Two ministers -- one from a black church and one from a white church -- will receive the first Carroll County Community Relations Commission award, for bringing together their two congregations.
The Rev. Joan Carter-Rimbach and the Rev. Christy Jo Waltersdorff will be honored at the commission's reception and dinner Monday, said Virginia Harrison of Eldersburg, chairwoman of the commission.
The dinner will be at the Frisco Family Pub, on John Street in Westminster.
The commission is introducing the award to honor people who bring "harmony" to Carroll County, Ms. Harrison said.
Susan White-Bowden, a local author and media personality, will be the guest speaker at the dinner, which will kick off Community Relations Week. Other speakers are scheduled the rest of the week, and activities are co-sponsored by member churches of the Carroll County Citizens for Racial Equality.
Ms. Carter-Rimbach leads the predominantly black Union Street United Methodist Church, and Ms. Waltersdorff is pastor at Westminster Church of the Brethren, which is predominantly white.
About two years ago, the two churches joined for a "Pairing and Caring" program that started with a skating party and worship service. The relationship has continued to include picnics, participation in a fund-raising, 10-kilometer run to raise money for hunger charities in Africa and other activities.
Gary Honeman, a member of the Brethren church, nominated his pastor and Ms. Carter-Rimbach for the award, Ms. Harrison said.
Ms. Harrison said the commission also will present a certificate of recognition to Rachelle Hurwitz of Uniontown, for promoting interfaith activities and a greater understanding of Jewish heritage.
Ms. Hurwitz has used her talents as a storyteller to bring different cultures into schools and other places where she practices her craft, Ms. Harrison said.
Her latest activity is the Carroll County Women's Fair March 28 at Carroll Community College.
Anyone wishing to attend the dinner should make a reservation by tomorrow by calling 876-5407.
Other events planned include:
* Commission member Richard Bucher, a professor and Mount Airy resident, will give a lay sermon at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Mount Olive United Methodist Church, 2927 Gillis Falls Road, Mount Airy.
* Supervisors from Carroll County public schools will give a presentation at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on what they are doing to integrate other cultures into the curriculum. The discussion will be in Room 271 in the Courthouse Annex, 55 N. Court St.
* Mr. Bucher will speak Wednesday to an eighth-grade social studies class at Westminster West Middle School.