It was a beautiful evening in Eastport, MD, at the Annapolis Maritime Museum where Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake held its first ‘Celebrating Chesapeake Champions’! Toasts were made to recognize the hard work of so many who were able to attend, and even more who couldn’t. Together we celebrated what calls us all to be stewards of our communities and the Chesapeake Bay.

Our sincerest thank you’s go out to our amazing cast of speakers, Congressman John Sarbanes, Will Baker, the President of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF)MD Senator Sarah Elfreth, and MD Delegate Kumar Barve, who all took time from their busy schedules to join and speak at our celebration. Congressman Sarbanes shared with us his story of his own interfaith upbringing and reminded us that no matter our faith tradition, most of us find peace while outdoors so it is incumbent upon us to ensure a healthy watershed for the next generation. Playing an influential role in shaping legislation, preserving landscapes, and educating thousands of Chesapeake stewards along the way. Mr. Baker spoke to how far the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay has come, and to how far we still have to go. His words served as a reminder of the importance of every action we take that helps restore and revitalize the Chesapeake Bay. It was a delight to be able to introduce so many members of our community to their elected representatives, and hear so many encouraging testimonies about why we choose to act on behalf of, and restore, our local environments.

Additionally speaking, Reverend Diana Carroll of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Eastport and Apostle Larry Lee Thomas of Empowering Believers Church in Glen Burnie, had a chance to share inspiring reflections from their own projects and time working with IPC. Their collective testimony left all in the crowd feeling renewed and ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow! IPC is thrilled with what has been achieved at St. Luke’s Episcopal and Empowering Believers, and they serve as an inspiration to many others in their communities. An extra thank you goes out to Rev. Carroll and Green Team Leader Chuck Gallegos, who can both be seen at left just before the evenings event hosting a tour for congregational and green-team leaders through their Eastport campus. St. Luke's has been the site of a major stream restoration, which treats more than 25 acres of urban Eastport, MD! 

A major highlight of the evening's events was the awarding of the Partner Congregation Pledge poster to 8 of our congregations in attendance. Signing IPC’s Partner Congregation Pledge is a symbolic act that functions to help build a movement of faith communities working together to restore, honor, and protect the Chesapeake Bay. The pledge poster will serve as a reminder to congregants for why we care and serve as stewards of the Chesapeake. Major congratulations go out to Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, Christ Our Anchor Presbyterian ChurchMount Lebanon Baptist Church, Saint Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Towson Presbyterian Church, Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church , Har Sinai-Oheb Shalom Congregation, and Saint Luke's Episcopal Church, who all received their pledge poster during the evenings event, seen below. 

Since the Partner Congregation Pledge program's inception, IPC has had more than 75 congregations sign the pledge, and we are thrilled to announce even more each month. Their collective efforts have helped to make truly meaningful differences for their communities, and it is only the beginning! Signing the pledge is more than just a signature, it is an opportunity to join a movement that spans through all of our communities and lives. If you are interested in becoming an IPC Partner Congregation, please click here for more information. All faith communities are invited to join us in this effort!

We are so deeply thankful for each and every person who was able to attend the first ‘Celebrating Chesapeake Champions’. We are especially grateful to any who had a chance to share what inspires them to be a Chesapeake Champion. We can't wait to see you at the next one!

Taylor Swanson

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Communications & Outreach Coordinator