Offerings — A study on authors Collapse of the Three-Story Universe and a parenting course will be featured in a popular Wednesday evening series

North Valley Friends Church will kick off the year with a pair of new offerings for its Wednesdays With Friends series during the winter months.

The family-oriented activity night at the church includes a low-cost meal at 5:30 p.m., followed by activities for all members of the family beginning at 6:30.

New for this winter are a pair of adult classes, the first exploring the relationship between the Christian world view and modern science through the study of author Daniel Wolpert’s “The Collapse of the Three-Story Universe.”

For families with children between infant and 8 years old, Chehalem Family and Youth Services resident psychologist Justin Westbrook will lead a parenting class that will blend the features of a support group and parenting education.

Pastor Paul Bock, who handles youth and adult education, along with community life, at North Valley Friends, has been friends with Wolpert for many years.

After reading through the book a couple of times, Bock brought the idea of doing a book study to the church’s adult education committee, which agreed that it would be a good direction in which to move.

Bock approached Wolpert about the possibility of Skyping with the class to explore the books’ major theme of reconciling the traditional Christian world view — heaven as up, Earth in the middle and hell as below — with the modern scientific understanding of reality.

The pair of friends hope to engage those already in the church who may be hesitant about discussing a faith built on an understanding that science has told them to be false. They also hope to frame the discussion for use in interfaith dialogues, that perhaps there is a better way, through the use of a common image of the universe, for people to relate to each.

Wolpert worked as a research scientist, psychologist and spiritual director, a farmer, a teacher and a construction worker before earning a master’s degree in divinity at San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS). Over the past 25 years he has taught in the fields of psychology and spiritual formation.

The class will be offered Jan. 15, 22 and 29, followed by sessions on Feb. 5, 19 and 26. The book can be purchased at a special price from the author by calling the church office at 503-538-5340.

Westbrook, who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and a master’s degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, will offer parents a curriculum built around evidence-based parenting over the course of 13 weeks. The aim is to foster a greater understanding of one’s child though parenting classes, a support network of other parents and learning skills like stress management and communication.

Free childcare will be provided. For more information, call Westbrook at 503-538-4874, send him an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or email the church office at [email protected] org.

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