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CHARLESTON -- Roger and Miriam Whitlow have become co-presidents of the Unitarian Fellowship of Charleston. The fellowship gathers in the meeting area of Bob's Bookstore at 303 Lincoln Ave. on the second Sunday of each month.

The next meeting will be at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Anyone is welcome to attend and hear a variety of socio-religious topics presented by Dr. Whitlow, as well as numerous guest speakers. The topic of this first meeting of the new series will be "The History and Contributions of Unitarianism."

Whitlow says that Unitarianism, one of the oldest Western religions, relies on what our best knowledge allows us to know and verify. Most Unitarians, for example, find matters like the true nature or presence of God, an afterlife, and performed miracles, simply unknowable.

What they are confident in, however, as confirmed in dozens of standard, non- theological histories, is that there was a man called "Jesus of Galilee," who had an extraordinary impact on his time as a teacher of simple human tolerance, generosity, and kindness.

These many sources trace the vast expansion of followers, who, at this particularly brutal time politically, carried the welcome teachings of Jesus throughout much of the Middle-East, and later throughout the world. And Unitarians still today believe, and strive to live, these simple, basic teachings, without the entanglement of competing mystical trappings that have been added by the hundreds over the centuries.

Dr. Roger Whitlow is a retired professor from EIU, researcher and author of several books including “Black American Literature: A Critical History,” “Many Yankee Faces: Aspects of Modern Writing in the Work of Ernest Hemingway, Henry James, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Erskine Caldwell,” “Cassandra's Daughters: The Women in Hemingway” and “The Darker Vision: A Socio-critical History of Nineteenth-Century Fiction written by Black Americans.”

Those with questions should contact Connie Buchenroth at 217-218-9567 or connieb4u@gmail.com.

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