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December 2022 Newsbriefs


EWLC Advocacy event is Jan. 21

The 2023 Eastern Washington Legislative Conference will feature Gen Heywood, pastor of Veradale United Church of Christ (UCC) and convener for Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience (FLLC), as the keynote speaker, addressing the theme, "Caring for Our Common Earth Now and Forever."

It is from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday Jan. 21, at Spokane Valley United Methodist Church, 115 N. Raymond, and online.

Gen will share insights from her participation in the 11th World Council of Churches Assembly held in September in Karlsruhe, Germany, at which representatives from churches, faiths and no faiths gathered to reflect on issues facing the faith communities around the world.

There will be three plenary sessions and one workshop session. The plenaries include "Legislative Briefings by Advocates in Olympia," "Housing Is a Human Right," and "Indigenous Voices on Environmental Justice."

The briefings will be presented by Kristin Ang, policy engagement director of the Faith Action Network of Washington, Donna Christensen and/or Mario Villenueva of the Washington State Catholic Conference, and Jessica Zimmerle of Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power and Light.

Workshops will address welcoming refugees at Thrive International, racial justice issues with representatives of Spokane Community Against Racism and the NAACP Spokane, food security with Food Lifeline, and "Faithful Advocacy," led with Earth Ministry.

Registration costs are $32 in person with lunch or $25/person for a group of five or more. Online registration is $20 or $15/person in a group of five+. There are scholarships. The Fig Tree seeks sponsors and organizations to present displays.

For information, call 535-4112, email or register at or at

Events help fund newspaper and directory

As The Fig Tree went to press on Friday, Nov. 25, sponsors had contributed $11,538 toward the 2022 Fall Festival of Sharing campaign goal of $18,000.

"We hope much of that gap is filled by Giving Tuesday," said editor Mary Stamp.

This year for the first time, our board of 15, with the help of a former board member, raised $4,500 as a challenge grant and invited sponsors to double their gifts by matching that amount. The match has been met.

Mary expects that with a year-end appeal letter, announcing the Eastern Washington Legislative Conference and 2023 Benefit Lunch, more will respond with gifts that will help The Fig Tree meet and surpass its 2022 budget goals for donations.

The 2023 spring benefit events include an in-person Benefit Lunch beginning at 11:30 a.m. with a program at noon, Friday, March 3, at Cataldo Hall at Gonzaga University. There will also be an online "Breakfast-Time" Benefit from 8 to 8:45 a.m., Wednesday, March 17.

Both events will feature a video and speakers celebrating the 50th anniversary of the annual Resource Directory on the theme, "Sharing Resources: Transforming Lives."

Organizers are recruiting hosts to invite guests to join them at their tables to hear how the region's unique media impact lives.

For information, call 535-1813, email or visit

Sarah Lickfold is new Transitions director

Transitions, which works to end poverty and homelessness for women and children in Spokane, has named Sarah Lickfold as its next executive director, as of February 2023. She follows Edie Rice-Sauer, who has served in this role since 2012.

As Transitions' development director since 2018, Sarah builds on a career serving in education, banking, nonprofit and social services, including two years in Peru as a Peace Corps Community Economic Development Volunteer. 

Sarah, who grew up in Eastern Washington, has a master of public administration degree from Eastern Washington University.

She is committed to working toward a more just society for underserved and marginalized populations.

Transitions' Board of Directors expressed their gratitude for the service of Edie Rice-Sauer, who retires to spend time with family, gardening and volunteering.

Transitions operates the Women's Hearth, Miryam's House, Transitional Living Center, EduCare, New Leaf Kitchen and Cafe, and the Home Yard Cottages to help women move from homelessness and poverty to hope and self-sufficiency.

For information, call 994-9580, email or visit

NW Fair Housing offers resource brochures

Northwest Fair Housing Alliance (NWFHA) has new fair housing brochures available in multiple languages. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funding has helped NWFHA create a variety of brochures on fair housing topics and translate many into the common languages spoken in the Spokane area. 

Three new brochures address forms of sex discrimination: Fair Housing and Domestic Violence Survivors, Fair Housing for Gender Non-conforming People, and Fair Housing for All Genders.

These are available in English, Spanish, Arabic and Russian.

Another new trifold that focuses on fair housing rights for households with minor children.  Fair Housing for Families with Children is also available in English, Spanish, Arabic and Russian.

In addition, the brochure, Fair Housing Rights for Protected Classes Adversely Impacted by COVID-19, is now available in English, Korean, Swahili, Marshallese, Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic, Vietnamese and Chinese.

Other topics include Assistance Animals and the Fair Housing Act, How to File a Fair Housing Complaint with HUD, Guidance for Health Care Providers for Reasonable Accommodations in Housing, Reasonable Accommodation Guidance for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing, Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications in Housing, Fair Housing Rights for Renters, Women and Fair Housing, LGBT Fair Housing Rights, American Indians / Alaska Natives and Fair Housing Rights, and Fair Housing for Veterans and Active and Reserve Military.

Several brochures are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, Korean, Laotian, Marshallese, Russian, Swahili and Vietnamese.

These and other fair housing brochures are available at

Tree of Sharing will run through Dec. 11

Through Sunday, Dec. 11, The Tree of Sharing will have tables located at Spokane Valley Mall, NorthTown Mall and River Park Square for its Annual Christmas Gift Campaign.

Members of the public can pick up physical gift tags that show the needs of specific clients from about 8,000 gift requests that have been gathered from various nonprofits in Spokane County.

Participating agencies decide which clients need Christmas gifts and share each recipient's age, gender and gift request. People can choose a tag from the tree, buy the requested gift or gifts, and return them to the tables in the malls.

Gifts then go to a warehouse where they are sorted for participating agencies, which then pick up, wrap and deliver the gifts to their clients before Christmas.

