- Reflection: Called to Active Hope - for the Water
- Maryland Legislative Update
- Join Us - Spiritual Walks in the Jones Falls
- Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program (ACP) Workshop
- FREE Trees Available for Prince George's County Congregations
- St. Anthony's of Padua Highlighted in Catholic Review!
- Trees for Sacred Places in Howard County and the Eastern Shore
- Exploration Charters
- Anne Arundel Interfaith Gathering: "Care for Our Sacred Waters" & BBQ
- Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities
- Volunteer & In-Kind Needs
Called to Active Hope - for the Water
Water brought from all around the world was poured into a common bowl at a moving prayer ceremony to "Honor Our Sacred Rivers" held on the banks of the Anacostia River and sponsored by the Anacostia Riverkeeper, Potomac Riverkeeper and Patuxent Riverkeeper on April 28 in advance of the People's Climate March. The purpose of the gathering was to "lift our voices to demand clean water" and bring attention to the pollution in our local rivers and worldwide. The ceremony also affirmed that we are part of a worldwide effort to protect the sacredness of water, essential for life.
When we prayerfully act locally to protect our watershed, we are engaging in what Joanna Macy would call "active hope." It's acting on that which we hope for, dream of, not waiting for it to happen. She says, Active Hope is waking up to the beauty of life on whose behalf we can act. We belong to this world. The web of life is calling to us at this time.
Active hope for the water is manifesting right here in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed among faith communities like St. Anthony's and Greenbelt Community Church, both celebrating their projects on Earth Day Sunday.
St. Anthony's of Padua Catholic Church was featured in an article in the Catholic Review describing Father Ty Hullinger's recent blessing of their stormwater projects: With the assistance of Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, Blue Water Baltimore and grant moneys from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, St. Anthony of Padua converted a portion of the parking lot on the east side of its rectangular campus on Frankford Avenue into a stormwater bio-retention garden. By doing so they are fulfilling the stormwater goal of "slow it down, spread it out, sink it in" with the transformation of 1,400 square feet of formerly impervious surface, which will help keep pollution out of our local waters.
At Greenbelt Community Church, a 500 gallon capacity cistern was installed by the Anacostia Riverkeeper so that stormwater runoff from their roof is captured allowing the congregation to use the water for their flower gardens and grounds! After delivering an Earth Day sermon calling for their congregation to become an "earth caring congregation," Pastor Glennyce Grindstaff led the congregation outside for a blessing of the cistern. As part of the project IPC and Anacostia Riverkeeper offered a spiritual and environmental workshop addressing the faith basis for earth stewardship along with watershed literacy.
These are just a few of the examples of hope through prayerful action for our local sacred waters, indeed, responding to the "web of life calling to us at this time" for restoration and healing.
Maryland Legislative Update
We're almost there but a few bills remain to be signed by the Governor even though they passed the House and Senate. Can you sprint with us to the finish line?
Bills that Passed – But Call Gov. Hogan and tell him to sign them! These bills passed, but we’re waiting for Gov. Hogan to sign them. He has until early May to sign them, veto them, or let them become law without his signature. Please call Gov. Hogan and urge him to sign these bills! His number is 410-974-3901.
- SB422/HB602 - Keep Antibiotics Effective Act – This bill stops the use of antibiotics on animals that are not sick. With the rise of “superbugs” resulting from profuse use of antibiotics, this bill will cut back on inhumane treatment of animals for our quick and cheap production of food, and increase the effectiveness of antibiotics for medical purposes.
- SB 386/HB 830 - Pollinator Habitat Plans – This bill prohibits the use of pesticides known to harm bees on state-designated pollinator habitats. In other words, it was great that the state designates pollinator habitats, but this bill clarified that the state shouldn’t use neonic pesticides in those habitats!
Join us TOMORROW on a Spiritual Nature Walk in the Jones Falls!
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.
We'll take a walk through the park, learn about what's happening to our watershed, and connect what we learn to our spiritual traditions. We'll also hear more about the One Water Partnership, a new program designed to help your congregation deepen their commitment to protecting the Earth and the local watershed. Through the One Water Partnership program, fifteen congregations will receive $1,000 in grant funds to support this work. Find more information HERE.
Ready to get rolling as a One Water Partnership congregation right now? Fill out this brief interest form and we'll follow up to schedule a conversation on your congregation's interests and capacity.
Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program (ACP) Workshops
Sign up 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.
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.
St Anthony of Padua Speeds Greening of Northeast Baltimore
St. Anthony of Padua in Gardenville blessed several projects that illustrate its commitment to a healthier planet, including a bio-retention project, Interfaith Prayer Garden and tree plantings. Click HERE to see "what a parish can do" in caring for Creation.
Be Part of the Trees for Sacred Places Project on the Eastern Shore and in Howard County
Do you live on the Eastern Shore or in Howard County? IPC and the Alliance for the Chesapeake will be expanding the Trees for Sacred Places Project into Howard County and the Eastern Shore. If your congregation is interested in learning more, please contact our Program Manager, Anna Awimbo.
Anne Arundel Interfaith Gathering: "Care for Our Sacred Waters" & BBQ
RiverWise Master Watershed Stewards are organizing an afternoon ofeducation, action, and fellowship with BBQ Potluck dinner at the Makkah Learning Center in Gabrills, MD on May 13, 2-5PM. Makkah Learning Center is where a Muslim community is planning to install watershed projects on it's grounds to reduce their stormwater problems. The program will include faith foundations of stewardship from Christian and Muslim traditions, activities for children and presentations for adults on watershed literacy and care for Creation. Panel presentations with stories will be shared by Watershed Stewards from RiverWise 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. Please RSVP HERE.
Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities
- May 9 One Water Partnership Spiritual Nature Walk. Gather at 6PM at Cathedral of the Incarnation. Click HERE to pre-register.
- May 9 "Let There Be Water" Best-selling author Seth Siegel speaks about the global water crisis and solutions developed in Israel, Q&A to follow. Dessert reception. Click HERE to register.
- May 9-11 Blue Vision Summit Ocean Conference at Georgetown University. Click HERE for more information.
- May 10 Alternative Compliance Workshop. Learn more about the program and get your questions answered Sign-up HERE.
- May 12 Film Night: "Merchants of Doubt" Annapolis Friends Meetinghouse, 7PM Click HERE for more info.
- May 12-13 Come visit us at our information table at the Episcopal Diocese Convention, 2700 Turf Valley Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21042
- 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 Southern Friendship Missionary Baptist Church: Tree Planting. Temple Hills, MD
- May 13-14 Green Festival Expo, DC Convention Center. Fee. Click HERE for tickets or more information.
- May 18 Climate Change Speaker Series: Sara Via, Ph.D. "Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity" 7-9PM, Annapolis Friends Meetinghouse. Click HERE for more info.
- 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).
- May 20 Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick: Tree Planting. Frederick, MD
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)