ALPHA! How are you? Long-time no see!
Dash and I have a special fondness for Alpha - it was the camp where we served as Session Directors before stepping into year-round roles at Beacon. We have many great memories of mentoring and working with young people as they make serious, life-changing decisions about careers, relationships and most importantly, their faith.
It shouldn’t be a surprise then to know that at the end of summer, when we’re tired, thinking about fall sessions and so much more, we get an extra boost of energy when we see Alpha campers arriving. This year was no exception, with a small but mighty 36 campers joining us for a great week studying the book of Isaiah, and how we can trust God even in difficult times.
Apart from the great morning lessons from Steve Lambert (pastor at Forward Baptist Church in Toronto), we also had some fantastic evening seminars, focusing on theology, adulting (or rather, #adulting) and human sexuality. Campers were allowed to ask questions anonymously and our staff thoughtfully presented Biblical responses to those questions.
The activities at Alpha were once again amazing - all the old standards were there - G’NORT, volleyball tournaments, you name it. We also had a great overnight to Lost Lake, although our efforts to avoid the rain were washed out by… rain. (sorry to the girls whose tent decided to collapse in the middle of the night… this is what memories are made of, right?)
Big changes are coming for Alpha next year - first of all, the name is changing! After answering uncountable phone calls from parents asking if we were offering the Alpha course for teens, we’ve realized that although Beacon had the name first, the Alpha course has a much bigger marketing budget than us, and we’re not going to fight it anymore. So, starting in 2020, Alpha will be known as Cornerstone.
This new name takes its inspiration from 1 Peter 2:4-8, which mentions Jesus Christ being both a cornerstone both chosen and precious, as well as a cornerstone that was rejected by men. Our deep hope and prayer is that campers who attend Cornerstone will find Jesus to be a worthy cornerstone in their lives. This session for young adults will be built around this concept - driving home Christ’s eternal value with passion and quality.