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Fig Tree compiles Jo Hendricks' editorials in a book

In her more than 23 years of writing editorials for The Fig Tree, Jo Hendricks covered concerns about war and peace, justice, race relations, social concerns, health and environment from a spiritual and interfaith perspective.

The Fig Tree has compiled her editorials into a 168-page, spiral-bound book, One Woman’s Words of Wisdom, which was published in late December.

Jo Hendricks
Jo Hendricks

One of her primary concerns and mission emphases has been to develop awareness in Inland Northwest churches about both global and community needs—the needs people have for justice and for church involvement. 

Whether it is environmental visions for preservation of Alaskan wilderness areas or as a whistleblower regarding asbestos in Idaho, her Fig Tree editorials covered a wide variety of issues of the times.

“I have sought to touch the timbre of our times in both awareness and involvement in legislative action by faith communities,” she said.  “Writing about such issues keeps me alert to the world.  With the message of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, we can make a difference in both people’s attitudes and their actions.”

Jo grew up in Wenatchee, the daughter of an attorney and a teacher.  Her father’s early death led her mother to move back to her family in Seattle, where Jo graduated from high school.  The Depression cut short her studies at the University of Washington, and she worked in a local store.

She married her husband, Frank, in 1935, and two years later they moved to Spokane, where Jo reared their four children and also worked as manager for a medical office.

In her 45 years as a member at Manito Presbyterian Church, Jo was active in missions and the church’s refugee resettlement program, helping settle 80 Hmong and Vietnamese refugees.

She was also active in Church Women United, the United Nations Association and Westminster Food Bank—among about 10 denominational, ecumenical, civic and social justice organizations she participated in for many years.

Jo has been an avid reader and legislative activist for peace and social issues she found rooted in biblical history.  In addition to writing as The Fig Tree’s contributing editor since 1984, she has written articles for interfaith and church publications, along with numerous letters to the editor in the local newspaper.

“I want to alert people to be public minded, to know change comes through involvement in the church and society,” said Jo, who now attends Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church.

“The Fig Tree transcends the usual media.  Its logo, from Micah 4:4, offers the vision of each person sitting under his or her own fig tree in peace and unafraid.”

For information on the book, call 535-1813.

Mary Stamp - The Fig Tree - © January 2007