Valley Stake set to rally for Food 4 Thought

If you peek into the average classroom in Spokane Valley, you may not be able to tell which students are living in a car or going without   food most nights.  A few years back Spokane Valley HEART (Homeless Education and Resource Team), a collaborative program of Central Valley, East Valley and West Valley school districts, conducted research indicating that over 800 students were living in emergency, temporary or transitional housing situations.

Last year’s Food 4 Thought collection day accounted for over 16,000 pounds of donated items. The food is distributed to less fortunate students in local school districts. This year’s drive is scheduled for Sept. 17.

Last year’s Food 4 Thought collection day accounted for over 16,000 pounds of donated items. The food is distributed to less fortunate students in local school districts. This year’s drive is scheduled for Sept. 17.

Pat Dockrey, founder of the Food 4 Thought program, has come to the rescue with the help of the Liberty Lake Kiwanis, the Spokane Valley  Partners Food Bank and several local churches throughout the Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake area.

Every week during the school year, Dockrey and his volunteers assemble food packs – made of items such as canned chili and packaged   oatmeal – that a child could prepare and would eat.

Members from the Spokane Valley Baptist Church, Sullivan Seventh Day Adventist Church, Advent Lutheran Spokane, and the Church of Jesus   Christ of Latter-day Saints help with the delivery of the food at schools in the Central Valley School District... Read Full Story →

BYU Management Society in the business of community enrichment

 

Did you golf with Heisman Trophy winner and former BYU quarterback Ty Detmer when he was in town a few years back? Has your family enjoyed the Jon Schmidt or Vocal Point concerts in the past few years?

The local chapter of the BYU Management Society has brought family-appropriate movies, comedy and music to Spokane in recent years, including the highly regarded group, Vocal Point.

The local chapter of the BYU Management Society has brought family-appropriate movies, comedy and music to Spokane in recent years, including the highly regarded group, Vocal Point.

Were you at “The Saratov Approach” screening to hear Andrew Propst share his first-hand experiences as a missionary kidnapped in Russia?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, give yourself a pat on the back for supporting the Spokane chapter of the BYU Management Society in raising scholarship funds for local youth.

Over 20 years ago, the very first Spokane Chapter of the BYU Management Society took shape. The Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. sponsors and supports the formation of chapters all over the world. From Taiwan to Turkey and from Shanghai to Spokane, individuals who may or may not have an affiliation with BYU come together to make a difference for good in their communities.

The vision of the BYU Management Society... Read Full Story →

Freedom Devotional celebrates faith, diversity, community strength

Shouts of “Amen” rose from the audience and spontaneous applause erupted into a standing ovation as Pastor Happy Watkins completed his rendition of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in the Spokane Washington East Stake Center the evening of Jan. 18.

This may have not been your typical conclusion to a Sunday evening in a chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but truly this was not your typical gathering. The chapel and the entire cultural hall filled with over 700 guests from multiple congregations. All had come to celebrate religious freedom and reverence the men and women who gave of themselves to secure and protect those freedoms.

Spokane Washington East Stake President Greg Mott (left), along with Pastor Happy Watkins (center) and Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich presented at the Freedom Devotional on Jan. 18 at the Spokane East Stake Center.

Spokane Washington East Stake President Greg Mott (left), along with Pastor Happy Watkins (center) and Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich presented at the Freedom Devotional on Jan. 18 at the Spokane East Stake Center.

Pastor Watkins, who has led the Spokane New Hope Baptist Church for 25 years, is known in the community as a champion for freedom and equality. Almost 28 years... Read Full Story →

Spokane Valley Stake nourishes good cause with food drive

At 8 in the morning on Sept. 20, Al Smith was first to pull up and unload his Food 4 Thought donation on the curb of the LDS church across from Liberty Lake Elementary. It was the start of the flood in what proved to be an amazing outpouring of community generosity for the homeless students in school districts throughout the Greater Spokane Valley.

A total of 508 volunteers from the Kiwanis Club, the Central Valley High School leadership class and the seven wards of the Spokane Valley LDS Stake combined for 1,257 hours of service and approximately 7,500 pounds of food. LDS missionaries and youth from the stake formed an assembly line to pass the bags from car to ramp to back of truck. As the bins filled to overflowing, more volunteers transferred bags to banana boxes so they could be stacked atop the bins.

Over 500 volunteers with the Kiwanis Club, Central Valley High School and seven wards from the Spokane Valley Stake donated time for a food drive on Sept. 20 as part of the national Day of Service.

Over 500 volunteers with the Kiwanis Club, Central Valley High School and seven wards from the Spokane Valley Stake donated time for a food drive on Sept. 20 as part of the national Day of Service.

Meanwhile, Food 4 Thought founder Pat Dockrey stood in the parking lot... Read Full Story →

Local LDS campaign turns page on “The Book of Mormon” play

When Mindy Wright, a member of the Spokane East Stake Public Affairs committee, saw “The Book of Mormon” musical in the lineup for “Best of Broadway” in Spokane, she immediately recognized a great opportunity to “have our voice included in the conversation around the musical.”

Because the show was a hit throughout the country, it could be expected that people from Spokane would choose to see it – and they did.

