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May 8, 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 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.

It’s a Boy (x2)!

This Spring brought new life to two refugee families – both had the joy of welcoming home new baby boys!

Fawad and Nargis tried for 15 years to have a child, with no success, until now. Little Benjamin is truly a miracle for this couple, who are overjoyed with their new son. Fawad, a pediatrician in Afghanistan who worked for the government, is now able to care for his own child, and Nargis, a skilled seamstress will keep him well cared for and clothed beautifully as she works from home in her craft. Read more.

HARC Meeting: Equity, Diversity, Recruitment and Talent Development in our Schools - May 14 (RSVP May 10)

Tuesday, May 14, 12:00 - 1:30 pm

Zion Baptist Church

61 Bethel Street, Hagerstown

Google map satellite view

HARC’s Racial Justice Team has planned our May HARC Meeting, with a few updates on the Team’s work and a special guest speaker from Washington County Public Schools (WCPS). Allison Smith, Supervisor of Equity and Excellence will share the work WCPS is doing to increase diversity and equity in our schools and to recruit and develop staff. Join us for lunch, fellowship, and program. RSVP requested by Friday, May 10 at noon so we can get a count for lunch. Parking is available in the large lot behind the church (entrance from Jonathan Street) or the small lot across the street from the front of the church (entrance from Bethel St.). Handicap parking is in the small lot on Bethel Street, so please leave spaces available for those who need them.

HARC Hike coming soon! Volunteers Wanted - June 8

Saturday, June 8

Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Retreat Center

The HARC Hike for Hunger & Hope is approaching fast and we are in need of some volunteers. Most notably, we need a volunteer driver to drive a borrowed van/bus from Girls, Inc. and we need a photographer to take pictures of everyone having fun at this event. If you can help, please contact Kathy at 301-842-4272 or  Want to join in the fun of the hike?  Learn more here. And please spread the word via the Flyer and Bulletin inserts.

Air Conditioners and Volunteers Needed

Summer is approaching and the Refugee Welcome Network (RWN) is seeking window air conditioners to place in apartments of refugees to keep them comfortable in the summer heat. RWN continues to grow as more refugees settle in our area, so we are also in need of volunteers for the following roles: Household & Furnishings, Workforce Development, Family Allies, Legal Team (no legal experience required), and Fundraising. Learn more HERE about these roles and the RWN. If interested, please contact RWN at  

Free Chairs

St. Mark's Lutheran Church has 43 kindergarten-sized chairs, 17 nursery-sized chairs, and 5 adult-sized chairs available to give away on a first-come basis. If you are interested, please contact the church office at 301-733-7550 and speak with Alison.

Chromebook Laptop Distribution Events - May

This month is the last month for no-cost Chromebook laptop distribution events in the libraries. These devices are a piece of the puzzle for many households to access homework, job applications, online accounts, and beyond more easily as internet connectivity increasingly becomes an essential utility. The library will be working with community groups to do off-site distributions June through August 2024. Please let Jenny Bakos know if your group would be interested in hosting an event. She can be reached at Flyer.

Circles Washington County, MD is GROWING! Allies Needed! - May 2 thru June 6

Thursday Evenings, May 2 thru June 6, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

St. John's Episcopal Church

101 S. Prospect Street, Hagerstown

Circles Cohort 2 began on May 2 when twelve new Circles Leaders (participants) began 6 weeks of training. Allies, or intentional friends, will be matched with each Leader to assist them in achieving financial stability. Leaders and Allies will participate in approximately 18-months of interactive mentoring and relationship building. Professional childcare is provided. Minimum Ally commitment is twice a month, but there is flexibility with schedules! Allies are needed, but there are a variety of opportunities available. Visit for more information about the National program. Contact Elizabeth Howe at 301-606-0190 (cell) or to schedule a visit to Circles on a Thursday evening or to obtain more information.  

