Cross the Line to Tiger Cross

Andrea Mundakkal , Fall 2014 J1 student

FCA or Tiger Cross? FCA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, is a nationwide program for schools, colleges and Christians all around. At Blue Valley High School this group is now called Tiger Cross, a change made to welcome more people. “People who weren’t athletes seemed to not want to come or felt uncomfortable,” sophomore Taylor Holtmeyer said. “They thought we would only talk about things related to sports, but our group really just discusses the Bible. We didn’t want a name to lead people away from coming.” Holtmeyer said the group hopes the name change will prompt more people to come and enjoy the fellowship. She said the number of people coming has not greatly increased after the change, but over time they hope for a change. “I don’t really see what difference the name has made since everyone already knows it as FCA, and they might think its a separate group now or just get confused,” sophomore Lydia DeBoer said. Another group of students has also decided to begin meetings, calling the group FCA, separated from the original FCA, or now known as Tiger Cross. “It’s even more confusing now that we can’t call it FCA, since another group started,” DeBoer said. “We haven’t changed the way we do things, only the name.” Motivaional Effects Tiger Cross has become a motivation for many students with their faith, or has become a way to come together as a group of Christians. Holtmeyer said she began going to the FCA group meetings in middle school, and then continued going in high school. “I find it a blessing to even be able to have a group like this in school,” Holtmeyer said. The meetings are student led, meaning the lessons are given by the students themselves to their peers. “It’s nice to be able to hear from those who are probably going through the same things as you are and would be able to understand and communicate with you better,” sophomore Taylor Farnan said. DeBoer says the meetings in middle school were different because in high school the students have had more growth and experience in life. “Even though both are led by the students, I feel in high school they know what they are talking about because they have more insight and are able to talk about more subjects in depth,” DeBoer said. “We have gotten closer as a group, and I have been able to become more open about my faith by going to Tiger Cross,” sophomore Taylor Farnan said. The youth group, Tiger Cross, meets every Wednesday at 7 a.m.. The leaders of the group said many find the meetings as a fresh start to the morning and enjoy the time to share and discuss. “We are able to all support and understand each other,” Farnan said. “It’s a good way to start the day.” The group also joins other FCA groups from different schools in Kansas once every year at an event called Fields of Faith. “[Fields of Faith] is a way for us to meet and worship with fellow believers,” Farnan said. This year, Fields of Faith met on the BV football field. “A lot of people came and we heard a lot of motivational stories,” DeBoer said. DeBoer said being religious, the group is seen in a different light by other students in the school because many do not know what the group does or what it is for. “Some people say they don’t like Tiger Cross, just because they might not have had a good experience at first or just hear that it is a Christian group and decide not to try it out, but no one criticizes me for going,” DeBoer said. Holtmeyer said those who know what the group stands for have accepted those taking part in Tiger Cross. “People accept me as who I am and what I like, and most of my friends also go, so we have the same interests and approach to Tiger Cross,” Holtmeyer said. New Musical Endeavors Another change brought to the table is the new worship sessions during the morning group time every other Wednesday. “I felt the worship would liven up the meeting time,” DeBoer said. She said she thought of the idea and presented it to K. Dean Snell, the club’s sponsor, and then to the student leaders for Tiger Cross. “They approved the idea and supported the decision, so I invited a few others to sing with me, and we began singing for the group,” DeBoer said. DeBoer began worship with Farnan two months ago, and then after a few weeks later, sophomore Natalie Cooper, joined them. “Lydia asked me if I wanted to start singing at Tiger Cross, and I agreed, seeing it was a great opportunity,” Farnan said. Farnan is a singer in the school choir and a member of Classy Ladies but looked at this new opportunity to sing in a different light. “I sing in my church choir, but this felt different since it was a smaller group and just felt like a closer group,” Farnan said. Farnan and DeBoer also sing together for the youth group on Sunday nights at Legacy church, after being approached by their youth pastor and worship leader. “I was inspired by our worship sessions at the youth group and decided to try it at Tiger Cross, too,” DeBoer said. Every other week, the three girls sing for the group while DeBoer plays the guitar. “The guitar adds a lot more feel and it makes the worship more exciting and easier to sing along,” DeBoer said. The meetings are held in the auxiliary gym. “The group usually stands on the bleachers, while we stand on the court,” Farnan said. “Sometimes if there aren’t many people, we stand in a circle which helps us to encourage each other to sing. We pass around the words to the songs, so that everyone will be able to sing along.” Before singing together as a group, the three practice to create a better worship time. “We usually rehearse once a week on Monday or Tuesday at one of our houses and come in early on Wednesday mornings at 6:40 to rehearse before Tiger Cross begins,” Farnan said. The songs are chosen and arranged during these rehearsals. “We agree as as a group what songs we will be singing,” DeBoer said, “We pick them based on what we sang last week or what songs most people know, but sometimes the music is related to the lesson of the week.” Farnan said they hope to continue the worship as they have received positive feedback from others. She said those coming to Tiger Cross enjoy the new worship that creates a more dynamic and energetic time in the morning. “The music really helps everyone to participate and become a little more awake in the morning,” Holtmeyer said. DeBoer said the group is still open to more changes to be able to welcome more and more people. “We hope to grow as a group over the year and become a stronger fellowship,” DeBoer said.