What can we do about this? To me, this community (and the individuals that make it up) will never grow up to be mature, self-sustaining and independent until the people are both "Bible literate" and regularly reading the Bible. It makes me think I'd like to start a "read the New Testament in X amount of time" campaign in a few months or so.
My housekeeper says she doesn't read the Bible because it makes her fall asleep. She also says she likes for people to read the Bible to her. I'm considering asking her if she would like to read a short passage with me every morning and pray for the day. Not to discuss it but at least so that she hears something. I think part of the problem with the perception of the Bible here is that no one has ever tried it, or if they have, they started in Leviticus or something.
On another topic related to last night, my friend C (she and her husband are the only "churchy" people who come to Alpha) would not stop talking last night in the discussion. She just went on and on with stories that to me seemed irrelevant. After the meeting, she and her husband told me that they wouldn't be attending the day retreat since I mentioned they couldn't bring their 4-year-old. They don't like to leave her with anyone (ever).
I was a little miffed at first thinking that I don't understand this culture with children. It seems crazy to me that their daughter is only ever with them or at school. She comes to every single meeting they attend, which means that someone has to watch her there or she gets into trouble (latest shenanigans- writing on Tim's blackboard with permanent marker). Anyway, then I realized that for the two of them not to come to the retreat is a real blessing for the others. I think it will make everyone else more comfortable to be themselves (however "not religious" that may be) and will give other people more time to talk now that C isn't monopolizing the conversation. By the way, everyone else says they are definitely coming to the retreat! I'm amazed and thrilled!