Chelsea church blesses backpacks

Around 50 students from area schools enjoy music by the New Heights Methodist Church worship band at the “Blessing the Backpacks” service sponsored by New Heights Methodist Church at Chelsea Park Elementary School where the church meets for services.

Close to 50 students lined the front of the stage at a recent New Heights Methodist Church service, with backpacks in their hands or on their backs, for a special “Blessing the Backpacks” ceremony.

“Blessing a backpack is a practical way to pray for our kids,” Pastor Keith Beatty said. “And for them to have that tangible reminder of our prayers and love for them strapped to their backs every school day.”

Children’s Leader Michele Beatty coordinated the event and welcomed the crowd of around 150 people. Chelsea Mayor Earl Niven spoke briefly, presented a short video and led a prayer for students, teachers and other workers during the new school year.

A display of school supplies, for students at King’s Ranch, which the congregation had been collecting as a community outreach, was set up and people added to these as they came in for the service.

According to Pastor Beatty, 20 schools, colleges and universities were represented at the ceremony held at Chelsea Park Elementary School on Aug. 8.

Schools were Chelsea Park Elementary, Chelsea Intermediate, Chelsea Middle, Chelsea High, Westminister School at Oak Mountain, Oak Mountain Elementary, Trace Crossings Elementary, Childersburg Middle, Wilsonville Elementary, Shelby County High, Shelby County Middle, Shelby Elementary, Special Services at Shelby County Schools, Clay Middle and Jefferson County International Baccaualreate.

Colleges and universities were Auburn University, Huntington College, Troy University and Asbury Theological Seminary.

During the week school began, special prayer for students and faculty was also offered at other churches in the area, including Liberty Baptist, Chelsea Community and Morningstar Methodist.

“I think prayer for our schools, students, parents, teachers, administrators, bus drivers, etc. is key to a successful school, year,” Beatty said.

“Our hope is that through the (Chelsea) column people will learn to support, pray and work with our schools so they continue to be strong, positive influences in our community.”

Shelba Nivens can be reached by e-mail at ssnivens@bellsouth.net.