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Fig Tree Feature Stories Archive 2011

December 2011

image Bundled in Stephy Nobles-Beans’ life are ministries of prayer, a home for victims of abuse, preaching and more
Ann Marie Byrd Catholic Charities Spokane has increased its annual Christmas Collection goal anticipating increased needs if state budget cuts are decided.
Sister Rosalie Locati- Providence Sister Rosalie Locati, of Sacred Heart Hospital, honors founder Mother Joseph’s vision of compassionate tradition in health care.
Larry Weiser - Gonzaga Law School

Gonzaga Law School’s clinical education program, directed by Larry Weiser, gives access to legal services for low-income elderly people.

John Tusant The Rev. John Tusant had not realized God was leading him and his wife, Barbara, on a straight line to teach English and assist at a church in Mongolia
Jim Falkner at Sister Memorial Catholic Cemeteries of Spokane recently constructed and dedicated the Sisters Memorial Plaza, a commemorative monument in landscape
Kaye DeLong Kaye DeLong, Director of Caritas, reaches out to individuals and families in the neighborhoods of the supporting congregations to address needs.
Faith and social service providers met for an emergency summit to learn about and protest the Washington budget with $2 billion in cuts.
Forty-two social service agencies and faith-based ministries signed an open letter to announce:  “We are standing for the poor.”

November 2011

Nancy McCabe Nancy Cabe's involvement in ministry with women and orphans in Thailand grew from chance encounter at Presbyterian conference.
Sarah Calvin Sarah Calvin, does marketing for Ganesh Himal Trading Co. in Spokane by sharing ideas of fair trade and stories.
Catherine Armsteadis Catherine Armstead, the Director of Counseling Service for St. Joseph Family Center, sees the psychological impact of the economic recession.
Fall has been a season of changes for The Fig Tree, with one retirement and several new interns from area colleges.
Occupy Spokane - Wells Clergy and laity from many Spokane churches have prayed, marched and taken turns waving signs at Occupy Spokane.
Doug and Liz Searles Doug and Liz Searles share in Eastern Washington churches about their mission work with Evangelical Reformed Church in Poland.
Jubilee market grows to include 30 fair-trade vendors First Presbyterian Church on November 11-12, 2011.
Tracy Simmons, RNS

Religion News, LLC, new nonprofit based at the University of Missouri, has started Religion News Spokane (RNS), as the first of 20 websites

John Hancock helped start Friends of Compassion, organizing gatherings for people of diverse religions, philosophies and points of view
Nate Greene

Nate Greene is optimistic that The Ministry Institute can grow to carry out its mission of faith education, and ministry leadership. 

Bea Alden Bea Alden is concerned about diminishing respect for human rights in the United States and around the world.

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Nov. 13 to 20, is an opportunity to educate people.

Reflections from The Rev. Kris Christensen, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and The Rev. Mike Denton, Pacific Northwest Conference UCC.

Deb Conklin The Rev. Deb Conklin is helping two churches discern their passions for ministry in their neighborhoods
Model UN Gonzaga

Three students in Gonzaga University’s Model United Nations will speak at Spokane’s United Nations Day Dinner

Rhosetta Rhodes

Rhosetta Rhodes expands commitment to community through the “continuum of problem solving” at Whitworth

Whitworth Community Day

1,500 Whitworth students, staff and faculty went to 45 sites around Spokane for their annual Community Building Day.


GU's Center for Community Action and Service Learning (CCASL) plant seeds of the Jesuit identity of service and justice

Michael Stewart

Okanogan County Veterans Board, led by Michael Stewart, is hosting a Volunteer Services Officer Training

Bong Cho Healthy Store

Two West Central Spokane stores have been designated Healthy Corner Stores by the Spokane Regional Health District. 

Anna Gonzales

Hope for a New Tomorrow helps men and women previously incarcerated to have access to a support system

Second Harvest remodels to provide a space where volunteers can pack more produce

interfaith - Mona Ali

The Interfaith Council of Spokane and One Peace Many Paths gathered people of different faith paths for service for peace

KYRS Thin Air Community Radio station nonprofit, non-commercial, listener-supported radio station to go full power

With its 2011 awards, Gonzaga’s Institute for Hate Studies recognizes role of abuse and media in hate - Partners with Families and Children and Mary Stamp, Editor, The Fig Tree

September 2011

Alice Woldt

WAC and LPPO merge to form the Faith Action Network: A Partnership for the Common Good (FAN).

