Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake


  • Reflection: Putting Faith into Action
  • Donate_Button.jpgIn-Kind Needs - Can you help us?
  • Grant Funding Available
  • New Round of Grant Funding for Tree Plantings
  • Free Cisterns for Congregations in Prince George's County 
  • Annual Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forum
  • Free Water Audits in Baltimore
  • Building Greater Partnerships
  • Support IPC through Amazon Smile!
  • Upcoming Event

Putting Faith into Action

Six congregations in the Baltimore region put their faith into action for earth stewardship through the Covenantal Partners Program (CPP) over the past two years.  Each congregation signed a covenant to articulate their role in caring for Creation as a reflection of their relationship with their Creator, and IPC helped them respond through action. A covenant is a promise; in the Abrahamic traditions, God placed a rainbow in the sky as a sign of the covenant or promise to Noah, "to all future generations, and every living creature with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth... to never again destroy the all life on earth by the waters of a flood."(Genesis 9:8-11) 

cpp_screenshot.PNGThrough a visioning process CPP congregations discerned their own way of fulfilling a promise to care for life on earth. Carel Hedlund at Towson Unitarian Universalist reported, "At the beginning of this [process], we only vaguely knew what we wanted to do through an Action Plan. You really helped our group get to this point, connecting us with a partner, and guiding us through the process to get there." Towson UU was guided to fulfill their vision of an "Environmental Justice Collaborative" by partnering with another CPP congregation, Amazing Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church. Members of Towson UU's Green Sanctuary Team are now active volunteers in Amazing Grace's food ministry program at the Amazing Port Street Garden. This project joined a suburban church with an urban church in Baltimore in food justice through community gardening which brings fresh produce to a neighborhood that is largely a "food desert."

This is just one of the examples of the outcomes of these six congregations committing to walk the hard journey toward stewardship. All of the projects are featured in this video - enjoy witnessing the enthusiasm and community engagement that these communities generated.

And now for more good news - CPP continues! Our new program will cultivate faith congregations from the Jones Falls watershed who embody Creation Care stewardship values, as demonstrated by visible actions and community leadership. Funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, IPC, Blue Water Baltimore, Interfaith Power and Light and Maryland Sea Grant are teaming up to deeply engage 15 congregations to green ministries and install best management practices on their properties. If you are a member of a congregation in the Jones Falls area of Baltimore
(click here to see a map), contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] for more information. 

We look forward to witnessing how God works through these new congregations to manifest their vision and covenant to put faith into action to restore Creation! Are you doing this too? We'd love to hear from you!


Grant Funding Available

Outreach and Restoration Grant offered by Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) to provide grants for local watershed projects through the Outreach and Restoration Grant Program.  This grant program funds projects in partner areas - Howard County, Baltimore City, Gaithersberg, and Charles County - as well as throughout Maryland. CBT brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the grant process. Applicants are encouraged to contact CBT to discuss grant ideas before applying. Please contact them soon if you are interested.  Non-profit organizations, community associations, faith-based organizations and more are eligible. Grant awards range from $5,000-$75,000. The grant is currently open. Contact Abbi Huntzinger at [email protected] or 410-974-2941 x106 with questions. Application Deadline: September 28, 2016.

The Montgomery County Watershed Restoration and Outreach Grant program, offered by the Montgomery County Government and the Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT), is also now accepting proposals to support watershed restoration and outreach throughout Montgomery County. The Montgomery County Watershed Restoration and Outreach Grant Program encourages on-the-ground restoration including RainScapes practices as well as outreach and engagement activities that reduce stormflow and pollutants and engage Montgomery County residents in the restoration and protection of the local rivers and streams of Montgomery County. Please note that this funding opportunity is available for projects throughout Montgomery County for grant awards of up to $100,000. The municipalities of Gaithersburg, Rockville, and Takoma Park are not eligible for funding in this program; however they are eligible in the Outreach and Restoration Grant Program that is also open now. Deadline: October 6th, 2016 at 5 pm. For questions contact Grant Manager Jeffrey Popp at [email protected] or 410-974-2941, ext. 103.

Mini Grants Program for Community Engagement is designed to engage Maryland residents in activities that enhance communities, engage residents, and improve natural resources. What this funds: Activities such as tree plantings, rain gardens, stream cleanups, and storm drain stenciling. To see a longer list of potential projects, read the full RFP.  Awards are up to $5,000.  for more information contact: Bre'Anna Brooks, [email protected]410-974-2941 x112.

