July 2017 Issue 2


  • Reflection: All Stars All Around
  • Donate_Button.jpgChesapeake Bay Trust Grant Funding Opportunities Now Open
  • One Water Partnership Churches Complete Visioning Session
  • Vote for Clean Water!
  • Join Us in October for a Second Sacred Grounds Workshop for Montgomery County Congregations
  • FREE Trees and Program Available for Prince George's County Congregations
  • Be Part of the Trees for Sacred Places Project on the Eastern Shore and in Howard County
  • Sign Up for Our Final Prince George's Alternative Compliance Program (ACP) Workshop
  • Howard County Master Watershed Steward Certification Program
  • Exploration Charters in Upper Bay & Anacostia River
  • Upcoming Events
  • Volunteer & In-Kind Needs

REFLECTION: All Stars All Around

Tree_Instruction.JPGLast week was All Star week. Baseball fans will recognize that this means that major league baseball hosted a home run derby followed by the annual All Star Game. Players from multiple teams came together to compete for the most home runs hit in a brief period, retired players and celebrities had fun in a soft ball game and then the “star” players from the American and National Leagues were celebrated in an exhibition game. All Star week marks the halfway point of the season. All the other players got to take a breather. 

What a great time for IPC to shine a spotlight on some of our “All Star” congregations. Just this week we heard from The Episcopal Church of the Holy Covenant that their rain garden is all complete except for the planting (too hot in the summer to plant). They received two Chesapeake Bay Trust Grants to achieve this goal. Additionally, we heard that ALL of the congregations that IPC helped to apply for Chesapeake Bay Trust Community Outreach and Engagement Mini Grants will receive their awards. Catonsville Presbyterian Church will remove invasive species and shore up a native meadow; St. Ignatius Catholic Church hosted a series Bible Studies centered on Pope Francis’ “Our Common Home” Encyclical; Rehobeth Church and Ministries will be leading a “green mapping” project in their neighborhood; Silver Spring United Methodist Church is installing a French drain and connector rain garden; Transforming Life Church installed a cistern to support their community garden and New Kingdom Faith Christian Church worked with an Anne Arundel Watershed Steward and a neighborhood association to install a rain garden. 

Congratulations to these rookies and “old-timers” who are working to make improvements on their church grounds and in their local communities. Here’s what IPC "teammate" Ron Gunderson of Catonsville Presbyterian Church said to us last week when his church received an additional BGE Green Grant for a project on their grounds:“I attribute the growing support for Creation Care at my church to the encouragement and assistance from IPC that started a couple of years ago!”

While some of us may be taking a little “summer breather” please remember to take time to reconnect with the gift that God gives us in nature...that when all else seems overwhelming, there is this ever-present gift every day that is the sun rising and setting, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the nature around us. That is God's gift to remind us how much we are loved unconditionally. And when we all work together each of us gets to feel the elation when our team hits it out of the park!

Chesapeake Bay Trust Grant Funding Opportunities Now Open

Have dreams of making your congregational grounds more environmentally friendly by adding stormwater remediation or working to educate your members or the surrounding community about the actions they can take to have a positive effect on local waterways but you just don't have funds to do it? Look no further - - The Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) has opened several grant tracks for which you can apply. Contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] or 443-799-0349 for guidance on which program your project would be best suited. Click HERE to check out the different categories. There are specific funding streams for organizations in Baltimore City and Gaithersburg and in the counties of Anne Arundel, Charles, Harford and Howard. Grant writing workshops are available for Baltimore City organizations/congregations. Click HERE for a flyer with details.

