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)
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 Valerie Wills, Coordinator, at 301-745-6576 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Church of the Wild ~ Two Rivers is an emerging community, meeting in the midst of and sharing with the abundant life all around us. Our intent is to deepen our connection to the Sacred by being more open, present and available in each moment. We learn from the earth and trees, the skies and water, and all living beings in the web of the natural world. Located in an area where the winding Shenandoah meets the majestic Potomac River, we are nurtured in silence, beauty, and connection.
We gather monthly in nature in times of contemplative practice, sharing our voices in spoken word and song, and in silent walks in nature. We are ecumenical, open to all or no faith traditions. We hope you will join us as we come home to our truest selves in the family of all Creation.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/churchofthewild2rivers/
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 to download the Statement of Peace.
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. Purchase a sign online or contact HARC at 301-842-4272.
One of the initiatives of the Interfaith Coalition of Washington County is a weekly Interfaith calendar – a listing of upcoming events and commemorations from religions around the world. The listing is for the week ahead — Thursday to the following Wednesday – to raise awareness of what is going on with practices in the many faiths of our world. For suggestions or additional input, contact Ed Poling at email@example.com
Calendar for July 29- August 4, 2021
- Friday, July 30: Oh-harai-taisai—(SHINTO)—the Grand Purification Ceremony, has been held since ancient times to obtain purification from sins and offences committed during the first half of the lunar year. In earlier times, the Imperial Japanese Court led the ceremonies. A large ring of woven grasses and reeds is placed at the entrance of the shrine premises. Walking through the ring symbolizes inner purification.
- Saturday, July 31: Kamat (Words)—(BAHA’I’)—the eighth month of the Baha’i’ year.
- Sunday, August 1: Lammas—(WICCA)—the celebration of the grain harvest, the Harvest of First Fruits. Many traditions celebrate Lamma as the funeral of Lugh, the sun God whose strength is visibly waning by late summer. (Also called Lughnasad)
- Month of July: Cenhenen (The Humpback Salmon Return to Earth)—(ABORIGINAL SPIRITUALITY)—Saanich Peoples humble themselves to the salmon. (Coast Salish)
- Month of August: Centawen (The Coho Salmon Return to the Earth)—(ABORIGINAL SPIRITUALITY) —The face of the Coho/human is to remind the Saanich Peoples that the salmon were human at one time. (Coast Salish)
——- From Multifaith Calendar 2021, www.multifaithcalendar.org ———-
Download a copy of the this weeks calendar shown above here
- Church of the Wild ~ Two Rivers: Sunday, August 1, 3-5 pm meeting at Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry Center, 16869 Taylor’s Landing Road, Sharpsburg, MD 21782. You can find out more on the website: churchofthewild2rivers.com and also on the Facebook Facebook page @churchofthewild2rivers.
- Unity of Hagerstown International Day of Peace Celebration: September 26, Times TBA The celebration will be held outside with live music provided by The Underground Swamis, bringing a fun and funky style to various faith traditions. There will also be a tailgate picnic (everyone provides their own), with prizes for the top tailgate decorations and a time of renewing our commitment to be the peace we seek for the world. Join us as we join others around the world in celebrating and affirming peace.
- Interfaith Winter Retreat – February 5, 2022, 9 am – 4 pm: The Interfaith Coalition of Washington County invites you to their annual winter retreat. Theme, leadership, and details to be announced.
- Seeker’s Circle Book Club – On Hold Until Further notice 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 or Kathleen O’Connell, firstname.lastname@example.org / 301-739-3250 ext. 166. Books can be purchased online or, if available, borrowed from the library.
- Next Planning Meeting: Contact Valerie Wills for time and location.
Open or download Upcoming Events document
Coordinator – Valerie Wills
Vice Coordinator – Paula Myers
Secretary – Carol Haggerty
Treasurer – Salih Yumlu
Publicity – Sandy Boyer and Ed Poling
For more information, contact: Ed Poling (301)766-9005, email@example.com
Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/125909250824944/