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October 2016 News Reports

Legislative Conference planning underway

Planning is underway for the Eastern Washington Legislative Conference scheduled on Saturday, Jan. 28, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 316 E. 24th Ave.

The organizing committee includes members of sponsoring agencies—The Fig Tree, Catholic Charities Spokane, Faith Action Network of Washington and the NAACP Spokane.

The group meets Thursdays at 3 p.m., Oct. 6, Nov. 3, Dec.1 and Jan.5, and at 2 p.m., Oct. 20, Nov. 17, Dec. 15 and Jan. 20, 631 S. Richard Allen Ct.

Organizers are arranging the program, speakers and workshops based on issues of concern to the faith community that are coming before the 2017 session of the Washington State Legislature.

For information, call 535-1813 or email

Lecture explores violence and prison society

Amy Levad, associate professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., is the Gonzaga Religious Studies Fall 2016 Flannery Lecturer.

She will speak on “Violence and Our Prison Society: Catholic Moral Theology and the Work for Justice, Peace, and Reconciliation” at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 3, at Cataldo Hall.

Amy is also the author of Restorative Justice: Theories and Practices of Moral Imagination and Redeeming a Prison Society: A Liturgical and Sacramental Response to Mass Incarceration.

She is founding program director of a certificate in theological studies program in Metro State Prison outside Atlanta. Sponsored by the Atlanta Theological Association, the program offers women in prison a year of theological study, and trains divinity and doctoral students in prison ministry, activism and education.

Amy is on the Board of Directors of Restorative Justice Community Action in Minneapolis and works on a Louisville-funded project on faith-based responses to mass incarceration.

“Our society has been roiled in recent years by incidents of police violence, especially against black men and women,” said Amy. “This past summer, violence turned against police.”

She believes these incidents reveal the subtle violence wreaked by mass incarceration on everyone as members of a “prison society.” 

Amy believes response to these incidents must account for a broader crisis of criminal justice built on racism, social injustice and an ethic of retribution. 

For information, call 313-6782 or visit

Journalist speaks at the Whitworth Forum

Fareed Zakaria will present Whitworth University President’s Leadership Forum from 7:30 to 9 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the Spokane Convention Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

The forum draws national leaders to speak on current issues.

Host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, contributing editor at The Atlantic and a Washington Post columnist, Fareed is respected for his analysis and ability to spot economic and political trends.

Winner of a 2012 Peabody Award, the Emmy-nominated GPS features panel and one-on-one interviews with heads of state, intellectuals and business leaders.

His international bestseller The Post-American World analyzes the growth of China, India, Brazil and others. His previous New York Times bestseller, The Future of Freedom, has been translated into more than 20 languages. His latest book, In Defense of a Liberal Education, was published in March 2015.

Born in India, he was educated at Yale and at Harvard, where he received PhD. Fareed became the youngest managing editor of Foreign Affairs at 28. He was the editor of Newsweek International from 2000 to 2010 and editor-at-large at TIME from 2010 to 2014.

For information, call 777-4703 or email

Holy Names Sisters sell and preserve property

The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, U.S.-Ontario Province reported Sept. 27 that Catholic Charities purchased the Convent of the Holy Names buildings and part of its 65-acre Spokane campus on Ft .Wright Dr.

Catholic Charities will re-use the main convent building for a new, innovative social services program, called “Rising Strong,” in collaboration with Empire Health Foundation. The foundation provided $1.6 million to Catholic Charities for the purchase as an investment in this project aimed to reduce the number of children removed from their homes by Child Protective Services.

Catholic Charities is also partnering with the Spokane-based Inland Group to use part of the property to develop affordable housing for seniors and families, with care to preserve the property’s spiritual and ecological characteristics.

Catholic Charities will keep the chapel for prayer and occasional Mass, and other facilities, to support its mission to reveal God’s love to the poor and vulnerable.

The Sisters selected Catholic Charities in early 2016 after a two-year process. The art studio and some administrative offices will stay at the property rent free.

