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September 2014 News Events

Action network plans events

Elise DeGooyer, co-director of the Faith Action Network (FAN), said FAN is part of a diverse movement of faith communities supporting Initiative 594, which says that anyone acquiring firearms in Washington State must pass a background check, no matter where they obtain the gun.

Elise said the effort includes having faith leaders and faith communities endorse the initiative, volunteer and invite educational speakers. 

Other issues of concern to FAN constituents include the environment, wage theft, economic justice, hunger and poverty, economic inequality and abolishing the death penalty, she said.

FAN is also organizing 15 fall regional geographic cluster meetings for its 82 advocating faith communities.  The gatherings are opportunities for those faith communities to meet with neighbors, to update each other on advocacy efforts  and to discern new ways to affect the common good.

The Central Washington cluster will meet from 1 to 3 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 18, at Faith Lutheran Church in Leavenworth.

The Spokane Cluster meets from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., at a location to be announced.

The Yakima/Tri-Cities Cluster meeting is being scheduled.

For information, call 206-625-9790 or email

Quilts of Valor Group forms

Diane Watters, the Eastern Washington coordinator for Quilts of Valor, presented handmade quilts to three veterans, Clarence ‘Sonny’ Shaffer, Jim West and Buck Buchanan, during August at Rockwood at Hawthorne.

Quilts of Valor Foundation (QOVF) began in the sewing room of Catherine Roberts in Seaford, Del., whose son was deployed in Iraq.  She linked quilters in a national effort to cover all returning service men and women. 

To date, QOV volunteers have made more than 103,490 quilts. Rockwood at Hawthorne residents and staff have formed their own Quilts of Valor Group. 

For information, call 536-6656.

Megaload protests continue

Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allied grassroots groups have recently been staging peaceful protests and monitoring activities opposing the heaviest and longest megaload to cross northern Idaho and western Montana.  They coordinated with similar actions in Lewiston to Hope, Idaho, during August.

Bigge Crane and Rigging Company was hauling one of three hydrocracker sections from the Port of Wilma near Clarkston across northwestern Montana, to the Montana Refining Company tar sands refinery in Great Falls, Mont.

Upon installation, the Montana Refining Company hydrocracker unit would convert 25,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude sludge into diesel for further North Dakota and Montana shale oil extraction operations and diluent for Alberta tar sands pipelines, reported Helen Yost of Wild Idaho Rising Tide.

“All of this destructive development exacerbates regional ecocide, indigenous genocide, American militarization, climate change and global instability,” she said, adding that the massive transports degrade publicly funded road and bridge infrastructure and the rural and wild character of increasingly remote megaload routes.

Wild Idaho Rising Tide promotes power production by renewable energy sources because they provide greater employment, a stronger economy and avert these ruinous impacts, she said.

For information, call 208-301-8039 or visit

Retreat center offers September events

Immaculate Heart Retreat Center will host several events during September, including Coffee and Contemplation, a Native American Day of Reflection, a Dinner Series on Islam, and daily virtual retreats online.

Coffee and Contemplation, an ecumenical spiritual discussion and prayer event, continues with the Rev. Gretchen Rehberg, rector of Nativity Episcopal Church in Lewiston, discussing “One Body, One Spirit: Connected in God” (Romans 12) from 9 to 11 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Gretchen will explore how the image of the church as the Body of Christ can be a powerful way of understanding one’s role in the church, as well as the grounds for unity of ministry.

After high school in Pullman, she was in the Eastern U.S. for 24 years before returning in 2006.  She earned a doctoral degree in organic chemistry and taught at Bucknell University before entering the ministry.  She has earned masters of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees and is ordained as an Episcopal priest.

She also served for 21 years as a volunteer EMT/firefighter. 

The Native American Day of Reflection, “The Medicine Wheel: Christ and Our Land,” will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 24, led by Catherine Swan Reimer, who is of Inupiat Eskimo heritage.

This experiential event is about developing balance in the reflective spirit to understand the Christian Medicine Wheel, modeled off the Alaskan Medicine Wheel.  Each participant will evaluate her or his walk with Christ in an atmosphere of teaching and reflection. 

The Dinner Series and two conferences on Islam, led by Father Patrick Baraza, will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesdays, Sept. 30 and Oct. 28.

Father Patrick, who was born and raised in Kenya, worked for eight years among the nomads, called Pokot, learning about Islam in his homeland.  He attended the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, then the Graduate Theological Union, where he was the first person to earn a doctoral degree in Islam Studies.

The topic for September is “Islam I: Arabia and Islam,” and for October is “Islam II: Islam, Arabia and the World.”

