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Flora Bowers was one who voted to start The Fig Tree

Flora Bowers is a retired United Methodist pastor


Flora Bowers, a retired United Methodist pastor, has watched The Fig Tree from its beginning. She was involved with the Spokane Christian Coalition when Mary came with an idea.

"We listened to her. It was a great idea, but I wondered how it would work. Now we are celebrating its 40 years," Flora said. "Mary has given her life to this work. She has gathered people who are gifted in writing, journalism and organizing. They bless the community."

Flora lived in Spokane 30 of the last 40 years—first as a pastor, next as district superintendent responsible for 50 United Methodist churches and then in retirement since 2008.

"I've just enjoyed watching it grow. Every time I came back, it was bigger and better," she said.

"I read The Fig Tree faithfully every month. The first thing I do is go to the back and look at the calendar to find what I want to do this month," Flora said.

"The Fig Tree covers every religious institution. It's ecumenical and interfaith. It empowers people by the stories," Flora said. "I look at an article and think I want to go to that event or talk to that person. It empowers us by enabling us to know that other people think the same things, want to do the same things or need people to help out. It gives me encouragement to know I'm not alone. It helps us join together.

"For me, empowerment comes as The Fig Tree tells us what's happening in the faith communities," she said, "We learn what positive things people are doing. For most media, if it bleeds it leads. We think the world is only bleeding, but actually it's also getting better. It's healing. Religious institutions are involved in the world. Churches do things for people. The Fig Tree helps us find ways we can get involved."

Flora said she reads it from cover to cover. She looks for people she knows and learns from those she doesn't know.

"It says there are good things happening in this chaotic world. Positive things are happening," Flora said. "There's faith, hope and love. That's important for people who aren't in faith communities to know."

Copyright@ The Fig Tree, May 2024