Live-in House Mom/Manager Position

Looking for a mature Christian single woman to live in Hannah's Homestead, a residential Maternity/Recovery Home for women with Children, to oversee the day-to-day runnings of the program. They offer a private apartment including all utilities in exchange for 10 hours a week in managing the program. Live in house manager can work another part time job. Must have own vehicle and a clean background check. Contact Kathy Horst at 301-491-6956 or e-mail

Vote 411 Voter's Guide

Election day is fast approaching and early voting is here! Check your voter registration, find your polling place, learn about candidates, and more through an unbiased source: Vote 411 - Each election, the League of Women Voters sends surveys to all candidates and publishes the Vote 411 voter's guide directly from the candidates' responses.

Learn more about the local League of Women Voters here.

Calendar of summer VBS & children's activities - your activity wanted!

HARC is once again working with area congregations and children's organizations to compile a summer (June-August) calendar of free and low-cost VBS, camps, and other activities for children and families. We want to include your program(s)! Please send information to Charlotte at as soon as possible (especially for June). Please include date(s), times, location, a brief description, ages served, and how to sign up. See calendar example here.

St. John's Yard Sale - May 11

Saturday, May 11, 7:00 am - 2:00 pm

Saint John's Episcopal Church

101 S. Prospect Street, Hagerstown

RAIN OR SHINE. Most items will be indoors of the fellowship hall and a few outside by the elevator door. There will be a bake sale and food as well. Parking Lot, Antietam Street and Walnut Lane. Flyer Sign.

Annual Youth Spaghetti Dinner - May 11

Saturday, May 11, 4:00 - 7:30 pm

First Christian Church

1345 Potomac Avenue, Hagerstown

Annual Youth Spaghetti Dinner. TREAT MOM TO DINNER! Adult Tickets (11 & Older) - $15; Children Tickets (2 to 10) - $10; Birth to 1 year old - Free; Desserts available by donation. Proceeds support youth mission trip to Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina June 2024. Call the church office for more information, or tickets 301-733-0144. Flyer.

HARC No-Book Book Club - May 19 (RSVP - May 17)

Sunday, May 19, 2:00 pm

Unity of Hagerstown (St. Mark's Episcopal)

18313 Lappans Road, Boonsboro, MD

The Interfaith team of 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 May 17 to or call 301-842-4272.

May Friendship Day - May 17 (Reservations due by May 9)

Friday, May 17, 6:00 pm

Manor Church of the Brethren

18511 Manor Church Road, Boonsboro, MD

Church Women United of Washington County will celebrate May Friendship Day on Friday, May 17. Dinner Cost: $15.00 Please pay at the door. Menu: Pork BBQ sandwich, mac and cheese, cole slaw, dessert, and drinks. Reservations are due by Thursday, May 9. Contact Tammy Coyle or 240-409-2410. Program begins at 6:45. Speaker: Marty Blake. See flyer.

Womb Wisdom Workshop - May 18

Saturday, May 18, 1:00 - 2:30 pm

Unity of Hagerstown meeting in the Fellowship Center at St. Mark's Episcopal Church

18313 Lappans Road, Boonsboro, MD

Join Unity in sacred space as they honor and tap into our creative power center – the womb. In this women-only workshop facilitated by SABRINA MADSEN, they will be guided to the womb's wisdom, connect in community, share, heal, and embody more of their own authentic selves. Different practices will be woven into their time together such as guided meditation, energy self-healing, discussion, journal writing, and more. $40. When women gather, magic happens! For more information, 240-409-5940,

Community Health Summit & Invitation - May 18

Saturday, May 18, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Zion Baptist Church of Hagerstown

61 West Bethel Street Parking Lot, Hagerstown

Zion Baptist Church of Hagerstown is sponsoring its 2nd Annual Community Health Summit. The theme is "Hope in Healing ... Experiencing the Journey, Dealing with the Struggles of Addiction & Mental Health." They are also inviting other health agencies, city and state officials, recovery houses, rehab centers, churches, and people with personal experiences. Job training and recruiting will also be offered by local businesses. For more information, please call Zion Baptist Church at (301) 739-5616 and leave a message for Linda Brooks or send an email to if you are interested in participating. (Invitation Letter)

