So this is the first time I have ever been involved with Alpha. And well – who would have thought it? It’s a minefield. I have been given a sort of floating debris role, like in Gravity, because I’m not actually trained as a table leader and would therefore probably be clueless. (Actually no probably about it) We have quite an interesting group of people on the tables and I have to say it is really good to see how many people are actually really interested and engaged. Not everyone obviously. There are certainly people who seem to have been dragged there or bribed to come by concerned family and friends. 
One such person announced to the table that people worshipped Star Wars now and this didn’t seem to be very different to him. Well, thank goodness I was there, eh? Using my superior Christiany knowledge and all round spiritual giantness, I manged to parry these attacks and he converted almost immediately. (Well not really, but we all had quite a deep discussion about how good Harrison Ford looked in those boots in Star Wars and I like to think that I helped in some small way)
On a slightly more serious note, I had to poke my big nose in at the last Alpha. My understanding of the course is that it is a safe place for people to ask questions. Any questions. Unfortunately, we seem to have gained someone on our table who has, probably very well meaningly, taken it on himself to put people right according to his version of the Gospel. So an enquiry about the reality of the flood story is met by a lecture on how old the world really is and how dinosaurs couldn’t get on the ark – all accompanied by a list of relevant books. 
Then, a statement about struggling to make the leap of faith from God to actually praying to Jesus meant that the poor person who had said it found herself pressed up against the wall on the way out and “invited” to pray out this thing that was holding her back – as “God had used him before in this area”. I did very well and resisted the temptation to show him how much God had used me in the “smacking you in the mouth” area and satisfied myself by telling “sir” about him.
When I was young, it used to annoy me when I was told to invite people to social evenings at church and then have to watch them sit through forty five minutes on Revelation – which hadn’t shown anywhere in the programme. I thought it was dishonest. I still do. I think Alpha is a great idea. It has been amazing to see just how interested people are in the idea of a God that loves them. But the idea is that we do what Jesus did. We meet people where THEY are – not where WE are. Otherwise we come over like bossy donks and that would never do.
Right, off to shake my fist at the Baftas now. Until we meet again cheri.


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