Reflection: Restoring Eden
- Grant Writng Workshop in Baltimore
- Free Water Audits in Baltimore
- Free Boat Tours on Anacostia River
- Tree Plantings at Congregations
- New Round of Grant Funding for Tree Plantings
- Free Cisterns for Congregations in Prince George's County
- Mini-Grants Available
- Got Wheels?
- Support IPC through Amazon Smile!
- Upcoming Events
- In-Kind Needs - Can you help us?
Today we celebrate and share the tremendous accomplishments of the RiverWise Congregations that have indeed contributed to restoring the Garden of Eden through the dedicated work of people of faith. Through this program, congregation members committed to become Master Watershed Stewards and shepherded capstone projects on their congregation grounds. These Stewards were trained by both the Watershed Stewards Academy and Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, with technical assistance provided from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. The following reflection comes from Bishop Larry Lee Thomas of Empowering Believers Church of the Apostolic Faith in Glen Bernie, one of the 22 RiverWise Congregations that engaged in caring for God's sacred waters by installing rain gardens, rain barrels, and other practices to keep local waters healthy and clean. Their project was shepherded by their RiverWise Master Stewards, Anita Weaver and Gerald Cager. Prior to the installation of their rain gardens and rain barrels, the church was repeatedly flooded during heavy rains. See pictures of the beautiful results that this and other congregations achieved in this slide show video. Click HERE for video.
The Eden Ministry - by Bishop Larry Lee Thomas of Empowering Believers Church
This is the word of God that was spoken at the beginning of creation. "And God said, 'Let there be.....'"When I think about these words and God's creative acts I give Him glory and honor for the transformation that has taken place at The Empowering Believers Church located in Glen Burnie.
This is our story: Years ago the county put in new roads, one on Howard Road and the other on Spencer Road. This left our church property in a very low spot. When it rained, the water would surround our property and sometimes it would flood so high we could not get into our church. We asked the county to help and sought out other ways to get help so that water would not flood our property. After years of praying and we being a small congregation that could not afford the work to be done, God moved.
This is when we were invited by Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake (IPC) to join in a meeting to learn about an upcoming program that would be available in our area. Through the partnership of Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Watershed Stewards Academy, and IPC, we learned about stormwater management and we were selected as one of the churches that would receive a grant. After they looked at our property and plans were drawn up, our project exceeded the allotted funds. We were asked to apply for additional funds and this is our story about how God still works miracles.
We had some of the members from our church go through the watershed academy training. Through our new "Eden Ministry" we will continue to educate people about healing God's earth. We must become responsible stewards of this earth.
I recently shared these words, "We are the new kids on the block." As an African American Congregation, I would like to see more churches, ministries and people of all faith to join us on a journey that will bring glory and honor to our God as we do Kingdom Work. Through our Eden Ministry, we are going to continue to sound the alarm. When we look at our planet and see the environmental change whether it's global warming or other things that are polluting our earth, we was to be a messenger that reminds us what God said.
We give thanks and praise to God for all the good works that the RiverWise Congregations have done to heal and restore their local waters that are part of the great Chesapeake Bay watershed.
A group from the Sisters of Mercy have their boat tour scheduled for July 13th! Get your group organized too!
FREE Grant Writing Workshop Offered!
Thinking about doing some creation care work but no idea where the funds would come from? Come learn how your congregation can apply for grant money from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Click HERE for a downloadable flyer with all the details that can be shared. ClickHERE to pre-register for the workshop held on Wednesday, July 13th at 6:30 PM in Baltimore. Thanks to our friends at Berean Baptist Church for hosting the workshop.
Hurry to Get a Free Water Audit for Your Congregation! Time is Running Short
If 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. Schedule your water audit by registering for Blue Water Congregations HERE.
The workshop and 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.
