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FāVS Religion News Roundup: Feb. 1


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FāVS Religion News Roundup: Feb. 1

This Roundup reports a new process in place to replace offensive landmarks in Spokane, Whitworth University’s latest preaching program grant, FāVS’ partnership with Spokane Jewish Film Festival and what FāVS’ leadership is doing in honor of World Interfaith Harmony Week.

News Story by Tracy Simmons | FāVS News

Process to Remove Offensive Landmarks in Spokane

Spokane now has a process to review potentially offensive landmarks and street names on city property. According to the The Spokesman-Review, the new ordinance allows residents to request reconsideration of imagery or names deemed offensive. The Spokane Human Rights Commission will receive requests and determine if a landmark or name would likely cause pain. If so, the Office of Civil Rights, Equity and Inclusion will review further and make a recommendation. The City Council, Park Board or Library Board will have final say on any action.

This follows a request by Pacific Islanders to remove the John Monaghan statue, which some see as honoring colonization. The ordinance passed this week despite concerns about the process.

Supporters say it allows removal of monuments representing oppression.

Whitworth University Wins New Grant

Whitworth University announced this week that it received a $1.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment for a new preaching program. It will create learning cohorts, resources and retreats to strengthen skills and support innovative proclamation models. The goal is to promote participatory preaching and support preachers’ spiritual health. Research will examine engaging college-aged adults.

The program launches this spring with the first cohort for preachers. Additional cohorts will follow over the five-year grant period. Lilly Endowment awarded grants to organizations through its initiative to nurture religious lives and adapt preaching to engage new generations.

FāVS Partners with Spokane Jewish Film Festival

The Spokane Jewish Film Festival is underway, and on Thursday evening FāVS is partnering with the festival to moderate a virtual panel discussion about the movie, “Stay with Us.”

Released in 2022, the movie portrays the life of a Jewish man who decides to return to France after being well-established in the United States in order to convert to Catholicism. His Jewish parents are far from supportive of this idea. His goal is to explain that his love for his parents has not been dampened by his newfound intrigue with Catholicism, specifically with the Virgin Mary.

On the panel will be film buff and FāVS columnist Matthew Kincanon, Ask A Catholic columnist Mitch Finley and his wife Kathy Finley, Spokane Area Jewish Family Services Director Neal Schindler, and it will be moderated by FāVS Executive Director Tracy Simmons.

The panel will be on Thursday at 7 p.m., via Zoom, and will allow opportunities both for discussion and Q&A.

Now, a note from the FāVS leadership.

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Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of FāVS.News, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.

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