'Inform, Inspire, Involve' is 2019 theme
"Inform, Inspire, Involve" is the theme for the 2019 Eastern Washington Legislative Conference from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, at Spokane Valley United Methodist Church, 115 N. Raymond.
The Rev. Jim CastroLang, Eastern Washington representative on the Faith Action Network Board and member of the planning committee with representatives from The Fig Tree and Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington, will moderate a panel discussion on how a religious grounding helps generate policies that improve lives and society.
Panelists will be Episcopal Bishop Gretchen Rehberg, the Rev. Walter Kendricks of Morningstar Baptist, D.R. Michel of Upper Columbia United Tribes and Catholic Bishop William Skylstad.
Plans include workshops on the environment, gun safety, immigration, taxes and revenues, homelessness and children.
Community agencies will bring displays to share in a resource fair.
NW-ARM presents video, discussion on media
The Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media is presenting a screening of and discussion on Robert McChesney's documentary, "Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy," from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14, at Gonzaga University's Wolff Auditorium in Jepson.
Robert is a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
He is the author of 24 books on media and the political economy, including Digital Disconnect, Communication Revolution and the award-winning Rich Media, Poor Democracy.
With John Nichols, he is co-author of the award-winning Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex Is Destroying America. His work has been translated into 31 languages.
In Digital Disconnect, Robert looks at advances in the digital age and how the decline in enforcing antitrust violations, the increase in patents on digital technology and other policies make the Internet "a place of numbing commercialism," dominated by a few monopolies.
He contends that the capitalist control of the Internet has led to the collapse of credible journalism and made the Internet a tool for government and corporate surveillance, and a "disturbingly anti-democratic force."
In "Digital Disconnect," he challenges people to reclaim the potential of the digital revolution to spread democratization.
For information, call 313-6656 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Immigration policy redefines 'public charge'
A newly proposed change in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy would make it harder for people to gain legal status in the United States.
According to Sr. Attracta Kelly, OP, an immigration lawyer, the proposed rule would redefine the concept of a "public charge," which can disqualify people from obtaining legal status. She spoke on a live stream from the Adrian Dominicans, whose motherhouse is in Adrian, Mich., in October.
Public charges are immigrants who are considered likely to be financially dependent on benefits from the U.S. government. Currently, "public charge" grounds apply only to immigrants who receive or are considered likely to receive cash assistance benefits, such as social security.
The new proposal expands the "public charge" grounds to non-monetary benefits, such as food stamps, housing assistance or Medicaid benefits.
The proposal was formally published in the Federal Register on Oct. 10, so the public has 60 days from then to submit their comments for or against the proposal.
Marijke Fakasiieiki, executive director of Refugee Connections in Spokane, said that Protecting Immigrant Families offers connections for people to make comments at their website, protectingimmigrantfamilies.org.
"Under the proposal, if the government determines that a person is likely to become a 'public charge,' it can deny a person admission to the U.S., to lawful permanent residence or to green card status," said Marijke.
She said the policy may affect some of the immigrants who live in Spokane and rely on assistance while establishing themselves.
Tree of Sharing offers gifts to oft-forgotten
For the 36th year, volunteers will be stationed at tables at Spokane Riverpark Square, Northtown Mall and Spokane Valley Mall to distribute tags for shoppers to buy gifts for oft forgotten families. This year, there are 8,000 tags from 60 agencies to pick up from Friday, Nov. 23, to Sunday, Dec. 17.
Shoppers purchase gift requests and return them to tables at any of the three malls. From there, they go to a warehouse, where they are sorted to go to the agencies.
The Tree of Sharing began as a project of Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ and is now an independent nonprofit supported by Westminster, KREM-TV, Thomas Hammer Coffee Roasters and the Washington Air National Guard.
Coordinators recruit volunteers to fill times at the tables. The national guard transports gifts to a temporary warehouse for sorting.
The Tree of Sharing connects the Spokane community through acts of giving during the holiday season.
For information, call 808-4919 or visit treeofsharing.org.
Baroque concerts are again in churches
Spokane Symphony music director Eckart Preu found conducting the 2018 baroque concerts in churches a "cool, joyful, fun and intimate experience." The churches have smaller settings, but enough space and acoustics fitting for baroque music, he said.
