August 2017 Issue 2


  • Reflection: Letting Your Light Shine Through
  • Donate_Button.jpgProposed Pipeline Under Potomac River
  • Chesapeake Bay Trust Grant Funding Opportunities Now Open
  • Little Treasures of the One Water Partnership 
  • Capitol Hill Lobbying Day - September 6
  • MoCo Pesticide Restrictions Shot Down
  • 2nd Sacred Grounds Workshop in Montgomery County
  • Trees for Sacred Places Updates in Multiple Regions
  • Howard & Anne Arundel County Master Watershed Steward Certification Program
  • Exploration Charters in Upper Bay & Anacostia River
  • Upcoming Events
  • Volunteer & In-Kind Needs

REFLECTION: Letting Your Light Shine Through

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. -- Matthew 5:16

All_Saints_Luteran_pollinator_garden.jpgThis passage jumped into my mind the first time I visited All Saints Lutheran Church in Bowie, Maryland. As I drove into their parking lot I was immediately struck by the number of trees planted and preserved on their grounds.  In addition, right at the entrance to the church, is an impressive pollinator garden. All around are signs that the congregation is aware of the need for God's people to be good stewards of the environment.

I was visiting their congregation because, in spite of the fact that they do not qualify for any of the rebates offered through the Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program, the church graciously agreed to host some of the ACP training workshops hosted by IPC.  On one of these occasions, our host, Walter Knausenberger, gave me a tour of the grounds.  When you first meet Walter, you quickly learn how passionate and knowledgeable he is about environmental stewardship.  Often, all it takes is just a couple of members like Walter to serve as champions for the cause within a congregation. He outlined how, in 2008, All Saints launched its “Green Team” that has, among other things, helped establish the church grounds as an official wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation; helped educate the church staff and members about adopting practices that minimize adverse environmental impact; and hosted an event showcasing eco-living and “green” products.  The “Green Team” is not particularly large, but they have been able to accomplish a lot over the years.


All Saints is one shining light within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) Metropolitan Washington DC Synod. Recently we announced that their sister Synod in the Delaware-Maryland area passed a Resolution on Ecological Justice at their recent Assembly and is spearheading a 500 Trees Project as Lutherans celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Through this project, the Delaware Maryland Synod is encouraging all its member congregations to participate in tree planting in the spirit of caring for God’s creation.

You too might be contemplating ways to let your light shine as a congregation and wondering how best to move forward.  IPC offers a number of opportunities to partner with us through our many programs.  If you would like to learn more about the programs that IPC has available please click on the links below to check out our webpages for: Prince George’s County’s Alternative Compliance Program Support,  Trees for Sacred Places, and Sacred Grounds Workshops.  Even if you don’t qualify for these specific programs, IPC often needs partners in other areas.  Please contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] with any questions.

Together we will help keep the world brighter for all of God’s creation. 

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 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".

Chesapeake Bay Trust Grant Funding Opportunities Now Open

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.

Discover Little Treasures through the One Water Partnership-Join us today!

Snail_in_Hand.JPGHere's just one of the gems discovered on a spiritually led nature walk held as part of the One Water Partnership. What a wonderful way to share your faith and the wonder of God's creation with young and the young at heart. Plan a similar walk for your congregation and become part of the program.

If your congregation is in or near the Jones Falls subwatershed in Baltimore City or County you can still get involved. 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 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.

Congratulations to the 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 ChurchGrace Tabernacle Baptist Church and St. Ignatius Catholic Church are planning to join as well. Let's add your congregation to the list!

Capitol Hill Lobbying Day

In collaboration with National Religious Partnership for the Environment, IPC faith leaders are invited to lobby on Capitol Hill on September 6 to push for continued funding of Chesapeake Bay restoration and educational efforts. If you are interested in learning more, please email Jodi Rose.

MoCo Pesticide Restrictions Shot Down

An appeal by opponents of the recent restrictions on pesticide use in Montgomery County have won on appeal. The presiding judge ruled that the pesticide restrictions were legal only to the extent that the County was limited in how it could administer pesticides on publicly-owned land, parks, soccer fields, etc. The judge ruled that the law could not legally limit private use of pesticides on privately-owned land. This is a disappointing outcome for all those who will walk in our footsteps. Click HERE to learn more about the ruling.

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. So 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

Train-The-Trainer Workshops for Trees for Sacred Places Coming Up Quick! Congregations on the Eastern Shore and in Howard County Getting Ready to Plant Trees this Fall!


From the Eastern Shore to Howard County, on back to back nights we will train 20+ faithful stewards on the proper way to plant trees at their home congregations as part of our Trees for Sacred Places program. In Howard County participants include First Presbyterian Church of Howard CountySt. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Temple Isaiah, Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Dar Al-Taqwa Mosque

Congratulations to the churches who are participating on the Eastern Shore: Old Trinity ChurchSt. Luke’s United Methodist ChurchSt. Paul’s Church, Waugh Chapel United Methodist Church and Old Wye Parish. Their "Train-The-Trainer" Workshop will be on Tuesday, Sept. 19th at 6PM at Waugh Chapel. If you would like to join them, email our Religious Educator Kolya Braun-Greiner to let her know that you are coming.

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

Howard County and Anne Arundel Master Watershed Steward Certification Programs

HoCoWSA.jpgAs an affiliate of the University of Maryland Extension - Howard County Watershed Stewards Academy(HoCoWSA) is a training program that empowers residents to improve the water quality of local streams. Through a series of classes and community-based activities, concerned citizens learn how they can spearhead individual and community efforts aimed at reducing the harmful effects of polluted stormwater runoff into local streams, which eventually makes its way to the Chesapeake Bay.

The HoCoWSA is holding a series of informational sessions to highlight its Master Watershed Steward Certification program and is looking for innovative problem-solvers who are interested in serving their community by preserving and improving water quality at the local level. The next training class will commence on September 5, 2017. The final information sessions will be held on August 10. An application package for enrollment will be available at the information sessions. For more information contact Terry R. Matthews at 410-313-2711 or [email protected] or visit their website HERE.

In Anne Arundel County the Watershed Stewards Academy is also starting up its new round of classes this fall. To learn more about the program or attend one of the upcoming orientations go HERE for more information. Master Watershed Stewards must live, work or worship in Anne Arundel County.  To become Certified, Stewards attend a 10 session certification course, offered from October to April.  Following the coursework, Stewards complete a capstone project including a community assessment, outreach and education and the installation of a small restoration project. 

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.

Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities 

  • August 24 Discussion on the health and revitalization of Lake Elkhorn. 7 PM, Owen Brown Community Center. Free. Click HERE to RSVP.
  • August 31 TreeBaltimore Summer Gathering, 5:30-8:30PM. Vollmer Center at Cylburn Arboretum. Free, family-friendly event. Click HERE for more info.
  • September 6 Capitol Hill Lobbying Day to discuss Chesapeake Bay Funding. 
  • 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, 9:30-10:30AM 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 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 18 Trees for Sacred Places "Train-the-Trainer" Workshop Howard County 6 PMLocation TBD
  • September 19 Trees for Sacred Places "Train-the-Trainer" Workshop Eastern Shore 6PM at Waugh Chapel, Cambridge, MD.
  • 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 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 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 Our ED Jodi Rose will be speaking at the Call To Action Regional Conference in Baltimore.

Volunteer and In-Kind Needs 
  • Do you speak Spanish or know someone else who can? We need some help to translate some of our print materials and/or help us at an information table at the Anacostia River Festival (see above). If you can help for an hour or two at the event or are willing to help translate some print materials please contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected]
  • 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!