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 $15. Contact Kathy Powderly at 301-842-4272 or for more information. Signs available tonight.

Upcoming Events

  • Interfaith Panel: Being Muslim in Washington County – Thursday, March 14, 7:00 PM, at Christ’s Reformed Church, Hagerstown. The subject is “Can Learning another Faith Tradition Strengthen our Own?”  A panel of local religious teachers will share their personal faith journeys of how they have been enriched by learnings from other traditions. Rev. Don Stevenson and Gwen Skrabak teach world religion classes at Hagerstown Community College. Venerable Temm Bikle is a monk in the Theravada Buddhist tradition.
  • Seeker’s Circle Book Club meets six times a year at the Washington County Free Library in downtown Hagerstown, 7:00 pm Study Room 333, reading and discussing books that describe the religious life and traditions of several of the world’s religions and current issues in interfaith dialogue. Inquiries to Gwen Skrabak, 301-797-1603. Books can be purchased online or, if available, borrowed from the library.  Download a flyer.
    • Thursday, January 17—Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
    • Thursday, March 21—Alen Polari de Alverga, The Religion of Ayahuasca: The Teachings of the Church of Santo Daime
    •  Thursday, May 16—Sister Wendy’s Book of Meditations
  • Interfaith Winter Retreat: Saturday, February 2, 2019, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry Center, 16869 Taylors Landing Rd, Sharpsburg, MD. Leah Rampey, former Executive Director of Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, Washington DC will be our leader. Download a flyer.
  • Next Planning Meeting:  Contact Ed Poling for time and location.

Open or download Upcoming Events document

Officers for 2018-2019

Coordinator – Ed Poling
Vice Coordinator – Valerie Wills
Secretary – Carol Haggerty
Treasurer – Salih Yumlu
Publicity – Sandy Boyer

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

Find us on Facebook: