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

  • Buddhist Peace Walk and Potluck Gathering.  A delegation of Buddhist monks and nuns will be in Washington County on Wednesday, April 4, 2018. They are with the New England Peace Pagoda in Leverett, Massachusetts. They have been walking for peace this spring on their way to Washington, DC.  You are invited to join them on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination. The Peace Walk will begin at the Dunker Church on the Antietam Battlefield at 2:00 pm. (The church is adjacent to the National Park Visitor’s Center.) The walk will proceed to Sharspburg with a stop at the Slave Auction Block on Main Street. The walk will conclude at Tolson’s Chapel, an historic church where freed slaves worshiped after the Civil War and African-American children were first educated.  This will be followed by a Potluck Gathering at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church parish hall at 5:30 pm. (The church is located at 18313 Lappans Road, Boonsboro, MD 21713.)   Tim Bullock and others from the Buddhist delegation will speak about their purpose and mission in this peace walk. Their theme is “Peace for the People; Peace for the Earth.”  Bring a food dish to share (vegetarian dishes preferred).
  • Please mark your calendar for our May Interfaith Forum.  Gwen Skrabak will present a video and lead a discussion on “How Do We Experience God?” on Tuesday, May 15 at Christ’s Reformed Church, 130 W. Franklin Street, Hagerstown at 7:00 pm.  Should be a great event!
  • 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
    • May 17, 2018 – The Heart of the Amish by Suzanne Woods Fisher
  • Next Planning Meeting: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 5:30 PM. Call Ed Poling at 301-766-9005 for details.

Download Upcoming Events document

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

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