As many area schools were starting their fall semester in one way or another, Mary Agnew of Trinity UMC in McMurray was thinking about teachers she knows.
"I don't think any one of them is going back to school as it was last March," she wrote in an email to me and others who are part of Trinity's email prayer chain this week. "Besides having to change their style of teaching, many have to worry about working out schedules for their own children. There is such a variety of ways to have 'school' - all online, hybrid, all on site, and some combinations I never heard of. I thought it would be a good idea to name each teacher and ask for prayers for them."
Developing a list of teachers proved a bit of a challenge.
"The first teacher that I thought of was Jesus, then I thought of Susanna Wesley. Then, I started to think about all of the teachers and aides and administrators we have as part of our congregation," Mary said. "I knew I would forget someone. So, I'm asking you to pray for those going back to school as a whole, and for you to name each teacher, aide, monitor, volunteer, and other workers in the schools that you know."
This seems to me to be an idea worth sharing. Join us in prayer and expand the prayer chain for educators facing new challenges. Pray, too, for the parents who have been cast into the role of teacher -- and for the children and youth as they begin the school year under circumstances more challenging than usual.
Mary offered the prayer below for those who want to use it:
Dear God, we pray for all of our teachers and all workers in our schools, including (name the ones you know).
Fill them with your strength. Fill them with your peace.
We thank them for the way they give themselves each day, serving and guiding the next generation of this land.
Bless their dreams and lives, in Jesus' name. Amen.