While “The Book of Mormon” musical took the stage in Spokane last month, local members of the Church did their part to get out the real story of the restored gospel and missionary work throughout the community. Photo courtesy of LDS.org media library.

While “The Book of Mormon” musical took the stage in Spokane last month, local members of the Church did their part to get out the real story of the restored gospel and missionary work throughout the community. Photo courtesy of LDS.org media library.

With the expectation that many members of the Church would have friends, neighbors and co-workers talking about the play, local priesthood leaders and area public affairs representatives began discussing the best way to be a part of the conversation.

An initiative with three objectives was planned for the... Read Full Story →

Genealogy generation – Liberty Lake youth rally enthusiasm for family history

Alexis Fox, Mckayla Crump, Trevor Brown and Alex Garza have a couple things in common.  These young people all attend Central Valley High School and they all serve as Family History consultants in their ward. 

Called to serve last summer, the team has slowly but surely energized the Liberty Lake Ward with enthusiasm about searching for family.  On Feb. 19, about 40 young people gathered at the chapel with laptops, tablets and phones to find their ancestors.

Trevor Brown (leading class) was among the youth Family History consultants called in the Liberty Lake Ward last summer.

Trevor Brown (leading class) was among the youth Family History consultants called in the Liberty Lake Ward last summer.

“We wanted to get all the youth together in an environment where they have the chance and the motivation to work on their family history,” Trevor explained.

Most of the youth in the room knew how to login to the familysearch.org website because a previous activity had been geared toward accomplishing just that.  Last week’s activity was designed to move beyond the creation of a FamilySearch account.

“We want them to have the opportunity to catch the vision,” Trevor explained.  “Tonight is about... Read Full Story →

Daily Dose program helps students adapt to life in America

Coming to America is a dream that has burned in the minds and hearts of many over the last five centuries – but living in America can be a nightmare, especially if you don’t speak the language.  Paul and Jackie Halversen, a Liberty Lake couple who spent a year teaching English in China, know exactly how it feels to be in a part of the world where the language is foreign to you.

So when the opportunity came to serve as facilitators in the Daily Dose English Language program, the Halversens jumped in with all four feet.   Called to this Church service mission in February 2013, the Halversens join a team of 45 Daily Dose missionaries serving throughout the Washington, Spokane Mission.

With posters and postcard sized handouts written in Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Spanish, and other languages, these Church service missionaries invite those they meet to practice English in a comfortable, relaxed setting.  The program was created to train non-English speaking employees in work settings.  However, in 2004, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints obtained a license to implement the program in a broader scope.

New advocacy group enlightens issues surrounding dyslexia

Spelling woes, extremely messy backpack (and bedroom), choppy reading, slow, messy writing and a dread of school – scientific studies by the National Institute of Health (NIH) indicate that one in every five elementary school students displays these signs.

For parents, teachers, and administrators who observe these behaviors, questions inevitably arise about what creates this struggle with language processing and what can be done to help. A pair of moms from the Spokane Valley Stake, Staci Seliger and Kerry Jensen, have banded with several other parents to form Enlighten, a non-profit organization equipped to answer these questions.



Kerry Jensen (left) and Staci Seliger of the Spokane Valley Stake are two of the founders of Enlighten, an advocacy group formed to provide support and education for children with dyslexia and their families.
Contributed Photo.

According to Jensen, mother of five and a founding member of Enlighten, “These language processing difficulties are the signs of dyslexia, a word many have heard but very few understand.”

At their inaugural public awareness forum held in January, Jensen explained that the word “dyslexia” simply means “difficulty with reading.” An individual diagnosed with dyslexia will generally struggle with a variety of language processing tasks.

Scientific research by NIH has determined that 20 percent of the population inherits the brain structure that typically yields the more creative, artistic, innovative thinking but also leads to difficulty with various forms of language processing. This genetically inherited trait is commonly known as dyslexia.

Read Full Story →

Boye brings soulful song stylings to Inland Northwest

When you watch the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, sometimes there is one individual who stands out to you. For our family, that individual is Alex Boye. Having listened to his music and watched his “Mormon Messages” video, we love to catch a glimpse of him in the choir. And we are especially excited to see him perform live at a special concert on March 23 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

As a child of Nigerian parents who grew up on the streets of London, Alex probably never imagined that one day he would join the most famous choir in the world or come to Spokane, Washington for that matter. He grew up in humble circumstances in England and, at age 11, his mother announced she was going to Nigeria for a few weeks. When she did not return, Alex was placed in foster care.

During his teenage years, he took a job at McDonald’s in London. While there, his manager invited him to learn about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He went with an interest in talking to American girls and discovered in the message of the LDS sister missionaries something that touched his soul.

At age 16, Alex joined the Church, and later served a mission in Bristol, England. He had several opportunities to sing and perform during his mission, and his mission president advised him to do something with his musical talent.

In 1995, Alex formed a band called “Awesome” which sold over 500,000 CDs, but the lifestyle of a traveling musician wasn’t what Alex wanted for himself.

“Somehow I don’t think that’s what (the mission president) had in mind,” Alex later remarked.

When he came to the United States in 1999, he began to look for other ways to share his musical talent. Youth firesides, acting opportunities, and recording work with other LDS pop artists opened doors for him in Utah. In... Read Full Story →

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