"The Spokane Symphony recognizes the importance of baroque music as part of music history," he said. "Modern, romantic and classical music, and symphony orchestras developed from the baroque era."
Although some people may not have heard baroque before, Eckart said they would likely recognize it. Baroque music, like much music today, appeals to those with short attention spans. Six to seven pieces each last five to 10 minutes in a one-hour baroque concert, compared with symphony concerts that last two to two-and-a-half hours and include three pieces—an overture, a concerto and a symphony.
The Winter Baroque Celebration—at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec 8, at Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ, 411 S. Washington and at 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Spokane Valley Church of the Nazarene, 15515 E. 20th Ave.—will feature 50 members of the Spokane Symphony orchestra and 80 members of the Spokane Symphony Chorale performing festive Christmas works by composers from France, Germany and Italy.
Eckart said that the pieces will highlight Christmas traditions in Europe, including two main choruses from Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio.
For information, call 624-1200 or visit spokanesymphony.org.
KYRS celebrates 15 years of broadcasting
KYRS-Thin Air Community Radio is celebrating its 15th anniversary of community broadcasting with locally produced programs, hosted by volunteers, including independent and local music.
It plans two events in November. One is a musical performance at the Big Dipper, on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Then from 7 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17, KYRS will hold its Annual Silent Auction Gala at Hamilton Studio, 1427 W. Dean, with music by Milonga.
Thin Air Radio began in 1999, when community activists learned the Federal Communications Commission would open the public airwaves to a new radio service, Low Power FM. The stations were to be just 100 watts—the power of a light bulb—locally owned, nonprofit and non-commercial. Built mostly by volunteers, donated union labor and community support, KYRS-LP began broadcasting on 95.3 FM on Oct. 26, 2003, with 12 live, locally produced programs, said founder and station manager Lupito Flores.
In 2005, KYRS added the 92.3 FM Translator station for a wider area. In 2007, because of commercial station KPND from Sandpoint, KYRS vacated 95.3 FM, and switched to 89.9 FM.
In November 2011, KYRS became a full-power, non-commercial, educational station, broadcasting with 6,800 watts. The new signal on 88.1 FM replaced 89.9 FM. It reaches about 400,000 people from Kettle Falls to Pullman, and Coeur d'Alene to Ritzville, including six counties and three Native American reservations.
Since beginning with 12 local programs, KYRS airs more than 40 locally produced programs on youth, poetry, women, environment, arts, news, culture and music, said Lupito.
Andrew Prevot is fall Flannery lecturer
Andrew Prevot, associate professor of systematic theology at the Boston College Department of Theology, will speak on "Unrestricted Love: Blackness and Catholicity as Interrelated Marks of a Christian Life" for the Fall 2018 Flannery Lecture presented by Gonzaga's Religious Studies Department. He will speak at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 6, at Cataldo Hall at Gonzaga University.
Andrew is the author of Thinking Prayer: Theology and Spirituality Amid the Crises of Modernity and co-editor of Anti-Blackness and Christian Ethics.
"To live as a Christian today means, among other things, recognizing and celebrating the catholic breadth, length, height and depth of divine grace in our diverse, globalized world. God's love is unrestricted," said Andrew, who believes catholicity requires a Christian affirmation of black life in this time when #BlackLivesMatter and black-life-affirming movements seem to impede Christian wholeness. "These movements are sacramental signs of divine love so thoroughly unrestricted that it proudly and tenderly embraces even those lives that this violent world unjustly brands as insignificant," he said.
The Flannery Chair of Catholic Theology, held twice a year, seeks to further excellence in theological study and teaching at Gonzaga. For information, call 313-6782 or visit Gonzaga.edu/religious-studies.
Fall Folk Festival will be on Nov. 10 and 11
Spokane's 23rd Annual Fall Folk Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 10 and 11, at the Spokane Community College Lair, 1810 N. Greene St. There will be performances from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday.
The first festival was held at the Unitarian Universalist Church with about 12 groups performing. When it outgrew the church, it moved to Glover Middle School and then in 2003 to Spokane Community College. It is now held over two days and features more than 100 performing groups, attracting about 5,000 attendees.
The event presents diverse cultures in the community through traditional music, dance and the arts. Music includes bluegrass, gospel, Klezmer, Appalachian, Southern African, Celtic, Brazilian, Egyptian, Scandinavian, Chinese, Hawaiian and more.
