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May 2017 News Reports

Directory gathers numbers, seeks partners

As of late April, there were only three boxes left of the 2016-17 Resource Directory, because there have been so many requests for it this year.

Directory editor Malcolm Haworth said that The Fig Tree will increase publication to at least 13,000 and maybe more to meet demand with the 2017-18 edition.

Staff and volunteers are contacting community agencies, preschools and schools, health care services, senior services, civic services, outreach ministries, government programs and others who are listed in and use the Resource Directory to confirm the number of copies they are distributing and would like to have available to clients and staff.

“Our hope is to have firm numbers by summer, so we can coordinate deliveries by truck with a local nonprofit.  We are seeking partnerships with underwriters to fund copies and transportation,” said Malcolm.

“We are developing proposals for options for partnering and will be flexible so we can meet interests of different organizations and underwriters,” he said.

The Fig Tree also seeks volunteers to help with research and editing in May and June.

For information, call 535-1813 or email

Runners raise funds to educate children

This year for the first time, Austin Zimmerman is running in Bloomsday on Sunday, May 7, as part of a “Run for Her Life” benefit to raise funds for children’s education in Nepal.

About 25 runners who support the Conscious Connections Foundation (CCF)’s Power of 5 will run. Many are regular Bloomsday runners.

Each year, the Power of 5 raises $25,000 to provide educational stipends to help more than 100 girls in Nepal stay in school. “Run for Her Life” is a new approach.

“To date, our small nonprofit has provided financial support to keep 590 children in school,” said Austin, explaining that 31 million primary-school-aged girls globally are unable to attend school.

“It takes $10 to keep a girl in Nepal in school for a month, $120 for a year. Even the smallest donation means a life of opportunity for these girls,” Austin said.

CCF grew out of Ganesh Himal Trading Company, which has worked with crafts people in Nepal since 1984 to sell fair trade clothing, accessories and crafts.

Out of their relationships, Denise Attwood and Ric Conner, co-owners of Ganesh Himal Trading, became interested in supporting education for girls.  The Power of 5 was started in 2012 and became a nonprofit in 2014.

Partners in Nepal understand that the Power of 5 focuses on educating girls, but they have opened their program to educate boys in need, too, said Austin, a member of the CCF board and on the Ganesh Himal staff.

Her running team seeks to raise $1,200, enough to educate 10 girls for a year. Other teams running are from Ganesh Himal, Whitman College and Whitworth University.

Those who wish to sponsor a team can pledge or donate online at the CCF website. For information, call 448-6561 or visit

FAN Spring Summits develop plans for advocacy

The Faith Action Network (FAN) will  hold Spring Summits in Spokane and Yakima.

The Spokane Spring Summit will be held from 3 to 5 p.m., Sunday, May 21, at the West Central Episcopal Mission, 1832 W. Dean Ave.

The Yakima Spring Summit will be from 3 to 5 p.m., Sunday, May 7, at Englewood Christian Church, 511 N. 44th Ave.

FAN’s advocating faith communities across the state come together for annual Spring Summits to discuss issues participants care about and future advocacy plans.

This year, there will be opportunities to meet in issue work groups and connect with people in each district.

“Together, we look for new ways to be more effective at creating lasting change,” said Paul Benz and Elise DeGooyer, co-directors of FAN.

“We will look at how FAN’s legislative agenda fared in 2017 and craft next year’s agenda with issues your faith community wants us to consider,” they said.

There will also be discussion on FAN’s new effort to establish work groups around specific issues—economic justice, criminal justice, the environment, health care and more.

For information, call 206-625-9790 or email

Workshop addresses Doctrine of Discovery

A “Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery” workshop will be offered from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, May 13, at St. John’s Cathedral, 127 E. 12th Ave.

David Hacker, priest at Christ Church in Zillah, Wash., and director of Between the Ridges, an ecumenical collaborative effort, is leading the workshop.

The program reviews the history and ongoing impact of the doctrine on indigenous communities.  It has roots in 15th-century Papal Bulls and theological statements that justified the “Age of Discovery” and continues to “undergird systems of privilege and oppression,” said David.

