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September 2022 Newsbriefs



New Resource Directory connects people to help

The 2022-23 edition of the annual, comprehensive Resource Directory has been published and is being distributed by mail and delivery.

Its 200 pages provide information on congregations, ecumenical and interfaith ministries, human services, children's and family resources, health care, senior services, justice and advocacy, environmental care, arts and culture, and civic services.

It is supported by $43,945 from 128 advertisers and $14,750 from 18 community partners.

Community partners are Rotary Club of Spokane 21, Banner Bank, Providence Health Care, the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary U.S.-Ontario, Paul Viren & Associates, Second Harvest of the Inland Northwest, Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington, Innovia Foundation, Empire Health Foundation, the Community Building, Washington Trust Bank, Aging and Long-Term Care of Eastern Washington, Northwest Mediation Center, Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest, Fred Hutch Cancer Center, Eastern Washington University, St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Coeur d'Alene and Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels.

Funding includes donations from individuals and organizations. In addition, many volunteers facilitated the delivery of copies. Second Harvest volunteers assisted with deliveries.

The Tribune Publishing Company (TPC) in Lewiston, which prints The Fig Tree newspaper, did the printing.

"We welcome continued giving to the Resource Directory through the fall," said directory editor, Malcolm Haworth.

For information, call 535-4112, email or visit for online access to the directory resources.

Legislative Conference keynote named

The Eastern Washington Legislative Conference for 2023 will be held in person and online on Saturday, Jan. 21, at Spokane Valley United Methodist Church. 115 N. Raymond.

Gen Heywood, pastor at Veradale United Church of Christ and convener of Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience, will be the keynote speaker on the theme, "Caring for Our Common Home Now and Forever."

She will share from her sabbatical experiences traveling globally and intersecting with people from around the world at the World Council of Churches 11th Assembly from August to October.

To accommodate the hybrid format and tech facilities at the church, there will be two to three in-person and online plenaries on housing, refugees and one other issue, plus two in-person and two online workshops.

The program will begin at 8:30 a.m. for registration.

Organizers invite those interested to join in planning meetings at 1 p.m., Tuesdays, Sept 13, Oct. 11, Nov. 8 and 22, Dec. 13, and Jan. 10 and 17.

For information, call 535-4112 or email

Vigil for 'Healing the Earth' is Oct. 2

A Vigil for the Healing of the Earth will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 2, at the Old Mission Landing on Dredge Rd. near Cataldo Mission in Idaho at exit 39 off Interstate 90.

Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience of Eastern Washington and North Idaho (FLLC) have organized Healing of the Earth and Earth Day Vigils every six months since Earth Day 2019.

Speakers will tell how they are affected by living on one of the nation's largest SuperFund sites—from the Montana border west into Spokane. A SuperFund site takes major funding to clean and contain the pollution.

Pat Millen, OSF, interim convenor of FLLC, and justice, peace and integrity of creation coordinator for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, said she hopes that those participating in these vigils advocate in their faith communities, neighborhoods, nation and the world for policies and practices that support environmental sustainability.

Attendees will see signs at the boat launch that warn: "The soils and sediments in this area contain harmful levels of lead, arsenic and other heavy metals. Young children and pregnant women are at greatest risk from exposure."

People will participate in a Grieving Circle to express their grief about the Earth's ecological devastation.  They will learn about groups working to overcome the effects of pollution and climate change.

The goal is also to inform people what groups are doing and how to join them to be part of the solution.

"Every six months, we gather as a community to celebrate our collective response to the healing of the earth, our common home. St. Francis of Assisi reminds us in his Canticle of Creation that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our lives and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us, Pat added.

Founded in 2018, FLLC works to overcome racism, militarism, poverty and ecological devastation, principles set forth by the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival.

"The care of our planet crosses cultures, classes, religions and non-religions," said Pat. "We need to be united in healing our planet."

For information, call 253-797-0168 or email

River ethics conference is Sept. 27-28

For Indigenous people of the Columbia River and its tributaries, salmon were at their life's center. Destroying salmon was part of the genocide, said organizers of the 9th One River, Ethics Matter (OREM) international conference that focuses on restoring Spokane River salmon. It will be held online from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 27 and 28.

The previous conference, OREM-8, on restoring salmon to the Okanagan River, drew an international audience of about 650. The 2022 academic host, Eastern Washington University, can handle up to 1000 participants.

The hosts are the Spokane Tribe of Indians and the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, with support from Upper Columbia United Tribes.

This year's conference will also build on Pope Francis' recent visit to Canada regarding the genocide there, said John Osborn of the planning committee. 

