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School year begins with blessing

August 27, 2000

School year begins with blessing



By TARA REILLY / Staff Writer


Some students will be heading back to school today carrying a little more than just notebooks, pencils and folders.

About 20 students received a special "backpack blessing" Sunday at St. Paul's Church in Clear Spring, off Route 40. Parents and teachers were also included in the blessing.

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The event was sponsored by the Clear Spring Community Health Council Parish Nurse Program and the Clear Spring Ministerium.

The goal of the blessing was not only to send children safely into the new school year, but it was also to bring the community together, according to Pastor Mary Amundson.

"We wanted to have a community event," she said. "It's a way to remind us, as well as other people, that the Lord goes with us wherever we are."

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The students lined the altar with their backpacks, as Amundson blessed the group. She then blessed parents and students together.

"We're trying to extend the blessings of the Lord out into the community," Amundson said.

This was the first year for the blessing, and Amundson said she plans for the event to become an annual occurrence.

"We're praying our way into school (today)," Pastor Dennis Whitmore said. "It's going to be a good year."

Whitmore organized the blessing, Amundson said.

Afterward, students and parents gathered for dinner. A bike helmet and backpack were also given away. Students also received information about correct backpack weight and posture.

Donna K. Gower of Clear Spring thinks the blessing is a good idea and hopes it continues next year.

"I came for the children and for a safe year," Gower said. "It should be every year."

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