Learning about God as Alpha Bermuda returns
Finding a safe space to get answers to challenging questions about God and spirituality isn't always easy.
Alpha Bermuda will explore the Christian faith in the back room at Docksider Pub and Restaurant tomorrow with help from three ingredients — food, information and good conversation.
People of all ages and backgrounds are invited to discuss why we are here, where are we going, whether there is anything beyond the material world and much more.
“Alpha events have typically been run in cafés, churches, universities, homes, you name it, in different locations around the world,” said Phoebe Dill, a member of the group. “Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation.”
Alpha Bermuda started years ago, its members hosting events in churches and prisons, however the meetings died off. After a lengthy gap it was decided to revive the programme this year, and run it out of the hall at the Anglican Cathedral.
It turned out that there were many people who wanted to know more about God as they were overwhelmed by the differing opinions and frequent confusion surrounding the Christian faith.
“So often when religion comes up these days the discussion focuses around narrow hot topics but these things somehow bypass the heart of what Christians believe and of the amazing person of Jesus Christ,” said Ms Dill, daughter of the Right Reverend Nicholas Dill.
“Alpha allows sceptics as well as believers to check out these things — going back to the source, going back to basics. It is not there to push any denomination or agenda but to hear a point of view and then discuss it.”
The group decided to move the meetings to the Front Street pub in hopes of encouraging a wider range of people.
Ms Dill stressed that no one would be asked to pray, sing or give any money. The idea was to meet people and make friendships — and to do so around the topic of Jesus.
The overall aim is “to clarify, demystify, inform and to hear the stories of people whose lives have been changed by Him”, she said.
“In Bermuda we get really caught up in politics and religion but Alpha is about who Jesus is and how we can know anything about God. When Jesus came he drew together people from every race, background and walk of life. Not everyone liked him, but those who followed him were changed.”
Each meeting begins with a free meal followed by a video presentation and a 30-minute small-group discussion with a trained facilitator. People will then be given the chance to discuss a particular topic; to listen to others and contribute their own perspective in an honest, friendly and open environment.
Ms Dill said that while it would be great if the meetings encouraged everyone who attended to want to know Jesus better, the group understands that is unlikely to happen.
“Our hope is to create a really good environment, have some great discussions, develop some real and deep friendships but also to give people at least more information and a positive experience of who Jesus really is, who Christians are and what they believe,” she said. “People who come are free to stay throughout the course but if it is not for them, they are also free to go and no one will chase them up.”
People are encouraged to come with an open heart and an open mind. They are also encouraged to do their own research by reading the Bible, especially the Gospels of Mark and John, talking with friends who have a living faith, or speaking with a pastor.
Alpha Bermuda will meet at Docksider Pub and Restaurant between 5.30pm and 7pm tomorrow. Entry is free.