El Estoque

A testament to good times: seniors’ thoughts on Roots Christian club

Seniors reflect on what they learned and enjoyed from their time in Roots

Bill Cheng

History teacher and club advisor Margaret Platt speaks about her experiences leading the club. Platt said that she was extremely proud of the club’s efforts, and that she urged next year’s officers to keep it alive and strong.

As the classroom lapses into comfortable silence, history teacher and club advisor Margaret Platt begins to speak. She talks at length about how honored she has been to be the advisor, witnessing amazing things that the club has done, and how she hopes that the new advisor will be able to lead the club well after she retires.

With a final wish for God’s blessing on all, Platt finishes speaking, and the tone of the meeting is set: one of wistful reflection and of new beginnings.

As seniors of the club move onto life after MVHS, they reflect on the lessons that the club has taught them and the advice they have for both new and returning members.

Senior and president Kevin Tong thinks that Roots has given him the chance to bridge both his out of school and in-school Christian experiences.

“Sometimes school and church, for me personally, can kind of seem distant in the way that you go to church, you act like a Christian there, when you’re at school, you act like a normal student there,” Tong said. “I think Roots has kind of been that bridge to connect the two in a way and challenge me to express my faith on campus.”

Tong felt that the Why Jesus event was probably the most memorable Christian club moment he has had during his four years in the club. The attendance of around 200 to 300 people on the final day of the event was both surprising and encouraging to him.

Even though Tong is sad to leave Roots after it has been such a big part of his high school experience, he is confident in the security of its legacy.

“I’m pretty content with leaving the club because I know that I’m leaving it in good hands: the new officers, as well as the the officers that were here this year, and that will be there next year as well,” Tong said. “I feel like they will have it under control, and they have the skill set and the faith and the ability to run the club just fine, if not better.”

For some people, faith can be a wellspring of strength and purpose. Senior Edwin Peng is appreciative of Roots, saying that the club functions as a source of stability for him on campus.

“I think that Roots has given me consistency on this Monta Vista campus, even though I’m super irresponsible, I go to Roots every Monday,” Peng said. “It’s like a place where I guess I can just be comfortable because at Monta Vista, there’s a ton of crap going on. And it’s nice to just have stability.”

Peng’s most critical piece of advice for the club revolves around its future focus. He hopes that it can decide on a clear goal, such as establishing deeper connections with current members or trying to recruit new ones.

“I think that we get confused about whether we want to do inreach for members within the club or outreach to like people outside the club, and then we end up doing nothing [consistently] except for that ‘Why Jesus?’ thing, which was good [outreach],” Peng said. “I don’t think we achieved the goal because we never really set a clear one.”

Senior Jason Shen thinks that reaching out to potential new members is an important part of how the club should function in the future. Shen noticed how people were more willing to open up and discuss religion after the weeklong ‘Why Jesus?’ event brought the club more exposure.

“Ultimately, I don’t believe that you can debate anyone into being Christian because it’s not something you come to rationally. It’s something that you feel in your experience,” Shen said. “I think Roots provides at least just the very first step of seeking that relationship with Christ.”

Shen’s piece of advice is to be unafraid of speaking out, because solidarity is more commonplace than one might think.

“Don’t be ashamed of your faith,” Shen said. “Sometimes it’s not very easy, but trust God and it’s amazing when you do step out in faith and you see so many other people step out alongside you.”