- Reflection: Planting Miracles
Feb. 9th - Rally in Support of Statewide Ban on Plastic Bags
- Advocacy "Cheat Sheet" is Updated for 2016!
- Blue Water Congregations
- St. Margaret's Education Building - LEED Certified!
- Upcoming Events - Ecological Stations of the Cross, Jewish Lobby Night, Muslim Gathering, and more!!
Reflection: Planting Miracles
As those of us in Central Maryland look out at a snow covered landscape it may be hard to understand why our Jewish brothers and sisters are celebrating Tu B’shvat today - - the birthday of trees. This is a holiday which is the 15th of Shevat (like the 4th day of July), and coincides with the flowering of fruit trees in Israel. It is a celebration of nature. And it has become the Jewish Earth Day. In Israel, the holiday is associated with the planting of trees.
So this is a great time for all of us to consider just what miracles each and every tree is to our world. There is a great intersection of Tu B’Shevat with a portion of the Torah in Exodus, 15:22 to 15:25 where it says that:
"… Moses caused Israel to set out from the Sea of Reeds. They went on into the wilderness of Shur; they traveled three days in the wilderness and found no water. They came to Marah, but they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter. And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” So Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree: he threw it into the water and the water became sweet..."
The connection between trees and clean water was made in biblical times and still holds true to this day. What’s the best way you can help restore water and celebrate with your congregation the creator’s gift of our beautiful planet Earth? - - plant trees this Spring or Fall through IPC’s Trees For Sacred Placesprogram! Already, over 10,000 trees have been planted and another 2,000 were given away for a total of more than 12,000 newly planted trees. Read the Press Release that summarizes these great accomplishments!
Ready to start planting miracles? Contact Bonnie at [email protected] to get started!
Bag Ban Rally - February 9th
There is something wrong with extracting fossil fuels that have been in the ground for billions of years in order to produce a plastic bag that is used once and thrown away. And, if you've ever volunteered at a stream-cleanup, you know first-hand that one of the most prolific pieces of trash in our rivers and streams is the plastic bag. Yuk!
Now, you can really do something about this! You can take action to support Maryland legislation to ban plastic bag usage. Details on the bag ban bill and how you can take action can be found here.
Join us for the rally on Mardis Gras Tuesday, February 9th, at 9am in Annapolis at Lawyer's Mall to show your support of the bag ban. More details and RSVP here! Carpooling will be available and we already have 3 exciting ministers planning to speak. Are you clergy and do you want to speak at the rally? Call us at 410-409-6852 to talk about this.
Sign up on Facebook here and share with your friends!
Advocacy Cheat Sheet
We have a moral obligation as faithful citizens to be informed and to engage in the political process in a way that promotes what we consider to be the right values and best policies. In order to help you live out this call to be active in the political process, IPC puts together an Advocacy Cheat Sheet for any Maryland State and County bills that we have identified as top priorities for the year. The Cheat Sheet distills what we know about the proposed legislation to make it easier for you and your congregants to understand them and take action. Our priorities for 2016 are:
Statewide Ban on Plastic Bags
Pesticide Restriction and Labeling
Environmental Justice Legislation
Climate Justice Legislation
Click here to access our Cheat Sheet, and refer back to it often throughout the session. To receive more frequent updates on these issues, or be alerted when it is critical to take action such as calling your representative or attending a rally, please sign up here to be an Advocacy Leader.
Blue Water Congregations
Attention Baltimore City and Baltimore County Congregations - we still have a few spots left in this program. This free program provides congregations in Baltimore with technical support, decision-making support, a spiritual context to stormwater management, and grant-writing support to procure funds for green projects. Read about Blue Water Congregations on our website, or email [email protected] to get more information.
Since 2014, over 30 congregations have participated and are working to reduce their stormwater. Examples of the type of support this program offers was manifested right before the holidays, when two of our congregations learned they will receive grant funding (one $18,000 and the other $21,000!) to design stormwater management projects for their grounds. And, hats off to our partners,Blue Water Baltimore, for their grant-writing guidance and support!
We'd love to work with your congregation to help you receive similar grants!
St. Margaret's Annapolis - LEED Certified Building!
Congratulations to St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Annapolis! They just received their LEED Silver Certification for their new Education/Formation building! Read about it on the blog of one of their consultants, DW-Green Associates. Thank you St. Margaret's for your example!
Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities
January 25 - Lobby Night for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act for those living in Howard, Harford, and Baltimore Counties. Click here to sign up to participate and connect with Interfaith Power and Light for more information.
January 27 - 7:30pm Jewish Green Council of Greater Washington conference call. Green leaders from Jewish communities across Greater Washington will gather by phone to share our efforts to take environmental action. Dial-in instructions: Call (605) 477-2100, then input code 306196#
January 31 - "United Against Hate" - Interfaith discussion of what is True Islam - Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, 3-6 pm, 7302 Philadelphia Road, Rosedale, MD (Baltimore area). RSVP Here
February 1-7 World Interfaith Harmony Week -Cooperation Circles across North America – and the world – are preparing to celebrate the week designated by the United Nations to promote harmony among people of different faiths. This year's observance of World Interfaith Harmony Week is especially meaningful when we are witnessing interreligious conflicts all around the world.
February 9 at noon OR 18 at 7:30pm - Sacred Grounds Webinar: How to Green Your Congregation's Grounds. RSVP here.
February 6 - Blessings to Freedom Temple Zion AME Church as they engage in their Blue Water Congregations Community Visioning Session.
February 8 - Lobby Night for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act for those living in Prince George's and Anne Arundel Counties. Click here to sign up to participate and connect with Interfaith Power and Light for more information.
February 9 - Rally to Ban the Bag! 9 am at Lawyer's Mall in Annapolis. Details and RSVP here.
February 12, 21, March 18 - Ecological Stations of the Cross. St. Matthew Catholic Church in Baltimore conducts Stations of the Cross on Fridays during Lent. Several alternative stations readings will be focused on the earth/environment. The Liturgy Committee will be offering theseEcological Stations of the Cross on the following dates/times: Friday, Feb. 12 (noon), Sunday, Feb. 21 (10 am), Friday, Mar. 18 (noon). This is a good way to remain focused on Pope Francis's call to "Care for Our Common Home"!
February 21 - Interfaith Scriptural Reasoning on Creation Care, 6:30pm (Refreshments served), Calvary UMC Church, Annapolis. Click here for more details
February 21 - Interfaith Forum: Skills Training for Creation Care, 2-5pm, with speakers from IPC and Interfaith Power & Light, sponsored by Muddy Branch Alliance, at Epworth United Methodist Church, Gaithersburg. RSVP at the bottom of this page.
February 21 - Earth Forum of Howard County, 2-4pm, First Presbyterian Church of Howard County, "Where Climate Change Hits the Hardest", Dr. Gaye Burpee, Senior Advisor on Climate Change & Rural Livelihoods for Latin America Catholic Relief Service
February 22 - Lobby Night for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act for those living in Baltimore City. Click here to sign up to participate and connect with Interfaith Power and Light for more information.
February 28 - Baltimore Green Forum 4-6:30 PM, Maryland Electric Power Generation: Fossil Free by 2018 Speakers: Will Candler & Phil Favero Click HERE for more information Maryland Presbyterian Church 1105 Providence Road, Towson MD 21286
March 7 - Lobby Night for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act for those living in Montgomery County and Western Maryland. Click here to sign up to participate and connect with Interfaith Power and Light for more information.
March 21 - Lobby Night for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act for those living in Southern Maryland and Eastern Shore. Click here to sign up to participate and connect with Interfaith Power and Light for more information.