By Tim Murphy, Potomac River Watershed Cleanup Coordinator
At Peace Lutheran Church in Waldorf, Maryland, we have had a long standing and robust Social Concerns Ministry. Under the direction of Pastor Craig Endicott, we are further exploring the issue of social justice, particularly what keeps a person as a social concern and what it is we can do to address it.
I am the Cleanup Coordinator for The Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup and a member this church. As a part of the Foundation’s Trash Initiative, we explore how trash makes an area unsafe and unhealthy, and how trash can be a gateway to greater social concerns. As part of the Foundation’s newly-launched Faith in our Watershed Initiative, we seek to inspire faith communities around three points:
- To be stewards of the environment
- To take action with a cleanup, by adopting a litter can, or with other activities
- To raise awareness within the broader community using free materials such as posters and yard signs
As the annual Cleanup and goals of Faith in our Watershed meshed well with our social justice focus, it made sense for Peace Lutheran to host a cleanup site this year in the creek that flows behind the church. As stewards of our environment and shepherds of our community, we look forward to participating in this project. Our little cleanup may not have a large impact on the greater watershed, but it raises awareness of a problem that exists in our midst and motivates us to work for a change.
This year’s cleanup is on April 11, but sites are hosting events throughout the month. It is easy to locate a site to volunteer, either for the annual Cleanup or for events held year round. All of our registered events are found on our Trash Network website.