June 2017 Issue 2
- Reflection: Green Muslims - Caring for God’s Creation During Ramadan and Beyond.
- Join Us in October for a Second Sacred Grounds Workshop for Montgomery County Congregations.
- Sign up for Our Upcoming Prince George's Alternative Compliance Program (ACP) Workshops.
- FREE Trees Available for Prince George's County Congregations.
- Be Part of the Trees for Sacred Places Project on the Eastern Shore and in Howard County.
- Exploration Charters in Upper Bay & Anacostia River.
- IPC on Baltimore's WYPR this Thursday!
- Faith & Climate Change Webinar.
- Upcoming Events.
- Volunteer & In-Kind Needs.
In this issue, we have invited the Green Muslims team to share their reflections on Ramadan and their recommitment to being good environmental stewards.
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you so that you may become righteous. - (2:183, The Qur’an)
Ramadan is the holiest month in Islam during which Muslims around the world abstain from food and drink from dawn to sundown and indulge in extra prayer, charity and community service. Every year, Ramadan starts on a different day in the Gregorian calendar as Muslims follow the lunar calendar. As the scripture above states, fasting is prescribed to enable Muslims to become more righteous by spiritually reconnecting with God and recommitting to the core teachings of Islam.
It is this blessed month during which the very first verses of the Qu’ran, the Islamic holy book, were revealed and therefore, many Muslims make it a daily practice to refer to it and reconnect with it. So, every Ramadan, like most Muslim groups, Green Muslims organizes events to engage our communities in recommitting to core Quranic teachings that call for caring for God’s creation and conserving resources. Specifically, we seek to remind our communities that God commands us to “walk gently on Earth” (25:63, The Qur’an).
On the 9th day of Ramadan (June 4th), Green Muslims held its first event. We participated in the “Run for Clean Energy 5k” organized by the Clean Energy Leadership Institute at Fletcher’s Cove. We organized an interfaith team of runners in support of young professionals pursuing careers in clean energy. Our team consisted of Muslims (yes, they were fasting!) and supporters from the interfaith community. It was truly inspiring to see faith communities come together early on a Saturday morning to participate in a 5k supporting clean energy the same week the current administration decided to pull out of the Paris Agreement.
On the 14th day of Ramadan (June 9th), Green Muslims held its signature popular event, “The Annual Leftar”. The leftar is especially important to us because it is how Green Muslims began. In Ramadan 2007, a small group of Muslim friends hosted a zero-trash community potluck iftar at which bringing leftovers was encouraged, i.e. a leftar. It was at this leftar that this dedicated group came together as “Green Muslims” and committed to raising environmental awareness in Muslim communities near and far. Since then, every year, Green Muslims gathers in the historic Meridian Hill Park to not only celebrate the organization humble beginnings during this blessed month but to also remind our communities not to be wasteful with food and other resources. To mark our ten-year anniversary, Green Muslims shared tools such as reusable water bottles and eco-friendly utensils with attendees so that they can use them at other iftars; a small yet effective action to green their Ramadan and recommit to “walk gently on Earth.”
Alhamdullilah (Praise to God), we are extremely grateful for the many blessings that God has bestowed upon Green Muslims this month. These blessings are truly apparent from all the love and support we have received from Muslim communities and interfaith communities. We pray that our efforts to do environmental outreach and awareness raising based on Qur’anic teachings guide individuals and communities irrespective of their faith background to work together to conserve resources, support clean energy and protect our planet. To learn more about Green Muslims click HERE or email at [email protected].
The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind, clear proofs for guidance and criterion (between right and wrong). - (2-185, The Qur’an)
Join Us For a Nature Walk
Back by popular demand -- our One Water Partnership Nature Walks have been so well received we decided to keep them going. Come be inspired, take a walk in the park to connect your spirituality with nature. Though these walks are focused on the Jones Falls anyone is welcome to join us. You can check us out and then plan a similar walk to motivate members of your congregation to take action to improve your local watershed. The walk routes and information can be found on our website HERE. Our next Nature Walk will be in Druid Hill Park on Sunday, June 25th at 2PM.
Thanks to our friends at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church we will meet at their parking lot at 1:30PM and then head over to the park. Contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] or call her at 443-799-0349 for the details or pre-register by clicking HERE. Download a promotional flyer HERE to share.
Congregations Commit to Protecting Jones Falls Watershed
Congratulations to the churches who have expressed interest in joining the One Water Partnership in Jones Falls. Many of them have already attended Visioning Sessions to prioritize how their congregations can take action to have a positive impact on their shared watershed.
Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, Grace Lutheran Church, Church of the Redeemer, Memorial Episcopal Church, Shrine of the Sacred Heart, St. Ignatius Church, Har Sinai Congregation, Ames Memorial United Methodist Church, Homewood Friends Meeting, St. Vincent de Paul Church, Govans Presbyterian Church, Cathedral of the Incarnation, Church of the Guardian Angel, Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, six:eight UCC, Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church, and Gospel Tabernacle Baptist Church.
Want to learn more about the One Water Partnership? 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.
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 and learn more.
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.
Sign up for Our Upcoming Prince George's Alternative Compliance Program (ACP) Workshops
Sign up for our webinar on Tuesday, June 20th 12pm - 1pm webinar sign-up click HERE or join us in person for the next workshop on Saturday, July 22nd 10am - 12pm (location TBD) 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]
Be Part of the Trees for Sacred Places Project on the Eastern Shore and in Howard County
Do you live on the Eastern Shore or in Howard County? IPC and the Alliance for the Chesapeake has openings in our Trees for Sacred Places Project into Howard County and the Eastern Shore. If your congregation is interested in learning more, please contact our Program Manager, Anna Awimbo.
Exploration Charters in Upper Bay and on the Anacostia River
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
- June 20 12-1PM Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program Online Webinar to sign up click HERE.
- June 21 10AM-12PM Connecting for a Cleaner Anacostia River - first in a series of conversations about the health of the Anacostia River. More info HERE.
- June 23 Advance screening of "From the Ashes." Annapolis Friends Meeting, 7-9PM. Click HERE to learn more.
- June 25 2PM One Water Partnership Nature Walk. Druid Hill Park. Parking at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church. Contact email Bonnie Sorak for details or pre-register HERE to get updates.
- June 27 Integrated Pest Management for the Garden presented by UME Master Gardeners. 6:30-8PM. Click HERE for more info.
- July 8 Rain Barrel Building presented by Blue Water Baltimore. 1-3PM. $65 (covers cost of supplies). Click HERE to RSVP.
- July 21 Green Muslims are hosting a zero-waste Itfar dinner during Ramadan, called at Leftar! Meridian Hill Park, DC. Details HERE.
- July 22 10AM-12PM Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program Workshop (Location To Be Determined) to sign up click HERE.
Volunteer and In-Kind Needs
- 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 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?
- 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)
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