On Sunday, September 9th, we offered a special blessing for all students, teachers,
and administrators who are beginning yet another school year.
We encourage you to pray this prayer on your own.

One: Holy God, we give you thanks for these children and all of those returning to school for yet another year, for the new beginnings that each first day of school can bring. May the work that they do in the classrooms, their recreation on the playgrounds, and the conversations around the lunch table teach them more about this world that you have created, the diversity of their communities, and themselves, that they might grow into the people that you would have them be. We pray that your Spirit might provoke their curiosities, inspire their imaginations, and sharpen their wisdom. Keep these children safe from all of those things that seek to cause harm, and may your presence comfort them in times of trouble. Grant them courage to admit mistakes, grace to interact with each other in love, and strength that they might finish this year with excellence. God of truth,

All: Hear our prayer.

One: Gracious One, we lift before you parents, guardians, and all who care for these students. May they nurture these children in preparation for the classroom, and may they always be willing to listen when questions or problems arise. Grant them the courage to send their little ones into school and to allow room for them to become their own persons, and may they always know that your Spirit is guiding and protecting their children every minute of the day. God of truth,

All: Hear our prayer.

One: Everlasting God, we give you thanks for all of those who are involved in the students’ education and school day, from the teachers and administrators to the custodians and bus drivers. Thank you for the ways in which they devote themselves to the education of these children, equipping them for a life of service and love. May your wisdom inhabit each and every person who is involved with students throughout the school day, and may they see signs of the difference that they are making in the lives of these children. When they are weary, strengthen them; when they are on the verge of burn out, grant them rest; when they are anxious, may they feel your comforting presence; when they are discouraged, may they find your everlasting hope. God of truth,

All: Hear our prayer.

One: Loving One, we ask that you might remind all of us that the task of learning is never over. As we choose to go back to school for another degree, to pick up a new language or skill, or even just to learn more about ourselves, our world, and the people who are around us, may your Spirit encourage us to never stop growing. Grant us the humility to admit that we do not know everything and the courage to open our ideas and beliefs to change. Open our minds to the reality that wherever truth is found, so too are you. Guide us with your Spirit into the unknown, and give us faith to trust that you are always with us. God of truth,

All: Hear our prayer.

One: Almighty God, may this community here at Park Avenue and 86th Street be a place that always welcomes questions and supports all of those who seek to learn. Pour out your Holy Spirit on these children gathered here, that they may go as signs of your love and mediators of your grace. Help us to nurture these children before us in the ways that you would have them grow. Bless our Day School and Sunday School that they might educate our students well, and grant us the wisdom to sustain and grow these programs for our ministry in this community. And may all that we do be in service of your Kingdom; through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

All: Amen.