It began as a Bible study. Junior Brody Tubaugh had asked if he could lead this small group during pre-season football. And then the word spread. Soon, Chaplains Chris Waddle and Angela Gafford Asmus had heard about it, and asked Tubaugh to turn it into a campus-wide group for athletes. He agreed to transition his football Bible study into Fellowship of Christian Athletes. FCA had been born.
Uniting Storm athletes from an array of sports teams, FCA meetings are currently hosted in Dirlam Lounge on Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. According to Tubaugh, FCA can bring Simpson College together as a whole. The group has plans to support Storm athletics by attending various sporting events this year.
“It’s really a place to get to know a lot of other people who also are athletes around campus,” Tubaugh said. “It can be a system just to get to know people in a good Christian environment.”
Sophomore Aaron Skopec, a member of the cross country team, says that FCA allows athletes to meet others with similar beliefs.
“(FCA) shows athletes that it’s alright to worship things other than the sport they participate in,” Skopec said. “I think it gives a variety of ways in a non-threatening environment for people in sports to share their faith.”
The group does different activities, and Tubaugh leads a small Bible lesson which usually corresponds to the activity. For example, at their third meeting on Oct. 1, the athletes competed to build the tallest house made of playing cards, then had a lesson on foundations.
“We’ve talked about leadership and things that pertain to athletics, and how we can carry that on into our daily lives,” Tubaugh said. “A lot of times we try to relate things to athletics and then to how we can serve God, which is what’s more important.”
So far, Tubaugh has created the lessons on his own, sometimes shaping them from lessons he heard in the past. His topics are often centered on issues he believes need to be discussed. He notes, however, that he is always open to suggestions about lessons, as well as activities.
“I guess I’m kind of a leader but as far as what we do I’m open to all different ideas,” Tubaugh said. “People come up to me afterwards and are like, ‘we should do this and this,’ and so we all just kind of make it up as we go.”
If you have an idea, or just want some Christian fellowship, Tubaugh encourages you to try it out.
“(We’re) open to anybody who wants to come be a part of something like this,” Tubaugh said. “You don’t have to be nervous about showing up because it’s a really relaxed atmosphere.”
All athletes are invited, including intramural participants.
“We’re called FCA, but it’s not just Christian athletes,” Tubaugh said. “It can be anybody on campus. Anybody who plays intramurals–you’re an athlete as far as I’m concerned.”
Junior Maria Oliver, a member of the women’s basketball team, hopes anyone who has ever been an athlete will come.
“A lot of people are athletes or they were athletes in high school,” Oliver said. “Not all athletes chose to stay with a sport, so that doesn’t mean they can’t come.”
Attendance has done some bouncing around. Brody notes that there is a core group that comes every week, but there is still interest. There hasn’t been a meeting yet without someone new.
“There seems to be an interest for it and it’s a good way to build fellowship among athletes,” Skopec said.
Tubaugh requests that you just give it a shot.
“Give it a try because no one’s going to put anyone on the spot,” Tubaugh said. “It’s not like we’re going to make you do some crazy ice breaker that’s going to make you feel out of place.”