Stories in the Round - Dovie Thomason - May 20

Monday, May 20, 7:00 pm

Unitarian Universalist Church of Hagerstown

13245 Cearfoss Pike, Hagerstown


Dovie Thomason is a much admired and internationally respected teller of traditional stories handed down from her grandmother and drawing from her Indigenous/Native and Scot Traveller descent, as well as personal and historical narratives that offer an often provocative curiosity and point of view. Ms. Thomason has shared her wisdom tales for decades with community organizations, festivals, schools, libraries, Head Start, University of Manitoba Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture, American Folklore Society, The Shakespeare Globe Theater, TED Talks, NASA, and many others - and now our own Stories In The Round for the third time. $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Children 12 & older welcome when accompanied by a parent or group leader. Contact: Fanny Crawford, 301-730-1638 or

Food Drop - May 21

Tuesday, May 21, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Otterbein United Methodist Church Parking Lot

(Corner of E. Franklin and N. Locust)

108 E. Franklin Street, Hagerstown

This is a one-time, food “drop” for our neighborhood. Suggest you bring sturdy grocery type tote bags to carry your food/produce home. Recommended especially for those who fall within the WIC Income Guidelines - (Example: Family of 4 with income less than $40,793). For More Information Call Maryland Food Bank – Western Branch, 301-733-4002 OR Otterbein United Methodist Church, 301-739-9386. Flyer.

Fresh Produce Food Drop - May 24

Friday, May 14, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm (or until supplies last)

Soul Haven

119 E. Antietam Street, Hagerstown

Fresh Produce Food Drop on Friday, May 24, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm (until supplies last). Info: 301-790-5054. Flyer.

Commemoration Gathering at the Farm - May 31

Friday, May 31, 5:00 - 8:00 pm

Unity of Hagerstown

9760 Beaver Creek Church Road, Hagerstown 

Join Unity for a special time of sharing stories and reflections about those we love who have passed away. They will gather by the creek to launch luminaries in remembrance as a quiet ritual. Please bring chair and a dish to share. Luminaries will be provided. / $10 Advanced registration required, Contact ANNE BAKER: 301-509-2734 to register

World No Tobacco Day Event - May 31

Friday, May 31, 5:30 - 7:00 pm

Washington County Health Department

925 N. Burhans Blvd. Hagerstown

You're invited to: "Empowerment in Every Breath: Celebrating Quitters, Inspiring Seekers," in honor of World No Tobacco Day. Engaging talks, interactive workshops, and insightful discussions on the importance of tobacco cessation and the empowerment it brings with every breath. Whether you're a former smoker, a current tobacco user contemplating quitting, or someone passionate about promoting healthier lifestyles, this event is tailored for you. Attendee RSVP  / Vendor Sign-up. Should you have any questions or require further information, please feel free to reach out via email to Paula Ernst at or by phone at 240-313-3310. Flyer.

Save the Date! Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program Visit - June 6

Thursday, June 6, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

American Job Center

16 N. Potomac Street, Hagerstown

The Easter Seals Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP) Representative will be at the American Job Center on June 6, from 10 am through 1 pm. He will have lots of information for any Veteran in need. Flyer.

Save the Date! Japanese Noodle Slide - June 9

Sunday, June 9, 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Unity of Hagerstown

18313 Lappans Road, Boonsboro, MD

Venerable Temm Bikle, Buddhist Monk, is offering a Japanese Noodle Slide! Join in this unique and fun experience, where participants catch noodles with chopsticks as they slide down a chute. Add some broth and toppings and enjoy noodle soup! Noodles, rice balls and other Japanese food will be served. Vegetarian friendly. Cost to register is $10. Maximum 40 people. This event is a fundraiser to support Temm as he brings more peace into this world. Additional donations before and during the event are gratefully accepted. Event is sponsored by HARC’s Interfaith Team and hosted by Unity of Hagerstown. To register, use the online form link, or send a check to HARC, P.O. Box 1158, Hagerstown, MD 21741-1158. 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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