The center also provides a daily virtual retreat conducted by Retreat Master Deacon John Ruscheinsky.  These retreats follow the liturgical cycle and provide a meditative reflection on the day’s scriptural readings.  They are opportunities for people to take time out of their busy days to reflect on the word of God in their homes or on their mobile devices.  The retreats are at

The events are held at the center, 6910 S. Ben Burr Rd.  For information, call 448-1224 or email

Nada Stockton speaks at Caring for Kids event

Nada Stockton, athlete, mother of six and wife of basketball star John Stockton, will be the featured speaker for the 18th annual Caring for Kids Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 25, at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Spokane.

The luncheon supports St. Anne’s Children and Family Center, a program of Catholic Charities Spokane, and Morning Star Boys’ Ranch.

Nada will speak on the importance of teamwork in raising healthy children in the community.

For information, call 358-4254 or email

Transitions’ benefit will be on Oct. 9

Transitions’ annual “People Who Care Event,” Thursday, Oct. 9, at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park includes breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and lunch at noon.

It introduces the community to Transitions’ services and the women they serve as its five programs work to end poverty and homelessness among women and children in Spokane. 

For 19 years, this agency has hosted the event that features speakers who share their stories of growth and success, and a video sharing the impact of its programs.    

This year, Transitions seeks to raise $130,000.  It seeks event sponsors, table sponsors, table captains and guests.  In 2013, Transitions served 1,471 women and children; assisted 53 women in furthering their education; supported 65 who found employment; provided 73 women with one-on-one vocational counseling, and empowered 85 women to move into permanent housing.

For information, call 328-6702, email or visit 

Group sponsors Compassion Games in Spokane Sept. 11-22

One Peace Many Paths is venturing onto a new path in 2014, shifting its energies from one-time events to address underlying conditions that make inner and interpersonal peace possible, said coordinator Joan Broeckling.

One new initiative is serving as catalyst for Compassion Games from Sept. 11 to 22.

Through joining the international Compassion Games, it seeks to expand from its emphasis on an internal process to come to an attitude of caring compassion, kindness and peace.

“Compassion is not complete without action,” Joan quoted Tibetan Buddhist Monk Geshe Phelyge, who has worked at Gonzaga University and Eastern Washington University.

During the traditional 11 Days of Peace this year, One Peace Many Paths is encouraging individuals to do “random acts of kindness” and to be “secret agents of compassion” by participating in service projects.

It has contacted more than 40 faith and community groups to offer service projects.  As of press time, 20 were committed and nine more are interested.

Joan said the 11 days coincide with the United Way Day of Action on Thursday, Sept. 11.  Opportunities are at

The opening ceremony for the Compassion Games is at 7 p.m., Sept. 11, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4340 W. Ft. Wright Dr.  Those coming are asked to bring a donation of diapers for Inland Northwest Baby or nonperishable food for people in need. 

Participating organizations will have displays that offer ways to become involved in compassionate action during the 11 days.

There will be a Let’s Keep It Going Ceremony and potluck at 6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 21, on International Day of Peace, at the Center for Spiritual Living, 2825 E. 33rd Ave.  It will include sharing stories from the 11 days, reflecting on intentions for compassionate living in the coming year and an Honoring the Nations ceremony, Joan said. 

“Compassion is a universal value that brings us together in faith and community groups,” she said.  “Deepening compassion helps the community and individuals.  It removes the inner critic and creates a better life.”

The Compassion Games will include a social media campaign, inviting people to stop and think about what compassion means, even if they do not sign up to do a specific act.

The international Compassion Games involve being an organizer or participant, doing service projects, sharing reports online and celebrating results.  The program is described at

For information, email

Group sponsors event for seniors

SAFE, Senior Assistance Fund of Eastern Washington, is sponsoring a conference from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 13, at Spokane Community College Lair, Building 6. 

The conference is geared to boomers who are entering retirement and those retired.  It will include speakers and exhibitors and cover such topics as exercise and mobility, planning for change, retirement travel, financial abuse and lifestyle subjects such as gardening, golfing and walking.

SAFE is a nonprofit whose mission is to foster and support programs, services and educational events that promote independence and self reliance for seniors, said Jan Kincaid.

For information, call 467-0558.

Cardboard City is fundraiser for Family Promise

Family Promise of North Idaho - Cardboard Box City - will be held overnight from October 3 to 4th at Fernan Elementary School, 520 N. 21st St., Coeur d'Alene, ID. This event benefits homeless children and families in North Idaho.
Participants supply and decorate cardboard boxes in which to sleep overnight;
and find sponsors and collect pledges for the event.

Arrival and set-up time is 4-6 p.m.
Soup line 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Live music and prizes from 6-9 p.m.
Breakfast, Oct. 4, 6:30-7:30 a.m.
Tear-down and clean-up 6:30-8 a.m.

To participate, sponsor, show support or volunteer, call Family Promise at 208-777-4190.
ORĀ  stop by Cardboard Box City on the evening of Oct. 3rd!

Published by The Fig Tree, 1323 S. Perry St., Spokane, WA 99202
509-535-4112 / 509-535-1813

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