- Reflection: Can Religion Save the Bay?
- What Issues are Important to You?
- NEW! Vacation Bible School Program on Water - Prince George's County
- Rain Garden Blessing at St. Pius X
- Interfaith Collaboration Plants Trees - Your Congregation can too!
- Chesapeake Bay Trust Environmental Education Grant Program
- Shopping for the holidays? Support IPC through Amazon Smile!
- Upcoming Events
- In-Kind Needs - canvas case and photo/videography
Can Religion Save the Bay?
Last spring I received a phone call from Michael Finch at the University of Maryland Extension Office - Maryland Sea Grant. He explained he was going to be writing an article about how faith communities are engaging in watershed restoration and had some questions for me. We talked for about an hour and I shared with him some of my personal motivations for engaging in this work. He also asked for names of others in the field and on our team who he might talk to...so I pointed him to some of our past board members like Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin, Charlie Conklin, and Bill Breakey. I also pointed him to partner organizations and funders and Cassandra Carmichael of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment...so many people and groups have contributed to this movement...every person an essential piece of the puzzle.
What Michael put together is a beautiful expose on the intersection of Faith and Environment and how it is impacting Maryland's Bay restoration efforts. It was just released last month. You can find links to all of the articles on our home page, and here:
- The Case for Religious Environmentalism
- The Third Wave: An Environmental Movement Reaches the Chesapeake
- The Road to Empowerment: In the Field with Faith-Based Environmentalists
We are extremely proud to be highlighted in these articles -- but, more importantly, we are grateful for the many people who influenced and shaped the work of Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake. As we approach the month of Giving Thanks, we are mindful of the many faith-filled people who have stepped up to the plate to push this movement forward at different times.
And there is another "wave" of religious environmentalism that is emerging -- the Black Church is claiming their role in the movement and making their voices heard! An incredible Green the Church Summit took place last week and was attended by over 100 black pastors and lay leaders. Organized by Interfaith Power and Light, the event was a huge success from workshops to networking to a wildly fun "Sermon Slam." One pastor said "No longer should our churches be simply Places of Worship!" He challenged the audience to see their congregations as forces for change and to drive this movement to heal the Earth from the pulpits.
With a historical election upon us tomorrow there is no question that we are living through a time that the future will look back upon and judge for whether it successfully turned the tides on this pathway to environmental degradation --or whether our efforts fell short. With this unifying voice of all people of faith -- no matter race, creed, or walk of life-- can religion save the Bay? IPC certainly won't give up until the job is done.
What Issues are Important to You?
The Maryland State Legislature will begin their session in January, and your state representatives will vote on hundreds of bills that will shape Maryland's future. Many of those bills will relate to the environment. As IPC decides which bills to focus on, we want to hear what's most important to you. Do you want to ban fracking? Do you want to limit the use of antibiotics in factory farms? Do you want a foam ban?
We have summarized the issues that might come up in the Maryland State Legislature in 2017. Please take 5 minutes to complete this survey and tell us how important these issues are to you.
FREE Sunday School or VBS program: Living Waters - Care Share, & Protect
A free training and curriculum for a Vacation Bible School (VBS) or Sunday School program will be offered to churches in Prince George's County, through a grant provided by Chesapeake Bay Trust and the PG County Department of Environment! Our program offers, for free:
- water-themed curriculum for 5 separate activities with materials
- training for your lead teachers, including a boat ride on the Anacostia for an in-depth experience of the content you'll be teaching
- pre-printed banner to hang outside and advertise your program
- one-on-one support for your team to help you succeed in putting on the program for your youth
- participating congregations will receive a 25% discount off their Clean Water Fee since this satisfies the educational requirement
- More information on this flyer
Such a Blessing!
