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June, July, August 2022 Newsbriefs



The Fig Tree will publish 18,000 copies of Directory

The 2022-23 Resource Directory will print at least 18,000 copies because of demand, said directory editor Malcolm Haworth, as he works to finalize listings and prepare the layouts for publication by the Tribune Publishing Co. in Lewiston.

"We need to know now how many copies people would like to receive and distribute," he said.

"We are also finalizing advertising and community partners, who are the primary sources of support for our much used, comprehensive directory," he added.

This is the 49th year the directory has been published to inform people of congregations, ministries, human services, health care, families/children, seniors, justice, environment, cultures, human rights, arts and culture and civic resources.

Community partners who donate major gifts have their logos featured on the cover.

"We appreciate all who collaborate and contribute to make this directory possible to serve people in crises, people in need, people in transitions, people who are stabilized and seek to give back," Malcolm commented.

The Fig Tree staff continue to request and receive donations toward the Spring Benefit—seeking $6,500 more from those who have given in previous years and new supporters, said Fig Tree editor Mary Stamp.

Volunteers and staff are already working with an ecumenical and interfaith team to plan the 2023 Eastern Washington Legislative Conference, now set for Saturday, Jan. 21. Workshop topics will be decided in upcoming meetings at 1 p.m., Tuesdays, June 21 and Aug. 23. That group and benefit planners invite interested people to join them.

For information, call 535-4112 or email

Rotary 21 grants Fig Tree matching funds

Rotary 21 has provided matching funds of $3,750 for The Fig Tree to purchase three iMac computers, a Mac Mini, hard drives and maintenance so they can coordinate the work of staff in its design, word processing, database and other programs.

Within 24 hours of asking, and with a donation of $1,500 from Viren & Associates, Inc., The Fig Tree at press time on May 27 had raised nearly the full match.

The Fig Tree needs computers of the same era so staff, who work on Mac computers from 2011, 2015 and 2019, can work on the same design and data programs.

"Our database is the heart of our operations with lists for donors, advertisers, deliveries and mailings," said Mary Stamp, editor. "Staff will be able to input data, access the database and collaborate in using the same version of the design software that is integral to our work."

The Mac Mini will be a server to allow staff to access and update data collaboratively.

"We are working with a database consultant so the database will be designed to be easier for staff to use and share," she said.

"We have committed staff who will use the computers for the lifetime of the computers," she added.

"We hope that by the time we have gone to press we will have the matching funds, but if not, we invite donations to make our receipt of those funds possible,"Mary said.

For information, call 535-1813 or visit

Habitat's 2022 Blitz Build is June 6 to 17

Habitat for Humanity-Spokane's 21st annual Blitz Build is June 6 to 17 at their Hope Meadows community in Deer Park. The two-week event helps Habitat build affordable homes, empowering families and individuals in their homeownership program to build and buy a home they can afford.

About 1,000 supporters from the community come together in support of Blitz Build each year. Volunteers, sponsorship groups, businesses and community leaders partner work side-by-side with current and future Habitat homeowners to build homes.

"By partnering with Habitat, families, communities transform their lives with safe and affordable shelters that improve health, safety, child development, economic opportunity and educational opportunities," said Michelle Girardot, executive director of Habitat-Spokane.

Families in Habitat's Homeownership Program earn 250 hours of "sweat equity" helping build their homes and neighbor's homes. They also take financial education courses to learn about mortgages, budgeting and improving their credit while saving for their future Habitat home.

Habitat-Spokane volunteers help build homes year-round, but Blitz Build is an accelerated construction effort to raise awareness of the affordable housing crisis and Habitat's solution.

Michelle said shopping and donating goods at the Habitat Store, 1805 E. Trent, also supports the home-building.

For information, call 534-2552 or visit

Community-Minded names new director

After a six-month national search, Community-Minded Enterprises (CME) has named John Hindman as its new CEO, overseeing its programs for addiction recovery, child care, early learning, job readiness, TV/digital media and other services.

The organization seeks to match its  programs to the needs of people in the region, so some programs are long term and some are short-term efforts.

John comes to CME with more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit and social services. Most recently, he was a director for Pioneer Health Services, where he established Spokane's Mental Health Crisis Stabilization Facility. 

Previously, he was the executive director of Morning Star Boys Ranch and worked as a licensed independent clinical social worker.

