Legislative Conference is January 26
"Inform, Inspire, Involve" is the theme 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.
The Rev. Jim CastroLang, Eastern Washington representative on the Faith Action Network (FAN) Board and member of the planning committee with representatives from The Fig Tree and Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington, will moderate a panel discussion on how a religious grounding helps generate policies that improve lives and society.
Panelists will be Episcopal Bishop Gretchen Rehberg, the Rev. Walter Kendricks of Morningstar Baptist, D.R. Michel of Upper Columbia United Tribes and Catholic Bishop William Skylstad.
Workshop plans include:
•A Faith Action Network presentation on health care and nutrition;
• Jessica Zimmerle of Earth Ministry on environmental issues;
• Judy Bryon of the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center on gun safety;
• Ryan Murphy from Save the Children Action Network on immigration and family separations;
• Jim Dawson of FUSE on tax and revenue issues;
• Homelessness advocacy;
• Criminal justice and the jail.
The afternoon includes an overview of issues coming before the 2019 Washington State Legislature from FAN and a presentation on tools for effective advocacy.
For an small extra donation, community agencies may bring displays to share in a resource fair.
The Fig Tree partners with Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington, the Faith Action Network of Washington, the Spokane District of the Pacific Northwest United Methodist Conference, the NAACP and Earth Ministries to plan the annual event.
The planning committee has meetings scheduled at 1:30 p.m., Thursdays, Nov. 29, and Dec.13. They will make final arrangements in January.
For information, call 535-4112, or 535-1813, email email@example.com or share the flier online at www.thefigtree.org/FigTreeEvent.pdf.
Fig Tree seeks hosts for Benefits in March
Plans are underway for The Fig Tree's 35th Anniversary celebration at the 2019 Benefit Lunch and Benefit Breakfast.
The theme is "35 Years of Informing, Inspiring, Involving."
The Benefit Lunch will be held from 11:30 a.m to 1 p.m, Friday, March 8, and the Benefit Breakfast will be held from 7:15 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 13.
Both events are held at Cataldo Hall at Gonzaga University through the Religious Studies Department.
Speakers who are chosen from among the people interviewed for stories during the previous year will share about the impact of The Fig Tree in their lives and work. A video will celebrate the contributions of volunteers that make The Fig Tree monthly newspaper and annual comprehensive Resource Directory possible.
The Fig Tree is currently recruiting hosts to sponsor tables and invite guests. In addition, it is reaching out to the community to invite businesses and agencies to help underwrite the costs, so The Fig Tree can reach the goal budget of $50,000.
"Our goal is to raise enough so we can support additional staff to partner with us and help build The Fig Tree's reach, its base of support and the diversity of stories," said Mary Stamp, editor.
The Fig Tree is also seeking volunteers to help on the days of the events and to help promote the events.
For information, call 535-1813 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christmas Bureau gives gifts to families
Catholic Charities, Volunteers of America and the Spokesman Review are collaborating again this December for the annual holiday assistance program to provide donated funds, toys, books and grocery store vouchers for thousands of low-income individuals and families.
From Wednesday, Dec. 12, to Friday, Dec. 21—excluding Sunday, Dec. 16—the Christmas Bureau is open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana in the AG Building.
There is one grocery store voucher per family, books for children 14 and under and toys for children 17 and younger.
Since 1945, the Christmas Bureau has offered "help and hope" to thousands of needy families—26,103 in 2017.
More than 500 volunteers work to review required documentation, sort gifts and distribute them. Volunteers interested in assisting in 2019 may fill out a volunteer application.
After Thanksgiving, the Spokesman-Review publishes articles about the bureau and names donors.
For information, call 358-4270 or email email@example.com.
World Relief plans fundraiser on Dec. 5
World Relief in Spokane is planning a fundraising event, "Around the Table: A thousand remarkable stories, one city we call home" from 5:30 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 5, at the Davenport Grand Hotel Ballroom.
The event features Mandy Manning, the National Teacher of the Year, who works with refugee and immigrant students at Ferris High School's Newcomer Center.
The Neema Refugee Choir will perform and there will be a chance to meet refugees, eat dinner with them, hear their stories and donate to support them.
"When we know people's story, we are connected to them in a special way," said Mark Finney, executive director.
For information, call 484-9829 or visit World Relief Spokane on Facebook.
Baroque concerts are again in churches
Spokane Symphony music director Eckart Preu found conducting the 2018 baroque concerts in churches a "cool, joyful, fun and intimate experience." The churches have smaller settings, but enough space and acoustics fitting for baroque music, he said.
"The Spokane Symphony recognizes the importance of baroque music as part of music history," he said. "Modern, romantic and classical music, and symphony orchestras developed from the baroque era."
Although some people may not have heard baroque before, Eckart said they would likely recognize it. Baroque music, like much music today, appeals to those with short attention spans. Six to seven pieces each last five to 10 minutes in a one-hour baroque concert, compared with symphony concerts that last two to two-and-a-half hours and include three pieces—an overture, a concerto and a symphony.
The Winter Baroque Celebration—at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec 8, at Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ, 411 S. Washington and at 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Spokane Valley Church of the Nazarene, 15515 E. 20th Ave.—will feature 50 members of the Spokane Symphony orchestra and 80 members of the Spokane Symphony Chorale performing festive Christmas works by composers from France, Germany and Italy.
Eckart said that the pieces will highlight Christmas traditions in Europe, including two main choruses from Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio.
For information, call 624-1200 or visit spokanesymphony.org.
Warriors Heart to Art on display Dec. 1
Local volunteers from Warriors Heart to Art are hosting the fifth annual event to honor veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
"The Welcome and Witness: A Public Listening" will take place at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4340 W. Ft. Wright Blvd.
After a five-day retreat, veterans share their experiences through sculpture, song, poetry and paintings. Their stories help the public understand the nature of military trauma and its long-lasting effects on individuals, families and communities.
The public gathering includes an art exhibit and performances after the retreat that helps veterans heal from PTSD using creative arts to tell their stories and reconnect with themselves and society.
"Veterans need support, empathy and compassion from the community. Suicide is the main cause of death among U.S. troops," said John Hancock, president of Warriors Heart to Art Spokane."This project helps us take better care of soldiers and veterans, decreasing their sense of isolation and despair and helping them stay alive—given that 22 veterans commit suicide each day in America.
Veterans interested in sharing and professionals with veterans to refer, visit WarriorsHeartToArt.org.
Habitat-Spokane dedicates three homes in Deer Park
Habitat for Humanity-Spokane will hold a home dedication event for three new homeowners to receive keys to their homes at 1 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 13, at Hope Meadows, 304 E. J St. in Deer Park.
For information, call 534-2552 or visit habitat-spokane.org.
The ceremony will include comments by Habitat-Spokane CEO Michelle Girardot, brief statements from the homeowners, refreshments and tours of the homes.
Habitat for Humanity-Spokane is a nonprofit that helps families build affordable homes.