At "Of Course, I Could Be Wrong" we had a lively discussion about Alpha after I mentioned it. I printed the comments to give to my rector, after editing out MadPriest's comments, which were a little over the top.
My rector's letter is titled "Does Not Follow Directions." He goes on to quote from Mark's Gospel the story of Jesus healing the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath, making the point that sometimes the right thing to do is not to follow directions.
He then goes on to say that he will celebrate 25 years as a priest in March, and he is learning to discern better "when directions should be followed and when not."
About the Alpha series, he says:
I embarked on this train of thought recently when I was thinking about the Alpha course we will use in Lent. I have used it many times before and although I think it is a strong curriculum, it is not perfect. (What is?) A good teacher does not slavishly stick to a curriculum as if it were a recipe. I will use what I think is good and either not use the small portion that is weak or teach over against it, if and when it appears.The short form of this statement, as I read it is, "June, I heard what you said and read what you gave me to read, but I'm going to do this anyway. If you feel it's not for you, then you needn't come." I wonder why he didn't tell me this. What do y'all think? This is not the first time that I have felt he was responding directly to me in the newsletter. Why not just talk to me?
Nothing is for everyone. However, I think Alpha is orthodox Christianity served up with humor and profundity.
Of course, I may be inflating my own importance and taking what he says much too personally. Anyone who cares to weigh in in the comments, please do, and don't be concerned about disagreeing with me.
It is my impression that my rector strives to avoid confrontation, and, perhaps, that's why he would respond in the newsletter, rather than directly to me.
By the way, if my rector ever makes his way to my blog, I am sunk.