Feeling the burn
An interdenominational group in Calgary holds
regular “burns” – extended prayer and worship
services lasting from 24 to a hundred nonstop hours.
Local worship leaders rotate in two-hour shifts,
leading the group in their own worship styles. Their
vision is to build the movement until they can host
24/7 worship and prayer. The group is part of a
network that holds burns in cities around the world.
Giving hands to the gospel
A group of men from Ottawa’s Grace
Presbyterian Church sets aside one Saturday a month
to offer practical help to seniors, single parents
and others in need. After a breakfast together, the
men help “care receivers” by doing chores, simple
handyman tasks, and offering to pray with them.
When Shediac Bay Community Church offered
sanctuary to a Tunisian man, they had no idea it
would transform their congregation. The man,
Mohamed Amine Maazaoui, fled Tunis after becoming
a Christian, but the Canadian government rejected
his permanent residency bid. Sheltering him from
deportation unified the struggling New Brunswick
church, but also helped inspire them to reach out
to temporary foreign workers. Their outreach led
to a major inflow of Filipino, Jamaican and Mexican
believers who helped revitalize the church.
A Rocha, a Christian environmental stewardship
organization, launched a creative program to tackle
bullying among teen girls in North Surrey, B.C.
Through teacher referrals Girls in Action brings
together victims of bullying and potential bullies
from the inner city for activities on a farm. Engaging
in creation, the team says, helps the girls bond. The
program fosters self-esteem and teaches the girls
about their need for a relationship with God.
www.ARocha.ca —CRAIG MACARTNE Y
Visit www.Faith Today.ca/InspiringIdeas for more. Does your
church or organization have great ideas to share? Send an
email to editor@Faith Today.ca.
Alpha launches new programs this fall
New materials for youth re-energize program
LAST YEAR there were more than 3,600 Alphas across
the country. Alpha is a series of interactive sessions
that explore the basics of the Christian faith,
typically run over 8-12 weeks, involving food, a short
talk, and discussion in small groups.
Launching in October, Alpha is expanding with a
redesigned youth series available in 19 different
languages. It targets 13–18-year-olds and the specific
problems they face. “We really want to reach the
next generation,” says Shaila Visser, national director
of Alpha Canada.
A Global Alpha Campaign encourages churches
across Canada and the world to run Alpha sessions.
British adventurer Bear Grylls is the face of the
campaign, and he shares his faith story throughout
Alpha’s promotional materials.
Visser says Alpha Canada has particularly been
drawn to the Greater Toronto Area this year. “When
some people felt prompted to do more in the GTA, my
initial response was that it’s too difficult,” she recalls.
“I laugh at myself now because I had so little faith.”
A year later, she received a phone call from an
organization wanting to donate $1 million for their
work in Ontario. “In the nonprofit world it’s seldom
that you are offered $1 million that you didn’t apply
for,” she says. Alpha has since been working with
churches in the GTA and hosting training conferen-
ces in Toronto, London and Ottawa.
Churches in New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Newfoundland are also involved in the campaign.
Visser says it’s really the relationships that
encourage people to attend a faith-filled event. “The
media doesn’t bring people in – it just softens the
ground for invitation,” she says. “Churches recognize
that the main reason people come to Alpha is
because someone invited them.” –ALLISON BARRON
WERE RUN ACROSS
CANADA IN 2016
DONATION GIVEN TO
ALPHA FOR THEIR
WORK IN ON TARIO