Andrea Proctor

  • published Donate Today! 2018-11-09 08:50:17 -0500


  • published Reflections in Newsletter 2018-11-08 12:42:46 -0500

    Grow with Us

    Why do you find yourself among this circle of activists restoring clean water and fighting for environmentally moral policies? What or Who is calling you here? How are you helping to restore clean water?

    Our staff and board recently went through a process to reflect on our “Why” and “How”. We shared personal reasons, like “I’m on this board for my grandchildren’s future” or “I work here because it aligns with my personal mission in life”. We also shared organizational reasons of why IPC exists:

    • To help repair the broken relationship we humans have with the local environment
    • To provide resources to leaders like you to help you restore your local waters
    • To activate people of faith to advocate for policies that protect water and promote environmental justice
    • To provide hope and resilience at this time of environmental urgency

    Your stories inspired us, too: why you keep going, how you inspire others to join you, and what support you need. And we know we are making a difference -- we are restoring clean water.

    Our discussions about purpose and how to restore clean water became IPC’s new Strategic Plan. We invite you to read through it grow with us. Our plan calls for IPC to ignite the power of faith communities in the Chesapeake region to honor all of Creation by working together to protect and restore our shared watershed.

    1. We will create congregational hubs in Maryland, District of Columbia and Pennsylvania to magnify our impact and inspire new congregations
    2. We will create leadership training and support programs, tools, and resources to make it easier for you to lead your congregation.
    3. We will grow our partnerships and diversify our support.
    4. We will achieve organizational excellence with a strong board and diverse and talented staff.

    We invite you to grow with us and join us in our shared vision for a restored Chesapeake watershed. Here are some ways you can help:

    1. Read our Strategic Plan, our Core Values and Guiding Principles. Pray for all of us that this plan may guide our work in ways that give glory to God.
    2. Reflect on your why and how. Where is the overlap between your plan and our plan? How can we support you, and how can you support us? Complete the Stay Connected form so that we can build a hub around your congregation. 
    3. Donate to IPC to support our work. One of our core values is being accountable and responsible with the resources entrusted to us. Help us ignite the power of faith communities to make a difference by donating cash or stock.  

    I have had the honor of serving as IPC’s Executive Director since 2013. In the past five years, and by God’s mercy and grace, IPC has grown tremendously: engaged 200+ congregations, planted thousands of trees, treated millions of gallons of stormwater, educated thousands of faithful of all races and faiths, added four more part-time staff to our team, and grew our funding five-fold. I promise to continue to hold IPC accountable and monitor our progress. Those might sound like corporate words, but they are rooted in deep conviction, purpose, and love...Love for all of Creation and future generations who are forever at the mercy of the choices -- and plans -- we make today.

    Grow with us and be part of IPC’s future impact.  


  • published New One Water Partnerships in News 2018-10-30 14:19:49 -0400

    Join a One Water Partnership Near You!

    GOVAN'S_PRESBYTERIAN_GREEN_TEAM_2.jpgWe're building One Water Partnerships and you're invited! Watch the video to learn more.

    Join a multi-faith circle of congregations and environmental organizations working collectively to restore their watershed, honor Creation, and act justly in their communities. Learn more, join one near you, or let's start one together!

     

    Read more

  • published Reflections 2018-10-05 23:25:30 -0400

    Why I Give

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    Every year I make choices about the organizations I donate to. And every year, I choose Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake.

    Ever since I was a child, I have felt something special, something deep, something comforting in the presence of nature.  Before I really knew what the word “spiritual” meant, I felt an energy from flowing streams, pounding surf, and the solitude of the forest - a sense of hope that I was part of something far bigger than myself.

    Gandhi said, "a spiritual relationship is far more precious than a physical one. The physical divorced from spiritual is like body without soul." And from a different vantage point, Chief Sitting Bull said, “Every seed is awakened and so is all animal life. It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being.” Pope Francis wrote in his encyclical on the environment, “Concern for the environment needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings.” 

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    We have much work to do to repair the environment and the health of our communities.  The challenges are daunting and the brokenness around us is profound. However, the power of the faith community to effect change is greater than the challenges. Diverse cultures are uniting in stewardship of the natural world. I have found this to be a tremendous source of hope.

    That hope is what excites me about the Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake and why I give generously to support their work. This giving season, and particularly on Giving Tuesday, November 27th, I invite you to do the same.

    Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake works hard every day to ignite the power of the faith community to take action.  They are creating hubs of environmental action, cultivating champions and leaders, guiding congregations in on-the-ground restoration work, speaking out in defense of environmental justice, and supporting policies that care for the web of life.  With IPC’s help, congregations are uniting to address whole watershed challenges like stormwater, deforestation, and polluted communities. They are restoring the earth by changing hearts and forming faithful stewards.

    Please join me in standing up for the important work of the Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake. Click here to donate on our website, and remember us on Giving Tuesday, November 27th.

    Be as generous as you can.  Any amount will make a difference.

    Thank you.

    Al Todd

    Vice-Chair of the Board for Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake


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    Sacred Waters Teach Environmental Justice

    Former IPC board member Rev. Allen LaMontagne, now pastoring in Jacksonville, FL, called us because he was bringing his youth group to DC to learn about justice and advocacy...and fighting for clean water was on his mind. Together, Rev. LaMontagne and IPC built an immersion experience for his group that explored the impact of human action on the waters and communities of the Anacostia region. We offer this story of their “Pilgrimage” and invite you to consider replicating this environmental justice experience for your own faith communities.

    To begin our day, prayers of blessing for the waters were to be offered from a member of the Piscataway tribe, the original inhabitants (along with other tribes) of this watershed along with selections from scripture (Job 12:7-8, Psalm 24:1-3, Isaiah 24:5) about our relationship to the land, waters and wildlife. Direct experiences of witnessing challenges to the local waters were schueduled with these local partners: Groundwork Anacostia, the Anacostia Riverkeeper, and Earth Conservation Corps. We were poised to fulfill the motto for this pilgrimage: We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience ~ Teilhard de Chardin.

    The week of the Pilgrimage finally arrived in July when metro DC received record levels of rainfall with almost daily flash flood warnings.  The direct result of so much stormwater runoff was vividly evident by the amount of trash floating throughout the river. Highpoints along the river were sightings of an eagle perched in a tree, turtles sunning themselves on riverbank logs, the chattering of a Kingfisher flying overhead and the beauty of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens where the lotus flowers were in full bloom, all gifts of Creation which many in DC hardly know about!

    IMG_20180726_152731735_HDR.jpgWe learned that the eagles now flourishing in the Anacostia watershed were re-introduced in 1992 by youth members of Earth Conservation Corps.  Indeed the capstone experience of the day, ECC addresses both pollution and poverty by building leadership among youth from Anacostia neighborhoods rife with drugs, violence, and premature death due to these.  An original ECC member, Burell Dunkin shared both the pain of experience (26 youth from the program have been killed in the 26 year history of the organization) and the joy of being part of the solution that offers life-transforming opportunities for 20 youth every year.

    A service project for the group was to join the Groundwork Anacostia youth in cleaning out the Bandalong Trash Trap located on the banks of the Anacostia River. Trash traps are just as they sound: floating booms that collect trash that washes into the river from stormwater drains throughout DC and upstream. This cleanout task offers volunteers a directl view of the huge amount of trash that gets accumulated.  Getting us out on the river, Anacostia Riverkeeper (ARK) offered a free boat tour (fully funded by the DC plastic bag fee!) with an overview  of the history of environmental injustice. This was evidenced by legacy toxics in the river caused by the siting of landfills, power plant, poor infrastructure and lack of access to the riverfront on the east side of the river, a largely low-income African American community. The toxic materials continues to impact the fish, many of which have lesions, andh threatens human health of those who catch them. A study showed that over 17,000 people fished there in one year, out of a river that is among the top 10 most polluted in the U.S.  ARK educates people about doing “catch and release.”

    The FL Pilgrimage youth group took away much to ponder in their hearts about the social and environmental disparities they witnessed in the Anacostia watershed.  Their experience on the river and with people who are impacted informed how they may address environmental justice in their own home watershed. And you can too! Contact IPC if you are interested in replicating this experience for your faith community.

    Kolya Braun-Greiner, MDiv
    IPC Religious Educator


  • published About 2018-10-05 12:43:39 -0400

    Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake's story starts with an inspired group of individuals at a 2004 National Council of Churches "Holy Waters" conference in Annapolis, Maryland from which our organization, originally named Chesapeake Covenant Congregations, was created. Our founding and mission is rooted in a deep religious call to care for the Earth, recognition that the Chesapeake Bay is a significant ecological feature in our midst for which we have been entrusted its care, and an urgency to restore our local watershed. We became Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake in 2013 to reflect the diversity of faith communities in the Chesapeake region and the intention to bridge relationships and engage people across religious lines.

    Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake (IPC) ignites the power of faith communities in the Chesapeake Bay region to honor all of Creation by working together to protect and restore our shared watershed.

    We envision a time when faith communities across the Chesapeake region honor, care for, and protect the watershed we share so all our communities, and future generations, may thrive.

    Our Mission Statement and the Words We Use

    Core Values and Guiding Principles

    Our Strategic Plan

    IMG_20180624_162012784.jpgWe care deeply about the Earth, all it's people and life forms, but we focus on water, because water is the essence of all life. The purity of the water is a litmus test for the health of the world. Its health is determined by what we do, the patters of our lives, the choices we make, the quality of the air, the health of soil. The welfare of all depends on the welfare of the earth's waters.

    Through water, we are unmistakably interconnected. Thus, through our respect and stewardship of water, we demonstrate respect and love for each other and for future generations. We therefore believe that we must work through communities of faith to bring about a transformation of awareness and action that reflects respect for this interconnectedness and the need for restored balance. 

    Will you join us? We invite you to Stay Connected, Get Involved, and grow in your Advocacy for clean water.


  • published Guiding Principles in Strategic Plan 2018-09-19 14:49:17 -0400

    Guiding Principles

    Our strategy to achieve our mission is rooted in our principles and beliefs. These serve as a filter to helps us assess options and make choices aligned with our mission and vision.

    We believe:

    1. All faith traditions share a fundamental belief that we have a moral responsibility to be good caretakers of Creation.
    2. Clean watersheds are necessary for communities to be healthy and thriving.
    3. When people experience and appreciate the beauty of Creation, they will love and protect it.
    4. Action at the local level is what drives people. People are connected to local issues, local needs, and local relationships.
    5. People are most energized when they can connect with one another on a personal level, lift each other up, work together to repair the brokenness, and demonstrate love and solidarity.
    6. Individual champions drive change and need to be supported.
    7. Networks of faith-based communities infect others and magnify our message and impact.

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  • published Strategic Plan in About 2018-09-19 14:49:05 -0400

    Strategic Plan

    2-Page Summary of Strategic Plan

    Full Text of Strategic Plan

    Our 3-year strategic direction for 2019-2021 lays out an ambitious, scalable pathway for Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake to bring initiatives to fruition, and to advance sustainable funding models that will guide organizational life beyond this plan. It builds on the significant achievements of the last two years and sets IPC on a pathway to organizational excellence.

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    We reflected on the success of creating the Jones Falls One Water Partnership in Baltimore, and the cultivation of a hub of faith leaders on the lower shore who have now named themselves Wicomico Interfaith Partners for Creation Care.

    • IPC's One Water Partnership initiative encourages communities of multiple faiths to work individually and collectively to build awareness, advocacy and action in their local watershed. The cohort has begun to see themselves as a collaborative group and cross-congregational actions have hence been catalyzed.
    • On the lower shore, IPC's work, resources and messaging were instrumental in initiating action from a group of faith leaders in Salisbury who continue to meet monthly and have hosted three annual Earth Day celebrations.

    These two examples of network-building offer models for scaling our actions and impact throughout the broader Chesapeake Bay region from Maryland's western shore to the Eastern Shore, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania.

    Our Mission Statement and the Words We Use

    Core Values and Guiding Principles


  • published Core Values in Strategic Plan 2018-09-19 14:48:17 -0400

    Core Values

    IPC strives to be the change we seek in all our relationships and actions. Our values guide the way IPC works and we aspire that congregations, faith-based leaders and individuals, our staff, our partners, and the community will experience these values in their interactions with IPC.

    Respect – Out of love for our Creator and the entire web of life, we cherish and protect all Creation.

    Action – We are rooted in faith and hope, and we live out our call to stewardship by taking action.

    Justice - We work to achieve a healthy watershed for all community members of every socio-economic status and race.

    Inclusion – We strive to build relationships with people of all faiths and races. We are designed by our Creator to be in community with one another.

    Accountability – We operate responsibly with the resources entrusted to us, and expect the same from our partners.

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  • published Mission Statement in Strategic Plan 2018-09-19 14:46:54 -0400

    Mission Statement and the Words We Use

    Here is our mission statement and what each word means to us. The words have been chosen with care and intention.

