The featured speaker for the eighth annual Whidbey community Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Blessed are the Peace Makers” celebration will be retired Superior Court Judge Dennis Yule.
Judge Yule has recently retired from the Benton-Franklin Superior Court. He is a resident of Prosser and associated with St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Prosser.
Yule continues to volunteer his time through the judicial system by presiding over a “drug and alcohol court” which supervises the parole of individuals sentenced on drug and alcohol charges. Dennis and Lynda Yule have an interracial family, having raised three African American children. As both judge and parent he is well aware of the difficulties facing people of color.
Yule is a member of the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission and continues to work on several issues and projects on the state and national level regarding juvenile justice reform, specifically including disproportionate minority contacts in the juvenile justice system.
The singing of Civil Rights anthems and Afro-American spirituals will again be an highlight of the service. The “Blessed Are the Peace Makers” community event will again have Karl Olsen, the Trinity Lutheran music minister, lead the singing.
As they have done in past years the Trinity Lutheran youth choir, ICTHUS, will also sing. The singing and music of Karl Olsen and the youth choir alone is worth attending. Despite the serious topics and issues the service may raise, the music will make it difficult not to leave the service in an celebratory upbeat mood.
Each year an interactive dialog from the lectionary and the pew have highlighted an event in The Movement or as in this year’s service a connected contemporary issue. In recent years St. Augustine’s youths have become an important part of this dialog. The youths now make up the majority of the pew readers. Youth pew readers are Katy and Emily Reid, Haley and Hannah McConnaughey, Emily Anderson, Patsy Colton and Melissa Smith are “Blessed Are the Peace Makers” veteran readers. St. Augustine’s Episcopal Peace Fellowship members also serve as readers.