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Faith Works to Save the Bay:
'H20ly Water' Training Events Focus on Protecting the Chesapeake

Click here for more info on the Annapolis and other future gatherings

June 23, 2004, WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In response to the growing environmental threat on the Chesapeake Bay, the National Council of Churches USA, in partnership with local faith-based organizations, has organized a training event in Annapolis, Md., to help local church leaders learn how they can help safeguard precious Bay water resources.

On Friday, June 25, a reception at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's LEED-certified green building will kick off the Annapolis event and include a tour of this state-of-the-art facility and a screening of the movie "Thirst!," a documentary about water privatization.

Clergy and lay leaders from around the Baltimore-Washington area will attend "H20ly Water: Source of Life," a full-day program at Calvary United Methodist Church on College Creek on Saturday, June 26. The program will begin at 9 a.m. and include basic information about the Chesapeake Bay and how to motivate and inspire congregations to take action.

The training, which is based upon a theological framework for understanding the importance of preserving water resources, includes lunch, workshops, hands-on demonstration projects, fellowship and a worship service.

In addition, on Monday, June 28, there will be a clergy training on an historic Skipjack sailboat so that clergy have an opportunity to learn about the Chesapeake Bay from both a scientific and theological perspective. Featured instructors include Rev. David Radcliffe from the New Community Project and Dr. Matt Baker, a scientist from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

"As members of the Christian community we are called to protect God's gift of water," said Cassandra Carmichael, NCC's Director of Eco-Justice Programs, Washington, D.C. "These training events will help empower clergy and lay leaders to heed this call to preserve and protect the Chesapeake and its waterways."

The NCC's focus on water grew out of a survey conducted in 2003 at NCC's bi-annual Eco-Justice Conference in Seattle, Washington. Overwhelmingly, at a ratio of 2:1, participants in the Seattle conference said the most important environmental issue for them - and the one that resonates the most within their congregations - is water. The training events were developed to respond to this congregational need.

There will be on-site registration. Media coverage welcome; registration fees waived. For more information about training events or how to register, contact Cassandra Carmichael at - 443-822-3720.


Media contact: Leslie Tune, 202-544-2350 x 11;

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