- Reflection: A Lutheran and a UCC Pastor Show Their Souls
- One Water Partnership
- Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program
- Vacation Bible School Program on Water - Prince George's County
- Water Justice
- Lenten Calendars on Creation Care
- Spring Plantings Available for Prince George's County congregations
- Trees for Sacred Places in Howard County and the Eastern Shore
- Howard County Happenings
- Upcoming Events
- Volunteer & In-Kind Needs
Reflection: A Lutheran and a UCC Pastor Show Their Souls
The US Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt as the head of the EPA on Friday. No matter how you are feeling about his appointment, one thing is for certain, he plans to shift the focus of the EPA, leaving the first line of defense for the environment to be state agencies, not the federal government. Are we prepared, organized, equipped, and ready to show our soul to defend God's Creation in our home states?
Two faith leaders are answering yes. One is for a fracking ban, and one for forests.
Marty Reisinger, of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lutherville, is doing everything in his ability to rally fellow Lutherans to speak out against fracking. He's calling on Lutherans -- and all the faithful -- to join him in letter-writing, phone-calling, participate in rallies, and submit written testimony about the proposed fracking ban.
"Bishop Gohl of the DE-MD Synod (ELCA), along with his colleagues in the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council’s Leaders Group, have called on the Maryland General Assembly to pass a statewide ban on fracking. Their statement, released in January 2017, recognizes the significant risks posed by fracking. In his recent encyclical, Pope Francis said, 'Each of us has a personal responsibility to care for creation, this precious gift which God has entrusted to us. …we are not its masters. Stewards, but not masters. …we are often guided by the pride of dominating, possessing, manipulating, exploiting…'" (Read the rest of Marty's letter here)
Marty reminds us in his letter of a few key ways you can make your voice heard on the fracking ban:
- Call your state representatives -- even if you've done it already. Click here to look up your state representative and get their contact information.
- Attend a rally at the Maryland Statehouse on March 2nd -- bus transportation is being provided throughout the state
- Get educated on the issues - fracking is not just a concern for western Maryland, this map shows gas basins throughout the state
Pastor Ryan Sirmons, of the United Church of Christ in Annapolis, is fighting for forests. He sat down with Del. Healey and developers to speak about shared responsibility for preserving tree canopy for future generations and will be testifying at the House hearing on the bill this Wednesday. He models how we can all walk the talk:
- Call your state representatives - click here for bill number details and other tips
- Attend the rally this Wednesday.
- Our new board member McKay Jenkins wrote an Op-Ed about forest conservation that will be published in the Baltimore Sun on Wednesday. Look for it online Tuesday or in print Wednesday, and share it on social media and with your friends and coworkers.
I don't need to tell you to care about clean water. And, I don't need to tell you of moral duty to protect future generations and those most vulnerable. You're reading this because you already get it. So, take that one step further and call, show up for rallies, and remind our legislators that you are watching.
The EPA will have a very different scope of work under a new administrator. But, our scope of work is the same: stand up, speak out, and show your soul.
One Water PartnershipWe are so excited to announce our newest program - One Water Partnership for congregations in the Jones Falls sub-watershed in Baltimore City and County. This program will kick off with a series of spiritually led nature walks. Check out our web page HERE for more details and to register. For more information contact Bonnie Sorak at 443-799-0349.
Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program
Register for March 4th Workshop NOW! Thanks to Jerusalem AME Church in Clinton for hosting the first session. Prince George's County congregations can learn how to save money through the Alternative Compliance Program Options 2 & 3. Sign-up HERE for one of the workshops offered on March 4th, April 4th and May 10th. Download and share the flyer HERE. Offered by IPC and our partner the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.
Hurry to Sign Up - Only 6 spots left in our Vacation Bible School/Sunday School Program in Prince George's County
Thanks to Fort Washington Baptist Church, Walker Mill Baptist Church, Jerusalem AME and Richie Baptist Church that have already signed up! And we are grateful that Mt. Ennon Baptist Church has graciously agreed to host the Training sessions.
A FREE training and curriculum for a Vacation Bible School (VBS) or SundaySchool program will be offered to churches in Prince George's County, through a grant provided by Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Prince George's County Department of Environment! Our program offers, for free:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot today!water-themed curriculum for 5 separate activities with materials
- training for your lead teachers, including a boat ride on the Anacostia for an in-depth experience of the content you'll be teaching
- pre-printed banner to hang outside and advertise your program
- one-on-one support for your team to help you succeed in putting on the program for your youth
- participating congregations will receive a 25% discount off their Clean Water Fee since this satisfies the educational requirement
- More information on this flyer
- Click HERE to register for the workshops
Trinity Institute at the Cathedral of the Incarnation Baltimore will once again host the Trinity Institute Conference and this year's theme is Water Justice. Access to clean water is an essential human right, yet such access is increasingly compromised by droughts, pollution, rising tides, and flooding. These effects of climate change are most tangibly felt by the very people the Gospel urges us to look to—the marginalized and the vulnerable. This conference, infused with spiritual principles and common prayer along with science and solutions, allows us to deeply examine what connects us, and empowers us to take unified, faith-based action on the front lines of the water justice movement. Click HERE for more information or click HERE to register.
