Sunday, 27 August 2017
Here we are at McKernan Baptist in Edmonton. McKernan is a longtime Alpha church and once a year I am their missionary of the week. Even though my mission field is only the Province of Alberta, it is a mission field, nonetheless. I love how many people came up to us at this event and told us what a wonderful part Alpha has played in their lives and/or their spiritual journey.
McKernan is very near the University of Alberta, so attracts a good number of students. I'm not sure where they'll put them. They have two services every Sunday morning. Their sanctuary holds over 300 people and was fairly full both times, with even an overflow area well populated, and university students, for the most part, haven't even started arriving yet. Having experienced McKernan's hospitality, biblical teaching and worship music ministry, I can't think of any place I would want more as a, "home away from home" for an out-of-town student, were I a parent worried about sending my kid to the big city to live for the first time.
I know of at least three other churches running Alpha on the U of A campus, and McKernan wondered if there would be a conflict if they invited, as they always do, students to join their own Alpha. "Absolutely not!", I said. The more the better. There are nearly 40,000 students there so we would need one or two thousand Alpha's to accommodate them all. We can only dream!
McKernan just went through a 2-year rebuilding process; a time when they met in a local school, but now they have been back in their new building for a couple of years now, and a beautiful facility it is. They are a mission-minded church and a light for their neighbourhood and for U of A students. I pray God will bless them in these areas and that they see wonderful fruit from their upcoming Alpha.
(Oh, and by the way; that post below - 400 Alphas? It's now 430 - and counting)