by Glenn Olson
With the passing of summer, comes fall. For most of us, this signifies an ending. An end to camps and vacations, our gardens, and basking in the sun. But for Vermont’s students, fall is a time for reunion among school friends and the return of academic sports.
To celebrate this return, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) welcomed more than 100 student-athletes to “Fields of Faith”, an annual event that invites students to take their faith onto the athletic field and to perform for something greater than themselves.
On October 11th, FCA partnered with Norwich Christian Fellowship to host “Fields of Faith” for college students at Norwich University. Their evening began with worship inside the magnificent White Chapel. Student-athletes Maddox Reed and Ruby Kagaragwa shared their own personal testimonies, displaying to the group the value of a personal relationship with Jesus. Former Green Bay Packer Karl Swanke was also there to tell the students some of his life story. Mr. Swanke spoke on his experience as a boy of 14, trying to cope with the death of his father. He spoke of an emptiness that he felt within himself, that he believed could be filled with doing great things in his own power. But despite his expectations, that emptiness persisted until he trusted in the saving power of Jesus Christ and began to rely instead on the Spirit and Word of God. College students then spent time in fellowship with Mr. Swanke and event staff.
On October 27th, under the harvest moon, FCA hosted “Fields of Faith” at the Rutland Fairgrounds. FCA welcomed the students with warm smiles, hot chocolate, and a bonfire. The night began with songs of praise, led by students and Gavin Owens of the local band “Temporary Citizens”. Students joined together in reading Bible verses and praying for Christian unity in their schools and communities. Student-athletes Jackson Cardoza and Apple Harper encouraged their peers to read their Bible every day, to find wisdom and encouragement in navigating life’s many difficulties. Pastor Seth Pankratz of Calvary Bible Church preached on the goodness of God, and His forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ, offered freely to all peoples and nations.
This year marks the third annual “Fields of Faith” in Vermont. FCA would like to invite all students to future events. Information about FCA’s ministry and growing footprint in Vermont can be found at www.FCAVermont.org.