One of the joys I had was taking my five-year-old grandson Alek to his first day of kindergarten.

Dear Congregation,

 I pray all is well with each of you! I am glad to be safely back from my travels, grateful to have seen some new places, and blessed to have spent time with family and friends!

One of the joys I had was taking my five-year-old grandson Alek to his first day of kindergarten. Although you can’t see much of his superheroes backpack in the picture, he was wearing it proudly. As he and his classmates lined up at the entrance to the school, each of them was wearing her/his own backpack, selected, no doubt, according to their interests—Paw Patrol, Princess, Space Jam, Unicorns, and more. I was struck by the uniqueness of each little person as he/she began formal education and prayed that it would be a great journey for them.

Backpacks are a relatively new basic requirements for students. Rather than having metal lockers in which to store their books and school supplies, students now have all their necessities for learning carried on their backs! I’m amazed at how heavy full backpacks can be and wonder when I see such large backpacks on small bodies how they manage to walk!

This Sunday we will have a Blessing of the Backpacks during worship, as we bless children, youth, and teachers at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year. Each backpack will receive a tag as a reminder of the blessing. Everyone who’d like to have her/his backpack blessed is invited to bring it to worship. Those worshiping on Facebook may receive their tag in the mail if they let me know they’d like one.

One prayer that I like for blessing is this one by the SALT Team.

Gracious and loving God, we ask you to bless these backpacks. Make them strong for their job of helping kids to learn. May their straps never break, their padding never give out, their zippers never jam…May they never be forgotten in strange places; may the burdens in them be light; and may the bodies that bear them be strong, and growing, and whole, and blessed, ever blessed, by your love. In the name of the great Teacher, at whose knee we are all students. Amen.

See you Sunday!

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Candy

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