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  • published Spotlight on the Many Stars Among Us in Newsletter 2018-08-31 11:52:26 -0400

    Spotlight on Some of the Many Stars Among Us

    It’s that time again, when we get a chance to shine the light on some of our partner congregations who have one more thing to be grateful for on this wonderful Earth.

    Our_Lady_of_the_Fields.jpgCongratulations are due to five congregations that were successful in obtaining grants through the Chesapeake Bay Trust Community Outreach and Engagement Mini Grants.  With application guidance from Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, the following congregations received awards ranging from $4,500 to $5,000 to help support their outreach and restoration efforts.  We look forward to watching their projects unfold!

    Cathedral of the Incarnation is embarking on an array of projects including a rainwater harvesting project through the purchase of cisterns and rain barrels, storm drain stenciling in their neighborhood, and planting of native shrubs and plants on their property.

    First Presbyterian Church of Howard County/Earth Forum organized four outdoor sessions that included invasive vine and plant removal, legacy tree planting, and storm drain stenciling. They also started a new program called LEAVES (Learning about the Environment and Volunteering as Earth Stewards) as a data recording and accounting system for maintaining volunteer time and work records included in the project. The credits earned will be used to determine recognition for the participants. Thirdly, they plan to provide two Baltimore Harbor Environmental Education programs designed to increase participants’ understanding of how the Patapsco River in Howard County is connected to the Chesapeake Bay by studying the dynamic relationship between the Port of Baltimore and the Patapsco River.

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    Our Lady of the Fields replaced native plants in their Pollinator Garden. Part of the funding they received went towards a straw bale garden that is expected to yield in excess of 600 pounds of organic vegetables for distribution to 350+ guests at the St. Vincent de Paul’s Catholic Church and to add to the pantries of the Serving People Across Neighborhoods (SPAN) non-profit organization.

    St. Stephen Baptist Church/Project Bright Future is putting their grant to work through the organization of four community events where they will, among other things, educate participants about being good stewards of the environment and provide resources for their congregation about how they can become even more active members in these efforts.

    Kadampa Meditation Center will install a cistern and conduct storm drain stenciling on their property in coordination with a local youth program.

    If your congregation is interested in applying for a grant, please check out the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s website by clicking HERE.


  • published Donations Thanks 2018-08-17 12:13:43 -0400

    Thank You For Your Gift!

    Your donation is a direct investment in meaningful outcomes and IPC’s impacts would not be possible without your support.  Please accept our sincerest gratitude for your donation and your confidence in our work.

    If you'd like to learn more about how you and your congregation can partner with IPC, please click on any of the links below.

    • Browse the many PROGRAMS IPC has available for congregations and faith-based organizations.

    • Take a look at the RESOURCES IPC has available to help individuals and congregations become better-informed and equipped for understanding and cherishing Creation, including seasonal resources, study guides, worship suggestions and videos.

    • View our MENU FOR ACTION, a one-stop-shop for ideas on how to save energy, begin recycling, address food issues, and more!

    • Be an ADVOCATE and add your voice to the growing number of individuals and congregations speaking out for responsible public policies to protect the Earth and its inhabitants.

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  • published After the Deluge - Faithful Action in Newsletter 2018-07-06 09:11:38 -0400

    After the Deluge

    “This is going to be bad” was our first thought. My husband and sons were unable to drive out of the neighborhood because the water had risen so high. Though we have lived in Ellicott City for almost 15 years and directly experienced the downtown flood in 2016 where our car was totaled, we had never seen the water rise like this in our neighborhood. Then I saw the 12 text messages from friends and relatives from all over the country to check on us. “Oh, Lord, please not again.”

    By now, most people have seen the shocking images of the devastation left, yet again, from unprecedented stormwater runoff in Ellicott City. But people were affected all over – in Catonsville and Baltimore. And, although less dramatically and not making the national news, communities in Frederick are suffering from flooding from the rain just two weeks ago. These events are happening more frequently and more intensely than ever before.

    SUTTON_ELLICOTT_CITY.jpgHow do people of faith respond? Well, as the wonderful folks at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, St. Paul's Catholic Church and others in Ellicott City demonstrated, first you address immediate humanitarian needs, which they did with grace and generosity. But what else can congregations do?

