The faith communities that worship in Howard County include Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Christian Scientist, Seventh-day Adventist, Mennonite, Baha’i, Quaker and Unitarian Universalist groups. The county was home to more than 200 places of worship in 2010, according to data from the Association of Statisticians and Religious Bodies.
Congregants meet in interfaith centers, churches, synagogues, schools or neighborhood facilities. Many foreign-language congregations have formed in recent years.
With Columbia’s founding in 1967 came the concept of interfaith centers. These centers in Wilde Lake, Oakland Mills, River Hill, Owen Brown and Kings Contrivance are home to a number of diverse worship communities. Although the coronavirus continues to spread and infection rates continue to rise, these interfaith centers remain available to individuals by appointments.
Oakland Mills Interfaith Center — The Meeting House
For more than 50 years, the Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center in Marriottsville has offered a place of retreat for groups or individuals interested in spending some quiet time in peace, reflection and prayer. The center, run by the Sisters of Bon Secours, welcomes self-guided retreats but also offers both day and weekend-long retreats and workshops. It has 70 guest suites, meeting rooms, a chapel and a dining room, and elsewhere on the 300-acre site are a reflecting pond, labyrinth, Zen-style peace garden, outdoor swimming pool, fitness center and bookstore. Call 410-442-3120 or visit rccbonsecours.com for more information.