The week of July 10-14 saw 350 students and their leaders from across the United States and the Philippines descended onto the campus of Roberts Wesleyan College for Free Methodist Bible Quizzing’s annual Quiz Finals. This season, students studied and committed to memory the books of Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon.
The theme was focused on Philippians 2:14-16, where Paul says we will shine like stars among a warped and crooked generation. The Rev. Kevin Austin, director of the Set Free Movement, was our chapel speaker for the week. Worship was led by Louis Colon, lead pastor of Heart & Soul Community Church, and a dynamic and diverse group of musicians from both Heart & Soul and New Hope Free Methodist Church. Austin asked whether we would focus on the problem or the possibilities. Christ is to be at the center of all we do with the Holy Spirit working as the catalyst in our lives. What we do flows from who we are – specifically, who we are in Jesus. Action becomes a characteristic of who we are in Jesus. We were called to serve with compassion at the margins and to work to bring hope and healing to communities.
Quiz Finals kicked off with a number of service projects that were student-planned and led across the Rochester area; 209 students and leaders started their week by serving the community. Project sites included Sweet Release Equestrian Center, Cornerstone Christian School, Crosspoint Hope Free Methodist Church, Rochester City School No. 19, New Hope Free Methodist Church, El Shaddai CPP, Rochester Family Mission, and the Philia and Beacon Community Houses in Beechwood. Projects included gardening work, painting, demolition, sorting, children’s Bible camp, cleaning, scraping, encouraging arts and crafts, and more. It was a great way to start the week and set the tone by serving others.
The highlight of Quiz Finals is the testimony and communion service. This year we took time in the service to focus on the key areas of our ministry, using Acts 1:8 as our guide. We started by looking at the impact Bible quizzing has had on “the ends of the earth.” Our missions team to the Philippines reported on visits to Cebu, Butuan City, Boracay and Taiwan. Our missions team to Kenya reported on their work in Mombassa. The new Better Student Fund missions fund — student-initiated and led to support our international ministries — was shared, and over $3,500 was raised by the students of the Genesis Conference to start it. We celebrated 600 Scripture portions being sent to Kenya and another 150 to the Philippines to support students in their study and memorization of God’s Word. God is on the move.
We continued by looking at the impact Bible quizzing has had on “Judea and Samaria.” Rebekah Distaffen, who has been on the service project leadership team, shared a testimony of how God moved her to action in order to serve the communities in which we have Quiz Finals. We broke up into groups of eight and prayed for Together We Make a Difference, the ministry we partnered with in Jackson, Michigan. We prayed for the Bread of Life Mission in Seattle, Washington, the ministry we partnered with last year while at Seattle Pacific University. We prayed for the ministries we served this year in the Rochester, New York, area.
Our service then focused on our “Jerusalem,” where we broke up into groups of four and spent time praying for our local churches, schools, neighborhoods, friends and family who need rescue, who need Jesus.
Our time then focused on our own personal testimonies and what God was calling us to do. It was said during the week that a thought is fleeting, but action is a step forward. Students were challenged to search their hearts and were called to action, to write down next steps on how they can shine for Jesus in a dark and crooked generation. A call to “O Come to the Altar” was sung, and the altar was quickly flooded with students in tears – Jesus was accepted in hearts, sin was confessed, faith was renewed, hearts were called to action. Leaders laid hands and prayed over the students while clusters began to form across the auditorium in prayer.
Our time closed by sharing in the Lord’s Supper, receiving the elements and taking a moment at the cross to reflect on the incredible love, grace and mercy of our Savior.
On Friday, we saw the final rounds of the tournament. Champions were crowned in three divisions before lunch. We gathered as a community after lunch to witness the final tournament round and crowned New Hope (Rochester) as the Grand Champions of the Free Methodist Church.
Visit fmquizzing.net to learn more about FM Quizzing. Here are the Quiz Finals results:
Senior Teen Veteran A
(1) New Hope (Rochester, New York) – 2
(2) FreeChurch.net (Webster, New York)
(3) New Hope (Rochester, New York) 1
Senior Teen Veteran B
(1) Vincennes, Indiana/Albion, Illinois
(2) Pearce (North Chili, New York)
(3) Spring Arbor, Michigan
Young Teen Veteran A
(1) FreeChurch.net (Webster, New York) – 1
(2) Bedford, Indiana
(3) Pearce (North Chili, New York)
Young Teen Rookie
(1) FreeChurch.net (Webster, New York) – 2
(2) FreeChurch.net (Webster, New York) – 1
(3) Wilmore, Kentucky
Senior Teen Veteran Individual Finals
(1) Joe Kirkpatrick – Wesley (Anderson, Indiana)
(2) Keeton Sittig – New Hope (Rochester, New York)
(3) Isaac Perkins – New Hope (Rochester, New York)
Senior Teen Rookie Individual Finals
(1) Roman Bonacorsi – Friendship (Shelby Township, Michigan)
(2) Brianna Porterfield – New Hope (Rochester, New York)
Young Teen Veteran Individual Finals
(1) Gabe Hulbert – Holland, Ohio
(2) Amber Voigtschild – Bedford, Indiana
(3) Sam McFarland – Lake Forest Park, Washington
Young Teen Rookie Individual Finals
(1) Landon Sittig, New Hope (Rochester), NY
(2) Joshua Zielger – Free Church.net (Webster), NY
(3) Cosette Lumsden – First Presbyterian (Seattle), Washington
Dave Markell Excellence in Attitude Award
Bethany Hartzell – Albion, Illinois
Full results can be found here.4