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Feature Articles 2014

December 2014

Benedicto Ixtamer

Mayan painter Benedicto Ixtameruses his skills painting to earn a living, selling art to tourists in Guatemals and at U.S. art shows.

Tri-parish covenant renewal St. Mary’s Catholic, Advent Lutheran and Resurrection Episcopal churchesin Spokane Valley celebrated 40 years of informal and covenantal relationship that has impact on their lives, the community and the world.
Carl and Jean McConnell Tree of Sharing in three malls fills 7,000 gift requests from 46 agencies to make Christmas brighter from children to seniors.
Happy Watkins at MLK day

The Rev. Happy Watkins will give “I Have a Dream” throughout the community and region for Martin Luther King, Jr Day in January.

Jennifer Kim, Smart Justice Symposium speaker In three years, Smart Justice Spokane has made progress in reforming the criminal justice system, achieving better outcomes for people charged with crimes and for victims.
Dave Eubanks and Greta Gissel of Jingle Books

Coeur d’Alene educators collect books for Christmas gifts for children in low-income schools.

Susan tyler-Babrick, Women's Hearth Visitors to Women’s Hearth downtown drop-in center sense warmth of community that offers safety and opportunities.

“Raising Prophetic Voices: Faith Communities Advocate for Justice” theme 2015 Eastern Washington Legislative Conference Jan. 31.

Editorial Community extends to our locale, region, nation, globe and the less geographically bound virtual community, which includes media

Perhaps journalists should investigate what people don’t know and why.

November 2014

Denise Atwood

Ganesh Himal Trading had its roots 30 years ago in Nepal and has grown to be a wholesale fair trading company with 250 retail clients.

Roger Hudson, Wilbur WA Wilbur Uniting Church finds ways to be involved in reviving community spirit and opportunities.
Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, Opus Prize winner Hour Children will use Opus Prize for housing families of women returning from prison in New York.
Austin Zimmerman and Cameron Connor

New nonprofit will promote opportunities for educating girls, providing health care, building skills and improving facilities.

Kevin Trim, Recreation Director, East Central Community Center Kevin Trim reaches young people through the summer and after-school programs he coordinates at the East Central Community Center.
MJ Bolt of Greater Valley Support Network Network helps people reach outside their 'silos' to address needs of students and others by coordinating efforts.
Michelle Klippert, Youth Minister, Episcopal Church

Pacific Inland Northwest Enchange (PINE) encourages Episcopalian youth and adults to step outside their buildings and serve neighbors.

Steve Allen, Family Promise Spokane

Family Promise of Spokane moves into new building that doubles their capacity to serve homeless families in the Spokane area.

Article Speakers at Shabbat celebration of Sukkot express solidarity with members of Temple Beth Shalom.

Stemming the spread of Ebola calls for education and collaboration



October 2014

Joyce Miller

Whitworth Auxiliary's centennial cookbook co-editor works with several groups to serve the community

Opus Forum Opus Prize process at Gonzaga includes forum exploring how people helping people need to bridge cultures.
Jessan and Parkinson Coeur d'Alene church’s congregational development plan is already enhancing a family worship service, increasing participation and serving the community.
Archbishop Blase Cupich

Spokane’s Bishop Blase Cupich will continue commitment to immigration reform as Archbishop of Chicago.

Janeen Leachman New Hope Resource Center’s resources for serving the poor assists people after windstorm.
Riverside mobile home park

Disaster response after North Spokane windstorm includes neighbors, congregations and community.

Elise DeGooyer Faith Action Network’s new co-director brings years of faith-based commitment to social justice.

Catholic Charities Spokane is ready to respond to long-term, unmet, post-wildfire needs in Brewster, WA.

Climate March Activists, faith community, politicians joinmulti-generational march protesting climate change.

Beyond more ‘violence-justifies-violence’action, treaty scrutinizes arms trade.


Negative attitudes toward labor, lax enforcement leave workers unprotected


September 2014

Bob Lawrence

Bob Lawrence explores stories of good things people are doing on KSPS TV program, "Northwest Profiles."

Aaron Danowski, GU Gonzaga University hosts 2014 Opus Prize to promote faith-based, social entrepreneurial leadership.
Alison Crha Three Gonzaga student vetters visited sites of Opus Prize finalists in New York City, India and Thailand.
Sinead Voohees Krista Foundation addresses ways local communities benefit when young adults volunteer abroad and in urban centers.
Anne Salisbury

Anne Salisbury's volunteering in Coeur d'Alene and with The Fig Tree comes from her faith.

Les Harder

As part of its 30th anniversary,The Fig Tree celebrates and recognizes volunteers who make its distribution possible.

