Faith Within Academics

Gennah Penalosa/ Longmont Observer

(Written by Gennah Penalosa)

Faith is something that religious believers, like Christians, value throughout their daily lives. However, the hustle and bustle of everyday life may, at times, distract others from their religious ordeals.

Beginning in January 2016, at Twin Peaks Charter Academy, a gathering of Christian high school students initiated a group known as Twin Peaks Christian Fellowship (TPCF). It is a group that meets every week during school to discuss the Bible and other Christian-related topics. It is also a way of staying connected with God amidst the variety of activities and tasks involving school.

In the following interview, Jenna, a junior, who is the student leader of TPCF, takes us into the journey of the group as she discusses its foundations and future goals.

What made you come up with the idea of starting this group?

It was actually not my idea to start TPCF, but once the idea was mentioned I did help to get it going. It was started so that Christians at Twin Peaks would have a way to encourage each other and grow as believers. I think that it is important that we intentionally have friendships with other Christians so that we can support each other and discuss important topics.

What do you think is the main goal of this group?

The main goal of TPCF is to allow us to grow in understanding and faith by studying God’s Word.

Gennah Penalosa/Longmont Observer

What do you usually do in TPCF?

It varies; sometimes we work through a passage from the Bible and discuss it, sometimes we discuss a particular topic and find related Bible verses for reference, and sometimes we just have conversations about whatever comes to mind or what has happened recently. I always try to emphasize that the Bible should ultimately be where we go to find answers, so whatever we discuss, we use the Bible as a foundation.

What do you like most about TPCF?

I really enjoy it when we have thorough conversations, and are able to use Scripture to compare differing opinions. When everyone participates in the conversation, really deep and important ideas are brought up, and I love it. The chance to speak and discuss with other Christians is a privilege that I am quite glad to have.

Looking back to when this group first started back in 2016, how do you feel about TPCF currently?

TPCF is going much better than it ever has, in terms of consistency and conversation. There are a fair number of us that come every week, and in the past few months we have had some great conversations. The thing that we need to work on is spreading the word of our meeting to underclassmen and people we don’t know, that way other Christians in the high school have a chance to fellowship with us.

Spiritually, how do you think TPCF helps each and every one of its members throughout the school year?

We can learn something new from God’s Word every time we read it, so it is my hope that everyone at TPCF intentionally uses our time together to grow in understanding of the Bible. I can’t attest to the particular ways in which each other person grows spiritually because of TPCF, but I do know that God uses his Word to make us more Christlike if we are willing to listen. For me personally, TPCF has been instrumental in helping me know how to use the Bible to address important issues in today’s world.

Since you will be graduating next year in 2019, are you planning on continuing TPCF after that, perhaps by passing on the leadership to another student?

I would like to pass leadership on to someone else if possible so that TPCF can carry on after I am gone. Hopefully, more underclassmen will begin attending TPCF so that they can continue it after the Class of 2019 graduates.

What are you planning on doing in the future to help TPCF grow?

I am working on figuring out new ways to let other students know about TPCF. Since extra-curricular student-led groups are not permitted to post flyers around the school, we have to find different ways to spread the word. One thing I am planning to do is make the high school more aware of when and where we meet.

Also, we are contemplating the idea of participating in activities outside of school as a group. We would like to develop stronger Christian friendships with one another, and one way to do this is by getting together, whether it’s to have a fun time or to study the Bible.

For Christians, faith stands as an important part of their daily lifestyle. In the midst of the many activities they usually have to attend to, many feel that even simple things such as reading the Bible or praying could make a great impact on their faithfulness. Christians also believe that, through the power of leadership, they can accomplish great things to further strengthen their relationship with God. The Twin Peaks Christian Fellowship students strive to maintain this goal by making the effort to help their community grow by spreading the word of God.

Gennah Penalosa is a volunteer for the Longmont Observer. She is currently a high school student at Twin Peaks Charter Academy. Her interests include reading, art, and especially writing.