Monday, August 25, 2008

Getting Ready for Alpha (and other nonrelated drivel)

I've been spending a few days just winding down from vacation, along with putting in some days at work. Today was an off day, and I spent some of the time doing some I.T. work at the church.

Upgrading the computer to WinXP's Service Pack 3, fixing an issue with Outlook and a ghost email in the outbox, making sure the backup software is backing up the church files.

I also spent some time getting ready for the Alpha Course we'll be having at our church this fall. If you don't know about Alpha, you can find out more here Alpha USA/North America. As the Elder for Evangelism at Stodgy Presbyterian Church, it is my responsibility to lead the Evangelism committee, trouble is most of the people who sign up for the committee, never tend to appear when needed.

OK ... so its a sign of church member burnout. So, what do you do? You try to grow the church by reaching out to the unchurched, or in the case of Alpha, those who have never been a Christian, or who have fallen away. In many cases, I suspect we'll have current members as participants who have never been taught about Christianity.

The problem is that Alpha was written without delving into the differences between branches of Christianity. So, how does a Reformed congregation teach Alpha? Luckily there is a book Alpha From a Reformed Perspective that will help us through that sticky wicket. Trouble is, the last time I checked, they were out at the bookstore, I reordered it, and have not heard back, so I'm hopeful that all is well.

Anyway ... as the Alpha Coordinator, I need to get volunteers to lead small groups, help setup for dinner, man the buffet line, provide drinks, etc, etc, etc. This is going to be the fun part. I need to have everything in place by the end of September. We shall see.

I'm also taking some time to read a book I picked up on the 50% off rack at a Cokesbury store. Debating Calvinism is a series of debates between Dave Hunt of the radio program Seach the Scriptures Daily and James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries. With my R.C. background, I'm finding White's lumping of Hunt's anti-Calvinism in with the R.C. churches anti-Calvinism very interesting, and Hunt's arguments as familiar teaching from those R.C. days.

Yet, leaning in the bookcase behind my recliner is my copy of H.P. & the Deathly Hallows, which I'm re-reading again just for the pleasure of it. Now with the new Harry Potter flick bounced from this Thanksgiving to next Summer, I may just start from the beginning again to take care of my Harry Potter jones.

And so it goes ...

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