Reformation Lutheran Church A Congregation of the ELCA

Monday, March 7 Read John 15:1-8

I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5


I’ve always participated in sports. The hope for victory drove me to compete with my best effort. Growing up, I tried more than 10 different sports. I prefer team-oriented sports because I enjoy being part of a community. I enjoy the connections and the sense of working together for a single purpose.

The Bethany volleyball team struggled for part of the last season because we had a few players who were playing for themselves, not for their sisters next to them on the court. Even though we had an abundance of talent, we could not find a way to win a game. It was frustrating to play for a team where some of the girls couldn’t care less about the team’s performance as long as they led the team in stats.

I can remember ranting to two of the girls who always played for the team. I said, “How can someone not care about the team’s success? What does it matter if you lead the team in stats, if the team is unsuccessful? Is there anything really to brag about at that point? Would it not be more meaningful to say, ‘I helped lead my team to a conference championship?’”

Toward the end of the season, things started to change. Although it still was not the whole team, more and more players were playing for the team’s success, not their own. We started winning games again. We started to have a chance to make playoffs. Most importantly, we started having fun because we were a family. I am stoked to see how our next season goes. The growth that we have made as a team, the bonds we have built and the passion of those on the court with me will make us unstoppable.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to attend Bethany College. I was able to play two sports for two years, finish my last two years with volleyball, and I am studying under some of the best mentors I have ever had. The love and support that I have received from my Reformation family and my team families at Bethany give me hope for the future.

Eileen Vlamis
Bethany College student

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