Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Blessing of the Backpacks

This is the week of ministry and service to children and youth. 

Sunday at FCC we took the opportunity, as we do each year, and invited children, youth and college students to bring their "backpacks" as a symbol the start of a new year.  Most were returning to school on Monday.  At FCC we recognize that our children and teenagers and young adults swim in a different sea than most of us "older" folks did.  No matter how deep the snow was and how steep the climb when we walked to school, back in OUR day!, I think most of us would agree that they encounter a great deal we never had to.  Thus, it was imperative to offer up a blessing and prayers and let them know that FCC is a community of love and grace and truth;  that we launch them into a new school year from a place that supports them and reminds them who they really are. 

I wanted to share a picture from Sunday and the words and prayers we spoke.  If you were unable to be there, raise a hand and speak this over your children at home.

 

Leader:        Loving God, as these children begin their studies, we ask a blessing on their backpacks in which they carry the books and paper, pens and pencils, calculators and supplies they will use to learn. O LORD,

People:           Hear our prayer.

Leader:        Gracious God, we give you thanks for opportunities to learn. We ask that you bless these students. Give them wisdom to learn; patience in their studies, courage to face new things and compassion for all those they meet that they may let their light and yours shine each and every day.  O LORD,

People:           Hear our prayer.

Leader:        Bless, O God, all who will teach our students in the coming days and weeks and months. Give them the wisdom to find inspiration for each individual. Give them the energy and creativity and love that will make their work a blessing to all. O LORD,

People:           Hear our prayer.

Leader:        Bless, O God, all school administrators that they may be faithful stewards of the resources entrusted to their care. Make them fair and merciful, able to do their crucial work with a spirit of grace and compassion. O LORD,

People:           Hear our prayer.

Leader:        Bless, O God, the aides, bus drivers, clerks, coaches, cooks, counselors, crossing guards, custodians, librarians, nurses, secretaries, specialists, therapists and volunteers who support our children’s education. O LORD,

People:           Hear our prayer.

Leader:        Bless especially, O God, those who prepare for school without backpacks to fill with school supplies and without food to fill their bellies and those throughout the world who have only a dream of being a student someday.

People:           Hear our prayer.

Leader:        And bless, O God, these students.  Keep them safe, keep them excited, keep them ever seeking to learn more and to develop their gifts. Grant that through their study, they may gain the tools to grow in love and faith and service, all their days. O LORD,

People:           Hear our prayer.

Leader:        Bless, O God, these backpacks and those who carry them. O LORD,

People:           Hear our prayer. Amen.