Regional, local leaders link faith and advocacy
Sixteen regional and local faith and advocacy leaders will speak and lead workshops for the 2019 Eastern Washington Legislative Conference from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, at Spokane Valley United Methodist Church, 115 N. Raymond.
Focusing discussion on the theme for the gathering, "Inform, Inspire, Involve," the Rev. Jim CastroLang, Eastern Washington representative on the Faith Action Network (FAN) Board and member of the planning committee, will moderate a panel discussion on how religious grounding helps generate policies that improve lives and society.
Panelists are Bishop Gretchen Rehberg of the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane since March 2017, the Rev. Walter Kendricks, pastor of Morningstar Baptist Church since 2013 and president of the Spokane Ministers' Fellowship, DR Michel, a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes who is executive director of the Upper Columabia United Tribes, and Bishop Emeritus William Skylstad of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane.
Workshops will deal with issues of health care, the environment, gun safety, immigration, taxes and homelessness.
• Paul Benz, co-director of the Faith Action Network, will discuss health care and nutrition.
• Jessica Zimmerle, program and outreach director of Earth Ministry Washington Interfaith Power and Light, will offer insights on environmental issues coming before the Washington State Legislature. She supports the Greening Congregations and Colleague Connection programs, engaging the religious community in advocacy on chemical safety, fossil fuels, public lands and more.
• Judy Byron, OP, who is program director with the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center and the Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment, will lead a session on gun safety.
• Ryan Murphy, from Save the Children Action Network, will discuss immigration and family separations. He spent two years volunteering at an orphanage in rural Honduras and teaching second grade at the community school. He experienced an escalation of violence and poverty there.
• Jim Dawson, program director of Fuse Washington's statewide organizing efforts and leadership development, will address tax and revenue issues.
• Homelessness engagement and advocacy is the theme for the workshop led by Lyn Vital, an alumna of Myriam's House, and Liv Larson Andrews, pastor of Salem Lutheran Church ,which recently opened its gym as a warming shelter for 60 people.
After lunch will be a briefing on issues coming before the 2019 Washington State Legislature with Paul Benz, co-director of the Faith Action Network (FAN), and Donna Christensen of the Washington State Catholic Conference.
Ryan of Save the Children Network will also give a presentation on tools for effective advocacy.
Miriam Berkman, former president of Congregation Emmanu-el, will offer the invocation.
Happy Watkins, pastor emeritus of New Hope Baptist, will give the blessing at lunch.
Mike Denton, conference minister of the Pacific Northwest United Church of Christ, will lead the closing reflection and prayer.
The event will also include a resource fair with displays brought by various community agencies.
The Fig Tree partners with Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington, Faith Action Network of Washington, Spokane District of the Pacific Northwest United Methodist Conference, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, NAACP Spokane and Earth Ministries to plan the event.
To RSVP, send $20 ($15 each for a group of five or more) to The Fig Tree, 1323 S. Perry St., Spokane, WA 99202, or call and pay at the door. For an extra donation, community agencies may bring displays to share in a resource fair.
For information, call 535-1813, email email@example.com or share the flier at thefigtree.org/FigTreeEvent.pdf.
Area communities teach, remember, march, share resources for MLK Day
Spokane plans service, rally, march, resource fair
Spokane's Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Service, Rally, March and Resource Fair are planned for Sunday and Monday, Jan. 20 and 21.
Joe Wittwer, who has been lead pastor at Life Center Foursquare Church in Spokane since 1978, will speak at the Commemoration Service at 4 p.m., Sunday, at Holy Temple Church of God in Christ, 806 W. Indiana, said the Rev. James Watkins of the Spokane Ministers' Fellowship, which plans that event. The offering from the service will go to the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center.
The Rally and March begin at 10 a.m., and the Resource Fair runs from noon to 2 p.m., on Monday, at the Spokane Convention Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
For information, call 868-0856 or visit mlkspokane.org.
