- Reflection: A Love Like That
- Sine Die in Maryland
- One Water Partnership Spiritually Led Nature Walks in the Jones Falls
- Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program
- Vacation Bible School Program on Water - Prince George's County
- Project Clean Stream
- 29th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup
- Celebrating Where We Pray and Play
- Baltimore's Clean Drain Campaign
- Exploration Charters in Upper Bay
- Spring Plantings Available for Prince George's County congregations
- Plant Trees to Celebrate Earth Day
- Trees for Sacred Places in Howard County and the Eastern Shore
- People's Climate March
- Chesapeake Bay Trust Grants for Gaithersburg
- Anne Arundel Interfaith Care for Our Sacred Waters Event
- Upcoming Events
- Volunteer & In-Kind Needs
A Love Like That
I’ve always loved this poem on the right. It reminds me that I’m always loved by my God, in spite of my imperfections. This lent, I haven’t done so great a job with my self-improvement…I didn’t get to the gym like I had hoped and I failed to limit my intake of depressing news. Sigh… But, the sun still rises, Easter hope still abounds, and I am still an imperfect being striving to walk right with my Lord…and my Lord never says I owe Him anything.
That’s also how it goes with working for environmental justice and restoration. You may feel like you’re doing the same thing every day…you’re saying the same things to your church leaders, organizing repeating meetings, every Earth Day you try to find a speaker to deliver the same message of stewardship. Maybe you’re not really sure if it’s making a difference. Do you feel like a light that keeps shining every day and no one is saying thank you, and no one is returning the favor?
You are not alone. There are thousands of others throughout Maryland who are walking the same journey with you. Collectively, you all are lights that shine every day…and look at what happens with a love like that: 13,000 trees planted, thousands of faithful exposed to new ways of living sustainably in the Chesapeake Watershed, 1.5 million square feet of parking lot/roof stormwater reduced.
I am not alone either. I am blessed to be working with a deeply dedicated Board of Trustees who take on significant responsibilities in undergirding this organization. It is only through a strong Board that our organization can carry out its mission, and we are so grateful for the commitment of two new board members, Bill Halpern, and Jeanne McCann.
"I have always believed there are uncountable ways to express ones reverence for the world we inhabit and to voice our desire to protect and preserve God’s creation. My personal journey to a seat on the IPC Board has been a circuitous one. It was a career mostly spent in the private sector working for an old-line fossil fuel company. But it also presented me with the opportunity to make real a sacred voice through projects in my congregation such as installation of solar panels and restoration of lost wildlife habitats. I am especially honored at this difficult time to be able to bring that energy and focus in support of IPC’s mission." --Bill Halpern
“At the age of 13, I participated in the first Earth Day in 1970 and have been involved both personally and professionally in earth-protecting efforts ever since. In my professional life, I help organizations dedicated to improving Maryland waterways and protecting public health. As a leader of greening efforts in my church, I have witnessed the power of faith communities to effect on-the-ground change. There is nothing more important to me than caring for our beautiful planet. Our deepest need is to connect with each other, the natural world and our Creator. IPC shows us how to make that happen.” –Jeanne McCann
Each of us plays a role in this great work of restoring the life-giving waters of the Chesapeake region. Board members, volunteers, staff, and faith leaders alike…all showing our light each day for others to grow in. And none of us saying to one another “You owe me.”
Let’s keep at this without losing hope…and we will see what we can do with a love like that.
Sine Die in Maryland
Today is Sine Die in the Maryland Legislature, aka the last day of session. Stay tuned for our next newsletter where we'll give you a final summary of how our priority bills landed this session.
If you would like to sign up for our weekly action alerts, please click on our volunteer signup page and select "Advocacy Work".
To see the details about where to park, the hike routes and to pre-register check out our web page HERE. Click HERE for a promotional flyer that you can share. CLICK HERE for a full detailed brochure about the program. To find out if your congregation is in the Jones Falls or for more information email Bonnie Sorak or call her at 443-799-0349.
Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program (ACP) Workshops
Sign up NOW for our next ACP Workshop on May 10th! Prince George's County congregations can learn how to save money through the Alternative Compliance Program Options 2 & 3. Sign-up HERE for the workshop and download and share the flyer HERE. This program is offered by IPC and our partner the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.
Congratulations to our Vacation Bible School/Sunday School Training Participants in Prince George's County
Still two openings available! Members of the participating congregations experienced "The Voice of God in Nature" (photo left) during Session 3 of IPC's Vacation Bible School program "God's Water Heroes": St. Stephen's Baptist Church, Mt. Ennon Baptist Church, Fort Washington Baptist Church, Walker Mill Baptist Church, Jerusalem AME, Richie Baptist Church, Union Bethel AME, and First Baptist Church of North Brentwood. And we are grateful that Mt. Ennon Baptist Church has graciously agreed to host the Training sessions.
This is a FREE training and curriculum for a Vacation Bible School (VBS) or Sunday School program offered to churches in Prince George's County, through a grant provided by Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Prince George's County Department of Environment. Our program offers, for free:
- pre-printed banner to hang outside and advertise your program
- one-on-one support for your team to help you succeed in putting on the program for your youth
Participating congregations will receive a 25% discount off their Clean Water Fee since this satisfies the Alternative Compliance Program's Option 2 educational requirement. Email Bonnie Sorak to reserve your spot today!
Click HERE to register for the workshops.
Hurry! Baltimore City Residents Need to Take Your Pledge by April 16th in Baltimore's
Clean Drain Campaign: Prevent Clogged Pipes and Help the Hungry
Click HERE to link to the website to take the pledge and to learn more.
Here is a way for Baltimore City residents and congregations to help protect Creation AND help the less fortunate. All it takes is a couple of clicks on your phone or computer - - and the resolve to dispose of your fats, oils and grease (and wet wipes) into the trash instead of down the drain. Thanks to our friends at St. Vincent dePaul’s Catholic Church, Knox Presbyterian Church, New Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church, and Rehobeth Church & Ministries for helping to get the word out. Click HERE for DPW’s press release. You will get to designate which food pantry you would like a donation to be made to at no cost to you (thanks to our generous sponsors). Click HERE for a downloadable flyer that you can share or print out and bring to your church, work or school. Click HERE for sample church bulletin announcement and pulpit message. Click HERE for sample Facebook posts or follow #CleanDrainCampaign on Twitter so that you can let people know how they can help too. Please feel free to contact Bonnie Sorak or 443-799-0349 if you have any questions.
Project Clean Stream
Join the largest annual volunteer cleanup event in the Chesapeake Bay region! Every spring, tens of thousands of volunteers come together to clean up local streams and neighborhoods as part of the Alliance for Chesapeake Bay's Project Clean Stream. Cleanups take place across the entire Chesapeake watershed, in all 6 Bay states and DC. Cleanups will take place all spring, from March 1 to June 9. If you would like to register a cleanup or volunteer at one, please click HERE to visit their website.
Earth Day Restoration of Historic AME Church
With a grant awarded from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, Earth Stewardship East is working to complete a major storm water management, native plant landscaping and public education project on the Historic Pleasant View Site (11810 Darnestown Rd, Gaithersburg). The project is expected to be completed in 2018, marking the 150th anniversary of the purchase of the property by freed slaves. Click HERE for more information on the project
Plants and supplies will be provided but volunteers are needed, The first big work day is scheduled for Saturday, April 22, 9AM-1PM. There will also be a youth volunteer day (for middle and high school students) on Saturday, April 29, 9AM-1PM. To volunteer please contact Merikay Smith.
Celebrating Where We Pray and Play
God's great creation is made for each of us. We can learn about our creator while we enjoy healthy recreation and the beauty of the outdoors--especially in our nation's national parks and public lands. From neighborhood parks to national parks and monuments, there are numerous opportunities to get outside and enjoy God's creation.
This spring, to celebrate our national parks and public lands, the National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE) is challenging the religious community to conduct 100 sermons and prayers for our public lands. Sermons and prayers can be short or long, held indoors or out, delivered to an audience of adults or children but should focus on protecting our national parks and public lands.
