December Coffee TalkThis morning Spokane Faith & Values held its final Coffee Talk of the year.

I remember when held our first one a year ago at Chairs Coffee. It was right after the Newtown shootings, which is what we discussed. I wasn’t sure if anyone would show up for the discussion. It was standing room only.

It’s been like that for an entire year now, as we’ve made from coffee house to coffee house discussing important ethical and spiritual issues across Spokane.

Thank you for supporting this community event. I can’t way to see what next year brings for us!

Today, at Indaba Coffee, we talked about crime and punishment. What did you get out of today’s talk?

We raised $52 for SpokaneFAVS today. Thank you!


  1. Eric Blauer

    I enjoyed the topic and discussion and value these times and the community of people who read, comment and attend the events. I think having small communities of people who desire to think, discuss and even debate important matters is extremely healthy for us all.

    I appreciate what one participant said to me: “I’m realizing that we are more alike than I thought, but we are just coming at these matters from different angles.” That’s good fruit from our work in my mind.

    Thank you Deb Conklin,
    For you’re pastoral and community leadership on so many issues in Spokane. You shared a lot of wisdom today and knowing that it comes from what you practice and not just what you preach, is what makes it gold. You are a gift to the body of Christ and to the people of Spokane and I’m glad I met you through SpokaneFAVS.

    Thank you Jan Martinez,
    For being such an strong yet vulnerable example of the love of God in action over the long hall in Spokane. Thank you not giving up, for sharing your years of ‘in the trenches’ wisdom today. Christ Kitchen is a model of ministry that we are proud to have in Spokane. You are a beautiful part of the body of Christ and I’m glad you are doing what you are doing.

    Thank you Victoria Thorpe,
    Your passion and compassion were evident in what you presented. Lives will be saved because of your commitment to life, mercy and justice. You are an example of leadership in a labyrinth of difficult issues, thanks for persevering. I hope and pray your sister will be spared and pardoned someday.

    And a special thank you to Tracy Simmons for moving to Spokane, leading our team and struggling through all the challenges of this new endeavor. Your a sweet soul and I’m grateful for your hard work, vision and for the investment others have made into you and this work. I hope your superiors see the good fruit and that continued funding and support will sustain this valuable avenue of news, community and transformation.


    Nice job Eric, I totally agree!

    This Coffee Talk helped me grasp the tremendous gulf between ideas for change and realities of change in relation to our current system of crime and punishment. To a great degree, a community is an ecosystem of cohesive values. When a greater community values revenge and/or retribution ahead of community restoration as just response to an individual’s crime, I believe this VALUE must first change before a system of justice geared in this direction might change. Saturday’s Talk ended with the visualization of the death penalty as the apex of our system deservedly warranting direct action for change. (I agree.) The foundation of this system was then visualized as the wounded and broken among us who have YET to make choices that may lead to death row. Here is where I find the most IMMEDIATE opportunity for change: engaging each other. I find it most inspiring that a group of Spokane citizens chose to tackle frigid air on a Saturday morning to come together and contemplate such ideas. For me, it is how we view and ENGAGE each other TODAY that repairs the foundation upon which to further evolve of our justice system. Do I view others through a lens of guilt/innocence, right/wrong or, rather, by constantly remembering there is a rational cause/reason that ORIGINALLY motivated EVERY irrational choice? For me the answer always starts right where I’m at and I look forward to many more Coffee Talks for this very reason. Coffee Talks help me PUT INTO PRACTICE the very change I believe leads to a more tolerant, more understanding and, more restorative society. Thanks SpokaneFAVS!

  3. Liv Larson Andrews

    I am a better person for having attended Coffee Talks. Tracy, we have you to thank for seeing a deep need in our community and finding and way to meet that need. We can only grow stronger. Thanks.

    What are you hopeful about for 2014?

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