“I can do all things through the power of the One who strengthens me.”
Going back to school is an exciting time and a bittersweet time. Students may be eager to see friends, to be in the next grade, to be in new after school or extracurricular activities. They may also be daunted by meeting new people and being in new classes with new teachers. Teachers are gearing up to meet their students, to prepare engaging lesson plans, to offer a welcoming classroom experience. And all this is A LOT of work! Parents may be anticipating an easier work schedule with children occupied in school all day five days a week, yet it is also sometimes hard to let go of the more relaxed summer schedule. It’s inspiring to see our children, teens and young adults take on the challenges a new grade, a new school. It is a reminder that they are growing up and becoming their own people with all the beauty and risk this involves.
This year the beginning of school feels extra risky and bittersweet as our country continues to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic. We had hoped to be free of masks and to be celebrating vaccines for ALL ages by now. Instead, we continue to be thankful for the protection of masks and the vaccines that we do have that are effective for those who take advantage of them – even as we acknowledge that our youngest folks do not yet have vaccines and there are some among us with compromised immune systems who cannot yet take advantage of their protection. Going back to school this year takes an extra measure of courage to along with the usual excitement and concerns.
On Sunday at our 10 am worship in Roland Moore Park we will celebrate going back to school and its implications for all ages and all school roles….students, parents who support students, teachers, administrators, food service workers, office workers, school nurses and counselors, custodians….the list goes on. Join us on Sunday to bless those going back to school!
Plymouth’s Christian Formation program is preparing to welcome all ages “back to school” with the most creative, challenging, and safest fall programming possible beginning after Jubilee Sunday (8/29).
Sign up for both book studies on the Plymouth website at plymouthucc.org/adults.
The apostle, Paul, wrote to the church at Philippi, “Don't be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.”* This is my prayer for us all in these uncertain times!
Happy Back-to-School! And with you on the journey,
*Bible, Common English. CEB Common English Bible with Apocrypha - eBook [ePub] (Kindle Locations 45179-45181).
The Rev. Jane Anne Ferguson, Associate Minister, is a writer, storyteller, and contributor to Feasting on the Word, a popular biblical commentary. She is also the writer of sermon-stories.com, a lectionary-based story-commentary series.