Sign up by May 15, 2017. Additional information and resources can be found on their website.
FREE Trees and Program Available for Prince George's County Congregations
Would you like to beautify your grounds and leave a legacy to future generations of your faith community? Want to save money on your stormwater fee charged by the County? Wish to engage youth and adults in a community building activity that expresses your care for God's Creation? Does your congregation have room for 30 trees? Are you excited to hear about this free program, Trees for Sacred Places, that offers all of these benefits along with a spiritual workshop offering your faith tradition's teachings on stewardship of the earth and waters?
We are still looking for several congregations, retreat centers or religious schools located in Prince Georges's County. You can learn more about the program on our webpage HERE.
Interested? Contact Bonnie Sorak.
View and download Prince George's Flyer HERE.
Plant Trees to Celebrate Earth Day!
IPC, the Baltimore Presbytery and Blue Water Baltimore will be working together on a tree planting at Knox Presbyterian Church on Sat. April 22nd beginning at 9:30AM. All are welcome to come help increase the tree canopy and beautify the neighborhood. Lunch is provided so PLEASE RSVP. Click HERE to view the flyer.
Looking for a faith-based activity for Earth month? Check this out!
Several activities are listed HERE, plus Presbyterian churches who have their own activities planned can add them to the calendar for others to see. Several of these activities are being facilitated by IPC such as the tree planting at Knox Presbyterian and upcoming plans to install a bio-retention project at Govans. Put on your work gloves and join others in action this month!
Let There Be Light (Bulb Exchange)
Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection’s Residential Energy program is looking for congregations to partner with this Spring. In honor of the change of season, they are planning to do a lightbulb exchange and need your help.
During the Spring, they would like to partner with your congregation to provide members with LED lightbulbs. Whether it’s a collection after service or inclusion in a Spring community event, they will bring an informational table and giveaways for your members. For each incandescent/CFL lightbulb that your members bring in, they will receive a LED at no cost. Pepco and Potomac Edison have graciously supplied up to three lightbulbs for each congregation member who exchanges their lightbulbs. Please email Jodi@interfaithchesapeake.org if you are interested.
Do you live in Howard County or on the Eastern Shore? We’re coming to you!
Building on our success working with congregations in Montgomery and Prince George's counties, IPC and the Alliance for the Chesapeake will be expanding the Trees for Sacred Places Project into Howard County and the Eastern Shore. Interested in learning more? Please contact Anna Awimbo.
People's Climate March
Looking to take a bus to the People’s Climate March in Washington, DC on Saturday, April 29th? Have a group from your congregation that would like to travel together? Our friends at Interfaith Power and Light and the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club are coordinating buses from different Baltimore locations. To find one close to you click HERE.
Host Congregations Needed for People's Climate March
Host congregations needed for housing large groups of out of town marchers coming to DC for the People's Climate March. Specifically, multiple buses coming from Minnesota and from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. Most groups will need to stay two nights. Shower facilities are welcome, but not necessary for every group. Information about the People's Climate March hospitality system can be found HERE. If your congregation can help please complete this FORM as soon as possible. More information on the faith organizing for the march, including associated faith events, can be found at faith.peoplesclimate.org.
Anne Arundel Interfaith Event: "Care for Our Sacred Waters" & BBQ
RiverWise Master Watershed Stewards are organizing an afternoon of education, action, and fellowship with BBQ Potluck dinner at the Makkah Learning Center in Gabrills, MD on May 13, 2-5PM. Makkah Learning Center is the location of a Muslim community planning to install watershed projects on it's grounds to reduce it's stormwater problems. The program will include activities for children and presentations for adults on watershed literacy, care for Creation faith teachings and panel presentations with stories from congregations that have successfully addressed their problems with flooding, mold, water blocking entrances, while reducing the pollution heading downstream into the Chesapeake Bay!
This will be a wonderful opportunity for people of different faiths to learn from one another and affirm our common calling to stewardship of sacred waters. Here's a flyer about the event. For more information please contact: Ammar Hanif or Martha Scott. More details to come!
Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities
- April 21 Film and discussion "This Changes Everything" Maryland Presbyterian Church, Towson. 7:30PM film, 9PM panel discussion. More info HERE.
- April 22 Greenscape Day at St. Luke's Eastport to spruce up Back Creek Watershed. Click HERE for additional info.
- April 22 Pleasant View Project work day, 9AM-1PM, Gaithersburg. Volunteers needed. Click HERE for more info.
- April 22 500 Trees Project: Tree Planting, Spiritual Workshop, and trees give away celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. At Grace Lutheran Church, 8601 Valleyfield Road, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093. For more info. contact PastorSvensson@gmail.com.
- April 22 Celebrate Earth Day: Clean Up and Tree Planting. 10AM-1PM, Knox Presbyterian Church, 1300 N Eden St., Baltimore. Contact Adrienne at 410-746-3010 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Click HERE to view the flyer.
- April 22 Presbytery of Baltimore hosts potluck supper & ecumenical forum "Faith and Environment--Creation Care and Earth Advocacy". 5PM potluck (please bring a favorite potluck dish to share, beverages will be provided), forum begins at 6PM in the fellowship hall. RSVP by April 20 to Fawn Palmer or 443-910-8468. View details HERE.
- April 23 Cistern Workshop, 10-11am at Greenbelt Community Church, 1 Hillside Rd, Greenbelt, MD 20770. IPC and Anacostia Riverkeeper presenters.
- April 25 Blue Planet Forum: Exploring the Bay and Beyond, 7-8:30PM. Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA). Click HERE for more info.
- April 26-27 Jewish Environmental Advocacy Days. Click HERE for more info and to register.
- April 29 Pleasant View Project Youth Volunteer Day, 9AM-1PM, Gaithersburg. Volunteers needed. Click HERE for more info.
- April 29 People's Climate March, 10AM-3PM, Washington, DC. Click HERE if you are interested in taking a bus from Baltimore or discounted Metro tickets.
- April 30 2 PM One Water Partnership Spiritually Led Nature Walk. Click HERE to register.
- May 5 Night Out With Nature Series: The Role of Connection to Nature on Psychological Well-Being and Spirituality" 7-9PM, Sherwood House at Cromwell Valley Park. Fee. Click HERE for more info. To register contact 410-887-2503 or email@example.com.
- May 7 Alternative Compliance Program Workshop for Prince George's County houses of worship. 2PM, Location TBD. Click HERE for flyer. Click HERE to register.
- May 7 Climate Justice Symposium, 11AM-4PM, Adat Shalom Congregation, Bethesda. Click HERE for more info and to RSVP.
- May 10 Alternative Compliance Workshop. Learn more about the program and get your questions answered Sign-up HERE.
- May 9-11 Blue Vision Summit Ocean Conference at Georgetown University. Click HERE for more information.
- May 13 Lutheran 500 Trees Project: Tree Planting, Spiritual Workshop, and trees give away celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. St Christopher’s Episcopal Church, Linthicum, 9am -12pm. More information, contact Brenda Schwaab.
- May 13 2-5pm Interfaith "Care for Our Waters" Event with community BBQ and potluck dinner at Makkah Learning Center, Gambrills, MD. Contact: Ammar Hanif or Martha Scott. See flyer HERE.
- May 13-14 Green Festival Expo, DC Convention Center. Fee. Click HERE for tickets or more information.
- May 20 9:30-11:30AM Vacation Bible School Anacostia River Field Trip (only for those registered to offer the VBS program. Click HERE to register).
Volunteer and In-Kind Needs
- Do you have extra 1-inch 3-ring binders at home or the office? We are looking for binders that have a slot on the front cover to slide a cover page in.
- Do you like photography? Vidoegraphy? We are always looking for help taking photos at our events, and putting them together in slide shows.
- Are you willing to make 5-10 phone calls each week for us to help us follow up with engaged congregations?
- Are you willing to help us coordinate volunteers? We can use your help!
- We could use colored pocket folders (blue, green, yellow or orange - to match our logo colors)