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March 27, 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 [email protected] by Tuesday at 10:00 AM each week. For a full list of upcoming faith community events, visit  FAQ sheet for submitting news for this newsletter.

"What to Know About the Origins and Meanings of the Major Holy Week Rituals"

By Kat Moon


"For many Christians, the annual celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ — a key moment in the religion’s calendar — begins long before Easter Sunday. Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday and ends on Holy Saturday, comprises the seven days before Easter Sunday. During that time, Christians, in special ceremonies and through distinct rituals, commemorate the words and actions of Jesus’ final week before his crucifixion. While the events of Holy Week are significant to both Catholics and Protestants, the first practices more structured liturgies associated with each day, mostly as described in the Roman Missal." Read more.

"What Is Purim?"


"The jolly Jewish holiday of Purim is celebrated every year on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar (late winter/early spring). Purim 2024 begins on Saturday night, March 23 and continues through Sunday, March 24 (extending through Monday in Jerusalem). It commemorates the (Divinely orchestrated) salvation of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian empire from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.” Literally “lots” in ancient Persian, Purim was thus named since Haman had thrown lots to determine when he would carry out his diabolical scheme, as recorded in the Megillah (book of Esther)." Read more.

"Spring cleaning? Church accepting donated bikes and sewing machines to help folks in need"

Julie E. Green

The Herald-Mail

Cindy Brown is hoping anyone doing some spring cleaning who comes across a bicycle they're no longer using will donate it to help folks around the world who rely on bikes for critical transportation. This is the 20th year Otterbein United Methodist Church in downtown Hagerstown is helping the Rockville, Md.-based nonprofit Bikes for the World collect bicycles to donate to people around the globe. The bikes help people get to work, school and medical services.  Read more (may need HM subscription). Flyer for donating bikes.

HARC Good Friday Unity Walk - March 29

Friday, March 29, 1:00 - 2:30 pm

Hagerstown City Park, Hagerstown

Join us for HARC's annual ecumenical Good Friday Unity Walk in memory of Christ’s passion and death. Walk begins in the gazebo adjacent to the Museum parking lot and ends at the "grotto." There will be 7 stops with scripture readings and meditations, and call-and-response songs between the stops. A stationary (no-walk) option will also be available at the gazebo. Questions? Contact Kathy at 301-842-4272 or [email protected]. Flyer

HARC Meeting: Brook Lane "Hope, Healing, Recovery" - April 9 (RSVP - April 5)

Tuesday, April 9, 12:00 - 2:00 pm

Brook Lane Main Campus

13121 Brook Lane, Hagerstown

We look forward to Brook Lane hosting and offering the program for our April meeting in honor of their 75th anniversary year! Join us for lunch, fellowship, and this opportunity to learn more about Brook Lane's many mental health programs. RSVP requested by Friday, April 5 at noon so we can get a count for lunch.

HARC Book Club "Bring your book recommendation" - April 7 (RSVP - April 5)

Sunday, April 7, 2:00 pm

Unity of Hagerstown (St. Mark's Episcopal)

18313 Lappans Road, Boonsboro, MD

The Hagerstown Area Religious Council (HARC) hosts a book club with NO REQUIRED READING! We gather for light refreshments and share a book that has inspired us individually. Prose or poetry, fiction or nonfiction, faith-based or secular, a book that has moved us to think, learn, feel, relax, or do. Come with or without the actual book (but with title and author), and with finger food to share. Inspire others to read your book and come away with a new list of books you might want to read! Please RSVP by April 5 to [email protected] or call 301-842-4272. Flyer.

Last chance to apply for Equity In Education Scholarship! - deadline April 2

Don't miss an opportunity to apply for the The Equity in Education scholarship fund. Multiple scholarships are awarded annually ranging from $1,500 to $7,000 to racially minoritized students who reside and/or teach in Washington County, and are pursuing a degree in education or a related field. Deadline to apply is April 2. Learn more and apply HEREFlyer - Please share with anyone you know who may qualify and/or post in your house of worship. Donations are also still needed to fund this year's scholarships and recurring scholarships - donate here. This scholarship is a partnership of HARC and WCPS "Growing Our Own."

Accounting Clerk/Bookkeeper Wanted

Accounting clerk/bookkeeper wanted. Must be familiar with Quicken and church finance. Duties include balance register, enter expenses/income, run monthly reports and keep records. Approximately 3- 5 hours monthly. Send resume, references and salary requirements to [email protected] For more info contact [email protected], or call Rev. Sandy 240-409-5940

FREE Church Items

Due to moving to a rented space New Light Metropolitan Community Church has many extra items to give away FREE to those that may need them in their churches or non-profits. See attached list for items. Contact David thru the HARC NewsFlash email to reserve items. If you wish to give a free-will offering to New Light MCC's future ministry in the community it would be welcomed but not required.

