Join us at 4:00pm every Sunday
for our Celebration services
@ The Hillman City Collaboratory 
(5623 Rainier Ave S. 98118)

This Sunday at V&M

The Dangerous Act of Rest

Reflection by Jenny Phillips

4:00pm Celebration @ The Collaboratory
(5623 Rainier Ave S. 98118)

“Sabbath is a dangerous time because we might remember who we are and we might remember what God is calling us to do in the world.” —Douglas Meeks, Vanderbilt University
To keep the Sabbath is to set apart time to rest in the presence of God, creation and one another. Why do so many of us resist God’s call to rest? We’ll explore the dangers of keeping Sabbath and reflect on ways to carve out Sabbath space in our lives.
This August we will be exploring the Sabbath, finding rest in a restless world. What does it mean to rest? How do we rest? Can we rest when it seems there is remains so much injustice in our world?

In honor of the sabbath we are doing our best to give all volunteers the month off from their regular rotating duties. Rest and be restored, rejuvenated, and reinvigorated. We appreciate you.
Andre and Hannah are leading our music!
Come to Celebration Early and Practice Sing

Love to sing? Our own Tiffani Jones has inspired the creation of a V&M Choir!  Come 30 minutes before Celebration to rehearse the songs with the musicians and improve the quality and participatory feeling of our music!

Come at 3:30pm to rehearse the songs with her before the Celebration.


An Interesting Week at the Collaboratory

Not everyone realizes how much this place overflows with activity and love during the week, so here is a glimpse into the life of this week at the Collab….
On Monday, a new coworker joined the space. Her name is Elissa and she is the Executive Director of the Washington Student Association, a grassroots non-profit that advocates for the interests of their 80,000 members– all of whom are college students at WA state institutions. She is excited to have a more productive environment and be surrounded by creative colleagues in her effort to grow the org and work to preserve financial aid, increase diversity, and prevent large tuition hikes. In the afternoon, the YMCA held a weekly program for kids from adverse backgrounds. In the evening the sHell No Action Council met in the Mixing Chamber to continue organizing against arctic drilling.

…on Tuesday… Jones Community Solutions was open (as they are throughout the week) to provide free cell phones and service plans to low-income individuals. Otherwise it was quiet in the morning, but less so in the afternoon during the DJ class for disadvantaged youth. The weekly evening meeting of SAFE Housing Justice was on break so their members could regroup and get back to helping people stay in their homes.

…on Wednesday, the Drop-In Center was open in the morning to provide food, coffee, clothes, toiletries, and internet access to unsheltered individuals.  Ben and Joe practiced old-time Blues music in the Mixing Chamber while people came and went. A fashion design program for at-risk youth was held in the afternoon, and the Social Justice Fund held a campaign wrap up party after supporting a wide array of small structural justice initiatives.

…on Thursday, the Seattle Catholic Worker and JCS met client needs at the Drop-in Center and Hospitality Desk, and several V&M and Collab community members went to meet with Homestead Land Trust to talk about strategies to keep Hillman City an inclusive and diverse neighborhood.

…on Friday, after the regular morning activities wrapped up, a non-profit called Powerful Voices is meeting to launch a new ‘Zine (aka small magazine geared towards young people). Powerful Voices helps girls of color to develop self-confidence and use their gifts and power for good in the world.

…on Saturday, an org called Many Voices, One Tribe is meeting for a report back from their June trip and community potluck. MVOT is a study abroad for young writers of colorto explore their identities, gain skills as writers and to cultivate themselves as global citizens.

…on Sunday, Valley & Mountain will meet for our Celebration gathering, and afterwards we’ll co-host a neighborhood cookout with our partners, Community Arts Create and ROAR Mobile Farm Stand.

No Celebration Sept 6th
We’ll be on the Retreat Instead! (see 2 announcements down).
Fossil Free UMC Update, Call for Artists,

and Special Offering

Fossil Free UMC is the movement to urge The United Methodist Church to stop investing in fossil fuels. This summer, 11 regional bodies of the United Methodist Church endorsed legislation adding fossil fuels to the denomination’s list of socially responsible investment screens. Now we’re preparing to take that legislation to the church’s global gathering next May in Portland, Oregon. We need the support of Valley and Mountain to make it happen! If you are an artist or activist who has ideas for how to create compelling, beautiful puppets, banners and other art pieces and you’d like to help build unforgettable visuals for our campaign, email Jenny Phillips. This Sunday at Valley and Mountain, we’ll be taking a special offering to help fund our presence at General Conference. If you’d like to give online, please give through the V&M donation page and put FFUMC in the “in honor of” section.

Community Public Health Expo, Aug 29th

Community Arts Create is putting on a Community Health Expo on Saturday August 29th from Noon-5pm.  It will feature booths, tables, demonstrations, and practices around holistic health. We’ve been invited to participate and offer some form of practice or discussion around the intersection of spirituality, activism, and health. Interested? Email john@valleyandmountain.org and b.hunter@communityartscreate.org.
Sign-up for the
V&M Labor Day Retreat

We are heading to the Lindwall’s house in the beautiful foothills of the Cascades for a Labor Day Retreat. Saturday-Monday in Arlington. We ask $10/person/night to help pay food costs, but all are welcome regardless of your ability to contribute.  Email smitho@seattleu.edu to sign up now!

5 Year Anniversary Celebration & Party!

On Sunday, September 20th we will be celebrating 5 years since the first cookout at John and Freddie’s house where a handful of folks gathered together to eat, talk, pray, and dream together about whatever V&M could become. Could we ever have pictured all this?  We’d love to have a great turnout to the Celebration and help with decorating, cooking, inviting folks, and holding an after-party with artsy, fun activities. Email john@valleyandmountain.org if you can help with any of that!


