By The Reverend Christine V. Hides

As many of our children and youth head back to school this week, know that the congregation, the Sunday school teachers, and the Kenilworth Union Church staff are praying for you as you encounter the joys and challenges of this new school year.

I encourage you to pray together as a family using the prayer below or a prayer of your choosing. You may choose to place your hands on children’s backpacks, which can serve as a tangible reminder that God is with us in the everyday moments. After praying you may choose to bless one another by tracing a heart or cross on the back of the hand with your finger, saying, “God loves you, _____.”

Back to School Blessing–Adapted from a Prayer by Wendy Clarie Berrie

God of Wisdom, we give you thanks for schools and classrooms and for the teachers and students who fill them each day. We thank you for this new beginning, for new books, and new ideas. We thank you for sharpened pencils, pointy crayons, and crisp blank pages waiting to be filled. We thank you for the gift of making mistakes and trying again. Help us to remember that asking the right questions is often as important as giving the right answers.

Today we ask you to bless ______ with curiosity, understanding, and respect. May their backpacks be a sign to them that they have everything they need to learn and grow this year in school and in Sunday School. May they be a reminder of your presence in their daily lives. May you guide them as they learn to walk the way of love. Amen.