Students share love, faith

Published 5:58 pm Monday, October 12, 2009

There are misconceptions about public school including the idea that no mention of God can be made there.

The truth is certain rules do exist to keep any one faith from pushing its precepts on students.

Faith-based activity in schools only exists if students initiate it. At Pelham High School, strong student groups are eager to foster spiritual connections.

In fact, three Christian clubs meet weekly.

“Christian clubs are very important at Pelham High School because we need a place for people to come, feel safe and know they have friends who care for them and, most importantly, a God who loves them,” said First Priority leader Kelsey Dewberry.

First Priority hosts See You at the Pole each September.

This year senior guitarist and vocalist Daniel Rausch provided the music.

Rausch describes See You at the Pole as “an awesome time of fellowship, worship, prayer and taking a stand for something you believe in with kids from your school.”

Rausch is also a member of Leaders of Life, the school’s newest Christian club, which drew its name from the common cyberspace term LOL.

PHS junior Faith Mote, one of the club’s founders, said she and some friends wanted to create a club where “everyone is welcome and no one feels left out.”

Mote said LOL “challenges everyone to be the leader of his or her own life and life with Christ.”

Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ sponsor Jeremy Simpson is currently promoting Fields of Faith, an annual event where students across the county gather at fields outside of school hours for prayer.

Simpson, who was involved with FCA all through high school, joined Karen Varner in sponsoring FCA when he came to teach at PHS.

“As a teacher, FCA is one of my greatest joys,” Simpson said.

At one morning’s LOL meeting, Mote’s scripture reading was from Matthew 5 encouraging the kids to not only love their neighbors as themselves, but also to love their enemies.

Having attended meetings of all three clubs, I notice the faces vary –– but the hearts are remarkably similar.

“Our Christian clubs should be a safe haven for students to know how much they are loved,” Dewberry said.

Caring students reaching out to others makes Pelham High School better for all of us –– no matter what our faith.

Connie Nolen can be reached by e–mail at