ELBING — Berean Academy students gathered in front of their school an hour before class time on Wednesday morning. The fourth Wednesday in September is the traditional day to host See You At The Pole, an event for Christian students to meet together and pray.
"We do some different events throughout the year, and this is one of them," said Megan Wiebe, a teacher at Berean Academy. "The students kind of run this."
The Christian Action student service group led See You At The Pole, handing out donuts and juice to participants as they arrived.
"I've come to these since seventh grade," said Benjamin Hall. "It's always nice to pray with fellow believers and the donuts are nice, too."
Berean Academy students are enrolled in a Bible class each year and attend chapel twice a week, but Hall said See You At The Pole gave classmates a chance to come together specifically to pray for the school and the political and social issues the United States is facing.
That sentiment was echoed by other students, including Anna Eldridge.
"Our country is going through a lot right now, so it's good to get together and pray for it," Eldridge said.
After the refreshments were served, students were asked to assemble in the parking lot in front of the flagpoles flying the American flag, the Kansas flag and the Christian flag.
"What we usually do is have a time of worship at the flagpoles, and it's student-led worship," said Anne Morrow, a teacher at Berean Academy. "Then they separate into groups around campus and pray."
The students stood in a semicircle and sang songs as Berean Academy student Jordan Weaver played the guitar.
"We're going to pray for the Berean family as a whole and specifically the Berean families that are hurting. We're going to pray for the United States and the state of Kansas and the leaders there, and then for the persecuted church," explained Toby Penner, a Berean Academy student.
The group of around 75 students, teachers and staff were led in a group prayer and then split into smaller groups and went to different parts of the school grounds to read Scriptures and pray together.
"I think there's something really cool about praying in a big group," Wiebe said.
Wiebe recognized the fact that sharing their faith by attending See You At The Pole is easier for Berean Academy students, since the school operates on Christian principles.
"In public schools, I think that's a big stand of faith that they have to take," Wiebe said. "It's a good thing."