Briefly In Religion

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Laguna Beach welcomes Hector Villagra to its pulpit Sunday to speak on "Freedom of Religion and Beliefs."

Villagra was recently appointed to replace Ramona Ripston, who headed the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. Previously, Villagra was director of the ACLU's Orange County office. During his tenure there, he handled cases involving religious freedom. In 2009, he handled the lawsuit against Laguna Beach relating to the no-camping ordinance.

After services, the Fellowship continues their practice of "Sandwich Sunday," which gives attendees the opportunity to become better acquainted with their speaker in a question-and-answer period. The charge of $5 for the lunch is used to provide meals for those staying at the Alternative Sleeping Location.


Hear about St. Francis' history

The Laguna Beach Historical Society President Anne Frank and Bishop Percy Wise Clarkson's granddaughter Jessica De Stefano will present "St. Francis-by-the-Sea Cathedral Chapel" from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday at the Laguna Beach City Hall Council Chambers, 505 Forest Ave. There is no charge.

Frank is also a member of the Heritage Committee. She will speak about the history of St. Francis-by-the-Sea American Catholic Church and the process of putting it on the National Register of Historical Places. There are only two structures in Laguna Beach on the National Register of Historical Places, the other being Villa Rockledge.

"The structure, built in 1933, was constructed from earthquake remnants by the followers of the Bishop Percy Wise Clarkson," according to the Laguna Beach Historic Resources Inventory. "He had been removed from the traditional Episcopal church next door to this structure and he joined the American Catholic church."


What's holding you back?

Susan Marx will lead " Let Go of Limiting Beliefs — Step into Greater Clarity" at 7 p.m. Wednesday as part of Neighborhood Congregational Church's weekly study of different spiritual practices.

"It's only our beliefs that hold us back," Marx said.

Marx invites participants and observers to join her as she asks a different set of questions: "What if you could let go of the thoughts, the beliefs that are holding you back?"

Marx will present her technique in Neighborhood Church's Bridge Hall, 340 St. Ann's Drive, with free parking behind the church. For more information, call (949) 494-8061 or visit

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