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Clear Spring students meet at pole to pray, worship

September 25, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

CLEAR SPRING -- Dona Shoemaker said it can be intimidating to let her classmates at Clear Spring High School know how she feels about God.

The 17-year-old senior said some students think they will be ridiculed for their beliefs.

"They could make fun of you (for believing in God)," Dona said. "They could put you down about it."

Dona was one of four students from Clear Spring middle and high schools who gathered near the high school's flagpole Wednesday morning to sing worship songs and pray. The annual event is sponsored by the school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is part of the national "See You at the Pole" event that took place worldwide.

The event began in Texas in 1990.

The movement brings students to their school flagpoles to intercede for their leaders, schools and families, asking God to bring moral and spiritual awakening to their campuses and countries, according to a press release.

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"I just wanted to thank the Lord for my school and for my family," said Emily Burker, 12.

The seventh-grader at Clear Spring Middle School participated in Wednesday's event. Her sister, Jennifer Burker, 13, and father, Mark Giberson, also were there.

Matt Wilson, a Clear Spring High art teacher and an FCA adviser, helped coordinate the event. He said it's been held at the school annually for at least the past 10 years.

The Rev. Rick Heines of New Life Christian Ministries and Zeb Hundley, a member of that church, also participated.

After last year's "See You at the Pole" event, Jennifer said God helped her through the depression she felt at the time.

"God reached in and saved me," she said.

Devon Jacobs, 14, a Clear Spring High sophomore, said she took time around the flagpole Wednesday to pray about all of the "problems," including recent economic turmoil and those fighting in Iraq.

"My dad went to Iraq and it put my family in distress," Devon said. "I wanted to pray for others."

Devon's father, a member of the National Guard, returned home several months ago.

Wilson said that some students think they are not allowed to talk about God in school. Wednesday was an opportunity to gather together and worship, he said.

"We can all come out and pray to God together," Wilson said.

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