Fellowship of Christian Athletes returns to PAS

These are some of the Pipestone Area Schools students who have been meeting with a Fellowship of Christian Athletes group that was recently formed at the school. Pictured are (front row, l-to-r) Brielle Kulm, Aurora Winsel, Jenna Boeke, Laura Minet, Keera Pottratz, Addison Draper, (middle row, l-to-r) Naomi Wallace, Vivian Brockberg, (back row, l-to-r) Trey Boelman, Zachary Hoss, Xavier Banjoko and Bode Bruns. Contributed photo

A Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) huddle recently started meeting at Pipe-stone Area Schools (PAS) thanks to the efforts of two members of the senior class.

Dean of Students Scott Boomgaarden, who serves as the advisor for the group, said there had previously been an FCA huddle at the school prior to the pandemic. Naomi Wallace and Brielle Kulm decided this year that they wanted to bring it back.

“We’re both seniors and we just thought it would be a good way to connect people, and we’re going to be gone after this, so we wanted to spread truth while we can,” Wallace said.

Boomgaarden said he had to take some training to serve as the advisor for the group, but he lets the students lead it. Kulm and Wallace said they get togeth-er to plan for the weekly sessions.

During the first session, they did an introduction devotional and gathered some input from those in attendance.

At the second session, they gave the group some options and they decided to do video studies. They started with videos of athletes sharing about their faith and more recently they’ve been doing a series about how to live for Jesus that they’ve put together using various resources.

Going forward they plan to do a variety of devotional series based on topics students said they wanted to learn about. The girls said FCA also has different books and re-sources available, which they haven’t used yet, but plan to at future meetings.

The FCA group meets Wednesday mornings at 7:30 a.m. in the middle and high school library and any students in grades nine through 12 who want to attend can just show up. Eventually, they’d like to make it available for middle school students as well. The girls said there have been around 20 students who have attended the morning meetings so far.

While the name includes the word athletes, and both Wal-lace and Kulm are involved in athletics, students don’t need to be athletes to participate. The girls said the FCA curricu-lum materials are focused on athletes, but that the lessons — such as leadership, kindness and good sportsmanship — apply to all of life.

Kulm and Wallace said they’re hoping students will come check out the group and that it will continue at PAS after they’ve graduated.
“I hope by the end of the year we can find some people, like juniors or sophomores who went to it a lot, and see if they maybe want to take it over,” Kulm said.

Boomgaarden said there’s also been some interest among coaches in forming an FCA coaches huddle at PAS.
According to its website at www.fca.org, “FCA focuses on serving local communities around the globe by engaging, equipping and empowering coaches and athletes to unite, inspire and change the world through the gospel.” Its vision is to “see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes,” and its mission is to “lead every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church.”

FCA was founded in 1954 and has groups in 114 countries. According to the FCA, other active FCA huddles in this area are located at Russell Tyler Ruthton Public Schools and Murray County Central.