    The flooding in Ellicott City is a very complex problem that will require multi-faceted solutions. Those without hope will fold their hands and say this is a problem we can’t fix. But, others don’t debate the answers, they simply get to work. The words found in Pirkei Avot, which is part of the Jewish Mishnah, the first text of the Jewish oral law, instruct us: “Say little and do much”. And later in this text it says: “You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it” (2:21).

    Many congregations in IPC’s network have installed rain gardens and cisterns and planted trees to increase tree canopy and slow down rainfall. These are direct ways to help slow runoff during storms.  People of faith also worked to promote a policy for protecting Maryland’s healthy forests from further development, with many people signing a petition, calling their legislators, and preparing testimony to be heard at the bill hearing. We are disappointed it did not pass in 2018, and we vow to keep working toward policies that restore balance to the web of life.

    IPC offers help to congregations to answer the call to action. Check out our One Water Partnership webpage to find the details about upcoming Interfaith Nature Walks and Action Planning and Grant Writing Workshops to see firsthand what is happening to our watershed communities and how faith institutions can be part of the complex solution. Encourage members of your congregation to participate to learn and be inspired to act. This is what IPC is all about. Let’s “say little and do much” together.

    We extend our prayers for recovery to all those affected in Ellicott City, Baltimore, Frederick -- to anyone touched by the ravages of stormwater.

    Bonnie Sorak, Outreach Coordinator


  • published Volunteer 2018-05-02 16:56:49 -0400

    Volunteer

    If you can volunteer with us, please complete our General Volunteer Signup Form.

    Volunteer Needs Coming Up

    • 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? Videography? 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?

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  • published 2018 in Reflections 2018-04-23 13:36:19 -0400

  • published 2017 in Reflections 2018-04-23 13:20:52 -0400

  • published 2014-2013 in Reflections 2018-04-23 13:20:40 -0400

  • published 2015 in Reflections 2018-04-23 13:20:11 -0400

  • published Heroes in Newsletter 2018-04-09 13:55:57 -0400

    Heroes

    April 2018, Issue 1

    Inside:

    • Reflection: Heroes
    • One More Time: Inspirational Bus Tours
    • Sacred Grounds Workshops This Spring
    • Legislative Update
    • Deadline April 13-Chesapeake Conservation Corps Internship Program 
    • SIGN UP: Vacation Bible School Trainings in Prince George's & Baltimore
    • Earth Day Worship and Study Resources
    • Spring Nature Walks in Gaithersburg and Harford County
    • Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities
    • Volunteer & In-Kind Needs

    Heroes

    The state of things in our world is a little overwhelming right now. In Maryland in particular, things didn’t go quite as planned this legislative session. The ban on foam food packaging products was not even brought up for a vote in the House Environment subcommittee, and the Forest Conservation amendments were put on hold, pending more studies of forest loss. (Be sure you know how your elected representative voted on these bills, and hold them accountable if they are not working for you. To find out, sign up for our advocacy emails.)

    Where is the hope? It’s out there, alive and well.

    Here are a handful of heroeswho are fighting the good fight and keeping hope alive. We wanted to highlight them to share their hope with you. Maybe they’ll inspire you in some way, or reassure you that you’re not working on your own. Collectively, we are making progress.

    • The Rev. Diana Caroll of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church of Eastport testified at the House hearing on February 21st in support of the Forest Conservation Act amendments. She arrived at 12 noon and didn't leave until well after 8PM. She did this after returning the day before from a 3-day retreat, and wrote her testimony in one night. 
    • The Rev. Sue Lowcock-Harris of First Presbyterian Church of Howard County had this letter-to-the-editor "Thou Shall Not Steal Trees"published in the Bay Weekly about the moral duty to protect forests. She wrote it and re-wrote it 3 times because other publications were not printing it. She never gave up.
    • The Rev. Franklin Lance of Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church and director of the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council secured a letter signed by the leaders of 6 major denominations (United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America Maryland-Delaware Synod, Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, Archdiocese of Baltimore, and Presbytery of Baltimore-PCUSA). He tracked down agreements from bishops and conference leaders right after the holidays, long before anyone was even thinking about the forest bill.
    • Molly Hauck, Jim Laurenson, and Nanci Wilkinson of Montgomery County spoke with state delegate Kumar Barve about the importance of forest protection. Some of them took time from their day-jobs to accommodate Del. Barve’s schedule.
    • Martha Ruffin and Jim Truby of Baltimore met with their state representatives about a multitude of issues on Episcopal Advocacy Day. In fact, they work tirelessly all year long to lead efforts at their congregations and throughout the Episcopal Diocese.
    • 36 congregations signed a letter reporting to their state delegates that they had already stopped using foam food products and thus a statewide ban was not a crazy idea! Behind each one of these congregations is a person like Bill Curtis, Rosanne Skirble, Lou Rimbach, and Bernadette Bailey who took the time to confirm with their congregation that in fact they have stopped using Styrofoam, and added their names to the list. 
    • 262 faithful signed this petition supporting amendments to strengthen the Forest Conservation Act – the signatures were submitted as written testimony to state officials. Many forwarded it to friends and family and posted on social media about it.

