• Reflection: Salisbury Shows its SoulDonate_Button.jpg
  • Covenantal Partners Program - New Round Opening
  • Plantings Trees = Planting Hope
  • Blue Water Congregation Receives Grant
  • Wildlife & Watershed Workshop
  • Sacred Earth, Sacred Trust
  • Upcoming Events

Salisbury Shows its Soul

"I would not have the hope for the future that I do have, if it were not for the faith community that brings the moral and ethical conversation to the IMG_2194.jpgtable. We just need to stop being shy about claiming this responsibility." Rev. Mary Gaut, our board chair, said this to a 40+ crowd that gathered at Bethesda United Methodist Church in Salisbury on the Eastern Shore last Earth Day. Mary spoke about "Three Faces of Hope", a complex interweaving of imagination, sense of moral urgency, and persistence/courage. Omitting just one of these strands, and hope becomes a thin veil of superficial optimism. In other words, yes, we have to dream, but also, we have to know how grave the situation is and be willing to persist with hard work. You can read Mary's full talk HERE and view photos from the weekend HERE. This invitation to "stand up and show your soul", as Clarissa Pinkola states in her essay "We were made for these times", is both an affirmation of our role as moral leaders, and reminder of how much work we have to lead by example. 

Some examples are emerging in Salisbury, and their Earth Day events were just the beginning. After a sellout dinner and speaker on Friday night April 22nd, we led workshops and invited outside speakers, including Mayor Jake Day, on Saturday morning to a standing-room only crowd of 50+ attendees. The excitement was palpable, our partner Wicomico Environmental Trust is poised to work with the inspired congregations who wish to take action...and so the movement in Salisbury begins. Some congregations have participated in tree plantings, others have installed solar panels, and some have built community gardens on their grounds. Mayor Day informed everyone that in neighborhoods where community gardens exist, crime is consistently less than crime in other neighborhoods. This example of community healing through environmental healing is paramount to reminding us of the importance of stewardship.

IMG_2199.jpgSo, where do you begin to embrace an ethic of stewardship at your congregation? You start with what you know, and what you can change. One of the exercises we did during the workshop was to explore our Circles of Influence and how as individuals and as institutions, there are ways we can "show our soul" in all of our circles of influence. I encourage you to sit down with your family, your Green Committee, or your congregation's leadership and look at this Circles of Influence worksheet together. Discuss who are the people or institutions in your circles that you can influence, inspire, and demonstrate your stewardship ethic to. Or, if you want someone from IPC to come and talk to your leadership about this worksheet and how to apply it to your context, email me to set up time for this one-on-one meeting. 

Salisbury is but one city in a huge state, in a huge watershed, but it is a beginning. From here, we trust that the Spirit leads us. Showing your soul is the first step...Thank you Salisbury for taking the first step. 

Jodi Rose
Executive Director

Covenantal Partners Program - New Round OpeningWaterWorld.jpg

We are preparing to offer the Covenantal Partners Program (CPP) again, in light of the success of the first pilot round. This program offers congregations a facilitated process that helps your community gain the knowledge and spiritual context they need to prioritize and take action to heal water. Congregations in the pilot delivered final projects that ranged from educational programs/spiritual programs for their members to installation of green infrastructure. 

We have not narrowed down the regional focus for this next round, so regardless of where you live, if you're interested to learn more about CPP and put your name on the interest list, please contact our Executive Director [email protected]. Or call 410-609-6852. 

Kids_Planting_Tree.jpgPlanting Trees IS Planting Hope

Looking for an Earth Care action project that is all set to go? Trees for Sacred Places is available to congregations and faith owned properties throughout Maryland. The program provides everything you need to kick start your congregation to Care for God’s Creation. Engage your Youth Ministry, Men’s Group, Grounds Committee, etc. - - young and old alike can participate. Join our growing list of congregations throughout that have toiled in the soil. Each planting we do with congregations is unique to their brand of "faith" - - bringing their enthusiasm and flair. Program includes a professional planting plan, native trees, deer protection, all necessary tools to plant AND environmental and spiritual workshops tailored to your congregation's needs. And it is all FREE!!! You can learn more about the program on our webpage HERE. Contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] or call 410-609-6852 today to get started right away.

We specifically have opportunities right NOW for congregations in Montgomery County and Prince George's Counties.  View and download State-wide Flyer here (includes Montgomery County).  View and download Prince George's Flyer here.

Upcoming Tree Planting Days - Come check out how this works and see if you want to bring this to your congregation:

  • May 7 - at Silver Spring Presbyterian Church, Silver Spring, MD, 3 pm
  • Plan now to schedule Fall plantings!


Blue Water Congregation Receives Grant. Gazette article highlights St. Johns Lutheran Church in Baltimore who was awarded a $50,000 grant for stormwater remediation by the Chesapeake Bay Trust. To read the article click HERE.

