What started off as a team tradition to pray before every game, the softball team and with the collaboration from other student-athletes has started a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Club, FCA, at Pacific University. Senior Kaitlyn Shikada was surprised that Pacific did not already have FCA when she began her journey here at Pacific as a freshman. “We’ve only had three meetings so far, but I’m excited that we finally started this,” said Shikada.
According to the FCA website, their mission is to present to coaches and athletes and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ, serving him in their relationships and in fellowship. The FCA values an unconditional commitment to Jesus Christ through integrity, serving, teamwork and excellence.
After the suggestion was made to start the FCA club from the new Head Softball Coach Liz Yandall, Shikada and other softball athletes took initiative. A core team was established to help guide the meetings and figure out which bible verses or messages they wanted to share. The core leadership group includes, Yandall, Exercise Science Professor Andy Alstot, baseball player Nate Montgomery, wrestler CarrieAnn Randolph, track sisters Melissa and Michelle Brown and softball players Rachel Roberts, Allie Sims and Shikada. “We want to give back to the community and to the Pacific University campus,” said Shikada.
While FCA is preferably for student athletes, anyone can join. FCA meets every Monday night at 8:15 p.m. in the Boxer Learning Center located in Stoller Center. The leadership group provides the format of what will be discussed in the meeting, but the meeting is an open discussion. If a student-athlete already has his or her own bible, they are encouraged to bring it but there will be extra bibles available during the meetings.
“We share what is in our hearts,” said Shikada. “Sometimes we play games or split up into groups and discuss our relationships with God.”
Shikada hopes that while they learn more about fellowship and, get to know each other and support one another both on and off the field.
As the holidays quickly approach, FCA is hoping to plan a service project in an effort to get the Pacific athletic teams to mingle. Shikada hopes to have more representation from each athletic team to help make the club more integrated.
While FCA has only held three meetings so far this year, Shikada hopes that more students will attend the Monday night fellowships and become a part of FCA at Pacific. “We want students to feel safe and comfortable about their relationship with God during these meetings,” said Shikada. “It’s a great feeling being able to strengthen our relationship with God alongside our brothers and sisters here at Pacific.”