Backpack blessings begin school year with special message
The beginning of a new school year wouldn't be the same for children at Shepherd of the Prairie Lutheran Church in Huntley without the traditional backpack blessings given by Pastor Mark Boster.
On the weekend of Aug. 7-8 during all services, students from elementary school through high school were invoked with a special blessing for their upcoming school year and experiences. In addition, they received a key chain with Bible verse inscription to place on their backpacks.
A separate blessing was celebrated for children entering kindergarten.
"We started our kindergarten blessing tradition in 2004," said Pastor Boster, "to encourage the children not to fear school and to know our church family is praying for them and that God is with them wherever they are, even in school.
"Our traditional backpack blessings for the other students began in 2006 so that their school year will go well and have a great year of learning to be better equipped to serve God. We also ask our teachers and administrators to stand up for a special blessing, too, as they need our prayers and support."
The church family looks forward to the blessings each year, including Chris and Amy Brittain and their children Connor and Madelyn.
"The backpack blessing makes the children feel important, special and confident to be successful at school," said Amy Brittain. "We are grateful for the backpack blessing to kick off our school year on the right path, both for our children and myself as an educator. The blessing reminds us that God is always with us, inside and outside of church. The blessing reminds us to do as Jesus does. Be kind to others. Reach out to those that are by themselves. These are such important actions, especially returning to school after the last year."
Shepherd of the Prairie Lutheran Church, located at 10805 Main St., under the faith leadership of senior pastor Mark Boster, has served the Huntley community for over 20 years.