2021 Blessing of the Backpack Events and School Supply Drives
As we all hope for a more normal school year in the coming year, churches will again offer more traditional back-to-school worship services including backpack blessings and back-to-school supply drives to help children in local communities.
As plans emerge for these types of events, we will add the details to the listing below. Also included on this page are a variety of resources and ideas for churches to include similar services for their own congregations.
Is your church planning an event? Please email the details to email@example.com.
Back-to-School Events & Supply Drives
Church of the Holy Communion, Charleston, 8.15.21
Students of all ages are invited to a Blessing of the Backpacks during the 9:15 Mass on Sunday, August 15. Bring your backpack, come forward and receive a special blessing to begin the school year. After the service, all are invited to join for hotdogs. The church will also be collecting new backpacks and school supplies to give to families in need in the community. Click here for more information.
Grace Church Cathedral, Charleston - 8.22.2021
Grace Church annually supports HALOS efforts to supply their children with bookbags and school supplies, and we are inviting you to help us make this happen.
You can sign up to sponsor a child (providing a bookbag filled with school supplies) by clicking here and choosing a child you wish to sponsor (you can sponsor more than one). The link is open until July 23. All instructions and the specific school supply list are on the sign up. Please make sure to put Grace Church Cathedral in the comments section. You may drop off your bookbag(s) at Seacoast Church (5505 N Rhett Ave, North Charleston) on August 1 from 4:30 to 6:30 or on August 2 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
This is a new format for HALOS and for Grace. If you need help in any way, please reach out to us. We will be glad to walk you through the process. We thank you for your loyal and continued support. Contacts: Helen Britton (843-343-8069, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Artie Richards (843-670-6183, email@example.com)
Holy Cross Faith Memorial Episcopal Church, Pawleys Island, 8.15.2021
The church will offer a Blessing of the Bookbags at the 10:30 am service on Sunday, August 15, All children and youth are invited to lay their bookbags at the altar steps for a special blessing. Those who teach or are otherwise involved in education are invited to join them for a special blessing as well.
St. George's Episcopal Church, Summerville - 8.15.2021
Backpacks will be blessed at all services at St. George's on Sunday, August 15. All students, teachers, and administrators are invited to bring their bags/backpacks to be blessed, along with any backpacks donated in our school supply drive. Parishioners, family, friends, and neighbors are all welcome!
We will be collecting school supplies, especially backpacks, for children of all ages. These items will be offered to schools where our Backpack Buddies recipients attend first. Please drop off backpacks and school supplies by Sunday, August 15.
St. Mark's, Port Royal - 8.22.2021
A backpack blessing will be held on Sunday, August 22 at both the 9 am and 11 am services. Bring your backpack, bookbag, briefcase and/or laptop or tablet to receive a blessing.
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Charleston - 8.15.2021
The church will host a "Blessing of the Backpacks" on Sunday, August 15. All children and youth are invited to bring backpacks to the 9 am or 11 am service for a special recognition and a blessing. Teachers are also welcome to bring their knapsacks or briefcases to be blessed!
Back-to-school worship resources
There are a variety of back-to-school resources for worship and formation online.
Illustrated Ministry offers a Back-to-School Worship Liturgy and Backpack Blessing for free. Download it here: http://illstrtdm.in/BackToSchool
Additional resources from Illustrated Ministry include a variety of backpack tags. Check them out below:
Our friends at buildfaith.org have offered an idea for a "Blessing of the Devices." Find more at this link.
Building Faith has plenty of guidance for doing your own blessing of the backpacks with Blessing of the Backpacks: 6 Tips for Success, New Beginnings, New Challenges, and Blessing Backpacks: Prayers and Resources.
Other online resources that we recommend:
The Center for the Ministry of Teaching at VTS offers lots of resources for teachers, including reviews of Vacation Bible School curricula, a blog, an online magazine and more. Find it online at the link above, or connect with CMT on Facebook.
Forma is an association and dynamic community of Christian educators, formation professionals, and their institutional partners that celebrates and upholds the diverse ministries of Christian formation across the the Episcopal Church.
Vibrant Faith offers services to churches, organizations and leaders. Our coaching and training is designed to partner with faith-formers and pursue innovation for the church’s processes of faith formation. Our projects and initiatives are designed to call churches to what matters most for effective faith formation in the 21st century.
Worshiping with Children offers a blog with amazing resources for each Sunday's lectionary. You can search by lesson or date.
Storypath provides names of children's books that tie in with the lectionary.
Home resource online
GrowChristians.org is a website on practicing faith at home. The site is based on a central question: How do we grow as Christians ourselves and help younger people – especially in our own families and churches – to grow as Christians too? Writers will cover topics like family prayer, reading the Bible, how to talk about the cross, using music, art, cooking, and more. It's a partnership of Forward Movement and Plainsong Farm.
The site also offers printable Back-to-School Prayer Bookmarks that could be used for any back-to-school event at your church. Find more at this link.