Ezekiel Calls Us to Action...Still

February 2018, Issue 1

Inside:

  • Reflection: Ezekiel Calls Us To Action...Still
  • Donate_Button.jpgLenten Creation Care Calendar 
  • One Water Partnership Leaders Gather to Learn How to Inspire Others!
  • Final In-Person Workshop Offered: CBT Community Engagement Mini Grant Application Support
  • Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program
  • SIGN UP: Vacation Bible School Trainings in Prince George's & Baltimore
  • Funding Available in Gaithersburg and Harford County
  • Rally Feb 15th to Fight Potomac Pipeline
  • Unity Gardens Grants - Anne Arundel County
  • Virginia - Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions (FACS) Advocacy Team
  • Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities
  • Volunteer & In-Kind Needs

Ezekiel Calls Us to Action...Still

"Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet?" Ezekiel 34:18

Ezekiel walked the earth over 2,500 years ago, and yet his words are still relevant to us today. It’s almost as if he is reaching out to us across time, grabbing us by the shoulders to look us straight in the eye, and saying:

Why haven’t you learned how to share natural resources equitably? What are you leaving for the next generation? 

This year, we can respond to Ezekiel’s call for individual responsibility in meaningful ways. We have the opportunity to enact state legislation that will forever protect the “good pasture” and “clear water”. Will you join us?

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Sign the Petition to Protect Our Forests - Maryland’s Forest Conservation Act is in dire need of updating to reverse an alarming trend of forest loss at the hands of developers. At the current estimated rate of forest destruction*, by the time today's teenagers reach their 40s, Maryland will have lost 60,000 football fields-worth of forests. What “good pasture” will be left for them? Over 125 people have already signed this petition in support of Maryland Senate Bill 610/House Bill 766 to protect forests. Click here to add your name.

Support a Ban on Foam - Styrofoam litter is a major problem in waterways. House Bill 538 would ban the sale and use of foam products in Maryland. Already, 26 congregations have signed this letter confirming that they have voluntarily stopped using foam products. Add your congregation’s name to this list.

Take the above actions today and truly live into your response to Ezekiel’s call to action.

“…must you tread down the rest of the pasture?” 
No! I support the Forest Conservation Act Amendments!

“…must you foul the [water]?”
No! I support a ban on Styrofoam!

For more information on these bills, visit our Forest page or our Foam page. 

In hope for tomorrow's "good pasture",

Jodi Rose, Executive Director


MD_Lent_CC_Calendar_jpeg.jpgLenten Creation Care Calendar

Lent (meaning "spring" in old English) marks a time of preparation and reflection for Christians to pray, fast, and listen more intently for God's presence during the journey toward Easter. Beginning with Ash Wednesday on February 14, and ending with Maundy Thursday, March 29, Christians are reminded of the cycle of life (including mortality) and deep connection to the earth when the words "from dust you come, and to dust you shall return" are recited in the liturgy with the imposition of ashes (from burned palm leaves of previous Easter) on the forehead. Lent's span of 40 days offers Christian communities a time to reflect on how faith can express the biblical call to "keep and tend the garden" (Gen. 2:5) of God’s Creation.

For reflection we invite you use the "Creation Care Calendar" which contains a daily action to take to help to preserve God’s great gift of Creation. 

We are grateful for the collaboration on this calendar with Interfaith Power & Light and we invite you to photocopy it double-sided to share with your community as a bulletin insert.  


One Water Partnership Congregations Learn How to "Green Their Pastures" Through Leadership Trainings

In addition to "greening their pastures" on their congregational sacred grounds, One Water Partnership Green Team Leaders and congregation members will learn how to effect change on a higher level through an advocacy workshop called "Circles of Influence" on February 11th, 2-4PM at Brown Memorial Church (Click HERE for details). Then they will learn how to raise future generations who will "tend our garden" in a workshop on Youth Education on Wednesday, February 21st, 6:30PM at Govan's Presbyterian Church. (Click HERE for details). On February 25th, 1PM at the Cathedral of Incarnation leaders will come together to learn "How to Talk About Climate Change so That Congregation Members Will Listen" (Click HERE for details). For a flyer with details on all three workshops Click HERE.

You can read a synopsis of the One Water Partnership program in this Bay Journal article. Click HERE for a summary of the work that has already begun. If your congregation is in the Jones Falls watershed you can still can join the effort. Check out what your congregation can do by Clicking HERE for our full Menu of Actions. Email Bonnie Sorak or call her at 443-799-0349 for the details. Fill out this brief interest form and we'll follow up to schedule a conversation about your congregation's interests and capacity.
Photo: Shrine of the Sacred Heart Teaching future generations about caring for trees

Final In-Person Workshop Offered: Chesapeake Bay Trust Community Engagement Mini Grant Application Support

Is your Maryland congregation looking for funds to carry out an environmental or health themed program or in-the-ground project? Then Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake can help. We are helping the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) to support congregations to apply for CBT Community Engagement Mini-Grants (up to $5,000). Click HERE to go to our website to learn more how we can help and to register. Workshop held at Glen Mar United Methodist Church, 4701 New Cut Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21043 in Room 101. Or contact Bonnie Sorak at bonnie@interfaithchesapeake.orgor 443-799-0349 for more details.


Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program 

Interested in learning more about how your congregation can save money through the Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program? IPC staff are offering free one-on-one support to help you achieve reductions in your congregation’s Clean Water fee. This support is paid for by a grant from the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment, but is open to only 10 congregations. Questions? Contact Anna Awimbo at anna@interfaithchesapeake.org or call 410-609-6852.

