• Reflection:  Sukkot - Guardians of the Water
  • Donate_Button.jpgNEW! Vacation Bible School Program on Water - Prince George's County
  • Fair Trade Chocolate for Halloween Supports People and Environment
  • New Green Ministry Hosts Interactive Poetry Presentation
  • IPC in The Spotlight
  • Chesapeake Bay Trust Environmental Education Grant Program
  • Letter to the Editor Training Webinar
  • Changing the Dream of the Modern World
  • Shopping for the holidays? Support IPC through Amazon Smile!
  • Upcoming Events
  • In-Kind Needs - canvas case, financial review, and photo/videography

Shomrei adamah - being guardians of the land and its waters


We are in the midst of the Jewish high holiday season, and thus reflected on Rosh Hashana with our last newsletter and Sukkot with this one. The Jewish tradition is rich with respect and honor for the sacred Creation which we all share, and the justice with which we must equitably share the Earth's bounty with all. It is fitting to be reflecting deeply on the connections between these holidays and the mission of Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake. So, we asked Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb to prepare some thoughts on the Jewish fall harvest festival, Sukkot (which begins this year on the night of 10/16). His reflection is below:

Sukkot is rich with symbolism – much of it about water, and much of it applicable to we who steward our small sacred shares of the Chesapeake watershed.  Three examples of the correlation between Sukkot and the Chesapeake include: 

  1. Tradition says that “on Sukkot, the world is judged for water” – will there be the right amount, at the right time?  Our forebearers understood the importance not just of annual rain totals, but of timing and intensity: Deuteronomy 11 speaks of the early rains and the late rains, each distinct, each one needed in its time, in moderation. Today, our own climate-changing emissions wreak havoc with the water cycle; drought followed by deluge is increasingly common. Today, we might say: “On Sukkot, the world’s inhabitants are judged, for water.”
  2. Sukkot is observed through the four tree species of the “lulav” (myrtle, willow, and palm) and “etrog” (citron) – each of which thrives in a different climatic zone, requiring a different level of soil moisture. More than with our region, the Holy Land’s varied topography makes for radically different growing zones in close proximity to one another. Still, a sensitive eye will note the difference between what grows creekside and what grows hilltop; the subtle distinctions between north- and south-facing slopes.  Let us be aware, appreciative, and watchful of the nuanced bounty all around us.  
  3. Finally, Sukkot is observed by spending time outdoors, in flimsy temporary dwellings (singular “sukkah”, plural “sukkot”). By being vulnerable to, and interdependent with, Creation. By reminding ourselves that we ensure safety not by retreating into private climate-controlled fortresses, but by ensuring that the common space (our watershed, airshed, and shared lands) is safe and sustainable for all, forever.  Together with biblical guidance about the corners of one’s field or the produce of the sabbatical and jubilee years (Lev. 19 & 25), Sukkot calls us to remember the poor, the stranger (i.e. immigrant), the social outcasts, the animals, and the land itself within our circles of compassion and concern. We’re all in this together!

During this season of Autumn’s cool splendor, let us pause to celebrate and appreciate the gifts that are all around us – to understand our profound interdependence with nature, and with each other – and to recommit to being shomrei adamah, guardians of the land and its waters.

~Fred Scherlinder Dobb, Rabbi of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda MD, chair of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and past chair of the regional Interfaith Power and Light

NEW! Vacation Bible School Training in Prince Georges Countyimage_of_kids.jpg

We will be offering a free Vacation Bible School program to churches in Prince George's County, through a grant provided by Chesapeake Bay Trust and the PG County Department of Environment! The program offers, for free:

  • water-themed curriculum for 5 separate activities
  • 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
We only have 13 spots left. Already, Walker Mill Baptist Church and Richie Baptist Church have signed up! Email [email protected] to hold your spot!

Support Fair Trade Chocolate this Halloweenfair_trade_pumpkin.jpg

Many faith denominations promote support of fair trade products that maintain healthy working conditions for producers as well as a living wage.  Your Halloween candies can do the same by purchasing your fair trade chocolate through Equal Exchange. Fair Trade chocolate companies like Equal Exchange pay farmers a fair price for their cacao, which helps them support their families, care for the environment and invest in their futures.

st-francis-373549_1920.jpgNew Green Ministry Hosts Interactive Poetry Presentation

A new environmental and creation care initiative at St. Ignatius in Baltimore, the "Green Team," is pleased to present their first event of the year, "Caring for All God's Creation: an interactive poetry presentation exploring the spirit of Pope Francis' encyclical, Laudato Si". This fun and open conversation about our shared call to care for God's creation will be held on Monday, October 17, 7:30 - 9:30 pm. Questions and thematic discussion will be woven around each poem, considering the great challenges of our times and prophetic urgency for ecological social change and institutional conversion. Click HERE for more info. This is a free event.

IPC's Work with Congregations is in the Spotlight

Check out this blog post highlighting "What Baltimore Congregations are Doing to Improve Stormwater Remediation" and what Kadampa Meditation Center has accomplished HERE.

IPC was featured along with Blue Water Baltimore to bring lessons learned about working with congregations through Blue Water Congregations and Riverwise Congregations on this recording of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's webinar HERE. It can also be found at on their homepage, right under “Our Grantees in the News".

