South Bay Unite, the first jointly administered event integrating middle school and high school Christian clubs in the South Bay, will be held at MVHS from 6:30 to 9 pm on Saturday, April 16. Intended to gather Christians across the district, the event will be filled with worship, fellowship and games. Various students will share their testimonies on how they became Christian, and the event will be featuring guest speaker Pastor Thomas Chen from Chinese Church in Christ in Cupertino.
Roots Christian Club Co-President senior Cynthia Shen clarifies that South Bay Unite is sponsored and administered by youth leaders and church leaders in the South Bay, with Roots Christian club officers being among them.
“We are paying the fee to use [MVHS] so the event will be hosted at [MVHS], and the officers and members are attending the event [as well as]local Pastors and students around the area in South Bay,” Shen said.
The organizers are collaborating with Kennedy Middle School teachers to spread the event across different middle and high schools in the district, along with churches including Chinese Church in Christ Cupertino, Home of Christ 5 and River of Life.
The idea for the event came from a member of Roots Christian Club, junior Amanda Lam, who was inspired after talking to a parent of a Christian club student.
“I volunteer at a different Christian club on Tuesdays, and one of the moms was talking about how the middle school kids don’t have any connections to the high school Christian club,” Lam said, “so she wanted to have a bridge to make sure her daughter stays connected when she goes to high school.”
After collaborating with Christian youth leaders in the area, Lam and Roots Christian Club officers spread flyers to South Bay churches, high schools and middle schools in the district, hoping to heighten their event’s success.
Kennedy Middle School eighth grader Yoanna Lee is a leader of KMS’ Christian Club, and like MVHS’ Roots Christian Club, KMS’ Christian Club members normally watch a Christian video during their meetings, arrange into smaller groups and discuss the video in detail on a personal level. She is the only middle schooler among the organizers of South Bay Unite, and expects about 10 to 15 people from her club to attend.
From her experience, Lee feels that Christians in middle school don’t gain much exposure to high school events, and she hopes that she and her peers can raise awareness about the youth Christian community. When collaborating with the older Christian leaders, she initially felt like an outsider, but gradually became comfortable with adding her own viewpoints toward the organization of the event.
“I came here at the second meeting and I kind of just naturally integrated into the group…I feel kind of awkward sometimes that I’m the only middle schooler, but I guess I’m happy that I can meet high school people,” Lee said. “I just say my perspective as a middle schooler and I’m helping out with the [worship]praise team.”
Through South Bay Unite, Lee hopes to ease middle schoolers’ transition to high school and allow middle schoolers to familiarize themselves with high school Christian leaders.
“There’s actually a lot more Christians than people think and people automatically assume there’s no Christian kids,” Lee said, “so I think hopefully through [South Bay Unite] people will think, ‘Oh yeah there’s that kid I didn’t know they were Christian.’”