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SpokaneFAVS Celebrates Anniversary with 3rd Annual Faith Feast

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By Tracy Simmons

SpokaneFAVS celebrated its third annual Faith Feast: An Interfaith Progressive Dinner Sunday evening (April 26) with baklava, vegetarian meatballs, strawberry shortcake and tours of three of Spokane’s houses of worship.

Faith Feast is held annually to celebrate SpokaneFAVS anniversary. This year we turn 3 years old.

If you frequent this site, you know favs.news is an online publication that covers local religion news, and features 50 local columnists from the Spokane area who write about issues of religion and ethics through their faith lens.

I started this publication three years ago for two reasons. First, because of the economy and the new media landscape, news organizations locally and nationally haven’t been able to cover religion like they used to. FAVS is a way to help save the religion beat. Secondly, there is so much misunderstanding about religion, it easily becomes something that divides communities. I wanted to help create a platform where people could come and learn about one another, so that our traditions could become a bridge instead.

Creating a religion news website was just one step in making that happen. But I didn’t want FAVS to be just another digital publication. To create community, we needed to take the conversations happening online, and take them offline. And that’s why we do Faith Feast every year, and hosts Coffee Talks, mixers and Pub Talks events every month.

That’s why I’m so grateful to the guests who bought tickets to Faith Feast, and to the volunteers to helped organize the event. And I’m also thankful to our three hosts.
Appetizers at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox/Erin Robinson - SpokaneFAVS
Appetizers at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox/Erin Robinson – SpokaneFAVS

Faith Feast 2015 started with Greek homemade appetizers at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. The Rev. Stephen Supica answered questions about his tradition before a deacon led the Faith Feast group into the sanctuary for a tour. There guests learned about the iconography in the church, the worship services and other Greek Orthodox traditions.

Then guests hopped on the Faith Feast party bus, donated by Bethany Presbyterian Church, and headed to our second location, Spokane Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, where church members were eagerly waiting our arrival.
Guests dined on a vegetarian entree at Central Seventh-day Adventist Church/Tracy Simmons - SpokaneFAVS
Guests dined on a vegetarian entree at Central Seventh-day Adventist Church/Tracy Simmons – SpokaneFAVS

The smell of vegetarian cuisine wafted through the fellowship hall as Faith Feasters mingled with church members and learned about many of the church ministries, like God’s Closet, which provides free children’s clothes to those in the community. Pastor Dayv Lounsbury delivered an overview of the beliefs and practices of the Seventh-day Adventist religion as guests dined on salad, rolls, meatless chicken, meatballs and other goodies.

Strawberry shortcake was served at Salem Lutheran/Tracy Simmons - SpokaneFAVS
Strawberry shortcake was served at Salem Lutheran/Tracy Simmons – SpokaneFAVS

The final Faith Feast stop was at Salem Lutheran Church, where a homemade strawberry shortcake dessert was waiting. There, guests learned about the work Salem is doing in the West Central neighborhood, saw the sanctuary and got to ask questions about the progressive ELCA tradition.

Faith Feast is a fundraiser for SpokaneFAVS, which operates off of donations and advertising. Tickets to the event are limited and the dinner raises approximately $1,000 for this organization, which is a fraction of our monthly operating costs. If you would like to support the work of SpokaneFAVS, please consider making a donation via PayPal below, or mailing a check to PO Box 8416 Spokane, WA 99203.

If you would like to be involved in Faith Feast 2016, contact Tracy Simmons at [email protected].

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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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