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Search The Fig Tree's stories of people who make a difference:

Sounding Board

Speakers at benefit events share insights on The Fig Tree

The Fig Tree is motivated by a strong sense of God’s call to use gifts to fulfill unmet needs in the community.  Its stories of people of all walks of life who are attempting to further God’s kingdom make Spokane a better place.  The Fig Tree’s belief that individuals and institutions can make a difference in the lives of people have been an inspiration to me and to countless people.

The Pacific Northwest is known for its secular character as the least churched region of the United States.  The religious voice is overlooked and diminished, but The Fig Tree offers a prophetic word in this secular culture.  It sheds light on causes, issues and people who are motivated by their religious convictions to make a difference in the world.

The Fig Tree recently uplifted the Rev. C. W. Andrews and his wife, Doris, who have served in Spokane for 40 years on behalf of their congregation, Calvary Baptist.  They have stood by countless individuals, black and white, as they have struggled to find food, shelter and clothing and as they encounter the unfair justice system.

Link to Dale Soden comments on the Fig Tree Youtube Channel

Give generously to support this institution, which helps give people a voice in the community and offers a prophetic word.

Dale Soden
Whitworth history professor


Mary Stamp is a person with courage and vision, a person in the work for the long haul.  Her sensitivity, deep faith and great hope have served the region’s ecumenical community well.

Vatican II Council’s Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World says the joys and hopes, griefs and anguish of people in our times, especially the poor and vulnerable, are the joys and hopes, griefs and anguish of every Christian. 

The Fig Tree expresses our interconnectedness with humanity. Stories of people in every church are connected with humanity and with people around the country. 

As I have traveled around the country, I have not seen any other ecumenical newspaper like The Fig Tree. 

I love the theme, “Empowering People.” The subthemes are also important: hope, action and justice. Hope is vision for the future and a dream of what can be.  The Fig Tree expresses hope in ecumenical and interreligious endeavors, as we come together and get to know one another. 

Justice is the right ordering of relationships.  Imagine how the culture and world would change if we could effect the right ordering of relationships.  We have work to do for the dream and vision to come to be.

We look to the promise yet to be, we need to act and we need to know each other better.  That deepens our relationships and our appreciation of one another in our different faith communities. 

Link to Bishop Emeritus Skylstad comments on Fig Tree YouTube Channel

Be generous. Generosity plants seeds for the future.  We never know what the crop will be, but we know God will give the increase.

Bishop Emeritus William Skylstad
of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane


What The Fig Tree does fits with what United Way is doing:

• United Way talks with people about their aspirations.  We hear that people want to live in a safe place where people care, support and create opportunities for each other.  The Fig Tree does that and fosters a sense of community.

• The Fig Tree is a connector.  Connections the Fig Tree makes with us in our reading and meeting gives us a sense of belonging.  It sustains us as we reach out to others. If we want to change things in our community, we have to do it by working together.

• The Fig Tree is a platform for caring. 

• The Fig Tree represents a commitment to do better to help people improve their lives, embracing the past but having foresight to say we have to do more, we have to change and we have to be relevant.

Link to Janice Marich comments on the Fig Tree YouTube Channel

Janice Marich
United Way of Spokane County


Often people ask teens, “What’s wrong with you?”  At Crosswalk, we ask a different question, “What’s right with you?”  Crosswalk helps kids see their own strengths and capabilities.  This question is the starting point for teens’ lives.

This is how The Fig Tree and VOA are alike.  The Fig Tree shines light on what is right in our neighborhoods, communities, our country and the world, emphasizing hope and illustrating the good. 

Like Crosswalk, The Fig Tree helps people understand each other, breaks through divisions, connects people, stirs compassion and opens a dialogue that benefits everyone.  It not only backs up the work of local nonprofits like ours, but also it amplifies our efforts to transform Spokane and the people who live and work here.

Link to Bridget Cannon comments on the Fig Tree YouTube Channel

Bridget Cannon VOA’s
Crosswalk teen shelter


Most of the 14 years I’ve taught media literacy at Whitworth, I’ve been on the board for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media, which has recognized Mary Stamp and The Fig Tree for promoting media literacy and media responsibility.

The Fig Tree is a consistent partner in promoting both media literacy and alternative voices in the region.  It does so without the acrimony of most media, without trying to sell you something or using fear to do it. 

Given media influence on our culture, the NWARM believes this power requires the responsibility of stewardship.

As users of media, we also have a responsibility for stewardship, for maintaining and protecting alternative and positive media that don’t scare us and that show us we can make a difference.

Link to Jim McPherson comments on the Fig Tree YouTube Channel

Jim McPherson,
Whitworth journalism professor



When I began as bishop, someone in an open forum asked what my detailed strategy and mission were.  I said that at the heart of what we do is communication.

We need each other and need to be connected with each other and our interfaith communities.  What we do as community is about connection, collaboration, cooperation and communication. 

The Fig Tree is a great resource as a professional publication. It is about public participation in the community to make things happen.   It links us to stories and to each other.  It provides critical leadership and makes a difference.  It informs and inspires us. It builds our community.

When I traveled on weekends in my early years, I distributed Fig Trees to churches.  I’m a believer and a supporter.  Join me in giving thanks for this unique, essential ministry, and give generously to serve the faith communities and the whole community.  This ministry changes communities for the better.

Link to Bishop Jim Waggoner comments on Fig Tree YouTube Channel

Bishop Jim Waggoner
Episcopal Diocese of Spokane


Over my seven years in Spokane, I have seen the tremendous impactof The Fig Tree in our community.  Even before my ministry as an associate dean at Whitworth and my election as the first woman president of the Spokane Ministers’ Fellowship were featured in The Fig Tree, I still looked forward to getting it.  There was always someone I knew featured.  There are always uplifting stories about ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things.

I’ve lived in other places around the country, but I have never seen another community newspaper devoted to the faith community that is the quality of The Fig Tree, highlighting stories of people sharing their values, promoting justice and making a difference in the lives of others through their acts of service.

Stories are powerful.  The Fig Tree does a great job of gathering human-interest stories that exemplify faith in action, stories that empower, inspire and keep us informed of the great things our brothers and sisters are doing to make Spokane a better place to live.

Link to Roberta Wilburn comments on Fig Tree YouTube Channel

Roberta Wilburn, president
Spokane Ministers’ Fellowship

Copyright © April 2014 - The Fig Tree