I was ready to grow.

When Angela signed up for the Alpha Course, she did not realize that the people she met would have such a profound effect on her life.

Angela had been attending Northwoods for a couple of months at this point, and wanted her church experience to be more than just weekend services.

“Pastor Cal preached about stepping out of your comfort zone to grow, and I was ready to grow,” said Angela. “I knew there was something more.”

Angela was intrigued by Alpha’s class description—learn about the big questions of life and the basic principles of Christianity—so she stopped in the lobby to find out more. She was reassured by the help she received.

“If nothing else, come for the free food,” the Guest Services volunteer joked. “If you don’t like it, you won’t have to come back.”

She walked into the first session of Alpha feeling nervous and unsure where to sit. Doubt crept into her mind, but she pushed forward and found a table to join. She immediately noticed how much younger her table members were, and she wondered if she would have any trouble communicating well with them. Would there be too much of a generation gap?

The content of the class was fascinating and inspiring, but for Angela, the greater impact came from the relationships that grew around the table. During that time, Angela’s marriage was failing, but she found stability and support that she needed through the group.

“The people in my group routinely went out of their way to say hello or reach out to me,” said Angela. They also routinely prayed for her. Once the class finished, the group was so tight that they wanted to stick together. The bond they shared was special, and they continued to meet once a week, working through Bible studies and enjoying connection with each other to catch up on what was happening in their lives.

Stepping out of her comfort zone to attend Alpha helped Angela develop an excited attitude about Northwoods and wanted to take her next step, so she enrolled in Four Steps. She discovered her spiritual gifts and found a comfortable place to serve at the church.

Connecting at Northwoods has helped Angela not only get through some difficult times but also use her newly found gifts to serve the Lord.

“Everything about Northwoods feels genuine,” said Angela. “Everyone here is on the same level. Pastor Cal does not put himself above the congregation, and that attitude shows through all the staff and volunteers. I know I’m going to be okay here.”

Life verse: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the umber of the stars and calls them each by name.” Psalm 147:3-4