Friday, Aug 29, 2014

Contributors

  • Blaine Stum

    Blaine Stum

    Blaine Stum is a 20-something-year-old native of the Spokane area who was raised in Spokane Valley. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a bachelor's degree in political science. He works in the local political arena and has been involved in LGBT non-profit work for several years.
  • Eric Blauer

    Eric Blauer

    Pastor Eric Blauer is the founder of Jacob’s Well, which he describes as a nondenominational church with a “neighborhood vision and city reaching vision.”
  • Ernesto Tinajero

    Ernesto Tinajero

    Art, says Ernesto Tinajero, comes from the border of what has come before and what is coming next. Tinajero uses his experience studying poetry and theology to write about the intersecting borders of art, poetry and religion.
  • Liv Larson Andrews

    Liv Larson Andrews

    Liv Larson Andrews believes in the sensus lusus, or playful spirit. Liturgy, worship and faithful practice are at their best when accompanied with a wink, she says.
  • Martin Elfert

    Martin Elfert

    The Rev. Martin Elfert is an immigrant to the Christian faith. After the birth of his first child, he began to wonder about the ways in which the Divine was at work in the world. Shortly thereafter, he joined Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver, BC, where he and his new son were baptized at the Easter Vigil in 2005 and where the community encouraged him to seek ordination.
  • R. Skyler Oberst

    R. Skyler Oberst

    R. Skyler Oberst, is the Special Projects Coordinator for the Office of Global Initiatives at Eastern Washington University.
  • Alan Eschenbacher

    Alan Eschenbacher

    The Rev. Alan B. Eschenbacher serves as pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church.
  • Andy CastroLang

    Andy CastroLang

    Andy CastroLang is senior pastor at Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ.
  • Annie May Brown

    Annie May Brown

    Annie May Brown is a passionate and joyful soul who moved to Spokane in 2011 with hopes of pursuing, creating and cultivating rich and authentic community. Within a year of being in Spokane, her hopes are budding.
  • Bill Ellis

    Bill Ellis

    Rev. Bill Ellis is dean of St. John’s Cathedral. He has a bachelor’s degree in history, a Master of Divinity and holds an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Church Divinity School of the Pacific.
  • Carrie Lockhert

    Carrie Lockhert

    Carrie Lockhert, a multi-generational Spokane native, earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington in English with an emphasis in writing during an era when white-out was purchased in bulk and privilege could be assessed by ownership of an electric typewriter vs. a manual one. Two decades, two marriages, three kids and multiple jobs later she thanked both God and human fortitude for the evolutionary shift in online education options that were afforded through the “computer age” by obtaining her graduate degree in Higher Education Administration online through Northeastern University in Boston. She truly is a bi-coastal Husky. While Lockhert has spent her professional career in marketing, advertising and higher education enrollment services she finds herself continually called to speak what others may feel prohibited in articulating. Her self-deprecating candor and transparency about her life and spiritual path is one that many find either intimidating or inspiring. Under the guidance of her spiritual director, the Rev. Kristi Philip, Lockhert joined her love for writing with her desire to focus on human commonality in contrast to human differences by starting a blog, InspirationCrossing.com. As an Episcopalian, Lockhert appreciates the value of differing perspectives and encourages others to dialogue on their various viewpoints, ultimately believing that all are connected and one, whether Christian, Jew, Buddhist or atheist. Lockhert endeavors to provide her readers with a real-life, and at times raw perspective, of viewing and incorporating fundamental spiritual principles into daily life challenges and fortune — even if through the disclosure of her own personal failure.
  • Christi Ortiz

    Christi Ortiz

    Christi Ortiz is a licensed marriage and family therapist by profession and a poet by passion.  She enjoys trying to put to words to that which is wordless and give voice to the dynamic and wild spiritual journey called life. She lives in Spokane with her husband and two children, Emmanuel and Grace. She loves the outdoors and meditating in the early mornings which gives rise to her poetry.
  • Corbin Croy

    Corbin Croy

    Corbin Croy was born in Spokane and grew up in Post Falls. In 1998 he got married at the age of 18 and moved to Coeur d’Alene. Together they have four children, and try to live as simply and honestly as possible.
  • Joe Niemiec

