Community Garden Interfaith Blessing


‘May This Olive Tree Represent Peace, Freedom And Happiness For All Who Come Here’.

On Saturday February 16th 2013, Frankston Interfaith Network (FIN) commemorated the opening of the ‘Joy of the Earth Community Garden’ at Joy Street Frankston with a tree planting and blessing. Clay decorations as symbols of harmony, peace and happiness were made to hang on the tree and members of FIN provided vegetarian burgers for the community for a welcome lunch.

There was a great feeling of being a part of such a joyful, uplifting community event where the locals in Frankston could come along and enjoy a day of fun, peace and laughter with each other.

As we gathered around the tree, Pam Engelander (FIN member) shared some of her thoughts and wishes for peace and harmony. Pam noted the spirit of cooperation and togetherness involved in creating and working in a communal garden is very much like that of creating an interfaith community, “At our interfaith gatherings we experience a recognition in each other that no matter who we are and no matter what our beliefs or the path we tread, all of us have a desire for the same basic things; peace, happiness and a sense of well-being”. 

Pam shared a Michael Leunig prayer before inviting us all to pick up some soil and place it around the roots of the tree with our blessings:

God help us
To rise up from our struggle.
Like a tree rises up from the soil.
Our roots reaching down to our trouble,
Our rich, dark dirt of existence.
Finding nourishment deeply
And holding us firmly.
Always connected.
Growing upwards and into the sun.

      From the book, The Prayer Tree by Michael Leunig

Antionette Bonn, who runs workshops in clay making, was there to guide us through her amazing creative process of using clay to craft our own individual tree decorations as symbols of harmony, peace and happiness.  Antoinette was marvellous in encouraging us all to reach deep inside and create something of ourselves with the clay which were to be hung on the olive tree or placed in the ground around the tree to carry our sacred intentions for adding peace and harmony to our world.

Antionette was happy to contribute to the day helping us craft the sticky clay from the earth into our own individual masterpieces and summed it up so beautifully with,   “The Olive tree is a symbol of peace, wisdom, hope, light, fertility, health and balance.... what a magical tree this is.  All these wonderful gifts this Olive Tree gives to us”.