Tree of Sharing is a nonprofit which relies on sponsors to provide in-kind support services.

For information, call 808-4919 or email

Family Promise seeks beds and bedding

Family Promise of Spokane is seeking donations of twin and queen beds, box springs, bed frames and sheets.

At this time its most urgent need is for beds because they are "graduating" so many families to permanent housing—around 10 families in the last two months.

They also seek items for Welcome Home Kits, which include 10-gallon bins filled with cleaning supplies, office supplies, bathroom supplies, kitchen basics or kitchen essentials.

Groups or individuals can put together these kits based on lists of specific items on the website and deliver to the Family Promise administrative office at 2322 E. Sprague Ave.

Other major needs are for the Family Promise shelter: toilet paper, baby wipes, food and winter clothing, specifically winter boots. Donations can be delivered to 2002 E. Mission Ave.

Volunteers are always important, said Hannah Higgins, volunteer recruiter.

"Any community help is vital. With more volunteers, the more we are able to accomplish and serve our families. Volunteers are needed to help with the outreach team, with the stabilization crew and with families as they enter and stay in permanent housing," she said.

Another way to volunteer is at the shelter helping with activities and making sure things are going well in the shelter.

Hannah added that Family Promise also needs help from volunteers who are knowledgeable in construction and maintenance.

For information, call 747-5487 or 867-8102, or visit

2023 Hate Studies Conference seeks proposals

Ryan Turcott, the proposal chair for Gonzaga University's 7th International Conference on Hate Studies in 2023, calls for proposals on the theme "Challenges of Hate in the 21st Century," to be submitted by Jan. 4, 2023.

The hybrid conference will be held April 20 to 23 in Spokane and online.

"In this time of political divisiveness, racial inequity, extremism and climate injustice, the importance of understanding how the processes of dehumanization and othering harm communities and the world in which we live is as critical as ever," he said.

The Gonzaga Center for the Study of Hate invites persons to share their work to counter hate and promote hope by submitting a proposal to present at the conference.

The multidisciplinary field of hate studies stirs new understandings to address hate in any of its manifestations—such as racism, antisemitism, homophobia, religious intolerance, extremism, white supremacy, anti-immigration animus or ableism.

The International Conference on Hate Studies is a leading interdisciplinary academic forum on hate, related social problems and ways to create socially just and inclusive communities. It helps educators, researchers, advocates and others analyze and combat hatred in its many manifestations to lead communities to strengthen their commitment to peace, human rights and justice, said James Mohr, conference co-chair.

For information, call 313-3604 or email

Fairmount offers memorial events

Fairmount Memorial Association is offering three memorial events to help families who have lost loved ones cope with grief during the holidays. The following are the events:

• Heritage Holiday Remembrance Service, at 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3, at Heritage Funeral and Cremation, 508 N. Government Way in Spokane.

• Pines Tree Lighting with Santa, 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3, at Pines Cemetery, 1402 S. Pines Rd., in Spokane Valley.

• PNW Holiday Remembrance Service, 5 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 8, at Fairmount Memorial Park, Sunset Chapel, 5200 W. Wellesley Ave. in Spokane.

For information, call  326-6813 x 221.

Latinos en Spokane hosts Christmas Posada

Latinos en Spokane will host a Christmas Posada from 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10 at West Central Community Center, 1603 N. Belt St. The annual event includes local vendors, a COVID vaccine clinic, Christmas gifts for children, photos with Santa Sanchez, a potluck and traditional posada activities.  For information, call 326-9540.

Outreach Center holds Children's Christmas Joy

Mission Community Outreach Center is hosting its Annual Children's Christmas Joy, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at Stevens Elementary School Gymnasium at 1717 E. Sinto Ave.

Parents shop without their children for their children. Clothing is available for infants through sixth grade. Because the quantity of clothing is limited, parents should arrive early and be prepared to line up outside. For information, call 536-1084.

Concordia Choir sings German Christmas songs

Familiar Christmas sounds of home are what ethnic Germans come to hear at St. Mark's Lutheran Church at 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11, at 24th and Grand Blvd.

This annual German Christmas Service features the Concordia Choir singing traditional Christmas selections. The Scripture readings will be in German, the language that Reformation initiator Martin Luther spoke. The sermon in English will be given by Lori Cornell, pastor of St. Mark's. 

Following the service, which is open to people of all denominations, the German American Society will serve coffee and cake at the Deutsches Haus, 25 W. 3rd Ave.

For information, call 747-6677.

MOW provides gift bags for homebound seniors

The Christmas Wish List for Meals on Wheels returns. Community members can share donations for gift bags with items to be delivered to homebound seniors.

Purchases can be made through Amazon Senior Holiday Wish List and delivered to 1222 W. 2nd Ave. from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mondays to Fridays until Dec. 15.

Requests are for gloves, nail clippers or sets, lip balm, socks, razors, shave cream, foot brushes, loofah sponges, small lotions, combs, deodorant, emery boards, Lifesaver candy and individually-wrapped chocolates.

For information, call 456-6597.

Terrain presents annual BrrrZaar

Terrain presents its annual BrrrZaar from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, at River Park Square, 808 W. Main Ave.

It will feature hundreds of vendors' handmade items and artwork from all-local artists.

For information, call 624-3945 or email


Music Conservatory presents 'Messiah'

Music Conservatory of Coeur d'Alene presents Handel's Messiah at 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 4, at Schuler Performing Arts Center, North Idaho College. There is a sing-along with space for 200 people who come early. The chorus of 50 singers is conducted by Kent Kimball. Soloists include Amy Porter, soprano; Amanda Glover, alto; Jadd Davis, tenor, and Max Mendez, bass.

For information, call 509-993-6691 or visit









Copyright@ The Fig Tree, November 2022