‘BACK to school with God’ is a new resource being promoted by the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, in association with Scripture Union which is being piloted in a number of churches this autumn, but which everyone is being encouraged to use.
Its aim is to focus the support and encouragement of the local church on everyone involved in any aspect of education whether it is the pupil nervous about starting back in September, the teacher planning for another term, the support staff making their preparations, the governor anxious about the budget or the family and friends of pupils trying to give them the help they need.
The resource has been developed in partnership with Scripture Union Scotland and involved a collaborative group including the Presbyterian Church’s boards of Education and youth and children’s ministry, the youth assembly SPUD and Scripture Union Northern Ireland.
It includes a variety of materials to help plan and run a special service including videos, illustrations and suggested praise and prayers that may be downloaded from www.suscotland.org.uk/pray/bsg.
“’Back to School with God’ is a fantastic way to pray for and support our young people and staff at the start of a new school year,” says Rev Colin McClure, convener of the Presbyterian Church’s board of education.
“It is an excellent bridge between church and school, and an encouragement to Christian pupils and staff to consider the fact that God is not confined to church, but goes with them to school.”
Among the aims of this special focus are to raise awareness of prayer for schools in general and the need for prayer for local schools in particular.
“It also hopes to provide support and give encouragement to Christian pupils and staff in their daily life at school, and as part of this, to let them know they are valued and prayed for by the local church. Finally it hopes to support any Christian witness in their school and to challenge Christian pupils and staff to live out their faith in the school environment.
“As a church we recognise the dedication of all of those people involved in education,” added Dr McClure. “This is a practical way we can let the pupils, parents, teachers, dinner ladies, classroom assistants, the governors, whoever is sitting in our pews and involved with education, know they have our support and that what they are doing matters to us, matters to us as a church and matters to God.”