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An Alpha Story: Jen Gray

I was drawn to the Alpha Course for several reasons. My family was new to the area and I had heard that Alpha was a good way to meet people at PLC; a way to make real and lasting connections and be more integrated with the community at PLC. As we were awaiting the birth of our second son, I wanted to really examine my relationship with God. As with all relationships, it’s been up and down over the years and I had been harboring a lot of a questions and anger since my mom’s passing. I thought now was as good a time as ever to do some self-reflection on my beliefs so that I could be a stronger rock of faith for my family. Lastly, my husband didn’t grow up in a religious family, so I thought the Alpha Course would be a good place for him to explore his own relationship with God. It would spur great conversations about faith and our relationship with God as a couple and as parents.

My relationship with Christ is a lot more personal and intentional now. The Alpha Course broke down my relationship with him in bite-size pieces and I feel that I now have a stronger intentional relationship with God and Jesus. Without giving away any spoilers, two of my favorite parts of the course were the discussions around the Holy Spirit and how to pray. Both were very eye opening for me as it showed me new perspectives that I had not thought about before. It was also a huge relief to learn that the spontaneous emotions during church and at other times may be the workings of the Holy Spirit (and not just sleep deprivation)!

My husband and I tend to be introverted, so being able to get to know others in the PLC community through in-depth personal conversations was an absolute gift. The Alpha Course process gives people the space to share their own thoughts, struggles, triumphs, and other personal experiences. The course also gives people the space to not say anything at all! I feel that by the end of the course, connections with the other people in my group were made stronger in the quiet times just as often as the nights we couldn’t stop talking. I learned so much about myself and from others who took the time to be vulnerable in the weekly conversations. Both my husband and I feel that the Alpha Course laid solid foundations for what we hope to be life-long friendships.

If you’ve been hesitant to do the course because you’re scared of the self-reflection or exploration of your personal relationship with God among people who may be strangers – even more of a reason to do it! The Alpha Course has something for everyone no matter where you are in your relationship with God. The course provides a very welcoming and safe place to think through your beliefs (whatever they are!) and any emotion you feel towards God (positive, negative or neutral). Alpha quickly became our favorite part of the week. We encourage everyone to give it a try.

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