September 2017 Issue 1


  • Reflection: Dig Deeper
  • Donate_Button.jpgProposed Pipeline Under Potomac River
  • Clear Vision: One Water Partnership Visioning Session
  • Interfaith Prayer Service and Advocacy Day - September 12
  • Tree Planting Workshops in Howard County and on the Eastern Shore
  • Baltimore City Clergy Leaders Support Needed to Ban Crude Oil Terminals
  • Deadlines Approach for Chesapeake Bay Trust Grant Funding Opportunities
  • 2nd Sacred Grounds Workshop in Montgomery County
  • Prince George's Congregations Needed to Plant Trees
  • Upcoming Events
  • Volunteer & In-Kind Needs


Houston…it’s hard to comprehend. India…heart-wrenching crisis leaving us feeling helpless. How do we respond to these events? After the immediate humanitarian needs are handled, we dig deeper.

We dig deeper.

  • We work more steadfastly at addressing stormwater impacts.
  • We work harder at reducing climate change.
  • We work more effectively at inspiring others to join the movement.

We are right where we are called to be, doing exactly what is needed of us. We all dig deeper.

Houston reminds us what climate change is doing to us -- and what we have done to the Earth. It reminds us how essential our advocacy for clean water and reduced air pollution really is and the urgency that cannot be ignored.

But, Houston must not overwhelm us into inaction. Houston must not drive us into polarizing political corners, yelling at each other from opposite sides of the room. Houston must not force us to give up hope. Houston must compel us to dig deeper.

How do you dig deeper? You start with what you can control.

  • You can organize educational events at your congregation to heighten understanding of climate issues and watershed degradation. 
  • You can have that tough conversation with that family member or friend who doesn’t believe climate change is human-driven, and if you're like me, you might need to be a little more compassionate and understanding in that conversation.
  • You can ask your congregation to speak about climate change from the pulpit the weekend of September 15-17Sign up HERE.
  • You can send a letter to your US Senators and Congressman. We are organizing a meeting with Rep. Andy Harris’ office – if you live on the Eastern Shore and want to join us, email me at [email protected].
  • You can ask your spiritual leader to talk about environmental racism at a future service. And if they’re not sure what that is, you can show them this fact sheet and invite them into deeper dialog about it.
  • You can join our coalition that will be fighting for increased accountability for developers. Email me at [email protected] to stay in the loop.
  • You can plant trees or install rain gardens on your congregational grounds – and you can have faith that this small act, seemingly unimportant, is part of a much larger puzzle in which all properties matter. Email Bonnie at [email protected] to learn about currently available resources.
  • You can email Gov. Hogan (see link below) and tell him you do not want a liquid natural gas pipeline built under the Potomac River because until we demand a sustainable energy system, we are only taking shortcuts and passing problems onto the next generation.

These are the things you can do here and now. Next month, there might be different actions you can take. 

It’s IPC’s job to provide you the opportunities to take action. It’s your job to dig deeper.

Proposed Pipeline Under Potomac River

No_Pipeline.jpgA pipeline is being proposed by TransCanada of Keystone XL to be built underneath portions of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland, including underneath a 3-mile stretch of the Potomac River. This is the same company who recently spilled 21,000 gallons of oil on South Dakota farmland. This is a grave threat to our drinking water and would trigger more upstream fracking and deepen our dependence on dirty fossil fuels for years to come. 

Governor Hogan has the ability to stop this fracked gas pipeline by denying the 401 Water Certification necessary for the project to go forward. You can take action by taking these steps!

  1. Writing a letter to Governor Hogan using this LINK.
  2. Calling Governor Hogan: 1-855-969-5613  "Hi my name is _____ and I am calling to ask you to reject the pipeline under the Potomac."

To stay abreast of this issue, sign up for our Advocacy Alerts by signing up as a Volunteer, then clicking "Advocacy Work". 

Need a Clear Vision on How to Dig Deeper? Join the One Water Partnership Visioning Session on Sept. 10th!

Listening in the WoodsWant to plan ways for your congregation to dig deeper and take action? While designed specifically for congregations in the Jones Falls watershed the information and tools shared will work anywhere. Join with other congregations that are planning nature walks, movie nights, tree plantings, native plant sales - - and the list goes on. 