    Joe Niemiec

    The Rev. Joe Niemiec Jr. began his spiritual quest in 1986 when he walked out of a Houston jail and was struck by the realization that his life was in shambles. He began his quest for ‘getting back on track’ with 12 step programs, followed by learning and practicing meditation with a local Redding, California, teacher.
  • Deb Conklin

    Deb Conklin

    Rev. Deb Conklin’s wheels are always turning. How can the church make the world a better place? How can it make Spokane better? Her passions are many, including social justice in the mainline tradition, emergence and the post-modern and missional church.
  • Elizabeth Backstrom

    Elizabeth Backstrom

    Elizabeth Backstrom majored in journalism at Western Washington University and currently works as a content analyst and grant writer in Spokane. Her background is in newswriting and features, but if an overabundance of caffeine is consumed, she has been known to write a humor piece or two. Backstrom attended various Christian churches growing up in Spokane and currently attends First Covenant Church, an inner-city ministry in downtown Spokane.
  • Emily Geddes

    Emily Geddes

    Emily H. Geddes was born to two physicists and grew up as a Navy brat. Born-and-raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she holds a bachelor's degree in theatre from Brigham Young University, and earned an MBA from Eastern Washington University.
  • Hyphen Huffmanparent

    Hyphen Huffmanparent

    Dorothy-Ann Huffmanparent (better known as Hyphen) is a writer, a traditional Jew, a seeker of justice, a lover of stories, the self-proclaimed Jewish Molly Weasley, hobbit-sized, and best not left unattended in a bookshop or animal shelter.
  • Judith Shadford

    Judith Shadford

    After a career in marketing and public relations in New York City and Santa Barbara, Calif., Judith Shadford moved to the Northwest to focus on writing.
  • Joe Newby

    Joe Newby

    Joe Newby is an IT professional who also writes as a conservative columnist for Examiner.com covering politics, crime, elections and social issues, and offers hard-hitting commentary at his blog, the Conservative Firing Line.  
  • Jo Miller

    Jo Miller

    Jo Miller grew up in Southern California, but came up to the Northwest to attend Whitworth University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and philosophy.
  • Josie Camarillo

    Josie Camarillo

    Josie Camarillo is a recent graduate of Whitworth University, where she majored in English and psychology. Currently pursuing her Master in Social Work at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, Camarillo writes for SpokaneFAVS from afar, but plans to return to the Spokane area after attaining her licensure as an independent social worker. She dreams of becoming a relationship therapist and a published author. Her hobbies include photography, horseback riding and writing poetry. Camarillo has a passion for photography and writing, especially poetry, and is interested in creative counseling methods like narrative therapy and using horses in therapy. Someday, she would like to be a counselor and a published poet. Her favorite poems are "The Singing Woman from the Wood's Edge" by Edna St. Vincent Millay and "The Art of Drowning" by Billy Collins. During fall 2013, Camarillo worked for Spokane Faith & Values as a copy editing intern, where her specialities included deleting Oxford commas and adding hyperlinks. Since then, she has transitioned into becoming a regular contributor to the site as a writer and photographer.
  • Julia Hayes

    Julia Hayes

    Presently Julia Hayes is a hobby organic farmer living one of the most traditional roles she can imagine; stay at home mama, full-time cook and housekeeper, seamstress extraordinaire, boo-boo fixer-upper, and constant child negotiator and mediator.
  • John VanDerWalker

    John VanDerWalker

    John VanDerWalker II serves as a Mission Research, Assessment and Support Specialist with the Western USA Mission Field of the Community of Christ.
  • Kelly Rae Mathews

    Kelly Rae Mathews

    Kelly Rae Mathews grew up in culturally and faith diverse San Diego, Calif. during the 70s and 80s before moving to Spokane in 2004. Growing up in a such a diverse environment with amazing people, led Mathews to be very empathetic and open to the insights of many different faiths, she said. She loves science fiction and this also significantly contributed to and influenced her own journey and understanding of faith and values. She agrees with and takes seriously the Vulcan motto, when it comes to faith and life, "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations." Therefore, it is no surprise she has a degree in anthropology as well as English. She has studied the anthropology of religion and is knowledgeable about many faiths. She completed an anthropological research project on poets of the Inland Northwest, interviewing over two dozen poets, their audiences, friends, family members, and local business community who supported the poetry performances. Mathews gave a presentation on How Poets Build Community: Reclaiming Intimacy from the Modern World at the Northwest Anthropological Conference, at the Eastern Washington University Creative Symposium, the Eastern Washington University Women's Center and the Literary Lunch Symposium put on by Reference Librarian and Poet Jonathan Potter at the Riverfront Campus. She was a volunteer minister in San Diego for about 10 years while attending college and working in various editorial positions. Her articles, poems and short stories have appeared in Fickle Muse, The Kolob Canyon Review, Falling Star Magazine, Acorn, The Coyote Express, The Outpost and Southern Utah University News.
  • Kris Christensen

