Seekers hosts morning of song and prayer

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Students gather around the flagpoles to sing and pray Picture <br /><figcaption id=Picture by Stephanie Geier

On September 25 over twenty students gathered around the flagpoles outside of THHS to sing and pray as part of  the annual “See You at the Pole” (SYATP) event hosted by the Seekers club. The event took place at seven in the morning and lasted for over an hour, with both Seekers members and nonmembers attending.

Participants commenced by singing Christian songs in organized harmonies, accompanied by the guitar. The songs included “Still,” “I Surrender,” and “How Great Is Our God.”  Afterwards they sat in a circle around the flagpoles, held hands, and prayed for various aspects of the school, community, and world, with moments of silence in between each prayer. They then returned to music, playing more lively songs such as “Inside Out,” and read an optimistic excerpt from the Bible. After one last prayer around the pole, participants dispersed. The event caught the attention of several passerby.

Seekers “Singspiration” leader senior Marybeth Babu said she “tried to pick songs that the students were familiar with or at least ones that were pleasant to listen to in order to help set the mood.”

Seekers members felt that they were well-prepared for the event and  were delightfully surprised by the results. They noted that in previous years zero band prevented certain students from attending. However, because zero band is now a half hour later, everyone could participate for at least the beginning of the event.

“[The new schedule] also gave us the opportunity to sing more songs with our Singspiration team and spend more time praying,” added Seekers co-president Joanna Wong, senior.

Senior Stephanie Loo, also a Seekers president, said the turnout was the best she’d seen during her four years as a Seekers member.

“We were amazed that so many club members came out to the event as well as other students who are not part of Seekers,” she said. “ I think it piqued a lot of people’s interest and many were drawn to come and sing and pray with us.”

Custodian Hector Benitez, who sang and prayed with them, agrees. He hoped people who passed by “saw that there was hope” and could “acknowledge that there was more to life than business.”

“Little do [the students] know what I got out of it, but it was an awesome experience for me,” he said.

For junior Joice Im the prayer time around the pole “really was a powerful moment.”

“I really loved the singspiration, the praise we started off with, and how we met new people, including new freshmen,” she said.

SYATP was initiated in 1990 by ten Christian students in Texas. They prayed around the flagpoles of three different public schools one night and then challenged other students to do the same around their own school flagpoles. By the morning of September 12, 1999 over 45,000 people participated. However, this occurred during a time of struggle between the separation of religion and education, and some tried to deem SYATP unconstitutional. Through certain court cases it was determined that although public schools could not sponsor student prayer, due to the rights of free speech and religion, students could independently initiate prayer among themselves.  SYATP now occurs annually on the morning of the fourth Wednesday of September, with over three million students in the United States participating as well as Christians in twenty other countries.

Referring to the event’s unique history, Joanna said, “Times have changed, but our main purpose remains: to gather students in order to sing, for fellowship, and to pray together for our school and community.”

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