Click HERE for our full Menu of Actions that you can choose from. Email Bonnie Sorak or call her at 443-799-0349 for the details. Fill out this brief interest form and we'll follow up to schedule a conversation on your congregation's interests and capacity.

Grace Tabernacle Baptist Church,  St. Ignatius Catholic Church and Chizuk Amuno are planning to join us for this session. Let's add your congregation to the list!

Congratulations to these other churches that have already decided to take action through the One Water Partnership by completing a Visioning Session to prioritize their efforts. They include: Shrine of the Sacred HeartBrown Memorial Presbyterian ChurchCathedral of the Incarnation Episcopal ChurchChurch of the Redeemer Episcopal Church, Church of the Guardian Angel, six:eight ChurchGovan's Presbyterian ChurchGrace Lutheran ChurchHomewood Friends MeetingMemorial Episcopal ChurchMt. Lebanon Baptist ChurchSt. Luke's on The Avenue Lutheran Church and St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church.

Interfaith Prayers Service for the Season of Creation and Advocacy Meetings on Capitol Hill

In collaboration with National Religious Partnership for the Environment, IPC faith leaders are invited to a prayer service, followed by lobbying meetings on September 12th on Capitol Hill, to push for continued funding of Chesapeake Bay restoration and educational efforts. Join IPC with interfaith neighbors and the Sisters of Mercy for the prayer service 9:30-10:30AM outside the United Methodist Building, DC (weather permitting, or inside in the chapel, if necessary) as we enter the Season of Creation. If you are interested in participating in the advocacy action part of the day, please email Jodi Rose.   

Learn how to Plant Trees at your Eastern Shore or Howard County Congregation: Train-The-Trainer Workshops for Trees for Sacred Places Coming Up Quick! 


All our spots are full for both the Eastern Shore and Howard County programs but you can still attend the training. On back-to-back nights we will be training more than 20 faithful stewards on the proper way to plant trees at their home congregations as part of our Trees for Sacred Places program. The Howard County training is on Monday, Sept. 18th at 6PM. Participants include First Presbyterian Church of Howard CountySt. Andrew's Episcopal ChurchTemple IsaiahOur Lady of Perpetual Help and Dar Al-Taqwa Mosque

The training workshop on the Eastern Shore is on Tuesday, Sept. 19th at 6PM and will include Old Trinity ChurchSt. Luke’s United Methodist ChurchSt. Paul’s Church, Waugh Chapel United Methodist Church and Old Wye Parish. If you would like to join either group email Bonnie Sorak to let her know you would like to come.

If your congregation is interested in participating in future similar programs please contact our Program Manager, Anna Awimbo. We would like to hear from you.

Calling All Baltimore City Faith Leaders

The Baltimore City Council will soon vote on a zoning ordinance to ban crude oil train terminals and our friends at Interfaith Power & Light have written a letter in support of the ban. If you are a faith leader living and/or working in Baltimore City, please prayerfully consider adding your name to the growing list of those who are standing together in defense of Creation. You can read the letter HERE.

 Time is Running Out -Chesapeake Bay Trust Grant Funding Opportunities Deadlines Approach

CBT_Plate_Logo-4c.jpgHave dreams of making your congregational grounds more environmentally friendly by adding stormwater remediation or working to educate your members or the surrounding community about the actions they can take to have a positive effect on local waterways but you just don't have funds to do it? Look no further - - The Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) has opened several grant tracks for which you can apply. Email Bonnie Sorak or call her at 443-799-0349 for guidance on which program your project would be best suited. Click HERE to check out the different categories. There are specific funding streams for organizations in Baltimore City and Gaithersburg and in the counties of Anne Arundel, Charles, Montgomery, Harford and Howard.

postcard_nwf_invite_sacred_grounds-001.jpgJoin Us October 15 for a Second Sacred Grounds Workshop for Montgomery County Congregations

IPC supports the National Wildlife Federation and others to offer Montgomery County congregations a Sacred Grounds webinar and 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 Sunday, October 152:30-6PM at the Imaam Center, Silver Spring, MD. Join us! Click HERE to listen to a recording of the webinar.

