Blog Post: In the beginning...
The 2009 Alpha course has recently wrapped up at the new public library in Whistler B.C. Running for more than 26 years and in 163 different countries, this relationship-based course brings people together from different backgrounds and cultures. It has proven to be an authentic way to unite the diverse, transient crowd that flows consistently through Whistler, strengthening the participants’ spiritual and social wellbeing and creating vibrancy within the community.
The Whistler Alpha course held weekly meetings over a 12 week period that included a dinner, video and discussion.The course has helped those new to Canada experience and adapt to the culture and language, as well as form friendships. The simplicity of eating home cooked meals together, prepared by Whistler locals, gives people a chance to get to know each other and to feel like they belong.
Thought-provoking questions are presented in video by Nicky Gumbel (Alpha founder) over the span of 12 weeks. People learn, laugh and are challenged as the topics cover issues that aren’t often discussed on an average night out. Who is Jesus? Why and how do I pray? How can we have faith? The group discussion time is led by facilitators who provide direction for the conversation and encourage people to engage by sharing their thoughts, ideas and personal stories. Through these raw and real conversations, walls tumble, bridges are built and lives are valued, allowing community to come alive.
Community can be a source of strength and support. People relating to each other with love and concern in simple, practical ways has the ability to bring transformation and healing into people’s lives. It can provide hope and a future to those that are hurting, lost and in pain. The Alpha course is a fresh start to discovering community and truth that can bring wholeness and healing.