Conference opens with briefing on state issues
The 2020 Eastern Washington Legislative Conference will open with a briefing about priorities among the issues coming before the State Legislature, led by the Paul Benz of the Faith Action Network, and Donna Christensen and Mario Villanueva of the Washington State Catholic Conference. They will present priorities they have established related to the issues.
"Making It Happen" is the theme for the Eastern Washington Legislative Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 25, at Spokane Valley United Methodist Church, 115 N. Raymond Rd. Registration and viewing displays with resources by local agencies begin at 8:30 a.m.
The event, organized by The Fig Tree, Catholic Charities Eastern Washington, the Faith Action Network, the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia and other partners, will also feature a plenary on tenants' rights with Terri Anderson of the Washington State s Union and an afternoon panel discussion on gun violence with Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, Episcopal Bishop Gretchen Rehberg and speakers from Students Demand Action and Mothers Demand Action.
There will be a choice of six workshops repeated at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
• "Shareholder Advocacy" will be addressed by Mark Kinney of Numerica Credit Union and Pat Millen OSF of the Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment.
• "Homelessness Communication" will be led by Joe Ader of Family Promise, Alan Eschenbacher of All Saints Lutheran, and Renee Norris and Megan Chandler of Catholic Charities.
• Discussing "Climate Change" issues are Tom Soeldner of the Sierra Club, Maggie Gates of the Lands Council and Sunrise Movement, and Brian Henning of 350 Spokane and Gonzaga University.
• A workshop on "Faithfully Facing Racism: Confronting White Supremacy" will be led by Gen Heywood of Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience and the Veradale United Church of Christ, former state senator John Smith and Walter Kendricks, pastor of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church.
• "The Census and Justice Work" will be led by Jim CastroLang of the Faith Action Network Board, Alex Panagatacos of Innovia and Denise Guerrero of the Census Alliance.
• Addressing "Refugees and the Numbers Cap" are Samuel Smith of World Relief and Luisa Orellana, who teaches English to refugees at Spokane Community College.
Volunteers are needed to help with arrangements.
For information and to RSVP, call 535-4112, 535-1813 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Retired therapist says 'Everyone Has a Story'
Author and retired child and family therapist Chris Crutcher will lead a public forum on "Everyone Has a Story" at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 14, at Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth University.
People for Effective Government is sponsoring this event, in which Chris will discuss his experiences with children and families in crisis, focusing on situations leading to fractured family relationships and children living on the street.
He believes that communities relying only on tax dollars to solve complex problems will fall short. He believes community involvement requires people to stop calling community ills "problems" or "issues," and become acquainted with stories of people.
"We don't have a homeless problem. We have homeless people with problems," said Chris, who has written nine novels, an autobiography and two collections of short stories about issues facing teens.
A graduate of Eastern Washington University with degrees in psychology and sociology, and a teaching certificate, he taught at primary and secondary schools in California and Washington before beginning to write.
Thirty-two years ago, he joined Spokane's Child Protection Team and began practicing as a child and family therapist.
For information, visit pegnow.org.
Women+s March plans two local events
The Women+s March Spokane will hold a Rally and March from 12:30 to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 18, in Riverfront Park and downtown.
"What's your Vision for 2020?" is the theme for the rally and march.
At the Resource Fair and Auction for Action for donors and marchers at the West Central Community Center, 1603 W. Belt, people will make signs, do networking, seek volunteers and share information on their services, said Nola Hansen, coordinator.
The Women's March on Jan. 18 begins and ends at the Red Wagon in Riverfront Park. The focus will be on music, art, drama, laughter, good spirits, and concern for the planet and society, said Cynthia Hamilton, one of the organizers.
Women, men, and children who come will be able to share their visions for 2020, she said.
Event organizers are planning a week of activities. Details will be announced on their Facebook page, "Women+s March on Spokane."
The Women+s March Spokane unites women to engage in collective action for equity, freedom, inclusion and justice.
For information, call 993-3051 for the auction and 879-4752 for the march or email email@example.com.
New Leaf Bakery and Café relocates
Transitions' New Leaf Bakery and Café has outgrown its space at Catholic Charities at 12 E. 5th and moved into the YWCA lobby at 930 N. Monroe St.