Attention Prince Georges County Congregations: Hurry for the last spots in our FREE Tree Planting Program 

Fall planting dates are filling up fast. If you would like to beautify the grounds at your congregation and leave a legacy for future generations of your faith community please contact us NOW. This is a great way to engage youth and adults in a community building and healing activity that expresses your care for God's Creation.  Even if your congregation does not have room for 30 trees a Youth Group, Men's Ministry, Social Justice Committee, etc. can help plant trees on an off-site location. Don't wait until it is too late. Go to our Trees for Sacred Places webpage  

You can learn more about the program HERE. Interested? Contact Bonnie Sorak

View and download Prince George's Flyer HERE.
Pictured: Carolina Missionary Baptist Church

 Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities 

  • September 9 Trees for Sacred Places tree planting, 9-11AM at Walker Mill Baptist Church, Capitol Heights, MD
  • September 9 Shred It & Shed It. 10AM-12PM Christ Lutheran Church, 701 S. Charles St, Baltimore. Click HERE for more info.
  • September 10 Trees for Sacred Places Workshop and tree planting day, 9:30AM at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, College Park, MD.
  • September 10 One Water Partnership Visioning Session, 2PM at Shrine of the Sacred Heart, Baltimore, MD.
  • September 12 Columbia Solar Cooperative Information Session, 7-8PM. Amherst House, 7251 Eden Brook Dr, Columbia. View the flier HERE or for more info contact Danielle Bodner at 410-715-3000 (ext 2525) or [email protected].
  • September 12 Interfaith Prayer Service 9:30-10AM followed by an Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. Email [email protected] for more information about taking advocacy action.
  • September 14 Discussion on Climate Initiatives in Maryland with Climate Stewards of Greater Annapolis and Maryland Climate Coalition, 7-9PM at Annapolis Friends Meeting, Annapolis. Click HERE for more info.
  • September 16 Trees for Sacred Places tree planting day, 10:30AM-12PM at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, College Park, MD.
  • September 16 Catholic Care for Creatures: Following in the Footsteps of the Saints. 9AM-3:30PM St. Dominic Catholic Church, Washington, DC. Click HERE to register. Deadline is 9/9.
  • September 17 The Episcopal Church of the Holy Covenant bioswale blessing after services (around 12:30PM).
  • September 18 Trees for Sacred Places "Train-the-Trainer" Workshop Howard County 6PM First Presbyterian Church of Howard County, Ellicott City
  • September 19 Trees for Sacred Places "Train-the-Trainer" Workshop Eastern Shore 6PM at Waugh Chapel, Cambridge, MD.
  • September 22 Film: Chasing Ice, 7PM at Annapolis Friends Meeting, Annapolis. Click HERE for more info.
  • September 30 Trees for Sacred Places workshop and planting day, 8:30-10:30AM at Christ Kingdom Church, District Heights, MD.
  • September 30 Wade in the Water: Spiritual Storytelling and Service Along the Patuxent. Free but registration required. Click HERE for more info.
  • October 1 St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church rain garden blessing during 9AM service then outside at 1PM for the Blessing of the Animals.
  • October 1 One Water Partnership Covenant Signing 5-7:30PM at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church. 
  • October 3 Trees for Sacred Places Workshop, 10-11AM at the Shrine of St. Anthony, Ellicott City, MD.
  • October 8 "Green Day" at Mount Lebanon Baptist Church, Baltimore MD Speakers on solar power, home energy savings and stormwater management. Screening of "We are All Smith Islanders". Click HERE for detailed flyer. A One Water Partnership event.
  • October 14 Trees for Sacred Places tree planting day, 9-11AM at Shrine of St. Anthony, Ellicott City, MD.
  • October 14 Anacostia River Festival - 11AM-4PM View flyer in English or Spanish. IPC could use some help tabling at this event especially if you can speak Spanish. Please contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] if you can help.
  • October 15 Sacred Grounds Workshop, 2:30-6PM at the Imaam Center, Silver Spring, MD. 
  • October 21 Trees for Sacred Places Workshop and Tree Planting at Union Bethel AME, Brandywine, MD.
  • October 21 Our Executive Director, Jodi Rose, will be speaking at the Catholic Call To Action East Coast Conference in Baltimore.

Volunteer and In-Kind Needs 
  • Are you willing to help us coordinate volunteers? We can use your help!
  • Do you like photographyVidoegraphy? 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? 
Thank you!