The workshop explores the dehumanization, exploitation and genocide of indigenous peoples globally.   

Several denominations and the World Council of Churches Executive Committee have repudiated the doctrine in recent years, he said. Faith leaders will tell of education efforts to develop a “post-colonial theology” and discover ways to act in solidarity with indigenous communities.

Between the Ridges teams offer the workshop to businesses, nonprofits, schools, community groups and congregations.

For information, call 509-961-4692 or email

CROP rep suggests ways to be involved

Amber Blake, community engagement specialist for Church World Service in Portland, recently expressed appreciation for the Spokane CROP Hunger Walk, which over 38 years raised more than $714,000 for hunger locally and around the world.

In Spokane, funds raised went to agencies like Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels, Second Harvest of the Inland Northwest, Mid-City Concerns Meals on Wheels and the Interfaith Hospitality Network/Family Promise.

“This year, the Spokane CROP Hunger Walk organizers are taking a break for the first time in nearly four decades,” said Amber, who is recruiting people to help organize a CROP Hunger Walk in 2018.  She invites individuals and groups to find ways to help in 2017.  For example, a congregation can take a CROP offering and encourage members to walk on their own time.

Church World Service, she said, reports that “the need is greater than ever this year to stand together as we seek to preempt the extreme situations that create displacement and refugees.

“By bringing food to families in times of scarcity and by bringing water to communities in times of drought, we help people reclaim their livelihoods so they aren’t forced to look elsewhere,” she said. 

“Given the current climate, we may need to increase resources and services in refugee camps, so food, water and shelter can continue to be safely and sustainably provided,” she said.

She said CROP walks are a meaningful way to provide resources, because “there is power in the symbolism of walking at a time when an unprecedented number of people have to walk for resources and safety.”

For information, call 503-468-6220 or email

Institute will host hate studies conference

Gonzaga University’s Institute of Hate Studies will host the Fourth International Conference on Hate Studies, “Engaging with Communities of Justice,” Oct. 19 to 21, said Kristine Hoover, the institute’s director.

She is announcing it in May, because there is a May 31 deadline for presenters to submit proposals yo lead academic forums on hate, related social problems, and ways to create socially just and inclusive communities.

Registrations are due Sept. 15.

The conference convenes leading academics, journalists, law enforcement personnel, educators, representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations, human rights experts, community organizers, activists, students and others to discuss hatred and ways to engage communities with justice.

Conference presentations and topics will include research, education, practice and advocacy.

“If hate is understood better, the result can have real-world impact, including creating models for changes in society, government, culture and our individual and communal lives,” said Kristine.

The conference is sponsored by the Spokane County Human Rights Task Force, the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, and the Gonzaga Institute of Hate Studies.

For information, email

Symphony plans concert series in churches

The Spokane Symphony is adding two concert series to its 2017-2018 Season.

One, a two-concert Baroque Series created by Eckart Preu, music director, will be performed in area churches in December and March.

The second is The M Show: Music Mayhem and Mystery, a two-concert series created by Mateusz Wolski, concertmaster, for January and May.

The Baroque Series features a chamber orchestra performing works from the Baroque period in two churches. The Spokane Symphony Chorale joins the ensemble for the first concert, “A Festive Baroque Christmas,” featuring music for Christmas and Handel’s Royal Fireworks Music. The performances are Dec. 9 and 10.

The second concert, “Venice: The Magical City,” features music by Viennese composers on March 17 and 18, 2018.

The M-Show pairs classical virtuosity with humor and surprises. Wolski, a video-gamer and race-car driver, will integrate his thirst for adventure, intrigue and artistic collaborations.  The concerts are Jan. 19 and 20, 2018. A second program is May 24 and 25, 2018.    

For information, call 624-1200 or visit

New Hope auction to raise funds for building

New Hope Baptist Church is holding a Benefit Auction in Celebration of Pastor Happy Watkins from 4 to 8 p.m., Saturday, May 6, at the Spokane Eagles Lodge, 6410 N. Lidgerwood.

The event is raising funds for the purchase of the new home for the church.  The benefit features Northwest Entertainers, a fashion show, Gospel music, refreshments and a live auction.

