Tuesday, May 31, 2016


  • Admir Rasic

    Admir Rasic

    Admin Rasic was born in Bosnia-Herzegovina a few years before the start of the Yugoslav wars. He and his family and lived in Germany as war refugees before moving to the United States in 2000, making Spokane their new home. He is a proud dad of a 2-year-old daughter and the son of a concentration camp survivor. "I am grateful to God for all of the blessings in my life," he said. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington in English Literature and enjoys playing soccer, reading books and meeting new people. His goal is to make the world a better place for his daughter.
  • Andrew Wheeler

    Andrew Wheeler

    Andrew Wheeler is a Whitworth ’15 alumnus with degrees in International Studies, Peace Studies and Cross-Cultural Studies. He has also studied nonviolence, diplomacy and conflict resolution at universities in Costa Rica and the United Arab Emirates. Committed to intercultural and interfaith understanding, he currently lives and works in the community of Spokane, but will soon be serving overseas in the Kyrgyz Republic through the Peace Corps as a TEFL volunteer. When you can’t find him out and about, he’s probably inside playing with his cat, writing or reading.
  • Andy CastroLang

    Andy CastroLang

    Andy CastroLang is senior pastor at Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ.
  • Bailey Russell

    Bailey Russell

    Bailey Clare Russell was born in Port au Prince, Haiti in 1995. She was adopted by a family in Boise, Idaho, and has since lived there her whole life. She is currently a junior at Gonzaga University, where she is pursuing a degree in International Relations with a minor in French. She is currently president of Black Student Union, works a part-time job and is currently working on creating cultural classes at Gonzaga in the core curriculum. When she's not busy, she enjoys listening to music, movies, cooking and baking, eating sweets and coffee and hanging out with friends.
  • Bill Williams

    Bill Williams

    Bill Williams is a freelance writer in Connecticut, and a former editorial writer for The Hartford Courant. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. He hosts the Greater Hartford Sangha, a local meditation group. He can be reached at billwaw@comcast.net.
  • 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.
  • Charles Vaden

    Charles Vaden

    Charles R. Vaden was born in Las Vegas, Nevada back when it was a sleepy dusty desert town. After a six year stint in the Marine Corps where he earned the rank of Staff Sargent and served as an Aircrew Survival Instructor during the Vietnam war training pilots how to survive in adverse conditions should they be forced down. Afterward he earned a degree in sociology and minor in psychology and while in school formed the first "Futurist" club, hosted a radio show on KUNV and supported a colleague in the development of a "Solar Powered Lighter-than Airship. "After graduation he spent 15 years in the field of counseling working in adolescent psychiatric, adult drug and alcohol and behavior problem youth at the now internationally renowned Turn-About Ranch in Southern Utah as recommended by Dr. Phil. Vaden is currently developing the interactive matrix of "Star System 5" a tool using Structural Sociology applied to the Kingdom of God on earth so as to develop a working social construct to bring about the social psychology necessary for implementation of the Kingdom.
  • 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.
  • Curtis Seidel

    Curtis Seidel

    The Rev. Curtis Seidel is one of many Montanan immigrants to Washington State, who initially moved to Spokane for the purpose of studying at Gonzaga University. During that time he fell in love with this beautiful land of Eastern Washington and the people who live there. After completing an undergraduate degree in philosophy and classics he was sent on a harrowing four year journey to the wild land of Washington D.C. There, in our nation’s capital, he braved many dangers and met many wonderful friends in order to complete a graduate degree in theology. Since then, he has returned to home and is currently serving as a priest at Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral, the Mother Church of the Diocese of Spokane. Online he can be found at spocatholic.wordpress.com and on twitter @Fr_Seidel.
  • 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.
  • Eliza Kinnaman

    Eliza Kinnaman

    Eliza Kinnaman grew up on the west side of Washington State, not far from the ocean waves. She is currently a sophomore at Eastern Washington University, where she is pursuing a degree in communications with a minor in journalism. She is engaged to the love of her life and works a part time job in Spokane. When she isn't busy she loves to go on hikes, bake and cook with her fiance. If doing none of the above, you can find her with a book in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.
  • 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.
  • Eric Blauer

    Eric Blauer

    I am Frederick Christian Blauer IV, but I go by Eric, it sounds less like a megalomaniac but still hints at my Scandinavian destiny of coastal conquest and ultimate rule. I have accumulated a fair number of titles: son, brother, husband, father, pastor, writer, artist and a few other more colorful titles by my fanged fans. I am a lover of story be it heard, read or watched in all beauty, gory or glory. I write and speak as an exorcist or poltergeist, splashing holy water, spilling wine and breaking bread between the apocalypse and a sleeping baby. I am possessed by too many words and they get driven out like wild pigs and into the waters of my blog at www.fcb4.tumblr.com. I work as a pastor at Jacob's Well Church (www.jacobswellspokane.com) across the tracks on 'that' side of town. I follow Christ in East Central Spokane among saints, sinners, angels, demons, crime, condoms, chaos, beauty, goodness and powerful weakness. I have more questions than answers, grey hairs than brown, fat than muscle, fire than fireplace and experience more love from my wife, family and friends than a man should be blessed with in one lifetime.
  • 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.
  • Gifti Abbo

