Last week we heard a lot about the 25th anniversary of the invention of the World Wide Web. As blogged by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, credited with inventing the web, “By design, the underlying Internet and the WWW are non-hierarchical, decentralized and radically open. The web can be made to work with any type of information, on any device, with any software, in any language. You can link to any piece of information. You don’t need to ask for permission. What you create is limited only by your imagination.”

Truly an Earth-changing advancement, isn't it? But, I was struck by Sir Tim’s quote in this way: how is it that the internet is radically open and available to everyone, and yet safe drinking water, clean air, or pesticide-free food is not? How is it that humans can create a fair and just virtual world, but not in reality? Aren’t we existing in a world-wide-web of life - literally? What an amazing gift it would be if our web of life was radically open and available to all?

This is the challenge that falls squarely on the shoulders of the faith community. As people of faith, we are uniquely-positioned to contextualize the need for a sustainable Earth as a commitment of love and respect for this delicate web of life and the Creator who designed it. Our web of life is dangerously out of balance and not equally safe for all. And if we fall short of making changes in our behavior, we push that web further and further out of balance and continue to squeeze the most vulnerable to the outer edges of imbalance. 

Interfaith Partners of the Chesapeake strongly believes that we people of faith have been entrusted with the sacred work of returning balance to our web of life. We answer to a higher power than “the bottom line” and need to embody this radically different stance in our daily lives. Let us answer our Creator’s call for a balanced web of life so that the voiceless have clean water, the marginalized have access to pesticide-free food, and all of Creation breathes clean air. 

This video shows several congregations doing just that right here in Maryland.

Engage your congregation in the opportunities below and let’s see what the faith community can build together. With World Water Day on March 22nd and Earth Hour on March 29th, now is a great time to mobilize your congregation for action. Who knows, maybe in another 25 years we will be talking about the groundswell in the faith community that sparked an Earth-changing return to balance!

Walk the Talk – Baltimore!
Yes, we’re taking it on the road to Baltimore! Walk the Talk: An Interfaith Response to Polluted Runoff is a free forum that will provide resources, idea-sharing, and open dialogue about polluted runoff and the stormwater utility fees in Baltimore. Join us on March 30th from 2-4 pm at St. Matthew Catholic Church (5401 Loch Raven Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21239) to learn about polluted runoff and what congregations can do about it. To register for this free event, click here.

Blue Water Congregations
At the March 30th Walk the Talk event, we will be recruiting congregations to participate our new Blue Water Congregations program! This free program is being offered in cooperation with Blue Water Baltimore and will provide congregations with technical support, decision-making support, a spiritual context to stormwater management, and grant-writing support to procure funds for green projects. Come on March 30th to hear all about it, read about Blue Water Congregations on our website, or email [email protected] to get more information.

10,000 Trees
We continue to welcome congregations to participate in the 10,000 Trees program. While space is limited, we plan to start a waiting list of interested congregations and may decide to seek more funding so that this program can continue. 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].

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! Learn about the Convenantal Partners Program on our website, or email [email protected].

We continue to add seasonal resources to our website to provide spiritual context to environmental issues, particularly as we approach Earth Day, Passover, Easter, and journey through Lent. Also, the correct link for 2014 Catholic Carbon Fast Calendar is included (sorry for the wrong link in our last email!).

IPC Out and About
We’d love to meet you, so please stop by at any of these upcoming events we’ll be speaking at:

Tuesday March 18th – Kolya will be speaking to the National Capital Earth Care Network – 4 pm @ National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016

Tuesday March 18th – Baltimore Green Drinks with GREEN Congregations - 6 pm @ Golden West Café, 1105 W. 36th Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 – come meet Bonnie and hear about Blue Water Congregations

Saturday March 22nd – IPC will have a booth at the H2O Summit in Silver Spring. Stop by and learn how you can get your congregation engaged. 1-4 pm @ Silver Spring Civic Center, 8525 Fenton Street, Silver Spring

Check out the 10,000 Trees Calendar and see if there are congregations near you where Kolya will be delivering a spiritual workshop or where trees will be planted. A summary of upcoming Trees events include:

  • Wednesday March 19 - Kolya will lead a Spiritual Workshop at Woodbrook Baptist Church in Baltimore at 6pm
  • Sunday March 23 - Kolya and Joanna Freeman (Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay) will lead a workshop at Holy Communion Lutheran Church, 12-2pm, in West River, MD
  • Tuesday March 25 -- Kolya and Joanna will lead a workshop on earth stewardship and watershed ecology at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church at 6pm in Annapolis, MD


Jodi Rose