It is holding a Grand Opening with a complimentary lunch at 11:30 a.m. and a program at noon, Wednesday, Jan. 8, at the YWCA lobby.
New Leaf Café is a free eight-week job training program in a coffee shop setting for women with barriers to traditional employment.
For information and to RSVP, call 328-6702 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Homeless Connect grows into Convention Center
The 2020 Homeless Connect will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 30, at its new location, the Spokane Convention Center, at 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. in Spokane.
Previous Homeless Connect events have been held at the Salvation Army facility on E. Nora.
With more attendees and service providers there was need for a larger facility, said Kari Chapman, chair of the organizing committee for the Homeless Connect.
Because of its convenient location downtown on a bus line and near many service agencies, the Spokane Convention Center was chosen as the 2020 site.
In 2019, the Spokane Homeless Connect had 541 attendees and 65 service providers.
Based on the previous year's Point-In-Time Count, the 2019 Spokane Homeless Connect served 41 percent of those experiencing homelessness in Spokane.
The planning committee for the ninth annual Homeless Connect, which has met since July, expects a larger attendance in 2020, along with more service providers.
Each year, Homeless Connect offers many services under one roof for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. It brings together volunteers and caseworkers from nonprofits and service providers whose common goal is ending homelessness.
The timing is coordinated to coincide with the City of Spokane's Community Housing and Human Services (CHHS) Office's annual "Point-In-Time" (PIT) count of the county's homeless population.
The Homeless Connect is a subcommittee of the Spokane Homeless Coalition, comprised of more than 1,000 individuals and more than 100 agencies, ministries and churches serving the homeless and marginalized throughout Spokane County.
For information, call 342-8322 or email email@example.com.
MLK Day events planned in the region
In the Inland Northwest, several worship services, rallies and marches are planned in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 20.
In Spokane, there will be a Prayer Breakfast Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 500 S. Stone in Spokane. Proceeds go to the MLK Center.
The annual MLK Commemoration Service is at 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 19. The Rev. James Watkins, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church, is the speaker for the annual MLK Commemoration Service in Spokane is at 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 19, at the Holy Temple Church of God in Christ, 806 W. Indiana.
Rally and March and Resource Fair begin at 10 a.m., Monday, Jan. 20. Rally and March and Resource Fair begin at 10 a.m., Monday, Jan. 20, at the Spokane Convention Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. Resource fair continues 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For information, call 868-0856 or visit mlkspokane.org.
The Whitworth University community will celebrate and pray for "Glimpses of the Kingdom" at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 21, at the Beeksma Family Theology Center Sanctuary. For information, call 777-4345.
The Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls school districts and the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations will sponsor the 35th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fifth Graders Program on Thursday, Jan. 16, at North Idaho College, Schuler Performing Arts Center in Boswell Hall, 880 W. Garden Ave. in Coeur d'Alene. At 9:30 a.m., Coeur d'Alene classes will come. At 11:30 a.m., Post Falls schools will come. More than 37,000 fifth grade students have participated in the series since the beginning of the program. For information, call 208-765-3932 or visit idahohumanrights.org.
In Pullman, Washington State University will feature W. Kamau Bell, a sociopolitical comedian, is the keynote speaker for the MLK Community Celebration at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 23, at the CUB Senior and Junior Ballrooms. Kamau produces a CNN docu-series "United States of America with W. Kamau Bell" and is the American Civil Liberties Union Celebrity Ambassador for Racial Justice.
For information, call 339-6172 or visit mlk.wsu.edu.
In Yakima, the Rev. Robert Trimble said the Citywide Martin Luther King Commemoration Service will be at 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 19, at St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 5 S. Naches Ave.
The 35th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Peace march begins at noon, Monday, Jan. 20, at 5th and MLK Jr. Blvd.
For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jewish Cultural Film Festival features three films
Three films will be shown for the Spokane Jewish Cultural Film Festival 2020 on the theme, "Untold Stories," Thursday, Jan. 30, and Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 1 and 2, at Wolff Auditorium in the Jepson Center at Gonzaga.
"Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles" in English at 7 p.m., Thursday, is a thought-provoking, joyous documentary exploring the story behind "Fiddler on the Roof," a 1960s beloved Broadway musical about "tradition" being on the wane in gender roles, sexuality, race relations and religion.
The Meshugga Daddies klezmer band will play selections from "Fiddler" at 6:45 p.m., before the show. After the show, there will be a video call with the film's co-writer and co-producer Valerie Thomas and a raffle for "Fiddler" swag.
"The Light of Hope" in Spanish, Catalan and French with English subtitles is at 7 p.m. Saturday. Based on a true story, it presents stories of refugees from Europe seeking shelter in the 1940s in southwest France, escaping persecution from Nazis and Franco. Aa Red Cross nurse transforms a villa into a birth clinic, saving lives. Authorities in Nazi-occupied France demand she hand over Jewish refugees.
"The Unorthodox" at 2 p.m. on Sunday in Hebrew and Yiddish with English subtitle tells a 1933 story of the daughter of a printer in Jerusalem. She is expelled from school for ethnic reasons.
Grants from the Innovia Foundation, the Holocaust Center and the Anti-Defamation League in Seattle support the festival to counter hate and white supremacy, said Neal Schindler, director of the Spokane Area Jewish Family Services, the festival organizer.
Other additions are a 15-panel exhibit on Sephardic Jews from the Washington State Jewish Historical Society, and a raffle.
For information, call 747-7394 or visit sajfs.org/our-program/sjcff/.
GU hosts Jewish Interfaith Musical Event
The Religious Studies Department at Gonzaga University presenting "SING: A Jewish Interfaith Musical Event" with Jessi Roemer at 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 16, at the Hemmingson North Ballroom. Shabbat Services at 5:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 17, at Hemingson Center 201 will also feature Jessi.
Her spiritual, rhythmic, soulful music brings ancient and modern texts to life. Based in Philadelphia, she performs, teaches and leads prayers in the U.S. and Israel. Her latest album, "Praise," is a collection of new Jewish songs for communal settings. She grew up in the Washington, D.C. area surrounded by Yiddish, Hebrew and American folk music, cantorial melodies and bluegrass klezmer music.
For information, call 313-6782 or email email@example.com.
Flannery Lecture addresses clergy abuse crisis
Jennifer Beste will discuss "Envisioning a Just Response to the Catholic Clergy Abuse Crisis" for the Flannery Lecture at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 25, at the Hemmingson Center at Gonzaga.
Jennifer, who is professor of theology at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in St. Joseph and Collegeville, Minn., believes Catholic communities seeking justice and healing must prioritize action on three issues:
1) Churches need to understand and acknowledged the traumatic effects of clergy sexual abuse on youths' sense of self and capacity for freedom and to relate to God, others and themselves.
2) Churches need to recognize how survivors continue to suffer, be in solidarity with them, and support healing and justice for them.
3) Churches need to examine how Catholic assumptions about children, and norms for passivity and obedience contributed.
Jennifer earned a master's in divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School and a doctorate in religious ethics from Yale University.
For information, call 313-6782 or visit gonzaga.edu/religious-studies.
Census Complete Count funding is available
The Spokane County Census Complete Count is moving into outreach for an awareness phase. There are several funding opportunities: 1) Innovia Foundation for Census outreach in Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Lincoln, Adams, Spokane, Whitman, Columbia, Garfield and Asotin counties; 2) Na'ah Illahee Fund for Native-led organizations, and 3) OFM funding for county and city governments, council of governments and libraries.
For PowerPoints, translated materials, toolkits and more, visit spokanecensus.org/resources. For information, call 624-2606.
Human Trafficking Vigil is on Jan. 14
Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSNW) will hold the 2020 Human Trafficking Awareness Month Reception from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 14, on the third floor of the Downtown Spokane Public Library, 906 W. Main Ave. There will be a candlelight vigil a for victims of human trafficking.
LCSNW and others will celebrate recent successes in addressing human trafficking in the region with networking, visual storytelling with LCSNW's Silhouette Project and Survivor Art created by foster children who have experienced human trafficking in the U.S. and other nations.
For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://bit.ly/2nyxrzb.