    Gifti Abbo

    Gifti Abbo is a recent Whitworth graduate in biology currently working towards a career in medicine. She is also a second-generation Ethiopian-American raised in Spokane and is interested in issues surrounding racial and economic disparities both in Spokane and abroad. In her spare time she likes to read, hike and attempt to play the guitar.
  • Hyphen Parent

    Hyphen Parent

    Dorothy-Ann Parent (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.
  • 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.
  • Jim Downard

    Jim Downard

    Jim Downard is a Spokane native (with a sojourn in Southern California back in the early 1960s) who was raised in a secular family, so says had no personal faith to lose. He's always been a history and science buff (getting a bachelor's in the former area at what was then Eastern Washington University in the early 1970s).
  • 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.  
  • 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.
  • John Hancock

    John Hancock

    John Hancock had a first career as a symphony orchestra musician and was a faculty member at University of Michigan. He has advanced degrees in music performance from Boston University and U.M. Arts management was his way of problem-solving and expanding the public participation. He was orchestra manager of the Toledo Symphony, executive director of the Spokane Symphony and the Pasadena Pops and chief operating officer of the Milwaukee Symphony. Currently he’s an Eagle Scout, a Rotarian, a liberal libertarian of an Iowa small-town self-sufficiency and was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. A childhood Methodist, he now instead pursues ideas of commonality among religions and philosophies. Volunteerism in civic, political and social services work draws him to town from his forest home outside Spokane. Since 2006, his Deep Creek Consulting has aided non-profit organizations in grantwriting and strengthbuilding.
  • 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.
  • Kevin Moore

    Kevin Moore

    Kevin Moore is a senior studying English at Whitworth University. Born and raised in sunny southern California, Kevin spends much of his time in and around bodies of water. He has participated in a myriad of writing workshops with some of Spokane's best writers and poets. Currently a teaching assistant to Poet Laureate Thom Caraway, Moore looks forward to having even more writing to analyze and edit to ensure that Spokane FāVS fans have lucid, engaging content to enjoy.
  • Kurt Bubna

    Kurt Bubna

    Kurt W. Bubna published his first book, "Epic Grace: Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot," with Tyndale in 2013. He has recently published "Mr. & Mrs.: How to Thrive in Perfectly Imperfect Marriage" and two other books. Bubna is an active blogger, itinerate speaker, regular radio and television personality, and the Senior Pastor of Eastpoint Church, a large non-denominational congregation in Spokane Valley, Wash. He and his wife, Laura, have been married for nearly 40 years and have four grown children and six grandchildren.
  • 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.
  • Lindsey Treffry

    Lindsey Treffry

    Spokane born-and-raised, Lindsey Treffry works as a copy editor and page designer for The Spokesman-Review. She graduated from the University of Idaho in 2013 with a journalism degree, and now spends her weekends cooking vegan meals and walking her dog, Griffey. She returns to Spokane Faith and Values as a freelance writer, years after interning for the publication during its inception.
  • 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.
  • Luke Grayson

    Luke Grayson

    Luke Grayson is a 21-year-old transguy who has been in Spokane for the past four years and is an advocate for the LGBT community. He is currently working retail and serving as a committee member on non-profit boards attempting to help make the local community more inclusive of both the LGB and transgender communities and is trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life.
  • MacKenzie Bills

    MacKenzie Bills

    MacKenzie Bills is a senior at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. She is passionate of Interfaith dialogue and action. She has worked for Interfaith Youth Core, the U.S. State Department, and the Religious Freedom Center at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Bills is most interested in comparative religious understanding in international policy, but specializes in the study of secularism. She can be reached at mbills19@gmail.com
  • 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.
  • Mark Kadel

    Mark Kadel

    Mark Kadel is the director of World Relief Spokane.
  • 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 God was at work in his life and in the world. In response to this wondering, he joined Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he and his new son were baptized at the Easter Vigil in 2005 and where the community encouraged him to seek ordination. Martin served on the staff of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Spokane, Wash. from 2011-2015. He is now the rector of Grace Memorial Episcopal Church in Portland, Oreg.
  • Matthew Rindge, Ph.D.

    Matthew Rindge, Ph.D.

