This letter, and a list of all signatories, will be sent to all Members of House Environment and Transportation Committee, and Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee during the 2019 Maryland Legislative Session. To learn more about this legislation, click here.
Amendments to Maryland's Forest Conservation Act
- Task Force Bill (Bill numbers pending)
- Fee-in-Lieu Adjustments (HB 272, SB 234)
- No Net Loss Definition (HB 120, SB 203)
As people of faith who respect the sanctity of the Earth and the whole web of life, we are asking you to support the suite of three bills designed to improve Maryland's Forest Conservation Act.
Children once played easily in trees in their back yard, at a park down the street, or at Grandma’s house. But, today, forests are hard to find – when was the last time you spotted a child climbing a tree?
We are literally stealing trees from the next generation. From 2009 to 2017, over 14,000 acres of forest have been lost due to development. That's equivalent to 11,000 football fields! Forests play a crucial role in stabilizing soil, improving air and water quality, offering important mammal habitats, and reducing ambient air temperatures with cooling shade.
The suite of three bills will:
- Create a task force made up of broad stakeholders to examine historical forestry data and make recommendations for how to protect our forests.
- Fix the broken fee-in-lieu system that is currently failing to replace lost forests acre-for-acre.
- Redefine "No Net Loss" in the Act so that forested land is protected at the level it existed when the Act was first implemented in the 1990s, as originally intended.
At this time when the world is warming and trees are God's natural way of retaining balance to an ecosystem, the last thing we should be doing is allowing unfettered destruction of forests.
We shall not steal trees from the next generation. Please fight to protect our forests by supporting this bill.
This letter, and a list of all signatories, will be sent to all Members of House Environment and Transportation Committee, and Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. To learn more about Ban on Foam legislation, click here.
Ban on Polystyrene Foam Containers
House Bill 109
Senate Bill 285
We people of faith respect the Earth and the web of life, and strive to be good shepherds of the Earth's resources. We are grateful for the ways the Maryland Assembly worked to protect our environment, but more needs to be done. Maryland is ready to ban foam.
Polystyrene food containers may be convenient and cheap for food services, but when they are discarded they become an eyesore in our neighborhoods, streams and streets. This non-biodegradable material persists indefinitely in the environment and accumulates over time.
Foam never breaks down. Instead it but breaks up into increasingly small particles that absorb toxics due to their carbon-based makeup. Fish and wildlife consume the pieces mistaking it for food. This bio-accumulation of toxicity is a risk to the food chain.
Foam waste is particularly oppressive to low-income, under-served communities. Foam is more commonly used in takeout restaurants, which are disproportionately present in food deserts, increasing the frequency of exposure to harmful chemicals to individuals within food desert areas, and the likelihood of foam litter to impact the mental health of those residents when improperly discarded. Studies have also shown the presence of microplastics in fish, birds and other marine life, tap and bottled water, table salt, and beer. In 2018, the first study examining human stools found the presence of microplastics. This risk is even greater for low-income neighbors who rely on subsistence fishing to supplement their diet.
Polystyrene is a polymer plastic derived from petroleum. Its production uses non-renewable resources and contributes to atmospheric pollution. There are perfectly good packaging alternatives available now that are lightweight, biodegradable, safe for consumers and have good insulating properties to keep food and drinks warm or cold.
We understand that this ban would require that cafeterias in our places of worship no longer serve food in foam containers. We embrace this change and stand willing to do our part to help our congregations adapt to this legislation.
God calls us to continually renew ourselves and improve our behaviors to be more mindful of future generations. This is important legislation that will reduce trash, drive innovation to alternative materials, and cut down on fossil fuel consumption.
Please support the Ban on Foam.
