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By Korrine Terroso, McKendree UMC, Airville

We have all heard the phrase "separation of church and state," and many of us
have been told, you can't preach in the schools. Well, that's only partially true. The
separation of church and state means that teachers cannot teach one religion as better
than another. They also cannot share their personal beliefs. These rules do not apply to
students. Students have the right to practice, share, and spread their religions in
schools. Personally, I have had the experience of sharing my faith by praying before
games. I have spent six years playing field hockey and four years running track. Early in
my athletic career, my mom shared with me the fact that as a team, we can pray before
game, but I never had the courage to lead it. Then, during track, I was put on a relay
team, and my relay team decided to pray as a group before we ran. This experience not
only strengthened my faith, but it also allowed me to meet other Christians. Even after
praying with the distance girls for years, I still found it difficult to approach the 50 field
hockey girls. Luckily, God used another girl to begin prayer for Dallastown Field
Hockey. Two years ago, Karley Marquet, a senior and captain approached the team
and said "I'm going to pray before we play, does anyone have a problem with that?" No
one did, and this ministry has continued since Karley graduated. It's such a nice site to
see 50 girls take a knee before each game and pray to God. Even better, we pray for
safety and guidance, not victory!

The other touching aspect of this story is related to our coach. Our coach is not a
woman to go to church or even realize that Sunday is a day of rest for many, but she
stood quietly away from us as we prayed each day for the first year. Then this year, I
noticed her staying for the prayer when she accidentally walked over too early. In
addition, one day, she was talking to us about having practice over the weekend:
someone mentioned Sunday being open, and she quickly said that, that would not work
because many of the girls have church. That was a breakthrough for her! This
experience was super-exciting for me, and during the season, we had a pastor come to
speak to us before our biggest game of the year. Overall, praying before games has
been a great ministry for our team, and I would encourage others to ask God for the
courage to lead their school groups in prayer.

One more important fact, I go to a public school!

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