Events commemorate MLK in Moscow
The University of Idaho and the Office of Multicultural Affairs celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and legacy through several events commemorating the values of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service that defined his character and empowered his leadership,along with the values of universal, unconditional love, forgiveness and nonviolence that empowered his revolutionary spirit.
For information, call 208-885-7716 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Idaho 5th graders attend MLK program
The 34th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 5th Grade Children's Program sponsored by the Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls school districts, the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations and North Idaho College will be held at 9:30 a.m. and at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15, at the North Idaho College Schuler Performing Arts Center.
Nationally recognized educator and actor Stu Cabe will entertain the students with his performance of the story, "Big Elephant and Little Elephant," to teach the principles of kindness, inclusion and care for others. The children will present essays, dance and music.
For information, call 208-765-3932.
Ibram Kendi speaks at WSU in Pullman
New York Times bestselling author and history professor Ibram X. Kendi is the keynote speaker for the 32nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Program at 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 17, at the CUB Senior Ballroom at Washington State University in Pullman.
Ibram, 36, founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, seeks to reveal the root of racism, which he says is not hate or ignorance, but policies people are not aware are discriminatory.
Born in Queens, New York, he attended Florida A & M and then Temple University in Philadelphia, earning a doctoral degree in African-American studies. Before entering research and academia, he embarked on his journey to address racism.
He is the author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America and will publish his third book in 2019.
He has also been the post doctorate fellow at the National Academy of Education, the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis and the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.
Ibram has taught at Brown University, the University of Chicago, Princeton, Duke, UCLA, SUNY New York, the University of Florida and currently American University.
In addition to the speaker, WSU's MLK Art for Social Change Competition recognizes the role of art in advancing social justice.
The competition seeks artistic submissions that provoke, challenge and inspire to call attention to the need to recognize the inequality that persists in the world today and the necessity to envision and build a new world. Creative works and submission forms are due Friday, Jan. 11.
For information, call 339-6172 or visit mlk.wsu.edu.
Kazi Joshua presents Walla Walla event
Guest speaker Kazi Joshua will present a community event, "It Is Not Clear What We Shall Become," in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day at 11 a.m., Monday, Jan. 21, at Walla Walla University Church, 212 SW 4th St. in College Place.
For information, call 527-2273 or email email@example.com.
Yakima pastor leads city-wide service, march
The city-wide Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Service will be held at 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 20, at Central Lutheran Church, 1602 W. Yakima Ave. in Yakima.
The 34th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Peace March begins at 11:45 a.m., Monday, Jan. 21, at Fifth Ave. and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Yakima.
The Rev. Robert Trimble, who is helping organize the events, said that King's birthday should be honored in a special way, because he was more than a great black leader.
"He was a great American leader whose human rights victories have directly benefited millions of women, other people of color, the aged and the handicapped across the country," he said. "His prophetic life should not be dishonored with a weekend of frivolity and good times.
"It should be a day of study, reflection and learning about our historical struggles against racism in this country," he said.
Robert believes that's important in order to confront the growing devastation of the black community and to remember that massive unemployment, segregated housing, separate education, increased militarism and cooperation with the former racist South Africa were issues King addressed.
"The legacy of King isn't just the work he did, but what he left for others to carry on to build on his dream and create the beloved community," he said.
He urges people to honor King's life and work by pledging to do all they can to "make America and the world a place where equality, justice, freedom and peace flourish."
For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Temple hosts 'Meet the Neighbors' film
Temple Beth Shalom is partnering with the Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience to hold Meet the Neighbors at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21, at Temple Beth Shalom, 1322 E. 30th.
Because 2018 is the 800th anniversary of the meeting between the Sultan of Egypt and St. Francis of Assisi in the midst of the Crusades, the program will be a showing of the documentary, "The Sultan and the Saint," said Pam Silverstein, who is helping coordinate the event. A panel with Christian, Jewish and Muslim speakers will discuss the film.
