‘Finding Christian community’

Meetings bring students together to share the word of God while building and strengthening relationships.


Lauren Sexton

A handful of student leaders are seen listening to the speaker of the week on April 6.

After COVID-19 interfered with Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) operation during the 2021 and 2022 school years, the club is prepared to start up again. FCA is a club for students to hear the word of God while creating faith-driven relationships with their classmates. The club’s meetings are held on Thursdays during lunch in the auxiliary gym. During the club’s meetings, also known as huddles, speakers come to preach the gospel. These speakers alternate between guest speakers and student leaders.

The club is open to anyone, no matter their grade, where they stand religiously, and if they are an athlete or not. Not being an athlete should not discourage participation in the club. FCA welcomes anyone even if a student is playing a sport or not and the ‘athlete’ in the title is to display the sports events FCA holds. 

FCA runs nationally and is organized based on regions. The Pacific Northwest FCA Team has existed since 1954 and focuses on empowering athletes and coaches on their journey to Christianity. The school’s FCA is in touch with other schools such as Lake Oswego, Bend, Tualatin, Wilsonville, Tigard, and several other schools across the state. They have meetings every few months where they discuss upcoming events and answer questions.

The FCA club has positions that are filled in by students and adults. There are two adult leaders, Olivia Dombrow, class of 2019 alum, and Nathan Dombrow, class of 2017 alum. Olivia is in charge of both the school’s and Lake Oswego High School’s FCA, where she organizes events and assists in weekly plans. Nathan is there to answer any questions relating to FCA.

Students sit on the gym floor as they listen to
the speaker of the day and discuss with their group of friends. (Lauren Sexton)

The club is also run by student leaders, also known as the Student Athlete Leadership Team (SALT), in which Lily Hobi and Bela Landazuri, seniors, are involved. As SALT leaders, they attend monthly meetings, organize the speakers of the week and any outside events, and represent the club as well as God and his image. 

“You live [as] an example of the light of Jesus as you walk through school,” Hobi said. “You want to make sure that you’re representing Jesus and that’s what we do as SALT leaders. But we also have the opportunity to share the word of God on Thursdays and you get to speak about a topic that’s on your mind or sometimes we go through books of the Bible, which is what we’re doing right now.”

This is Hobi’s first year as a SALT leader. Before taking on this role, she was part of a group in middle school led by her mom. This group was similar to FCA but not officially run by it. Later on, Hobi was a member of the club as a freshman but COVID-19 paused her participation in the club during her sophomore and junior years.

“I got saved at a church camp in middle school through Willamette Christian Church and I saw my leaders and I was like, ‘Oh man I want to be just like them. I can’t wait for the day I get to lead a group of girls’,” Hobi said. “I looked up to them so much and so [taking] this [leadership opportunity] was an easy yes.”

Throughout her childhood, Hobi attended Willamette Christian Church and participated in their youth program. Watching the leaders inspired her to do something similar.

“[Olivia] was actually my leader in middle school at church, so she has been an example and leader for me,” Hobi said. “I’m excited that I get to continue to look up to her through leading FCA.”

Similar to Hobi, this is Landazuri’s first year as a SALT leader, but she has attended meetings since her freshman year. Taking the leadership position poses opportunities to improve skills such as public speaking and small group communication. 

“It’s not a huge commitment,” Landazuri said. “It’s doable where you can have other participation in things like sports, work, or school, so it’s easy to incorporate in a routine, which makes it really fun.”

During the meeting on April 6, Ryan Johnston (RJ),
FCA’s Pacific Northwest Regional Vice President,
spoke on the importance of realizing God’s importance and
the idea that God created everyone in his image. Johnston has
been vice president since 2011. (Lauren Sexton)

The club has held a few events throughout the year. On March 8, FCA held a basketball tournament in the main gym. Students needed to create a group of three and pay a fee of $5 per player to enter the tournament. The tournament lasted for two hours and FCA provided the players with snacks and drinks. 

“It was a big hit where teams could just bond,” Landazuri said. “It was a fun event where we can spread the news of what FCA is and also create a space where athletes can have fun together.”

FCA also presents chances for students to continue their journey during the summer. There are multiple sports camps along with other summer camps. The earliest one is a camp on June 21—22, located at George Fox University. There is a fee to participate, depending on the day students submit their registration. More information about this event or any more that are coming is found on FCA Oregon’s website.

To become a member, attending the weekly meetings is required. At every meeting, there will also be free pizza provided. Becoming a leader at the start of any school year is possible, but voicing interest to one of the current leaders before the end of the previous school year is recommended. 

“We hope that new leaders are passionate about their faith and have an interest and willingness to stand up and be bold in a time where it’s maybe not quite as cool to be a Christian,” Hobi said. “In our society today, there’s a lot of miscommunication about what Christians are like and what it means to be a follower of Jesus. This is a great way to see what it really means and be able to talk to people who are passionate about their faith.”