Chesapeake Bay Trust Environmental Education Grant Program

kid_with_magnifying_glass.jpgThe Chesapeake Bay Trust is excited to announce that the Environmental Education grant program is currently open which awards funding to expand and enhance Bay environmental education programs for pre-K through 12th grade students in Maryland.

The Trust recognizes that the future health of our environment, economy, and communities depends on an environmentally literate and engaged citizenry.  The Trust seeks to increase environmental stewardship through environmental education by providing grants that build and expand pre-K through 12 environmental education programs and increase student access to programs that provide meaningful outdoor learning experiences

Funds can support costs associated with: development, alignment, and/or adaptation of curriculum; lesson plans and student resources; teacher professional development; establishment of teacher and school support networks; equipment and materials; and costs associated with outdoor learning experiences and student action projects. 

For more information please check out their website and review the Request for Proposal for the full description of the services being requested and how to apply.

Deadline: December 9, 2016 at 5pmContact the grant manager with questions or assistance: Tara Baker410-974-2941, ext 102.

Raise Your Voice on Creation Care: A Letter to the Editor Training Webinar

The Catholic Climate Covenant will offer three 45-minute Letter to the Editor (LTE) Training webinars during October. All three webinars will have the same content. Choose the one that best suits your schedule! 
1. For Thursday, October 13th, 3:00 pm (Eastern), register HERE
2. For Tuesday, October 18th, noon (Eastern), register HERE
3. For Thursday, October 27th, 7:00 pm (Eastern), register HERE

These three webinar opportunities will help you write compelling LTE's responding to energy and climate change articles in your local newspaper.  You will learn:  Why Letters to the Editor are important to Catholic climate action; the features of a successful LTE; how to submit compelling LTEs to your local newspaper.  

KcnXKjdcq.jpegChanging the Dream of the Modern World

If you are ready to explore bringing forth the dream of an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on Earth, you are invited to attend "Awakening the Dreamer," a transformative educational program that explores the challenges facing humanity at this critical moment in time and the opportunities we as a human family have to create a new future. The symposium will be held on Sunday, October 302-6pm at the Stony Run Friends Meeting House. Click HERE for more information on the program or to register for the event click HERE.

If you must shop for the holidays, Support IPC at Amazon Smile!

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, Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. Simply click HERE and select Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake 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

  • October 17 - "Caring for All God's Creation: an interactive poetry presentation exploring the spirit of Pope Francis' encyclical, Laudato Si". 7:30 - 9:30 pm, Chapel of Grace at St. Ignatius Church, Baltimore. Click HERE for more info.
  • October 18 - Movie screening "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Planet" 4:30pm. Hosted by Plumbline: Wesley's Social Justice Alliance. Click HERE for more details.
  • October 19 - Lower Eastern Shore WIP Workshop (Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester Counties). Click HERE to register.
  • October 21 - Southern Maryland WIP Workshop (Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George's and St. Mary's Counties). Click HERE to register.
  • October 22 - Shaare Tefila (Olney, MD) - Trees Spiritual Workshop, following Shabbat Services
  • October 22 - Camp Wabana (Edgewater, MD) - Tree Planting Day, 8am
  • October 23 - Baltimore Green Forum presents "Community Solar - Solar is for Everyone" 4pmClick HERE for more info.
  • October 26 - St. Luke Lutheran Church (Silver Spring, MD) - Spiritual and Environmental Workshop about Cisterns, 7:30pm (follows potluck dinner)
  • October 26 - Public meeting of the Sustainability Plan Update. Mother Seton Academy, 6-8pm. Please RSVP to Anne Draddy.
  • October 30 - Shaare Tefila (Olney, MD) - Tree Planting Day, 12:30pm
  • October 30 - St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church (Baltimore, MD) - Trees Spiritual Workshop, 9am
  • October 30 - "Dial Down the Heat: Cultivate the Common Good for our Common Home" 2:30-4pm. Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, north conference room. Click HERE for more info.
  • October 30 - "Racing Extinction" 1pm, library of the Washington Ethical Society. For further information contact Linda Silversmith301-641-9508.
  • October 30 - "Awakening the Dreamer" a symposium on changing the dream of the modern world, 2 - 6pm. Stoney Run Friends Meetinghouse, Baltimore. More info HERE
  • Novemer 5 and 12 Green Muslims Outdoor Education Program for youth ages 13-18.  Apply by October 26 and find out more HERE
  • November 5 - St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church (Baltimore, MD) - Tree Planting Day, 9:20am
  • Novemeber 12 - Claggett Center (Adamstown, MD)- Tree Planting Day and Workshop 10am-3pm.
  • November 13-15 - Chapman Dialogues~Conversations on Faith presents "Faith and the Environment." Click HERE for more info.

Volunteer and In-Kind Needs 
  • Willing to help us stuff envelopes? Email [email protected]
  • We need a small canvas case for small external speakers (used with a projector). 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!  Shout out to Laura Heller for her gift of speakers provided! Thank you!
  • Do you have skills in financial review? IPC is looking for probono support for an internal financial review. Call Jodi Rose at 410-609-6852 if you can help. 
  • 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. If this is something you can help with, please contact Jodi Rose at 410-609-6852
Thank you!