by Kylie Blanchard
When the Schettler family moved to Bismarck from Minnesota three years ago, they had never heard of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), an interdenominational Christian sports ministry that meets at schools across the Bismarck-Mandan community. However, hearing about the organization at their new schools soon piqued the interests of siblings Jacob, 18, Glory, 17, and Gabriel, 15. Jacob started attending the Century High School FCA huddle and Glory and Gabriel joined the FCA huddle at Horizon Middle School.
Three years later, Jacob, Glory and Gabriel are all active members of the Century High School FCA huddle and their younger sister, Maren, 12, is now an active member at Horizon Middle School.
The Schettler siblings say FCA has become an important part of their week and, below, share the impact it has had on their lives.
“When I moved to Bismarck, FCA was a new thing,” says Jacob. “We had gone to private school where we had devotions and the Word of God every day. When I heard about FCA, there was no question about joining it because I wanted to keep God in my day.”
Glory and Gabriel soon followed suit and attended their first meeting together at Horizon Middle School, and in the years since, they have all become active members of their huddles. Maren says hearing about FCA from her siblings played an important role in her decision to join the Horizon Middle School huddle when she reached the sixth grade. “They did have a big influence on me,” she says.
The siblings agree their involvement in FCA has helped to create important opportunities for fellowship. “I love the fellowship,” says Glory. “You can get together with your friends, and talk about anything, and it is always relevant to what is happening or I am thinking about that week.”
The weekly meetings are also a reminder of how the siblings want to live their lives. “Once you get there and are talking to other people, it serves as a reminder you should be representing God wherever you go,” says Gabriel.
“In school it is easy to be misdirected and a lot of things can get you down,” adds Jacob. “FCA helps to keep my thoughts on more important things like His mission, spreading the Gospel, and to be loving and encouraging to other people.”
Gabriel says FCA also creates a fun way to begin a conversation about God. “You don’t have to know a lot about the Bible, it is there to learn,” he says. “Doing that in FCA helps you to bring God up in everyday conversations.”
Encouraging others to join FCA is also important to the siblings. “If you invite people, they will meet new people,” says Glory. “Just one meeting can change their perspective and they will want to come again.”
Maren says she has enjoyed getting more friends involved in FCA, and leading the group’s meetings. “I really like seeing all my friends there. I have invited some and there is a sense of pride that they have come.”
“If you are having trouble finding a ‘place,’ this is where your people are at,” adds Jacob. “You meet people who are just great and it is so nice to have that weekly reminder.”
Both the Century and Horizon FCA huddles meet at 7:30 a.m. each Wednesday during the school year, and although the siblings admit early mornings can be a challenge, it is always worth it to be there. “Even if it is hard, if you can just get yourself there, it is always worth it,” says Glory.
“Not only do I feel good at FCA,” adds Maren. “It carries on throughout my day and my week.”
Neysa Schettler says she is glad her children have made FCA a part of their lives. “They prioritize it on Wednesday mornings and work their schedules around making it to FCA,” she says. “I hope they continue to focus on God as much as possible and I am so thankful for the leaders who are there every Wednesday morning.”
Jacob says FCA has provided him and his siblings with a great way to “stay in the faith.” “My weeks go a lot better when I go to FCA on Wednesdays.”
For more information on FCA visit www.fcand.org.
Kylie Blanchard is a local writer