Reflection: Each One, Reach One
- Congregational Creation Care Training Offered in Baltimore
- We Stand With Our Muslim Neighbors
- County Hearings on Stormwater Funding
- Free Boat Tours on Anacostia River
- Free Water Audits in Baltimore
- Grant Writing Workshop Offered
- Creation Needs More Trees in Maryland
- Free Cisterns for Congregations in Prince George's County
- Unity Grants in Anne Arundel County
- Got Wheels?
- Support IPC through Amazon Smile!
- Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities
- Volunteer and In-Kind Needs
Each One, Reach One
In case you missed it last month, something important happened. The Chesapeake Bay got its report card from the University of Maryland Environmental Science Center, and this year it got a “C”. This is the highest grade it has received since 1992, and it has only received this high of a grade twice since 1986. Should we be happy? Should we be appalled that our best grade is “average”? What should we celebrate here?
Trends are moving in the right direction, and that should be celebrated for sure. It was the third consecutive year of improvements on benchmark goals. Also, the two previous times the Bay got a “C” grade, the region was under drought conditions. No rain = no runoff, so it’s pretty easy to meet the runoff reductions in those years. But, in 2015, rainfall was typical, and yet we still got a “C”. This could be a sign that things are improving for real.
What’s not working is that Pennsylvania farming practices are still insufficiently addressing agricultural runoff, and the Baltimore Harbor is still in dire shape. Furthermore, many experts have said that without major changes in policies and practices from the top-down, we will not achieve a “fixed” Bay by 2025.
Pastor Ryan Sirmons of Annapolis United Church of Christ said, “It means that the work our faith communities have undertaken to heal God’s creation have had a real impact. It means that not only are we going in the right direction, but that we have a mandate to keep up the good work! There are many faith communities that aren’t yet participating, ones with large impervious surfaces and no natural filtration. There are many that haven’t allowed a few weeds to exist by dropping chemical lawn treatments or weed killers in sidewalk cracks. The earth doesn’t belong to us; it belongs to God, and nowhere is that more true than the sacred grounds surrounding our churches.”
And from Rosemary Flickinger at Kadampa Buddhist Meditation Center: “I am very encouraged by the improvement of the Bay. I believe it is a result of taking action in small ways as a community that has great results! May the work we have all done inspire others to become more aware and take action."
They’re all right, this is an achievement we should all be proud of and celebrate. Collectively, the faith community has done well: 12,500 trees planted at 75+ congregations, 1.2 million acres of impervious surfaces treated or removed, numerous conservation/pollinator gardens planted…those are astounding accomplishments.
Let’s celebrate “C”. But, then let’s also remember much work remains to be done, and each of you have been called to play a role in that. We now need your help to bring your neighboring congregations along in this journey, too. We need to identify faith communities in Pennsylvania who will be trusted messengers to the Southern Pennsylvanian farming community. I and my staff can’t reach everyone…we need you. Each one, reach one. This is your call to action. Find a congregation that isn’t involved in greening practices and nudge them, encourage them, mentor them, and introduce them to the support offered by Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake.
FREE! Congregational Creation Care Training - Tomorrow 6/21
Session 2: Tools for Faith Based Organizing and Mobilizing Creation Care Ministry, June 21, 2016 6-9 p.m.
Hear from Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin and our other Panelists from different faith traditions.
You are welcome to register for this second session even if you did not attend Session one. Click HERE to register for Session 2.
Learn methods and models for doing outreach within your own faith tradition and within an interfaith context. Specific tools will be offered for helping the congregation develop a green team or environmental stewardship program. Participants will be guided to develop their own communications such as a press release, bulletin announcement, or a blessing or prayer for a watershed project.
We Stand With Our Muslim Neighbors
In the face of shocking violence throughout our nation, IPC does not waver in our commitment to our Muslim brothers and sisters with whom we share the Earth. As a show of our partnership, IPC staff plan to attend several Itfar dinners this month, which are celebrated nightly during Ramadan.
The dates and locations are below. If you wish to join us, please contact the listed point person and let them know you are coming from Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake. It will be great to see some turnout from the environmental community!
