Happy Birthday Tucson! 1

Tucson will celebrate its 247th birthday on Saturday, August 20th! I have had the privilege to live, work, and minister in this area for over 30 years and have come to love Tucson and the surrounding communities. It has been my calling to make a positive difference in this community.

I enjoy learning about the history of Tucson. The following is a brief historical overview of Tucson that can be found in Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Tucson,_Arizona) which was written by contributors from the Mission Garden organization, Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace:

The history of Tucson, Arizona began thousands of years ago. Paleo-Indians practiced plant husbandry and hunted game in the Santa Cruz River Valley from 10,000 or earlier BCE. Archaic peoples began making irrigation canals, some of the first in North America, around 1,200 BCE. The Hohokam people lived in the Tucson area from around 450–1450 CE in a complex agricultural society. ("Timeline" www.tucsonsbirthplace.org. Retrieved 2018-11-16)

Jesuit missionary Eusebio Francisco Kino founded the Mission San Xavier del Bac in 1700. Through the 1700s, Spanish missionaries tried to get the Native Americans to convert to Catholicism and a Spanish lifestyle. The Spanish built a fort at Tubac in 1751. It was moved to Tucson in 1775 where Hugo O'Conor, an Irishman working for the Spanish crown, officially founded Presidio San Augustin del Tucson. ("History of Tucson". SouthernArizonaGuide.com. 2018-04-17. Retrieved 2018-11-16.)

… In 1821, Tucson becomes part of the new state of Sonora in Mexico, who had won independence from Spain. In 1854, Tucson, along with much of the surrounding area, was purchased from Mexico by the United States in the Gadsden Purchase and was made part of the New Mexico Territory. President Lincoln created the Arizona Territory in 1863, and Tucson was named the capitol from 1867 to 1877. On February 14, 1912, Arizona became the 48th state in the United States.”

According to the census data, the Tucson Metropolitan Statistical Area Population (2020) has grown significantly over the past 247 years and has become home to 1,043,433 people. Even with such significant growth, I know that there is so much good about our community. Many are drawn to the Old Pueblo. From our dark, starry skies, to the majestic mountains and colorful desert below, people are drawn to the uniqueness of the Tucson valley. Our city has become a diverse and vibrant community, bringing together cultures, both old and new.

The beauty of the Old Pueblo is that we carry our history forward. Managing a city of this size comes with opportunities and challenges. There are competing ideas for how to best embrace growth while retaining Tucson’s uniqueness. 4Tucson is a nonprofit organization created to offer a biblical perspective when addressing city issues. We believe that the Bible offers sustainable solutions that, when followed, actually bless Tucson citizens and builds a community where all generations can thrive and flourish.

On this historical occasion we want to offer a prayer of blessing for our city and the surrounding metro area.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for our city. We seek the peace and prosperity of Tucson, the place we call home. We pray to the LORD for our city, because we know if it prospers, we too will prosper with it.

May our citizens experience Your grace and mercy. May our families thrive and prosper in equal proportion to our souls prospering. May our citizens thrive and flourish as we align ourselves with Your ways. May Your will be done in Tucson as it is in heaven.

In Jesus name we seek your blessing on our city. AMEN

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