"OREM will continue to empower people to talk about the various facets of the genocide, including the boarding schools, missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and salmon extirpation," he said.

OREM brings together three processes in ethics: a consultative process used in clinical medicine, the transformative process of the Columbia River Pastoral Letter from the Roman Catholic Bishops of the international watershed, and the Truth and Reconciliation process in response to apartheid in South Africa, John added.

The four panels in the conference are from the four sections of the Columbia River Pastoral Letter and help frame the broader public dialogue about the past and future of the Columbia River.

"The Spokane River was home to one of the most bountiful salmon runs in the entire Columbia River watershed. From time immemorial, Indigenous people gathered at Spokane Falls for the returning summer Chinook Salmon. Salmon remain deeply important for Indigenous culture and sustenance," organizers said.

"Today, however, dams block returning salmon. The Grand Coulee Dam alone cuts off more than 40 percent of total salmon and steelhead habitat in the Columbia Basin," organizers said.

Conference materials note that "against all odds—a genocidal past with a climate-crisis future—tribes have stepped into a leadership role to protect and restore rivers and salmon, and our collective future."

For information, call 939-1290, email or visit
Register is at

Earth Ministry tours state to build ties

During August and September, Seattle-based Earth Ministry has been traveling throughout Washington State to connect with communities, build relationships, celebrate and raise funds for faith-based organizing around environmental justice.

The gatherings are opportunities to recognize the community as a resource, share stories and tell about accomplishments.

There will be an online gathering from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept 8, and gatherings from noon to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17, at Collaboration Coffee in Yakima; 3 to 4:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 18 at Pioneer United Methodist Church in Walla Walla, and from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 20, at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Spokane.

For information, call 206-632-2426 or email

Senior Resource Fair will be Sept. 19

The 2022 Senior Resource Fair is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday, Sept. 19, at the Spokane Valley Senior Center in CenterPlace Event Center, 2426 N Discovery Pl.

Representatives from local senior services—transportation, housing, legal assistance, healthcare, Medicare, home services and others—will offer resources. RSVP for lunch.

For information, call 926-1937 or visit

Whitworth Leadership Forum is Sept. 20

The Whitworth President's Leadership Forum will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 20 at the Spokane Convention Center.

Retired U.S. Navy Admiral James Stavridis will speak on roots of the war in Ukraine,  profile Vladimir Putin based on personal experience and analyze the state of the conflict and its impact on the global economy.

James was NATO's 16th Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, 15th Commander of the U.S. European Command, and the longest-serving combatant commander in recent years.

For information on tickets, call 777-3449 or email or visit

VOA sets Eye Contact Art Exhibit Sept. 22

The Volunteers of America (VOA) Spokane fundraiser, "Eye Contact: Art Exhibit" is 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Historic Washington Cracker Building, 304 W. Pacific.

Artists, who are all youth, will showcase their work, connecting attendees with needs of vulnerable people in the community. The evening includes food, drinks, live music, a silent auction of local artists' artwork, performance art and a gallery show of work by women and youth experiencing homelessness.

For information, call 710-8944 or email

Habitat donors vie to rappel tall building

Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity Spokane is offering a unique fundraising opportunity: "Over the Edge for Affordable Home Ownership."

Participants who raise $1,000 for affordable housing initiatives of Habitat for Humanity Spokane will be able to rappel down the Bank of America Building, Spokane's tallest building, in "Rappel for Affordable Housing" on Saturday, Oct. 15.

Habitat highlights the need to build affordable housing for low- to medium-income families in Spokane to build community and hope. The nonprofit partners with communities of faith to put faith into action and strengthens philanthropic ties to make real change in the communities they serve. 

For information, visit

HRC holds Gala fundraising dinner

The Davenport Grand Hotel at 333 W Spokane Falls Blvd. will be the site of the HRC Ministries 6th Annual Gala beginning at 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 30. The dinner and program run from 6 through 8:30 p.m.

There will be music by the Zonky Jazz Band, a silent auction and a dinner, and an opportunity to honor volunteers.

Proceeds support HRC Ministries' work to help individuals and families affected by poverty, abuse and neglect.

For information, visit

CAP offers Cost of Poverty Simulation

Community Action Partnership is offering a Cost of Poverty Experience (C.O.P.E.) Simulation from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 13, at Community United Methodist Church, 1470 W. Hanley in Coeur d'Alene, to allow staff and volunteers of nonprofits to gain a hands-on understanding of living in poverty.

The C.O.P.E. Simulation offers options to be a participant, experiencing the poverty simulation or to be a "vendor," someone who works in a homeless shelter, community services or law enforcement.

