The National Catholic Office Trinidad and Tobago in collaboration with Archdiocese of Port of Spain Evangelization Commission, held it's Global Alpha Training (GAT) on Saturday 12th July, 2014. Close to 40 participants learned how essential it was to run Alpha in their parishes and were given the tools needed to help them do this. It was a great day of food, fellowship and fun, and for Haydn Belton it was all about self-realization through conversation. He had this to say about his experience in GAT
What inspired my participation in GAT was the idea of learning new techniques and skills, for e.g. how to create an atmosphere that will allow for open conversation. It showed me that active interaction and fellowship (koinania) was ideal for any successful Alpha course.
The Training allowed participants such as myself to hear the concerns and challenges of the youth, particularly in regard to what's working and what is not, as it pertains to faith development in the Youth Ministry.
For me the Summary of highlights from the Training were:
- The importance of creating that atmosphere that fosters conversation.
- The importance of listening.
- The importance of hospitality.
- The key ingredients (Food, Talk/Conversation, Fun)
I also understood that the goals should be:
- Facilitating Conversation
- Allowing youth the room to express ideas with freedom, authenticity, truth and honesty.
- The ability to give youth that space or opportunity to participate in the Conversation on Questions like "Who is Jesus?"
GAT Training increased my knowledge of Alpha. It made me look at how we deliver the good news, since most of the times we want to just teach the faith. Alpha allows for self-realization through conversation.