This week marks the beginning of Lent with Ash Wednesday on March 5. This 40-day period of Lent that Christians have traditionally observed in prayer, fasting and almsgiving (donations to charity) recalls the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness praying and reflecting on the mission and purpose to which he was called by God. With the “Greening of churches” movement in recent years, several Christian denominations have suggested new ways of fasting: from CO2 emissions, from wasting energy and water, and abstaining from meat consumption. Others suggest Lenten commitment to adopting ecological practices. A daily Lenten Calendar is a tool with suggested actions having an environmental focus, like "Green Fasting" or “Carbon Fasting” and Caring for Creation as ways to put our faith into action. As the Lenten Calendar from Interfaith Power and Light states: May this season serve as a wake-up call to be mindful of the ways that our daily choices impact everyone, especially people living in poverty. Each of these actions will reduce our production of climate pollution and help to preserve God’s great gift of Creation.
And people of other faiths can use these ideas for prayer and action too!
Here are some examples--
- Lenten Carbon Fast 2014 from Interfaith Power & Light of DC, MD, and N. VA
- Lent 2014 daily calendar from the Environmental Ministries and Enough for Everyone programs of the Presbyterian Hunger Program
- Caring for Creation Calendar from the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington
Another example showing how people of faith can be a moral voice for Creation was evident in a panel discussion held last week at the White House, called “Faith-based and Community Leaders Addressing Environmental Stewardship and Climate Change” where a series of leaders representing a diverse group of faiths bore witness to the moral imperative for environmental stewardship deeply rooted in all major faith traditions. You can watch and listen to some of their inspiring messages here.
Notable was the opening address by Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency Gina McCarthy, who sent this tweet: Faith leaders are the moral backbone of this country. Great to join some of them at the @WhiteHouse to #ActOnClimate pic.twitter.com/2SQTyrGpf5 from: Gina McCarthy @GinaEPA
Let’s rise to the call to be the “moral backbone” and act on our faith by choosing actions which support the healing and restoration of God’s Creation!
Walk the Talk – Baltimore City: An Interfaith Response to Polluted Runoff
Sunday, March 30, join Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake and Blue Water Baltimore for a FREE forum for Baltimore City congregations! Learn about assistance and support available to pursue stormwater projects to decrease polluted runoff while also reducing stormwater utility fees.
Calling all Baltimore City Congregations
In partnership with Blue Water Baltimore, a program is available for all Baltimore City congregations who wish to pursue projects on their grounds to reduce polluted runoff and receive a credit on their stormwater utility fees. Don’t miss this great opportunity! For more information, visit our website, or email email@example.com.
10,000 Trees Project New Resources: Events Calendar Now Online
On the 10,000 Trees webpage, you’ll find a list of helpful resources including the latest addition—a Trees Events Calendar, so that you can see when Workshops and Tree Planting Days are scheduled at congregations. You are welcome to attend any of these events!
Reasons to Plant Trees helps make a case for your congregation to plant trees! This one-pager provides a list of reasons to share with your church session, administrative council, buildings and grounds committee, the minister, rabbi, or other decision-makers in your congregation. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in the 10,000 Trees program.
Call to Action – Support HB 987
You can read about polluted runoff on our website, or visit www.cleanwaterhealthyfamilies.org for up-to-the-minute information. Personalize our draft letter for your legislator, and find your legislator online here.
Covenantal Partners Program
Does your congregation need to jump-start its green ministry? Is there a group of green sheep at your place of worship who are looking for a shepherd? IPC’s Covenantal Partners Program is an intentional Visioning Session that helps green leaders at congregations articulate a shared vision for their community and begin to map out the steps needed to turn that vision into reality. We facilitated a pilot session at Holy Communion Luther Church in Fallston last week and were moved to witness firsthand how God called forth this amazing group of leaders to develop a plan of action for their church. If you would like to join the waiting list for a free pilot session of the Covenantal Partners Program, please contact Jodi Rose at email@example.com.