My day started when I arrived on the dot of ten, their opening time, at The Father's House in Morinville. Whenever I walk through a church door and people don't know who I am, I have a sense they might feel like I might upon seeing some kind of salesperson approaching my own front door. Not exactly a trusting look - somewhat skeptical perhaps. I don't want to single out The Father's House because it happens many times. In any case, I was greeted cordially, and introduced myself as being with Alpha Canada.
Genuine smiles broke out instantly. "This is a very timely visit," said the Associate Pastor who greeted me. He went on to say they were just discussing what to do with some of their small groups this fall, and Alpha fit the bill perfectly. Father's House has three, "campuses," he told me so they might run multiple Alphas. He was especially happy to hear that all our resources are free, "Available," I like to say, "for the low, low, cost of nothing."
From there it was on to Gibbons, where Sturgeon Alliance has been a pretty steady Alpha church. Once again, they were glad to see me. Once again they used the same term, "What a timely visit!" They were planning their fall, were aware of the upcoming Global Alpha Campaign with Bear Grylls and hope to run both it and the Youth Film Series.
On then to Fort Saskatchewan, visiting three churches there, including dropping information off at the Catholic Parish, Our Lady of the Angels. The receptionist knew about Alpha and said she would leave the information for Father. I was surprised, when I got home and went to enter a record of my daily calls, to see that they actually ran a Youth Film Series earlier this year.
My final stop was at Community Baptist Church, the energizer bunny of Alpha churches in Fort Saskatchewan - they just keep running and running and running... Here is a picture.
There was no one there, so I just left my card in the door, but look above their sign and the shrub that's behind it. It's an old Alpha sign. I'm not sure how old, but if Alpha ever opens a museum, I'm sure it could find a place there.
Alpha HQ might shake their heads, but there's something I love about these small town and rural churches. That banner has been up there for years and, "Why change it...?" They're just so faithful in serving their communities, and if something ain't broke, why fix it? In any case, I will have to talk to them about an upgrade.
So there you go. Another fun day in Alberta.