Lu Stanton León writes for the Diocese of Washington:

This spring the Diocese of Washington and Washington National Cathedral sponsored a pilot Alpha course, a small-group program that allows both church-goers and seekers to meet, share a meal, and explore those key spiritual questions that may be weighing on their hearts: Who is Jesus? Why did he die for us? How do I pray?

The Alpha course, a revised version of a program created by the Church of England several decades ago consists of eight sessions, each of which includes 30 minutes for a free, catered dinner, 30 minutes for a talk and then an hour for small group discussions.

The course at the Cathedral met on Thursday nights from March 2 through April 27, not including Maundy Thursday, and reached its 130-person capacity shortly after it was announced. Dean Randy Hollerith says it will be offered again.

“Alpha is designed as a discipleship class,” Hollerith says. “It was created for the unchurched and is a very evangelical interpretation of the Christian faith. We had to adapt it knowing that the people taking it here are not unchurched and are not big-‘E’ evangelicals. We wanted people, through this experience of Alpha, to become more faithful and become more comfortable talking about their faith.”

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