Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Commandments Hike

A rainy, but reverent Ten Commandments Hike

When things go awry, they often really do unravel. Despite months of careful planning, dawn arrived on the day after Thanksgiving yesterday amid threatening skies and a slight sprinkling of rain. It was the day of the Ten Commandments Hike, an annual interfaith six-mile event sponsored by the Southeast Louisiana Council that promotes religious tolerance and understanding. For eight different stops for the Cub Scouts and the full ten for the older Boy Scouts and adults, participants hike along beautiful picturesque Carrollton and St. Charles Avenues, hearing from religious leaders, each assigned a different Commandment. While intermittent sprinkling rain persisted during the morning, participants arrived at the first stop, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, geared up for a great day. However, the skies began to open up as the participants headed for the second stop just two blocks away at Mater Delorosa Church, the first of two Catholic stops. Arriving at the front steps, we found the doors barred and no one around to open the facility, much less to deliver a talk to the Scouts. Using the Scout's motto ("be prepared"), the hikers were urged to move on and they did so.They found the next stop, Holy Name of Jesus open, but the featured speaker - a retired Jesuit priest - was also missing in action. The good news was that a good Catholic Scouter was able to fill in an provide a talk on that Commandment, "Thou shalt not murder" with a little prodding from yours truly. (It is important to note that, while he felt inclined otherwise, he did not, in fact, murder me.) Meanwhile, the rain persisted, but did not dampen the spirits of the Scouts, their parents and friends. The rain ended after 3:00 p.m. for the most part, which was when the winds picked up to chill us through our bones. The final portion of the hike ended about 4:30 p.m. and the contingent took a streetcar back to the starting point, arriving at 5:20 p.m. Despite the adversities of weather, nearly all of the participants had a great time and are looking forward to more of the same next year when, hopefully, we will be blessed with better weather.

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