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What's it like to work with Loudoun students?

Over the past two-ish years since I started this FCA journey, I’ve had the opportunity to meet FCA staff from all over the United States and the world.It’s always interesting to talk to people who are doing ministry in different places.There are times when it’s helpful because you learn that many people face similar challenges to do ministry in their places.But there have also been times when I realize how different Loudoun County is from other parts of the US (and even other parts of Virginia!).Virginia might be considered a southern state in the general sense, and parts of Virginia definitely fit into “Bible-belt” culture, but Loudoun County certainly does not.Compared to other counties in the southern part of the state, Loudoun is far more diverse, affluent, and highly educated.It is not the norm to call oneself a Christian here.Our schools have a wide variety of cultures and religions represented, and although that can create some challenges for ministry, it’s not necessarily a ba…

Fall Ministry Update

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The last several weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind for us at Loudoun FCA so I figured I’d take a moment to share some quick updates:
Huddles have kicked off!We have relaunched huddles at Rock Ridge High School (12 students at our first meeting last week), Dominion High School, and Eagle Ridge Middle School (kicking off this week) after participation had petered out last year.Several other schools in the county are continuing to have strong attendance at their huddles which started up and grew in strength last year, including Park View High School, Brambleton Middle School, and Seneca Ridge Middle School. Whenever parents or students ask about huddles at a particular school and why they don’t have one or it’s not well attended, I always explain that it largely depends on student leaders.As an area representative for Fellowship of Christian Athletes, I can’t force my way into a public school.However, if we have a few enthusiastic leaders who are willing to help promote the huddle and i…

An Open Invitation

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People ask me often if I miss teaching and if I’d ever go back.  Believe me, there are times that the structure and security of a set schedule and salary (where I don’t have to raise support) is enticing.  But I don’t want to be the kind of person who quits just because something is hard.  I have led an incredibly blessed life.  School always came pretty easily growing up.  I wasn’t a star athlete or musician, but for the most part, I always got to be a part of the activities in which I wanted to participate.  I got accepted early to my top choice for college and, on the brink of recession, got hired to teach right out of school.  So it hasn’t been until more recently that I’ve had to really learn about perseverance. 
I’ve been struggling a lot lately with questioning where God has me – job, city, life stage.  One minute I’m ready to leave town and pursue teaching or writing (or both) in a brand new city.  A minute later, I’m scared about what my life would look like if I moved away f…

Free of Labels

During my first year of teaching, one of my favorite classes was an Algebra 1 class.This group consisted of mostly sophomores who tended to struggle in math; many had learning challenges or were English Language Learners.Because it is such a foundational course, if a student doesn’t understand Algebra 1 very well, he or she is going to struggle with every other math class throughout high school.This class happened to take place during the last block of the day, so kids were already pretty tired by the time they got there.That, combined with the fact that I had quite a few characters in that class, made for some very entertaining interactions. One afternoon, I was passing back a quiz that I had graded the night before – the grades were fairly average, typical for this group that tended to struggle a bit.As I walked around the room handing back the quizzes, I prepared myself for the onslaught of questions and complaints amid the inevitable, “Whatdyaget? Whatdyaget?” as students compared …

September Ministry Updates

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Loudoun FCA is off and running in this new school year.Here are some ministry updates from the past few weeks, specifically on the eastern side of the county:

This past Tuesday was our last of four huddle leader training events that we held all over the county over the past two weeks.Students from just about every school in Loudoun attended these trainings to learn about Gospel clarity and how to run a huddle.They left equipped with sample lessons, games, and supplies to engage students on their campus with the hope of Jesus.
Potomac Falls High School kicked off their huddle with games, Chick-Fil-A, and introductions on Friday, September 7. Last week they started a series on the Gospel starting with God as the Holy Creator, led by one of the new sophomore leaders.He and another sophomore started attending the huddle last year as freshmen when an upperclassman and fellow baseball player invited them.They were recruited to join the leadership team this year because the student leaders t…

You Asked for a Sign...

Ever stress about a decision so much that you lose sleep over it?Even after praying for clarity and asking for wisdom, it still consumes your thoughts? For me, recently, the big decision was a new car.Before you read any further, let me go ahead and acknowledge that I realize I am extremely privileged to even be in a position to get to think about buying a new car.A little over a month ago, my dad and I were having a conversation about budgeting and expenses when he casually suggested that it might be time to start looking to replace my car – my beloved 2006 CR-V named Babar (like the elephant King).It certainly wasn’t a need – aside from the typical expenses and repairs one might expect to put into a twelve-year-old car, Babar had been running fine.But, knowing that my car was getting older and losing value, and that I take a long time to make decisions and I wasn’t in any rush, I heeded his recommendation. The plan was just to start looking.That’s it.But then I found out how much I c…

Here We Go Again!

For weeks now, while local stores have been shifting their inventory from summer to fall clothing and décor, commercials on TV and online ads have also been eager to share the deals they offer on various back to school items.Perhaps you have also seen friends from southern states posting pictures of their kids proudly holding chalkboards and letterboards displaying, “First day of ___ Grade.”This week Loudoun County students will join their ranks for the 2018-2019 school year.
As a student and then as a teacher, a new school year was always equal parts stressful and exciting.New clothes and school supplies can do a lot to somewhat ease the tension of busy school and sports schedules and getting back into the routine of picking out outfits and making lunches before you finally crash each evening.I loved having a new beginning each year as a teacher.It gave me an opportunity to get reorganized, try new ideas, and hopefully, come back in mid-August more refreshed than when I left in June.B…