Reflection: Why I Give
Giving to IPC in Other Ways
NEW! Vacation Bible School Program on Water - Prince George's County
- Get Ready for Spring Plantings!
- FREE Webinars & Workshop -Learn how to apply for CBT Community Engagement Mini Grants
- Upcoming Events
- Volunteer & In-Kind Needs - Fresh Ideas!
Why I Give
From my window, the saltmarsh shines golden in the autumn sunshine. Beyond, stretching to a distant shore, the blue waters of the bay are flecked with white as the northwest wind picks up. This little corner of Creation is truly beautiful; a beauty enriched by a knowledge of the wonderful web of life that lies below the surface. We all know, of course, that this web is ailing. The myriad life forms are struggling to thrive in the polluted waters that look so beautiful on the surface, and the saltmarsh is also threatened by pollution and sea-level rise, as are many of the people and communities that live near the shore and those who make their living or feed their families from the Bay or its tributaries.
But this is not a time to simply lament. It is a time to make a difference.People everywhere have a role to play in undoing some of the damage we have inadvertently done to our common home over many decades. But the role is especially clear for people of faith, who understand the connections between the Creator and the Creation and humankind. It is they who have a special call to be stewards of this marvelous earth.
That is why I give to Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, as generously as I can. This is one of the few organizations in the Chesapeake region that speaks to communities of faith and works with them to learn more and to do more to care for the Chesapeake and the Earth, starting in their own back yards. Every can or bottle recycled, every drop of surface water that does not simply go down the drain, every burning light turned off are all shifting the norm in society toward a more sustainable future. And every act of worship we offer deepens our commitment to be faithful in our stewardship. With IPC’s help, congregations are gaining new perspectives on how to be faithful: buildings and grounds are being modified, trees are being planted, streams are being cleaned, trash is being collected. And hearts are being changed.
But I also give to IPC because it is one of those voices being raised in defense of public policies to safeguard our precious natural resources. Alongside other advocacy organizations we emphasize the moral imperative to protect our God-given natural environment and to stand up, as a matter of justice, for those most endangered by environmental degradation or exploitation. We are all aware that in the coming years it is likely that policy changes will only increase the threats. Our determined actions and advocacy, as well as our prayers, will be needed more than ever.
So will you join me in this important work? IPC’s budget is tight, very tight, but the potential for making a real difference in people’s hearts and in their actions is very great.
Please be generous. Thank you.
To join Bill in supporting IPC, click here. We have a goal of raising $5,000 through our December appeal, and we have raised $3,600 so far. Thank you to everyone who has made a donation - your contributions are essential to this work.
Bill Breakey was one of the founders of the movement that became Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake. He is currently Vice-Chair of IPC’s Board of Trustees.
(Photo by Michael Fincham)
Giving to IPC in Other Ways
Even if you cannot make a financial contribution to IPC, you can help us in many other ways.
Collection Basket - Consider asking your pastor, rabbi, or spiritual leader if you can take up a collection for IPC to contribute to this mission. This not only raises awareness about the work we do, but it helps us with our annual operating budget. Any little bit helps!
Smile.Amazon.com - If you shop on Amazon already, consider starting at Smile.Amazon next time instead. It's the same shopping choices, but you can designate IPC as your charity of choice -- and Amazon will donate to us 0.5% of every purchase you make! But, you must START at Smile.Amazon.com for your purchase to count. Simply click here to get started.
Volunteer Your Time - We need assistance with our website, database, phone calling to our congregations to follow up with them, and mentoring new congregations to get them started. You can help us from home, or you can come to our office in Annapolis and we will provide you a computer to work on. We also could use photographers/videographers, social media gurus, and help with Spanish translation of our materials. Click here to sign up to volunteer.
In-Kind Donations - We are in need of flip chart paper, colorful pocket folders, flip chart markers, and gift cards to Staples or VistaPrint where we do a lot of printing of handouts and flyers. Thank you!
Sunday School or Vacation Bible School Program on Water - Prince George's County
A FREE training and curriculum for a Vacation Bible School (VBS) or Sunday School program will be offered to churches in Prince George's County, through a grant provided by Chesapeake Bay Trust and the PG County Department of Environment! Our program offers, for free:
- water-themed curriculum for 5 separate activities with materials
- 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!
Gear Up for Planting Trees Next Spring
We still have openings for congregations to participate in the Trees for Sacred Places Program. On a beautiful autumn day, members of Carolina Missionary Baptist Church turned out to plant trees dedicated in honor of loved ones. Pastor Anthony E. Moore (pictured at left) offered a blessing of the tree planting and affirmed the role that people of faith can play in restoring God's Creation:
"The whole idea of tree planting is critical to our being good stewards of the earth. It's part of the command that the Lord gave unto us when he gave us the earth, the land.... to be good stewards of the land which all of us have to live on, the earth. That's why we're planting trees, so that we can give more back to the earth than we take from it."
We are still looking for several congregations, retreat centers or religious schools throughout Maryland, and specifically Prince George's County. 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 and caring for God's Creation. You can learn more about the program on our webpage HERE.
View and download the flyer for all locations EXCEPT Prince George's County HERE.
View and download Prince George's Flyer HERE.
Click HERE for the flyer you can share with all the details. Click HERE to access our webpage with dates and more information and to register. Sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Trust.
Upcoming Events and Volunteer Opportunities
December 8 Congratulations to First Lutheran Church in Towson as they have a free Water Audit done as part of Blue Water Congregations
January 13-14 Creation Care Ministry of the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) retreat and 2017 planning session at Mar-Lu Ridge Center. All are welcome (you don't have to be Lutheran to attend). Contact Laura Heller at [email protected] for details
January 15 2 PM Free CBT Community Engagement Mini Grant Webinar hosted by IPC Click HERE to register to learn how to apply for funds
January 15 2-4 PM Earth Forum of Howard County, Following the Flood: Shaping the Future & Waterways of Ellicott City
six months later, join us as James Robey, head of the County’s Historic Ellicott City Flood Workgroup, presents the progress, challenges, and perspectives impacting the rebuilding a sustainable, as well as historic, city. First Presbyterian Church of Howard County, 9325 Presbyterian Circle, Columbia. Earth Forum is free and open to all. Contact [email protected] or call 410-730-3545. Child care is provided for infants and toddlers.
January 20-21 IPC's Board of Trustees will be meeting for their first annual overnight planning retreat - please keep them and the whole IPC team in your prayers
January 26 4-6 pm Environmental Legislative Summit at the Maryland Statehouse - come hear what environmental groups will be fighting for in the 2017 Maryland Legislative Session
January 29 2 PM Free CBT Community Engagement Mini Grant Workshop. Held in-person at Christ The King Lutheran Church 1930 Brookdale Road Windsor Mill, MD 21244 (Baltimore County) Click HERE to register
February 4 10 AM Free CBT Community Engagement Mini Grant Webinar hosted by IPC Click HERE to register to learn how to apply for funds
Volunteer and In-Kind Needs
- We need a laptop computer, gently used is fine, with an iCore 7 processor or higher.
- We can always use extra supplies such as flip chart paper, flip chart markers, and colorful pocket folders.
- We purchase a lot of printing from Staples and Vistaprint - we could use gift cards to these vendors!
- We need a small canvas case for small external speakers (used with a projector). Do you have something you can pass along?
- 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.
- Are you willing to make 5-10 phone calls each week for us to help us follow up with engaged congregations?
Email [email protected]
if you can help.