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Keeping the dream alive on Whidbey: Peace Fellowship celebrates Dr. King | NOTABLE

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day participants raise their hands during the musical portion of a celebration at St. Augustine’s in-the-Woods Episcopal Church Jan. 16. Speaker Ora Houston called on the Whidbey Island community to respect the dignity of all persons and to honor diversity.  - Bert Speir photo
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day participants raise their hands during the musical portion of a celebration at St. Augustine’s in-the-Woods Episcopal Church Jan. 16. Speaker Ora Houston called on the Whidbey Island community to respect the dignity of all persons and to honor diversity.
— image credit: Bert Speir photo

An estimated 170 people filled St. Augustine’s in-the-Woods Episcopal church in Freeland for the 7th annual “Blessed Are the Peace Makers” Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event Jan. 16.

The event was sponsored by the St. Augustine’s Episcopal Peace Fellowship.

Donations from guests totaled $432 and will go to Helping Hand of South Whidbey in support of those who find themselves, as King once said, “on an island of poverty surrounded by a sea of prosperity.”

The service featured interactive readings that focused on the Freedom Rides of 1961. The Freedom Rider youth were true nonviolent heroes whose sacrifices caused an indifferent nation to take notice of the human costs of racism. Through their courage, nonviolence overcame violence and love overcame hate.

Speaker and devoted Episcopalian Ora Houston called on the community to respect the dignity of all persons, honor diversity, listen respectfully to different viewpoints and to speak out and stand up for peace and justice. Houston asked the predominately white crowd to consider the impact of white privilege and culture on people of color and to realize that King’s dream has not yet been realized.

Music was a key element of the festivities with Karl Olsen leading the songs. Saxophonist Danny Ward accompanied Olsen’s guitar and keyboard. ICTHUS, the Trinity Lutheran youth singers, also sang and received a standing ovation from the participants.

 

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