Cool off your Congregation by Planting Trees
Your congregation can invest in reducing your cooling expenses by planting trees! Shade from trees will reduce your congregation's demand on air conditioning. It's another reason we say Trees are Creation's Cure-all. The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. See and share the many other benefits of trees with THIS FLYER. We are still looking for several congregations throughout Maryland, and in particular Prince George's and Montgomery Counties, to plant trees through our Trees for Sacred Places program. Be our eyes! If you drive by a church with a HUGE (unnecessary!) lawn, jot down the name and let us know. Or, if you have time, stop into their office and see if they might be interested. The program offers for FREE: professional planting plan, native trees, deer protection, all necessary tools to plant AND environmental and spiritual workshops (tailored to the congregation or religious school's needs) about the importance of planting trees. You can learn more about the program on our webpage HERE.
New 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.
Free 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 the space to install a large cistern, please consider this wonderful opportunity for a free project on your grounds. Already St. Luke Lutheran Church, St. Camillus Catholic Church, and Silver Spring United Methodist Church have received installed cisterns. What better way to draw your members into a deeper conversation about our responsibility to minimize negative impacts on shared water resources. To learn more or express your interest, please contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] or 410-609-6852.
- Unity Gardens’ 2016 Fall Grant Cycle began July 1, 2016 and runs through the August 31, 2016 deadline. Grants up to $1,000 will be awarded for the 2016 fall cycle to non-profit organizations such as neighborhoods, religious groups, schools, scouts and community organizations in Anne Arundel County who support the building of community partnerships through the creation of greening projects, environmental enhancement and education. For more information and to apply, please visit the Unity Gardens website at www.unitygardens.org. For questions, contact Barbara Dowling at unitygardens[email protected] or (443) 333-9285.
- Chesapeake Bay Trust has opened up its Mini-Grant program. Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded on a rolling basis until funding runs out. Click HERE for more details, or contact Bre'Ana Brooks at 410-974-2941 x112.
IPC is working with a group of landscape architects to organize a “road tour” of Baltimore City green practices. If you know of a congregation that has one or more vans which they can lend for a donation in return, please contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] or 410-609-6852.
Shop AmazonSmile and Support IPC
AmazonSmile 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 smile.amazon.com, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, 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
- July 13 - Sisters of Mercy boat tour on the Anacostia River. Schedule your boat tour by calling us at 410-609-6852.
- July 13 - CBT Grant Writing Workshop, 6:30 pm Berean Baptist Church. More info HERE orclick HERE to register.
- July 17 - Film Documentary Discussion Series on Faith and the Environment. 6:30-8:30 pm. This week: "Last Call at the Oasis." Parish Hall at St. Dominic Church, 630 E St., SW, Washington, DC (L'Enfant Plaza metro stop).
- July 19 - The Watershed Stewards Academy in Anne Arundel County is looking for energetic people with a passion for reaching the community to become Master Watershed Stewards. 16-week certification class begins in September. Information session 7 pm (tentative) at the East Columbia Library Meeting Room. Click HERE for their flyer.
- July 24 - Film Documentary Discussion Series on Faith and the Environment. 6:30-8:30 pm. This week: "Dirt! The Movie." Parish Hall at St. Dominic Church, 630 E St., SW, Washington, DC (L'Enfant Plaza metro stop).
- July 31 - Film Documentary Discussion Series on Faith and the Environment. 6:30-8:30 pm. This week: "Plastic Planet." Parish Hall at St. Dominic Church, 630 E St., SW, Washington, DC (L'Enfant Plaza metro stop).
- August 7 - Film Documentary Discussion Series on Faith and the Environment. 6:30-8:30 pm. This week: "Unwasted." Parish Hall at St. Dominic Church, 630 E St., SW, Washington, DC (L'Enfant Plaza metro stop).
- August 14 - Film Documentary Discussion Series on Faith and the Environment. 6:30-8:30 pm. This week: "Chemerical." Parish Hall at St. Dominic Church, 630 E St., SW, Washington, DC (L'Enfant Plaza metro stop).
- August 17-21 - "Coming Home to The Heart: Healing the Self as a Means to Healing our World . Five-day Workshop in Baltimore, MD led by Anne Rice, Heart Shaman, Conscious Healer & Teacher at School of the Deep Heart. Hosted by Gunpowder Valley Conservancy. Click HERE to register.
- IPC is doing a database cleanup this summer. 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!
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