January 18, 2023

Blessings to you,
This is your weekly HARC e-newsletter, with news on faith community events and other useful information. Please forward it on to anyone else who might be interested. If you would like to get something into the News Flash, please email by Tuesday at 10 am each week. For a full list of upcoming faith community events, visit  FAQ sheet for submitting news for this newsletter.
Ba' hai Prayer
Thou art my lamp, and my light is in Thee
From it, get thee Thy radiance and seek no more of me
For you I have created the rich and have bountifully shed my favor on Thee.
Reverend Valerie T. Wills
Interfaith Calendar
A weekly listing of upcoming events and commemorations from religions around the world by the Interfaith Coalition. Calendar for January 19 - 25.
New Board Members Elected at HARC Annual Meeting
The Hagerstown Area Religious Council (HARC) elected new members to its Board of Directors during its annual membership meeting on January 10, 2023. Elected to the Board for 2023 are:
President: Rev. Christopher Serufusa of St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church. Pastor Chris has been with the United Methodist Church of the Baltimore/Washington Conference for 27 years. He moved to Washington County four years ago with his wife, Elizabeth, and two sons, Mukisa, 17; and Mugabi, 15. Read more
Afghan refugee family receives warm welcome in Hagerstown
Abdul and Nasira Sarfaraz and their four boys arrived in Hagerstown a little over a month ago, following a long and arduous journey, mostly on foot from South America, though they originally fled from their devastated home country of Afghanistan. They arrived with little more than the clothes on their backs and one contact, who agreed to sponsor them. Since then the faith and non-profit community in Hagerstown have worked together, offering a warm welcome and many basic needs for this family, demonstrating the love of God to our neighbor. Read more.
HARC Meeting - “Dialogue that Enlarges: Bridging ideological divides through a faith lens”
Tuesday, February 14, 12:00 - 2:00 pm
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
601 Washington Ave., Hagerstown

What role does the faith community have in civic life? Can the faith community provide a good model for achieving constructive engagement across differences? As part of The Season For Nonviolence, HARC is offering this program — which is based on the “Better Arguments Project” framework — to encourage participants to think about the influence of faith and spirituality as they seek to engage in constructive discourse with those of differing views. It will also provide tools to decrease both verbal and physical violence and promote peace. Join us for lunch followed by the program. RSVP requested by Friday, February 10. Learn more
Historic houses of worship across America contribute significant value to their communities, and their historic and cultural significance are essential parts of our national heritage. Although many historic sacred places are considered icons of stability in their communities, today congregations of every faith face challenges in stewarding their aging and architecturally complex facilities. Apply for a grant from the National Fund for Sacred Places to keep these places as an important part of our national cultural heritage. Read more.
HARC 2022 Impact Report
HARC's 2022 Impact Report is now available. Download your copy here to learn about the work we did TOGETHER last year and plans for 2023. If you would like a higher resolution version of the pdf or a printed copy, please contact Kathy at or 301-842-4272.
$15,000 Matching gift for Equity in Ed scholarship + Applications open!
HARC is once again partnering with Washington County Public Schools and the Education Foundation of WCPS to offer the 2nd annual Equity in Education Scholarship, along with our new partner, The Community Foundation of Washington County. In 2022, we provided four scholarships to future educators, who are already serving schools while pursuing their degrees. With your help, we can serve even more. You can make a donation through the Community Foundation HERE (choose “Equity in Education Scholarship” from the pull-down menu) or through the HARC websiteThanks to a $15,000 matching grant from the Alice Virginia & David W. Fletcher Foundation, your gift will be DOUBLED. Please share this FLYER to spread the word! Applications for this scholarship are open now through April 1 - please spread the word on this, too! FLYER
Chaplain Volunteers Needed
Meritus Medical Center would like to invite all clergy including retired members and lay ministers to consider volunteering your time to help our community. A training course will be provided free of charge and will include knowledge and skills that a volunteer needs in order to be effective as a valuable member of the chaplaincy team. If you already have one or more units of CPE training there is no need to take the course. For more information or to sign-up please contact:, Phone: 240-291-0383, or, Phone: 301-790-8716. Flyer.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Vespers Service - January 22
Sunday, January 22, 4:30 pm
Saint Ann Catholic Church
1525 Oak Hill Avenue, Hagerstown

