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December 6, 2023

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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 harcnewsflash@gmail.com by Tuesday at 10 am each week. For a full list of upcoming faith community events, visit http://harccoalition.org/events/..  FAQ sheet for submitting news for this newsletter.

Interfaith Prayer

Deity of promise, our eyes open to what is holy in so many ways.

Help us always to remember the signs of hope with which you surround us.

…Open our eyes in acceptance as we reflect on your gifts to the world.  Amen


Reverend Valerie T. Wills

Advent 2023: Hope for the Christian Is Confident Expectation of the Future

Barna Group

"The Advent season is near!  This coming Sunday, December 3, marks the beginning of Advent this year. Advent—from the Latin adventus, “arrival”—in the Christian Church calendar is the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas. It also marks a time of preparation for the second coming—from the Greek parousia, “appearance”—of Christ. We begin this year’s Advent series with an invitation to focus on hope from Dr. Glenn Packiam (lead pastor of Rockharbor Church in Costa Mesa, California, author of The Resilient Pastor and speaker)." Read more.

What to know about Hanukkah and how it’s celebrated around the world

By Giovanna Dell'orto

Religion News Service

"Hanukkah — also spelled Chanukah or other transliterations from Hebrew — is Judaism’s “festival of lights.” On eight consecutive nightfalls, Jews gather with family and friends to light one additional candle in the menorah — a multibranched candelabra. In Hebrew, Hanukkah means “dedication,” and the holiday marks the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in the 2nd century BC, after a small group of Jewish fighters liberated it from occupying foreign forces." Read more.

HARC Clergy Bible Study now on Wednesdays

Wednesdays at 9:00 am

Safron Bakery Cafe

287 Eastern Blvd. North, Hagerstown

HARC's clergy Bible study has moved to Wednesdays! Weekly Bible study for Christian clergy and lay ministers, a time to dig into scripture with other pastors. Typically follows the Lectionary, so it also can help you prepare your sermons a week ahead, if you follow the Lectionary cycle. If interested, contact Kyle Powderly at acts2024@gmail.com or just show up. We hope you can join in now that the day has changed!

HARC Meeting: Becoming a Healing Community with San Mar Family and Community Services - December 12

Tuesday, December 12, 12:00 - 1:30 pm

Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren

20402 Beaver Creek Road, Hagerstown

At our December meeting, we will explore what it means to be a “healing community” with San Mar Family and Community Services. Guest speakers from San Mar will be Jerica Washington, LCSW-C, Deputy Executive Director and Director of the Jack E. Barr Center for Well-Being; and Jennifer Lewis, LCSW-C, Director – Treatment Foster Care. Join us for lunch and fellowship. Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren will provide the meal and share about their faith tradition. Contributions toward the meal can be made via a free-will offering basket.  RSVP requested by Friday, December 8 at noon so we can get a count for lunch. More info RSVP link

Base Camp - December 7

Thursday, December 7, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church

13025 Greensburg Road, Smithsburg, MD

BASE CAMP is a 12-step oriented recovery program for anyone who deals with substance use disorder or is concerned about a loved one, or for those who deal with chronic or life-threatneing illness. BASE Camp will meet every Thursday in December and January. For information, contact Pastor Julie Brigham at 240-405-2173 or email prjulie@verizon.net.

Christmas Tree Jubilee - December 9

Saturday, December 9, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

First Christian Church

1345 Potomac Avenue, Hagerstown

Free breakfast with Santa. Photo booth, crafts, games and raffles. Talent show performance and Sing-Along. Also, join them for their Christmas Eve Service, December 24 at 8:00 pm. Info: 301-733-0144, Website. Flyer.

Breakfast with Santa - December 9

Saturday, December 9, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

St. Mark's Lutheran Church

601 Washington Avenue, Hagerstown

The free event "Breakfast with Santa" will include a pancake breakfast, games, a photo op session with Santa, and the reading of the Christmas Story. For more information, please see Flyer or call the office at 301-733-7550.

Free Community Soup and Sandwich Lunch - December 9

Saturday, December 9, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Christ's Reformed Church, Aspiring to Serve

140 W. Franklin Street, Hagerstown

Join Christ's Reformed Church for a Free Community Soup and Sandwich Lunch (11:00 am to 2:00 pm, or until food runs out.) Flyer.

Christmas Musical "Wrapping All the Way" - December 9, 10

Saturday, December 9, 6:30 pm

Sunday, December 10, 9:30 am

Hagerstown Church of the Nazarene

141 N. Edgewood Drive, Hagerstown

The Christmas Musical “Wrapping All the Way” will be presented at Hagerstown Church of the Nazarene. Questions? Call the church 301-797-4524 or visit the church website: hagerstownnaz.org.

