For the sixth consecutive year, St. John Church in Darien is offering the 10-week Alpha Experience beginning Wednesday, Sept. 25, and continuing through Dec. 4 from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

The course meets in the Pierre Room at church, 1986 Boston Post Road. The course is also offered on Wednesday from 9:15 to 11:15 a.m. in the Conservatory.

"If you have no belief or experience with Christianity, the Alpha course will show you the basics," Frank DeVito, St. John Alpha 2008, said in a release. "If you are faithful, but have a difficult time expressing to other what you believe, Alpha will help you know what to say. If you consider yourself a knowledgeable Christian, Alpha will help fill in some gaps in what you know."

Each week, Alpha guests socialize with a meal, enjoy a video presentation and engage in small group discussion that offers a chance to get to know others, contribute their opinion and ask questions. People usually stay in the same small groups for the duration of the course so they can get to know each other, continue discussions and deepen friendships. The emphasis is upon exploration and discovery in a relaxed and informal environment.

"Here at St. John Church, and also internationally, people testify that Alpha has given them new hope, an enlivened faith, and a real joy in believing. It is worth making the effort to explore and participate in Alpha," Monsignor Frank McGrath, pastor of St. John Church, said in the release.

The registration fee of $20 payable to St. John Church/ALPHA and mailed to 1986 Boston Post Road, Darien CT 06820. For information, call Jean Benitez at 203-655-5122 or email

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