The Sisters will permanently protect and conserve nearly 50 percent of the property through the Conservation Futures Program.

For information, call 744-3448 or email

Staff and volunteers help repaint center

Since Charles Williams took over the management of Emmanuel Family Life Center (EFLC) in Spokane in the fall of 2015, he has worked to improve the building, as well as to bring new outreach programs.

EFLC, Fig Tree and Thrivent volunteer work day

Kaye Hult, administrative and volunteer coordinator for The Fig Tree, which has its office in EFLC, and Mark Kinney from Thrivent Financial, suggested they could facilitate a work day for EFLC to help with physical improvements through a Thrivent Action Team event.

The three planned a morning of painting to refresh the first floor hallway and conference room.

EFLC had the paint.  Funds from the Thrivent Action Team provided other supplies.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, they gathered, along with eight others.  Several were related to Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.  Some were The Fig Tree staff, volunteers and board members.

Energized by donuts and coffee donated by Mark, they were led in prayer by Pastor Lonnie Mitchell of Bethel AME Church, who helped paint. 

By the end of the morning, the hallway and conference room were newly painted.

For information, call 981-6477 or 535-4112.

Human rights education events scheduled

Participants in United Way of Kootenai County’s Day of Caring offered their services on Thursday, Sept. 22, to the Human Rights Education Institute (HREI) in Coeur d’Alene. 

They helped polish windows, make improvements to the gallery and landscaping, organize behind the scenes storage and exhibit preparation spaces and improve the office space with work stations and filing systems. 

The HREI announced several events for October, which is Anti-Bullying Month.

• The gallery exhibition from Oct. 15 to mid-November will be “Bullying Is a Human Rights Violation.”

• A Human Rights Essay and Visual Arts Contest for students through high school is on working together against bullying runs through Oct. 14.  Awards will be presented at 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 29 at a Unity Day Event and Human Rights Essay and Visual Arts Contest Awards Ceremony.

• The Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations is planning a conference on “Returning Civility to America’s Democracy: The Promotion of Civil Dialogue” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13, at North Idaho College. Cornell Clayton, director of the Thomas Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at Washington State University will deliver the keynote address. 

• A panel of professional and amateur athletes and coaches will discuss “Unity through Diversity in Sports” at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the institute, 414 W. Ft. Grounds Blvd. (formerly Mullan).

• Lunch and Learn at 11:30 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 27, will feature a workshop on “It’s Good Business: Creating Inclusive and Supportive Environments for LGBT Employees to Reach Their Full Potential.” 

For information, call 208-292-2359 or check the HREI Facebook page.

PJALS marks 40th anniversary

To cap off a year of celebrating their 40th anniversary, the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane is hosting a luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Spokane Women’s Club, 1428 W. 9th Ave.

Jessica Campbell, a national leader on mobilizing white people for racial justice and an on-the-ground organizer with rural communities fighting the right wing in rural Oregon, will speak on “Calling Us All In: Race, Class, Gender, and Justice.”

Jessica is a national leader of Showing Up for Racial Justice and co-director of Oregon’s Rural Organizing Project. She has worked with some rural communities in Oregon to fight for the common lands—from post offices to public parks, to support communities on the frontlines of the militia movement, and to envision what healthy and vibrant rural communities could look like.

This event includes a video celebrating the 40th anniversary, featuring Rusty and Nancy Nelson, Lisa Brown, Ken Isserlis, Taylor Weech and others sharing their pieces of PJALS story.

Guests will have an opportunity to support PJALS financially.

Members, donors and friends interested in PJALS work will hear about how PJALS exposes and transforms systems of violence and oppression to build a just and nonviolent world and to connect with like-minded people in the movement for peace and justice.

For information, call 838-7870  or email

Nonprofits gather for conference

The sixth annual Inland Northwest Conference for the Greater Good on Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Spokane Convention Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., will gather about 300 people from Eastern Washington and North Idaho nonprofits, educational institutions, local leaders and philanthropic organizations.

