Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 16, 2014

Collegiate Day of Prayer to be revived in Ashland

ASHLAND — To those who believe religion is defunct in college, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Ashland is refuting the notion by bringing back a day of prayer for collegians.

For the Rev. Ike Nicholson, pastor of the church at 1903  Winchester Ave., there are clear ties binding religion and educational history that should not be ignored.

Thus, by reinstating a day of prayer that was common practice 30 years ago, Nicholson hopes to prompt conversation about the church’s relationship with local colleges and universities.

The Collegiate Day of Prayer will be at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 27, lasting 45 minutes and with a brief message by Nicholson. He likened the service to being similar to former prayer day services at colleges.

A time for private prayer and reflection will be in the church sanctuary until 1 p.m.

“Our world views are shaped by colleges and universities,” Nicholson said. “We want to bring attention to the importance of those institutions because college is where our future leaders learn skills, develop virtue and seek truth and learn how to relate to other people.”

Nicholson said prompting dialogue within the community is vital to gain perspective about why the college world and religious world have drifted apart in recent years.

“We can look at this day as an opportunity for reinstating community relationships with our institutions,” he said. “When two people are having trouble, they traditionally sit down and talk it out. This gives us a chance to come together and ask, ‘Why are our two worlds so different?’”

Although Ashland is not necessarily a traditional college student destination, he said he especially hopes faculty, staff and students from Kentucky Christian University in Grayson and Ashland Community and Technical College will attend.

“A lot of people talk about brain drain in Ashland and many students who leave don’t come back, but I know this community strongly values higher education, where educators and members of the religious community are equally concerned with the welfare of our young students,” he said.

Deanna Bradley, a member of the national prayer group Moms in Prayer and First Christian, offered the idea to bring back Collegiate Day of Prayer to Nicholson when her son left for the University of Kentucky.

The event was first discussed in her prayer group, and Bradley said after researching history about the designation, she wanted to help bring it back.

“We just want colleges, educators, professors, students, anyone involved in the school system to know that we are always praying for them,” she said.

Nicholson said his church is the only one in Kentucky registered on the Collegiate Day of Prayer website slated to recognize the day this year.

The event is open to all. For more information about the Collegiate Day of Prayer, go to collegiatedayofprayer.org or call the church at (606) 324-5335.

LANA BELLAMY can be reached at lbellamy@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

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