ALPHA

“Come and see” (John 1:39).







Is there more to life?

Alpha gives everyone the opportunity to explore the meaning of life in a relaxed, friendly setting. The Alpha course usually meets once a week for 10 weeks, sometimes in a church, a home, or a restaurant. Sessions begin with a meal, followed by a short talk, and time to discuss the topic.

During the discussion, everyone is welcome to contribute their opinions and no question is considered hostile or too simple.  Questions might include–Is there a God? Why am I here? Where did I come from? Where am I going?

Alpha is for everyone –no question is out of bounds and you are free to discuss as much or as little as you wish. We don’t assume any background knowledge or belief in Christianity and everyone is welcome.


Join an Alpha course

Just pop along for the first session and see what you think. No pressure, no follow-up and no charge.


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Learn how to run Alpha

We make running Alpha as easy as possible. Register for Alpha course training. Questions? Contact Mary at (734) 453-0326, ext. 222.


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What to expect

A typical Alpha

Alpha runs in cafés, churches, universities, homes, bars — you name it. No two Alphas look the same, but they generally have three key things in common: food, a talk, and good conversation.

First up, there's

Food

Whether it’s a group of friends gathered around a kitchen table or a quick catch-up over coffee and cake, food has a way of bringing people together. It’s no different at Alpha. We start with food, because it’s a great way to encourage community and get to know each other.

Then a

Talk

The talks are designed to engage and inspire conversation. Generally 30 minutes long, they are given as a live talk or played as a video. Talks explore the big issues around faith and unpack the basics of Christianity, addressing questions such as Who is Jesus? and How can we have faith? 

Watch a talk

Followed by

Discussion

Probably the most important part of any Alpha–the chance to share thoughts and ideas on the topic and simply discuss it in a small group. There’s no obligation to say anything. And there’s nothing you can’t say. It’s an opportunity to hear from others and contribute your own perspective in an honest, friendly, and open environment.

Is Alpha

OK for Catholics?

If you have a questions about Alpha and how it relates to Catholics, check out this video from Bishop Byrnes!

Watch Video

“It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.”

Alpha Testimonials

Check out these great testimonials from people just like you who had an amazing Alpha experience!





ADDITIONAL PRODUCTS FROM ALPHA INTERNATIONAL


8 Great Dates has been designed to help married couples learn practical tools to build strong and healthy marriages.

While enjoying a catered dinner from local restaurants at private candle-lit tables for two, couples have the chance to discuss important issues often ignored in the rush of daily life.  Topics covered include: 1) recognizing each other’s needs, 2) learning to communicate effectively, 3) resolving conflict, 4) healing past hurts, 5) relationships with parents and in-laws, 6) make love a gift (a.k.a. the sex talk for grown-ups), 7) discover each other’s “love language” and 8) celebrate your marriage.

Contact Kathy

Family life is under great pressure today and parents face bewildering choices about how to parent effectively. Discovering we are not alone in the challenges we face and picking up ideas from other parents can make a huge difference. We all can learn how to make even the happiest family better.

The Parenting Course is for both parents and/or caregivers for children through age 18. Please join us for a meal, a presentation, and small group discussion covering a variety of topics that will help equip you to parent more effectively.

Contact Mary

FAQ

Do I have to talk and share my thoughts?

No. You may remain silent the entire time if you wish.

How long is an Alpha session?

Sessions last 2.5 hours. They go by quickly. We start on time and always end on time.

How much does Alpha cost?

If you are not a member of any church community, Alpha is free! 

If you are a registered member of a church other than Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth, there is a fee of $125 to cover meal costs.

I am coming and will not know anybody else. Is that normal?

Yes. Most people come to Alpha without knowing anybody else in the course. By the end of the course, most people become good friends. Alpha is a great way to meet new people.

Can I just “come and see” for the first week?

Yes. Just register to let us know you’re coming (so we have enough food prepared for you).

What if I go for a week or two and don’t want to continue?

If you don’t want to continue after a week or two, no worries. We will not call you or bother you if you don’t come back.

Is childcare available?

Yes, and it’s free. Just indicate that you need childcare and the ages of your children on the registration form. We will contact you about details.

I have more questions. Who do I contact?

Questions can be directed to the Coordinator of Plymouth Alpha, Mary Guilfoyle.

Contact Mary

What Catholic leaders are saying about Alpha

Alpha is a tool for evangelization being used by thousands of Catholic parishes in more than 70 countries around the world. Alpha is also run by churches of many other denominations to introduce people to the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. This has led to more than 24 million people around the world experiencing Alpha. In particular, it is attracting many young people who are asking the question, “Is there more to life than this?”



“I’ve heard a few people express concerns about the non-Catholic origin of Alpha. It’s true. It was founded by an Anglican pastor, Nicky Gumbel, with whom I have corresponded several times, by the way. Though it’s origin might not be Catholic, it has been spoken highly about by people ranging from Father Raniero Cantalamessa, who is the Pope’s preacher in the Vatican, and Archbishop Arenas, the Secretary for the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. Recently, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, the man responsible for editing The Catechism of the Catholic Church, was interviewed by Nicky at a massive event to help promote Alpha in the UK.

As Father Cantalamessa says, ‘We need a new evangelization which, while being open to all the fullness of the truth and the Christian life, will yet be simple and basic. This is the reason I look with interest and appreciation to the Alpha Course. It seems to me that it answers precisely this need of ours. The very name shows this. It is not called ‘Alpha and Omega course’ but simply ‘Alpha Course’ because it doesn’t claim to lead people from beginning to end in faith; only to help them get acquainted with it, to foster a personal encounter with Jesus, leaving it to other Church departments to develop the newly kindled faith.'”

Fr. John Riccardo


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