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April 2018 News Reports

Fig Tree Benefit events help raise funds, connect

The Fig Tree’s Annual Benefit Lunch and Benefit Breakfast March 9 and 14, raised $26,100 as of March 30, plus $2,950 in pledges—$29,000 toward the $30,000 basic goal for benefits.

To help reach that goal, and the stretch goal of $50,000 to provide additional staffing, summaries of the speakers’ talks about how The Fig Tree helps the region live into the theme, “Including Everyone: We Need Each Other,” are on page 11.  Their full speeches are online at under the menu item “News” and then “YouTube Videos.”
Their comments can help raise additional funds all year, said editor Mary Stamp. In addition, the benefit video with reflections of others on the role and value of the newspaper and directory is also available online.

“Several who attended volunteered to ‘share The Fig Tree story.’  The summaries in this issue and videos are tools people can use to introduce The Fig Tree to others to increase our circulation and draw more volunteers,” she said.
From the benefits, The Fig Tree added 30 new sponsors and more than 20 new volunteers.  Nearly 200 attended each event.

Individuals, congregations and organizations that host tables bring new people to introduce them, and bring long-time supporters to celebrate what The Fig Tree monthly newspaper and the annual Resource Directory mean to them. There were more than 25 hosts at each event.

“Many thanks to all the hosts, volunteers, donors, planners and others who made the event possible, and to Gonzaga University for the venue,” said Mary.  “It’s always such a time of rejoicing to bring The Fig Tree family together to reflect on what we do and why we do it.”

For information, call 535-1813 or email

Resource Directory updating is underway
The process of producing the 2018-19 Resource Directory: Guide to Congregations and Community Resources is underway.

More than half of the advertisers have confirmed as of the March 31 early deadline. The next deadline is April 30.
“We continue to reach out to the past and new advertisers to fill the space and draw the funds to support the publication,” said Malcolm Haworth, directory editor.

He has also been updating the listings based on forms that were sent out by mail and email, and based on online research.
“I encourage anyone interested in advertising and those who have not yet updated their information to contact us so that we can make the changes needed,” he said.

Agencies and businesses who were community partners for the last edition are also renewing.

“We are reaching out to more organizations and businesses to be community partners so we can publish 16,000 copies or more this year, because of the increased demand we had last year,” Malcolm said.  “We are also asking agencies and businesses to let us know how many copies they want in advance, so we publish enough.

“Each year, it has grown more popular, especially as it is used as a self-help tool by people with needs and crises,” he said.  “Part of the gap for them has been in not knowing what resources are out there to help in their situations.”
In addition, volunteers are needed to help do editing, mailing and deliveries.

For information, call 535-1813, 216-6090 or email

Human Rights banquet will be on April 20
The 21st Annual Human Rights Banquet of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations (KCTFHR) is Friday, April 20, at The Best Western Coeur d’Alene Inn, 506 W. Appleway in Coeur d’Alene.

A silent auction and reception begin at 5 p.m., followed by a dinner and program at 6:30.

Raymond Reyes, associate academic vice president and chief diversity officer for Gonzaga University, will speak on the theme of “Our Pursuit for Equality and Social Justice for the Human Race Continues.”

He is an internationally recognized authority in human rights, equity, social justice, diversity education, Indian education, sports psychology, multicultural literacy and spiritual significance of human differences.

“Raymond is one of the few Renaissance individuals with incredible compassion that I’ve met,” said Tony Stewart, KCTFHR secretary.

The evening will also include Civil Rights Awards, a live auction of a basketball signed by the 2017-2018 Gonzaga Basketball Team, and inductions into the Idaho Hall of Fame.

Banquet proceeds go to the Human Rights Education Institute (HREI) and four minority scholarships at North Idaho College.  The auction supports the KCTFHR.

For information, call 208-765-3932.

Spokane, Pullman, Moscow, Coeur d’Alene Area communities plan Earth Day events
Earth Day and Night Festival will be celebrated in Spokane with a festival and block party from 10 a.m., Saturday, April 21, to 2 p.m., Sunday, April 22, in downtown Spokane.

The festival celebrates sacred connections between the planet and people with a multi-block event bringing together “sustainable minds, local entrepreneurs, multiple stages and venues, art and vendors,” said Tara Williamson, organizer.