- June 27, 7:30 pm - Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, 15000 Good Hope Road, Silver Spring, MD 20905, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
- June 29, 8 pm - American Turkish Friends Association, 1109 Ingleside Ave, Woodlawn, MD 21207, RSVP to Mehmet Cicke at email@example.com
- June 30, 5:30 pm- Montgomery County Muslim Foundation - to be held at County Executive Building, 101 Monroe Street in cafeteria, RSVP to Anwar 301-825-3657
County Hearings on Stormwater Funding
You'll recall that the stormwater fee passed at the state level in 2012 was adjusted in 2015 to give each county the ability to establish their own fee structure, while still holding them accountable for carrying out permit requirements. That meant that each county needed to prepare a written Financial Assurance Plan and submit it to the Maryland Department of Environment as proof that they had a plan for reducing stormwater, with or without a fee. Those Financial Assurance Plans are due July 1st and counties are having their hearings now to review these plans.
We are looking for people to attend hearings and let your county leaders know that you are watching. And, if there are specific points that need to be made in specific counties, we'll alert you in case you are able to testify. To be added to that notification list, please email Jodi at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know what County you're associated with.
Tonight, June 20th, there is a hearing in Howard County. Click HERE for the latest information on the hearing schedules.
If you cannot attend a hearing, or if your county hasn't scheduled one yet, we encourage you to reach out to your county representative and nudge them to make this a priority. Click HERE for a complete list of all county council members.
Anacostia River Boat Tours
A group from the Sisters of Mercy have their boat tour scheduled for July 13th! Get your group organized too!
Free Water Audits in Baltimore
For Baltimore City and County Congregations there is still time to get a free Water Audit and enroll in Blue Water Congregations. Learn more HERE. Read about the grants awarded to St. John Lutheran Church and Christian Temple Church through their Blue Water Congregation participation HERE and see what is possible after you go through a water audit. To schedule your water audit, contact Bonnie Sorak at email@example.com or 410-609-6852.
Grant Writing Workshop Offered
As a part of the Blue Water Congregations program we are offering aChesapeake Bay Trust Grant Writing Workshop on Wednesday, July 13th beginning at 6:30 PM. This program is designed to help grant applicants to understand the process and provide tips to strengthen your requests. Click HERE for a flyer with details about the workshop that can be downloaded and shared. Click HERE to pre-register for the workshop so we will know how many people are attending. Questions? Contact Bonnie Sorak at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-609-6852.
Both of these workshops are brought to you free of charge through Blue Water Congregations which is a program of Blue Water Baltimore, Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Creation Needs More Trees in Maryland
At IPC we call trees "Creation's Cure All". Engaging your congregation in tree planting like these members at Silver Spring Presbyterian Church (photo at right) is a win-win for your community in stewardship of God's Creation! Trees for Sacred Places offers FREE: professional planting plan, native trees, deer protection, all necessary tools to plant AND environmental and spiritual workshops (tailored to the congregation or religious school's needs) about the importance of planting trees.
We're seeking faith owned properties throughout Maryland (and specifically in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties) looking to convert parts of their lawns back into natural habitats. You can learn more about the program on our webpage HERE.
Free Cisterns for Congregations in Prince George's County
Want to slow down the rainwater rushing off your congregation's roof? Want to reduce your Prince George's County Stormwater Fee? We can help! Grant funding secured by the Anacostia Riverkeeper is available to install cisterns at faith-owned properties.
These cisterns will store and release rainfall for non-potable water uses and stormwater disposal. The project is no cost to the church and can alleviate flooding problems as well as reduce your property’s contribution of polluted runoff.
If your congregation has a roof at least 500 square feet in size and the space to install a large cistern, please consider this wonderful opportunity for a free project on your grounds. Already St. Luke Lutheran Church, St. Camillus Catholic Church, and Silver Spring United Methodist Church have received installed cisterns. What better way to draw your members into a deeper conversation about our responsibility to minimize negative impacts on shared water resources. To learn more or express your interest, please contact Bonnie Sorak at email@example.com or410-609-6852.
Grant Opportunity for Anne Arundel County Projects
Unity Gardens’ 2016 Fall Grant Cycle begins July 1, 2016 and runs through the August 31, 2016 deadline. Grants up to $1,000 will be awarded for the 2016 fall cycle to non-profit organizations such as neighborhoods, religious groups, schools, scouts and community organizations in Anne Arundel County who support the building of community partnerships through the creation of greening projects, environmental enhancement and education. For more information and to apply, please visit the Unity Gardens website at www.unitygardens.org. We encourage applicants to apply early so Unity Gardens can assist you in preparing a complete application for review and consideration. For questions, contact Barbara Dowling at firstname.lastname@example.org or (443) 333-9285.
