New School Year Blessings

We stand at the threshold of the year…
some of us stand solidly on two feet, ready to take a bold step forward.
Some of us are more tentative–
we have one foot still lingering in the summer break,
reluctant to put that foot forward in the new season.
We’ve come today and we’ve reconnected with our colleagues,
we have imagined ourselves into the new school year.
And so I offer a blessing for the school year–ten blessings.
Can you count with your fingers, as I name these blessings for the school year?
This is a type of prayer, an open-eyed prayer:
we look through our fingers at our friends and colleagues
who count the blessings with us one by one.

Thank you for the blessing of life and breath
that we are alive now to have this experience.

Thank you for the blessing of meaningful work,
and a beautiful campus on which to do it.

Thank you for the blessing of a peaceful country
where we are not at war.

Thank you for the blessing of compassion
that you give us for our students and each other.

Thank you for the blessing of education
and how it can transform us all.

Thank you for the blessing of hope
in a world that needs hope.

Thank you for the blessing of wisdom
which we will draw on in complicated dilemmas.

Thank you for the blessing of humour
which lightens our way.

Thank you for the blessing of community;
we do not carry our burdens alone.

Thank you for the blessing of joy
which will spring up in unexpected places this year.

Hands full of blessings,
we stand together
ready to meet the year.  Amen.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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