Hollis Bredaweg

The Rev. Hollis Bredeweg, recently reflected on ways monetary and market pressures affect churches’ ministries.

Bishop Martin Wells

Lutheran Bishop Martin Wells said the economic collapse calls for people of faith to re-examine the nature of money

Dale Cockrum

Rev. Dale Cockrum, reports some churches close, sell buildings to make way for new ways to serve communities, neighborhoods


Spokane Valley Lutheran churches consolidate to form Advent Lutheran Church, sharing resources for ministry and outreach.

Sister Irene Knopes

Women have been pastoral leaders at St. Joseph Parish for 28 year where Sister Irene Knopes serves as Parish Administrator.

World Relief offers simulation of refugees’ experiences for hundreds of students, church groups, educators and nonprofit organizations

Strokes of paintbrush or other creative arts enhance spiritual healing, partnering with medical care, on the long road to recovery.

Lindy Scott, of the Costa Rica Center, Whitworth’s first international study center designed to increase cross-cultural learning.

Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations celebrates 30 years of promoting acceptance of diversity.

June 2011

Mary Ann Murphy

Mary Ann Murphy, Partners With Families and Children, leaves a legacy as a champion of children.

Spalding race

Outdoor adventures, water sports, music and reflection draw youth to summer church camps - part 1

Yakama Christian Mission Daycamp

Summer church camps build leadership, connect faith to life, and serve nearby communities - part 2

Sister Virginia Shelton

As Holy Names Sister Virginia Shelton turns 100, she continues to pray daily with her rosary to help others.

Pastor A. S. Rhodes

Pastor A.S. Rhodes, a carpenter, preacher, teacher and pastor rebuilds and restores lives and buildings.

Wade Family

The Wade Family, North Addison Baptist Church, adopted an Ethiopian orphan which led church to a fall mission trip.

2011-12 Resource Directory: Guide to Congregations and Community Resources to be published in July

When ‘reality’ is defined by a violent, oppressive market, is peace naive?

Despite a tight economy,churches have helped New Orleans rebuild. We make do with what we have.

May 2011

Izzeldin Abuelaish

Palestinian Izzeldin Abuelaish was speaker for the International Conference on Hate Studies.

Charlene Teters

Spokane tribal member Charlene Teters challenges portrayals of Indian people as objects, mascots and stereotypes

Kimmy Meinecke

The Rev. Kimberly Meinecke joined a three-month ecumenical team to witness to Palestinian/Israeli relationships

Connor Radkey

Peace Corps volunteers experience how complexities complicate HIV and AIDS education and prevention in Swaziland.

Ben Jealous ,NAACP

NAACP event called Spokane to challenge those who left a bomb along the MLK march route in January.

Kim Harmson

Kizuri hosts Oriental Rug sale and education program with Ten Thousand Villages, Mennonite Central Committee,

Sister Pat Millen

Sister Pat Millen provides hospitality, spiritual direction, and counseling at St. Joseph’s Family Center

Wim Mauldin

Spokane Alliance concludes a Season of Listening and Solidarity in area faith, labor and education organizations.

signup for audit

More South Hill residents can sign up with SustainableWorks to make their homes more energy efficient.

Workshop to provide faith community and grassroots activists with tools and resources to act on behalf of veterans

Hope in these times emerges as we help shape and join in movements to work for justice and healing.

We are truly living in a world, in which hope and hopelessness seem to be meeting one another in great . . . .

April 2011

Carl Wilkens

Carl Wilkens from World Outside my Shoes will speak at Yom Hashoah, April 28, Temple Beth Shalom.

Carla Peperzak Carla Peperzak reflects on experience during WWII as she reviews essays for Yom Hashoah "Tell the Children" theme.
Patrick Hartin

Catholic Diocese of Spokane’s new ecumenical officer, Father Patrick Hartin, also teaches at Gonzaga U.

Corazon Weavers

Corazon Scarves and LCSNW partner to raise awareness + funds during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

YWCA to host a community gathering for Take a Stand against Racism Day from noon to 1 p.m., Friday, April 29.