Saint Ann Catholic Church warmly invites everyone from our local congregations to join them for a simple service of prayer & music known as “Vespers” – or Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours. Local ministers are invited to arrive at 4:00 pm, to vest in your tradition’s appropriate vesture, and to please RSVP (301-733-0410 or to let us know that you will attend. The service of prayer should take about 30 minutes and, at the conclusion, a brief tour of our sanctuary will be offered for those who may wish to remain for a few moments.
Facebook Live: Teenagers and Drug Use: What You Need to Know - January 24
Tuesday, January 24, 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Facebook Live

Brook Lane will be hosting Facebook Live event called "Teenagers and Drug Use: What You Need to Know" featuring: Vicki Sterling, LCSW-C, Director of Behavioral Health Services, Washington County Health Department, Holly Luther, Prevention Program Coordinator, Washington County Health Department, and Ron Issacs, Agent, Washington County Narcotics Task Force. Questions: or 301-733-0331 x1228 .Flyer.
Love and Hope Event - January 25
Wednesday, January 25, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Lifehouse Church
515 East Wilson Blvd., Hagerstown

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Are you ready to take the next steps in ending trafficking and exploitation? Join "She's Somebody's Daughter" to learn how you can be an Ambassador of Love & Hope. Free Event. Contact Tanya for more information. Poster / Website / Facebook .
Movie Night - January 27
Friday, January 27, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Unity of Hagerstown at St. Mark’s Fellowship Center
18313 Lappans Road, Boonsboro, MD

Three-Hundred-Twenty acres of sacred land filled with old-growth forests, meadows, lakes, and hills, the vistas, colors, textures, flora and fauna, and the animals that live and teach truths, just being discovered by human science. This film follows an 8-day ‘Equinisity’ retreat on the healing presence of animals. Light supper included. $20. RSVP by 1/26.
Season for Nonviolence (and Peace) starts January 30!
The season for Nonviolence starts January 30 - prepare your house of worship to participate! The season goes from January 30 (anniversary of Ghandi's assassination) through April 4 (anniversary of King's assassination) and offers 64 days to practice of the principles of Gandhi, King, and others to bring about peace and nonviolence in our world today. Learn more and get free resources on the HARC website. Key starter resources include: 64 Reflections for the Season for Nonviolence, Peacemaking Bible Study, Student Journal project, Peace Poster (for children to color), MLK Commitment Card
Save the Date! Mission Presentation - North Korean Refugees
Thursday, February 16, 7:00 pm
Broadfording Church
13523 Broadfording Church Road, Hagerstown

A mission presentation from refugees that have escaped from North Korea will be given. They will share their Christian testimonies, and they will share music from their culture. North Korea is one of the most closed countries in the world. This mission presentation will allow you to meet in person individuals who have escaped, and who will testify of their faith in Christ. Everyone is welcome. Feel free to share this with your church, ministry, or anyone else you think may be interested. And as always, if you have any questions, email Pastor Bill Wyand,
Save the Date! Black Professional Network Event - February 23
Thursday, February 23, 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Greenwood District
101 E. Baltimore Street, Hagerstown

You are invited to RSVP your attendance to the kick off Washington County Black Professional Network Event, Please join the group for light refreshments and for an opportunity to learn about the network. See how you can join and meet other black professionals in our community. The sponsors look forward to meeting you. RSVP at
Coldest Night of the Year Walk - February 25 - register now!
Saturday, February 23, 5:00 pm
Hagerstown Community College ARCC
11400 Robinwood Drive, Hagerstown

Reach is partnering with Blue Seas Foundation to hold Maryland’s 1st EVER Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) family-friendly walk. CNOY is when we step outside the warmth and comfort of our own homes to raise awareness and funds for the most vulnerable in our community. They need participants, team captains, and sponsors. (Brochure-Poster, Sponsorship Package) Please reach out to your circle – friends, church, coworkers, business owners, schools, . . . start your own team or join Reach’s team. For this event to be successful, they need everyone’s help. To see what CNOY is all about, click here:
We hope this News Flash is helpful to you. Please contact us if you know someone we should add to the email list or if you would like to be removed.

Kathy Powderly          
Executive Director
David Brechbiel
News Flash Editor
P.O. Box 1158
Hagerstown, MD 21740
(301) 842 4272