SIGN UP: Vacation Bible School Trainings in Prince George's and Baltimore City 

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SIGN UP for our God's Water Heroes, Splash Into Living Waters Vacation Bible School & Sunday School Curriculum training for Prince George's County and Baltimore City congregations.  

This FREE curriculum and training is focused on caring for God’s waters of Creation within your local watersheds. The trainings are held in three parts.

Click HERE for more information and to register.

Questions? Contact Bonnie Sorak at bonnie@interfaithchesapeake.org or 443-799-0349.

Photo: Fort Washington Baptist VBS participants

Funding Available in Gaithersburg and Harford County

Is your congregation located in Gaithersburg or Harford County, and has your community been wanting to install a rain garden, plant trees, or tackle some other pollution-reducing project? Chesapeake Bay Trust has funding available immediately for congregational projects that reduce stormwater pollution. For more information or to ask questions, please email Jodi at jodi@interfaithchesapeake.org.


Rally to Fight Potomac Pipeline

Join hundreds of Marylanders in the fight against the Potomac Pipeline. This pipeline is being proposed to traverse underneath the Potomac River, threatening the drinking water for millions of people. 


Unity Gardens Grants - Anne Arundel County

Unity Gardens’ 2018 Spring Grant Cycle runs through the March 1, 2018 deadline. Grants up to $1,000 each will be awarded to non-profit organizations such as neighborhoods, churches, schools, scout groups and community organizations in Anne Arundel County for environmental projects and education. For more information and to apply, please click HERE to visit the Unity Gardens website. For questions, contact Barbara Dowling at unitygardensaa@gmail.com or (443) 333-9285.


Virginia - Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions (FACS) Advocacy Team

Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions is seeking people to join its Advocacy Teams, organized by district in Fairfax County, VA, to coordinate our advocacy work. As part of the team, you'll have an opportunity to participate in monthly webinars and other training opportunities as well as directly communicate FACS' advocacy priorities with elected officials and county staff in your district along with your team. Interested in learning more? Contact meg@faithforclimate.org.


Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities 

  • February 6 7 to 8:30 pm - Conference Call/Meeting for Episcopal green leaders (MEEP). To join in the call, by Video or Phone through Zoom, point your browser to https://zoom.us/j/153710246, or call 646-876-9923, Access Code: 153-710-246
  • February 11 11AM Presentation at Sacred Heart of Jesus in Baltimore in conjunction with the East Baltimore Collaborative. If you live in School Zone 237 come out to give community input on environmental improvements for the neighborhood. Contact Bonnie Sorak at bonnie@interfaithchesapeake.org or call 443-799-0349 for more information
  • February 11 2-4PM One Water Partnership "Circles of Influence" Leadership Training. Contact Bonnie Sorak at bonnie@interfaithchesapeake.org or call 443-799-0349 for more information. Click HERE to register
  • February 11 6PM Beth Shalom Congregation in Howard County presentation to 10th Grade Confirmation Class
  • February 15 6PM March on the Mansion: Rally at Gov. Hogan's! Say NO to the Potomac Pipeline. More info HERE
  • February 16 12PM "Realizing the Dream - what can we do today to move from surviving to thriving?" Legislative Black Caucus Environmental Luncheon, House Office Building, Annapolis. Click HERE for more info
  • February 20 10:00-11:30AM - "God Makes the Rain, We Make the Runoff" - Dorchester Ministerial Alliance, all are welcome. Grace United Methodist Church, 501 Race Street, Cambridge (Eastern Shore)
  • February 21 6:30-8:30PM One Water Partnership "Youth Education" Leadership Training. Contact Bonnie Sorak at bonnie@interfaithchesapeake.org or call 443-799-0349for more information. Click HERE to register
  • February 25 1-3PM One Water Partnership "How to Talk About Climate Change so That Congregation Members Will Listen". Contact Bonnie Sorak atbonnie@interfaithchesapeake.org or call 443-799-0349 for more information. Click HEREto register
  • February 25 2PM Chesapeake Bay Trust Community Outreach and Education Mini Grant Application Workshop. Glen Mar United Methodist Church, Howard County. Click HERE for more details and to register. Contact  bonnie@interfaithchesapeake.org or call 443-799-0349 for more information
  • March 4 2PM Unity Gardens presents "Edible Landscaping: Have Your Garden and Eat It Too" spring fundraising lecture and tour. Click HERE for more info
  • March 21 6-8PM Environment in Focus book launch event. Johns Hopkins Press is hosting a public book launch event, with a talk about the challenges faced by the Chesapeake Bay during the Trump Era, wine and cheese, and music, at the beautiful George Peabody Library at 17 East Mount Vernon Place in downtown Baltimore.

Volunteer and In-Kind Needs 
  • Want to volunteer more regularly during the Maryland Legislative Session for advocacy work? If yes, then you should sign up for our separate Action Alert emails
  • Are you willing to help us coordinate volunteers? We can use your help!
  • 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? 

If you can volunteer with us, please contact Bonnie Sorak at bonnie@interfaithchesapeake.org.

Thank you!

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ON AIR: IPC in the Media

Living Questions: Faith-Inspired Environmentalism. Listen HERE as IPC's Executive Director Jodi Rose, Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin and Emmalee June Aman discuss the role faith plays in motivating environmental activists and what religious scriptures and faith leaders say about humankind's responsibility in caring for Creation. The discussion was originally aired June 7, 2017 on WYPR 88.1FM.

On March 29, 2017, Jodi appeared on The Green & Sexy Radio ShowListen to the conversation HERE.