The Procession of the Species will take place at 2 p.m., Saturday.
“We seek more community partners and sponsors, as we build a network of entrepreneurs and artists who work continuously to improve our community,” she said.

“The idea is to gather a network of artists and small business people who are devoted to innovative work and being an example daily of sustainable change, promoting the idea that Earth Day needs to be every day,” Tara said. 
For information, call 202-9368.

The 14th Annual Pullman Stream Clean-up is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, April 21, at Spring Street Park.  Participants will join the City of Pullman Stormwater Services and the Palouse Conservation District walking along Pullman streams and removing litter and recyclables from the waterways.

The event will take place rain or shine.  Participants are encouraged to wear closed-toe shoes

For information, visit

The Mayor of Moscow, Bill Lambert, is looking for nominations for the 2018 Mayor’s Earth Day Awards. 

Candidates are people who use sustainable practices like recycling, reusing, construction or design or public education.  There are awards for businesses, students, schools, nonprofits, government and green neighbors.

For information, email

In Coeur d’Alene, there will be an Earth Day 5K and 10K Virtual Race.  Participants compete on their own—running, jogging or walking any time from April 22 to 30 on a road, treadmill, trail, gym or track. They will submit their time.

  Officials will send a medal to them.  Fifteen percent of entry fees—which include an official bib, medal and shipping—is donated to Wild Earth Allies,

Faith Action Network plans spring summits

The Faith Action Network of Washington (FAN) is planning its annual Spring Summits with advocating faith communities across the state coming together to talk about how the FAN legislative agenda fared during the past session and to make plans for priorities and actions for the rest of the year, said Paul Benz, co-director.

Yakima’s summit will be from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, May 6, at Toppenish United Methodist Church, 201 N. Beech St.
In Spokane, the summit will be from 3 to 5 p.m., Sunday, June 3, at All Saints Lutheran Church, 314 S. Spruce.
There are also summits in Vancouver and Seattle.

For information, call 206-625-9790, email or visit

Mijo Lee is speaker for PJALS Luncheon
Mijo Lee, executive director of the Social Justice Fund NW, a community foundation that funds grassroots movements for social justice, will be the keynote speaker on the theme, “Building Beyond the Moment,” for the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, May 2, at the Spokane Valley Event Center, 10514 E. Sprague Ave.

Except for five years in New York, she is a lifetime Northwesterner. As an activist and organizer, Mijo, who lives in Seattle, has worked in various movements including domestic violence advocacy, fair trade, police accountability, immigrant rights and youth organizing, and also as an appellate public defender.

She helps people realize their power as fund raisers, donors, and activists.

For information, call 838-7870, email liz or visit

Rural Ministry Resources plans workshop
Rural Ministry Resources will offer a workshop, “Pulling It Together,” from 1 p.m., Friday, April 6, to 1 p.m., Saturday, April 7, at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center, 6910 S. Ben Burr Rd.

Friday presentations include 1) “Relying on Faith,” led by Paul Palumbo and Sandy Bryant from Lake Chelan; 2) “Fifth Quarter,” led by Stacey Friedlein who works with youth in Davenport, and 3) “Dealing with Grief Six Months after Loss,” with Michelle Mitchell, a Hospice of Spokane grief counselor.

Saturday presentations include “Time for Sharing” with Freeman High School principal James Straw and discussion of restarting the Rural Ministry Network and meeting in rural communities every three to four months.  There will be a closing worship.

For information, call 509-284-6107 or email

Retreat Center plans Day of Prayer on China

Anthony Clark, history professor at Whitworth University, will lead a Day of Prayer on the Martyrs of China, “Don’t Stop Us from Dying with You! The Spirituality of China’s Martyr Saints,” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, April 18, at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center, 6910 S. Ben Burr Rd.

Anthony, who also hosted the 13-part EWTN television series, “Saints of China: Martyrs of the Middle Kingdom,” has published several books and articles on Catholicism in China, and is a contributing editor for Catholic World Report. He does research in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy and the Vatican.

For information, call 448-1224 or visit

Justice Lunchbox is on third Wednesdays

The Center for Justice has a lecture series called Justice Lunchbox at noon on third Wednesdays at 25 W. Main. 
Rick Eichstaedt, director of the center, announced that on April 18, Lisa Robbe of the Office of Developmental Disabilities Ombuds will give a presentation on “What is the Office of Developmental Disabilities Ombuds?”

