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Editorial Reflections

Making connections is about people power, sharing that empowers

It takes people to make connections.  Readers who become sponsors have helped us make connections for 29 years. 

The ecumenical and interfaith content in our monthly newspaper, website, social media, annual resource directory and face-to-face gatherings is about people connecting—sharing ideas, insights, projects, ministries of caring, faith and values.

Ecumenical means we are connected with God’s whole inhabited earth.  Some folks live faithfully, and some don’t.  When some media play on the worst of human actions related to faith—the sensational, unusual, sexy, conflicts that divide people—it makes faith seem invalid.

Making connections with people who are making a difference empowers us to find our calling.  We connect people with stories about the best of human nature, the creative ways people serve.  Despite people who do devastating things, many people do miraculous things, bringing healing, protection, reconciliation and restoration.  It’s human nature to seek solutions, relationships, justice and peace.  It’s incredible the innovative solutions people of this region to develop.  Our media share stories of those solutions, kind acts and risky resistance.

We engage people, spark thinking and invite action so people step beyond being traumatized or paralyzed as victims or bystanders of injustice.

In this issue, we raise awareness on such issues as protecting children, foster care, legal services, L’Arche communities, veterans’ struggles and resisting genocide.  Themes of welcoming, partnering, caring, forgiving, empowering, understanding,  respecting and serving connect the stories.

Events share many efforts to overcome hate and prejudice, to end sexual assaults, to feed the hungry, to nurture children, to learn about global issues, to shop responsibly, to act nonviolently and to care for the earth. 

Food banks and feeding programs seek to meet increasing hunger needs.  Urban and rural communities from the Cascades to Montana intersect with farmers’ markets and community gardens.

Connections in print and online are clear.  Each story ends with a phone number, email or website to help people connect.  Directory listings invite people to connect on common concerns and interests.

Often people share something with me, and I become a resource, connecting them with someone I interviewed.

Being interfaith, we have differences, but we also share common ground.  We connect people to gain insights across our faiths and across the many places we are on our journeys with our faith and values.

Making connections is also about the “Aha!” of connecting ideas.  What I see in a story may not be what others see as their lives and faith journeys intersect with the content.  It’s in God’s hands.

Making connections empowers us to speak in solidarity with victims, to empower them to move from survival to share their stories and educate others to keep the cycle of caring going.

The Benefit Breakfast and Lunch are times to gather to share who we are and to build our base of support.  About 350 attended, donating $17,540 of $18,500 budgeted.  We also have $15,000 budgeted to come from sponsors, who give throughout the year.  We have also set a goal to raise a $30,000 for our 30th year, to build a legacy fund to support additional staff.

We celebrate our story sharers, sponsors, advertisers, volunteers, board, planners, readers and circulation boosters. 

We hope our stories help people think, reflect and connect, so they can be voices of hope in their settings.  We hope our readers are inspired to spread excitement about our media with others.  Anyone can share extra copies of The Fig Tree, Resource Directories or brochures to introduce The Fig Tree to others.  The “Making Connections” video is available at www.thefigtree.org.

Through The Fig Tree, we multiply voices to spread more action-inspiring hope.  We hope readers will help us multiply our reach and expand readership.  Making connections is about people power. 

Mary Stamp - Editor



Copyright © April 2013 - The Fig Tree