The Lord God said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
For many seeking God, the Alpha program is indeed the beginning. For some, it is their first encounter with the word of God. For others, it is a new beginning – a place at which they rediscover their faith.
The Diocese of Orange has a vibrant Alpha program in place, designed to provide an informal, non-intimidating forum for answering questions from those curious about Christ, the Church and the Catholic faith. As Douglas Morino writes in our feature story in this issue (pg. 6), the global evangelization effort was first started with the intention to reach out to young adults, to introduce them to Christ. Today, however, people of all ages participate in the 11-week program.
Within the diocese, Alpha meetings are held at St. Vincent de Paul in Huntington Beach, at St. Joachim in Costa Mesa and at St. Justin Martyr in Anaheim. The meetings typically include a casual, potluck dinner and then a presentation on a specific topic. Following that is a question and answer session. As the website for the global program states (Alphausa.org), each group and meeting is different, but they all share “three key things in common: food, a talk and good conversation.” Everything centers on this question: Who is Jesus?
As you might expect in this digital world of ours, you can also access similar information online through Alphausa.org. Highly produced programming led by Alpha presenters and filmed from all parts of the world, can be viewed at your convenience on your computer or mobile device. Each episode is between 20 and 30 minutes long. While you won’t have an opportunity to enjoy the collegiality of an Alpha meeting or ask the burning questions you’ve been pondering, the online experience does offer a place to begin your faith journey.
And for those that already feel grounded in their faith, Alpha offers an opportunity to share your faith as we are called to do. Attend an Alpha meeting and perhaps you’ll be the one who offers a testimony that will bring another closer to Christ.