October 2017 Issue 1
- Reflection: St. Francis - Caring for the Whole Family of Creation
- Hands Across the Potomac
- Lutheran 500 Trees Project-Celebration at Carroll Lutheran Village
- One Water Partnership Completes Cohort-Still Space for One-Two Action Congregations
- Silver Spring UMC Installs Stormwater Habitat Features
- Calling All Baltimore City Faith Leaders
- Eco-Reformation Day - October 21
- Join Us Oct. 13 for a Second Sacred Grounds Workshop for Montgomery County Congregations
- Prince George's Congregations Needed to Plant Trees
- Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program
- Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities
- Volunteer & In-Kind Needs
St. Francis - Caring for the Whole Family of Creation
Oct. 4, the Feast of St. Francis, marks the culmination of the Season of Creation celebrated by Christians around the world. Many churches observe the Feast of St. Francis as an opportunity to renew their commitment to care for what Francis of Assisi called "our dear Sister Mother Earth." On this occasion, some congregations celebrate a "Blessing of the Animals" when people bring their pets to receive a blessing, thereby honoring creatures in the way of Francis. He held the animals with such deep respect that "Francis called all creatures, no matter how small, since he knew they had the same source as himself" (Bonaventure) - Sister Bird, Brother Wolf for example. He preached to the animals and even wanted the emperor to ask all citizens to scatter grain along the roads on Christmas Day so that the birds and other animals would have plenty to eat.
The native trees planted by congregations through the Trees for Sacred Placesprogram is another way that people of faith are supporting the web of life so that wildlife have plenty to eat. Only native trees host the native insects, whose larvae become the caterpillars that feed baby birds. It takes about 6,000 caterpillars to feed just one nest of baby Chickadees until they fly! Let us know if your congregation is interested in planting trees next year (email@example.com) and share this flyer to promote the idea as a way to start or expand your Creation Care or Green Ministry. And the 500 Trees project, commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, is planting trees too, such as those at Carroll Lutheran Village, putting their faith into action planting 60 native trees, celebrated with a blessing from Bishop Gohl. (See story below)
Saint Francis, known as the Patron Saint "of those who promote ecology" (declared by Pope John Paul II), lived in a largely pre-literate society, so the common human experience of the world was not yet mediated through words, but rather through direct experience. There wasn't then the deep rift we have inherited, a kind of dualism - humans vs. nature. And Pope Francis, who took his name from St. Francis, expressed these connections in the encyclical, Laudato Si, Our Common Home, which is a wonderful book study for people of any faith. The encyclical articulates how we heal our wounded relationship with Creation:
Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures and which also unites us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river and mother earth. (92)
So, during this Season of Creation - and beyond!, we invite you to take a few moments to turn to Creation for a time of reverent mediation as Francis did to restore your souls, to mend our relationship with earth, and to strengthen you for the healing work of restoration. May this prayer from Francis offer a start:
Our hands imbibe like roots, so I place them on what is beautiful in this world.
And I fold them in prayer, and they draw from the heavens light.
Kolya Braun-Greiner, MDiv
IPC Religious Educator
Hands Across the Potomac
In a show of defense of clean water and equitable distribution of natural resources, you can participate in a public resistance against a pipeline that is proposed under the Potomac River. Join "Hands Across the Potomac," an event organized by Chesapeake Climate Action Network. For event details and to RSVP, click HERE. This event will take place Saturday October 14, 2017 at 12 noon, in Sharpsburg, Maryland.
Lutheran 500 Trees Project - Celebration at Carroll Lutheran VillageDuring 2017 congregations throughout the DE-MD Lutheran Synod (and around the world) are commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The DE-MD Lutheran Creation Care Team, in collaboration with Maryland Episcopal Environmental Partners (MEEP) is recruiting congregations to celebrate by planting trees through its 500 Trees Project. For more information or to sign up for tree planting next year, contact Deacon Laura Heller, firstname.lastname@example.org. Carroll Lutheran Village was motivated to participate by the enthusiasm of Jean Hauk, member of the Exterior Care & Grounds Committee along with Carl Martens (both are pictured left in the middle with Bishop Gohl), who helped design a planting plan with a wide variety of native trees. They were inspired to participate in 500 Trees by attending a Workshop led by IPC at Mar-Lu-Ridge Retreat Center. They successfully organized the planting of 60 native trees at Carroll Lutheran Village. On September 13, a gala celebration was officiated by Bishop William Gohl who blessed all the trees and the volunteers during a beautiful ceremony. Read more about this story in the Carroll County Times.
One Water Partnership Fills Cohort of Covenant Congregations
Still Openings for More Congregations to get Involved by doing One or Two Actions
We have reached and exceeded our goal of 15 "covenant" congregations joining the One Water Partnership. Congratulations to all these congregations who, in addition to forming or supporting their congregational Green Teams and signing a commitment, will also take at least 4 actions to improve their shared Jones Falls watershed over the next year: Beth Am, Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, Cathedral of the Incarnation , Chizuk Amuno, Govan's Presbyterian Church, Har Sinai, Homewood Friends Meeting, Memorial Episcopal Church, Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church, St. Ignatius Catholic Church, St. Luke's on The Avenue Lutheran Church with six:eight Church, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, The Church of the Guardian Angel, The Church of the Redeemer , Shrine of the Sacred Heart.
