First United Methodist Church starts off school year with a Blessing of the Backpacks

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- For some, school started last week, and for others, it starts tomorrow. Either way, First United Methodist Church wants to make sure their youth start the school year off on a high note.

For the past three years, First United Methodist Church in downtown Huntsville commemorates the start of the school year with a "Blessing of the Backpacks".

"Our pastor came up with the idea to have the children bring their backpacks to church, and we would pray over the kids, the teachers and administrators of the schools," said Nikki Skidmore.

Skidmore is the FUMC Director of Youth Ministries. She said hundreds of kids participate in the blessing of the backpacks, and that's why it's something special for everybody to take part in.

"I think the kids enjoy going to big church, because they're usually in Sunday school during the 9:30 hour. But I think the church really loves seeing all the kids together," she explained.

Alexa Parsons said she couldn't wait to bring her backpack to church today. She starts third grade Monday, and said knowing her backpack is blessed, "is awesome".

"Today's the Blessing of the Backpacks, and I'm very excited!" she said.

No matter what grade you're entering, or even if you're a parent, teacher, or guardian, the beginning of a new school year can be daunting. That's exactly why they do it.

"What better way to send the kids off to school than prayer?" Skidmore said.