Bellevue College’s Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship club attended their annual winter retreat on Jan. 30 and 31. All Chi Alpha groups in Washington state participated in the winter retreat, which was held at Camp Berachah.
Chi Alpha is a network of Christian ministries that has chapters in colleges and universities all over the country. The Chi Alpha website lists community, creativity, diversity excellence, integrity, and leadership as their core values, and connects with students who might not otherwise have knowledge of Christianity and Christian values. There are over 300 Chi Alpha ministries in college campuses throughout the U.S. in addition to international chapters.
Kylie Rekers is one of the pastors that oversees Bellevue College’s Chi Alpha. Kylie was a former student at Western Washington University and was involved with the Chi Alpha club there before becoming a pastor.
As a student, she went to several Chi Alpha winter retreats and continues to attend every year. This is the second year that Bellevue College has had a Chi Alpha club, and the second year that students have gone on a winter retreat. Rekers said that last year only a few students went to Camp Beracha, but that this year 10 students have signed up to go.
“I enjoy having the weekend away,” said Rekers. She said the retreat is a time for students to connect with God and learn through teachings by the camp counselors. Students sing, dance and celebrate for the weekend at Camp Berachah. It’s an opportunity for students to get close.
Rekers said she thinks of Chi Alpha as more than just a club. In her experience, students who have gone to past retreats tend to come back closer friends which strengthens the sense of community among Chi Alpha at BC. She also said that she’s “excited to go back and connect more.”
Katie Unruh, Johanna Martinez and Beti Melenciuc are all members of the Chi Alpha Club. Unruh said that Chi Alpha is a place where she can be part of a good community and have good fellowship with other Christians.
Martinez, who attended the winter retreat, became a member of Chi Alpha at the beginning of winter quarter. She said she’d already met Rekers and grown comfortable with her, which made her want to join and attend the retreat. “I thought it sounded fun,” said Martinez.
Martinez said that during the winter retreat, she looks forward to getting to know the other Chi Alpha members more. “It’s nice to have that time,” Martinez said.
There are about 30 Chi Alpha members this year and the club meets weekly from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. During meetings, students are encouraged to mingle, play games and sing worship songs. Rekers said that there is usually a staff speaker during meetings, and that time is set aside for students to reflect, journal and pray. Meetings usually end with a group prayer or a song. Rekers said that although the Chi Alpha club is a Christian club, any student is welcome to attend a meeting or join.