    Kris Christensen

    The Rev. Kris Christensen is an Episcopal priest and the executive director of West Central Episcopal Mission, a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane.
  • Kurt Bubna

    Kurt Bubna

    Kurt Bubna has been in pastoral ministry since 1976 and now serves as the senior pastor of Eastpoint Church, a large, vibrant, and community-focused congregation in Spokane Valley. He is the author of Epic Grace ~ Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot (Tyndale).
  • Kyle Franklin

    Kyle Franklin

    Kyle A. Franklin is a recent graduate of Gonzaga University, where he earned his Master's in Religious Studies. He completed his bachelor's degree in history and religion at Pacific Lutheran University in 2007 and has worked in both the ELCA Lutheran Church and the United Methodist Church.
  • Lace Williams-Tinajero

    Lace Williams-Tinajero

    Dr. Lace Williams-Tinajero, author of “The Reshaped Mind: Searle, the Biblical Writers, and Christ’s Blood,” (Brill, 2011) writes about the connection between language and the diverse ways people think of, speak of, believe in and ultimately worship God.
  • Laura Kipp

    Laura Kipp

    Laura Kipp is a 20-something Mormon living in Spokane Valley.
  • Lucas Thayer

    Lucas Thayer

    Lucas Thayer was born in Spokane and currently resides there with his girlfriend, his cat and his dog. He recently received his degree in journalism and mass communication from Whitworth University. While raised in a Christian household, he says he doesn't subscribe to any belief system, and considers himself agnostic. His interests include writing, hiking and competitive basket weaving.
  • Mark Azzara

    Mark Azzara

    Mark Azzara spent 45 years in print journalism, most of them with the Waterbury Republican in Connecticut, where he was a features writer with a special focus on religion at the time of his retirement. He also worked for newspapers in New Haven and Danbury, Conn. At the latter paper, while sports editor, he won a national first-place writing award on college baseball. Azzara also has served as the only admissions recruiter for a small Catholic college in Connecticut and wrote a self-published book on spirituality, "And So Are You." He is active in his church and a non-denominational prayer community and facilitates two Christian study groups for men. Azzara grew up in southern California, graduating from Cal Sate Los Angeles. He holds a master's degree from the University of Connecticut.
  • Jamie Brannock

    Jamie Brannock

    Brannock is SpokaneFAVS' Pagan writer. She studies and practices witchcraft, which she plans to explain through her writing.
  • Neal Schindler

    Neal Schindler

    A native of Detroit, Neal Schindler has lived in the Pacific Northwest for more than 12 years. He has held staff positions at Seattle Weekly and The Seattle Times and was a freelance writer for Jew-ish.com from 2007 to 2011. Schindler was raised in a Reconstructionist Jewish congregation and is now member of Spokane's Reform congregation, Emanu-El. He graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2013 with a master’s degree in counseling and currently works as an individual and family therapist. His interests include movies, Scrabble, and ping-pong. He lives with his wife and two cats in West Central Spokane.
  • Jan Shannon

    Jan Shannon

    Jan Shannon is the part-time assistant pastor at Westminster UCC, a full-time student at Eastern Washington University and hopes to attain ordination before the age of 60.
  • Patricia Bruininks

    Patricia Bruininks

    Patty Bruininks grew up in northeast Tennessee. She left the South to attend Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., eventually graduating from nearby Hope College. She pursued her doctoral work in social psychology at the University of Oregon, becoming a lifelong Ducks fan. Before moving to Spokane, she taught for five years at Hendrix College in Conway, Ark. Now at Whitworth, she teaches courses such as Psychology of Poverty & Social Class and Love, Altruism, & Forgiveness; she studies and conducts research on the emotion of hope. Dr. B (as her students call her) is married to Mr. B (Jim) and has two grown sons, one daughter-in-law, and two rescue pets (one cat and one dog). Her hobbies include crossing national parks off her bucket list (20 down, 39 to go), reading for fun (mostly in the summer months), and watching edifying TV shows like The Walking Dead (for the psychology, of course). She is Associate Professor and Department Chair of the Psychology Department, and is currently in her seventh year at Whitworth.
  • Rosemary McFarland

