“It’s going to be a really good day,” Amy Wilson Feltz predicted as she ended a brief service before the work began.

Saturday, April 20, marked the seventh year for the spring planting of seeds in the Aldersgate United Methodist Church’s community garden, located on the corner of S. 19th and Amarillo streets.

It was also Holy Saturday, the day between Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified, and Easter Sunday, the day he rose to new life. Likewise, the seeds planted on Saturday will blossom into new life.

Before the planting began, Wilson Feltz led a brief service, ending with the traditional prayer, “Blessing of the Land,” from Common Prayer, published by Zondervan.

A sizeable group from Aldersgate turned out on the picture-perfect morning to dig weeds, till the garden, plant seeds in the newly turned earth or in one of the seven keyhole gardens, and to enjoy an abundance of fruit and pastries.

“We’re glad you’re here,” Wilson Feltz said. “We need all your hands.”

Little Quinn Rogers, top left, appears to be saluting, with his gardening gloves and Texas Tech cap, as work begins on the community garden sponsored by Aldersgate United Methodist Church. A large group of willing workers turned out Saturday morning, April 20, to dig, till, and plant. Photos by Loretta Fulton

Blessing of The Land (at Planting or Harvest)

God of the Universe,
You made the heavens and the earth,
So we do not call our home merely “planet earth.”
We call it your Creation, a Divine Mystery,
a Gift from Your Most Blessed Hand.
The world itself is your miracle.
Bread and vegetables from earth are thus also from heaven.
Help us to see in our daily bread your presence.

Upon this garden
May your stars rain down their blessed dust.
May you send rain and sunshine upon our garden and us.
Grant us the humility to touch the humus,
That we might become more human.
That we might mend our rift from your Creation,
That we might then know the sacredness of the gift of life—
That we might truly experience life from the hand of God.
For you planted humanity in a garden,
and began our resurrection in a garden.
Our blessed memory and hope lie in a garden.

Thanks be to God,
Who made the world teeming with variety,
Of things on the earth, above, the earth, and under the earth.
Thanks be to God,
For the many kinds of plants, trees, and fruits,
We celebrate.
For the centipedes, ants, and worms,
For the mice, marmots, and bats,
For the cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers
We rejoice,
That we find ourselves eclipsed by the magnitude
Of generosity and mystery.
Thanks be to God.
(From Common Prayer, published by Zondervan)

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