Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Article | July 19, 2021

Blessing of the Backpacks and Children, Youth and Family Open House 

Blog|Steph McNally

What do you remember packing in your school backpack? I remember mine was always crammed with items that stamp me as a child of the eighties: binders covered in pictures of A-ha, tartan pencil cases slathered with Tipp-ex graffiti, the Lucky Troll Dolls I carried in increasing numbers as the math tests got harder. I also remember, in a separate front pocket, the plastic lunchbox my mum packed for me every morning. Long after I should have been making my own lunch, I remember mum continuing to supply me with sandwiches, fruit, muesli bars. And long after I stopped saying thank you, I remember the weight of that box in the bulging pocket, and the reassurance it gave me that I again had been provided for.  

I wonder what our parents will be packing into backpacks this year? What items will they place into backpacks that, in many cases, will be carried by children for the first time in eighteen months? What items of love and care will our children carry back to school, and what prayers will go with them?  

On August 15, Grace Cathedral will celebrate our families with two special events. 

During the 11 am Eucharist, we will hold a special Blessing of the Backpacks.  

Blessing of the Backpacks will now be offered as an online event. We will offer Zoom Time from 11 am until 11:25 am.  Families are then invited to watch the remainder of the 11 am Eucharist together, including the special blessing for all children and families watching from home. After the 11 am service, you are invited to join us for a Zoom Open House, when we will reveal the spaces we have planned for future sessions and answer your questions. 

In the lead-up to the 15th, we have been collecting donations of backpacks and school supplies for Bayview Mission. This drive, conducted by the Congregation Council in partnership with CYF, has meant we can supply Bayview Mission with over fifty packed backpacks for school students in the Bayview-Hunter’s Point area. A personalized note will be placed in each of the backpacks to let its recipient know they are thought of, and that our blessings and prayers go with them as they begin a new year. 

Directly after the 11 am service, we will hold a Virtual Open House for CYF programs. This will be an opportunity for parents to ask questions and learn about the exciting activities and programs we have planned for the weeks ahead.  

We are offering a hybrid program from now until the end of September that combines online classes and outdoor, in-person activities. The schedule is posted below. 

It will be wonderful to see you all. 

Please email me if you have any questions. 

Quote from Parent: Tricia Weaver Moss  

The Children, Youth & Family (CYF) Ministry at Grace has provided a haven of connectivity for my kids.  They have been involved since they were baptized, and they love having their own spiritual community at Grace! When the cathedral closed its doors temporarily during the pandemic, CYF offered us a lively and dynamic Sunday school by Zoom every single week!  Despite their physical distance from each other, the children of Grace were able to continue to learn and grow together, sing songs, and create art that reflected the lesson of the week.  During the Divine Creativity series, my kids have studied the Creation story through crafts delivered to us by CYF staff during the week and assembled by the children on Sundays — just amazing!  And, the transition from online learning back to in-person community worship with CYF has been full of joy and inclusivity.  We have noticed how diverse the families of Grace really are, and we always feel welcome here.   

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