Yesterday, St. Pius X in Towson blessed their new bio-retention project. Hats off to lead volunteer Jenny Michalak for her patience and tenacity as this event culminated 2.5 years of work. Through the Blue Water Congregations Program, Blue Water Baltimore was able to obtain the over $89,000 it took to make this dream a reality. Designed so that congregants will be able to stroll through and sit beside what will be beautiful and peaceful meditation space come this Spring. This project will filter the stormwater runoff from their large parking lot, thus doing their part to restore creation.
Interfaith Collaboration Plants Trees - Your Congregation can too!
We still have openings for congregations to participate in the Trees for Sacred Places Program. These pictures were takan at the tree planting day at Catonsville Presbyterian Church where members of all ages from the congregation were joined by members of the American Friends Turkish Association (AFTA). A workshop was offered that incorporated both Christian and Muslim teachings on care for Creation and respect for the waters.
We are still looking for several congregations, retreat centers or religious schools throughout Maryland, and specifically Prince George's County. The program offers for FREE: professional planting plan, native trees, deer protection, all necessary tools to plant AND environmental and spiritual workshops (tailored to the congregation or religious school's needs) about the importance of planting trees. You can learn more about the program on our webpage HERE.
Chesapeake Bay Trust Environmental Education Grant Program
The Chesapeake Bay Trust has an Environmental Education grant program open which awards funding to environmental education programs for pre-K through 12th grade students in Maryland. The Trust seeks to increase environmental stewardship through environmental education by providing grants that build and expand pre-K through 12 environmental education programs and increase student access to programs that provide meaningful outdoor learning experiences.
For more information please check out their website www.cbtrust.org/grants/environmentaleducation and review the Request for Proposal for the full description of the services being requested and how to apply.
If you must shop for the holidays, Support IPC at Amazon Smile!
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. Simply click HERE and select Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake as your charitable organization of choice. That's it! Next time you shop online, make sure you start at AmazonSmile and IPC will receive .5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases.
Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities
- November 8 - National Elections - Your Vote Counts!
- November 12 - Green Muslims Outdoor Education Program for youth ages 13-18 - Find out more HERE.
- November 12 - Claggett Center (Adamstown, MD)- Tree Planting Day and Workshop 10am-3pm.
- November 12 - St. Alban's Episcopal Church (Salisbury, MD) - Tree Planting Day 9am-12.
- November 13-15 - Chapman Dialogues~Conversations on Faith presents "Faith and the Environment." Click HERE for more info.
- November 19 - St. Andrew by the Bay (Annapolis, MD) - Tree Planting Day and Workshop
- November 19 - Blue Water Baltimore fall tree planting @Chinquapin Run, 9am-noon. Sign up HERE
- November 20 - Earth Forum of Howard County presents a post-election round table "What's Next For Our Environment?" 2pm, First Presbyterian Church of Howard County. Click HERE for more info.
- November 20 - Global Day of Jewish Learning "Under the Same Sky: The Earth is Full of Your Creations" Click HERE to register.
- November 29 - #GivingTuesday! For the holidays, in lieu of giving your loved ones more "stuff", honor them with a gift to IPC!
- December 3-4 - Join a retreat for activists, "Where Spirit and Action Meet," at the Trinitarians Retreat Center in Baltimore, MD. Co-led by Kaira Jewel Lingo and Marisela Gomez. More information HERE. Register HERE.
Volunteer and In-Kind Needs
- Willing to help us stuff envelopes? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- We need a small canvas case for small external speakers (used with a projector). Do you have something you can pass along? Contact Kolya Braun-Greiner email@example.com or call us at 410-609-6852 if you do! Shout out to Laura Heller for her gift of speakers provided! Thank you!
- Do you have skills in financial review? IPC is looking for probono support for an internal financial review. Call Jodi Rose at 410-609-6852 if you can help.
- Do you like photography? Vidoegraphy? We are always looking for help taking photos at our events, and putting them together in slide shows. This is a good way to inspire other people and show them the work that is taking place across Maryland. If this is something you can help with, please contact Jodi Rose at 410-609-6852.
- Are you willing to make 5 phone calls each week for us to help us follow up with engaged congregations?