Thanks to these 14 congregations that are participating by taking at least one action: Ark Church, Baltimore Ethical Society, Corpus Christi Church, First Unitarian, Grace Lutheran Church, Homestead United Methodist Church, Kingdom Restorers International, Mt Vernon Place United Methodist Church, New Waverly United Methodist Church, Nu Season Nu Day, St. David's Episcopal Church, St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Sweet Prospect Baptist Church
Check out what you might do at your congregation by Clicking HERE for our full Menu of Actions. 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.
Let's add your congregation to this list!
Silver Spring UMC Installs Stormwater and Habitat Features
Check out this article on Silver Spring United Methodist Church - one of our "superstar churches"! If they can do it with their congregation, you can too. Thanks to Rob Horn a wonderful faithful steward. Contact Bonnie Sorak at email@example.com to see how to get started.
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.
Eco-Reformation Day - October 21
Please join in the celebration of the 500 year anniversary of the Reformation by planting trees and learning about how to be good stewards of God’s bountiful creation at at Epiphany Lutheran Church, 4301 Raspe Ave, Baltimore, MD. At 2:00 PM, planting of Maryland native trees and fruit trees will begin. Following the planting, there will be information shared by the Delaware-Maryland Synod Creation Care Ministry on energy conservation, clean energy, clean water, community gardens, and other creation stewardship topics. Free plants and garden seeds as well as pumpkins and gourds will be available for participants to take with them. The day’s events will conclude with a joyful worship service beginning at 5:00 PM. For additional information please contact Deacon Laura Heller, firstname.lastname@example.org, 443-791-0248.
Join Us October 15 for a Second Sacred GroundsWorkshop 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 15, 2:30-6PM 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.
Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program
Interested in learning more about how your congregation can save money through the Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program? IPC staff are offering free one-on-one support to help you achieve reductions in your congregation’s Clean Water fee. This support is paid for by a grant from the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment, but is open to only 20 congregations. Questions? Contact Anna Awimbo at email@example.com or call 410-609-6852.
Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities
- October 3 Trees for Sacred Places Workshop, 10-11AM at the Shrine of St. Anthony, Ellicott City.
- October 6 Film "Racing Extinction" 7PM. Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville. More info HERE.
- October 7 Trees for Sacred Places Workshop and Tree Planting Day, 8AM-Noon at LIFEPoint Church, Waldorf.
- October 8 "Green Day" at Mount Lebanon Baptist Church, Baltimore - 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
- October 14 Workshop: "Seed Saving in Your Garden" presented by UME Master Gardners, 9-10AM. Parks & People Foundation, 2100 Liberty Heights Ave, Baltimore. Click HERE for more info.
- October 14 Plant & Seed Swap, 10AM-12PM Parks & People Foundation, 2100 Liberty Heights Ave, Baltimore. Click HERE for more info.
- October 15 Sacred Grounds Workshop, 2:30-6PM at the Imaam Center, Silver Spring.
- October 21 Trees for Sacred Places Workshop and Tree Planting at Union Bethel AME, Brandywine.
- October 21 Our Executive Director, Jodi Rose, will be speaking at the Catholic Call To Action East Coast Conference in Baltimore.
- October 21 Eco-Reformation Day, 2PM with oyful worship at 5PM, at Epiphany Lutheran Church, 4301 Raspe Ave, Baltimore.
- October 25 BES Community Open House. Informal gathering hosted by Parks & People Foundation to share the research of Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES). Free and open to all. 5:30PM. Click HERE for details.
- October 29 Tree Planting Day and Workshop, (Time TBA) at Central Baptist Church, Temple Hills.
- November 5 Film "Merchants of Doubt" followed by a panel discussion, 3PM, Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church. Click HEREfor more info. A One Water Partnership event.
- November 13 "Your Voice, Your Earth Take Action!" Learn from elected officials on how to impact state and national environmental issues in the year ahead. 6-8PM Van Gogh Cafe (300 S. Ann St., Baltimore). Registration is free and required. Click HERE for more info.
