Photo by Kirstin Nichols
By Carmella DiLeonardi
Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is an Arundel High School club that allows members of the student body to express their faith in a safe space amongst their peers. The group is run by Arundel seniors Jack Delaney, Lindsay Wingeart, Sydnee Fitzgibbons, and Melvin Santos, as well as junior Billy McDougall.
The club’s origins have an interesting story: “My neighbour Collin Holmes, he’s a year older than me, came to me and had this idea to start Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Arundel,” says Jack. “He talked to people at his church and we met with the Regional FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) guy and we just talked for like an hour with him, and me and him got together with two other people in Collin’s grade, Mackenzie Meehan and Connor Haynie, and we kinda just started it together.”
After the previous adult supervisors, Mrs. Vegh and Mrs. Haynie, stepped down from their positions, Lindsay and Jack asked Mr. Metzger to fill in the role, and he accepted the offer. Mr. Metzger believes in the club’s mission, saying, “It’s important to have students be able to have a safe space to discuss and debate.” Jack Delaney has a similar passion for FCA, saying, “I was nervous at first and I didn’t know how [FCA] would be received in the school. I didn’t know if people would joke at it or laugh, but I also had faith in it and that there were a lot of Christians at Arundel and that they would see it as an opportunity to strengthen their faith and it turned out pretty well.” Mr. Metzger had a FCA club at his high school but he never got involved because the club started at six in the morning and he found it difficult to wake up that early. The club has also participated in activities outside of school; over Thanksgiving, members went shopping and purchased food to donate to local churches to help those in need.
Jack and Lindsay are both seniors, so their focus is partially on ensuring the club’s success next year. “Finding good leaders for the club [is on our agenda]. We have five leaders right now: it’s me, Lindsay, Sydney Fitzgibbons, Billy McDougall and Melvin Santos. And four of us are seniors! And only one of us is a junior: Billy,” says Jack. “So we are going to be depending on Billy a lot to kind of help lead next year’s group, but hopefully we can find some more underclassmen that are interested in helping lead the club next year.”
Jack encourages everyone to join FCA, saying, “it’s really relaxed, like we don’t have any signup or anything, anybody can just come in anytime, you don’t have to be an athlete, you don’t even have to be a Christian! We have some Jewish members, literally anybody can come just check us out and we just talk about faith. We don’t try to impose anything on people, we’re just here to have a discussion in school about our faith. “ Lindsay agrees, saying, “it’s a no-judgement zone, anyone who has anything going on who just wants to talk can [talk], so I think we’ve really enforced that. So if anyone is nervous to join, they really shouldn’t be.”
Fellowship of Christian Athletes is hosted in Mr. Metzger’s room, G104, every Tuesday during the first half of pride.