There will be folk tales, storytelling, multi-cultural dancing, music and dance workshops, contra dancing and family activities. The event is organized and produced by volunteers through the Spokane Folklore Society.
Catholic Charities dedicates Sisters Haven
Catholic Charities will host a dedication and blessing of The Sisters Haven at 10 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 1, followed by tours. Located next to the Holy Names Convent, this 75-unit housing complex will be the new home to formerly chronic homeless families. It is named The Sisters Haven in gratitude to the legions of women religious who have dedicated vocations of care and prayer to the people of Eastern Washington.
The communities include Sisters of Providence, Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Sisters of St. Francis, Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, Poor Clare Sisters, Good Shepherd Sisters, Sisters of the Cross, Sisters of Christian Community and Sisters of the Holy Spirit.
For information call 358-4250, ext. 6183 or email email@example.com.
Human rights organizations to present awards
The Spokane Human Rights Commission and the Spokane County Human Rights Task Force have joined together to honor people and organizations across Spokane County through the Spokane Human Rights Awards.
Lisa Rosier, executive director of the Southside Community Center, announced that awardees will be recognized at a dinner at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Southside Community Center, 3151 E. 27th Ave.
For information, call 535-0803.
Warriors Heart to Art on display Dec. 1
Local volunteers from Warriors Heart to Art are hosting the fifth annual event to honor veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
"The Welcome and Witness: A Public Listening" will take place at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4340 W. Ft. Wright Blvd.
After a five-day retreat, veterans share their experiences through sculpture, song, poetry and paintings. Their stories help the public understand the nature of military trauma and its long-lasting effects on individuals, families and communities.
The public gathering includes an art exhibit and performances after the retreat that helps veterans heal from PTSD using creative arts to tell their stories and reconnect with themselves and society.
"Veterans need support, empathy and compassion from the community. Suicide is the main cause of death among U.S. troops," said John Hancock, president of Warriors Heart to Art Spokane."This project helps us take better care of soldiers and veterans, decreasing their sense of isolation and despair and helping them stay alive—given that 22 veterans commit suicide each day in America.
Veterans interested in sharing and professionals with veterans to refer, visit WarriorsHeartToArt.org.
International dinner set
Whitworth University's 34th Annual International Festival will be held with dinner at 5 p.m. and entertainment at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 16, at the Hixson Union Building.
Whitworth's record freshman class of 705 includes students from diverse backgrounds and 34 international students from 17 countries—Mongolia, Japan, Nigeria, France, India, Kazahkstan, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Ecuador, England, Guatemala, Spain, Pakistan, Philippines and Vietnam.
For information, call 777-3796.
Festival of Fair Trade will be Thanksgiving weekend
Ganesh Himal Trading Company's annual Thanksgiving weekend 34th annual Festival of Fair Trade will be from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 23 to 25, at the Community Building, 35 W. Main.
The event is an opportunity to choose from unique handcrafts offered by Ganesh Himal from Nepal; Conosur Imports, from Chile; Singing Shaman Trader from Pakistan, Nepal and Mexico; Maya Earth Coffee and Moonflower Enterprises from Guatemala; Corazon Scarves from Guatemala, and Kizuri's products from many countries.
This year's it includes celebration of Kizuri's 10th year.
"Items we feature put people and the planet before profit, promote gender equality and women-owned businesses," said Sarah Calvin of Ganesh Himal. "With fair trade, we seek to empower and innovate."
For information, call 448-6561.
L'Arche and Gonzaga host speaker
L'Arche Spokane will host Sister Sue Mosteller to speak at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10, at Gonzaga University's Cataldo Hall.
In 1972, she began working with L'Arche in Richmond Hill, Ga., finding it a gift to live there.
For 40 years, she was a leader of the L'Arche Daybreak community and the Federation of L'Arche. She was the first leader after Jean Vanier of L'Arche International and led it through a time of international expansion in the 1980s.
She worked with Fr. Henri Nouwen in his 10 years at Daybreak. Sue has published four books. The latest is Light Through the Crack: Life after Loss. After Nouwen's untimely death, she served as literary executor of his estate.
She established the Henri Nouwen Archival Collection at the University of Toronto St. Michael's College and has been engaged in Nouwen Literary Legacy over the past two decades.