Here is an article about the October 13 event, and here are a few pictures.
The increasingly ineffectual Times-Picayune was on hand, but who knows 1) if and when there will be an article in the paper, and 2) if anyone will be able to find it on their webpage? [Note: it actually did make the paper here].
My parishioner Nina Poche was the coordinator for the event (several of my parishioners are members of the Girl Scouts as well). Several representatives of the city of Gretna (namely mayor Ronnie Harris and councilmen Belinda Constant and Vincent Fox) were on hand and gave short speeches as a magnolia tree was planted in front of the soon-to-come Gretna Visitor's Center at Huey P. Long and 11th.
I was given the honor to open the event with a prayer, which went as follows:
The Lord be with you!
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Hear the Word of the Lord from Genesis 1:11-13:
And God said,“Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.”
Hear the Word of the Lord from Genesis 1:28-29, regarding mankind:
God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.”
Let us pray:
Lord God, Heavenly Father,
We give You thanks for the gift of creation, especially on this day for the blessing of trees given to us for food and for shelter. We give You thanks and praise that these Your creatures reproduce according to their kinds.
We confess that we brought sin into the world through misuse of a tree. We confess that we sometimes turn the creatures of nature into a false god. We also confess that we sometimes abuse or take for granted the created order You have provided - treating ourselves as gods instead of stewards.
We acknowledge that Your Son came into our world and died for our sins upon the wood of a slain tree. And in His name and by His authority, we appeal to You to bless these + trees and the + girls who plant them - in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
We implore You to bless our community, that we may be good stewards of Your creation even as we seek to be humble servants of our Creator. We offer these prayers, dear Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, for You live and reign with Him and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.