Blessing of the Backpacks

by Lisa DeRosa
2019

by Emily Huff

Our church back in Tennessee had a wonderful tradition to kick off the school year with an annual event before school started called the “Blessing of the Backpacks.” Students were encouraged to bring their backpacks to church on this particular Sunday. As the kids came up to the front of the church with their backpacks, some of them were asked to pull out an item in their backpack and think of how that item could be used to be a blessing to God and to others. They were each given a card with a blessing, and the congregation prayed for them. It was short and sweet, but it was a meaningful marker as summer turned to fall.
We have hosted a similar event on our front porch for the last 8 years for neighbors here in Seattle with a quick gathering for a blessing along with ice cream as a fun treat. Kids were given a card to keep in their backpack through the year as a reminder of this neighborhood blessing.

For the 9th year in a row, we hosted our Blessing of the Backpacks, but this year, we hosted it social distanced style. Families were able to come over sometime in a two-hour window and pick up the blessing in a basket along with an ice cream sandwich to enjoy.

We hope this helps students have a fun start to this school year, and as they go to school (be it online or in person), we want them to know that their neighborhood loves them and will be praying for them.

blessing of the backpacks 5

Adapted from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Knoxville, TN and https://www.saltproject.org/progressive-christian-blog/2015/8/4/backpack-blessing

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All photos by Emily Huff, used with permission.

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For other Back to School resources, see our Back to School section in the Seasons & Blessings page

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