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Annual SYATP builds appreciation for prayer (VIDEO)

Unlike an average day at FC, students woke up early along with many other students across the nation to pray as a community for their friends, teachers, nation, world and school. At 7 a.m. over 50 students gathered in the Ground Zero quad area to pray for the anual See You at the Pole (SYATP), Sept. 26.

SYATP started in 1990, where a small group of students were allowed to pray, and since 2005, the event has grown to over 2 million participants all regions of the nation. SYATP has been marked a national event, which is always the fourth week in September.

Principal Todd Bennett expected more from SYATP and left feeling a little dissatisfied at the turnout. Bennett hopes next year will bring a better outcome.

“I wish there would have been a better turnout,” Bennett said. “I hoped to see more students and teachers there. Although, it was nice to see some students out there that I didn’t expect to show up. I know as a private school we have the opportunity to to pray openly whenever we want, but I still think we should take advantage of every opportunity we get. Hopefully next year we’ll get more student involvement.”

The campus high school has 196 students and 58 participated in SYATP this year.

Student Leadership, led by Robert Foshee, started the morning off with a quick group prayer, where people circled together to pray about various requests and thanks. Then senior worship team members Brandon Porter and Nathan Bender led worship with songs like “Center”, “Overwhelmed” and “Came to my rescue.”

Porter was happy to lead worship at SYATP because he liked being a part of an event where people all wanted to worship.

“I thought it was a lot of fun,” Porter said. “I wasn’t planning on playing until the night before, so I kind of played it by ear, but sometimes that’s when it’s the best for worship. It’s a really cool and special time that only happens once a year. Just being a part of it with people that wanted to be there and worship together was really cool.”

Foshee appreciates SYATP because students aren’t required to attend, but still many attend.

“The turnout was great because students weren’t praying by themselves, but with thousands of other Christian students,” Foshee said. “I like that its student led prayer and not required to be there; worship was great too.”

After the worship team led worship, Student Leadership asked students who participated in SYATP to split up into groups to allow students can pray as small groups.

Junior Chloe Duerr felt that the small groups created a more personal environment unlike the student body prayer.

“The small groups were better I think then doing one large group because it created a more personal atmosphere,” Duerr said. “I enjoyed the small groups and would like to participate in the small groups next year in See You at the Pole.”

Seventh grader Erin Baudonnet realizes from SYATP that she appreciates FC because she is able to pray everyday unlike most public secular schools.

“I liked how we got to pray individually and as a group,” Baudonnet said. “I like how this school has the opportunity where you can pray out loud and not be shy about your faith.”

Freshman Macy Mascarenus did not go to SYATP because she felt that it started too early in the morning.

“I did not go to because I didn’t get their in time and by the time I got to school the event was already finished,” Mascarenus said. “I will probably go next year if they start it at a later time.”

Junior high history teacher Hallie Rojeski found that the small groups created a better environment for worship instead of singing worship songs and the student body prayer. Rojeski felt that the worship time could be improved if the lyrics of the songs FC sang were available.

“I realize for a lot of the kids getting there at 7 a.m. they need transportation, especially jr. high students and if parents schedule doesn’t work then it doesn’t happen,” Rojeski said. “Given those factors it was a good turnout; their were a lot of kids. I am used to us [FC] praying in a circle, but I though that the small groups worked very well because you could be more personal. It would have helped if in the worship time we had the words to the songs because I didn’t know the songs well enough to sing and it was hard to hear the guys [Bender and Porter].”

Senior Kristen Rosenthal found that since it is her last time attending SYATP at FC that is was very emotional.

“It is crazy thinking that this is going to be my last year going to See You at the Pole,” Rosenthal said. “It’s different because I feel I can use this opportunity to pray for next year since it is my last year fellowshipping with my peers. It was very emotional, as it is my senior year, but I am thankful for the opportunity to pray as a school and I pray for the underclassmen below me taking on the leadership responsibilities.”

Viviana Hinojosa, Features Editor also contributed to this article.

For past coverage of SYATP, read the Sept. 25, article, BRIEF: SYATP gathers FC community in prayer.

For more features, read the Sept. 26 article,
Day trip to Superior Dairy bonds group (VIDEO).

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    Susan AinleyAug 17, 2012 at 12:04 am

    That’s my niece!