Hagerstown Choral Arts Concert – Rutter’s Gloria - December 9

Saturday, December 9, 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Trinity Lutheran Church

15 Randolph Avenue, Hagerstown

Join the Hagerstown Choral Arts as they perform John Rutter’s Gloria and and seasonal favorites by Paul Manz and Will Todd, accompanied by brass and organ. No admittance but a free-will offering will be collected.

Save the Date! Children's Interfaith Art Camp - January 20 - Volunteers Wanted

Saturday, January 20, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Washington County Museum of Fine Arts

Hagerstown City Park

401 Museum Drive, Hagerstown

Let your children discover the amazing exhibit at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts and discover values and morals for their own lives! Free! Children Grades 1-5. Art and interfaith scavenger hunt, arts and crafts, games and strong value story time! Includes new exhibit "Celebrating 100 Years of Children's Book Illustrations!" Limited available spaces so register quickly! Call Museum to register: 301-739-5727. Please have children bring a sack lunch. Volunteer needs: 2 Animated readers and 2 more bodies for craft and crowd control. Flyer.

Blue Christmas Service - December 13

Wednesday, December 13, 7:00 pm

Unity of Hagerstown, meeting at St. Mark's Fellowship Center

18313 Lappans Road, Boonsboro, MD

Not in the Holiday spirit? This candlelit service is for those who may be grieving, lonely, or feeling 'blue'. Through song and mediation, we honor our feelings and find comfort through letting go. Donations gratefully accepted. For more info- unityhagerstown@gmail.com or 240-409-5940.

Self-Care Solace: Nurturing Wellness and Combating Loneliness - December 14

Thursday, December 14, 2:30 - 3:30 pm

Washington County Commission on Aging

535 E. Franklin Street, Hagerstown

This FREE community program will share practical self-care techniques to help individuals enhance their overall well-being including combatting feelings of loneliness. Join Michael Gipson, LMSW, as he shares valuable information on how to be more aware of your own needs and actions you can take to improve your well-being, including decreasing loneliness. This program is co-sponsored by Brook Lane and the Washington County Commission on Aging. Registration Link:  Self-care Solace: Nurturing Wellness and Combating Loneliness (constantcontact.com) Info: 301-733-0331 x1228, curt.miller@brooklane.org

Advent/Christmas Drive Thru Event - December 15

Friday, December 15, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

St. Ann Catholic Church

1525 Oak Hill Avenue, Hagerstown

St. Ann is hosting their 4th Annual Advent/Christmas Drive Thru Event on Friday, December15. Their drive thru event will have the nativity scene and Advent wreath with giveaways along with a Photo Opportunity and Hot Chocolate Stations! Please bring a donation for the REACH Shelter! (Enter off of Oak Hill Avenue by the Goretti Gym.) Flyer. Information: Contact Lisa Noel,  lnoel@stannchurch.com. Website. Facebook.

Behold Emanuel, Love is with Us - December 17

Sunday, December 17, 7:00 pm

Bethel United Methodist Church Chewsville

21006 Twin Springs Drive, Smithsburg, MD

Join Bethel United Methodist Church Chewsville for a celebration with voices and hand bells. Light refreshments will follow. Information: 301-733-8387, secretary@bethelumchurch.org. December 24 traditional candlelight services at 7pm and 11pm. Flyer.

Call for photographers: 2023 Historic Houses of Worship Tour Photo Contest

The Historic Houses of Worship Tour in partnership with and support from The Washington County Arts Council (WCAC) is pleased to invite the public to enter a photo contest to promote the 2023 Historic Houses of Worship Tour. Photos should capture an image from the Historic Houses of Worship Tour, scheduled to take place on December 26, 2023 from 3pm to 7pm with a snow date of December 27, 2023 from 3pm to 7pm. One selected original photograph will be commissioned by the tour organizers and will be used to create posters and promotional materials for the 2024 Tour. Monetary awards, $100 for first place and $50 for second place, are sponsored by Downtown Hagerstown. Learn more on the Washington County Arts Council website. Pictured photo: "Welcome Worshipers" by Diane Crawford, 2018 winning photo.

Save the Date! Free Youth Mental Health First Aid - January 18

Thursday, January 18, 7:30 am - 5:00 pm

Brook Lane Community Room

13121 Brook Lane, Hagerstown

YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID (YMHFA) is an 8 hour program designed to teach adults how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions related challenge or crisis. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Presenter: Chris Herman, Certified Instructor. Registration Link:  Youth Mental Health First Aid (constantcontact.com) Registration will close on Thursday, January 11, 2024. Phone: 301-733-0331 x1228; Email: curt.miller@brooklane.org. More information.

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
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