Everyone should have the chance to enjoy a free meal, explore faith, ask questions, and share their point of view. This is Alpha on Wednesdays, 6:15-8pm (Sep-Nov, Jan-Mar). Register Now >
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. At the end of dinner, is joke time because at the end of a long day, we hope you will laugh.
Then a Talk
The talks are designed to engage and inspire conversation. Generally thirty minutes long, they can be given as a live talk or played as a video. They 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? and How does God heal today?
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.
Your kids can attend Awana Club too. Kids (age 0 – 6th grade) enjoy fun with friends, playing organized gym games, singing, learning values, and earning awards. Kids participate in age-specific groups: Puggles (age 2), Cubbies (ages 3-5), Sparks (K-1st-2nd), T&T (3rd-4th), or PAK (5th-6th). Kids are safely checked in and out. Dedicated volunteers invest in each child. Club shirt, book, bag, and awards included with $25 supplies fee.
When I visited Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London, England I could not get over how many young professionals swarmed the church. It was a struggle to enter the building due to the crush of people. Their vicar, Nicky Gumble, is sixty years old, far from hip, and yet his church is the liveliest one I have ever seen.
Pastor Gumbel attributes the youthfulness of his church to Alpha. He claims that the average age coming to Alpha and his church is 27 years.
Alpha is a course for people who want to explore what it means to be a Christian.
This semester we tried something new in Alpha. A group of Young Professionals stepped forward to be table leaders at Alpha. They invited their friends. They also called all the people thirty–five years old and under who had recently visited our church and prayed for all these people to come.
The Alpha food team leader interviewed the Young Professionals to find out how we could meet the diverse food needs of people who are gluten-free, lactose intolerant, vegetarian, or trying to have a low-sugar diet. Changes were made in our meals so that everyone could come to the table and enjoy one another’s company.
Fifteen people have been coming to the Young Professionals table at Alpha this spring. Two of them asked me when our church is having its next baptism service. It is obvious that the Young Professionals are developing a sense of community in their group. Our next semester in Alpha begins on Wed Sept 7 at 6:30pm.
If you have, or ever had questions regarding “who is God?” Or “who was Jesus, really?” If you have ever had doubts or questions regarding faith, we would love for you to come to our 1820’s Alpha course! During this 8 week course we will be exploring questions like these over a free meal!
Alpha began June 25, and runs 7-9pm at Bloomingdale Church, Common Grounds Room. If you would like to come, or know someone that you would like to invite, please feel free to access our facebook Alpha page and reserve a spot there or fill out the easy to use form down below!
If you have any questions feel free to contact me (Brent Steinke) at email@example.com
If you have ever attended an 11am worship hour at Bloomingdale Church, more than likely you’ve seen Head Ushers Curtis and Danielle W. greeting at the front doors. They always have big smiles and are willing to give comforting hugs.
We are grateful that some friends invited Curtis and Danielle to an Alpha Course in 2005. Although they both had religious backgrounds growing up, they have had dramatically different experiences and fell away from any organized religion in their adult lives. Curtis was raised Baptist until he was fifteen and then attended meetings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses until he was 18. Danielle was raised Jewish, and had never attended a church before she visited Bloomingdale.
They will tell you that their experiences in the Alpha Course changed their lives. Pastor Bill became a support friend through Wednesday night Alpha, even with his crazy Alpha joke time.
The Alpha Course led Curtis and Danielle to start attending worship and they become more involved in the church fellowship. In September 2006, they both made the commitment to be baptized at BC as followers of Christ.
They attended Joe and Andrea Z.’s first Alpha 2.0 class. They later went on to lead that course for several years after Joe and Andrea left for international work. Now, Curtis and Danielle are instrumental members of Joe and Andrea’s Barnabas group, a team that seeks to encourage international workers.
As deacons, Curtis and Danielle can often be found serving all around the church. However, if you ask them what their favorite activity outside of worship service is, they will tell you it’s participating in Day Camp with Marina R. every June as well as volunteering during BC’s annual Interdependence Day Celebration. Danielle enjoys the Tuesday night Women’s Break for the lessons she learns each week and the wonderful women in her table group.
Since January 2012, Curtis and Danielle have really enjoyed facilitating the Date Night/Marriage Course on Wednesday nights. Married for more than 20 years themselves, they know that all enduring relationships take work. “We would recommend this course to those in all kinds of relationships who want to grow strong together through all situations,” said Curtis.
They have served couples engaged to be married and those who have been married for 40-plus years. “A common misconception is that couples take this class only when they are having trouble,” said Danielle. “We encourage all couples to take it. It certainly allows you some quiet, private time to strengthen your relationship.”
The course is nicknamed “Date Night” because couples are served a home-cooked meal in a soft-light setting at tables for two. The material produced by the folks that brought us Alpha is presented, and discussion is only between you and your partner. The children’s program, AWANA, functions at the same time, keeping the children (ages 2-Grade 6) safely occupied during the couples’ date night.
Curtis and Danielle know something about children. Their third child, Tyler, is 19 and has grown up at BC. He is currently attending College of DuPage and lives at home with Curtis and Danielle in Addison. Their older children have grown and started families of their own. Daughter Kiara is 25, and she has 5-year-old Joe and 4-year-old Isaiah. Curtis and Danielle’s son Belden is 23 years old and has 2-year-old Lorrell. No one will worry about the Washington house being an empty nest! There is always room for grandbabies, and rescued pups George, Bailey, and Bella who are always eager for the boys to visit.
As Curtis and Danielle approach their 10th year attending BC, they said it is impossible to pick out a single favorite memory. However, if you run into them some Sunday morning just ask them for a story. They will be glad to share one.
Our Neighbors: sharing stories about some of Bloomingdale Church’s people.
People who finish the Alpha Course are always asking, “What is next?” If you are interested in learning how to study the Bible for yourself, knowing the books of the Bible in order, learning how to pray out loud, and being able to give your testimony, then Alpha 2.0 is for you.
Alpha 2.0 students eat with the Alpha group at 6:30pm and then head to their own space for a lively discussion of what they have learned in the Bible during the past week.
If you are interested in trying a night of Alpha 2.0, on Wed Jan. 21, sign up here.