Welcome to my Alpha diary. Let me introduce myself.
My name is John Kivell. I am the Regional Director for the Province of Alberta, Canada, for Alpha Ministries Canada. This, since 2011, is my, "retirement" career, although I have been active with Alpha for over 20 years.
Alpha has been variously billed as a practical and non-threatening introduction to the Christian faith, a venue encouraging one to, "question everything," an opportunity to come and investigate life's big questions and an opportunity to explore the meaning of life. It originated in Holy Trinity Brompton, a church in London England, and was developed (although not originated) to it's current world-wide status by Nicky Gumbel.
My first experience with Alpha was in the early '90's, when a member of a home Bible study group mentioned it. At that time, it wasn't even on VHS video tapes. My home church was St Paul's Anglican in Edmonton. The Pastor, Michael, had family in Britain and they had sent him the Alpha Course on audio tapes. This was about three years before Alpha Canada was established, in 1994.
I began attending Alpha as a guest, and, according to the Alpha pattern, I became a helper, then a group leader and finally our church Alpha coordinator on subsequent courses. I also ran Alpha in the Fort Saskatchewan Provincial jail for about 3 years. I like to point out that I was a presenter, not a guest, during this time. Over the years I have seen many lives transformed by the relationship found with God through Jesus Christ.
I came to faith rather late in life, so I have intimate knowledge of, "both sides of the fence," so to speak, and knowing the life I have now through Christ, I would never want to go back to the one I had before him. My passion now is to help as many others as I can discover that same new life in Christ, and Alpha is the most effective way I have found to do just that.
My hope for this blog is that it will be a place where I can post my various thoughts and activities in regards to Alpha, for the benefit, even encouragement, of any interested.