Gary Stokes - KSPS
We know the purpose and power of The Fig Tree, 35 years of stories of faith in action. As one who knows a few things about storytelling, other than KSPS, few do it better than The Fig Tree. For 35 years, Mary and her team have been telling the stories of people who let their faith guide them in ways that make our community better. It shares stories that inspire as much as inform, stories that feed the soul and the spirit, and stories that show good people doing good things, good work right in this place we call home.
As you think about how to support The Fig Tree and all it does in the community, from one media institution to another, remember what you give is important, but making sure you support The Fig Tree is most important.
Scott Cooper – director of Parish Social Ministries at Catholic Charities
Tell me your story and I will tell you mine. My family story isn't just about our origins in different parts of Europe, immigration, marriages, education, relocation, vocations, generations. My family's story is also about our faith journeys. How did I learn to understand our connection to a loving God? What stories did I grow up hearing?
In the musical "Into the Woods," Stephen Sondheim gives us some insightful lyrics. Every parent should relate: "Careful the things you say, children will listen. Careful the things you do, children will see and learn. Careful the things you wish. Wishes are children. Careful the tale you tell. That is the spell."
How did I get to work with Catholic Charities where we encounter every day the homeless, hungry, sick, person suffering with mental illness, victim of domestic violence, ex-offender, working poor, or the immigrant?
My family's faith journey, how they modeled living out faith values, encouraging questions and sharing stories, in no small way led me to my life's work. It is the tale my family told both explicit and by example. I learned my life is not about me.
I support The Fig Tree because it tells us stories that are not about me. It tells us stories we desperately need to hear, stories we likely won't hear anywhere else, stories about people living out their faith values, community values, relational values. People who understand their lives are not about them. I learn about others, their journeys, work, missions and contributions to communities through these pages.
When we feel we're in a clown car on our way to a circus, take a wrong turn to find they moved the circus to the middle of a prison riot, my reaction, in the midst of that hectic energy, when I pick up The Fig Tree is one of slowing down, taking a deep breath, focusing my attention, opening my perspective to read about real people doing real work in real communities, stories I won't find anywhere else—real news.
We may sometimes feel community is coming apart, but when we think times are bad, remember our lives are not about us and reach for The Fig Tree. Read good news that happens every day in our own neighborhoods. Those tales won't tell themselves, so support The Fig Tree.
James Watkins, board member and pastor at New Hope Baptist Church
I thank Mary and her wonderful staff for 35 years of wonderful work. As I took over as pastor of New Hope Baptist Church from my father, I knew Mary and the paper more, seeing the hard work, long hours, compassion and patience she shows. She and her team have done awesome work, putting together so many wonderful stories.
As I meditated about what to say, I thought: What if Mary had never started the paper. What if the 35 years never happened. Think of all the stories that would not have had attention. Look at all the people who would not have had the spotlight and been helped.
What can I do? I hope to bridge the gap. I know I have gray in my beard, but I hope to be a bridge to the next generation. This work has to move forward. I think how hard Mary works. How much longer can she do this? She answered the question. This is her passion, her love and, even though she's retirement age, this is what she wants to do, but I also hope we can also bridge the gap and move a younger generation to love the paper, like we love it, and that we can bring a younger generation into the fold of faith, good news and the stories she has given us for so many years.
I hope we can bridge the gap with young people, so we can have young readers the age of my kids who have come with my father to the benefit breakfast for years. I hope this paper will move forward with that generation.
Denise Attwood, co-owner of Ganesh Himal Trading Company
I have a fair trade business called Ganesh Himal and a nonprofit organization, Conscious Connections Foundation, which promotes girls' education in Nepal. The Fig Tree has for years brought the international to the local. I am so grateful for that, because the things we struggle for in our own communities, people are struggling with all over the world. Mary has been able to tell our story many times, through many avenues to give people a chance to look at how we connect heart-to-heart throughout the globe.
The Fig Tree is an avenue for social justice stories. Mary followed Global Folk Art, Ganesh Himal, Kizuri, fair trade festivals and Conscious Connections' work with girls in rural Nepal.
Without The Fig Tree, people in Spokane would not understand the depth and value of fair trade. I hope you will all support the work of The Fig Tree because it's vital to the work we all do together.
When I open The Fig Tree, I find things I never knew about Spokane and I grew up here. The Fig Tree stories give me the opportunity to know and learn about many people. I hope young people who are journalists will come and work with this amazing woman.
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, April, 2019