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.

Upcoming Events

  • Interfaith Book Club 2016-2017: 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
    • Mar. 16, 2017 – Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah -Born in 1937 in a port city a thousand miles north of Shanghai, Adeline Yen Mah was the youngest child of an affluent Chinese family who enjoyed rare privileges during a time of political and cultural upheaval. But wealth and position could not shield Adeline from a childhood of appalling emotional abuse at the hands of a cruel and manipulative Eurasian stepmother. Determined to survive through her enduring faith in family unity, Adeline struggled for independence as she moved from Hong Kong to England and eventually to the United States to become a physician and writer.   Come join the discussion; they have been fantastic!
    • May 18, 2017 – Convictions by Marcus J. Borg
  • Interfaith Candle Vigil for Unity and Peace: Saturday, March 4, 6:00 to 8:00 pm at First Christian Church, 1345 Potomac Avenue
    This is a public event to support and show solidarity with our Muslim neighbors as well as other groups who have been marginalized by the recent travel ban on Syrian refugees, immigrants, and those from 7 Arabic countries. Hear words of encouragement from our local leaders, clergy, public officials and young poets. Culminating in a candlelight service. Informal time for fellowship with refreshments will follow.
    Sponsored by Interfaith Coalition of Washington County, Hagerstown Area Religious Council, and Hagerstown Area Freethinkers. Contact Ed Poling at 301-766-9005 or for more information. Like us on Facebook.  Download a flyer.
  • Interfaith Study Series:Who is my Neighbor? Developing Relationships Outside the Box” A special series offered at Otterbein United Methodist Church, (108 East Franklin Street, Hagertown) for six Wednesday nights in March and April, exploring the relationships to our neighbors of non-Christian religious traditions in Washington County.   The dates are March 8, 15, 29, April 5, 12, and 19. We’ll have guests from Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, & Hindu traditions as well as Christians from African-American and Latino congregations.  Time is 7:00-9:00 pm. Contact Otterbein UM Church to register: phone 301-739-0342. Download a flyer here.
  • Folding Peace Cranes with Temm Bikle, local Buddhist monk. The story of Sudaka, a young survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb explosion, has inspired a generation to encourage peacemaking efforts, symbolized through the folding of paper, origami-style, into the shape of cranes. Come, hear the story and learn to fold peace cranes 7:00 pm, Thursday, May 11, 2017 at Christ’s Reformed Church.

Download Upcoming Events document

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

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