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new to Christianity...help please?!!!

(24 Posts)
Fran81 Sun 24-Jul-05 22:22:10

I'll cut a long story short...
I'm new to Chritianity, as in I've only started forging my beliefs in the last 3 or 4 months and I've recently found a church that I feel really comfortable in and I feel the Lords presence there. Just come back from this evenings service and feel very emmotional.

Basically, I need a few pointers.
Firstly, it was a communion service tonight and I didn't take the bread and wine, but instead the vicar prayed for me. It probably sounds very stupid, but what do I need to do to be able to take the bread and wine. I was christened a baby, but since then, until now, had very little contact with the church.

My second is, my church runs an Alpha course, which I'm thinking about joining up to do...what are peoples verdicts/ experiences of them?

Thanks everyone!

roosmum Sun 24-Jul-05 22:25:52

yes by all means try an alpha course - it'll probably answer lots of your questions, plus it may well raise some you didn't expect.

Fran81 Sun 24-Jul-05 22:27:20

have you any experience of it? or know anyone whos done one?

also...any ideas for my first question?!

Ladymuck Sun 24-Jul-05 22:29:31

Hi. Not answering your question, but I would probably recommend that you ring your vicar and st up a time for a chat. He can then get to know you a bit more and will be able to help not just answer your questiosn but also ensure that you get appropriately pastored and discipled.

The "requirements" for taking communion will vary acording to the type of church is it - which denomination is it? Eg anglican, baptist etc.

As for the Alpha course - it is a good way of meeting people and discussing some of the basicis of the Christian faith, but your church may have a better course for you. Eg at ours we have Alpha courses, generally aimed at those who are not yet Christians but are interested in knowing more. But we also have discipleship courses for new Christians, as well as groups for more established Christians. Hope this helps.

roosmum Sun 24-Jul-05 22:34:26

i've never done an alpha course, tho i do know a few people that have become christians as a result of doing them.
ladymuck's advice is great too - a chat with whoever's 'running' your church would prob. clarify things a bit for you (communion etc - as lm says, it depends on the church).
keep posting, hope it all works out for you.
like ladymuck also said it helps to meet people/make friends & alpha course (whether for non-christians or new christians) might be really good in this.

Fran81 Sun 24-Jul-05 22:34:26

thanks ladymuck..actually going to a cluster group at the vicars house on Thursday so will hopefully be able to chat freely to him there. He seems like a nice chap and quite approachable. and the church is Anglican...not that I totally know what that means, if I'm honest??! what's the difference between that and a baptist church?

Fran81 Sun 24-Jul-05 22:37:07

thanks to you too roosmum...I only have internet access whne round at my mums house, so will only be able to post couple of times a week, but will give an update on my situation and would love any advice help you could give me.

QueenOfQuotes Sun 24-Jul-05 22:38:02

I'd highly recommend an Alpha course, whether you're new to Christianity or have been a Christian for years.

Ladymuck Sun 24-Jul-05 22:41:18

Hmmm, I know that it is a simple question, but I'm not sure that i could give a simple answer. The different denominations (anglican, baptist, methodist, united reformed, free church etc) all have slightly different church governmental structures, and place slightly different emphasis on different points of doctrine. Frankly I'm not sure that they are particularly important, and I'm fairly certain that they were never part of God's plan for the church - they're definitely the result of human weakness!

Fran81 Sun 24-Jul-05 22:46:41

thanks for your honesty...thought I was just incredibly stupid for not getting my head round it properly!

jangly Sun 24-Jul-05 23:00:46

About the Baptist Church her e and the Methodist chuch here

jangly Sun 24-Jul-05 23:07:31

Anglican is the same as Church of England. Set up by Henry 8th, uses Book of Common Prayer, has psalms. Is more formal. (High church) website

QueenOfQuotes Sun 24-Jul-05 23:10:21

"Set up by Henry 8th, uses Book of Common Prayer, has psalms. Is more formal."

NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!

I attend an Anglican church and we are most definitely NOT high church. Have pslams sung at ONE service a month (evensong on the 3rd Sunday evening in the month), we dance, clap and have modern music too (shock horror )

sarjon Sun 24-Jul-05 23:18:46

I did an Alpha course when living in New Zealand a couple of years ago even though I've been a Christian for years. It answered many questions for me and I found it really helpful although that was also down to the people I was doing the course with. As everyone else says, speak to the Church leader and see what they suggest for you. My church runs loads of different groups aimed at different ages/viewpoints etc.. Above all, don't be afraid of asking questions, your church should be welcoming and open to answering all your queries!

bloss Mon 25-Jul-05 10:44:11

Message withdrawn

Ameriscot2005 Mon 25-Jul-05 11:15:15

The Alpha course is great for new Christians - you can learn all the basics in manageable chunks, ask any questions you like, and make new friends.

