August 2012 Congregational Letter

August 2, 2012

Dear Friends,

I write you with an amazing two-fold opportunity.

Beginning Monday, September 10th, we will kick-off The Alpha Course at St. Andrew’s.  Over the past 17 years 4000+ people have participated in an Alpha Course at St. Andrew’s.  And, as Alpha is a global phenomenon, over 15,000,000 people have participated in the course from just about every country and culture on the face of the planet.  It has been a primary means by which the Spirit has grown and deepened our relationships with God and with one another here at St. Andrew’s.

What happens on The Alpha Course?

The Guardian newspaper wrote, “What Alpha offers, and what is attracting thousands of people, is permission, rare in secular culture, to discuss the big questions – life and death and their meaning.”

Bob Buford, of Leadership Network, says, “Most of us skip bases in developing our faith, leaving us plagued with unanswered questions.  Alpha fills the gaps.  Alpha fosters spiritual peace and stability.”

Over a 10-week period you will have the opportunity to explore the foundational teachings of Jesus Christ and to ask your questions of faith and spirituality.  Unlike “programs” which simply seek to present a body of information, Alpha is geared toward the development of relationships – you relationship with God and with other people who are asking the same kinds of questions that you are asking.

Each night begins with a dinner, a talk (usually by me – or Todd Simonis or Rob Sturdy) on a topic like

      • Why did Jesus die?
      • How does God guide us?
      • How do we deal with the problem of evil and suffering
      • Does God heal today?

You will then have an opportunity to meet in small groups for discussion – discovering with others the joy and security of a living faith grounded in Christ.

Back to my initial statement: you have an amazing two-fold opportunity before you.

First, God means for you to be sure of your faith in Christ.  Sure that it has relevancy for today, sure that He is with you, and sure that your faith in Christ will see you through this life.

Secondly, God has given into your hands the privilege and responsibility of sharing the Gospel message.  The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 10: “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?”  Quite literally, you are the one sent – sent to your families, sent to your colleagues and classmates, sent into the community to announce that God, in Christ, has come.  And, what I want to do is to partner with you to reach your family and friends – you invite and we’ll present.

So, will you join me?  Will you join me Monday night, September 10th, as we together explore how our faith in Christ might deepen?  Will you extend the wonderful, biblical, invitation to “come and see” to the people in your world who are disconnected from Christ?  To register, or, for more information, click here.

Together for the Kingdom,




One response to August 2012 Congregational Letter

  1. John Rackliffe August 3, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Alpha is a wonderful opportunity to enrich your faith no matter where you are in your walk with the Lord. For the unbeliever, a great place to ask questions and get to know believers who may struggle with the same issues of life all in a safe and friendly environment. For the seasoned believer, volunteering to lead an Alpha session is a great way to take your faith to the next level as God brings opportunities to stretch and grow through the course. I have been blessed by every Alpha encounter I have had and this year will be no exception as (Lord willing) I plan to continue serving at the Navy Brig Alpha session. I know God will move again through this time and I pray that many will come to faith in Jesus Christ! Blessings! John