2005-03-01 - 9:39 a.m.

I'm sick. Not big bad sick, but sick. And I slept fitfully last night.

However, I'm not going to write about that. Instead I'm going to write about Alpha. As my regular readers know, this semester's Alpha started this past Sunday. First off, we had a lot more people than expected. That's always a good sign. We were expecting to do only two small groups, but we will have to grab a couple of leaders from our reserves so we can have a third group.

The group dynamics should be interesting, too. A couple of the guests (we don't call them students) have already really impressed me. Eileen, a deacon in the church and one of the two people who hold the Alpha course together as PSC, was running the discussion and she asked me to chime in. And I started on about how we need to really try and evaluate the truth of Christianity's claims, because if they are false, they are pretty useless.

Well, one of the guests jumped on that in a very argumentative way. Which is always a good sign. I love to get the loud mouth debaters because I used to be one. So, after the class was over, I asked Tom (the other deacon assigned to Alpha) to make sure that this argumentative woman would be in my group. I hope she keeps pressing everything. There is nothing more boring than an Alpha group where everyone just tries to get along without rocking the boat. The best Alpha groups I've been in have had some very vocal non-believers. They keep us honest.

The whole point of the class is to ask questions, anyway. As it says in our flyers "No question is too simple or too hostile". Where else in the church are you going to find that? I love getting people in the class who are sure that Jesus was just some guy and that there is no God or no truth or things like that. It's all about the open exchange of ideas.

Of course, I tend to throttle myself, too. Alpha isn't a debating society. We're here to get to the truth, not to prove a point. I guess it is a reflection of my own intellectual nature, but I can't see why people aren't stampeding to take this class!

Plus there is the free food. We usually have very good food, too. One of the members of the team is an excellent cook and she will cook probably half to 80% of the meals. The other times we'll probably get take out or hire a caterer. This past Sunday we had a variety of pasta dishes from Vinny Testas (sp?).

Anyway, I just love Alpha. So I sometimes will write long, rambling dland entries about it. But it only lasts for 10 weeks, so if you want to avoid hearing about it, just come back in a couple of months.

So I called Heather last night, because she loves Alpha, too. There was a strange quality in her voice. Something is up, I don't know what. Or maybe my sickness was affecting my ears. I don't know if it's a "sinister" something or a good and positive something - just that she sounded different.


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