‘Blessing of Backpacks’ Signals Start of Another School Year

Post a Comment » Written on August 11th, 2009     
Filed under: News
TOPEKA, KS (August 11, 2009) – Brookwood Covenant Church held its annual Blessing of the Backpacks during Sunday’s worship service.

Students came forward with their backpacks and received a blessing, says Associate Pastor Joan Porter. Each student received an item for their backpacks.

Brookwood Covenant also brought many new backpacks that will be distributed to students at Bishop Elementary School across the street and Jardine Middle School, located a half-mile away. “Last year, we called this part of the blessing the Half-Mile Mission,” Porter says.

BackpackSchool supplies and backpacks also will be donated to the Topeka Rescue Mission.

The congregation is one of many Covenant churches across the country helping to prepare students for the new school year. Covenanters are filling backpacks, signing up to mentor students, and working alongside teachers to prepare classrooms.

Rolling Hills Covenant Church in Rolling Hills Estates, California, has started its annual Back-to-School Drive, which will supply as many 2,000 backpacks for children in nearby communities as well as Tijuana, Mexico.

“Anything we can do to provide a positive learning experience for these kids, we want to do,” Susan Johnson, director of ministry at the church, told the local newspaper. “In some cases we know teachers are buying some of their own supplies. We don’t want them to have to spend from their own income, especially in this economy.”

The church also has an on-going tutoring program and provides other services for at-risk youth.

Members of the Evangelical Covenant Church of Lafayette, Indiana, are volunteering to spend lunch hours befriending children at a local elementary school. They also plan to serve as Breakfast Buddies during the school’s breakfast program.

Hillside Covenant Church in Naugatuck, Connecticut, is providing assistance to students through a back-to-school clothing ministry, New Beginnings. Members receive anonymous profiles of elementary children from local social service agencies and then purchase clothes for those students.

Churches also are assisting college students as they begin school. Brookwood has signed up to be “friendship hosts” for at least 10 international students at Washington University. Church members spend time with the students as often as possible during the year, says Porter.

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