Sister Rose Theresa Costello

Sr. Rose Theresa Costello, who died July 2014, was among the faithful volunteers among the Holy Names Sisters.

Article Women and Children's Free Restaurant purchases building to expand meals it can prepare and serve.
Article Dominican sister and nurse share memories of Holy Family Hospital when it opened 50 years ago.
Sounding Board

Sisters of Providence join other faith leaders in region to call for respect of Northwest Native American treaty rights

Editorial Church leaders pledge to support Native tribes to protect the environment in face of coal and oil export.

Faith community expresses concerns about racism and militarization of police related to Ferguson, Mo., shooting.


June 2014

Michael Kinnamon

Ecumenist Michael Kinnamon says Fig Tree pursues its ecumenical mission through communication at the Fig Tree 30th Anniversary Dinner.

Karen Spear Latter-day Saints Relief Society finds many ways to reach out and serve the community needs.
Claude Kistler Pia Hallenberg and Claude Kissler are recognized for roles in using media to improve lives at NW Alliance for Responsible Media.
Ruwan Palapathwala

WCC Assembly report: Anglican chaplain appreciates Muslim-Christian relationships in Dubai.

Kaye Hult Kaye Hult expands role at The Fig Tree to serve as administrative and volunteer coordinator.
Lorna Kropp

Lorna Kropp brings ecumenical commitment to her role as The Fig Tree’s webmaster.

Marilyn Stedman Fig Tree involvement has been ‘backbone’ of Marilyn Stedman’s other volunteer commitments.
Roger Ross

Roger Ross, Fig Tree Board member, helped The Fig Tree transition into becoming an independent nonprofit publication.


Happy Watkins

Happy Watkins, Fig Tree Board Member, helps keep The Fig Tree in tune with community issues


Deidre Jacobson

Deidre Jacobson, Fig Tree Board Member, is committed to sustain The Fig Tree into the future.

Lutherhaven camp Church camps find innovative ways to recruit more campers eash summer - Lutherhaven, Ross Point and Twinlow
Camp Spalding Area church camps expand programs and reach out to wider communities - Camp Spalding, N-Sid-Sen, and Camp Cross.
Diana Hornbogen

Therapist Diana Hornbogen educates people to understand emotions, control actions.

Editorial Communication connects multiple pieces to give perspective




May 2014

Regina Malveaux

Social justice is part of the reason Regina Malveaux,executive director for the YWCA of Spokane, was drawn to the Y.

Mark Kinney Mark Kinney, Mission Community Outreach Center clothing bank, seeks to create a sense of dignity as people “shop”.
Sheriff and pastor challenge faith community to work together on youth, neighborhoods, homelessness and health.
George Griffin, Jr.

For George Griffin, Jr., of Griffin Publishing, Inc., relationships are the beauty of working in a small business.

Mary Stamp

Mary Stamp, editor, says The Fig Tree teaches people they can make a difference through their own actions, large and small.

Sara Weaver

Sara Weaver started editing in 2007 and stays because she is astounded how many people are doing good things,”

Mary Mackay, editing team Mary Mackay was involved with the initial group in 1984, helping to found The Fig Tree, and returned to join the editing team.
Eugenie Alexander

Eugenie Alexander, finds editing for The Fig Tree a break from stresses in life and an opportunity for companionship.

Inga Jablonsky

Inga Jablonsky signed up through United Way to volunteer with The Fig Tree in 2011, drawn to help with archiving articles.

Diane Crow, edit team

Diane Crow joined the editing team in 2011 after signing up to help edit at a benefit breakfast.

Malcolm Haworth Resource Directory: Guide to Congregations and Community Resources editor, Malcolm Haworth, develops partnerships to expand directory.

Nancy Minard finds editorials a way to continue conversations. She's in Portland, Ore., but continues to write for The Fig Tree.

Mama Hanna Ross Jones

Prayer Ministry is named for Mama Hanna Ross-Jones, who at the age of 90 continues to live a life devoted to prayer.

Elders’ wisdom includes listening, seeing, wit and taking time


April 2014

Irene Boehm

Irene Boehm's story is among 52,000 testimonies of people who survived the Holocaust. She survived in Hungary by hiding her identity.

Randy Goss, CROP Randy Goss is committed to help hungry people through his efforts to organize annual CROP Hunger Walks in Spokane.
Sherry Wallace Sherry Wallis, director of the Post Falls Food Bank, considers it “an amazing gift” to help prevent hunger.
D.R. Michel D.R. Michel, executive director of the Upper Columbia United Tribes (UCUT), works to modernize the international treaty for the Columbia River.
Jim Schrock Jim Schrock, urban organic farmer, Eden Urban Farm, also operates a recycling business, Earthworks, to care for the earth.
Michael Kinnamon

Michael Kinnamon, educator, author and leader in the ecumenical movement globally and nationally, will speak April 30 for Fig Tree Anniversary Dinner.

