Nervous about going back to church? The Alpha Course can help.

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If it’s been a long time since you’ve been to church – or thought seriously about what you believe – you might want to consider attending the next Alpha Course at the Parish Church of St. Helena. It’s a 12-week spiritual adventure that’s a safe place to ask questions like, “Why am I here?” “Why is there so much suffering?” “Is the Bible relevant today?” It’s also a great place to meet others who want to have a genuine discussion about faith issues and explore the meaning of life.The Alpha Course is a worldwide phenomenon with more than 3 million people attending in more than 8,000 churches across 127 denominations in the USA and 25 million globally. The course is offered not just in churches, but in universities, prisons, military bases, hospitals and workplaces as well. The Alpha format was simple: a delicious meal, a short talk on an engaging topic and open discussion afterward. No pressure. No follow-up. No charge.

“Alpha is for everyone. No question is out of bounds and you’re free to discuss as much or as little as you wish,” says Rev. Matt Rusch, Curate and Director of the Alpha Ministry at Parish Church of St Helena. “We don’t assume any background knowledge or belief.”

“We try to make everyone feel welcome – especially those who are not comfortable in a church setting,” says Debbie Ten Eyck, Alpha Director of Hospitality. “We have a delicious meal, served family-style in a fun and relaxed environment. It becomes like a weekly night out with friends.” Many participants so enjoy the Alpha fellowship they continue meeting with their discussion group after the course ends.

The next Alpha Course begins Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. in the Cranmer Room in the Parish House of St. Helena’s at 507 Newcastle St. in downtown Beaufort. Special programming is offered for the participants’ children during the course. Questions? Contact Linda Tully, Alpha Coordinator, at linda14tully@gmail.com or call her at (843) 812-6007.