Interfaith Coalition of Washington County



The Interfaith Coalition of Washington County Maryland was formed by the Washington County Council of Churches (now HARC) in February 2002 with representatives from Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faiths to provide a forum for interfaith dialogue in our community following the tragic events of September 11, 2001.  Persons from Baha’i and Buddhist traditions as well as other religious and humanist communities participate today. We see our coalition as an outreach of the Hagerstown Area Religious Council.

Mission Statement of the Interfaith Coalition

The Interfaith Coalition of Washington County exists to bring people of different beliefs together to promote peace, respect, and compassion in our local community. Through dialogue and public presence, we welcome each person’s unique spiritual perspective, strive to learn more about each other, and seek to honor the diversity of our various traditions. (Revised November 9, 2011)

Get Involved

The Interfaith Planning Team, which envisions, coordinates, and carries out events, meets regularly through the year. Persons interested in interfaith dialogue are encouraged to attend or share their ideas with the planning team.  Contact Ed Poling, Coordinator, at 301-766-9005 or for more information.

Statement of Peace— In light of the recent escalation in fear and hostility toward people of other religious traditions, the Interfaith Coalition and the Hagerstown Area Religious Council have issued a joint, public statement that encourages persons of faith in our community to use “language that promotes respect and civility and discourages language that demeans others’ beliefs or incites violence.” We invite all the religious leaders in our community to sign the statement to show our unity and desire to live together peacefully. Follow this link for more information and to download copies.

Yard Signs: “No matter where you are from, we are glad you’re our neighbor.” Hagerstown Area Religious Council has 18” x 24” yard signs available to show your support for diversity. The words are displayed also in Spanish and Arabic. Cost is $13. Contact Kathy Powderly at 301-842-4272 or for more information. Signs available tonight.

Upcoming Events

  • Interfaith Book Club 2017-2018: Meets from 7:00 to 8:30 pm in Study Room 333 at the Washington County Free Library.  Books can be purchased online or, if available, borrowed from the library. Download flyer
    • January 19, 2018 – When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
    • March 15, 2018 – Good without God by Greg M. Epstein
    • May 17, 2018 – The Heart of the Amish by Suzanne Woods Fisher
  • Interfaith Winter Retreat: Saturday, February 3, 2018, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM at Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry Center, 16869 Taylor’s Landing Road, Sharpsburg, MD. An all-day retreat introducing “Interfaith Sacred Listening Circles.”  For a number of years Ed Poling has been leading small-group experiences in faith-sharing and meditation. This can be a powerful experience with people of diverse beliefs and practices. Come and be a part of a sacred listening circle that is open to hearing and learning from people who practice their faith differently. We may discover what Thomas Merton said: “We are already one. But we imagine that we are not.  And what we have to recover is our original unity.  What we have to be is what we are.”  Early-bird registration January 27. Download registration flyer here.
  • Hagerstown Area Religious Council Luncheon: Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 12:30—2:00 pm. “Sibling Rivalry in the Abrahamic Family.”  Leaders from our Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities will share what their sacred texts have to say about how we are to treat one another. Panel of Rabbi Ari Plost, Imam Syed Burmi, and Rev. Audrey Hollenberg Duffey.  Location to be announced.
  • Next Planning Meeting: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 5:30 PM at the home of Ed and Marge Poling. Pot luck; bring a dish to share.

Download Upcoming Events document

For more information, contact: Ed Poling (301)766-9005,

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