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Making God cool

Editor*’s note: This is part one of a two-part series. The second part will run Saturday.

By JODY ALLARD

Staff writer

There*’s something a little different about Tuesdays for twelfth-grader Sun Kim. Rather than waking up with a groan, Kim says he can*’t wait to get to school.

It*’s not his classes, the prospect of eating another cafeteria lunch or even seeing his friends that the Thomas Jefferson High School senior says makes him feel *“energized*” and eager for school each Tuesday.

Instead, Kim spends his Tuesdays anticipating the after-school meetings of MORE, a Christian club where students come together for prayer, fellowship and support.

*“It*’s good to know that every Tuesday I*’ll be going home with a smile on my face,*” said Kim.

Gathered around a table Monday afternoon, MORE club members are quick to emphasize that being an active Christian doesn*’t have to be boring.

With hopes of attracting new members *Ñ and *“letting people know that we exist,*” adds club member Stephanie Hansen *Ñ the club is hosting its second *“Blowout*” tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Thomas Jefferson High cafeteria.

Featuring a live band, dance performances and guest speakers ranging from a local pastor to the students themselves, MORE officers are out to prove that being a Christian doesn*’t have to be about dull sermons and a list of *“don*’ts.*”

*“God*’s not all bad,*” said Jason Weichert, president of MORE. *“It*’s not just sitting in church singing those boring hymns that even I don*’t like.*”

The Blowout is also a chance for the teens to show their classmates another side of themselves and prove that *“even Christians*” can have a lot of fun *Ñ without drinking or using drugs.

*“If we*’re keeping them from a party, that*’s great,*” said Weichert. *“Who knows what they would*’ve been doing at that party.*”

Being a Christian *“is not always a thing you talk about,*” said Hansen. Nearing its first anniversary, the MORE club offers Christian students a chance to do just that.

Focusing on prayer and hope, students meet each Tuesday afternoon to share their problems and their achievements, lend each other support and pray. Above all, the goal is prayer, club officers say.

The change the club *Ñ and a belief in God *Ñ has made in their lives has been profound. With the support they find at their weekly meetings, MORE members say that walking the right path becomes a little easier.

*“It kind of takes off that burden that we have when we*’re by ourselves,*” said Kim. *“Everyone needs to be able to share their beliefs and their feelings.*”

For many teens, high school can be a time spent searching for friends and somewhere to belong. But, MORE members say they find comfort in knowing that there are other students who share their beliefs and who are committed to the same lifestyle.

Open to Christians and non-Christians alike, Hansen says they want to share what they have with other teens.

For Eva Greitemann, an 11th-grade exchange student from Germany, the club offers a different perspective. At her high school in Germany, there are five Christians out of 800 students.

*“I can learn a lot from this and go back to Germany. I see God*’s grace here and that was really important to me,*” said Greitemann.

Begun as a seven-day event to simulate the Biblical tumbling of the walls of Jericho, the MORE club got its start when a group of students walked around the perimeter of the school for seven days to break down the *“walls that were keeping God out,*” of the school, said Melissa Crenshaw, the club*’s secretary.

Eventually, the students came together for weekly prayer meetings. Now sponsored by the Associated Student Body, the club is ready to make a difference in the lives of Thomas Jefferson students.

*“Our club is not just for us, it*’s for helping others,*” said Kim. *“That in itself has meaning.*”

Staff writer Jody Allard can be reached at 925-5565 and jallard@fedwaymirror.com

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