by the Rev. Charlie Dupree

It’s happening, again!  

I’m seeing pictures on social media of kids returning to school . . . . first day of first grade! . . . high school! . . . . can you believe they’re a senior!  

How exciting, but also a little scary.

Beginnings are a chance for new, fresh starts. I remember thinking as a kid that if I just bought the perfect outfit for the first day of school, my social (and academic) success would be guaranteed. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned that, as much as I hate to admit it, the perfect outfit doesn’t truly guarantee much of anything. I also know that new beginnings can be scary. New beginnings are a mix of excitement, fear, and opportunity. And, we know that Jesus knew a thing or two about new beginnings.

In fact, they were – and are – his specialty.

• He calls a few tax collectors into a new life.  

• I imagine that those who heard Him talk about the poor and the humble being

blessed – I imagine those people felt like they had permission to start anew.  

• Whenever Jesus got into the boat on the Sea of Galilee and crossed to the other

side, this was about more than crossing a lake – it was about changing


• And, or course, the new beginning of all new beginnings is called the


Today, my mind is fixed on all of those parents whose children are looking at beginnings. I pray your children know how brave they are. And, parents, I hope you know and feel how brave you are, too.

These prayers might be helpful . . .

46. For the Care of Children (BCP p. 829)

Almighty God, heavenly Father, you have blessed us with the

joy and care of children: Give us calm strength and patient

wisdom as we bring them up, that we may teach them to love

whatever is just and true and good, following the example of

our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen

31. For Schools and Colleges (BCP p. 824)

O Eternal God, bless all schools, colleges, and universities

[and especially ___________], that they may be lively centers for

sound learning, new discovery, and the pursuit of wisdom;

and grant that those who teach and those who learn may find

you to be the source of all truth; through Jesus Christ our

Lord. Amen.

I’m also excited about the many new beginnings ahead for St. Paul’s. Soon, the Fall/Winter schedule of ministries and activities will arrive in your mailboxes. See below for an initial glimpse of important dates to put on your calendar.

See you in church,

Charlie+ (he/him)