Jim and Merci D met while working in the Scanda House restaurant in 1968. Shortly after graduating from Wheeling High School in 1969, they were married and ultimately raised their family in the Chicago area. Upon retirement, they moved into the Bloomingdale Horizon senior apartments and began making a lot of new friends.
But they were frustrated because they wanted to share their faith with their new friends without offending them. After all, they were living with these people!
When Jim and Merci learned they could combine their ability to cook for large groups with their desire to make more friends without alienating them, they were interested. In short, Alpha is about making friends around a dinner table and offering people a chance to gather in a judgment-free place, and converse about God, faith, prayer, the Bible, healing, the Holy Spirit, and divine guidance.
Jim and Merci asked their new friends at Bloomingdale Horizons if they would be interested in offering the Alpha Course to the residents of their building. Ten people stepped forward to help. People from Jim and Merci’s Bloomingdale Church also came out to help.
Twenty-five people have been showing up for dinner at Alpha. They love the food. They also love the chance to talk about spiritual matters without people getting mad or having to listen to someone get on their soapbox.
Merci says, “People think that seniors have already made up their minds about Jesus but actually we are more open to talking about faith because we know we are nearing the end of our lives. I like it that people are coming to me with requests for prayer now that we are doing Alpha.”