Letting Your Light Shine

All_Saints_Luteran_pollinator_garden.jpgIn the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. -- Matthew 5:16

This passage jumped into my mind the first time I visited All Saints Lutheran Church in Bowie, Maryland. As I drove into their parking lot I was immediately struck by the number of trees planted and preserved on their grounds.  In addition, right at the entrance to the church, is an impressive pollinator garden. All around are signs that the congregation is aware of the need for God's people to be good stewards of the environment.

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A Light In the Darkness

A light in the darkness.

Mother Theresa will be canonized next September and clearly she was a light in the darkness. Malala Yousafzai is a light in the darkness in her unending fight for the educational rights of girls. Here in Baltimore, Destiny Watford, the high schooler fighting the permit for a trash incinerator in her neighborhood, is a light in the darkness.

Ever since San Bernadino, the hateful rhetoric in our country has escalated. It can seem very dark these days. Regardless of your religion and whether you are celebrating Christmas this week or not, you crave a light in this darkness. 

But let me tell you...there is much light already piercing through this darkness.

  • 10,901 trees have been planted by Maryland congregations
  • 17 Anne Arundel County congregations are installing stormwater improvement projects with the help of Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Watershed Stewards Academy . . . Read MORE 2015 IPC Highlights
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"All It Takes Is One Good Person to Restore Hope!"

Pope Francis, Laudato Si’On the Care of our Common Home, 2015

Published December 07, 2015 at 12:01pm

At Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, we abound in hope because of all the good we encounter every day – in people, in congregations, in communities, and in Creation. We invite you to pause as we arrive at the year’s end to give thanks for all the signs of hope for and among the community of faith who cares about the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and raises its hands and voice to restore and protect it.

We delight in the realization that during our past two years as an organization, Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake has brought forth many fruits of hope . . . Read the rest of Rabbi Cardin's and Rev. Rod Miller's message HERE

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Oppressing our Neighbors Less

As a cradle Episcopalian, I am one of the least likely people to stand up and talk about my faith. We Episcopalians will talk any topic to death, but usually with each other. [An Evangelical Episcopalian is an oxymoron.] But that is one message I hope some of you take home today—we must speak out to save God’s Creation. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, so let’s squeak.

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What are You Thirsty for?

(Sermon given by Executive Director, Jodi Rose, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Annapolis, June 22, 2014)

There is a saying that is Aboriginal Australian in origin and it reads: 

If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. 

But, if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. 

My liberation is bound up in yours, and yours in mine. We must work together to bring about God’s Kingdom – that is how our Creator intended it.

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A Climate for Runoff

Kolya Braun-Greiner wrote this reflection on the intersection of climate change and watershed health - and how trees heal in so many ways. Click here to read more...

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Churches and Stormwater

Mary Gaut, Pastor of Maryland Presbyterian Church, reflects on the Maryland Stormwater Utility Fee and what the current debate says about our calling to care for the Earth

                Churches have a responsibility to do our part and lead by example in caring for our natural resources.  Our scriptures and our faith tradition affirm the natural world as part of the magnificent creation that God has declared good.  Throughout the Bible water is linked to the creative, saving work of God and is often used as a symbol of new life and rebirth because it cleans and refreshes and nourishes all that it touches.  Polluted water loses its practical and symbolic function.  The Biblical text is consistent with science in recognizing that water was part of God’s creation before the human creature evolved and that clean water is necessary for all life.  Therefore churches, as responsible stewards, have a moral and ethical responsibility to protect our waters from substances and activities that would pollute and degrade them.  READ ON

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Tend and Keep

This beautiful video reflection comes from the Evanston Interreligious Sustainability Circle.  They welcome you to download it and use it for meditation or worship.   To view the video, click on the graphic or go to http://vimeo.com/67515529.  It can be downloaded from Vimeo.

 

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Mourning for the Earth

Katharine M. Preston, writing in Sojourners Magazine, August, 2013, asks:

WHY IS IT so hard for people to respond effectively to the reality of climate change?

Changing people’s minds—with facts, tables, and predictions—has proven extremely difficult. Even showing people the miraculous beauty of the planet alongside the predicted losses is not working. Guilt, anxiety, and anger can be motivating forces, but they have debilitating side effects: They are all soul-destroying.

So I wonder about our hearts. Have we ignored our emotional and spiritual connections to the planet? Could the noise swirling around climate change—science, politics, media blitzes, as well as the weather disasters themselves—drown out the voice of a loss so profound that it rests unnamed in our souls? Could our breaking hearts be part of the reason we are immobilized?

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

 

Reprinted with permission from Sojourners, (800) 714-7474, www.sojo.net.

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Rev. Riverkeeper

Dottie Yunger, former Executive Director of IPC, writing in Sojourners online recently reflected that:

The water celebrated by the psalmists is the same water we have today—literally. The waters of baptisms and ritual cleansings we use today are all part of the same body of water used by the prophets and Jesus. We are part of this cycle; this cycle is part of us. Yet we know this cycle is out of balance.

The psalmists’ vision of how things should be is not how things are. Our actions (or inactions) are the direct cause. We experience flooding in some areas, drought in others. We build dams and levees to control the flow of water. We allow harmful chemicals to change the very nature of water. Water that used to flow gently over lush vegetation now roars harshly across asphalt into these waterways, carrying with it pollutants and eroding riverbanks. We seem to think we know better than God how water should be water.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that we can help return the water cycle to its natural rhythm, as intended by God and described by the psalmists.

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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.