• Donate_Button.jpgReflection: Into the Woods
  • Sacred Grounds Webinar & Workshop for Montgomery County Congregations
  • Sign up for Our Upcoming Prince George's Alternative Compliance Program (ACP) Workshops.
  • FREE Trees Available for Prince George's County Congregations
  • Be Part of the Trees for Sacred Places Project on the Eastern Shore and in Howard County
  • Exploration Charters in Upper Bay & Anacostia River
  • IPC on Baltimore's WYPR this Thursday!
  • Faith & Climate Change Webinar
  • Upcoming Events
  • Volunteer & In-Kind Needs

Into the Woods


Where does inspiration come from? Lately, the answer has been “from a walk into the woods". Through the One Water Partnership, Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, along with our program partners Blue Water BaltimoreInterfaith Power and Light and Maryland Sea Grant, have been leading “Spiritual Nature Walks” through the woods in the Jones Falls sub-watershed. And the experiences have been truly inspirational. 

The feedback from the nearly 100 faithful people – young and old alike - who have joined us has been overwhelmingly positive. Some examples of the thoughts and feelings that have been shared so far include one gentleman who was brought to tears and said, “this has been the most spiritually moving experience I think I have ever had”. As we walked along, one of our more “mature” participants recalled a poem that her mother had read to her as a child that she still keeps a copy of as a cherished memento. She recited:


Trees, by Joyce Kilmer
I think that I shall never see 
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast; 

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;  

A tree that may in Summer wear 
A nest of robins in her hair;  

Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain.  

Poems are made by fools like me, 
But only God can make a tree. 

These walks are infused with environmental education and spiritual reflection stops along the way. Currently our Muslim brothers and sisters are observing Ramadan, and our Jewish friends are celebrating Shavout. Both observations reflect on the gifts bestowed upon us by our Creator. During the walks we stand at the base of a tree and we ponder this teaching from the architectural designer William McDonough who designs plans for zero-waste cities:  If you look at a tree and think of it as a design assignment, it would be like asking you to make something that makes oxygen, sequesters carbon, fixes nitrogen, distills water, provides habitat for hundreds of species, accrues solar energy's fuel, makes complex sugars and food, changes colors with the seasons, creates microclimates, and self-replicates."William McDonough: Godfather of Green", WNYC Studio 360 (18 March 2008). 

Speaking of inspiration and trees, thank you to Ron Gunderson from Catonsville Presbyterian Church for sharing photos of the success story that ALL of the trees they planted last fall are leafing out this Spring. You see, inspiration and hope is sprouting all around us. For those congregations who have planted trees, installed rain gardens or rain barrels, replaced impervious pavement - - please send us your stories and pictures to help us to guide others.


So come - - be inspired, take a walk into the woods with us so that you can plan a similar walk to motivate members of your congregation to take action. The walk routes and information can be found on our website HERE.
Due to popular demand, we are planning another nature walk for Sunday, June 25th at 2PM. All are invited to attend. Contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] or call her at 443-799-0349 for the details or pre-register by clicking HERE. Download a promotional flyer HERE to share.

Want to learn more about the One Water Partnership? Fill out this brief interest form and we'll follow up to schedule a conversation on your congregation's interests and capacity.

postcard_nwf_invite_sacred_grounds-001.jpgSacred Grounds Webinar & Workshop for Congregations in Montgomery County.

IPC is partnering with the National Wildlife Federation and others to offer Montgomery County congregations a Sacred Grounds webinar & in-person workshop on Sunday, June 18th3-5PM to learn how your community can receive up to $10,000 to beautify your grounds, conserve water and create habitat for wildlife. Join us! Click HERE to listen to a recording of the webinar, sign up for the workshop and learn more.


FREE Trees and Program Available for Prince George's County Congregations 

Would you like to beautify your grounds and leave a legacy for future generations of your faith community? Want to save money on your stormwater fee charged by the County?  Wish to engage youth and adults in a community building activity that expresses your care for God's Creation?  Does your congregation have room for 30 trees?  Are you excited to hear about this free program, Trees for Sacred Places, that offers all of these benefits along with a spiritual workshop offering your faith tradition's teachings on stewardship of the earth and waters?  

We are still looking for several congregations, retreat centers or religious schools located in Prince Georges's County. You can learn more about the program on our webpage HERE. Interested? Contact Bonnie SorakView and download Prince George's Flyer HERE.

