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 Ed Poling, Coordinator, at 301-766-9005 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.
- Interfaith Forum, TBA, Presentation: “From Mont Alto to Incredible India: Service Learning in God’s Own Country” presented by Somjit Barat
In December 2019 Dr. Somjit Barat, professor of Marketing at Penn State Mont Alto, took a group of 9 nursing students and other staff on a 17-day cultural immersion experience to Kerala, the southern-most state of India. They worked with local adult women in collaboration with an international NGO called Global Vision International. Students held workshops on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals such women’s empowerment, basic healthcare and hygiene, healthy relationships, health and sustainable cooking and first aid. Join us for this insightful report on their inter-cultural and interfaith experiences.
- Church of the Wild ~ Two Rivers May 3, 3 – 5 p.m. – Meeting via Zoom; walking in your yard Even when faced with profoundly challenging times, we can find beauty and wonder just outside our door. Join in a time of Celebrating the Living World. The gathering begins with brief introductions to each other and the theme followed by 30 minutes of walking or sitting silently, present to nature in a space of your choice. We’ll return to Zoom for sharing and conversation. For details and free registration, see the event page. You can find out more on the website: churchofthewild2rivers.com and also on the Facebook page @churchofthewild2rivers.
- Seeker’s Circle Book Club – CANCELED Until Fall 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, email@example.com / 301-739-3250 ext. 166. Books can be purchased online or, if available, borrowed from the library. Download a flyer.
- Next Planning Meeting: Contact Ed Poling for time and location.
Open or download Upcoming Events document
Coordinator – Valerie Wills
Vice Coordinator – Ed Poling
Secretary – Carol Haggerty
Treasurer – Salih Yumlu
Publicity – Sandy Boyer
For more information, contact: Ed Poling (301)766-9005, firstname.lastname@example.org
Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/125909250824944/