IPC is working with a group of landscape architects to organize a “road tour” of Baltimore City green practices. If you know of a congregation that has one or more vans which they can lend for a donation in return, please contact Bonnie Sorak at email@example.com or 410-609-6852.
Shop AmazonSmile and Support IPC
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the ADDED bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. It's easy to begin. Simply click HERE and select Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, Inc. as your charitable organization of choice. That's it!! Next time you shop online, make sure you start at AmazonSmile and IPC will receive .5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases.
Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities
- June 21 - Congregational Creation Care Training. Session 2: Tools for Faith Based Organizing and Mobilizing Creation Care Ministry. 6-9 p.m. Click HERE to register.
- June 26 - Film Documentary Discussion Series on Faith and the Environment. 6:30-8:30 pm. This week: "They Killed Sister Dorothy." Parish Hall at St. Dominic Church, 630 E St., SW, Washington, DC (L'Enfant Plaza metro stop).
- June 27 - Ahmadiyya Muslim Community - 15000 Good Hope Road, Silver Spring, MD 20905 - RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org - gather at 7:15 for prayers and discussion; break fast begins at 8:30
- June 29 - American Turkish Friends Association - 1109 Ingleside Ave, Woodlawn, MD 21207, USA - RSVP to Mehmet Cicke at email@example.com - gather at 8 pm; break fast begins around 8:30 pm
- June 29 - The Watershed Stewards Academy of Howard County is looking for energetic people with a passion for reaching the community to become Master Watershed Stewards. 16-week certification class begins in September. Information session 7 pm at the Miller Library Avalon Room. Click HERE for their flyer.
- June 30 - Montgomery County Muslim Foundation - to be held at County Executive Building at 101 Monroe Street in cafeteria - gather at 5:30 pm - RSVP to Anwar 301-825-3657
- July 3 - Film Documentary Discussion Series on Faith and the Environment. 6:30-8:30 pm. This week: "Cowspiracy." Parish Hall at St. Dominic Church, 630 E St., SW, Washington, DC (L'Enfant Plaza metro stop).
- July 10 - Film Documentary Discussion Series on Faith and the Environment. 6:30-8:30 pm. This week: "Racing Extinction." Parish Hall at St. Dominic Church, 630 E St., SW, Washington, DC (L'Enfant Plaza metro stop).
- July 13 - Sisters of Mercy boat tour on the Anacostia River. Schedule your boat tour by calling us at 410-609-6852.
- July 14 - CBT Grant Writing Workshop, 6:30 pm Berean Baptist Church. More info HERE orclick HERE to register.
- July 17 - Film Documentary Discussion Series on Faith and the Environment. 6:30-8:30 pm. This week: "Last Call at the Oasis." Parish Hall at St. Dominic Church, 630 E St., SW, Washington, DC (L'Enfant Plaza metro stop).
- July 19 - The Watershed Stewards Academy in Anne Arundel County is looking for energetic people with a passion for reaching the community to become Master Watershed Stewards. 16-week certification class begins in September. Information session 7 pm (tentative) at the East Columbia Library Meeting Room. Click HERE for their flyer.
- July 24 - Film Documentary Discussion Series on Faith and the Environment. 6:30-8:30 pm. This week: "Dirt! The Movie." Parish Hall at St. Dominic Church, 630 E St., SW, Washington, DC (L'Enfant Plaza metro stop).
- July 31 - Film Documentary Discussion Series on Faith and the Environment. 6:30-8:30 pm. This week: "Plastic Planet." Parish Hall at St. Dominic Church, 630 E St., SW, Washington, DC (L'Enfant Plaza metro stop).
- August 7 - Film Documentary Discussion Series on Faith and the Environment. 6:30-8:30 pm. This week: "Unwasted." Parish Hall at St. Dominic Church, 630 E St., SW, Washington, DC (L'Enfant Plaza metro stop).
- August 14 - Film Documentary Discussion Series on Faith and the Environment. 6:30-8:30 pm. This week: "Chemerical." Parish Hall at St. Dominic Church, 630 E St., SW, Washington, DC (L'Enfant Plaza metro stop).
- IPC is doing a database cleanup this summer. Do you have a few hours you could donate to us each week? Contact Andrea Proctor at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
- Are you able to staff an information table at events for us? Contact Bonnie Sorak at email@example.com or call 410-609-6852 if you're willing to help with this from time to time.
- IPC could use a canvas case and small external speakers for a new projector we just purchased. Do you have something you can pass along? Contact Kolya Braun-Greiner firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 410-609-6852 if you do!