2022 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
Good Shepherd, Summerville - 8.07.2022 at 10:30 am
Good Shepherd will once again be collecting school supplies to help stock the Kids' School Closet at Dorchester Children's Advocacy Center. DCAC obtains lists from each child’s school and provides each child with everything on the list in order to start the school year fully stocked. As the year goes on, DCAC continues to provide supplies to the children as needed.
On Sunday, August 7 at the 10:30 service, Fr. Dow Sanderson will offer blessings for all students and educators who are returning to school, as well as the donations collected in the school supply drive for DCAC and the children who will receive them. Supplies may be dropped off at the church during the week of August 1-4, or brought to church on Sunday morning August 7. DCAC also gratefully accepts gift cards or monetary donations; checks may be made out to Dorchester Children's Advocacy Center - please specify "Kids' School Closet" in the memo field. Learn more or donate online at DCAC's website.
Grace Church Cathedral, Charleston
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. The school supply drive prepare 500 children for the school year ended July 29. Stay tuned for news about the Blessing of the Bookbags service.
Holy Communion, Charleston - 8.21.2022
Students of all ages are invited to join for worship on Sunday, August 21, at 9:30 am for a Blessing of the Backpacks. Bring your backpack, come forward to receive a special blessing, and begin the school year in the best possible way. A hotdog lunch will follow!
The church will also be collecting new backpacks and school supplies to give to Lowcountry Orphan Relief. Whether you are sending children back to school this year or not, please consider helping us provide assistance to our community.
Holy Cross Faith Memorial, Pawleys Island - 8.14.2022
To start the new school year off right, all children and youth are invited to bring their book bags to the 10:30 service in Sunday, August 14, for the Blessing of the Bookbags. Adults involved in education are also invited to come to the altar for a this special blessing.
St. Anne's Episcopal Church, Conway - 8.14.2022
A new academic year is about to begin for children, teens and teachers in public and private schools and for students, professors, staff, and administrators at Coastal Carolina University and Horry Georgetown Technical College. To start the new school year off in the best possible way for everyone, we will bless all bookbags, backpacks and briefcases, and any other means by which children, youth, and adults take their stuff to learn and work. Whatever you’ve got, bring it!
St. George's Episcopal Church, Summerville - 8.14.2022
Backpacks will be blessed at all services at St. George's on Sunday, August 14. 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 (shopping list can be found in the narthex or click here), 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 14.
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Port Royal - 8.14.2022
Bring your backpacks, laptops, tablets, etc., to be blessed at both services on Sunday, August 14, at 9 am and 11 am.
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Charleston - 8.14.2022
The church will host a "Blessing of the Backpacks" on Sunday, August 14. All children and youth are invited to bring backpacks to the 9am or 11am service for a special recognition and blessing. Teachers are also welcome to bring their knapsacks or briefcases to be blessed.
St. Thomas, North Charleston - 8.14.2022 at 10:30 am
Parents, grandparents & friends have your children, grandchildren & friends bring their backpacks to a Blessing of the School Backpacks on Sunday, August 14, at 10:30 am to place them around the altar to be blessed. There will be a bin for school supplies collection beginning through August 14th. The items will be donated to neighborhood schools. Questions? Call the church office at 843.747.0479.
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.