Dear Friends, 

This coming Sunday, and two Sundays after that (October 4), we will be celebrating two of the All Saints’ “high holy days”—the Backpack Blessing and the Pet Blessing. You may be asking, “but how is this possible if we aren’t all together, in person? It won’t be the same without having someone throwing water all over me and watching everyone else be blessed with water…what about the laughter?”  

As with so many other things this year, these “Blessings” will not be the same as in years past, but I think they are needed this year more than ever. According to The Episcopal Church, a blessing is “a pronouncement of God’s love and favor, addressed to one or more persons.” The movement from summer to fall—from “vacation” to work and school—these changes offer us an invitation to mark and claim this time as holy. Let there be no mistake, this time is difficult and uncertain, but these blessings offer a moment to remind us of the love and favor God has for us—blessings we most certainly need.  

Even though we won’t all be together, these blessings can, and will, most certainly take place. BUT we need your help! In preparation for these services (9/20 and 10/4), please have the following items / creatures available:   A bowl of water A sprig of a branch, or something that can be used to throw the water Items to bless (backpacks, laptops, Chromebooks, briefcases, home desks, pets (on 10/4), and most importantly, you and your loved ones!!!)   In each of the services, there will be a specific time to bless the water and then use that water to bless the items you wish to bless—to pronounce God’s love and favor on whatever the water touches. These items (laptops, etc.), and especially our pets and each other, help us serve God and do God’s work—they deserve to be blessed!  

I pray these will be special moments for you. They will not be the same as being together in our sanctuary space, but because we will be together as a church (even virtually) the pronouncement will be just as valid and meaningful. We are loved and favored by God, and any time we are reminded of that is a cause for celebration—even laughter.  

With blessings,  

The Rev. Andrew Rutledge