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South Whidbey churches announce topics for Sunday

Songwriter leads talk on ‘Who Am I?’

Songwriter Doug Benecke will give the talk “Who Am I?” at the Unity of Whidbey service on Sunday.

At the heart of the human journey is the question of identity: Who am I? Our parents give us one answer, school another, our friends yet another. Work, family, institutions — all provide us with puzzle pieces as we sort out our own solution to this human conundrum.

Benecke will draw on sources such as Thomas Merton and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, with expert musical help from violinist Talia Toni Marcus. The platform assistant will be Karen McInerney.

The service is at 10 a.m. and all are welcome.

Unity of Whidbey is located in its new chapel at 5671 Crawford Road in Langley.

Unity of Whidbey also maintains office hours at the church from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

See the Unity Web site at www.unityofwhidbeyisland.org for more info.

The Spirituality of Mary Oliver at UUCWI

Mary Oliver is often referred to as the unofficial poet laureate of Unitarian Universalists. Her poems speak honestly to the big questions in life: Who are we? What are we meant to do with our lives? What is sacred? How do we face the inevitability of death?

At the Sunday service for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island, Sandy Welch and Laurie Holte will share some of Oliver’s poetry and perspective.

There will be childcare but no religious education during August.

The service is at 10 a.m. at 20103 Highway 525, just north of Freeland. Check www.whidbey.com/uucwi for more information.

Sunday’s sermon covers the basics

Does being “heavenly-minded” really equate to “no earthly good”? What kinds of life change does Jesus really demand for his followers, and how is this change possible? Pastor Ron Wedeking will speak to these issues tomorrow at South Whidbey Community Church.

The title of his message is, “Basics for Living in Christ,” based on Colossians 3:1-11.

Morning worship begins at 10 and is preceded by an adult learning forum at 9 a.m., with Stan Walker leading an inductive study into Paul’s Letter to the Church at Ephesus and Art Angst leading a study into the Gospel of Luke. These are open classes and everyone is invited.

All SWCC sermons and special adult-forum lectures are recorded, and copies on CD-R or e-mailed as Windows audio attachments may be obtained by calling the church at 221-1220.

SWCC is a local independent, non-denominational church that adheres to the National Association of Evangelical’s Statement of Faith and provides a smaller church experience in a historical setting, with traditional worship and hymns in a friendly, informal atmosphere. It is open to everyone and gathers for worship each Sunday at the Deer Lagoon Grange, 5142 Bayview Road.

For further information about the church and services, call 221-1220.

Divine love is topic of church service

The ways to have your needs met fully by divine love will be the topic of readings from the Bible and “Science and Health” at the Sunday service for the Christian Science Church.

Christ Jesus preached the commandment to love one another as the primary way to heal others, and his lessons are still applicable today. “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need,” (“Science and Health”).

Everyone is welcome for this healing and loving service, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 1 at 15910 Highway 525 (just north of Bayview and across from Useless Bay Road).

Forums explore Early Christianity

The adult-forum schedule for August at St. Augustine’s in-the-Woods Episcopal Church in Freeland will feature a continued focus on early Christianity.

The forums will present lectures given by Dr. Bart Ehrman, professor and chairman of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, that address the persecution and martyrdom of the faithful in the first three centuries of the church.

Separate from the Christian forums, there will also be two special public-service briefings, one on the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts and the other on Island Transit, with an emphasis on para-transit services.

On Aug. 1, the topic is “The Early Persecutions of the State,” the first of four lectures dealing with persecution and martyrdom in the early church. As Christianity spread, it was widely opposed, first, on the local level by antagonistic mobs and, later, officially by Roman authorities.

This particular lecture will examine a graphic account of Christian persecution from the mid-2nd century, and move from there to consider both why Christians were persecuted and what their reactions to the opposition were.

Several myths about early Christian persecution will be unraveled, and there will be a look at the scattered evidence for the Roman emperors’ involvement in the persecution.

The forum starts at 9:15 a.m. Sunday; Ted Brookes will present.

Vacation Bible school starts soon

Whidbey Evangelical Free Church in Greenbank will present its summer vacation Bible school in August.

The theme is “Come travel Route 254,” based on Psalm 25:4: “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths.”

The Bible school is for ages 4 through the sixth grade, and runs Aug. 2-6.

For more information, call the church at 222-3211.

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