Dec.,12th Parish Life
Find out what's happening in the Parish this Fall.
In this issue
The Fall Alpha at All Saints Parish just concluded its ten-week course with a Weekend Away Retreat at Loon Lake Lodge on December 4 & 5.
The series started on September 22nd, opening with the question -"Is there more to life than this?" There were 21 participants who came every Wednesday and watched and discussed the Alpha videos at the parish hall while enjoying sumptuous dinners sponsored by various church organizations and parishioners. The entire course was catered to both the seekers, those who have given up on church, those who are new to the faith and the long-time Christians as it provided helpful insights for those who want to take their faith to the next level.
The one-night retreat allowed the participants and the service team to get to know each other better while we watched the talks about the Holy Spirit and prayed together. Of course, it was also a time for us to relax and have fun!
Here’s what Sam Lagumbay, one of the participants, has to say about her Alpha retreat experience –
“The Alpha Retreat was a relaxing getaway where I was able to get to know more All Saints Parishioners and work on my personal relationship with God. It was amazing learning about other people’s experiences and how God has worked in their lives. I’m grateful to have shared my experience with one of my best friends who is new to the faith as well.
Loon Lake was stunning and a true testament to God’s amazing power, being out in the woods was so refreshing!
The Alpha team put together a very well-organized program and every leader was so kind, generous, understanding, and caring. I’m truly blessed to be part of such a wonderful community.”
And here's a testimony from Ken a participant,
"I would like to begin this testimony by saying I am a skeptic. My intellect and logic suggest that there is more chance of God existing than not. However, the notion that everyone is connected to God on a personal level always sounded too far-fetched.
At the retreat, I was really struggling to focus on the videos they had me watching. Each video was full of very touching stories that I could not really relate to. After dinner, I got to socialize a little bit and had a wonderful talk with "Sal". We talked about many things and prayer was one of them. I told him the only time I was so desperate enough to be so sincere with my prayer was when I was in Korea about ten years ago. I was without money or a home. I snuck into one of the public bathhouses and literally praying for a miracle, and then a few hours later a friend of mine called and offered me a place to stay. Right after I was finished telling him my story, I realized I have never really prayed to God all these years, yet when I did, he answered.
I woke up around six. Looking at my wife and my boy, Hadden, who was sleeping at the time, I felt a sudden urge to pray. I started repeating these four phrases " Help me, protect my family, holy spirit come down on me, and I surrender". Then, what felt like a lightning strike swept through my body and the sound as loud as the thunder started roaring in my head. My body was uncontrollably shaking, and this surge of emotion again swept through my body and overwhelmed me and then the tears came, a lot of them. I got out of my room and knocked on Michael's door. When he came out, I asked him to pray for me and he did. I did not hear anything he said, but a force made me kneel. I felt so powerless and naked. I would be running out of adjectives to describe what it felt like but to sum it up it was fear at first and then happiness and repentance afterwards.
Does this mean I am a changed man? No. I'm still the same old me. But I do pray a lot more hoping to feel his presence once more and whenever I do, God reveals himself every time".
Keep an eye out on our Annual Gingerbread houses around the Parish!