    And, children in Baltimore fought for a city-wide policy to phase out foam packaging in their schools – and won.

    Hope abounds. We may be far from reaching our goals, but we are never alone. Neighbors, spiritual leaders, fellow congregants – we’re all walking together. These friends are the face of God in our midst. The Spirit never abandons us – not even in our most trying times. Look around you -- that's where the Spirit of Hope is.

    Jodi Rose, Executive Director

    P.S. If you have not heard, Bonnie in our office suffered a fall recently, and broke both of her wrists. Please keep her in your prayers over her 8 weeks of recovery!


    One More Time-Inspirational Bus Tour onApril 29th in Jones Falls for One Water Partnership 

    We can't wait to do it again! We filled one bus with watershed heroes yesterday on our first bus tour. Join us next time and help us fill two more buses with people of any faith who want to learn how we can work together to improve our local environments. Come see what other congregations in Baltimore have done to help restore healing to our shared waters. Click HERE for flyer with details. If your congregation is in the Jones Falls watershed you can still can join the effort. Email Bonnie Sorak at bonnie@interfaithchesapeake.org or call her at 443-799-0349 for the details. 


    Image_for_Sacred_Grounds_Flyer.jpgSacred Grounds Workshops in Prince George's County

    Sign up for one of our Sacred Grounds Workshops this spring. Choose one date and come join us either Tuesday, April 10th, Saturday, June 10th, or Sunday, July 29th. You will learn the simple steps that your congregation can take to help your local environment and improve the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Three participants will receive a $250 GIFT CARD to start their garden! 

    For more information CLICK HERE. Or contact Bonnie Sorak at bonnie@interfaithchesapeake.org or 443-799-0349 for more details.

    Download the flyer HERE



    Legislative Updates - April 9, 2018

    April 9th was the last day of the Maryland legislative session. Stay tuned for a summary of how our priority bills fared. To receive updates on this, sign up for our advocacy emails HERE


    DOWN TO THE WIRE! Deadline: Chesapeake Conservation Corps Internship Program - April 13th

    Great opportunity for young adults looking to embark on a “green” careers. IPC is working with the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) to identify young adults (ages 18-25) to apply to their Chesapeake Conservation Corps Program, a paid internship beginning August 2018. Click HERE to go to our website to learn more how IPC can help. Or contact Bonnie Sorak at bonnie@interfaithchesapeake.org or 443-799-0349 for more details.


    Summer Time Fun: Vacation Bible School Trainings for Prince George's  & Baltimore

    SIGN UP for our God's Water Heroes, Splash Into Living Waters Vacation Bible School & Sunday School Curriculum training for Prince George's County. Click HERE for more information and to register. We are happy to report that our Baltimore City program is FULL!!! But let us know if you would like to be put on a waiting list.  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.  Questions? Contact Bonnie Sorak at bonnie@interfaithchesapeake.org or 443-799-0349.


    Earth Day Worship and Study Resources

    April 22 is Earth Day and the whole month offers an opportunity to focus on celebrating and caring for Creation in your congregation's worship and educational life. Many resources are available to assist you in planning an Earth Day service, bible study, or educational event. See the IPC Resources webpage for ideas! See all the "Earth Month" activities that the Maryland Presbyterian Church is planning for April.


    forest-stream-path.jpgInterfaith Nature Walks in Gaithersburg and Harford County

    Is your congregation located in Gaithersburg or Harford County? Come join us on an Interfaith Nature Walk and learn about what's happening in your local watershed. This is an opportunity to begin planning for actions your congregation can take to protect Creation.