John is the fourth CEO to lead Community-Minded Enterprises. He follows Lee Williams, who retired in late 2021.

He will be based at Community-Minded Enterprise's North Spokane office at 2001 N. Division, Suite 130.

In addition, CME recently selected Gail Goodwin to be the new director of recovery and support services. She previously has supported CME with her expertise in contract and new project coordination.

For information, call 822-8040 or email

NATIVE Project plans youth addition

The NATIVE Project celebrated its 33rd anniversary on May 20 with a groundbreaking ceremony to build a youth wellness center across the street from its main building at 1803 W. Maxwell.

A block party followed the ceremony in which children, mostly from the Spokane Salish School, used root diggers to break the ground.

The event included an Indian Market, Native American dancing, games, music, a food bank, and COVID-19 vaccine and booster shots.

The NATIVE Project is a Title V, Indian Health Services Contract Clinic, providing medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, patient care coordination, wellness, and prevention services for both Natives and Non-Natives in the Spokane community.

Both traditional and Native American therapy and practices for healing will be offered in the new building. The NATIVE Project has two blocks on which to expand their programs

For information, call 325-5502 or email

World Refugee Day will be June 20

The annual World Refugee Day returns to celebrate refugees in the Spokane area from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, June 18, two days before the the United Nations-designated World Refugee Day, on June 20. The event on the theme, "Coming Together in Community Solidarity," will be held at the Nevada Playfield at Garry Middle School, 725 E. Joseph Ave.

Former refugee chefs from Feast World Kitchen will prepare foods for attendees to sample, said Kathryn Garras, director of Refugee Connections. There will also be a cultural marketplace selling crafts and art created by former refugees, traditional song and dance performances, speeches from community leaders, a citizenship ceremony, fashion show, community agency fair to share resources and activities for children.

Refugee Connections Spokane convenes the planning committee of representatives of International Rescue Committee, Manzanita House, the Community Colleges of Spokane, Lutheran Community Services Northwest, World Relief Spokane, ASAP Translations, Eastern Washington University and Feast World Kitchen. For information, email

LCSNW raises funds with 8 Lakes Bike Ride

Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSNW) is sponsoring its annual 8 Lakes Bike Ride on Saturday, July 18, exploring the scenery of Spokane, West Plains, Medical Lake and Cheney. Routes will be marked and include food stops, medical and mechanical support and camaraderie.  

"We attract several out-of-town riders from Washington, Oregon and Idaho who help raise funds to support our programs," said Christie McKee, advancement manager at LCSNW.

Riders choose from a 30, 45 or 75-mile route, leaving from Kaiser Permanente's corporate office, 5615 W. Sunset Hwy. Riders can collect pledges to help support LCSNW's mission. The goal is to raise $70,000 for LCSNW programs. 

"For more than 65 years, LCSNW has offered hope, resources and healing to thousands of Spokane-area residents affected by violent crimes and other traumatic, life-altering events," said Christie. "We touch lives of people of all ages, cultures and faiths, walking side-by-side with them on their journey to find health, justice and hope."

For the last two years, LCSNW arranged for people to do rides on their own time and in their own areas, but are anticipating restoring the spirit of the ride as an event in 2022. Check in begins Friday, July 15, at Wheel Sport, 3020 S. Grand Blvd.

For information, call 343-5020 or visit

Foley Library hosts Holocaust exhibition

Gonzaga University's Foley Library will host the "Americans and the Holocaust" traveling exhibit from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and American Library Association from Aug.  23 to Oct. 7. Foley is one of 50 U.S. libraries hosting the exhibit that examines motives, pressures and fears that shaped Americans' responses to Nazism, war and genocide in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. The exhibit from the museum in Washington, D.C., will be traveling through November 2023.

Accompanying it will be a series of events presented by the Gonzaga Center for the Study of Hate and the Seattle Holocaust Center for Humanity, and supported by the Gonzaga Jewish Bulldogs and the Spokane County Human Rights Task Force.

A program on "Americans and the Holocaust: Remembering Our Past to Inform Our Future" will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 8, in the Hemmingson Ballroom and live streamed. Speakers include Paul Bracke, associate provost and dean of libraries, Kevin O'Connor, who teaches history, Paul Regelbrugge of the Holocaust Center of Humanity, Holocaust survivor Carla Peperzak interviewed by Julia Thompson and Kristine Hoover of the Gonzaga Center for the Study of Hate.