Final_OWP_Facebook_Graphic.jpgOne Water Partnership Churches Complete Visioning Session

Hearing___Sharing_1.jpgCongratulations to the churches that have already decided to take action through the One Water Partnership by completing a Visioning Session to prioritize their efforts. They include: Brown Memorial Presbyterian ChurchCathedral of the Incarnation Episcopal ChurchChurch of the Redeemer Episcopal Church, Church of the Guardian Angel, six:eight ChurchGovan's Presbyterian ChurchGrace Lutheran ChurchHomewood Friends MeetingMemorial Episcopal ChurchMt. Lebanon Baptist ChurchSt. Luke's on The Avenue Lutheran Church and St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church

Don't see your congregation listed? It's not too late!  Contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] or call her at 443-799-0349 for the details. Click HERE to go to our webpage. Fill out this brief interest form and we'll follow up to schedule a conversation on your congregation's interests and capacity.

Vote for Clean Water!

In a spirit of cooperation, Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake collaborates with Baltimore Watershed groups, scientists, NGO’s and local governments under the Urban Waters Federal Partnership.

Our group has been selected for national recognition as a finalist for a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (Sammie). You can support our efforts to promote clean water for all by voting for our work through the People’s Choice Award - Click on "Meet the Finalists" then click on "Surabhi Shah and the Urban Waters Team". Vote early and often for Urban Waters!

Want to do more to protect your local waterways? IPC has many opportunities available through our One Water PartnershipTrees For Sacred PlacesVacation Bible School, and Alternative Compliance Program Workshops, and more. Contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] or 443-799-0349 for more details. 

postcard_nwf_invite_sacred_grounds-001.jpgJoin Us in October for a Second Sacred Grounds Workshop for Montgomery County Congregations

IPC is partnering with the National Wildlife Federation and others to offer Montgomery County congregations a Sacred Grounds webinar & in person workshops to learn how your community can receive up to $10,000 to beautify your grounds, conserve water and create habitat for wildlife. The first workshop was held on June 18th and a second workshop will be offered on October 15th (location TBD). Join us! Click HERE to listen to a recording of the webinar or click HERE for more info.

FREE Trees and Program Available for Prince George's County Congregations 

Would you like to beautify your grounds and leave a legacy for 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 HERE. Interested? Contact Bonnie Sorak

View and download Prince George's Flyer HERE.
Pictured: Carolina Missionary Baptist Church

Be Part of the Trees for Sacred Places Project on the Eastern Shore and in Howard County


We’re delighted to be joined in our Trees for Sacred Places Project in Howard County by First Presbyterian Church of Howard County, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and St. Francis Assisi Catholic Church. We still have space for two more churches to complete the program. If you live or worship in Howard County and would like to join us, we would like to hear from you. To learn more, please contact our Program Manager, Anna Awimbo.

We are pleased to announce that all our spaces are full for the Eastern Shore program. Congratulations to the churches who are participating including: Old Trinity Church, St Luke’s United Methodist Church, St. Paul’s Church, Waugh Chapel United Methodist Church and Old Wye Parrish. 

PG_County_Seal.pngSign up for Our Final Prince George's Alternative Compliance Program (ACP) Workshop

IPC will hold our final Alternative Compliance Program Workshop for congregations in Prince George's County on Saturday, July 22nd 10am - 12pm at All Saints Lutheran Church, 16510 Mount Oak Rd, Bowie, MD  20716. workshop sign-up click HERE. This is a good opportunity to learn more about the ACP and get your questions answered. Questions? Contact Anna at [email protected]

Howard Country Master Watershed Steward Certification Program

HoCoWSA.jpgAs an affiliate of the University of Maryland Extension - Howard County Watershed Stewards Academy(HoCoWSA) is a training program that empowers residents to improve the water quality of local streams. Through a series of classes and community-based activities, concerned citizens learn how they can spearhead individual and community efforts aimed at reducing the harmful effects of polluted stormwater runoff into local streams, which eventually makes its way to the Chesapeake Bay.

The HoCoWSA is holding a series of informational sessions to highlight its Master Watershed Steward Certification program and is looking for innovative problem-solvers who are interested in serving their community by preserving and improving water quality at the local level.