- November 16 11th Annual Trash Summit at Nationals Park in Washington DC. This year's theme is Transforming Communities for Clean Land, Safe Water and Healthy Lives. Early bird registration is now open.
Volunteer and In-Kind Needs
- Are you willing to help us coordinate volunteers? We can use your help!
- Do you like photography? Vidoegraphy? 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?
Maryland State Senators
Not sure who your State Senator is? Visit www.mdelect.net and enter your address to search for your representatives.
**Denotes Senators who are potential supporters, but have not confirmed yet. They need to hear your support of Senate Bill 610.
Title Last Name First Name District Phone Number Email Address Senator Astle John 30
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3578
(410) 841-3578, (301) 858-3578
John.Astle@senate.state.md.us Senator Bates Gail 9 (301) 858-3671 Gail.Bates@senate.state.md.us Senator Benson Joanne 24
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3148
(410) 841-3148, (301) 858-3148
Joanne.Benson@senate.state.md.us Senator Brochin James 42
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3648
(410) 841-3648, (301) 858-3648
Jim.Brochin@senate.state.md.us Senator Cassilly Robert 34
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3158
(410) 841-3158, (301) 858-3158
Bob.Cassilly@senate.state.md.us Senator Conway Joan 43
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3145
(410) 841-3145, (301) 858-3145
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3127
(301) 858-3127, (410) 841-3127
Ulysses.Currie@senate.state.md.us Senator DeGrange** James E 32
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3593
(410) 841-3593, (301) 858-3593
James.DeGrange@senate.state.md.us Senator Eckardt** Adelaide 37
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3590
(410) 841-3590, (301) 858-3590
Adelaide.Eckardt@senate.state.md.us Senator Edwards George 1
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3565
(410) 841-3565, (301) 858-3565
George.Edwards@senate.state.md.us Senator Feldman Brian 15
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3169
(410) 841-3169, (301) 858-3169
Brian.Feldman@senate.state.md.us Senator Ferguson Bill 46
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3600
(410) 841-3600, (301) 858-3600
Bill.Ferguson@senate.state.md.us Senator Guzzone Guy 13
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3572
(410) 841-3572, (301) 858-3572
Guy.Guzzone@senate.state.md.us Senator Hershey Stephen S 36
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3639
(410) 841-3639, (301) 858-3639
Steve.Hershey@senate.state.md.us Senator Hough Michael 4
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3704
(410) 841-3704, (301) 858-3704
Michael.Hough@senate.state.md.us Senator Jennings JB 7
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3706
(410) 841-3706, (301) 858-3706
JB.Jennings@senate.state.md.us Senator Kagan** Cheryl 17
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3134
(410) 841-3134, (301) 858-3134
Cheryl.Kagan@senate.state.md.us Senator Kasemeyer** Edward 12
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3653
(410) 841-3653, (301) 858-3653
Edward.Kasemeyer@senate.state.md.us Senator Kelley Delores 10
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3606
(410) 841-3606, (301) 858-3606
Delores.Kelley@senate.state.md.us Senator King Nancy 39
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3686
(410) 841-3686, (301) 858-3686
Nancy.King@senate.state.md.us Senator Klausmeier** Katherine 8
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3620
(410) 841-3620, (301) 858-3620
Katherine.Klausmeier@senate.state.md.us Senator Lee Susan 16
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3124
(410) 841-3124, (301) 858-3124
Susan.Lee@senate.state.md.us Senator Madaleno Richard S 18
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3137
(410) 841-3137, (301) 858-3137
Richard.Madaleno@senate.state.md.us Senator Manno Roger 19
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3151
(410) 841-3151, (301) 858-3151
Roger.Manno@senate.state.md.us Senator Mathias James N 38
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3645
(410) 841-3645, (301) 858-3645
James.Mathias@senate.state.md.us Senator McFadden Nathaniel 45
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3165
(410) 841-3165, (301) 858-3165
Nathaniel.McFadden@senate.state.md.us Senator Middleton** Thomas 28
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3616
(410) 841-3616, (301) 858-3616
Thomas.Mclain.Middleton@senate.state.md.us Senate President Miller Thomas V. Mike 27
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3700
(410) 841-3700, (301) 858-3700
email@example.com Senator Muse Anthony 26
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3092
(410) 841-3092, (301) 858-3092
Anthony.Muse@senate.state.md.us Senator Nathan-Pulliam Shirley 44