For information, call 747-3304.
Two groups plan 'Why Race Matters' workshop
Families against Bigotry and the Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience are planning a workshop on "Why Race Matters" from 1 to 8 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 10, at Veradale United Church of Christ, 611 N. Progress Rd.
The event is designed for parents, teens and teachers.
A multi-racial team facilitating the "Why Race Matters" workshop uses the three-part documentary, "Race: The Power of an Illusion" to frame discussion.
Participants will look at the common beliefs about race, advantage and justice; define explicit and implicit biases, uncover the roots of the race concept in North America and discuss local examples of institutional racism.
The workshop addresses how racial inequities are built into U.S. institutions and structures, why it is important to use a racial equity lens, and what people can do to advance racial equity in their organizations and communities.
The interactive workshop offers participants a collective understanding of the difference between structural, institutional and individual racism. It discusses the difference between equity and equality, shares examples of institutional racism in the Spokane Region, and suggests solutions and next steps.
The "Why Race Matters" workshops are facilitated through Greater Spokane Progress for regional organizations to develop collective understanding and common language around institutional and structural racism.
Greater Spokane Progress' Racial Equity Committee offers eight-hour trainings and two-day, four-hour trainings.
For information, call 624-5657 or email email@example.com.
The Fig Tree is recruiting hosts for benefit tables
The Fig Tree is signing up volunteers to host tables with eight guests each for the annual Benefit Lunch and Benefit Breakfast. It is also seeking event sponsors to help cover costs.
The goal is to have 35 tables, because this year is the 35th anniversary of The Fig Tree newspaper—founded in the spring of 1984 under the former Spokane Christian Coalition.
"35 Years of Informing, Inspiring and Involving" is the 2019 theme for the video and speakers.
For information, call 535-1813 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New 24/7 crisis line was activated on January 1
A new 24/7 Regional Behavioral Health Crisis Line was activated on Jan. 1 at the toll free number of (877) 266-1818. It replaces First Call for Help, which was deactivated the same date.
Callers who dial First Call for Help will hear a message that allows them to select the new crisis line for immediate assistance or the Eastern Washington 2-1-1 resource line for information on community resources.
Frontier Behavioral Health will operate the enhanced 24/7 crisis line to serve Spokane, Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille and Stevens counties. Mental health clinicians will provide telephone triage and crisis intervention and make direct referrals to mobile crisis outreach teams including Designated Crisis Responders.
They will also connect people to outpatient behavioral health services. The new crisis line is part of the state's plan to transform publicly-funded healthcare.
For information, call 838-4651 or visit fbhwa.org.
Festival features Jewish films
The 15th Annual Spokane Jewish Cultural Film Festival, Jan. 24, 26 and 27 at Wolff Auditorium in Jepson Center at Gonzaga University, gives a glimpse of Jewish experience in three diverse films.
The films, "Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel," "Bye Bye Germany" and "Shoelaces" showcase themes of Jewish resilience, perseverance in the face of challenges and overcoming odds.
"Heading Home," in English, at 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 24, is a David-and-Goliath story of Israel's national baseball team competing in the World Baseball Classic after years of defeat.
"Bye, Bye Germany," in English and German, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26, is the story of David Bermann and his Jewish friends in 1946 in Frankfurt. They have escaped the Nazi regime and dream of leaving for America but need money and more. It explores wartime trauma and survivor guilt with playfulness and wit.
"Shoelaces," in Hebrew with English subtitles, at 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 27, tells of the complicated relationship between an aging father and the special-needs son he abandoned as a young boy. The father's kidneys are failing and the son wants to donate one of his. It's about the importance of human life and human connection.
Since 2005, the Spokane Jewish Cultural Film Festival has brought international films to Spokane to share Jewish life and culture, said Neil Schindler, director of the Spokane Area Jewish Family Services.
For information, call 747-7394, email email@example.com or visit sajfs.org/ourprograms/sjcff.