November 2017 Issue 1


  • Reflection: Using Our Talents Wisely
  • Donate_Button.jpgJoin the Movement - More One Water Partnership Congregations Welcome 
  • Maryland Advocacy Volunteers
  • Fund Your Projects - FREE Mini Grant Webinar 
  • Help for Young Adults Seeking "Green Careers"
  • "Let There Be Light" (Bulb Exchange)
  • Hurry - Prince George's Congregations Needed to Plant Trees Quickly
  • Funding Available for Watershed Restoration Projects in Anne Arundel County
  • Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program
  • Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities
  • Volunteer & In-Kind Needs

Using Our Talents Wisely

New_Kingdom_Faith_Church_Planting.jpgEarlier this year, as I observed the group of IPC partner congregations who were part of the 2017 Community Engagement Mini Grant Program, I was reminded of the biblical Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and the call of Jesus for Christians to be good stewards of the resources with which they are blessed. The 2017 mini grant recipients with whom IPC worked, clearly set a great example of how congregations can follow this call to use our talents and gifts wisely.    

New Kingdom Faith Christian Church (NKFCC) of Glen Burnie, Maryland, in partnership with iCARRe Mentoring, set out to educate their local area’s youth on the value of the Chesapeake Bay. NKFCC linked up with the local Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club and installed trees as well as five rain barrels at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church. Almost all the young people involved in this project had never participated in any prior environmental stewardship activity.   

The NKFCC project leader, Rodney Carr, summarized it well when he said, “Without a doubt this program made a spiritual connection and helped the youth to understand that we haven’t been doing a great job looking after what God has given to us. Acts like tree plantings and rain barrels are how we can do better.” The kids learned a lot and asked a lot of questions.”

St._Ignatius_Encyclical_Study.jpgLikewise, one of the other mini grant recipients, St. Ignatius Catholic Community, in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood, has put its talents to good use, but in a slightly different way. During Lent 2017, they included weekly readings and facilitated discussions with a focus on Pope Francis's encyclical. The grant made it possible for them to obtain copies of the encyclical, On Care of Our Common Home, for all 40 discussion participants. They also invited a speaker and then capped off Lent with an environmental stewardship activity -- an electronics recycling event -- at the church. In addition, they are working towards composting mealtime materials.

In total, IPC was able to support five congregations in receiving 2017 mini grants through this Chesapeake Bay Trust program. In addition to NKFCC and St. Ignatius Catholic Community, we worked with Silver Spring United Methodist Church who applied for a grant to put in a trench drain and small rain garden to connect to a larger Rainscapes project; Catonsville Presbyterian Church, who applied for a grant to remove invasive species and install a conservation landscape; and Rehoboth Church and Ministries in Baltimore, who applied for funds to purchase GIS software and conduct a green mapping project to inventory what resources they currently have so that they can plan for future projects in a coordinated manner.

We would like to support even more congregations in 2018. If you are looking for funds to carry out an environmental or health themed program or an in-the-ground project, then we can help guide you through the application process.  Please sign up to attend our first free informational mini grants webinar to be held on Monday, November 27 at 7PM. Click HERE to register and learn more.

If you have additional questions, contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] or 443-799-0349.

Let’s all join in the call to use our talents wisely.

Join the Movement - More One Water Partnership Congregations Welcome 

Is your congregation in the Jones Falls watershed? Would you like to connect with the 30+ congregations already taking action to improve their communities? Then this is the program for you! Check out what you might do at your congregation by Clicking HERE for our full Menu of Actions. Email Bonnie Sorak or call her at 443-799-0349 for the details. Fill out this brief interest form and we'll follow up to schedule a conversation on your congregation's interests and capacity.


Thanks to these 13 congregations that are participating by taking at least one action: Ark ChurchCorpus Christi ChurchFirst Unitarian Church of BaltimoreGrace Lutheran Church, ​Homestead United Methodist Church, Kingdom Restorers InternationalMt. Vernon Place United Methodist ChurchNew Waverly United Methodist ChurchNu Season Nu Day Church & MinistriesSt. David's Episcopal ChurchSt. John's Evangelical Lutheran ChurchSt. Mark's Lutheran Church, and Sweet Prospect Baptist Church. 

Keep the calls coming! The more congregations that get involved the bigger impact we can make.

Maryland Advocacy Volunteers

The 2018 Maryland Legislative Session will start in January -- and we need your voice at the Statehouse! Would you like to stay more in-tune with how the priority bills are progressing through the chambers? If yes, then you should sign up for our separate Action Alert emails. We will be tracking some priority bills this year, which we will announce in December. We do not send out our weekly updates to everyone on our list. To receive our weekly advocacy updates from January 2018 through May 2018, please sign up HERE

Fund Your Projects - FREE Mini Grant Webinar on November 27th at 7PM

Is your congregation looking for funds to carry out an environmental or health themed program or in-the-ground project? Then IPC can help. IPC is providing support for four-eight congregations to apply for Chesapeake Bay Trust Community Engagement Mini-Grants (up to $5,000). The first FREE informational webinar will be held on Monday, November 27, at 7PM. Click HERE to go to our webpage to learn more, to register and to see how IPC can help. Contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] or 443-799-0349 for more details. Please see and share the promotional flyer HERE or print version HERE.

Help for Young Adults Seeking "Green Careers"

Know a young adult who wants to kick-start a "green career"? IPC can help.  We are also helping to find young adults to apply for the Chesapeake Conservation Corps (CCC) internship program for 2018 for young adults ages 18-25. Click HERE for a flyer for the CCC flyer and Click HERE for the CCC brochure. Contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected] or call 443-799-0349 for more information.