    Sign up for the Sunday, May 6th walk in Gaithersburg HERE

    Sign up for the Thursday, May 10th walk in Abingdon, Harford County HERE

    Questions? Please email Bonnie Sorak at bonnie@interfaithchesapeake.org 


    Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities 

    • April 10 6:30-8:30PM free Sacred Grounds Workshop, Mowatt Memorial UMC, 40 Ridge Road, Greenbelt. RSVP HERE
    • April 10 7-9PM Film "This Changes Everything" Homewood Friends Meeting, Baltimore. Click HERE for more info
    • April 12 10AM-12:30PM. Vacation Bible School Training for Baltimore congregations Click HERE for more information
    • April 12 8:30AM-1PM Symposium on Environmental Justice and Service to Vulnerable Communities. Shrine of St. Anthony, Ellicott City. RSVP HERE
    • April 14 9AM-2PM Baltimore Native Plant Sale, Church of the Redeemer, Baltimore. Buy native plants directly from the grower. Learn more HERE.
    • April 14 10AM Baltimore GROW Center Pop-Up, Easterwood/Sandtown Park n' Playground. Click HERE for more info
    • April 14 3-5PM Columbia Families in Nature's Community Forest Project Site Preparation Day to create habitat, benefit our watershed, and be a positive climate action. Event is free but registration is requested. Click HERE for more info
    • April 14 Alice Ferguson Foundation's Annual Potomac Cleanup. Volunteer or lead a cleanup. Click HERE for more info
    • April 14 9AM-12PM Potomac Conservancy's Potomac Watershed Cleanup at Fletcher's Cove, Jones Point Park and Anacostia Park. Click HERE for more info
    • April 18 6PM Tom Pelton book signing, talk & discussion "The Chesaspeake in Focus: Transforming the Natural World". George Peabody Library, 17 E Mount Vernon Pl, Baltimore. More info HERE
    • April 20 6:30PM Supper 7PM Movie "Inhabit" exploring the benefits of the ecological design process of permaculture. More info HERE
    • April 21 Vacation Bible School Training for Prince George's County congregations Click HERE for more information
    • April 21 Lobbying Day on Capitol Hill - Faith leaders are welcome to represent Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake in lobbying your US Senators and Congressional Representatives. Contact Jodi at jodi@interfaithchesapeake.org if interested
    • April 21 10AM Baltimore GROW Center Pop-Up, Baltimore Community ToolBank. Click HERE for more info
    • April 22 3PM Inspirational Nature Walk at Centennial Park in conjunction with Earth Forum of Howard County
    • April 22 10AM Earth Day at Quiet Waters Park. Run for Nature 5K followed by the Earth Day Festival. More info HERE
    • April 28 9AM-12PM Potomac Conservancy's Potomac Watershed Cleanup at Columbia Island. Click HERE for more info
    • April 28 10AM Baltimore GROW Center Pop-Up, Madeira Street Garden. Click HERE for more info
    • April 28 10AM-1PM Rain Barrel Workshop at Dayspring Retreat Center. Click HERE for more info
    • April 29 2-5PM One Water Partnership Inspirational Bus Tour. Click HERE for more info
    • April 29 3-5PM Columbia Families in Nature's Community Forest Project Tree Planting Day to create habitat, benefit our watershed, and be a positive climate action. Event is free but registration is requested. Click HERE for more info
    • May 5 10AM Baltimore GROW Center Pop-Up, Langston Huges Community Resource Center. Click HERE for more info
    • May 7-9 Jewish Advocacy Days - Pearlstone Center - Details and registration here

    Volunteer and In-Kind Needs 
    • Volunteers needed on Sat., April 22nd in Harford County from 9:45am-4:00 PM AND Sat. June 1st from 12:30-4PM. If you are available to staff an information table at these outdoor events at the Anita C. Leight Estuary Center located at 700 Otter Point Rd. Abingdon, MD 21009 contact Bonnie Sorak at bonnie@interfaithchesapeake.org or 443-799-0349.
    • 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 complete our Volunteer Signup Form.

    Thank you!

  • published Ezekiel Calls Us to Action in Newsletter 2018-02-06 14:08:30 -0500

    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?

    Thou_Shall_Not2.jpg

    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 

    VBS_Ft._Washington_Baptist_06.28.17_-9.jpg

    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!

Interfaith Partners of the Chesapeake is dedicated to motivating communities of faith in the Chesapeake watershed to care for the Earth and all its inhabitants