Journey Through Lent With Our Creation Care Calendar
Lent, which begins March 1st, is a time when Christian communities pray, fast, and share as they listen more intently for God. This year, have your church join with many others in heeding the call to be stewards of God’s Creation. Each day calls on us to take a different action and each of these actions will help to preserve God’s great gift of Creation.
May this season serve as a wake-up call to be mindful of the ways that our daily choices impact both “our common home” and all those with whom we share it, especially people living in poverty.
This year’s calendar is produced in partnership with our friends at Interfaith Power & Light and Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions. We invite you to photocopy it double-sided and share with your community as a bulletin insert.
Spring Plantings Available for Prince George's County Congregations
Would you like to beautify your grounds and leave a legacy to 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 Sorak at email@example.com.
View and download Prince George's Flyer HERE.
Do you live in Howard County or on the Eastern Shore? We’re coming to you!
Building on our success working with congregations in Montgomery and Prince George's counties, IPC and the Alliance for the Chesapeake will be expanding the Trees for Sacred Places Project into Howard County and the Eastern Shore. Interested in learning more? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Howard County Happenings
Howard County folks can improve our local waterways through the county’s CleanScapes Communities program (up to 75% off of rain gardens) and a new Septic Savers program ($100 reimbursement). Click HERE for more information.
Interested folks are also invited to attend the Howard County Watershed Improvement Network (WIN) meeting on March 3 at the Miller Branch Library. Click HERE to learn all the details.
Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities
- February 22 Fight for Forests Rally! 12PM, Annapolis. Click HERE for more info. Contact Anna Mudd at email@example.com or 443-482-2103 to volunteer.
- February 24 Climate Stewards of Greater Annapolis present Groundswell Rising: Protecting Our Children’s Air and Water at 7PM, Annapolis Friends Meeting House, 351 Dubois Rd, Annapolis, MD 21401. Discussion with three residents of Pennsylvania who have experienced the harmful effects of fracking activities in their homes and communities will follow the film. The event is free and open to public.
- February 25 Watershed Stewards Academy hosts 6th annual conference "Spring into Action" 830AM - 4PM, Lindale Middle School. For more info or to register click HERE.
- March 1 5PM Deadline for Baltimore City congregations & organizations to submit applications for CAMP grants. The application may be found by clicking HERE.
- March 2 Lobby Day for Fracking Ban for these counties: Carroll, Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett County residents. Click HERE to RSVP.
- March 2 Rally and March to Ban Fracking in Maryland, at the Annapolis Statehouse. Click HERE to RSVP.
- March 3 Howard County Watershed Improvement Network meeting at Miller Branch Library. Email Rachel Beebe or 410-313-0678 for details.
- March 4 Alternative Compliance Program Workshop for Prince George's County houses of worship. 10AM, Jerusalem AME Church, Clinton, MD. Click HERE for flyer. Click HERE to register.
- March 4 8AM - 3PM 37th Annual Social Ministry Convocation Baltimore Catholic Archdiocese. Volunteers needed to staff IPC table. If you can help out for an hour or two please contact Bonnie Sorak at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-799-0349.
- March 11 9:30-11:30 AM Vacation Bible School Workshop. Click HERE to register.
- March 18 9:30-11:30 AM Vacation Bible School Workshop. Click HERE to register.
- March 22-24 Trinity Institute 2017: Water Justice global conference held in NYC and webcast at Cathedral of the Incarnation, Baltimore. Click HERE for more info.
- April 1 9:30-11:30 AM Vacation Bible School Workshop. Click HERE to register.
- April 4 Alternative Compliance Program Workshop for Prince George's County houses of worship. 12PM, Location TBD. Click HERE for flyer. Click HERE to register.
- May 7 Alternative Compliance Program Workshop for Prince George's County houses of worship. 2PM, Location TBD. Click HERE for flyer. Click HERE to register.
- May 20 9:30-11:30 AM Vacation Bible School Anacostia River Field Trip (only for those registered to offer the VBS program. Click HERE to register).
Volunteer and In-Kind Needs
- Do you like photography? Vidoegraphy? We are always looking for help taking photos at our events, and putting them together in slide shows. This is a good way to inspire other people and show them the work that is taking place across Maryland.
- 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)