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3612
(410) 841-3612, (301) 858-3612
Shirley.Nathan.Pulliam@senate.state.md.us Senator Oaks Nathaniel 41
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3697
(410) 841-3697, (301) 858-3697
Nathaniel.Oaks@senate.state.md.us Senator Peters** Douglas J 23
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3631
(410) 841-3631, (301) 858-3631
Douglas.Peters@senate.state.md.us Senator Pinsky Paul 22
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3155
(410) 841-3155, (301) 858-3155
Paul.Pinsky@senate.state.md.us Senator Ramirez Victor 47
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3745
(410) 841-3745, (301) 858-3745
Victor.Ramirez@senate.state.md.us Senator Ready Justin 5
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3683
(410) 841-3683, (301) 858-3683
Justin.Ready@senate.state.md.us Senator Reilly Edward 33
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3568
(410) 841-3568, (301) 858-3568
Edward.Reilly@senate.state.md.us Senator Robinson Barbara 40
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3656
(410) 841-3656, (301) 858-3656
Barbara.Robinson@senate.state.md.us Senator Rosapepe Jim 21
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3141
(410) 841-3141, (301) 858-3141
Jim.Rosapepe@senate.state.md.us Senator Salling Johnny 6
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3587
(410) 841-3587, (301) 858-3587
JohnnyRay.Salling@senate.state.md.us Senator Serafini Andrew 2
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3903
(410) 841-3903, (301) 858-3903
Andrew.Serafini@senate.state.md.us Senator Simonaire Bryan 31
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3658
(410) 841-3658, (301) 858-3658
Bryan.Simonaire@senate.state.md.us Senator Smith William 20
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3634
(410) 841-3634, (301) 858-3634
Will.Smith@senate.state.md.us Senator Waugh Steve 29
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3673
(410) 841-3673, (301) 858-3673
Steve.Waugh@senate.state.md.us Senator Young Ronald 3
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3575
(410) 841-3575, (301) 858-3575
Ronald.Young@senate.state.md.us Senator Zirkin** Bobby 11
1-800-492-7122, ext. 3131
(410) 841-3131, (301) 858-3131
Bobby.Zirkin@senate.state.md.us Senator Zucker Craig 14
1-800-492-7122 ext. 3625
(410) 841-3625, (301) 858-3625
Acting from our faith convictions, we join our voices with others in the region who call for responsible public policies that promote healthy watersheds.
To bring about major change, public policies are needed to undo the harm that has been done to our environment, specifically the watersheds of the Chesapeake region. We citizens have a moral obligation to engage in the political process in ways that align with our values.
What Can You Do?
- Sign up to receive legislative action alerts and to be an Advocacy Leader. Gear up for the 2019 Maryland Legislative Session by making sure you're signed up for our Advocacy Leader newsletters and get ready to mobilize your community.
- Watch the recorded training from January 13, 2019, and get up to speed on priority legislation this session.
- Make sure you know who your state representatives are before the 2019 legislative session begins. Click here to enter your home address and see who represents you.
- Join us on Facebook or Twitter and be vocal about state legislation, or respond when we post important news.
- Help us track legislation in other Chesapeake states or in the District of Columbia. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can volunteer in this way.
2019 Maryland Legislative Preview
Do you live in Virginia or the District of Columbia? Help us track legislation in other regions! Email email@example.com to volunteer.
Contact Your Legislator
Do you know how to contact your legislator and ensure your voice is heard? The links below will connect you to websites for each of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed states where you can find your legislator and obtain their contact information.
2018 Maryland Legislative Recap
This was a disappointing session for many environmental bills. Here’s a summary of how things went in the 2018 Maryland Legislative Session.
Bills that Passed
None of the bills IPC was tracking passed this legislative session. A full review of all environmental legislation this session is provided by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters here.
Bills that Didn’t Pass
SB610/HB766 - Forest Conservation Act Amendments – This bill received huge grassroots support and caught the attention of many legislators, but did not pass. After first being amended to be a "Task Force Bill", which would require legislators to study the issue of forest losses in Maryland, House leaders watered down the Task Force Bill so significantly that the Senate did not like it. The last version of the Task Force Bill passed the House, but the Senate chose not to pass it.
