April is here, which means spring is upon us: trees are blooming in pinks, whites, yellows, and greens; the air is filled with the sounds of buzzing bees and singing birds; and the days are getting longer and warmer. This time of year, we are invited to witness the beautiful and inspiring transformations of the natural world around us. Spring serves as a reminder of the many wonders the natural world is capable of. Fittingly, April is Earth Month, a month dedicated to appreciating and caring for the Earth we are so lucky to call home. It is a time to celebrate what we have accomplished and revisit our commitments as faithful stewards of the Earth. Just as spring reminds us of the many wonders of Mother Earth, Earth Month reminds us of the responsibility we all share to care for her. This yearly reminder is an important catalyst for action: following the first Earth Day in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency (1970) and Natural Resource Defense Council (1970) were established; the Clean Water Act (1972), Endangered Species Act (1973), Safe Drinking Water Act (1974), and many other important environmental regulations were passed; and millions of people around the world were educated and activated through annual Earth Day celebrations.

This Earth Day, IPC will be celebrating the efforts of congregations throughout the watershed at our One Water Partnership Earth Day Event on April 22nd. Nearly 60 congregations have signed the Partner Congregation Pledge -- something to celebrate! We will be honoring their commitments and recognizing their positive impact as good stewards of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Just as Earth Day serves as a catalyst for action and change on a global and national scale, we hope that this event serves as a catalyst on the congregational scale and inspires more congregations to join the movement! 

Come renew your energy and inspiration in this faith-based movement as we watch the inspiring short film “Earth Water Woman” which spotlights the Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project in Trinidad and Tobago, and its charismatic leader Akilah Jaramogi, in their ongoing efforts to transform barren hillsides into a vibrant, healthy ecosystem. Following the movie we will hear from a panel of change makers in our community: Pastor Michael Martin from Stillmeadow Community Fellowship in Baltimore City where they are restoring a 10 acre "Peace Park" forest on church grounds, The Rev. Diana Carroll from St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Annapolis where they restored an indigenous Chesapeake watershed with 21st century best management solutions, and Joan Plisko who is the Community Sustainability Director at Pearlstone Outdoor Education Center and Jewish-value Sustainable Farm in Baltimore County. Lastly, we will celebrate the collective accomplishments of the growing number of our Partner Congregations that have taken the pledge to play an active role in our growing movement. 

There is a saying that is often said at marches and protests: “This is not a moment, but a movement.” As we celebrate the 51st anniversary of Earth Day and the over 50 congregations that have signed our Partner Congregation Pledge, it is clearer than ever that this movement is growing, and it relies on all of us to take a part in it. So as you enjoy the spring sunshine, let it serve as a reminder to you of the wonders of this Earth and your important role in the movement we are all building together. 

To register for our Earth Day Event, click here

Talya Kravitz

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Partner Congregation Coordinator