Backpack Blessing

As August draws to a close, we’re preparing for fall and the start of a new school year! I’m excited to be including a backpack blessing in our worship service this year. Either the Sunday before or after the schools in your area start back up, invite students, teachers, and educators of all kinds to bring their bag to church to receive a blessing. We even made buttons for everyone’s bags that say “You are loved!” I’m planning to do this for our Children’s Time that Sunday.

Here’s the responsive liturgy and prayer we’ll be using to bless our backpacks this year:

One: As we begin this new school year, we give thanks that God has given us all the ability to learn many things in many ways.
  Adults: We learn in school, and also in church, in our family,
 in our community, and in the world.
     Kids: Learning is a gift from God.
One: We ask God’s blessing on this new school year, that it may be a time when we appreciate and fully engage God’s gift of learning.
 Adults: We ask God to bless our schools and teachers.
   Kids: We ask God to bless our classmates and friends.
 Adults: We ask God to bless our principals, counselors, and librarians.
One: We ask God to bless those who prepare our lunches, those who drive us to school, and those who keep our schools clean and safe.
Adults: We give thanks to God for books and computers and all the tools that help
us learn.
   Kids: We give thanks to God for the gift of learning!

One: Let us pray.. Loving God, sometimes a new school year seems exciting or scary or both. Sometimes school is great, and sometimes it’s hard. But we know that whether we are excited or scared, you are with us. We know that whether school is great or hard, you are with us. Thank you for always being with us. Help us remember we are loved no matter what. Help us do our best and help us show others your love in all we say and do each day. AMEN

Here’s the invite we’ve been sharing in our community. This one has space for you to add in the date and time of your backpack blessing. And don’t forget to put your church name, address, and website along the bottom!

Backpack Blessing Invitation

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Pentecost 2017 Communion Liturgy & Call to Worship

 pentecost cover 

The Day of Pentecost will soon be here! This year at my church we’re celebrating Pentecost by having a birthday party for The Church! And since we’re having a party we’ve declared June 4th ‘bring a friend to church Sunday’!

I love that Pentecost falls on a Communion Sunday for us this year. Celebrating Holy Communion seems like the best way to remember and celebrate the birth of Christ’s Church. If you’re looking for a Communion liturgy for Pentecost (with modern language) I’ve got you covered: Pentecost 2017 Communion Liturgy

I’ve also included the Call to Worship we’re using below.
Enjoy celebrating the Spirit this Sunday!

 
The Call
The day of Pentecost has arrived!
   And we are all gathered together in one place
ready to remember and celebrate the birthday of Christ’s Church
   and to receive again the gift of the Holy Spirit!
God, bless us that we will truly be Your Church,
   on fire with Your Holy Spirit!
And work through us in all we do as a church
   that we might truly be a gift to the world.

Artwork by Veronica Dimae, “Pentecost,” 2010.  (Australia)