During their annual spring retreat this past weekend, the members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) extended their arms to their fellow members and escaped from the pressures of college life.
Whether it is peers, classes or athletics, the college life consists of a lot of pressure and a lot of stress. FCA allows for its members to separate from these pressures and stresses and enjoy a weekend of bonding and relaxing.
“The reason we go is to get away from things on campus like schoolwork and stress in general so we can relax and be ourselves,” explained Justin Tienhaara, a member of FCA and a junior varsity basketball player.
Pine Brook Camp and Conference Center, just outside of Shutesbury, Mass., was the site for this year’s retreat. The weekend included worship songs, devotions and small group activities to help everyone connect and unwind from the long school week.
“It was a time where we could just kick it,” said Tienhaara.
Besides the food, Tienhaara enjoyed the small group time, where the guys and girls split up to allow each group to sit down and open up to each other and really understand where everyone was struggling.
“The teachings and group sessions are geared towards faith and helping each other through everyday struggles,” said Damaris Dos Santos, the secretary of FCA. “[That] helps us to grow in our faith and grow within ourselves.”
Support through faith is the basis of FCA, and the retreat helps members to connect on an emotional level and help each other through problems with their experiences and belief in Christ.
It is human nature to feel alone when you are struggling or having a hard time. The retreat allowed its members to realize that they aren’t the only ones with problems and that they can help each other through their own experiences.
“It’s nice to see someone who is struggling, but you can help them and then they can help you when you need it,” said Dos Santos.
FCA is an organization dedicated to learning how the Christian faith can be applied to sports and other aspects of life with an open atmosphere of fellowship. However, not all FCA members are athletes.
“The ministry itself is geared towards athletes, but you are welcome to join regardless of your athletic ability because it’s a good group of students with a strong faith and we welcome anyone,” said Dos Santos.
FCA is an outlet for Springfield students to express their faith in Christianity and come together and bond with others that share the same faith.
FCA meets once a week in the Campus Union on either Tuesdays or Thursdays, and anyone, athlete or not, is encouraged to swing by and share their faith or learn more.