Based on new research, "Americans and the Holocaust" explores themes in American history and factors, including the Great Depression, isolationism, xenophobia, racism and antisemitism that influenced decisions by the U.S. government, media, organizations and individuals in response to Nazism. It challenges assumptions that Americans knew little and did nothing about the Nazi persecution and murder of Jews as the Holocaust unfolded. It tells stories of U.S. individuals and groups who responded.

For information, visit

WCC Assembly resources available now

The World Council of Churches (WCC) 11th Assembly, Aug. 31 to Sept. 8, occurs just as the September issue of The Fig Tree will come out. Fig Tree staff will inform people in the Inland Northwest of opportunities to participate in worship and speeches online.

The assembly theme for business, worship and engagement is "Christ's love moves the world to reconciliation and unity."

The assembly is a gathering of "the fellowship of churches that confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Savior" that occurs amid global realities of wars, conflicts, COVID-19, climate change, racism, authoritarian politics, digitization and militarization. As the world seeks hope, an assembly offers a multi-faith response.

Each day begins and ends with prayer. There are plenaries for reflecting on theological and contextual issues. Participants will dig into plenary topics in "home groups" and Bible study. Dialogue will occur in Ecumenical Conversations. There will be regional and confessional gatherings and the "Brunnen," or gathering at the well, for networking and sharing.

The assembly, as the WCC's highest governing body, normally meets every eight years to elect its 150-person central committee and eight presidents, as well as conduct other business and make statements on issues of international concern.

Delegates of WCC member churches speak and participate in decision-making to set direction, make statements, review work and consider the WCC constitution and finances by consensus. Delegates use orange and blue cards to signify whether they feel warm (orange) or cool (blue) about a decision. The idea of consensus is that delegates prayerfully discern God's will and seek a common mind through dialogue. It requires time to listen, pray and discern. 

Local hosts will welcome more than 4,000 people to Karlsruhe, Germany. There are pre-assembly gatherings for specialized ministries, Orthodox, women, youth, indigenous persons and disability advocates. 

With a vision for unity to inspire the churches, public statements on world issues and a message capturing the assembly hopes and experience will inspire the next years for the ecumenical movement.

For information, visit

Joya opens new building

In May, Joya moved into its new home at 1016 N. Superior in Spokane's University District, leaving space it has leased in Garland School since 1982.

Joya provides early intervention for children ages birth to three to address developmental delays and disabilities to help them catch up with peers through occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, cognitive therapy and special education.

Former executive director Dick Boysen and a team ran the Spokane Guilds School and Neuromuscular Center in a church basement many years before moving to Garland School, where the program grew for 40 years, adapting to the space.

In 2019, Colleen Fuchs became executive director and the program was renamed Joya Child and Family Development.

On May 20, they moved into a new 42,000-square-foot building built specifically for them. It  has room to grow and optimize care for Joya's children and families, doubling their capacity, to serve 600 children, rather than 300.

The $18.5 million facility will transform what they can do for and with children and families they serve with upgraded equipment, new treatment methods and technologies, and new possibilities to support caregivers.

Located in the university district, Joya will provide opportunities for professional education and specialized training for doctors, social workers, therapists, clinicians, researchers, teachers and students involved in early intervention.

Situated beside the Spokane River, it gives children and families access to outdoor spaces.

For information, call 326-1651 or email

Manzanita House is gathering place for immigrants

Newly started Manzanita House, which is creating a space for immigrants to participate in the community, is hosting two events over the summer.

Manzanita House was created as a place for immigrants to develop community and collaborative solutions—inspired by the resilience of the manzanita plant that withstands wildfires, said Brielle Balazs, of Manzanita House.

The first event is a Community Block Party from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, June 4 at 806 W. Knox Ave.

This is a free event with cultural music, food, immigrant businesses and local organizations. There will be a free food distribution in partnership with Second Harvest Mobile Market from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The second is a Back-to-School Resource Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 806 W. Knox Ave.

There, resources will be shared with families needing backpacks, children's clothing and shoes, school supplies and other resources.

For information, call 309-8404, email or visit




Copyright@ The Fig Tree, June 2022