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February 7, 2024

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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 10:00 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.

5 reasons to celebrate Black History Month, with Brig. Gen. Flowers

By Lindsay Mahon

Air Force Medical Service

"When it comes to making black history, Brig. Gen. Alfred Flowers, Jr. has seen it firsthand. His father, retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Alfred K. Flowers, Sr., who served for nearly 47 years, is the longest-serving African American service member in Department of Defense history and the longest-serving Airman in U.S. Air Force history. “In the Air Force Medical Service, diversity is truly our strength, and that’s why it’s important we celebrate it during Black History Month,” said Flowers Jr., Manpower, Personnel and Resources Director, Office of the Air Force Surgeon General. Flowers Jr. outlined some of the reasons he considers it important to celebrate Black History Month." Read more.

HARC's Annual Meeting blessed with new board members and Dr. Sovine of WCPS

HARC's Annual Meeting was held Tuesday, January 23 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Hagerstown. More than 50 people attended the meeting, including representatives of 20 member houses of worship. Part of the business portion of the meeting included voting in four new board members and the slate of officers (see video). Following the business, a short presentation was given on the Faces of HARC (see video, including pictures displayed). HARC also welcomed, Dr. David T. Sovine, Superintendent of Washington County Public Schools, who blessed us with his faith story, vision, professional background, and challenges he sees for children in our schools (see video). And our hosts shared about their faith tradition (see video). The meeting was a great way to kick off 2024!

HARC 2023 Impact Report

HARC is pleased to share our 2023 Impact Report with members and the public. Download your copy here to learn about the work we did TOGETHER last year and plans for 2024. Please share with your congregations and friends.  Note: This PDF of the IR is compressed for size. If you would like a higher resolution PDF or a printed copy, please contact Kathy at director@harccoalition.org or 301-842-4272.

"64 Days to Live Nonviolence"

From the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence

"The Season for Nonviolence marks the 64 days between the anniversaries of the deaths of Mohandas Gandhi on January 30 and Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4.... We learn to practice nonviolence one step at a time, one choice at a time, one day at a time. Through our daily nonviolent choices and action, our noble and courageous spirits rise to move the world in the direction of peace. Wherever you are in your journey, we hope this booklet will support your growth and encourage you, reminding you that you are part of a worldwide community working for nonviolence and peace."  64 daily practices booklet

Applications Open February 1 for the Equity In Education Scholarship!

Applications are open February 1 - April 2 for the 2024-2025 Equity in Education Scholarship. Multiple scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $7,000 are available annually with the goal of removing financial barriers, offering mentorship and career development, and increasing the percentage of racially diverse teachers in Washington County Public Schools. Learn more and apply Flyer - please share! Donations are needed to fund the scholarships and to build an endowment to ensure the continuation of the scholarship program. Donate here with a notation of "scholarship" or send a check to HARC, P.O. Box 1158, Hagerstown, MD 21741.

HARC Meeting: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness - Feb. 13 (RSVP Feb. 9)

Tuesday, February 13, 12:00 - 1:30 pm

First Christian Church

1345 Potomac Avenue, Hagerstown

In February, we will hear from Brianne Tesla Bearese, MA, LCPC, CPLC, Founder and Director of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness of Washington County, MD. Pregnancy and infant loss affect many families in our community in ways we may not be aware of. Join us to learn about the support and resources in our area for this time of great loss so that families may face the anguish knowing that help and connection are available. Join us for lunch, fellowship, and sharing of our host’s faith tradition. Thanks to First Christian Church for hosting and providing the meal. Contributions toward the meal can be made via a free-will offering basket. RSVP requested by Friday, February 9 at noon so we can get a count for lunch.

HCC’s 3rd Annual Conversations for the Soul - February 7

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 11:15 am-12:45 pm

Student Center main dining room

Hagerstown Community College



In honor of Black History Month, local entrepreneurs will share the struggles and successes with starting their own business. Free lunch will be served. Learn more Poster

All You Can Eat Spaghetti Dinner - February 10

Saturday, February 10, 3:00 - 6:00 pm

(Snow date February 17)

St. Mark's Lutheran Church

601 Washington Avenue, Hagerstown

The meal includes spaghetti with homemade meat or meatless sauce, salad or applesauce, breadsticks, desserts and beverage (iced tea, lemonade, water, coffee), eat in or carryout. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 11 years old, and free under the age of 5. Tickets can be purchased in advance from St. Mark's members or by contacting the church office at 301-733-7550 or Pat Kelley at 443-880-0263. Tickets may also be purchased at the door. 

Valentine's Day Vow Renewal - February 14 (Register by Feb. 12)

Wednesday, February 14, 7:00 pm

Unity of Hagerstown

18313 Lappans Road, Boonsboro, MD


Show your love this Valentine's Day – Show your love with that someone special, as you renew vows. Unity will provide the ordained Minister, Chapel, recorded music and ceremony provided on a donation-based offering. Limited Space / Register by Monday, February 12. For more information and to reserve your time, contact Rev. Richard at: richardapacheco@gmail.com.

