Celebrate our Collective Effort
In the News
Call to Advocacy
Programs - Sign Up!
The world we live in is a miracle and a mystery. Many of us feel that we are called upon to celebrate and protect it. We believe that we are called to be in community with each other, working together for a more peaceful and just world in which natural resources are shared equitably and respectfully. Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake is proud to be working with so many wonderful people, congregations and organizations to create a larger community of advocates for Creation who work across denominational divides, for common goals.
In the past year, in collaboration with many partners, here’s what you collectively achieved in our quest to restore balance to Creation:
Through the Trees for Sacred Places program, roughly 1,700 trees have been planted by over 200 people at 40 places of worship.
Over 250 people have attended workshops about the importance of trees in repairing watershed health.
Already, 24 congregations have expressed interest in tree-plantings in 2015. (Email us if you want to plant trees on your congregation in 2015.)
Through the “Community Visioning Track” of the Blue Water Congregations program, 5 congregations in Baltimore identified projects they want to do on their grounds to reduce polluted runoff and are pursuing funding for those projects. An additional 8 congregations are already signed up for 2015. And, 37 more congregations are working directly with Blue Water Baltimore through the “Facilitated Action track.” (Email us if you want to your congregation to participate in either track 2015.)
In Prince George’s County, roughly 30 people from 6 congregations learned about ways to reflect care for Creation on their grounds and in their educational programs.
In Anne Arundel County, 26 RiverWise Congregations are gearing up for controlling polluted runoff from their properties and supporting the training of Watershed Stewards in their communities.
In Baltimore, the Covenantal Partners Program is getting rolling and already 3 congregations are beginning their internal discussions of how to respond to the environmental crises of our time. There’s room for more, so email us if you want to galvanize your green ministry in 2015.
This work is only possible through your hard work and smart collaborations with partners such as: Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Blue Water Baltimore, Collective Empowerment Group, Anacostia Riverkeeper, Watershed Stewards Academy, and Maryland Sea Grant.
Read about all of the above programs on our Programs Page of our website.
If you would like to support our work and amplify the impact, please consider making a donation. We are fiscally sponsored by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, so donations should be addressed as follows:
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (Memo Line: “for IPC”)
501 Sixth Street
Annapolis, MD 21403
Advocating for Creation and greening our congregations can be overwhelming tasks if we work alone, disconnected from others doing the same thing. That is why we will be working in 2015 to connect you all to each other and to other partners so that together our collective impact can be greater.
Thank you all for advocating for Creation in your own way. Together we are creating positive change right here in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
Wishing you a blessed 2015!
Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin
Chair of the Board
In the News
Published Letter to Editor - Rev. Mary Gaut, Board Member of IPC and pastor at Maryland Presbyterian Church,
wrote a letter to to the Baltimore Sun in response to their story entitled, "After Hogan victory, local governments look to cut taxes and fees," Nov. 15th. Read her published letter here. You, too, can bring the faith voice to bear through letters-to-editors, letters to your denominational leaders, online blogs, Facebook postings and more.
Interfaith Leadership Award - IPC was recognized by the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council for our contributions to the interfaith Creation Care movement! We are excited to be collaborating with congregations across Maryland to bring about healing of Creation, and appreciate the CMEC for their recognition.
Water is a Justice Issue - IPC participated and presented at the Environmental Justice Symposium held Dec. 6-7 at University of Maryland. Attendees heard challenging questions and stories from courageous people calling for justice. Marginalized communities suffer disproportionately from environmental degradation of air, soil, and water from trash incinerators, industrial waste dumps, and fracking. IPC Staff presented on two panels: "Interfaith Discussion on Environmental Justice and the Chesapeake Bay," and "Implementing Effective Advocacy Strategies to Reduce Pollution and Improve Environmental Health in the Chesapeake Bay." There was lively interest among many participants to learn from IPC about how to engage and collaborate with the faith community to strengthen a movement calling for clean water for all.
Call to Advocacy
Potomac River - Our Nation's River
The Potomac River watershed crosses into 4 states and the District of Columbia. According to the Potomac Conservancy, by 2040, an estimated 2.3 million new residents will move into the region. Read the Potomac Conservancy's newly released State of the Nation's River report and see how you can help plan for vibrant and sustainable communities.
US Forest Service helps protect George Washington National Forest
We applaud the US Forest Service for retaining sensible limits on oil and gas drilling in the final management plan for the George Washington National Forest. We encourage you to reach out to the US Forest Service to express your gratitude for their leadership. Letters can be addressed to Thomas L. Tidwell, Chief, US Forest Service, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250-1111.
Montgomery County, MD Considers Ban of Lawn Pesticides
Lawn pesticides drift, pollute our common air, and run off into our waterways and drinking water sources. A ban which restricts the use of cosmetic lawn pesticides in the County would reduce polluted runoff and contribute to a more healthy environment. Urge the Montgomery County Council to support the pesticide restriction on cosmetic lawn pesticides today! Find out more and sign up for the public hearing occurring on Jan. 15, 2015 at 7:30pm
Tell MD elected officials to reduce pollution from manure
Manure contaminates local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay and threatens public health. It chokes our waters of the necessary oxygen to support crabs, oysters and other aquatic life and causes toxic algae blooms. Numerous studies show that phosphorus pollution from manure is getting worse. Help protect Maryland waterways by asking Senate President Miller, Speaker Busch and your Maryland legislators to support the new phosphorus rule.
Baltimore City Bans Plastic Bags
On November 17th, Baltimore City Council voted to pass a ban on the distribution of disposable plastic bags by city vendors. While not perfect, it is an important first step toward curbing plastic bag pollution. Over the next few months, Blue Water Baltimore will be handing out free reusable bags and encouraging residents to #BMoreBagSmart by getting out of the habit of using disposable bags altogether. If the Mayor signs the bill, the law will take effect on April 1, 2015.
Programs - Sign Up!
Does your congregation want to plant trees, install rain gardens, or otherwise manage runoff so that it percolates back into the ground rather than being sent to our rivers and streams untreated?
If yes, email Bonnie Sorak and let her know. We are starting waiting lists of congregations interested in taking action on their grounds so we can piece together the collaborations and resources needed to help congregations act on their call to stewardship.