Dedicating a New School Year
As Christians we
are able to express our love of God by teaching others.
Christian teaching is modeled on Jesus the Teacher. Even as a
child, Jesus taught in the temple. At the age of 30, Jesus
began his public life as Teacher. The Gospels describe His
style as Teacher.
1 - He taught with authority
2 - “Jesus had now finished what he wanted to say, and his
teaching made a deep impression on the people because he taught
them with authority.” (Matt
1 - Jesus taught through storytelling
2 - “The people all stood on the beach and he told them many
things in parables.” (Matt
1 - Jesus sought out how people were feeling
2 - “He said to them: ‘What matters are you discussing
as you walk along?” (Luke
1 - Jesus wished to empower people to go out in their newly
2 - “Go home to your people and tell them what the Lord in
his mercy has done for you.”
1 - Jesus taught with signs to authenticate his teachings
2 - “He went round the whole of Galilee teaching in their
synagogues proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom, and curing
all kinds of diseases and sickness among the people.”
1 - Jesus taught as a person in service to others
2 - “And anyone who wants to be first among you must be your
slave just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.”
1 - Jesus took time away in solitude to reflect and pray before
2 - “In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the
house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there.”
1 - Jesus was engaged in confrontation when necessary
2 - “Alas for you scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You
who shut up the Kingdom of heaven in men’s faces, neither going
in yourselves nor allowing others to go in who want to.”
1 - Jesus taught with love
2 - “This is my commandment, love one another as I have loved
you. There is no greater love than this - to lay down your life
for your friends.” (John
1 - Jesus taught with his lifestyle, not just his words
2 - “Can any of you convict me of sin?”
1 - Jesus was a shepherd to the people he taught
2 - “I am the good shepherd, I know my own and my own know
me.” (John 10:14)
A new school year
has begun, both here in our Sunday School program, and out in
the schools – both public and private – that our young people
attend. Along the way of this fresh start, it’s fitting that we
dedicate those who teach and those who learn – dedicating,
consecrating, “anointing” them, if you will, to the task to
which they have been called.
At this time,
would every teacher in this room, whether you teach in the
school system (public or private), or are a Sunday School
teacher here, to come forward and stand in front of the lectern
to my right. I also invite all our children and youth to come
forward and stand in front of the pulpit to my left.
First, let us
bless our teachers. I need two youth to read some “Beatitudes
for Teachers” Volunteers? (hand
them the sheets). The rest of you young people, would you
encircle these teachers, holding hands with one another. You are
blessing them on behalf of this congregation. Go ahead.
Beatitudes for Teachers:
1 - Blessed are you who are called to
2 - for you walk in the footsteps of faith.
1 - Blessed are you who sow peace and
harmony in the classroom,
2 - for yours will be the joy of God.
1 - Blessed are you who plant seeds of hope
in youthful hearts,
2 - for you will inherit the dawn.
1 - Blessed are you who are sensitive to
the cries of youth today,
2 - for your loving concern nurtures hope.
You of younger
years, would you now stand all together. Let us now bless our
leaners. I need two teachers to read some “Beatitudes for
Learners” Volunteers? (hand them
the sheets). The rest of you teachers, would you encircle
these students, placing your hands on the shoulder of two of
them. We are all learners, not just these children and youth who
are up front. This blessing is for us all. Go ahead.
Beatitudes for Learners:
1 - Blessed are you who are called to
2 - for you are God’s children.
1 - Blessed are you when you share your
thoughts and feelings with others,
2 - for your trust teaches and encourages.
1 - Blessed are you when you grapple with
new ideas and possibilities,
2 - for you will surely find Christ and
1 - Blessed are you who inspire and
2 - for you will shine like stars in the
Pray with me.
Wise Owl God,
you see beyond us into the depths of our faith
and lead us, teachers and learners all,
into the wonderful mystery of your love.
As leaves on the trees and daily temperatures both begin to
we celebrate the beginning of a new school year.
Guide us, we pray, on an adventure of hope, and
help us use the arts of teaching and learning
in the service of your justice and peace.
As we commission our teachers and students today,
help us recall and give thanks for the spiritual teachers in our
who practiced such care with our minds and our souls.
In the name of Jesus, our Teacher, we pray: Amen.
first paragraph and scripture selections were written/drawn
St. Mary’s College, Broome, Western Australia.
The Beatitudes for Teachers and Learners were adapted
from this same source,
and, along with the dedication prayer were written by
Rev. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi, Minority Student Life Specialist
at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO.
Worship Ways: Worship Resources for the United Church of Christ
The rest of the material tying it together came from Pete