Wildlife & Watershed Workshop at Silver Spring United Methodist Church on June 5, 2-5:30 pm.  Come learn how you can welcome a wider diversity of wildlife into your community and local stream.  Tour wildlife garden and conservation project. Speakers include leaders from the National Wildlife Federation, Montgomery County Department of the Environment and Friends of Sligo Creek. See flyer HERE.

Sacred Earth, Sacred Trust has designated June 12 as a worldwide, multi-faith day of prayer and action for the planet and a call for world leaders to commit to a 1.5 degree limit on global temperature rise. Click HERE to commit to participate or to learn more.

Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities

  • May 4 - Celebrate Clean Energy Victories in MD! 6:30 pm. Liam Flynn Alehouse, 22 W. North Ave., Baltimore, MD. RSVP requested to [email protected]
  • May 7 - Tree Planting Day Silver Spring Presbyterian Church, at 3 pm.
  • May 9 - Baltimore Healthy Harbor Report Card release event - 10 am, Columbus Park, 751 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD. Hosted by our friends at Blue Water Baltimore. Show your support for fixing the City's sewer infrastructure and take a rare look inside the historic Eastern Avenue Sewage Pumping Station. Event is free to attend. Click HERE for full event details and to register to attend.
  • May 9 - St. Vincent De Paul Church 120 N Front St., Baltimore, MD. Parishioner and Loyola faculty member Dan Castillo presents The Gardener and the City-Builder: Exploring Pope Francis’ Vision of the Human Person. Dr. Castillo teaches courses in liberation theology and environmental ethics at Loyola University Maryland, where he is an Assistant Professor of Theology and a Peace and Justice Fellow. Potluck dinner begins at 6:30 pm, and lecture at 7 pm. More Info or RSVP HERE.
  • May 10 - Free Grant-Writing for Faith Based Organizations - Hosted by the Governor's Office - come learn about opportunities and learn new tricks. Chesapeake College, Eastern Shore. More details and to RSVP click HERE.  
  • May 13 & 14 - Information table at the Baltimore Episcopal Archdiocese Convention 8 am - 6 pm, Turf Valley Resort, Ellicott City, MD.
  • May 14 - Rain Barrel and Garden Blessing, Catonsville Presbyterian Church, at 9 am.  Includes presentations from IPC and Maryland SeaGrant. 
  • May 14 - Kadampa Meditation Center Maryland World Peace Garden Grand Opening and Temple Open House. 10 am - 4 pm. More info HERE
  • May 15 - Adult Forum at Catonsville Presbyterian Church, 9-10 am,  IPC's Executive Director, Jodi Rose will present on the faith connection to watershed ecology, stormwater, and how projects like those at Catonsville Presbyterian are restoring God's Creation.  Followed by discussion.
  • May 15 - Trees For Sacred Places presentation at Transfiguration Episcopal Church, Silver Spring 9:15 am.
  • May 15 - Baltimore Green Forum, a monthly environmental and discussion forum. Speakers 4-5:30 pm, open discussion 5:30-6:30 pm. Free and open to the public.
  • May 15 - Join the faith contingent for a rally and march to stop offshore drilling. 1 pm, Lafayette Square, Washington, DC. More info HERE.
  • May 15- Hold the Asbury Broadneck United Methodist Church in prayer as they begin their Steward Lite Training. 
  • May 19 - Final Celebration of Covenantal Partners Congregations, Amazing Grace Lutheran Church 6-8:30 pm, by invitation only. Please keep these congregations in your prayers as they continue on their stewardship journey: St. Matthews Catholic Church, Prince of Peace Baptist Church, Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, Gwynn Oak UMC, Catonsville Presbyterian Church, Unitarian Universalist Church of Towson.
  • May 21 - Hold the Islamic Society of Annapolis in prayer as they begin their Steward Lite Training. 
  • May 22 - Trees for Sacred Places presentation at the Muslim Community Center, 11:15 am, 15200 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD.
  • May 25 Acts of Green Community - Information table at Hilton Elementary School, 3301 Carlisle Ave, Baltimore, MD. Sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
  • June 5 - Wildlife & Watershed Workshop. Silver Spring United Methodist Church, 2-5:30 pm. Click HERE for flyer.
  • June 12 - Sacred Earth, Sacred Trust day of prayer. Click HERE to sign up.

Volunteers Needed - We are looking for volunteers to help us staff our informational tables at these events - help us inspire more people! Training is provided. Contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] or call 410-609-6852 today if you can spare an hour or two.
  • Sat. May 16 Baltimore Episcopal Archdiocese Convention 8 am - 6 pm, Turf Valley Road, Ellicott City, MD.

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