Join us at 2pm this Sunday

(instead of normal 4pm service) 
@ The Hillman City Collaboratory 
(5623 Rainier Ave S. 98118)

This Sunday at Celebration:
“Go In or Go Back”: Lessons from the Underground Railroad
Reflection by John Helmiere

Celebration is at 2:00pm this Sunday
(Super Bowl party and BackStreet Bazaar to follow)

This Sunday we celebrate Black History Month! We will seek to learn from the jaw-dropping courage and the profound wisdom of Harriet Tubman, the greatest conductor of the Underground Railroad.  The Underground Railroad was a secret escape route that used subversive, coded messages– from religious songs to quilts hanging on people’s porches– to help slaves escape from the South into freedom.

We’ll also reflect together on the necessity of going “underground”– into places that may scare us, on our journey to personal and political freedom.

When you have gone underground, and how did you find your way back out again?
What would a modern day Underground Railroad look like? What messages and signs of hope can we at V&M and the Collab offer to the hurting and oppressed in our midst?

Join us this Sunday as we sing, play, eat, dance, meditate, and pray together from 2:00-3:10pm at the Hillman City Collaboratory, 5623 Rainier Ave South!

Like To Sing?

Come at 3:30pm to rehearse with Ian, Tiffani, and the rest of the V&M music team and choir!
Super Bowl Party this Sunday

Following our tradition from the past 3 years, the Collab will again be the one place in Hillman City (to our knowledge) where people of all ages are welcome to watch the Super Bowl with their neighbors. The other venues are all bars. So we’ve moved our Celebration time to 2pm. We’ll project the Super Bowl on the pulldown screen. Feel free to bring a snack to share with your neighbors!  BackStreet Bazaar, the monthly art-music-food-beer-fun party hosted by our partners at Community Arts Create will follow the game.

Hello, I’m Back!

John here: Dear Everybody, starting this Thursday I am back into the swing of things after almost two months of paternity leave. The chance to bond with my family, help around the house, get to know Juniper, and ensure Charis she was still my special monkeygirl was incredibly important and life-giving for me.  I am deeply grateful to everyone who put in the extra effort to keep V&M flourishing while I was away– particularly Irene and Olivia, but also many many more of you. It was a great gift.  Also, on a random personal note, I had the chance to come to Celebration several times while gone, and I just want to say that I really really like our church!  It’s a very different experience to show up not knowing about all of the moving parts and I was moved, challenged, and encountered the Spirit every time I was able to make it. Thank you for that as well!

Drop-In Center Help Needed

photo credit: Peter Gallagher
From 9am-12pm every W/Th/F there is drop-in time at the Collab.  Clothes, toiletries, internet access, space to simply belong, a listening ear, coffee, sandwiches, and hot food (usually some assortment of oatmeal, soups, chilis, pasta, etc) is offered. The usual hosts of the space had an unforseen complication come up and they need coverage for at least the upcoming week. If you can help, email john@valleyandmountain.org.

Mardi Gras Party

Mardi Gras potluck Tuesday, 2/9, 6:30 pm at Irene DeMaris‘ house. RSVP to Irene (irenedemaris@gmail.com)! Come enjoy cake, good company and the start of the Lenten season!!! (Wanna make a King’s cake?). GF, DF and veggie food welcome!

Ash Wednesday
February 10th Ash 7pm
Joint Service with Church of Hope
(3818 S Angeline St, Seattle, WA 98118)
Reflection by John Helmiere

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent, a season of self-examination, contemplation and going into the underground places of our souls. All are welcome at this 45-60 minute service which we will share with Columbia City Church of Hope.

Events Calendar for Lent

Tuesday, February 9- Mardi Gras potluck at Irene’s house. 6:30pm. RSVP and directions: irenedemaris@gmail.com

Wednesday, February 10- Ash Wednesday Service at 7pm at Columbia Church of Hope (3818 S Angeline St, Seattle)

Taize songs and evening prayers – Spend six evenings during Lent signing contemplative Taize songs and embracing the Lenten season.
Thursdays: February 18, 25 & March 3,
Wednesdays: March 9, 16 & 23.

Simple soup meal at 6:30, music at 7pm. At Amanda’s house – email for directions: potter.amanda@gmail.com. Come once, or all six weeks.

Holy Week events
Palm/Fern Sunday during Celebration: March 20, 4pm

Table Turning Monday: March 21– details to come

Maundy Thursday service: March 24– details to come

Good Friday Servoce March 25 – in the evening

Easter- Sunday March 27
Sunrise at Seward Park at 6:45am (including the baptism of Alicia and Andrew’s baby Paul!)

Family-friendly morning service
at the Collab at 10:30am.

Next Morning Service Gathering: Feb 21st @ 10:30am

On Sunday, February 21st we’ll have our next Morning Service planning/brainstorming! We will gather from10:30am-12:00pm to brainstorm about the service, sing songs, pray and eat together. We hope this service will serve not only to accommodate our current congregations needs but it will challenge us to reach out more intentionally to our community. If you are interested in being a part of the morning celebration core team or simply have interest in outreach or you just want to be to clued in! Also we are thinking about starting a Gospel Choir ! Doesn’t that sound like fun! Email Olivia at smitho@seattleu.edu if you like to know more, or have questions/comments/concerns!

Final Fundraising Updates

Our pledge drive concluded with pledges from 38 households totaling $64,680 for 2016, nearly meeting our (revised) goal. This was a large percentage of our regular V&M participants!  Thank you for your generosity V&M’ers!  If you were not in a place to make a pledge, you don’t have to wait til next fall. You can start a pledge at any given time. Talking to one of our Financial Sustainability Team members (Kelle, Dick, Mari, Amanda, Davidson, Olivia, or John) or email us at ValleyandmountainFinance@gmail.com with questions.

Also, the annual friends and supporters (who aren’t part of V&M) led by John and Freddie, exceeded it’s goal by reaching $20,803 (including a $10,000 kick-off challenge/match gift). This is how much people who don’t even participate in our community believe in and are inspired by this movement we’re co-creating. That’s pretty remarkable.


(in case you missed them)

Bring Food to Celebration!


From Amanda: “Interested in bringing food for the Love Feast on Sundays? We’re simplifying how we do food at Celebration. I’m looking for folks to bring bread (store bought is fine!), or just make one kind of soup, or make a salad, or just bring Gluten Free bread! It’s simple and we’re hoping more folks will contribute! Talk to Amanda if you want to sign up! (potter.amanda@gmail.com)

Our goal is to have yummy food (with a vegan, gluten-free main dish), that multiple people help make.”

Food Preparation Encounter Group This Week ….
For Sundays to Come….
And the Garden! 

We’ll be making soup, starting during the encounter group time and and probably flowing into the love feast. We’ll have soup making teams and lots of chopping and general craziness. Delaney will lead spiritual picking from the garden to add some of the winter crop into our soup! This will support of in love feast to come!

MLK March

V&M folks  gathered at  at Garfield High School last Monday to listen, learn and be solidarity with our community for social justice! It was a great day to march in the memory of MLK and the Civil Rights Movement and furthermore for the present need for justice!
(Several other V&Mers were there that are not in this picture)




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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