    Rosemary McFarland

    Rosemary McFarland grew up in the mountains at a Christian summer camp before moving to the country.
  • Sarah Conover

    Sarah Conover

    Sarah Conover holds a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from the University of Colorado, a degree in education from Gonzaga University, and a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing from Eastern Washington University. She lives in Spokane where she currently teaches creative writing and meditation.
  • Scott Kinder-Pyle

    Scott Kinder-Pyle

    Scott Kinder-Pyle is a nine-fingered struggling poet and ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Following his upbringing, as the youngest of five in a working-class family, he received degrees from Penn State University (BA, English), Princeton Theological Seminary (Mdiv, Philosophy) and in 2008 a Doctor of Ministry (DMin) from Columbia Theological Seminary with a dissertation entitled, "Pastor as Struggling Poet — Exploring An Alternative Mode of New Church Development." Kinder-Pyle is married to Sheryl, his spouse for over 25 years, and together they have two grown boys (Ian and Philip). Most recently, this former new-church development minister pursued and received yet another degree (a Master of Fine Arts) from Eastern Washington University. "Of God Gone Bust" is the title of his 80-odd-page thesis, which invites a suspension of ideological certitude (among both theistic and atheistic crowds) as well as the hope of an ineffable meta-narrative, which no autonomous individual can fully comprehend or name. Sheer-embodied self-consciousness has been the name of Scott's game since losing the ring-finger on his left hand in a freak accident, re-stringing a soccer net. And you might say the rest of his journey is comprised of a looser grip(e) on theology, contemporary culture and ethics.
  • Shannon Dunn

    Shannon Dunn

    Shannon Dunn teaches in the area of religious ethics at Gonzaga University. Her special interests include religion and violence, gender and human rights, and comparative Islamic and Christian traditions.
  • Tamara Milliken

    Tamara Milliken

    Tamara Milliken has been practicing yoga for nearly 10 years and teaching yoga and meditation for a little more than four.
  • Thomas Schmidt

    Thomas Schmidt

    Thomas Schmidt is a retired psychotherapist and chemical dependency counselor who belongs to the Sufi Ruhiniat International order of Sufi’s and is a drummer in the Spokane Sufi group and an elder at the Country Homes Christian (Disciples of Christ) Church. He is a member of the Westar Institute (The Jesus Seminar people). He studied for the ministry in the late 1950’s at Texas Christian Church and twice married Janet Fowler, a member of a long tern TCU family and a Disciple minister. He was active in the Civil Rights Movement, studying philosophy at Columbia University and psychology in the University of North Carolina university system. He has taught philosophy and psychology, and was professionally active in Florida, North Carolina, and, for 25 years in Spokane. He has studied and practiced Siddha Yoga, Zen Buddhism and, since the mid 1970’s, Sufism and the Dances of Universal Peace. He has three sons and three grandchildren. With the death of his wife, Janet, he is continuing their concentration on human rights, ecology, and ecumenical and interfaith reconciliation.
  • Toni Niemiec

    Toni Niemiec

    Walking the spiritual path has been part of the Rev. Toni Niemiec's life as long as she can remember. She said as a child she was not raised in a “traditional” religion.
  • Tracy Springberry

    Tracy Springberry

    Tracy Springberry is a Unitarian Universalist minister. She serves the North Idaho Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Coeur d’Alene, as well serves as a traveling minister to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fairbanks in Fairbanks, Alaska.
  • Vincent Lachina

    Vincent Lachina

    Rev. Vincent Lachina has served as the Planned Parenthood chaplains for Washington State for 10 years, providing support to patients and community members in Washington, Northern Oregon, Alaska and Idaho. Additionally, Lachina works to create an active network of progressive congregations in the Northwest who support reproductive justice for women. He is an adjunct member of Planned Parenthood's Clergy Advisory Board, which provides guidance and advocacy on reproductive health and justice issues nationwide, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.