February 14, 2006 in City

Spokane-based reporter has history with international church assembly

By The Spokesman-Review
 
File Associated Press photo

The Rev. Samuel Kobia, of Kenya, the leader of the World Council of Churches, will urge delegates at the assembly to begin serious dialogue with groups that have often regarded the council as a threat to their independence and animated worship style.
(Full-size photo)

Look for Mary Stamp’s dispatches from the 9th Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in The Spokesman-Review.

Mary Stamp remembers her parents attending the first Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Amsterdam when she was 4 years old.

Stamp is the founder and editor of The Fig Tree, a Spokane-based monthly newspaper that covers faith in the Inland Northwest.

Now Stamp is in Porto Alegre, Brazil, covering the ninth assembly of the group, which strives to find common ground among Christians.

The Spokesman-Review will publish several dispatches from Stamp during her time at the assembly.

“It’s less of an institution and more of a gathering point,” Stamp said before leaving for Brazil. “It’s an ecumenical fellowship.”

The gathering draws about 3,700 people representing more than 340 churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 100 countries. The theme of this year’s assembly is “God, in your grace, transform the world.”

The Fig Tree was born after Stamp attended the sixth assembly in 1983 “because there was a document about the church communicating effectively,” she said.

Stamp, who is active in the United Church of Christ, has a background in journalism. She graduated from the University of Oregon School of Journalism in 1967 and later went on to work for the Daily Astorian in Astoria, Ore. She moved to Tekoa, Wash., in 1976 and wrote stories for the weekly paper, the Standard Register. She now lives and works in Spokane.


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