The Inland Northwest Conference for the Greater Good, founded in 2011, strengthens the nonprofits by bringing together their leaders, staff and volunteers to learn, connect, inspire and be inspired.

Washington Nonprofits manages the conference with the support of an advisory committee, local and statewide co-convenors, and sponsorship by the Inland Northwest Community Foundation and others.

For information, call 808-2694 or email

Jundt exhibit and lecture series is on Roman myths

“Roman Myth and Mythmaking,” a temporary exhibition of everyday objects and lectures on how ancient Romans constructed and spread their religious and cultural beliefs runs through Dec. 17 at Gonzaga University’s Jundt Art Museum.

Organized by the Jundt Art Museum, Andrew Goldman of Gonzaga’s history faculty, and Janet Grossman, retired associate curator of antiquities at the Getty Villa, the objects include coins, gems, lamps and statues. The figures, divinities, personifications and heroes chosen by Romans to decorate objects reflect the Romans’ history, beliefs and myths.

“These objects were the focus of religious practice and were used to pass on myths and lessons of their past,” said Andrew. “They reveal the complex story of how Romans understood their world and identity, their past and their gods, as they expanded and conquered the Mediterranean world.”

In conjunction with the exhibit, Gonzaga is hosting 10 lectures on “Ancient and Modern Perceptions of Roman Myth, Memory and Culture” at 7 p.m., Thursdays through Dec. 1, in the Jundt Art Museum Auditorium.

The lectures are Oct. 6 on “(Re)imag(in)ing Republican Rome,”  Oct. 13 on “The Spirit of Roman Republican Coinage,” Oct. 20 on “Making Your Hair Stand on End: Medusa in Mythology,” Oct. 27 on “Graeco-Roman Wellsprings,” Nov. 3 on “The Other Side of the Coin,” Nov. 10 on “Elite Negotiation and Consensus Building,” Nov. 17 on “The Half-Life of Miracles” and Dec. 1 on “Rome as Cinematic Myth.”

The exhibit is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

For information, call 313-6843 or visit

‘Warriors Heart to Art’ retreat set for vets

Warriors Heart to Art is offering a “Healing Retreat for Veterans with PTSD” Wednesday to Sunday, Nov. 2 to 6, at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center, 6910 S. Ben Burr Rd.

The retreat is in a quiet rural atmosphere, offering vets the opportunity to listen to and support each other, share and process personal stories, learn about trauma and brain function, express themselves in paintings, poetry and songs.

Organizers are recruiting 15 Spokane-area vets, men and women of all ages and all conflicts, vets with PTSD/MST (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/Military Sexual Trauma) symptoms that impede their lives.

A team of national and local facilitators will lead the event.

Warriors Heart to Art is a volunteer, Spokane-based nonprofit that helps veterans heal from PTSD by using creative arts to tell their stories and helps the public understand military trauma, said John Hancock, executive director.

The retreats are motivated out of concern about suicides by combat vets and the isolation many experience.

For information, call 244-8559 or email

United Nations Association plans Oct. 26 event

The United Nations Association will hold its UN Day Dinner from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the Gonzaga University’s Foley Library Rare Books Room.

Micah Spangler, deputy director of legislative affairs for the Better World Campaign, will speak on “The Global Refugee Crisis.” The campaign is a nonpartisan organization that works to strengthen the relationship between the United States and United Nations by connecting everyday Americans to awareness of the United Nations.

He will also discuss the UNA’s Adopt-A-Future Campaign to raise money for refugee education, particularly at two camps in Kenya.

For information, call 313-3610 or email

Rural Ministries Resources retreat will be held Oct. 10-11

A Rural Ministries Resources retreat will be held Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 10 to 11, at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center, 6910 S. Ben Burr Rd., in Spokane.

The retreat is for lay and ordained leaders of mainline rural congregations to explore how to do faithful ministry. It is a time to focus on blessings and challenges of rural life and ministry, and network with others from rural churches and communities.