CTK_TFSP_1.jpgNew Round of Grant Funding for Tree-Planting

We will be applying for more funding to continue the Trees for Sacred Places program in 2017.  Our next round of funding may be open to congregations who can plant as few as 20 trees on their property. If your congregation has not been able to participate in the tree-planting program before due to the minimum number of trees to be planted, but could participate if the minimum number is as few as 20 trees, please reach out to Bonnie to put your name on our waiting list at [email protected] or 410-609-6852.

Rectangular_Cistern.jpgFree Cisterns for Congregations in Prince George's County

Want to slow down the rainwater rushing off your congregation's roof? Want to reduce your Prince George's County Stormwater Fee? We can help! Grant funding secured by the Anacostia Riverkeeper is available to install cisterns at faith-owned properties. 

These cisterns will store rainfall for non-potable water uses, or facilitate slow release after the storm. The project is no cost to the church and can alleviate flooding problems as well as reduce your property’s contribution of polluted runoff.

If your congregation has a roof at least 500 square feet in size and you're interested to learn more, please contact us. Already six congregations in the DC Metro Area have installed cisterns. What better way to draw your members into a deeper conversation about our responsibility to minimize negative impacts on shared water resources. For more information, contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected]or 410-609-6852.


Annual Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forum

The theme for this year's Watershed Forum is "A Personal Call to Action". The Forum is open to anyone, and provides specialized information on watershed improvement practices and strategies for encouraging behavior change. IPC will be offering several workshops at the Forum this year, too! Come join us September 30-October 2 in Shepherdstown, WV. Click HERE for conference agenda, details, and registration. 

Hurry to Get a Free Water Audit for Your Congregation! Time is Running Short

pocket_watch.pngIf your congregation is located in Baltimore City or County and it hasn't yet had a FREE water audit NOW is the time to sign up. Learn more HERE. To schedule your water audit and register for Blue Water Congregations Click HERE

The water audits are offered free of charge through Blue Water Congregations, a program of Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, Blue Water Baltimore and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Contact Bonnie at [email protected] or 410-609-6852 with questions.

earth-day_(1).jpegBuilding Greater Partnerships

We work hard to inspire people of faith to care for the Earth and broker the resources they need to take action, such as grant funding, technical support, and organizational support. We have ideas for how to achieve even more together, but we need to know more about you to continue building on our partnership. By knowing where you live and worship, we can connect you to other people of faith in your region who are working on similar things. Please fill our out Stay Connected form so that we can provide more customized support to you and your congregation.

Shop AmazonSmile and Support IPC

amazonsmile.jpgAmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the ADDED bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. It's easy to begin. Simply click HERE and select Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, Inc. as your charitable organization of choice. That's it!! Next time you shop online, make sure you start at AmazonSmile and IPC will receive .5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases.

Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities

  • September 8 - Become a Master Watershed Steward. Information session 6:30 pm, Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center. Click HERE to register.
  • September 10 - 10 AM to 12 PM Rain Barrel Workshop by Blue Water Baltimore - Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center, 1000 Frankfurst Ave. Baltimore, MD 21226 RegisterClick H ERE to register.
  • September 15 -Taste of the Chesapeake, 5:30 pm, Annapolis - we gladly support our partners, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, by announcing their annual fundraiser. Click HERE for details.
  • September 30 - October 2 - Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forum - annual conference offering excellent workshops on watershed restoration and community engagement. Click here for more details
  • September 25 - Blue Water Congregations Celebration. Congratulations to all the congregations in Baltimore City and County that have participated in this program. 
  • September 28 - Outreach and Restoration Grant deadline. Contact Abbi Huntzinger at [email protected] or 410-974-2941 x106 with questions.
  • October 1 - Greening the Church - Opportunities and the Shrine Mont Example. 9 am, Orkney Springs, VA. Click HERE to register or for more information.
  • October 1 - 3rd Annual St. Luke's Blue & Green Festival for the Restoration of Back Creek. 11 am - 3 pm (rain date Oct. 8) Click HERE for more information.
  • October 6 - Montgomery County Watershed Restoration and Outreach Grant deadline. For questions contact Grant Manager Jeffrey Popp at [email protected] or 410-974-2941, ext. 103.

Volunteer and In-Kind Needs 
  • IPC is doing a database cleanup. Do you have a few hours you could donate to us each week? Contact Andrea Proctor at [email protected] to volunteer. 
  • Are you able to staff an information table at events for us? Contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] or call 410-609-6852 if you're willing to help with this from time to time. 
  • IPC could use a canvas case and small external speakers for a new projector we just purchased. Do you have something you can pass along? Contact Kolya Braun-Greiner at[email protected] or call us at 410-609-6852 if you do!
Thank you!