Students find comfort and community in FCA

April West

Lawrence coach Steve Jung created the Fellowship of Christian Athletes three or four years ago, holding weekly meetings in his house. The tradition has since been carried on by Lawrence alumni Katie Hoyme, Jess Mosser, and Sally Schuefeld. Last year, the club was run by alumni Damaris Briones and Mollie O’Mara. This year, senior Hannah Sobek has taken the lead position.
Many of the members are involved in such sports as crew, swimming, cross country, and football. However, involvement in university athletics is not required to participate in the club. Nor do members have to be Christians – the club is open to all interested students. “You do not have to know or bring anything,” affirms newcomer Tammy VanLanen. “You can just come sit and talk and ask questions.” The attendance at meetings can be anywhere from three to ten people, and they always love having new members.
FCA meets Monday nights at 9 p.m. in the Recreation Center. It is a place where athletes can go and reflect on their sportsmanship through God. The meetings entail reading from the Bible, prayer, discussions, and just general hanging out-it’s a time for members to come and relax.
“Fellowship is a place where you can build really close friendships,” says Sobek, “and helps to add a sense of support throughout the week. It helps me to focus on the big picture.” Students also do not always have to come; the members are flexible and understanding. “Two tests tomorrow and rat cages to clean” was one reasonable justification offered for not showing up.
“Having this meeting on Monday nights after my first day of classes for the week helps me get on track, and lets me not stress about school for at least an hour,” says member Lisa Cornelius. “I have a chance to just worship and hang out with friends.