It's the beginning of a new year, 2011. That's 2011AD – 2011 years since the official calendar date for Christ's birthday. But what does that actually mean to you?
Perhaps you have your doubts about it all? It cannot be denied that a man called Jesus actually existed, walked the earth, had a following, at least appeared to do miracles, was crucified, and believed by his followers to have risen from the dead.
But perhaps to you that's all just ancient and rather irrelevant history. What do you think of when you hear the word Christianity? What is Christianity?
What does it mean to be a Christian? Perhaps your experiences of Christians or Christianity have left you bitter or disallusioned.
In Northern Ireland many of us are brought up within some form of nominal Christianity – baptised as a child, initiated into some Church, taught to say prayers and not do anyone any harm.
But how much of this actually constitutes true Christianity?
Whether you have previous experience of Church, Christians and the Bible, or none at all, Christianity Explored will be helpful for you. It is an informal course for people who'd like to investigate Christianity, or just brush up on the basics.
The course has been around for over a decade now, and it's been designed to suit different age ranges and people. It explores who Jesus was, what his aims were, and what it means to follow him.
The course will begin on Tuesday 18th January at 7.30pm, running for 10 weeks, and will be hosted at Coffee Capital, Main St. Ballymoney. There is no cost to the course and tea and coffee will be provided.
Everyone is welcome - from the most sympathetic Sunday schooler to the convinced atheist. We will respect your background, culture and beliefs.
Tell us as little or as much about yourself as you feel comfortable. You do not have to participate if you don't want to.
You are welcome to come and just sit and listen. It's not a church service. There's no praying, singing, or clapping, and you won't be asked to read aloud.
Each evening includes a DVD designed to explain an aspect of Christian belief and to stimulate discussion. Hopefully you'll find it challenging and amusing. The group leaders will facilitate discussion and try to answer questions.
The reason why Christianity Explored is being run is because Christians count it a real privilege to explain the truth and relevance of the Christian message.
We don't have all the answers but believe that we have exciting news to share about Jesus Christ. The course is being organised by Ballymoney Baptist Church. For more info. Tel: 276 66452, or visit our website www.ballymoneybaptistchurch.org.