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Dead Sea Scrolls will be topic at UU Fellowship

By Jean Strahlendorf
Special to The PREVIEW

On May 4, the Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will present a talk entitled “The Dead Sea Scrolls,” presented by Julie Loar.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of nearly 1,000 texts discovered between 1946 and 1956 at Khirbet Qumran on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in Israel. The scrolls were found inside caves, and nine of the scrolls were rediscovered at the Israel Antiquities Authority in 2014, after they had been stored unopened for six decades following their excavation.

The texts are of great historical, religious and linguistic significance because they include the earliest known surviving manuscripts of works later included in the Hebrew Bible canon, along with other manuscripts that preserve evidence of the diversity of religious thought in late Second Temple Judaism.

The texts are written in Hebrew, Aramaic Greek and Nabataean, mostly on parchment but some papyrus and bronze. The manuscripts have been dated between 408 BCE and 318 CE. The scrolls have traditionally been identified with the ancient Jewish sect called Essenes.

This service will incorporate our UU principle of “A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” It is the mission of the Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship to “grow as a diverse community with differing beliefs and shared values. We seek to encourage spiritual growth and strive for compassion, justice and responsible action in our society and on our planet.”

Our speaker, Julie Loar, is an award-winning author, has served on the steering committee of the Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and has been our director of religious education.

The Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship sponsors a children’s spiritual educational program and encourages families with children to please join us for our Sunday service. Our children’s religious programs teach our Unitarian Universalist heritage, ethical living, moral precepts to love your neighbor, work for a better world and to search for truth with an open mind. We also offer a number of inter-generational program activities. Arts and crafts projects also are utilized to illustrate these principles.

The service begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall. The address is Unit B-15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa Boulevard by the fire station, then left into the back parking lot and look for the big sign. All are welcome.

This story was posted on May 1, 2014.