"I now realize that we are all connected in a watershed." This was the insight of Karen Garrett, from Knox Presbyterian Church, who attended the boat trip offered by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as part of IPC's Vacation Bible School training "God's Water Heroes." Twelve people from seven congregations participated in the boat tour as one of the three sessions to learn more deeply about the challenges to health of our local watershed and what we can do to heal God's sacred waters. The relevance of the twelve disciples on a boat when Jesus calmed the waters was not lost among some on our boat trip! As May 8 is National Teacher Day designated for the appreciation of teachers, we celebrate these teachers within their faith communities. You too can educate your faith community with faith based materials on our Resources page, including IPC's Toolkit for Faithful Stewards.
Through direct experience out on the water, we observed trash on the shore and tested the water for visibility (sediment limits the depth and availability of oxygen for water creatures), and caught some small fish - perch and striped bass (and threw them back). Other insights gained were environmental, spiritual and emotional:
"Oysters are amazing filtration systems - removing the pollutants from the water."
"I am calm now after being out on the water." (but not at the beginning) This confirms the neuroscience found in the book Blue Mind.
"Let justice roll down like waters (Amos 5:24). If justice flowed down our waters, then those of us who live at the top of the watershed would be aware of what flows to our neighbors downstream."
"Now I understand why the "trees shall clap their hands (Isaiah 55). They are joyful when we care for God's Creation."
Participants also received information about other ways to care for the waters provided by the Baltimore Dept. of Public Works - keeping fats, oils and grease (FOG) out of the drains, and trashing the wipes, not putting them into the sewer system. The participants concluded the class full of enthusiasm for teaching the Vacation Bible School curricilum in a variety of ways: 5 evenings as an intergenerational program, 5 or more weeks of a Sunday School program, and incorporated into water-themed worship services. These congregations will go forth like the disciples into their congregations and share this good news with "watershed eyes" so that God's children of all ages will become "God's Water Heroes."
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