The “Alpha” course at Chatham is its own outstanding success story! We have been truly blessed in recent years with new converts, who have added their own identity and fervour to our numbers and our activities. What’s more, “Alpha” has consistently led to the enrolment of new Soldiers.
For anyone who joins our fellowship, the act of enrolment is nevertheless a stage in a Christian’s journey, but with it comes the promise of much more yet to encounter on the way, whilst hopefully steadily growing in wisdom and stature in the process.
Some form of structured but user-friendly course could be a great help and, fortunately, there is a good choice available. One publication is called “Emmaus” – it’s written by a Church of England team (but designed to be interdenominational in its use) and provides a 3-year programme. It takes people right from ‘enquiry’ level, through the early stages of church membership and then on to a wealth of topics for future study. All of it is intended for small group use, and the sessions can be selected and inter-changed as best suited to those involved.
In the latter part of last year it was decided to run a course called ‘Christianity for Life’ using 8 sessions from the “Emmaus” material chosen specifically and specially for those young in faith years. The sessions covered the significance of church membership, how to study the Bible, developing prayer life and various Christian life-style topics. There were 9 course members, each with a personal supporter (“sponsor”), and each session included a very experienced guest speaker the latter all drawn from our own congregation. To say that the course was successful is something of a major under-statement! – the way in which everyone participated in an enjoyable atmosphere and clearly progressed was truly a special blessing, and very much confirms the need for such a means of help and encouragement to be frequently available.
‘Christianity for Life’ will therefore be repeated! The next course, again of 8 sessions, will be held from 7.45pm to 9.30pm on Wednesday evenings at our Hall, starting on 7 March and finishing on 2 May (no session on 4 April during Holy Week). The course is admittedly structured for those who’ve become Soldiers in the past year or so, but it’s also open to anyone who’d like to attend – it can include those who’ve never really felt fully convinced about the certainty of their beliefs, those who’ve wanted to grow spiritually in a progressive way but who have only achieved that after a fashion, or simply those who’d very much appreciate a “refresher”!
If you would like to join the next course (either as a member or as a personal supporter) please contact us.
Ray Maycock and Jean Jones will be responsible for the running of the course and details will appear in 2 Week Diary and on our front page from time to time.