Here's how the faith community engaged:
The Rev. Diana Caroll of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church of Eastport testified at the House hearing on February 21st in support of the Forest Conservation Act amendments. The Rev. Sue Lowcock-Harris of First Presbyterian Church of Howard County had this letter-to-the-editor "Thou Shall Not Steal Trees" published in the Bay Weekly about the moral duty to protect forests. The Rev. Franklin Lance of Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church and director of the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council secured a letter signed by the leaders of 6 major denominations (United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America Maryland-Delaware Synod, Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, Archdiocese of Baltimore, and Presbytery of Baltimore-PCUSA). Montgomery County faithful citizens spoke with their state delegate and Chair of the House Environmental Committee Del. Kumar Barve about the importance of forest protection. Finally, 262 faithful signed this petition supporting amendments to strengthen the Forest Conservation Act – the signatures were submitted as written testimony to state officials. Many forwarded it to friends and family and posted on social media about it.
SB651/HB538 - Ban on Expanded Polystyrene – This was never brought up for a formal vote in the House Environment Committee, despite intense grassroots support including from youth in Baltimore City. An unfavorable vote in the Senate Finance Committee killed the bill before crossover date.
Here's how the faith community engaged: 36 congregations signed a letter reporting to their state delegates that they had already stopped using foam food products and thus a statewide ban was not a crazy idea! Behind each one of these congregations was a green leader at that congregation who took the time to confirm with their congregation that in fact they have stopped using Styrofoam, and added their names to the list.
Join the movement!
Be a GIVER on Giving Tuesday, November 29th!
We need your help to change more hearts and restore more sacred waters!
- Want to stay in the loop about upcoming grant opportunities and workshops?
- Want to stay connected with other congregations in your region or your denomination?
- Want to connect with secular organizations in your region who can support your congregation's efforts?
IPC can help you with all of this!
Complete the form below to maintain an up-to-date profile in our database so that when opportunities for collaboration arise, we can get in touch with you. Help IPC help you!Sign up
Jodi Rose commented on Menu For Action 2015-04-06 08:26:41 -0400Yes, Chris, we’re so excited to see those projects come to life! I see an AA County House of Worship driving tour event in the future! We need to start planning something like that…
Jodi Rose answered 2015-03-19 09:10:54 -0400Q: Are you confident that your congregation will begin to form a green ministry?
This brief survey (23 questions) will help us understand your level of familiarity with the topics to be discussed at the workshop so that we can prepare properly. They are Yes-No questions, and it should take you about 5 minutes to complete. There is one question per page. Thank you for your time!Take the survey
Jodi Rose answered 2014-11-17 14:18:26 -0500Q: Would you be interested in serving on a planning committee for such a gathering?
Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake wants to serve you well. Please tell us what you think about our providing gatherings for people of faith interested in working on improving watershed health.Take the survey
Jodi Rose answered yes 2014-07-24 14:34:21 -0400Q: Would you be willing to volunteer to help coordinate this experience for your congregation or in your region?
IPC is considering developing an outdoor educational experience with a spiritual context as a means of helping faith advocates develop a greater sense of place within their watershed community. Such an experience might take place on the congregation's property, nearby natural areas, local streams or waterways, and could include hiking, biking, canoeing or kayaking, boating or even fishing.
Your answers will not be public, but will be retained in our database for use in development of this program.
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As Blue Water Congregations gets underway, the Catholic Review highlights the underlying message that the faith community is uniquely called to care for Creation.
Jodi Rose commented on On Stormwater Fees 2014-03-27 17:14:25 -0400Absolutely, Ann! One of the things we talk about when we go out to congregations and faith leaders is that we live together in a “watershed community.” Watersheds know no city boundaries, no legislative districts, no church boundaries. Watersheds follow the contours of the land and answer only to their Creator. We are in this together and we are connected to each other through our watershed communities. If we could see each other as fellow brothers and sisters in a shared watershed, we might stop fighting over politics and start working together for solutions that reflect love to our Creator and to each other.
Jodi Rose commented on FAE report 2013-11-08 15:34:36 -0500Thanks Carl! Your contributions to the day were fantastic! When do we get to do this again?!?
Jodi Rose commented on Organizations 2014-05-19 08:56:16 -0400There is a nonprofit organization called Koolhof Earth http://koolhofearth.org/, which spun off from an environmental consulting group, Straughn Environmental. I will email them and see if they could post some suggestions here. Thanks for inquiring!