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Feature Articles 2015

December 2015

Edie Rice-Sauer sometimes uses a doll house as conversation starter with women who come to her office at Transitions.

Mark Kadel educates people on refugee resettlement, reminding them that Christians are to welcome strangers.
During and since the windstorm, congregations and agencies experience damage, power outage, but still help.

Liz Montgomery educates other mothers on ways to prevent SIDS deaths.

Marilee Roloff has seen issues come and go in terms of funding for programs, but overall struggles continue.
NAACP advocacy director recounts the legislative victories for civil rights and ongoing concerns.

John and Joan Weekes celebrate Christmas in Portland sharing dinner with Jewish, Muslim neighbors of son.


Salvation Army's Red Kettle program marks its 125th year.


Christmas Bureau serves 30,000; books which are Marilee Roloff’s niche will continue as she retires.

Sounding Board

National Council of Churches calls media to avoid sensationalizing hateful rhetoric

Editorial Dialogue among people of different faith can dispel misuse of religion to justify violence and injustice.


November 2015

Peter Glanville

Peter Glanville became involved in fair trade and sells paintings of Wilson Fallah, a Liberian artist, at the Jubilee International Marketplace.

Skyler Oberst Spokane Interfaith Council reorganizes and plans events to help build understanding and relationships among neighbor faiths.
John Sirois

John Sirois integrated traditional tribal values as he coordinates work of Upper Columbia United Tribes on salmon, wildlife, water quality and environment.

Ayesha Malik

More than 100 gather at the Spokane Islamic Center on October 11 to express solidarity.

Jerry White, Riverkeeper Spokane Riverkeeper Jerry White works to make the river cleaner so it’s more swimmable, fishable, floatable and accessible.
Carol Evans City and Tribe name plaza on Spokane Tribe ancestral lands The Gathering Place.

Fall Folk Festival reflects the region’s diversity in music, dance and art.

Bob Evans, Sandpoint

United Church of Christ pastor starts new church in Sandpoint focusing on teaching as Jesus did through conversation and communion.

Eufemia Munn

Filipino school fosters understanding among Christian, Muslim students

Editorial Civil rights speaker James Meredith offers reminder to persist

Mass violence exacerbated by media, mental health, family breakdown

Editorial Faith communities have moral obligation to advocate for migrants


October 2015

2nd harvest kitchen

Second Harvest believes fighting hunger is about nutrition and food security, as well as access to food.

St. Francis Sisters and Bishop Daly Five Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia mark 125 years since first five Sisters came to Spokane.
CCF teens visit Nepal Fair trade effort leads to building clinic and to earthquake relief in Nepal.
Jennifer Brown, Whitworth French teacher, visits Haiti for mission Jennifer Brown’s fluency in French helped her communicate with Cathedral of St. John’s partner parish in Haiti.
Sandra Williams, The Black Lens Sandra Williams starts publishing The Black Lens as a positive voice for Spokane’s African American community.
Anthony Carollo leads Evangelical Association

New director of Evangelical Association and board set four goals to engage people in pews

INVOAD disaster training Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOADs) respond to wildfires for long-term recovery.
Editorial Everett Parker advocated through United Church of Christ for the Public’s rights related to media.

Global warming is real. Humanity is already facing the worldwide impact of global warming. It affects everyone.



September 2015

New president of Spokane NAACP, Naima Quarles-Burnley brings gentle strength and background in community activism needed for leadership

Regional church leaders offer response to wildfires in August in North Eastern Washington
All Saints Lutheran Church in Spokane offers six ministries: a dinner, food bank, community garden, housing units, companionship ministry and community center.
Two Providence sisters with ties to Spokane return to roots in El Salvador to celebrate beatification of Monsignor Oscar Romero.

As a Jesuit Volunteer, David Paullin, emergency financial assistance coordinator with Catholic Charities Spokane, understands the people who come to see him.

Sounding Board When wildfires surround, they raise new questions about life, faith.
Editorial People need to unite, not be blown this way and that by media coverage.

We are called to ‘suit up,’ to volunteer, to work for social justice.


June 2015

Jerelene Williamson

Jerrelene Williamson has known that as things became better anywhere, they become better for everyone.

Bishop Thomas Daly Bishop Tom Daly installed as seventh bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane.
N-Sid-Sen campfire

Mark Boyd at N-Sid-Sen says camps let campers be who they are, making “incredible” transformation possible.

Wakeboarding at Lutherhaven

Lutherhaven director Bob Baker believes youth need camp now more than ever.

Camp Spalding canoes

Camp Spalding reaches out beyond Presbyterians who sponsor the camp.

Twinlow camp

Twinlow initiates new camps and multi-age camps each week

Camp Gifford

Camp Gifford’s camps serve low-income children in six sessions at Deer Lake, WA.

Jim Waggoner at Camp Cross

At Camp Cross, children, youth and adults gather and learn to become leaders.

Ross Point Camp ropes course

Ross Point encourages face-to-face time instead of Facebook and electronics for youth.

Mike Turner

Mike Turner feels blessed to work as gardener and to connect with people


Candy Jackson, NATIVE project

The NATIVE Project treats chemical dependency and provides primary care health clinic


Sholeh Patrick

Sholeh Patrick, journalist in Coeur d'Alene, challenges readers to expand their thinking on human, civil rights


St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Kennewick

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Kennewick prays, sings and reads Scriptures in members’ three languages—Spanish, Arabic and English

Sounding Board

Holy Names Sisters urge support for UN sustainability goal

Editorial In a world torn by strife, faith communities persist in reconciling people

Moneyed interests find ways to influence people of faith









April 2015

Bipasha Biswas

As an EWU social work professor, Bipasha Biswas teaches next generation of social workers to change and build communities.

