We are excited to welcome Matt Heim to our team! Matt comes to us from Salisbury, on the lower Eastern Shore (Wicomico County). He was hired as the Director of the One Water Partnership program and will oversee our work to create hubs of congregational action throughout the watershed. His first assignment is overseeing our 3-year grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to build 4 hubs in Maryland and 1 hub in Lancaster, PA. He hit the ground running in April and has transformed the way we are tracking hub growth and action. He and Bonnie Sorak are working as a team to cultivate hubs and the action pathways for congregations in these hubs. Matt is looking to grow the hub-team, and has an open position to support work in Harford County while also providing programmatic support in other parts of the state. This is a part-time remote position (meaning you do not need to live in Harford County, but should expect to travel there for community engagement). Please check out the job description and let us know if you feel it is the right fit for you.
We asked Matt a few questions to help you all get to know him, such as what he sees is his role at IPC, what he enjoys most about working here, and what is his favorite natural place that makes him feel most connected to his spirituality.
I see my role at IPC as a community builder. There are thousands of congregations in the Chesapeake Bay region interested in living out their faith and playing a role in the restoration of the waters of the Chesapeake. There are also numerous non-profit organizations and governments also committed to restoration. There is only so much we can do individually, but collectively the possibilities are almost limitless. As the Director of the One Water Partnership program, my job is to help foster relationships among those congregations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies so that together we can achieve our shared vision of a restored Chesapeake.
There is a lot I'm enjoying here at IPC. Working with diverse people of faith and learning about their respective faith traditions is something I'm absolutely loving. It's also really exciting to be working with IPC at a time when the organization is growing. I also appreciate that IPC has given me a lot of autonomy to be creative and innovative.
It’s hard to answer the question about my favorite natural place -- this is like asking which of my children is my favorite! I love it all! Surfing was my "gateway drug." In my teens and twenties, my life pretty much revolved around surfing. What drew me to the sport was the intimate connection it fosters with nature and the solace and rejuvenation it brought to my soul. I've been fortunate to be embraced by creation in so many magical ways as a surfer. Sharing waves with dolphins and pelicans, swimming with a baby humpback whale, countless sunrises and sunsets with those pastel colors reflecting off the ocean. My love of surfing drew me into the environmental field and I soon discovered the same solace and rejuvenation I found in the ocean could be found in pretty much any natural setting. All that is required is a certain state of mind and an openness of the heart and soul. These days, I'm blessed to live along a stream that flows into the Wicomico River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. I start most mornings sitting quietly on a bluff overlooking the marsh or, if I'm really lucky, a paddle along her meandering waters. There's hardly a better way to start the day in my opinion.
We are so lucky that Matt chose to join IPC and we are already seeing his passion and skills in action as he advances the development of hubs throughout the state. If you’d like more information about how to engage your congregation in a hub, or wish to support the work Matt is doing, you can contact him at [email protected].
If you'd like to join our team, check out our currently open position. Even if you live nowhere near Harford County, please still submit your resume because our team is growing and we'd love to hear from you as we consider future growth opportunities.
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