Covenant with Creation
Call to Advocacy
For Your Calendar
Volunteer with IPC
Menu for Action
Covenant with Creation
We are rooted in our local ecological context, but do we really feel spiritually connected to the natural world around us? Patuxent Riverkeeper, Fred Tutman, offered this wisdom: “Forge spiritual bonds with your sense of place." As we embrace the biodiversity of our home, we can fall more deeply in love with what's right outside our door. Spiritual teacher and author Echardt Tolle said: “Love is a deep empathy with the other's ‘Beingness.’ You recognize yourself, your essence, in the other. And so you can no longer inflict suffering on the other.” What if we applied this to the whole of God’s Creation? This relationship is reflected in the covenant made after the flood when God set the rainbow as “a sign of the covenant between me and the Earth… between myself and you and every living creature.” (Gen 9:13, 15)
Cultivating a spiritual motivation for restoring the ecosystem in which we live and making a covenant to do so, is a goal of IPC's Covenantal Partners Program (CPP), initiated for Baltimore congregations. IPC offers a "Visioning Session" to a congregational team of 6-10 people who assemble to reflect on how it can grow a deeper "spiritual bond" with God's Creation. Each Visioning Session is tailored to the social, spiritual, and environmental context of the congregation, and aims to facilitate movement toward an action beyond where they've already been.
St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in Baltimore City is doing exactly that. After their Visioning Session, the Environmental Justice Team discerned that they needed to cultivate a deep motivation to care for sacred waters in their watershed, and then from that place take action. They are using the occasion of Lent to offer such an opportunity to the parish. As a result of meetings with their pastor, the Liturgical Committee, the Children's Liturgy of the Word committee, and the Women in Ministry Group, there will be reflections on water and care for Creation following two Sundays during Lent, and an offering of "Eco-Stations of the Cross." Their Lenten schedule is offered here for other Christian churches looking to organize reflections around Lent. Through CPP, the team at St. Matthew’s EJ Team, led by the Spirit, is living out their covenant with God. They ask their parishioners: "Join us, as we consider together our role and responsibility in covenant with God."
If you are member of a congregation in Baltimore and would like us to offer the CPP process to your faith community, we have openings for 2 more congregations. Perhaps your green team is ready to make a covenant to move from reflection to action? Please contact Bonnie Sorak, firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss this program further.
May your heart guide you in your covenant with Creation,
The IPC Team
Call to Advocacy
New Webpage - IPC has a new Advocacy Page on our website! Check out the latest state-wide bills we’re tracking on a Fracking Moratorium, the Phosphorous Management Tool, and efforts to keep the Stormwater Utility Program in place. As we continue to grow, we may begin to track bills in other states, but for now we’re limited to Maryland legislation.
Montgomery County Pesitcide Ban - The second hearing for a ban on cosmetic pesticides in MoCo is on Feb. 12th in Rockville at 7:30 PM. Tell Montgomery County that you care about clean water for generations to come.
Microbeads - A tube of toothpaste can contain as many as 300,000 plastic beads, all for color. A bottle of face wash can be chock full of exfoliating beads. These microbeads of plastic wash down the drain and wind up in our rivers and streams. Virginia and Pennsylvania will be considering legislation to ban the sale of microbead-laden products this year. Maryland is putting together legislation for a hearing in February or March. Connect with Trash-Free Maryland to stay abreast of this issue.
For your calendar...
Feb 12th @ 7:30 - Baltimore Food and Faith Project and the Marc Steiner Show will screen the movie Food Chains at Red Emma’s (30 W. North Ave Baltimore, MD 21201). Following the movie, there will be a panel discussion moderated by Marc Steiner.
Feb 15th at 1 pm - Interfaith Forum: Showcasing Congregations - Join us as we celebrate the great working being done at faith congregations throughout Montgomery County and the surrounding area. Here great speakers, pick up new resources, and learn about rainscaping on congregational grounds! Click here for information and to RSVP.
February 20-22 - weekend retreat - “Listening to the Earth, Caring for All of God’s Creation” - a Silent Retreat with Bread of Life Church at Dayspring Retreat Center, Germantown, MD
March 7th 8:15 am - 3:30 pm - Catholic Campaign for Human Development - Archdiocese of Baltimore - Many outstanding workshops that will help faith leaders catalyze social change. IPC’s Jodi Rose will be presenting “God Makes the Rain, We Make the Runoff.” Details and registration here.
As Earth Day approaches - help us broaden our reach! Are you willing to staff an informational table to reach more people at any of the upcoming events? Are you willing to help us with our database and other office-related duties? Are you a seasoned fundraiser willing to offer your talents in support of IPC. Please visit our Volunteer Page and tell us how you would like to help IPC grow and inspire more faith communities around the region.
Menu for Action
Looking to live sustainably, inspire others, lead a youth group, and learn what your denomination says about Creation Care? All of that - and more - is captured in the Menu for Action. This valuable resource is searchable, and is constantly being updated. Do YOU have information to share on the Menu? Email us and we’ll add it to the library so that others can benefit from what you know.