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
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!