Have you ever stopped to think that a watershed is a community of people and living things that are called by our Creator to live in harmony with each other? A watershed knows no city boundaries or school district lines…it answers only to the contours of the land. A watershed draws us together across our common divides and forces us to think about each other as brothers and sisters in a watershed community. How will we tackle the overwhelming challenges of our time such as climate change or water scarcity if we cannot live in harmony within our own watershed community?
Wendell Berry once said, “Do unto those downstream as you’d have those upstream do unto you.” Many of us have heard this quote before, but let’s take a moment to contemplate it, pray about it, and act on it. There is a watershed finder tool on our website where you can find what watershed you or your place of worship is located. Find out who else shares your watershed with you – what other churches and groups are in your watershed community? How can we begin to work together as members of the same watershed community? How do the actions you take in your own backyard affect those around you?
There are some members of our watershed community who are fortunate to be in a position where they have good paying jobs and few cares. And, there are members of our watershed community who are struggling to survive and must fish in our waters for food, or who must trust that the tap water stays clean because they will never be ones who can buy their water at the store. We must act as a community, care for each other in our watershed, and fight for a safe environment for everyone - including future generations.
Recently I was at the Earth-Water-Faith Festival in Annapolis and my teenage son came along to help. This photo shows him teaching a little boy what a watershed is, how the water follows the contours of the land, and how trees impact the quality of water. I was struck at how critical the environmental crisis will be for our children - and even though my son himself is still so young, he is already charged with the task of teaching younger kids how to care for our shared resources.
So, let us carry the lion's share of this burden now, so that our children don't have to shoulder the bulk of it. Let us educate ourselves, mobilize other congregations in our watershed community, and get to work!
Thank you for all that you do! Please take a look below for opportunities to get engaged.
Watershed-wide - 10,000 Trees
How much runoff from the deluge of rain did you see this week?! Planting trees is one way that we can reduce stormwater runoff and IPC continues to offer FREE trees to congregations through the 10,000 Trees program. We are starting a waiting list of interested congregations throughout the watershed (we are offering this outside of Maryland in 2015!). So, please let us know of your interest – even if you are on the fence! Read about the 10,000 Trees program on our website, or email [email protected].
Baltimore - Blue Water Congregations
This free program is being offered in cooperation with Blue Water Baltimore and will provide congregations in Baltimore with technical support, decision-making support, a spiritual context to stormwater management, and grant-writing support to procure funds for green projects. Read about Blue Water Congregations on our website, or email [email protected] to get more information.
Anne Arundel County - RiverWise Congregations
This new program is being offered to congregations in Anne Arundel County who wish to develop green infrastructure and stormwater management projects for their grounds. Working with Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Anne Arundel Watershed Stewards Academy, congregations will receive watershed steward training for 1-2 of their congregants, stormwater management technical planning and support, education for your congregation, and financial and grant-writing support for your projects. Please email [email protected] if you want to learn more about becoming a RiverWise Congregation!
Covenantal Partners Program
IPC wants to walk with you and support your congregation’s green ministry. Invite us to lead a Visioning Session with your green ministry and let’s see what we can build together! Don’t miss an opportunity to embark on a journey with support from IPC, other partners, and other congregations. Learn about the Covenantal Partners Program on our website, or email [email protected].
IPC now has a Speaker’s Bureau! If your congregation would like a speaker, please contact [email protected]. Speakers are free and can cover a variety of topics and locations. Thank you to our fabulous volunteers who are donating their time to inspire others.
Call for Volunteers
IPC seeks volunteers for the following tasks. Do you want to put your fingerprints on the growth and development of our organization? Do you have skills and talents that would benefit this movement? Then join us as a volunteer so that together our impact will be greater. Please email [email protected] if you would like to help with the following:
- Communications (website, database, Facebook page)
- Visit congregations in your area to invite them to engage in stewardship
- Volunteer Coordination
- Board committees - Communications, Fundraising, Programs
- What is your skill? If you have a talent you can share with us, let us know so we can find a place for you!
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