Anneliese Miller, HREI Human Rights Education Institute is committed to promoting diversity in North Idaho.
Sabrina and Stephen Himley Couple decides to live and serve in Myanmar to help improve lives of people as they learn about Burmese culture.
Joe Mudd, GU Religious Studies Joe Mudd’s theological journey goes through liberation theology into exploring evil and encouraging students’ questions.
Anastasia Wendlinder, GU Religious Studies professor Anastasia Wendlinder follows theological questions into practical presence and back to theology.
Burundi School

Pat Munts plans to apply her skills at building community and community gardens in Burundi.

Bob Herschkowitz

Bob Herschkowitz, one of 15 speakers with Seattle’s Holocaust Center for Humanities, will speak in Spokane.

Greg Finch and John Fencik

Nonprofit cemetery and funeral services sees its work as a ministry with families in grief.

Dawn Bayman, KSPS

Speakers at the 2015 Fig Tree Benefit Breakfast and Benefit Lunch share insights of the value of The Fig Tree as it “Informs, Inspires and Involves” people.


Area celebrations for Earth Day set, and resources for churches available from Creation Justice ministries.

Editorial As multipliers of respect and reconciliation, Fig Tree media need support
Editorial The Fig Tree provides good food to sustain our spirits so we can serve


March 2015

Sarah Ahmed

Young Muslim peacemaker organizes letter exchange, helps with relief and dialogue in Iraq


The Rev Mike Denton, PNCUCC Mike Denton says people in faith communitiesare at different points in connecting faith, service and justice action.
Dan Morrissey Advocate for Justice Workshop speakers say working people earn less of wealth they generate than in earlier decades.
Columbia River Treaty panel Workshop reviews need for faith communities to influence Columbia River Treaty negotiations to include ecosystems and ethics.

Layne Pavey says some laws mean many peoplereleased from prison continue to have their lived affected.

Rachel Dolezal Realities lead history professor and NAACP president to put in many unpaid hours of work for justice.
Jace Bylenga, Power past coal workshop

Workshops report on progress in challenging coal and oil transport, and promoting shift to renewable energy.

Roberta Wilburn

Roberta Wilburn tells of achievement and accessibility gaps leading to more discipline of black students even as diversity grows.

Sister Sharon and Paul Benz, FANWA Catholic Conference, Faith Action Network share advocacy priorities based on faith values.
Donna Connell - head of Diocese Guatemala Committee Catholic dioceses in Spokane and Solola partner, enriching each other’s lives and faith.
Chistina Hull

Children’s Village in Coeur d’Alene opens additional home, doubling its capacity to serve children.


Nearly 14,000 participants helped raise $698,000 over 38 years for Spokane CROP Hunger Walks.

Article Speakers for The Fig Tree’s 2015 Benefit Breakfastand Benefit Lunch will tell how the newspaper, resource directory and online media empower people.

What do faith values, proclaiming good news, setting the oppressed free mean for people of faith?

February 2015


New and retiring directors of aging agency expect more people will need financial, care, legal, nutrition, transportation and other assistance in coming years.

MLK March Spokane Nearly 3,000 join rally and march for Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Spokane, to hear messages from all generations, calling for equality, justice and freedom.
Rachel Dolezal Rachel Dolezal, new Spokane NAACP president, speaks of the urgency of now in addressing racism of today.
Betty and Doug Corpron

Yakima volunteers help food bank build a new building to serve hungry people in their community.

Ann Marie Floch, Spokane CIS Communities in Schools mentors bring caring relationships into lives of lonely, sometimes angry students in Spokane and Cheney schools.

Temple Beth Shalom's annual Kosher Dinner is part of the fabric of the live of that faith community and a way to share their traditions.

Gar Mikkelson Gar Mickelson forms Kaleidoscope Community Services to help people be involved in practical solutions to community problems.
Editorial Iraqi woman chips away at religious divisions in Middle East through service and a letter-writing campaign.

Old arguments raised to undermine rights won to stabilize middle class


January 2015

Freda Gandy and Mayor Condon

Martin Luther King Jr Family Outreach Center plans to build new building to double its space.

Dwayne Mack Dwayne Mack's book on Black Spokane tells story of civil rights in region from the 1950s to the 1980s.
Anastasia Wenlinder Gonzaga’s new Master of Arts in Theology and Leadership will use innovative online technologies to teach, engage and connect students.
Terry McGonigal

Whitworth’s Office for Church Engagement will partner with churches and ministries to help them envision, plan and develop new ways of interacting with the culture


Whitworth announced that the Rev. Forrest Buckner will be the university’s next dean of spiritual life and campus pastor.

Rabbi Tamar Malino

Rabbi has background in both Conservative and Reform Jewish traditions and offers insights on differences and similarities.

Tim Swartout Tim Swartout, Director, organizes a core team of volunteers to serve 4000 meals each month for Shalom Ministries at Central UMC.
Sister Ann Brosserman

Holy Names Sister Anne Bosserman exemplifies how retired sisters continue their commitment to their ministries within their religious community and to the wider community.


Providence sister reports on two weeks volunteering at center that receives refugees from Central America and Mexico.

The Rev Mike Denton, PNCUCC

2015 Eastern Washington Legislative Conference will include leaders exploring the theme, “Raising Prophetic Voices: Faith Communities Advocate for Justice.”


As new news keeps unfolding, what happened to the Ebola outbreak, the Occupy movement


What do we do with knowing from the Senate report on US use of torture?



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