to take us deeper in our faith. All this rests on the certain hope that God’s heart holds more for each of us, that there is further growth, healing and freedom possible in Christ.

The Alpha Course started in England in 1977 by a Reverend Charles Mamham. Growing rapidly in the 1990’s, the course now runs in 169 countries and 112 languages, with over 27 million people having taken the course. Because Alpha focuses on the basic Gospel message, it can be used by any Christian community as a tool for evangelization and spiritual growth.

The Alpha Series is going to play a key part in our seven year vision, to help ensure that all of us together are moving forward in Christ. Once we offer the Alpha Series this Fall, we will offer it every year, with the hope that, eventually, every person in our parish will have the opportunity to attend. For our first session in September, we will be able to welcome 50 adults We have a similar program already in place for our youth, called Perissos. I tell you this now in case you wish to take part in the Fall Alpha. Sign ups will begin in August. All are welcome. There is no charge and no preparation necessary.

I hope you will prayerfully consider attending the Alpha Series this Fall. If the dates will not work for you this time around, no worries; there will be other opportunities to follow.

Please know of my special prayers for you and your families in all your summer activities.

Jesus bless you,

Fr. Steven


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