Now is the time for people of faith to heed the call to restore creation. The Earth is a gift to be cherished.
Its rich resources are on loan to each of us, individually and collectively. Yet we have been poor caretakers and our negative impact is evident all around us in trashed and degraded streams and waterways in your own neighborhood. But by working along with others this can change. One Water Partnership will work with your congregation to cultivate a strong faith-rooted commitment to pollution reduction.
The One Water Partnership includes faith congregations in the Jones Falls sub-watershed. This community is developing a strong sense of place and a sense of responsibility for all natural resources and work towards restoring a healthy environment for all the inhabitants who live together in Jones Falls.
The congregations who have joined the One Water Partnership are embraced by IPC and our expert partner organizations-Blue Water Baltimore, Interfaith Power & Light, and University of Maryland Extension SeaGrant - - like having their own “personal trainers” - to help them achieve their goals. This partnership helps them:
- build and support congregational Green Teams to strengthen their creation care efforts,
- provides them with information, specific ideas for taking action,
- and brokers connections to help them sustain their new habits of stewardship.
Click HERE for a short video on a video to see the highlights of what we've accomplished.
Big News! The Work Continues...
IPC is so excited to announce that we have received additional grant funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to continue our work with the One Water Partnership. With this commitment to three more years of funding IPC and our partners will be able to nurture and grow the program in the Jones Falls AND expand into new areas to include congregations in the Gwynns Falls, Anne Arundel County, Harford County, Wicomico County and making our way to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Read the whole Media Release for all the details.
This means that more congregations will be able act out their call to care for creation like the following ones that recently learned that they will be receiving grants from the Chesapeake Bay Trust:
Homewood Friends Meeting-install custom made bench cisterns and pollinator garden
St. Lukes Church on the Avenue-install rain barrels and conservation landscaping
Mount Lebanon Baptist Church-install cistern planters, plant trees. They will also install two rain gardens in partnership with CivicWorks funded by NFWF
Nature's Prophet Shares Enlightenment
On Sept. 25th 2018 one hundred people gathered at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church for a very special evening with Doug Tallamy author of "Bringing Nature Home" and one of the country’s leading experts on using native plants to restore our watersheds. Those present heard a message that reinforced the idea that it is incumbent upon all property owners, including houses of worship, to provide habitat for the smallest of God's creatures-meaning insects like caterpillars and spiders -- to help restore the foundations of the intricate web of life. Two examples of congregations in our One Water Partnership in Jones Falls that have recently succeeded in doing just this are The Cathedral of Incarnation and The Kadampa Meditation Center. They each installed cisterns to capture stormwater runoff to provide water for surrounding native plantings. These projects were funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust's Mini-Grant program. All of these efforts were accomplished through Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake’s One Water Partnership. For more information to see how you can begin to transform your congregational grounds contact Bonnie Sorak at email@example.com or 443-799-0349.
Interfaith Youth Service and Tree Planting
Growing Future Green Leaders
On November 14th we held an Interfaith Youth Service and Tree planting. We started the day at The Shrine of the Sacred Heart for a service that began with song led by the church's Filipino Youth Choir. Father Bill Au, the parish priest, welcomed everyone with an opening prayer. Youth members recited readings and there were prayers and readings offered by Pastor Michele Ward, Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, Rabbi Daniel Burg, Beth Am Congregation and Associate Pastor John Parker from Mount Lebanon Baptist Church (MLBC). Following the service about 35 people loaded on a bus and headed to a site in Cherry Hill where others met us to plant 75+ trees. It was truly a great day.
But the story does not end there. Janell Belcher, a youth member from Mount Lebanon Baptist Church, participated in the service by reading Psalm 1:1-3 as well as leading a "Litany of Commitment for Creation Care" at the tree planting location. She had previously attended one of our "Inspirational Bus Tours" and on this day worked with her grandparents and other church members to plant trees at this event. Inspired by these experiences she has decided to focus her pursuit of a Girl Scout Gold Award on the upcoming rain garden, tree planting and cistern installation that will be happening at MLBC as part of the One Water Partnership program. She says, "I have learned how important clean water, trees and other native plants are and want to share this with others in the neighborhood." Once the projects are complete next Spring she plans to do outreach to other churches and the surrounding neighborhood associations to share her newfound knowledge. This is how we grow our future green leaders!
Commit Your Congregation to Take One Action and Join Today!
Congratulations to these 16 congregations who have joined the One Water Partnership and have agreed to take 6 actions over the next year:
Beth Am, Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, Cathedral of the Incarnation , Chizuk Amuno, Govan's Presbyterian Church, Har Sinai, Homewood Friends Meeting, Memorial Episcopal Church, Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church, St. Ignatius Catholic Church, St. Luke's on The Avenue Lutheran Church with six:eight Church, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, The Church of the Guardian Angel, The Church of the Redeemer , Shrine of the Sacred Heart.
In addition, these 17 congregations are participating by taking at least 1 action: Ames Memorial United Methodist Church, Ark Church, Baltimore Ethical Society, Church of the Holy Nativity, Corpus Christi Church, First Unitarian, Grace Lutheran Church, Homestead United Methodist Church, Kadampa Meditation Center, Kingdom Restorers International, Mt Vernon Place United Methodist Church, New Waverly United Methodist Church, Nu Season Nu Day, St. David's Episcopal Church, St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Sweet Prospect Baptist Church.
Click HERE to see if your congregation in the Jones Falls and join these 33 congregations in action. (Even if not, and if you're interested in participating, contact us since we are building interest lists for other regoins). Contact Bonnie Sorak at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-609-6852 to get involved.
Step 2: Once the interest form is completed and submitted we will contact you to help you to discern the level of participation that is right for you and your congregation.
For the an digital version of the full initial program brochure that you can share with others in your congregation Click HERE.
Spiritual Nature Walks
As a first step in "forming faithful stewards" we recommend organizing a Spiritual Nature Walk. Click HERE for a Nature Walk promotional flyer that you can customize and print out and display at your congregation or through your bulletin. All the information you need to host a congregational walk can be found at the link below. We are happy to assist you in organizing and may be able to provide environmental and/or spiritual leaders to help you on your chosen date and time. The locations that we have outlined include Druid Hill Park (handicapped accessible and stroller friendly), Wyman Park, Lake Roland Park and Cylburn Arboretum.
Want copies of the maps, spiritual exercises and other materials to recreate a walk for your congregation? Click HERE
Interested in some Jones Falls history? Check out the article HERE.
Click HERE to view more accomplishments from the Jones Falls One Water Partnerships.
Program Funded by: