Benefit speakers tell of turning words into action
Comments of seven of 14 speakers at the Fig Tree Benefits are quoted below. Others will be in May. Share videos at thefigtree.org/Benefit2021videos.html.
When I served a congregation in the Lewis and Clark Valley, I thought The Fig Tree and Resource Directory were about Spokane, but I realized they helped us make connections with what faith communities are doing together to transform the world to justice.
Making connections is vital. Going Beyond Words Doing Justice is not possible without connections. Alone, I believe my way is the right way and people should listen to me. We need connections to build community so every voice is heard. We all need to hear all voices, connect people of faith, justice and action to live into justice.
I am grateful that the Fig Tree, Legislative Conference and Resource Directory help us do the justice we need in the world.
I attribute the success we have had at Calvary Baptist's feeding program to connections people have from reading The Fig Tree. People came to the Soup Kitchen to donate and volunteer because of The Fig Tree.
I also volunteer to deliver The Fig Tree. I have lived in Spokane 35 years. When I go places, The Fig Tree is there.
When I worked for the School District, tutoring high school kids, I took the resource directory. If someone wanted something more than homework help, I looked in the Resource Directory and found what they needed—many places I did not know existed.
It doesn't matter who you are, what ethnicity you are or what changes you, we need to have faith, go to The Fig Tree.
I was 16 when Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940. I had an ID without a J for Jewish, so I worked with the Dutch underground and helped 40 people find hiding places. After the war, I met my husband, came to the U.S. and never talked about the Holocaust. It was painful, but difficult to forget.
I moved to Spokane in 2004 and was invited to talk in schools. It was very difficult. I still do that on Zoom because there is need in middle, high schools and universities. It is important to learn about the Holocaust.
I am grateful to talk about it so it will not happen again. People can easily get brainwashed as they have been now. Germany was the most educated culturally advanced society, so it was amazing that it could happen. Some people want easy solutions.
Mary interviewed me several times and wrote good articles in The Fig Tree. The Fig Tree shares stories effectively and affirms the credibility of experiences.
In Coeur d'Alene and Spokane, I operate an integrative health care clinic, emphasizing a return to nature and holistic healing looking at ways to bring balance to the body. The Fig Tree did an article on working with the community to help people restore balance. We all go through emotional turmoil with politics. Many live in fear. It's hard to find the will and what reserves to pull on. We lean on the community in times of need and lean on nature for us to heal from divisiveness.
I see people in the community on the left and right. People care. Patients have divisive views but I seek to increase both community and love of outdoors and nature.
The Fig Tree is more than words on pages, helping people connect and share, to see the interconnection of the world, family, communities and nature. It gives a holistic look at what is out of balance and tries to balance it.
I have long recognized The Fig Tree's role in bringing people together to create a community of diversity with respect. It makes the community better, moving people beyond words to act on social justice.
When I worked with Refugee Connections, we partnered with the Resource Directory to translate portions in five languages to make resources accessible so more people could live better. I was grateful to work for that cause for justice.
The Fig Tree continues to work for justice in many ways. Recently it did an article on my work with the League of Women Voters to translate the 2020 ballots into guides refugees and immigrants could use as they filled out their ballots.
It's a different newspaper with a range and depth. Stories reveal fighting for justice for people on the margins, individuals active in faith to make the world a better place. It records the history of religious activism in the Northwest. Although we live in the least churched area of the U.S., with The Fig Tree we realize so many are shaping the region.
In these times, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and lose sight of how important it is to maintain a sense of hope. The Fig Tree helps us maintain a sense of hope. People matter. People's desire to love and humanity are evident in every issue.
The Fig Tree is a vital partner to reach the community. The newspaper, resource guide and legislative conference are vital. It is a consistent, willing partner, providing meaningful interaction on race and personal relationships.
It is the best cross-class, cross-racial partner.
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, April, 2021