Sue Orlowski

Sue Orlowski, a member of the Sisters of Providence community, is committed to building international, intercultural ties.

Latah Valley Presby. Church garden

Latah Valley Presbyterian Church was chartered in 2013 as an Earth Care Congregation, said Rick Melin, retired pastor and leader.

Sounding Board Comments from the Fig Tree Benefit Breakfast and Lunch Speakers, March 12 and 14

Whitworth University student volunteers will pack 1 million meals to feed hungry people in Guatemala.


March 2014


The Rev C.W. (Chet) Andrews and his wife celebrate milestones in ministry, marriage and for Calvary Baptist Church.

Bridget Cannon Bridget Cannon, once a volunteer now Crosswalk Director, is hooked on the care offered to teens that restores hope.
Ron Klein Temple Beth Shalom’s annual Kosher Dinner reaches not only stomachs, but also touches the hearts, minds, souls and spirits.
Ross Point Camp Ross Point Camp and Conference Center in Post Falls, Idaho, is building a 9,400-square-foot lodge, called Ponderosa Lodge.  

2014 Benefit Speakers will tell how the media empower people through sharing stories of hope, justice and action.

Michael Kinnamon

Telling Stories of Belonging Together is title of Michael Kinnamon’s speech during the 30th Fig Tree Anniversary Dinner

Deb and Twa-le Abrahamson SHAWL Society recently reported on the status of cleanup at the Ford Mill Site, the Midnight Mine on the Spokane Reservation
Shar Lichty, PJALS

Shar Lichty, death penalty abolition organizer for the PJALS, happywith Governor's moratorium announcement.

Larry Andrews Larry Andrews is working to revive Partners International, expanding the global church by partnering with indigenous leaders.
Dwayne Hunt and Roberta Wilburn

The Rev. Roberta Wilburn, Whitworth University,is installed as President of the Spokane Minister's Fellowship

Article Liberty Park Child Development Centerdrops day care in favor of free after school drop-in center- The Champions.
Article Washington Catholic Bishops support moratorium and more public conversation on capital punishment

Robert Wiese, clerk of the Spokane Friends Church, commends the suspension of the death penalty.

Editorial Milestones stir reflection on who we are, and why we do what we do

From personhood and free speech, corporations claim religious freedom


February 2014

Linda Hunt

Linda Hunt combines her journey of grief following the loss of her daughter with additional research for new book.

Inga Weber

Furnishings for Hope, a new store, will open to support the Catholic Charities - Spokane Furniture Bank.

Mike Bullard The Rev. Mike Bullard, retired, continues to serve the church through his involvement in Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.
Janice Marich

Spokane County United Way now serves as a convener, collaborator and capacity builder to change systems.

Carolyn Gordon Carolyn Gordon, Fuller Seminary, called those who came to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day service “bell ringers for freedom.”
Simone Jaggers

Simone Jaggers oversees seven colleagues in AmeriCorps VISTA projects, operating under SNAP.

Caritas, Spokane Friends Church

Spokane Friends Church has welcomedCaritas Outreach Ministry of Northwest Spokane to share its building.

Several community leaders offered reflections on the local significance of the annual Martin Luther King Jr., Day


Speakers at 2014 Eastern Washington Legislative Conference urged listeners to reflect on and speak out on issues.



January 2014

Rick Eichstaedt

The Center for Justice celebrates 15th anniversary of belief that if just one person experiences injustice, all do.

Steve Tammaro Steve Tammaro, YMCA CEO, says YMCA Spokaneoffers much more than gym and swim.
Jessica Tschaida Jessica Tschida formed a chapter of the Coalition to Abolish Human Trafficking in the Inland Northwest.
Eliese and Ezra Kinlow

Ezra and Eleise Kinlow attribute their long marriage to mutual respect and collaboration one day at a time.

Tom Altepeter Tom Altepeter, who grew up Roman Catholic, started St. Clare Ecumenical Catholic Community, in Spokane in 2012.
Roberta Wilburn

Roberta Wilburn builds diversity at Whitworth University and leads the Ministers' Fellowship as President.

Vets Children Children of veterans affected by military-related stress can now receive help at Lutheran Community Services Northwest.

In-Home Services

SAFE was started to draw private donations and grants to supplement inadequate public funding by ALTCEW.

Ekklesia Project

Whitworth University awarded $1 millionto fund comprehensive church engagement project called Ekklesia.

State Bishops

Washington's Catholic bishops support policies on immigration, sales of guns.


WCC Assembly speakers, statement on peace, intersect with Pope’s call for peace.


Focus on ills of those in poverty a way to avoid creating a fair society.


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