(in case you missed them)

Meal Train for New Parents!

The newest addition to our community, baby Paul, son of Alicia and Andrew, has arrived. Feel free to join the meal train if you are so inclined: https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/o2k4q1

Restoring Our Community with Restorative Justice

*Our first meeting with trainers from The Seattle Restorative Justice Project*

Are you interested in being a part of the Hillman City Restorative Justice formation group? The goal is to bring a practice of healing to the relationships in our lives and the lives of those in our community. If so attend our first formation meeting by filling out this doodle poll:
Email Olivia at smitho@seattleu.edu with questions or if you would like to be added to the email list.

What is Restorative Justice? It is a real paradigm shift in the way we think about wrongdoing. It is a shift away from punishment towards repair. When a wrongdoing is committed instead of asking: “What rule was broken, who broke it and how do we punish them?” Restorative Justice ask, “What was done and to whom? What needs have arisen based on that harm? And whose obligations is it to meet the need or those multiple needs?” It is really a process that helps bring together all the multiple stakeholders together to be engaged in a reparative process ideally through consensus based decision making.

Women’s Group Bonfire (Wednesday) + Summer Fun Schedule

A message from the V&M women’s group: “In our summer tradition, we are suspending the bi-weekly women’s deep listening group and spending every other Wednesday night through mid-September engaged in socializing, eating, drinking, adventuring, and sharing activities. These nights are informal and fun– no commitment necessary. Anyone who identifies as a woman is welcome and so are friends and visitors.  If we haven’t seen you in a while, stop by some night to catch up!” If you want to get on the V&M Women’s Group, email fhelmiere@gmail.com

Aug 26: Farmer’s Market Potluck. Meet in the park behind the library for a women’s potluck. Bonus points if your contribution is entirely sourced from farmer’s market that day!
Sept 9: Full Tilt ice cream/ beer/ arcade games night. Possibly transitioning to live music somewhere in the neighborhood.

Sept 23: Women’s Fall Equinox bonfire at Kelle’s house.

​* Note: we’ll be looking for a volunteer to “host” each women’s night, which basically means send out a reminder email, collect RSVPs, help arrange carpools if necessary, etc. Please email Freddie if you’d like to volunteer to lead one of the evenings.
Meet Olivia Smith

Olivia Smith is thrilled to be an Associate Minister Intern at Valley and Mountain Fellowship this summer. As an intern, Olivia will be exploring how her call to ministry, her passion for social justice and love for community that adheres to one another. V&M’s principles of deep listening, creative liberation and radical hospitality resonate with Olivia; she sees them as essential to doing God’s good work.
Olivia has been placed with V&M through a program funded through the UMC that aims to help talented young people who are considering vocational ministry to get experience in vital congregational settings. Please take the time to welcome Olivia and show her some radical hospitality!

Financial Update and Thanksgiving
On track with the original plan to get V&M off the ground, this month (June 2015) is final month in which we are receiving financial support from the UMC seed grant that helped us get started. Over the past five years we have received financial support that decreased each July as part of a plan to give us time to mature. Each year, as we have deepened our commitment as a community and as individuals, we have become increasingly self-sufficient. To be clear, we did not do anything wrong– it’s just that we’ve reached the end of our scheduled term of support.  This is a time to give thanks for the huge investment from the UMC in getting us started! And for all those who have brought V&M close to a place of financial sustainability!

We have reached a strong position and have built up a reserve surplus, but with the loss of the support we do need to make an effort to make up for the ended support of about $1,900 per month.  If you have not made a pledge but would like to do so, you can do so at our online giving page, or you can contact our Treasurer Kelle Rose (rosekm@bardicgrove.org), our Financial Secretary Dick (dickburkhart@centurylink.net), or our Convener John Helmiere (john@valleyandmountain.org).

Tags: progressive church Seattle, social justice church, spiritual community, ecumenical, radically inclusive, diverse, multi-generational, lgbt-friendly, Hillman City, Columbia City, Rainier Valley, South Seattle, incarnational, missional church, prophetic, mystical, alternative worship, emergent church Seattle, emerging, process theology, liberation theology, integral Christianity, reconciling congregation, UMC, open and affirming, inclusive, open-minded, Collaboratory


5 Responses to home

  1. beacon hillite says:

    I just saw your article in the 12/15/10 issue of the South Seattle Beacon. This was the first I have heard about your fellowship. As a person who has been uninterested in traditional churches for pretty much my whole life, I have to say that I was pretty impressed and even a little excited about what you are doing. Celebrating creativity and working to stop injustice in the world are two of the most divine things that humans can do; I’m pleased to see that you have made this so important to your mission! Keep it up!

  2. Jud Hendrix says:


    You rock! Glad things are going well! I need to come hang you with you!

  3. Shira Nahari says:

    My Dear Brother-in-Peace John,

    I just read your incredible report of how you were beaten and arrested in Seattle recently.
    I intend to share it widely to enroll people in following your advice issued on the heels of this unprovoked abuse:
    · Listen deeply.
    · Get upset.
    · Generate Love.

    Among the recipients of your repoert will be the Mayor of Seattle, Mike McGinn and some City council members.

    You are a sterling template for unconditional Love and I am very sure Jesus would be proud to call you a disciple! You are spreading His message in a very pure form by BEing Peace.

    Blessed be
    in Love and Light,
    Shira Nahari, Everson WA

  4. Polly Burns says:

    I have just read your account of the happenings in Seattle…as I prepare to visit the city. I was there in October when the Occupy protest began and spent time with protesters. I am only there two days this time…I will be holding you in prayer and I will be publicizing your report.
    God bless you and thankyou for your challenge
    Polly in the UK

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