Alpha course commences Admin February 22, 2011 Alpha Course, Christian Education, Grace Methodist Church, Membership and Evangelism Story by James TC Wong, pics by Abel Wong To animate its congregation to impact the marketplace, our church has commenced the Alpha course with the introductory high tea gathering held at a leading hotel on last Sunday. More than 170 people including 93 guests attended. Extending her firm support and focus on the important event, Rev. Lisa Ting was present together with Assistant Pastor Tiong Huong Ong. The atmosphere was jovial as our church members mingled with their guests. Our church Alpha Organizing Chairman and Associate Lay Leader Paul Wong in his welcoming message thanked everyone for their presence. “People attend Alpha for a variety of reasons. Some want to investigate the concept of God from a Christian perspective; others want to know if there is a point to life; others may have attended church their whole life, but have never really understood Christianity. But please do not feel pressured into making a decision after this gathering because we are all here to have a good time,” he shared cheerfully. Last April a group of GMC leaders attended the 2010 Alpha Conference in Kuching. They discovered that Alpha members’ convictions about their faith are strong and their preparatory training on evangelism is simple, duplicable and effective. According to the Alpha Malaysia website over 15 million people worldwide have now attended an Alpha course. In Malaysia, thousands of people have attended courses in hundreds of locations across the country. Alpha runs in hundreds of churches throughout the country as well as in homes, schools, national service camps, workplaces, homes for the elderly and prisons. It takes place over ten weekly sessions, including a weekend away. Each week begins with a meal, tea or coffee with the guests and the hosts of the course. Most importantly, the Alpha course provides an opportunity for anyone to explore the Christian faith in a non-threatening friendly manner where no question is regarded as too simple or too hostile. The gathering yesterday ended around 5:00 pm with an encouraging surprise – 46 guests upon invitation signed up on the spot for the Alpha course! This number excludes an earlier recruitment drive when 35 students had signed up under the Youth Alpha programme. Planning is now underway to assign the participants to various groups based on their preference on day, time and location. Most of the sessions will start in the first week of March. Registration is still open now as every church member is strongly encouraged to join. Do contact the church office to sign up!