Alpha is an opportunity to explore the meaning of life in an open, informal, friendly environment. The Alpha Course meets once a week for 11 weeks, with each week focusing on a different question. Each Alpha session follows the same format; we begin with a meal, followed by a video and table discussion. Everyone and every viewpoint is welcome- no background knowledge of (or belief in) Christianity is assumed. At Alpha there is no pressure, no follow-up, and no charge.
You’re invited to explore! Is there more to life than this? Is there a God? Why am I here? Where am I going? No question is out of bounds. No question is considered hostile or too simple to be considered.
When does Alpha start?
After running 5 Alpha Courses back to back, we have decided to take a quick intermission to develop some options for guests after Alpha.
With so many being transformed through the Alpha Course, rest assured that Alpha at St. Thomas will be back up and running by September 2018.
The full Alpha Course runs on Wednesdays from 6:15-8:15pm for 11 weeks, with an incredible Day Away experience. Come and see what Alpha is all about this September! Coming to our first session is not a commitment to the eleven-week Alpha Course– it’s just dinner, a video, and conversation. Come enjoy a free meal, a rich conversation, and the community Alpha is known to create!
Who should try Alpha? Alpha is for everyone! Alpha is for the curious- people from all sorts of different spiritual backgrounds who are searching for God and asking questions about life. Alpha is also for devout Christians and Catholics- it is an intense experience that deepens one’s love for Jesus and the Church, and equips one to have rich conversations of faith with others.
How long are the videos? Videos are between twenty and thirty minutes.
Do I have to talk during table discussion? No, you can remain silent the entire time if you wish. We work hard to maintain a relaxed environment, and you are free to participate however you feel comfortable.
How long is an Alpha session? From beginning to end, each session is two hours. The time goes so quickly! We always begin and end on time.
I am coming, but I won’t know anyone else. Is that normal? Most of those who come to Alpha don’t know anyone else. By the end of the Course most people have become friends. The open, honest conversations Alpha is known for are great for bringing people together.
How much does Alpha cost? There is no cost to participate in Alpha.
Can I just come and see the first week? Definitely. We do ask that you register so we are sure to have enough food for you.
What if after a week or two I don’t want to continue? If you don’t want to continue, that’s perfectly okay. We won’t bother you if you don’t come back.
Is childcare offered? Childcare will not be offered for our Winter Course, but we will be offering childcare for our Alpha Course in the fall.
Alpha originated in England in an Anglican Church called Holy Trinity, Brompton, and is a tool for evangelization based on hospitality, sharing and open conversation. The same Alpha content is run all over the world, by Christians of all traditions, and provides a common expression of proclamation, service and witness. Over 29 million people have experienced Alpha in 112 languages in 169 countries around the globe.
Alpha is an incredible example of ecumenism! The videos feature Christians from different denominations of Christianity. Father Cantalamessa, preacher to the Papal household, is featured at length, as is Pope Francis himself.
Alpha introduces people to the first proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ, otherwise known as the Kerygma: ‘Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you, and now he is living at your side to enlighten, strengthen and free you.’ (Evangelii Gaudium, 164).
Pope Francis has said, “we cannot forget that evangelization is first and foremost about preaching the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ… Many of them are quietly seeking God, led by a yearning to see his face, even in countries of ancient Christian tradition. All of them have a right to receive the Gospel. Christians have the duty to proclaim the Gospel without excluding anyone.” Pope Francis, (Evangelii Gaudium, 15)