PG_County_Seal.pngSign up for Our Upcoming Prince George's Alternative Compliance Program (ACP) Workshops

Sign up for our webinar on Tuesday, June 20th 12pm - 1pm webinar sign-up click HERE or join us in person for the next workshop on Saturday, July 22nd 10am - 12pm (location TBD) workshop sign-up click HERE. This is a good opportunity to learn more about the ACP and get your questions answered. Questions? Contact Anna at [email protected]


Be Part of the Trees for Sacred Places Project on the Eastern Shore and in Howard County

Do you live on the Eastern Shore or in Howard County? IPC and the Alliance for the Chesapeake will be expanding the Trees for Sacred Places Project into Howard County and the Eastern Shore.  If your congregation is interested in learning more, please contact our Program Manager, Anna Awimbo.

Exploration Charters in Upper Bay and on the Anacostia River

Want to take your faith group out on the water to get up close and personal with God's Creation and see firsthand how faithful stewards can better protect it? This summer you have 2 Options!

Upper Bay: Coastal Anthology, a boat tour/guide outfit in the Susquehanna/Upper Bay area, is offering up to 4 cost-free, 4-hour, on-the-water exploration charters for faith groups of 6 or less. IPC can provide discussion questions that your group can take with you. After those 4 slots for free charters are filled, up to 6 additional faith groups can request a tour at a negotiated price. The standard price is $60 per hour for a 4-hour tour.  A description of Coastal Anthology charters can be found HERE.

Anacostia River: Anacostia Riverkeeper is once again offering free boat tours. 1-hour and 2-hour tours are available for groups up to 20 people. Grab your spiritual leader and go take a reality tour of DC's River!

Contact IPC at [email protected] to request a tour on either of these trips.

IPC on Baltimore's WYPR Midday Show!

Airing Thursday June 8th at 12 noon, listen to our Executive Director Jodi Rose and former board chair Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin discuss faith and sustainability with Tom Hall. Listen in Baltimore on FM 88.1, online HERE, or subscribe to the "Midday" Podcast. Guaranteed to be fun and insightful!

Faith & Climate Change Webinar

GreenFaith is hosting a webinar Monday, June 5th at 8PM, focused on how people of faith in the US care about climate change, and support an international response to address it. Featured speaker will be Cynthia Scharf, who worked as a senior member of the climate change team of former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, playing a key role advising the Secretary-General in Paris to forge the international climate change agreement.  To join webinar, register HERE.

Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities 

  • June 5 8PM Webinar responding to the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement with Cynthia Scharf. Hosted by GreenFaith. Click HERE to register for the webinar.
  • June 8 IPC's Executive Director Jodi Rose and former board chair Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin will be featured on Baltimore WYPR at 12 noon FM 88.1
  • June 15 Panel discussion "Climate Change Policy-Advocating from a Faith Perspective." 7-9PM Annapolis Friends Meeting. Click HERE for more info.
  • June 18 2-5PM Sacred Grounds Workshop. Adat Shalom, Bethesda.
  • June 20 12-1PM Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program Online Webinar to sign up click HERE.
  • June 21 10AM-12PM Connecting for a Cleaner Anacostia River - first in a series of conversations about the health of the Anacostia River. More info HERE.
  • June 23 Advance screening of "From the Ashes." Annapolis Friends Meeting, 7-9PMClick HERE to learn more.
  • June 25 2PM One Water Partnership Nature Walk. Druid Hill Park. Parking at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church. Contact email Bonnie Sorak for details or pre-register HERE to get updates.
  • June 27 Integrated Pest Management for the Garden presented by UME Master Gardeners. 6:30-8PMClick HERE for more info.
  • July 8 Rain Barrel Building presented by Blue Water Baltimore. 1-3PM. $65 (covers cost of supplies). Click HERE to RSVP.
  • July 21 Green Muslims are hosting a zero-waste Itfar dinner during Ramadan, called at Leftar! Meridian Hill Park, DC. Details HERE.
  • July 22 10AM-12PM Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program Workshop (Location To Be Determined) to sign up click HERE.

Volunteer and In-Kind Needs 
  • Do you have extra 1-inch 3-ring binders at home or the office? We are looking for binders that have a slot on the front cover to slide a cover page in. 
  • 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? 
  • Are you willing to help us coordinate volunteers? We can use your help!
  • We could use colored pocket folders (blue, green, yellow or orange - to match our logo colors)
Thank you!