"Let There Be Light" (Bulb Exchange)

led-bulbs-300x166.jpgMontgomery County Department of Environmental Protection’s Residential Energy program is looking for congregations to partner with this Fall. As the days get shorter, we will be using lightbulbs more often to help us in our everyday tasks. It is important to make sure all residents are using the most energy efficient bulbs on the market. During the Fall, they would like to partner with your congregation to provide members with LED lightbulbs. Whether it’s a collection after service or inclusion in a Fall/Winter community event, DEP staff will bring an informational table and giveaways for your members. For each incandescent/CFL lightbulb that your members bring in, they will receive a LED at no cost. Pepco and Potomac Edison have graciously supplied up to three lightbulbs for each congregation member who exchanges their lightbulbs. Please email Larissa Johnson, Residential Energy Program Manager directly at [email protected], if you are interested. 


HURRY!!! Last Chance for Prince George's Congregations-Trees need to be Planted by November 30th!!! 

Fall planting dates are going, going, going.... If you can get approval quickly then let's talk! This is a great way to engage youth and adults in a community building and healing activity that expresses your care for God's Creation.  
You can learn more about the program HERE. Interested? Contact Bonnie Sorak at [email protected]

View and download Prince George's Flyer HERE
Picture from Trees For Sacred Places tree planting at Union Bethel AME Church in Brandywine, MD
Funding Available for Watershed Restoration Projects in Anne Arundel County

The Anne Arundel County Government and the Chesapeake Bay Trust announce a grant program to support watershed restoration projects and programs throughout Anne Arundel County. This program aims to improve water quality in the County’s local streams and waterways, as called for in the County’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit and Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP), which require reductions in storm flow volume and pollutants entering the County’s waterways.

This grant program will fund a variety of restoration projects including:
  • Bioretention cells, bioswales, rain gardens, and other low impact development stormwater practices;
  • Stormwater wetland and marsh creation and enhancement;
  • Stream and wetland restoration;
  • Regenerative conveyance systems (coastal plain outfalls, step pool storm conveyance, etc.);
  • Living shorelines (with significant habitat enhancement); and
  • Green roofs.
Partnerships with schools, local non-profits, community associations, faith-based organizations, and more are encouraged.The Trust is accepting applications now through December 6, 2017. We urge you to reach out early to discuss project ideas and schedule a site visit with Trust and County staff!Detailed information about this grant, including the full RFP and deadlines can be found HERE.
PG_County_Seal.pngPrince George's County Alternative Compliance Program
Interested in learning more about how your congregation can save money through the Prince George's County Alternative Compliance Program?
IPC staff are offering free one-on-one support to help you achieve reductions in your congregation’s Clean Water fee. This support is paid for by a grant from the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment, but is open to only 10 congregations. Questions? Contact Anna Awimbo at [email protected] or call 410-609-6852.

 Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities 
  • November 6 Legislative Preview, 7-8:30PM at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda.
  • November 7 Film "Dimming the Sun" screening and discussion. 7-9PM, Homewood Friends Meeting House, Baltimore. Click HERE for more info. A One Water Partnership event.
  • November 10 Film "AWAKE: A Dream from Standing Rock" with discussion following. 7-9PM, Annapolis Friends Meeting House. Click HERE for more details.
  • November 11 Tree Planting Day, 8:30AM-9:30AM, First Presbyterian Church of Howard County,Columbia.
  • November 12 Tree Planting Day, 10AM-12PM, Temple Isaiah, Fulton.
  • November 13 "Your Voice, Your Earth Take Action!" Learn from elected officials on how to impact state and national environmental issues in the year ahead. 6-8PM Van Gogh Cafe, 300 S. Ann St, Baltimore. Registration is free and required. Click HERE for more info.
  • November 13 Legislative preview, 6-7PM at Maryland AIA Office, 86 Maryland Ave, Annapolis.
  • November 14 Free screening of "A Plastic Ocean" followed by expert panel discusssion. 7PM, Senator Theater, Baltimore. More info HERE.
  • November 16 IPC roundtable at the 11th Annual Potomac Watershed Trash Summit at Nationals Park in Washington DC. This year's theme is Transforming Communities for Clean Land, Safe Water and Healthy Lives. Early bird registration is now open.
  • November 18 Tree Planting Day, 8;30AM-11:30AM at St. Martins in the Field, Severna Park.
  • November 18 Discussion on "Healthy Soils: Implementing the Maryland Healthy Soils Program". 1:30-3:30PM at Annapolis Friends Meeting House. Click HERE for more info.
  • November 19 Earth Forum of Howard County presents "The Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus Working Effectively Across Traditional Political Boundaries". 2PM, First Presbyterian Church of Howard County, Columbia. Click HERE for details.
  • November 27 Community Engagement Mini Grant Webinar, 7PM. Hosted by IPC. Click HEREfor details and to register.
  • November 30 Faith Initiative Creation Care Workshop. Hosted by IPC & Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy. Eastern Shore Conservation Center, 114 S. Washington Street, Easton, MD. RSVP to [email protected] or call 443-385-0511
  • December 7 Legislative preview, 6-7:30PM at National Aquarium, 501 East Pratt St, Baltimore.

Volunteer and In-Kind Needs 
  • Are you willing to help us coordinate volunteers? We can use your help!
  • Do you like photographyVidoegraphy? We are always looking for help taking photos at our events, and putting them together in slide shows.  
  • Are you willing to make 5-10 phone calls each week for us to help us follow up with engaged congregations? 
Thank you!