SAN DIEGO (BP) — “See You at the Pole” is a bit of a misnomer this year. Organizers of the nationwide, student-led prayer initiative made significant adjustments to this year’s event in light of COVID-19 restrictions.
Historically, students from schools across the U.S. and beyond have gathered in groups at their campus flag pole at 7 a.m. on the fourth Wednesday of September to pray in accordance with the current year’s theme.
This year the theme is “Return. Restore. Revive.” However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers have planned an alternative – a student-led livestream Sept. 23 that anyone can join. The stream will be available at 7 a.m. in the viewer’s time zone.
Doug Clark, national field director of National Network of Youth Ministries, said the students who will be leading the livestream are all very involved in Claim Your Campus, an organization which builds off See You at the Pole to provide weekly resources to help students pray year-round for their communities and schools.
“We’re trying to provide more structure with something that people can participate in,” Clark said. “We felt like we had to give more than ‘Hey, meet at your flagpole,’ since that’s not even realistic for maybe the great majority of students across the country.”
School-related COVID restrictions vary by district, and many schools have not yet resumed in-person instruction. See You at the Pole leadership wanted students to be able to participate regardless of the restrictions in any given area, so they designed a singular event.
“We’re trying to provide an alternative,” Clark said. “It’s an explosive time for our nation right now, and it would be tragic if the church’s response was ‘Well, because of COVID, I’m not going to do this prayer thing.’”
Clark’s hope is that a continued emphasis on prayer will bring about revival. Because the event is now a livestream, students’ families and fellow church members are also able to attend.
Tess Schoonhoven is a staff writer for Baptist Press.