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Curing back-to-school blues

Local churches offer school supplies, prayers and blessings to help kids get the school year off to

Posted: August 2, 2013 10:24 p.m.
Updated: August 2, 2013 10:24 p.m.

Thousands of Santa Clarita area children will return to school in the next few weeks, and many do not look forward to going back-to-school after a fun summer vacation. Local area churches are hosting events hoping to make the transition a much easier one for many kids.

Some offer free backpacks and school supplies, and others offer a unique back-to-school blessing to help ease the anxiety of returning to school.

School Supplies and Prayer

The Church On The Way Santa Clarita hopes to bless children in the community by offering free backpacks and school supplies. The church is hosting a back-to-school event Sunday afternoon from 3–5 p.m. at Newhall Park. The event will offer free backpacks and school supplies to families in need.

A similar event was held in 2011 that provided school supplies to 250 families in need. The church is growing the event by offering supplies to 500 children who attend Sunday’s event. The event is open to everyone in the community and will feature a bounce house for little ones to play.

“We want to get out there and get the supplies to the people who could really use them right now,” said Christa Andersen, associate pastor and event coordinator. “We want to be a part of the community by serving people in areas of need. Everyone has a need to provide for their kids as they head back to school.”

The church also offers a unique option at the event, a prayer tent. Event attendees are welcomed to come to the tent after they receive their supplies if they have a prayer request or would like to be prayed for. The prayer tent is an optional part of the event and open to anyone who is seeking prayer.

“We believe in prayer and its ability to change our lives,” Andersen said. “We want people to know we are happy to pray for them, no matter how simple or complex the request. We hope it brings them a sense of God’s presence and peace.”

Giving Back

Real Life Church is hosting the Savia Community Expo at the Savia campus in Newhall. The church is kicking off the launch of the Vida Real Spanish language ministry by offering backpacks and school supplies to 1,000 children in the community who might need assistance with school items.

“The idea came from Vida Real as a way to give back to their community and help families who have a need,” said Mark Mears, director of communications for Real Life Church. “It’s another way for us to show God’s love in a practical way.”

The event will be held today from 1 p.m.–4 p.m. at the Savia location in Newhall. It will also feature craft vendors from the community, the grand opening of Artisan Java and Juice, live music and a short program featuring the Mayor of Santa Clarita, Bob Kellar.

Back-to-School Prayers

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church hopes to help ease children’s back-to-school blues by holding their annual “Blessing of the Backpacks.” The event invites children, teachers, administrators, college students and anyone going back to school to come and receive a blessing before beginning the school year.

“This is a fun time to get together before school starts,” said Rev. Kelly O’Connell, rector of St. Stephen’s. “We just want to offer students and teachers a blessing for a good school year.”

The event will take place August 10 at 5:30 p.m. It is open to the community and will begin with a short service held in the sanctuary. Attendees will be welcomed with their backpacks, school supplies, lunch boxes and other back-to-school items for a prayer and blessing. A barbecue dinner will be offered following the service.

“Going back to school can be challenging,” said Rev. Kelly O’Connell. “We want to remind students, the church community prays for them and will continue to pray for them all year.”


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