For information, visit

Low-income housing is topic for TV panel

The “Successful Aging in the Northwest” program on Community-Minded TV will present a panel discussion to assess housing availability for low-income seniors 55 and older from 3 to 5 p.m., Tuesday, May 30, at Community Minded Enterprises (CME), 104 W. 3rd Ave., Suite B.

CME is leading the assessment project and will provide a facilitator to complete the staff.  The organization is seeking representatives from other organizations providing services for low-income seniors.

The meeting of representatives will be televised on CMTV 14. Ben Cabildo of CMTV 14 invites people to let him know by May 15 if they will participate.

For information, call 960-7458 or email

Musicians give concert and workshops

Musicians and teachers Devi and Allaudin Mathieu will present a concert and workshops Friday through Sunday, May 12 to 14, in Spokane. These music masters bring insight and spiritual energy to their teaching and music-making, said Quan Yin Lynne Williams of the Baraka Sufi Community, which is hosting the couple. 

Allaudin, a pianist, composer, author and teacher, leads spiritual songs and rounds, demonstrating how music relates to daily life.  She leads gatherings for singers of all levels to sing St. Hildegard of Bingen’s music as contemplative practice.

Devi sings medieval, contemporary and traditional music of the U.S. and Europe, coaches singers, leads song circles and directs ensembles.  In 1969, he founded the Sufi Choir, which he directed until 1982.

They will give a concert from 7 to 9 p.m., Friday, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4340 W. Ft. Wright Dr., and will lead a workshop there from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday.  Their choral workshop will be from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Greystone, 1122 E. 20th Ave.  For information, call 710-0715 or 979-4288.

Chaplains receive intensive training in Spokane

Thirty-two chaplains from across the U.S. attended an intensive National Police and Fire Chaplain Academy (NPFCA) April 24 to 28 at Valley Bible Church, 3021 S. Sullivan Rd.

One of the only academies of its kind in the U.S., it trains police and fire chaplains through a 50-hour program that includes death notification, suicide, line of duty death, stress and burnout, forensics, fire operations, chaplain safety and the basics of radio and dispatch, funeral homes, medical examiners and coroners.

Most of the men and women attending volunteer as chaplains, said Chaplain Stuart Vogelman, NPFCA executive director. They are from Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Alaska, California, Tennessee and Texas.

Highlights included a tour of the Washington State Patrol forensics lab at Eastern Washington University, a police ride-along and safety demonstrations.

For information, visit

World Relief is Bloomsday’s official nonprofit

World Relief is the official nonprofit Bloomsday is sponsoring this year.

As an expression of welcome and solidarity with refugees in the community, World Relief Spokane is selling “I Run with Refugees” T-shirts and encouraging people to wear these shirts during the annual Bloomsday events Saturday and Sunday, May 6 to 7 and beyond, said Nancy Goodwin, the church mobilizer for World Relief (WR).

Some T-shirts also say “Welcome Refugees” in 11 languages.

Proceeds from T-shirt sales will  provide resettlement, employment and legal support to refugees and immigrants in the Spokane area.

T-shirts are available at the WR office, 1522 N. Washington Suite 200, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays to Wednesdays and Fridays and at the Bloomsday trade fair.

For information, call 484-9829, visit WR’s Facebook page or email

COR plans 2017 Summer Seminar Series

“When Rose-Colored Glasses Distort the Truth: The Wisdom of Multiple Perspectives,” is the theme for the Summer Seminar Series 2017 of the Center for Organizational Reform (COR).

The 20 half-day workshops will be held from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., June 12 to 16 and June 19 to 23 at COR, 222 W. Mission.

“COR assumes individuals, although sharing some universal characteristics, are always radically different from each other in ways that deserve respect,” said Nancy Isaacson, director.

She said COR teaches how to see things in more ways than the default perspectives.

“At COR, we call this approach ‘using the lenses’,” she said, “and we’ve identified ways of defining the lenses. The more lenses people can use, the better they are at making their point, seeing others’ worldviews and generating more decision options,” Nancy said.

For information, visit or email