Keynote speaker Shannon Jung, the Cole professor emeritus of Town and Country Ministries at Saint Paul School of Theology and author of books on the relationship of eating and growing food with the faith community: Food for Life, Sharing Food, and Hunger and Happiness.

Shannon was director of the Center for Theology and Land at Wartburg and Dubuque seminaries, and also taught at Concordia College. He initiated a community garden on the campus of Saint Paul in Kansas City, where he teaches environmental ethics. He also teaches environmental ethics at Saint Vincent School of Theology and De La Salle University in Manila, the Philippines, sponsored by the Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church initiative.

The event includes worship, contemplation and discussion on revisioning and resourcing rural ministries, discipleship, generosity and pastoral care.

Participants will also explore how Rural Ministries Resources can serve mainline congregations, and hear stories of how some uniting models have strengthened the mainline witness.

For information, call 466-1768.

Shelter program raises funds with cardboard city

Family Promise of North Idaho will hold its ninth annual Cardboard Box City to raise awareness about homelessness and raise funds for its work.  It will be Friday night and Saturday morning, Oct. 7 and 8, at Community United Methodist Church, 1470 E. Hanley in Coeur d’Alene.

Participants may pre-register to receive a packet instructing them about finding sponsors. They will create homes of cardboard, in which they will sleep overnight. 

On Friday night, they will bring their cardboard homes to the church and set them up.  They will join a soup line for supper.  Their houses will be judged based on various criteria.  There are prizes.

After breakfast on Saturday, participants will tear down their sites and leave by 8 a.m.

Family Promise of North Idaho empowers homeless families with children to achieve sustainable housing by

working with a network of churches that feeds and shelters them.  Family Promise provides a day center with a case manager who connects families to resources. 

Half of the guest children are age five or under.  The families stay for an average of 65 days.  Family Promise secures permanent or transitional housing for about 80 per cent of the families.  More than 600 trained volunteers assist.

For information, call 208-777-4190 or visit

Senior living complex educates local clergy

The Village at Orchard Ridge will host Coeur d’Alene area pastors for a Pastor Summit on “P.E.A.C.E. of Mind” (Professionals Easing Aging Concerns through Education), from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 19, at The Grove, 702 W. Walnut Ave., in Coeur d’Alene.

Susan Melchiore, physician and founder of On Site for Seniors, will speak.  A panel of eight local experts will discuss the spiritual, social, physical and financial challenges of the aging process.

This is the second Pastor Summit of The Village at Orchard Ridge, which is sponsored by 20 churches.  The first, in May, provided participants with resources for ministering to the elderly.

Orchard Ridge seeks to promote peaceful aging through future workshops to educate local clergy, outreach ministers and church members on navigating the complexities of the aging process. 

For information, call 208-691-7826 or

Good Guys group supports YWCA’s programs

The YWCA Spokane has launched the “Good Guys,” a group of Spokane men who support the YWCA’s efforts to end domestic violence.

Led by Doug Kelley of Avista and Manny Hochheimer of Numerica Credit Union, one of the group’s first activities is filling at least 10 tables at the YWCA Spokane’s 2016 Women of Achievement Impact Luncheon.

The  YWCA’s largest fund raiser of the year is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 7, at the Davenport Grand Hotel.  Keynote speaker is Ashley Judd, actress, humanitarian and advocate for women and children.

“Working to end domestic violence cannot be limited to one gender,” said Manny. “Our community needs to address this problem that tears at our families and hurts our children.”

“Our group started a year ago, when I was challenged to put together a men’s table for the luncheon,” said Doug. “As I learned more about how domestic violence is impacting our community and the criticality of the YWCA’s work, I knew we had to do more.”

A video features community leaders, expressing their support of the YWCA’s work to raise awareness about domestic violence and support its victims.

In 2015, 68 people died in Washington as a result of domestic violence, and one in three women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes.

For information, call 326-1190 or visit