Voices of Recovery & Resilience: Harm Reduction - starts February 13

Tuesdays, February 13 - March 19, 4:15-5:15 followed by meal at 5:30

Otterbein United Methodist Church

108 E. Franklin Street, Hagerstown

Powerful personal testimonies presented weekly. Hear stories of addiction and struggle to recovery. Community voices, programs, resources, and peer support presented and coordinated by David Washington, LCADC, LCSW-C, AD/PC Sup., Wash Co Health Dept. and Alicia Le Bon, Sr. Community Outreach Specialist Ctr of Substance Use & Infectious Diseases Care, JHU School of Medicine. Link to registration Flyer

2024 HARC Interfaith Retreat - March 2 (Register by Feb. 16)

Saturday, March 2, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Shepherd's Spring Retreat Center

16869 Taylors Landing Road, Sharpsburg, MD

2024 HARC Interfaith Retreat: Let the Spirit Move You! A day of exploration, creativity and connection! Morning: A meditative art project. No experience necessary, materials provided. Afternoon: Primordial Qigong. Coordinating movement, breathing, and meditation to optimize energy within the body, mind, and spirit. Close of Day: “Listening for the Spirit: The Poetry of Rumi.” An opportunity to allow the spirit of poetry to move us in beauty and words. Lunch is included. Registration fee: $50.  Deadline to register is February 16.  Flyer. Register or learn more here.

Earn It...Plan It...Save It... - starts February 13

Tuesdays, February 13 - March 19, 4:15-5:15 followed by meal at 5:30

Otterbein United Methodist Church

108 E. Franklin Street, Hagerstown

Earn it, Plan It, Save It is a financial education class successfully offered throughout the community by REACH. It is facilitated by Ladetra Robinson, Financial Literacy Success Coach. Link to registration Flyer

Free Pancake Supper - February 13

Tuesday, February 13, 5:00 - 7:00 pm

St. Mark's Episcopal Church

18313 Lappans Road, Boonsboro, MD

St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Lappans, hosts a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper in the Parish Hall. The cost is free; however, donations are kindly accepted. Monies will be utilized to stock their Blessings Box, which is a small food pantry located on the front porch of their Parish Hall. Info: 301-582-0417

Pancake Breakfast - February 17

Saturday, February 17, 8:00 - 11:00 am

Grace United Methodist Church

712 W. Church Street, Hagerstown

All you can eat: Pancakes, Bacon, Sausage Gravy, Biscuits, Scrambled Eggs, Tater Tots, Coffee, and Juice. Adults $10. Children 12 and under Free. Free Children's Activities Included! All proceeds benefit the Food Pantry and Clothes Closet.

Coldest Night of the Year Event - February 24 (Register now! Volunteers Needed!)

Saturday, February 24, 5:00 pm

Hagerstown Community College ARCC

11400 Robinwood Drive, Hagerstown

Reach is hosting a Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) event on February 24. What Is It? The Coldest Night of the Year is a winterrific family-friendly walk to raise money for local charities serving people experiencing hurt, hunger, and homelessness. Team up, fundraise, walk, and gather for good… because it’s cold out there! This event is to raise awareness and raise critical funds to continue making an impact in Washington County. Reach is looking for Team Captains, Sponsors, and walkers to join them for the Coldest Night of the Year and would love your energy with them. They are excited for the 2nd year for Reach of Washington County, and still the only location in the state of Maryland. Register here: https://cnoy.com/register. If you want to chat further about the Coldest Night of the Year – Contact Jackie at Jackie@reachofwc.org 301-733-2371 X-108. Flyer with QR code. / Sponsorship Package.

Save the Date! Congressional Candidate Senior Forum - March 30

Saturday, March 30, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Zion Baptist Church

61 Bethel Street, Hagerstown

The Elder Group presents a Congressional Candidate Senior Forum at Zion Baptist Church. Pastor Rickey A. Smith, Sr. Flyer.

Save the Date! The Science of Murder (a deadly Dinner play) - April 13

Saturday, April 13, 5:00 pm

Zion Reformed United Church of Christ

201 North Potomac Street, Hagerstown

The Science of Murder (a deadly Dinner play) By Toby Otero. 

Come enjoy dinner and a Murder Mystery. $15 singles, $25 couple. Doctor Mingus is one of the most important figures in science today and you are lucky to be invited to the Mingus Estate to witness an experiment that will change the world as we know it! Our subjects are a husband and wife that just don't see eye-to-eye anymore. With the help of his henchman, Idiot, his maid, Patrice and a host of uninvited guests... Can Doctor Mingus help them understand each other again? The subjects are strapped in, the switch is thrown, the power goes out and things just go downhill from there. Join us for this annual mystery dinner theater event! Further info: 301-739-7244, zionrucc@myactv.net.  Flyer.

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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