    Matthew S. Rindge is associate professor of Religious Studies at Gonzaga University. His latest book is "Profane Parables: Film and the American Dream." He has published dozens of articles and chapters on the Bible, religion, and popular culture, and he has received multiple awards for teaching and scholarship. He chairs the Bible and Film section in the Society of Biblical Literature.
  • Matthew Sewell

    Matthew Sewell

    Matthew Sewell, a Denver Broncos fan and amateur Chestertonian, loves golf, music, truth and good food. A lifelong Catholic, he graduated from a Catholic college (Carroll College; Helena, Mont.) but experienced a "re-version" to the faith during graduate studies at a state school (N. Arizona; Flagstaff, Ariz.). Irony is also one of his favorite things. He and his wife currently reside in Spokane, though they're Montanans at heart. He blogs at mtncatholic.com.
  • Neal Schindler

    Neal Schindler

    A native of Detroit, Neal Schindler has lived in the Pacific Northwest for 14 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 a member of Spokane's Reform congregation, Emanu-El. He is the director of Spokane Area Jewish Family Services and also works as a copy editor at the Spokesman-Review. His interests include movies, Scrabble, and indie rock. He lives with his wife and two cats in West Central Spokane.
  • Nicholas Damascus

    Nicholas Damascus

    Nick Damascus is one who seeks to discover and apply the proverbial question of what is truth and wisdom, to fill that gaping hole, to become complete and to become realistically and synergistically functional. In an attempt to live the Christian life, which he says is a definite work in progress, he has discovered that he's created the Christ that fits his lifestyle and agrees with his ego (and boy what an ego, he says), carefully avoiding what God intended him to be.
  • 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.
  • R. Skyler Oberst

    R. Skyler Oberst

    R. Skyler Oberst, is works for the City of Spokane and is the president of the Spokane Interfaith Council.
  • Rob Bryceson

    Rob Bryceson

    Rob Bryceson is the Pastor of The Gathering House Covenant Church and café in the Garland District, formerly First Covenant Church on 2nd and Division. The church site is actually a neighborhood coffee shop six days a week. It serves as a job training institute for people coming out of addiction, poverty, or prison. Bryceson has served as the chairman of the Spokane Homeless coalition for two terms. He holds a Master’s of Divinity from Western Seminary and a Graduate Certificate from Multnomah School of the Bible. His undergrad is in History with English and Government minors from Eastern Washington University. He likes performing classic rock on his guitar. He has four grown daughters who inspire and amaze him and a son who makes him laugh and fills him with joy. Bryceson's wife, Tonia, runs the coffee shop as the director of Street Wise and he will tell you that she is the most amazing person he knows!
  • Sam Werme Karorero

    Sam Werme Karorero

    Sam Karorero went to Rwanda, Africa in 2012 with intentions to teach for nine months. Shortly into her time in Rwanda, she met her now husband and after living in Rwanda for three years, returned to the US with a different perspective on herself, humanity, and the contrast of life. Her intention in writing is to celebrate humanities commonalities and to bring perspective to the divine ways that struggle serves us on our journey. Sam and her husband have a nonprofit, Impanda, that serves at risk youth in Rwanda through music and art therapy
  • Samantha Briggs

    Samantha Briggs

    Samantha Briggs grew up in the small town of Burley, Idaho and was born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a degree in Recreation Management and a minor in Nonprofit Management. She has worked for several nonprofit organizations and universities and is currently employed in the Division of Student Development at Gonzaga University. Briggs' second home is in Uganda—the Pearl of Africa! While living there, she worked alongside local leaders of both religious and community organizations to initiate programs in education, business, and public health. She is passionate about service, community development, and social justice...and chocolate chip cookies.
  • 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. Conover lives in Spokane, has been a Buddhist practitioner for nearly three decades. She now teaches meditation at various places throughout the city, including the Airway Heights Prison. She has taught creative writing in the public schools, and now works with senior citizens. Previous to her role in education, she was a senior producer at Internews, an international NGO committed to fostering open media throughout the world. Conover is the author of young adult, multigenerational, and adult books as well as poetry. Her books include "Kindness: a Treasury of Buddhist Wisdom for Children and Parents; Chaos and Wonder and the Spiritual Adventure of Parenting;" "Ayat Jamilah, Beautiful Signs: A Treasury of Islamic Wisdom for Children and Parents;" "Daughters of the Desert: Remarkable Women of the Christian, Jewish and Islamic Traditions;" "Harmony: a Treasury of Chinese Wisdom for Children and Parents;" "Muhammad: the Story of a Prophet and Reformer."
  • 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.
  • Steven Simmons

    Steven Simmons

    Steven Simmons considers himself a secular humanist and atheist. Born into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he began his journey away from religion at the age of 12 when it began to clash with his increasingly naturalistic worldview. Simmons is a long-time resident of Moscow, Idaho, where he is a board member of the Humanists of the Palouse. For the past several years he has been closely involved in the secular movement in the Palouse region where he works to create a sense of community and an awareness of humanist values to a relatively conservative part of the Inland Northwest.
  • Tamara Milliken

    Tamara Milliken

    Tamara Millken began practicing yoga in 2003, and teaching in 2007. She trained and is 500 hour certified through the Shambhava School of Yoga. She currently teaches Yoga for Healing, Tibetan Heart Yoga, and meditation at the Mellow Monkey Yoga Studio and the Millwood Community Center.
  • 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 Simmons

    Tracy Simmons

    Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 13 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 and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and for the Religion News Service.
  • Tracy Springberry

    Tracy Springberry

    Tracy Springberry is a Unitarian Universalist minister. She serves the North Idaho Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Coeur d’Alene.
  • 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.