Holy Week Services at St. Mark's Lutheran Church - March 27, 28, 29, 31

Wednesday, March 27, 6:30 pm

Maundy Thursday, March 28, 6:30 pm

Good Friday, March 29, 6:30 pm

Easter Sunday, March 31, 10:00 am

St. Mark's Lutheran Church

601 Washington Avenue

Hagerstown, MD 21740

St. Mark's Lutheran Church welcomes all to join them for Holy Week Services with Pastor Brian McClinton presiding over all services. A Sunrise Service will also be held on Easter Sunday (March 31) at 7:00 am at the Garden of the Cross located in Rose Hill Cemetery, 600 South Potomac Street, with a breakfast to follow at 8:30 am in the Parish Hall at St. Mark's Lutheran Church. Info: 301-733-7550.

Maundy Thursday "Tenebrae" Service - March 28

Thursday, March 28, 6:00 pm

Hagerstown Church of the Nazarene

141 N. Edgewood Drive, Hagerstown

A Free Maundy Thursday "Tenebrae" Service will be held at Hagerstown Church of the Nazarene. Questions - call 301-797-4524 or visit their website

Bethel UMC Chewsville Easter Services - March 28, 29, 31

Bethel United Methodist Church Chewsville

21006 Twin Springs Drive, Smithsburg, MD

Easter services: (Flyer)

Maundy Thursday, March 28, 7:00 pm (worship & Communion)

Good Friday, March 29, 7:00 pm (worship)

Easter Morning March 31:

7:00 am – Son-rise service outside with Communion, 7:30 am – Free breakfast, 9:00 am – Sunday School, 10:00 am – Traditional worship with Communion. Website / Facebook.

Stations of the Cross by Death Row Inmates and Returning Citizens - March 29

Good Friday, March 29 at 5:30 pm

Trinity Lutheran Church

15 Randolph Ave., Hagerstown

All are welcome to join Gatekeepers and Trinity in the Stations of the Cross. The event will feature artwork created by inmates on Death Row around the country. Along with this, returning citizens from the Gatekeepers program will provide the readings for each station. This is a powerful and meaningful meditation on the Passion of Christ by folks who don’t often have a voice in the church. The event is sponsored by Gatekeepers and the Order of Malta Prison Ministry.

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.

Zion seeking child caregivers for April 5 & 6

Friday, April 5, 5:30 - 9:30 pm

Saturday, April 6, 8:45 am - 3:00 pm

Zion Reformed United Church of Christ

201 N. Potomac Street, Hagerstown

Zion Reformed United Church of Christ is having a strategic planning visioning event. They want all of their members engaged in this process and are seeking caregivers from other houses of worship to care for the children during this process. Caregivers will be paid for their service. If interested, contact Pastor Scott Winnette at [email protected] or call the church office at (301) 739-7244.

Circles Allies Sessions - April 7, 14

Sunday, April 7 & 14, 3:30 - 4:30 pm

Washington County Free Library Study Room 333

100 S. Potomac Street, Hagerstown

Circles Washington County, MD, is launching a new cohort soon and needs 30-40 more Allies to work with Circles Leaders (poverty alleviation participants) twice a month to support the Leaders in reaching their goals. No previous experience is necessary, and we will train you!  Marci Corea and Elizabeth Howe are holding two informational sessions at Washington County Free Library in Study Room 333. Come to one of these sessions to get more information about this life-changing program! Current Allies and Circles Leaders will be invited to share their experiences. RSVP to [email protected] or call or text 301-606-0190. Bulletin Inserts / Flyer.

Narcan Training - April 9

Tuesday, April 9, 10:00 am

Children in Need, Inc.

131 West North Avenue, Hagerstown

Training participants will learn: Opioid types; How to recognize, respond to and prevent an opioid overdose; and, How to administer Naloxone. Register by April 2nd by emailing Joan at [email protected]. Flyer.

Free - "Servant or Sucker?" - April 9 - May 14

Tuesdays, April 9 - May 14, 6:30 - 8:15 pm

Otterbein United Methodist Church

108 E. Franklin Street, Hagerstown

Wise and Compassionate Ways to Help the Poor - A Community Program by OUMC & REACH of Washington County. 6:30 pm – Gather and enjoy a snack. 7:00 - 8:15 pm – Series Presentation in Auditorium. Open to the community. Main point is to assist people of faith in getting a clearer picture of the "face of homelessness and poverty" and how to make wise giving choices to individuals and agencies. Also learn more about area resources and gaps in service. Info: 301-739-9386. Flyer.

HARC Hike for Hunger & Hope - May 18 (Challenge Hike), June 8 (Main Hike)

Challenge Hike - Saturday, May 18

Appalachian Trail, meeting at Weverton

4K, 10k & half marathon Hikes - Saturday, June 8

Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Retreat Center and C&O Canal Towpath

Register now and spread the word for the 12th annual HARC Hike for Hunger & Hope! This family-friendly event benefits HARC and Micah's Backpack, and is a great opportunity to get outdoors and have fun. Choose a 4K, 10K or half marathon hike/walk/run on the C&O Canal Towpath or 1 20-mile Challenge Hike on the Appalachian Trail. TEAMS are encouraged. This year we have an exciting matching pledge from the God's Grace Fund. HARC Hike participants who raise funds beyond a $200 suggested fundraising goal will see any additional amounts raised matched 2-1 for triple the impact. Learn more and registerFlyer / Bulletin inserts / Sponsorship form / Manual registration form / How to set up a team

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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