Summer is Over

August 12, 2016

Summer is over. It’s okay. Schools are preparing to open their doors for another year of learning as it ought to be. Everyone will squeak a little more summer out of the weekends or perhaps over the Labor Day holiday. And students of all ages have all kinds of things on their minds when it comes to returning to school after quite a bit of free time.

One way to help make the transition from summer vacation to the school routine and not freak out is to talk with students and listen to them. Find out what they are excited about and what they feel most anxious about as they enter a new grade, a different school or alternative program. Listen to what they have to say. Listen between the lines and with an open mind because this will validate their thoughts and feelings.

Catherine Inserra

Catherine Inserra

I talked with several young students this week. One 8th grader is eager to learn more about his teachers and get his class schedule. He is not concerned about girls. He appeared to be slightly excited, yet a bit of the same ole, same ole. Another 8th grade student agreed with the other student. When asked what makes them anxious, they ramble on about the amount of homework and tests.

Then I talked with two high school students who expressed great excitement at returning to school! They want to see their friends, meet their teachers and make sure they have the same lunch schedule. One of these girls could not wait to begin doing homework again! She wants to see her teachers from her first two years of high school because they are all part of her learning. This student hates (and yes, she uses this word!) summer because in her life there is absolutely no structure at home let alone a loving parent who expresses concern and compassion. For her, summer loomed large and scary. Now, it is the almost the day she has waited for—get back to school, so she can feel more of herself and at home.

Summer may just about be over. It’s okay. Many groups, churches, and organizations are striving to support students from new school supplies to tutors and enrolling children and youth in school with proper identification wherever they came from and not matter who they are. Together, they are all stronger! Pray for the children, schools, administrators, cafeteria workers, crossing guards, and bus drivers. It’s okay!!! (see prayer included here)


Hey, God! Let Us Pray, God!

How are your children today?
We come to You on our knees.
How are the children today?
Can you help us all to see?

To see their hurts and their hopes,
their awe and their anxiety,
their love and their loss,
and what about their hunger?

Hey, God. Let us pray, God.
We are on our knees.
Your children are yearning for Your love
and a place of belonging.

Hey, God, you want us to help them feel safe, right?
And to feed them? How about to sit with them, listen and pray?

Dear God, please guide your children who are despairing or destitute.
Lead them to the church, Your church, to receive support, love and mercy.
In your name, Jesus, we pray.

Hey, God, we hope in You and the One we call Jesus.
Call us to action. Empower us to serve.
Hey, God, we pray, God, in Jesus’ name.


Catherine Inserra
United Methodist Deaconess Candidate
Director of Christian Formation & Youth Ministry
Triinity UMC 
Wilmette, IL