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    Alpha course expanding church


    “It’s a wonderful gift for the church,” states Rev. Ron Jackson, rector of St. Luke’s of the Mountains in La Crescenta. “It’s brought all kinds of good stuff — people coming to the faith and moving people to ministry.”

    The program he’s referring to is known as Alpha and it’s offered by Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. The next training will be held July 28-29, where participants will learn how to start Alpha courses.

    Alpha is a 10-week practical introduction to the Christian faith, designed primarily for non-churchgoers and those who have recently become Christians.

    “It’s been great for our church,” Rev. Jackson said. “We’ve had 70-80 people go through three groups and it’s done wonders. It’s multi-cultural and it also bridges age groups. It gives the young and older people a common ground — their spirituality.”

    Alpha works for any group and any size, and is attracting churches and Christian organizations of every background and denomination.

    “The power is that it’s not culturally bound,” Rev. Jackson said. “It’s great for people with a higher education and also for those with a lower educational background; it’s urban and it’s rural.

    “I first heard about it in the missions area — in South America and Africa — and it’s just now offered in the U.S.”

    For more information, call the Office of Continuing Education at Fuller, 1-800-999-9578.

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