The next training class will commence on September 5, 2017. Information sessions are being held on the following dates: July 20, 24, 25 and August 3 and 10. An application package for enrollment will be available at the information sessions. For more information contact Terry R. Matthews at 410-313-2711or [email protected] or visit their website HERE.

Exploration Charters in Upper Bay and on the Anacostia River

Want to take your faith group out on the water to get up close and personal with God's Creation and see firsthand how faithful stewards can better protect it? This summer you have 2 Options!

Upper Bay: Coastal Anthology, a boat tour/guide outfit in the Susquehanna/Upper Bay area, is offering up to 4 cost-free, 4-hour, on-the-water exploration charters for faith groups of 6 or less. IPC can provide discussion questions that your group can take with you. After those 4 slots for free charters are filled, up to 6 additional faith groups can request a tour at a negotiated price. The standard price is $60 per hour for a 4-hour tour.  A description of Coastal Anthology charters can be found HERE.

Anacostia River: Anacostia Riverkeeper is once again offering free boat tours. 1-hour and 2-hour tours are available for groups up to 20 people. Grab your spiritual leader and go take a reality tour of DC's River!

Contact IPC at [email protected] to request a tour on either of these trips.

Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities 

  • July 17 Our Streams, Our Lake, Our Community - It Takes a Village 7PM at Slayton House Click HERE for more information.
  • July 20 Anacostia Riverkeeper sponsors Thursday Night Kayaking. Free guided kayaking experience of the Anacostia River on Thursday evenings. 5:30-7:30PMClick HERE for more info.
  • July 20 Howard County Watershed Stewards Academy information session (training class to begin Sept. 5). Savage Branch Library, 7PM. For more information contact Terry R. Matthews at410-313-2711 or [email protected] or visit their website HERE.
  • July 20 Baltimore City and CBT Grant Writing Workshop 5:30-7:30pm at Central Baltimore Partnership (25 E 20th St, Baltimore, MD 21218).  Click HERE for a flyer
  • July 21 Anacostia Riverkeeper sponsors Friday Night Fishing. Free - all gear and bait provided. Click HERE for more info.
  • July 22 10AM-12PM Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program Workshop.All Saints Lutheran Church, 16510 Mount Oak Road, Bowie, MD  to sign up click HERE.
  • July 24 Howard County Watershed Stewards Academy information session (training class to begin Sept. 5). Miller Branch Library, 7PM. For more information contact Terry R. Matthews at410-313-2711 or [email protected] or visit their website HERE
  • July 25 Howard County Watershed Stewards Academy information session (training class to begin Sept. 5). Glenwood Branch Library, 7PM. For more information contact Terry R. Matthews at 410-313-2711 or [email protected] or visit their website HERE.
  • July 27 One Water Partnership CBT Grant Writing Workshop 6:00 pm at Blue Water Baltimore, 2631 Sisson Street, Baltimore, MD 21211. Click HERE to register
  • August 2 Baltimore City and CBT Grant Writing Workshop 6:00-8:00PM at Humanim (1701 N Gay St, Baltimore, MD 21213) Click HERE for a flyer. 
  • August 3 Howard County Watershed Stewards Academy information session (training class to begin Sept. 5). Glenwood Branch Library, 7PM. For more information contact Terry R. Matthews at 410-313-2711 or [email protected] or visit their website HERE.
  • August 10 Howard County Watershed Stewards Academy information session (training class to begin Sept. 5). Central Branch Library, 7PM. For more information contact Terry R. Matthews at410-313-2711 or [email protected] or visit their website HERE.

Volunteer and In-Kind Needs 
  • Can you spare an hour or two on Sat. Aug. 26th from 10 AM to 2 PM to help staff an information table in Baltimore at Kingdom Life Church Community Event? Contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] or 443-799-0349 if you can help out. Click HERE for details.
  • 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 photographyVidoegraphy? 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)
Thank you!