Lynn Swedberg

Lynne Swedberg, occupational therapist consults for churches, and camps about accessibility and inclusion.

Cindy Algoe

Cindy Algeo, SLIHC, collaborates to increase the number of affordable homes for renters and homeowners.

Spokane’s Earth Day promotes stewardship of earth on Main Street Saturday, April 2311 a.m. to midnight.

Fig Tree Benefits - "Lifting Voices of Hope" brought words of support and appreciation for the work of the Fig Tree.

The Fig Tree continues to lift up voices to inform, inspire and involve

Disaster recovery is a long-term process requiring more than money

March 2011

Twa-le Abrahamson

SHAWL Society and Massachusettsresearcher working together to aid area clean-up from nuclear production

Marco Kaltofen

Marco Kaltofen, WPI in Worchester, Massachusetts, met a gathering of the SHAWL Society in Wellpinit

Tom Carpenter, director of Hanford Challenge, seeks to remediate the largest toxic mess in the U.S

Ira Amstadter

Peace Corps volunteers tell about commitment to community service as part of celebrating the 50th anniversary

Swami Radhananda

Interest in yoga as a physical exercise led to learning of the spiritual side of yoga said Swami Radhananda

Kristine Ruggles

Christ Clinic and Christ Kitchen turn around the culture of poverty in West Central Spokane

Larry Burnley

Larry Burnley challenges faculty, administration, staff and students to live into Whitworth University’s mission

Craig Rennebohm

Promoting a companionship ministry, the Rev. Craig Rennebohm is training pastoral counselors, and faith groups

Who will speak?  Who will lift voicesof hope?  Plenty of people will, says The Fig Tree editor, Mary Stamp

The much required of those with much triggered thoughts about a different time and different attitudes

February 2011

Lynn Nelson

Lynn Nelson’s fascination with spiritual questions led to serve as pastor of her hometown church four years ago.

Ivan Bush with Sign MLK Day March participants call for celebrating and acting in moral leadership model of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Leslie and Sheila Braxton

Rev. Leslie Braxton, New Beginnings Christian Fellowship,Tacoma, called for moral leadership in the 21st century. 

Josiah Brown

Josiah Brown, has experienced more urban ministry and African poverty than many people experience in a lifetime.

Bishop Jim Waggoner

Bishop Jim Waggoner, called for people to live into hope that inspires action at recent Legislative Conference.

Jim Mohr

Jim Mohr recommends shifting from making our decisions based on fear to making decisions based on faith.

Nadine Stone WA budget shortfall, tax cuts and widening economic disparity discussed at Legislative Conference workshop.
Alice Woldt Alice Woldt challenged Legislative Conference participants to find our voices.  Silence is not golden.
Patricia Butterfield

Patricia Butterfield, WSU Nursing School Dean,says healing begins with competence, compassion, connection.

As groups and leaders change, work for human rights continues

Letters to the editor can inform and enlighten, rather than inflame

January 2011

Happy Watkins Rev Happy Watkins, who inspires others, will be honored by the WAC, receiving the Interfaith and Justice award. . .
David Hacker

David Hacker is guiding informal ecumenical ministries on the Yakama Reservation . . . .

Debbie Dupey

By selling fairly traded scarves, Debbie Dupey seeks to empower women from Guatemala and the U.S.

Elizabeth Goldstein

Elizabeth Goldstein, a Jewish rabbi, teaches Old Testament as professor in Religious Studies at Gonzaga University

Riverstone Family Health Northeast Clinic opens to serve half of Spokane County’s 40,000 medically uninsured residents.

‘Beyond a Climate of Fear’ is the theme for the Eastern Washington Legislative Conference on Saturday, Jan. 22.

Spokane’s Mentoring Children of Promise program connects more than 40 at-risk children and youth with a mentor. 

Spokane Interfaith Council held a panel presentation in October at the Cathedral of St. John to discuss those traditions.

Sarah Conover

Sarah Conover writes books to share with children and adults the richness of the world’s traditions of wisdom

Small TV bites of bright ideas offer a new model for media activism.


Taxes are cut for everyone, now we need the promised jobs


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