Ameriscot2005 Mon 25-Jul-05 11:26:10

Each church or diocese will have a policy on communion. Most churches are "open table", the main exception being the Roman Catholic Church. This means that anyone who loves the Lord is welcome to share in communion, regardless of the tradition they are from and regardless of whether they have been baptised and confirmed. If you don't want to take communion, you can ask for a blessing (same in the RCC, I think ).

If your church invites you to share communion and you feel a member of your church family, then there is no reason not to go ahead.

kath4kids Mon 25-Jul-05 12:06:48

Brill news f81. Definatly go on Alpha will answer all your questions plus more. Brill place to make friends and the whole concept of Alpha is geared toward that. If run properly then it should begin with sharing of food, then talk/video then time for questions and discussion. Things like how do i pray, read the bible, who is the Holy Spirit, How do i know God is real and a whole load of other topics without getting the book out cant think. Go onto alpha website and find out more.

Drf. talk to the vicar or ask to speak to whoever runs alpha.

Keep us posted

CardiganBay Mon 25-Jul-05 17:31:56

Dear Fran81, I am so pleased to hear of your new found interest in Christian things. May I firstly ask (without wishing to sound anything but caring), are you a Christian? You say that you’re new to Christianity but what do you mean by that. A Christian trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ for his or her eternal security. He or she has recognised that they are a sinner and therefore separated from God, helpless in their own ability to put themselves right, and has repented (turned around) of that sin and asked the Lord to forgive them and save them. KNOWING that the Lord Jesus died for YOUR sins on a personal level is beyond comforting and the most important decision that any person can make as it secures their soul for eternity with God! I hope you are saved.
Alpha Courses: I have no direct experience but have heard good things about them when they are done well. However, never let an Alpha Course, attending church, reading Christian literature, listening to a sermon, etc. be the end. Your your own personal time with the Lord is also vital. All these other things may well be fruitful but study of God's word (by which He speaks to you) and prayer (by which you speak to Him) are of paramount importance if your relationship with the Saviour is to develop fully.
Taking the emblems (the bread and the cup): may I direct you to 1Corinthians11. In this chapter Paul brings out the solemnity of the occasion and also the care and the caution which must be taken when partaking of such an important activity. It is not for anyone and everyone, only those who are right with the Lord. Some churches might add other rules for no good reason. Other churches may be cautious who they allow to share the precious fellowship – understandable if they don’t know the visitor or newcomer. Still other churches may leave the emblems open for any who claim to be saved.
Denominations: they are man made. Sadly, Christians make mistakes. I’ve known good sound Christians over the years from many of the ‘major denominations’ and whilst there are differences in some things, there is an underlying unity in the salvation that has been wrought by the Lord Jesus. There are however some things done in some churches which have no Scriptural foundation and are merely following man made tradition. Tradition isn’t always a bad thing but when it gets in the way of the truth it can be devastating (read about the Pharisees in the Gospels) and if allowed to get out of hand, can even pervert the truth and blind people to it. Never lose sight of the Scriptures themselves.
I’ll remember you in my prayers.

Fran81 Tue 26-Jul-05 13:20:11

thanks so much everybody, you don't know how helpful it is to have such lovely people to talk to about all this.
Thanks esp. to cardiganbay...in answer to your question, yes I do consider myself to be a Christian, something which I have only been able to say in the last couple of days. I feel so incredibly good now, and all of my daily thoughts at the moment tend to be about the Lord and learning more about Gods word. I've even been dreaming about reading the bible! I'm hopefully going to a cluster group through my church tonight, provided I can get a babysitter, which I'm looking forward to.
thanks again everyone, and I'll keep you posted.
It would mean alot if you could pray for me to find the right route and to understand Gods word and his will for me.

CardiganBay Wed 27-Jul-05 11:08:21

Excellent (Luke15v10). I'll continue to remember you before the Lord.

Ameriscot2005 Wed 27-Jul-05 11:32:50

Fran,

Congratulations!

Reading the bible is something that you have to learn to do. If I might recommend and excellent book for people new to bible study - 30 Days by Nicky Gumbel (Alpha). It takes you through famous bible stories, one a day for 30 days, and gives you some of the skills you need to carry on by yourself.

Another great book is The Lion Children's Bible - it's aimed at around 10 - 12 year olds, I'd say, and what is useful about it is that you can read it very quickly and get an idea of where the main events of the Old and New Testaments fit together, and how all the main characters relate to one another.

QueenOfQuotes Wed 27-Jul-05 11:34:21

"It would mean alot if you could pray for me to find the right route and to understand Gods word and his will for me."

Absolutely - would be happy too

bloss Wed 27-Jul-05 12:00:38

Message withdrawn

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