"Poverty simulations offer an alternate perspective to staff and volunteers who work with people experiencing poverty. They open minds to a new way of looking at the world and invite more room for compassion," said Kimberly Spencer, community services manager with Community Action Partnership.

For information, call 208-770-3000 or email

Climate Center hosts two September events

The Gonzaga Center for the Study of Climate, Society and the Environment is hosting two events in September.

A screening of the documentary "Youth v. Gov" will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 8, at Hemmingson Auditorium. The film covers the story of Juliana v. The United States, a constitutional lawsuit taken on by 21 American youth aged 14 to 25.

Our Children's Trust, a nonprofit, has represented the youth since 2015, challenging the government's violation of their constitutional rights to life, liberty, personal safety and property by creating the climate crisis.

A talk on "Polar Bears and Global Warming: Connecting the Dots to the Rest of Us" will be at 6 p.m., Wednesday Sept. 28, at Hemmingson.

Steven Amstrup, a chief scientist for Polar Bears International, will present fun facts about polar bears and his work to convince Secretary of the Interior that loss of ice in the sea threatens polar bear survival in the Arctic. They are the first species listed as endangered because of global warming.

He will share updates from his work in 2020 on the impact of further ice melting and its connections to climate change affecting everyone, including the environment, economy and way of life in the Inland Northwest.

For information, visit

YWCA organizes banners for Domestic Violence Month

In October, YWCA Spokane is bringing back "Recognize. Respond. Refer." Domestic Violence Action Month (DVAM) banners across downtown.

Businesses and individuals can sponsor DVAM banners to display downtown in October. Sponsored banners will display a custom message provided by an individual or organization.

The DVAM banner sponsorship form is available at For banners to be produced and hung at the start of October, the deadline to commit is Sept. 12.

Along with the banners, YWCA Spokane encourages the community to go purple,the nationally designated color for domestic violence awareness.

The YWCA invites people to develop creative with purple displays, décor or lighting to show support for survivors. YWCA Spokane can provide ideas.

YWCA Spokane seeks to support survivors and say the community values healthy relationships.

For information, visit or email

Manzanita House is a place for immigrants

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.

In June, it held a community block party and in August, it offered a Back-to-School Resource Fair, at Knox Presbyterian Church, 806 W. Knox, where its office is located.

The block party included cultural music, food, immigrant businesses, local organizations and food distribution in partnership with Second Harvest Mobile Market.

The back-to-school fair offered backpacks, children's clothing and shoes, school supplies and other resources.

For information, call 309-8404, email or visit

North Idaho groups offer series on 'Finding Our Place'

The Human Rights Education Institute, Museum of North Idaho and St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Coeur d'Alene are collaborating to offer a six-session documentary and discussion series on "Finding Our Place in the Inland Northwest."

The first session is Thursday, Sept. 8, at the church, 501 E. Wallace.

The series is an opportunity to create thoughtful, small group, public discussions about realities, challenges and opportunities in the region. It is underwritten by a Project Neighborly grant from the Idaho Community Foundation.

The topics are "When Country Becomes City" on Sept. 8; "Owners and Laborers" on Sept. 22 at HREI, 414 W. Fort Grounds Dr.; "Paycheck to Paycheck" on Oct. 13; "Displaced in One's Homeland" on Oct. 27; "Being Not White in North Idaho" on Nov. 10, and "Who Is My Neighbor?" on Dec. 8.

The discussions are facilitated by The Langdon Group, a subsidiary of J-U-B Engineers, Inc.

For information, call 208-644-5333 or 208-292-2359.

World Relief names director

Christi Armstrong, former employment services coordinator with World Relief Spokane, is now their new executive director, bringing her years of serving refugees seeking employment opportunities in the Spokane area to her new role.

Recent upticks in refugees being resettled into Spokane include Afghanistan refugees last fall and Ukrainians this winter, spring and summer.

Volunteers, new staff and donations are needed to help with the new refugee arrivals, she said, including faith-based and business community support.

For information, contact,, (509) 484-9829

FAN invites regional solidarity to counteract white nationalism

Faith Action Network is calling for faith communities to consider actions in solidarity, such as prayer vigils, time of awareness in worship, educational forums about Christian nationalism and white supremacy movements and other collaboration between neighborhood faith traditions to counteract a gathering of Christian nationalists in Post Falls, part of the ReAwaken America Tour Sept. 16 to 17.
"We encourage you to celebrate the liberative themes of your tradition that uphold justice, peace, love and human dignity that weekend. These are spiritual tools against hate and division. As a multifaith movement, we commit ourselves to continue standing against antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, xenophobia and anti-democratic movements."
For information,






Copyright@ The Fig Tree, September 2022