The beautiful Hunter Valley is a great gift of God to all people, especially to those of us who live here. It is a fertile and joyful place where the goodness of God’s creation can be seen in vines and olives, rolling hills and green vistas. The land is precious to all who benefit from its bounty but it is also fragile and a limited resource on planet Earth.
The Blessing of the Land is a ceremony that invites all members of the local community to stop and celebrate our land with prayer and hope for the future.
The custom of Blessing the Land at Pokolbin was begun by a parishioner of the Church of the Holy Spirit at Kurri Kurri. Like other parishioners, ‘Scapular Bill’ Murphy attended the World Day of Prayer in 2010 and was moved by Isaiah’s words encouraging the faithful to shout from the mountain top, praising God for God’s creation and lamenting humanity’s destructive acts.
The first celebration in 2011 was planned as ‘Prayer on the Mountain’, but due to problems with accessibility, the Blessing of the Valley was adopted. In order to welcome all, our celebration became “The Blessing of the Land”, involving people from the Dioceses of Maitland-Newcastle, Broken Bay and Newcastle. The event echoes the spirit of the Tri-Diocesan Covenant enacted in 2008.
A Welcome to Country begins the celebration, and prayers of lament, thanksgiving and hope are woven together.
If you would like to sit side by side with new friends of diverse backgrounds and get to know those who appreciate the gifts of nature, join us.
If you would like to meet people who can tell you more about the Aboriginal custodianship of this part of New South Wales, join us.
If you care about our fragile Earth and its limited resources, and would like to talk to other like-minded people and to pray for our future, join us.
If you would like your children to understand more about the sacredness of their lives and their environment, join us.
Families will find fun activities and light refreshments. Please bring a plate to share, or bring a picnic basket, stay and relax, find again the green centre of your spirituality and if so moved, give glory to God.
This year’s Blessing of the Land will be held on Sunday 27 August at Pokolbin Community Hall, 128 McDonald’s Road, Pokolbin from noon. To learn more, please email Chris or call Chris 0434 332 217. All are welcome.