 For information, call 835-5211 or email

Fair Housing Conference will be on April 26

The 2018 Inland Northwest Fair Housing Conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, April 26, at the Spokane Convention Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

The event will include celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, said Terri Anderson, director of the Northwest Fair Housing Alliance in Spokane.

For information, call 325-2665, email or visit

In April, Spokane Gives engages volunteers

Spokane Gives 2018 connects volunteers with organizations throughout April and jump starts volunteerism for the year, said Marisela Revuelta Cervantes, volunteer engagement manager with Spokane County United Way.

“Over the past three years more than 52,000 citizens have volunteered their time and talents to Spokane Gives projects, logging 274,000 hours of time, and providing an impact value worth over $6.35 million,” she said.
Spokane volunteer opportunities and mini grants for youth for up to $500 are available with information at

A project for the City of Spokane is Cleaning from the Corridor from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 28, beginning in Peaceful Valley. Other opportunities include thrift store cleaning, office cleaning, father mentoring, clothing room help, social media volunteer, indoor painting, downtown graffiti clean-up, assembling backpacks, ESL teaching, grant writing, repacking food donations, Global Youth Service Day, KYRS volunteer coordinator and much more.

For information, call 324-5020 or email

Journalist is Whitworth Forum speaker
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and New York Times best-selling author Katherine Boo will speak for Whitworth University’s spring President’s Leadership Forum, at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 24, at the Spokane Convention Center.

She has written for The New Yorker, The Washington Post and Washington Monthly, telling stories about the world’s poor and disadvantaged people.

Her reporting at The Post about group homes for intellectually disabled people won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2000.

Her New York Times best-selling book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize, won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2012 and was adapted for the stage by the National Theatre in Washington, D.C.  It tells of families striving toward a better life in the slums of Mumbai, India.

For information, call 777-3449 or visit

Senior center sets dinner and auction on April 14

“Keep the Good Going” is the theme for the Hillyard Senior Center‘s Annual Dinner and Benefit Auction at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, April 14, in the Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute event center.

For 44 years the nonprofit center has provided thousands of hours of nutritional, recreational and educational services to mostly low income seniors.

For information, call 482-0803.

Whitworth begins construction of Beeksma Family Theology Center

Whitworth University will hold a blessing ceremony at 3:15 p.m., Thursday, April 12, to launch construction on the Beeksma Family Theology Center, a $2.8 million addition to the Seeley Mudd Chapel.

The addition will house the theology department, campus ministry and Office of Church Engagement to encourage interaction.

Scheduled to be completed in fall 2018, the expansion will provide offices for more than 20 faculty, staff and student employees; new gathering spaces for students; more seating and improved audiovisuals in the chapel, and a remodeled conference room.

“It will encourage collaboration, with spaces to gather and wide hallways for conversations,” said Jerry Sittser, Whitworth professor of theology and senior fellow in the Office of Church Engagement.

The center is named for 1954 Whitworth alumni Barney and Joyce Beeksma, who provided a $1.5 million gift. Barney earned a bachelor’s degree in business management and Joyce, a bachelor’s in education. Several of their grandchildren have recently graduated from or are currently attending Whitworth.

Other major donors include the M.J. Murdock Trust and local philanthropist Jim Cowles.

For information, call 777-4401 or email

Partners International receives grant for staff

Partners International has received a grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust of Vancouver, Wash., which allows it to search for two new staff members to help Partners International expand its reach and grow deeper roots among its supporters in the Pacific Northwest.

The trust has awarded $271,000, over three years to fund two new positions: a church development director to build new partnerships with churches for overseas ministries and a digital media technician to create video and media to capture the mission and vision of Partners International.

These two positions have the potential to help it grow, said Larry Andrews, Partners International’s president and CEO.

For information, call 343-4021 or email

Group plans Poor People’s Campaign

The Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane and local faith leaders are planning local events to coincide with efforts across the nation as part of the Poor People’s Campaign from April 4, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. through June 21. Officially the campaign of 40 days of action starts on Mothers Day, Sunday, May 14, with a focus on Children and Women in Poverty.

More than 50 people are involved in planning in Spokane.  The next meeting is at 6 p.m., Thursday, March 15, at Bethany Presbyterian, 2607. S. Ray St.

For information, call 838-7870 or 408-593-9556.