Join us for Celebration!

All are welcome to our interactive, inclusive services that incorporate the arts, contemplative practices, fellowship, and social justice.  We meet every Sunday at 4:00pm at the Hillman City Collaboratory, 5623 Rainier Ave S, Seattle WA 98118.

A Blog Post From John:
Why I Went To Jail Yesterday

click here to read the story

John will be leading an Encounter Group at Celebration this Sunday (4:00pm at the Collaboratory), sharing the story, discussing the airport workers’ struggle, and the theology of civil disobedience.

This Sunday at Celebration:

 Finding Freedom in the Valley

Reflection by Members of the Women’s Deep Listening Circle

This Sunday the Reflection will be offered from members of one of our Women’s Groups, who are currently reading the book Learning To Walk In The Dark, by Barbara Brown Taylor.  The reflection will explore themes of divine presence during times of trouble and doubt.

Join us this Sunday, Nov. 23rd at Celebration from 4:00-5:30pm at the Hillman City Collaboratory, 5623 Rainier Ave. S.  Bring a friend knowing that all are welcome!


V&M Visioning: Co-Creators Meeting this Sunday, 5:15-7pm

V&M gathers periodically to cast vision and set a course for our future, as well as to review where we’ve been.  We call these Co-Creators Meetings and anyone who feels a sense of commitment and is invested in V&M’s future is invited to participate. This Sunday the meeting will start during the Love Feast.  Email john@valleyandmountain.org asap if you have an item that you think needs discussion.  Our current agenda includes:

  • Joining the advocacy organization “Faith Action Network” (we ran out of time to discuss this at our last Co-Creators meeting)
  • Updates from Ministry Team Conveners and Chance for Input from all of us.
  • Discussion of creating a decision-making and governing structure for V&M
  • Discussion of how we relate to the Collaboratory and the possibility of creating a multi-organizational Collab Steering Committee.

Volunteers Still Needed for the Thanksgiving Feast

We are partnering with the Seattle Catholic Worker (who operates the drop-in center for the homeless at the Collab) to facilitate a free, inclusive Thanksgiving Community Feast at the Collaboratory. There will be activities for kids and adults alike.  Bringing food and your own drinks are appreciate though not required. We need help with cooking, serving, and cleaning up!  Contact villageoutreach5623@gmail.comfor more info.

Candlelight Christmas Eve Service

Mark your calendars for our Christmas Eve Service onTuesday, December 24th at 5:00pm at the Collab. Emailryanjscott213@gmail.com if you want to help.

Collab Holiday Decorating Party,Nov 30th

After Celebration on Nov 30th, we will be decorating the Collaboratory for Advent and the Holiday Season!  Feel free to bring decorations and cookies.

Free-For-All Christmas Giveaway and Gift-Making Event

As the gift-giving holidays approach, all are welcome to bring items to give away and to take what you want for themselves or to give as Christmas, Hannukah, Kwaanza, or Solstice presents.  We also plan to have stations where people can make presents.  The plan is to have it during drop in center hours on Saturday, December 6th, from 10am-1pm.  Contact Cara at cbertron@gmail.com if you can help!

2015 Pledges

To make a pledge, turn in a card at Celebration, email the finance team at info@valleyandmountain.org, or make your pledge online here (type “2015 pledge” in the text box). We are aiming for $65,000 in pledges for 2015. The Financial Sustainability Team has been sharing information on our income and expenses at Celebrations but if you have missed services or have any questions, we welcome them. Transparency and integrity are top values for us at V&M.


Village Outreach Team Meeting (weekly)
Monday, Nov 24th at 6:30pm at the Collab
Contact: Annette at villageoutreach5623@gmail.com

Men’s Group (biweekly)
Monday, Nov 24th, 7:00-9:00pm at Derek’s house.
Contact bryan_lindwall@yahoo.com

Women’s Deep Listening Circle (biweekly)
Wednesday, Nov 26th, 7:30-9:00pm
This is the high-commitment women’s group (there’s also a group where it’s cool to just drop in on). They are reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s, Learning to Walk in the Dark.
Contact: Amanda at potter.amanda@gmail.com

Financial Sustainability Team Meeting (monthly)
Sunday, Dec 7th, 2:30-3:30pm

Note: gender-based groups at V&M are always trans*-inclusive spaces.

(in case you missed them in previous weeks newsletters)

Divestment Action

Rev. Jenny Phillips is a leader at V&M and the founder of Fossil Free UMC, a movement to get the UMC Pension Fund to divest more than $700,000,000 in investments in the dirty energy (that figure is not the whole fund, just the amount invested in fossil fuels).  This week she gave a speech at a meeting of the board which controls this fund, urging them to apply our moral and spiritual values to this situation and begin divesting.  You can read her speech here.  Thank you Jenny for inspiring us to speak truth to power!  V&M helped her make this trip by providing financial support from our Creative Liberation budget.

Theft & Sharing
Two Sundays ago there was a theft at V&M.  Our locking cashbox appears to have been stolen, seemingly during set-up or the first part of the service.  We had a big turnout that day and we have no leads.  There was no cash in the cashbox but there were some documents that have taken a toll of time and money to replace and deal with.  The money given in the offering that day was NOT stolen. The theft happened before the offering was made.  Once the offering has been collected (and there is actually something worth stealing in there), we have good security measures that go into effect.

As a result, we have implemented some new security measures to avoid this happening again.  But that’s not been our only response.  Last Sunday at Celebration, we explained what happened and put out a Sharing Basket in the back of the Mixing Chamber.  Throughout the service people put in cash (if you had extra you wanted to share) and people took out cash (if you’d had a tough week and needed some).  No questions asked, no screening process.

Part of our mission is to become a community “rooted in grace.”  Grace is the unconditional love that we receive and which liberates us to sow kindness where there is cruelty, to sow joy where there is misery, to sow generosity where there is greed, to sow hope where there is despair.  It is easy to respond to a violation by becoming close-fisted.  It is hard to respond by becoming more open-handed.  The giving basket overflowed, and then ebbed and flowed throughout Celebration.  V&M, we lived into the hard calling of the spiritual path we’ve chosen on Sunday.  We’ll continue with this experiment of the Sharing Basket for at least the next few weeks, and see what we learn and how we are changed by it.

Meet “The Village”

V&M’s Outreach Team has a new name, convener, and email address.  It is now called “The Village,” Annette Jones is the convener, and the team email address isvillageoutreach5623@gmail.com  (5623 is the Collab’s street address).   With wisdom and collaboration from experts like JCS, the team is building relationships with organizational allies, meets basic needs of those who are struggling, and helps create a welcoming culture at V&M.  The Village is helping to coordinate the Thanksgiving Day feast that we’re co-sponsoring at the Collab for anyone needing a place to call home this Turkey Day (see blurb down below).

Join the Monthly Collab Newsletter List

We are starting a monthly e-newsletter for the Collaboratory.  It will include featured upcoming events at the Collab, brief blurbs about what has been going on, a monthly profile of someone involved in the collaborative work, and a list of needs. Alicia de los Reyes has taken lead on generating this newsletter.  Click here if you want to sign up to receive the letter.  And email alicia.delosreyes@gmail.com if you have anything you want included in the newsletter that the broad Collab community may be interested in (clothing swaps, service projects, creative liberation actions, etc).

Cool Stuff @ the Collab

  • Seattle University Campus Ministry Retreat, Sat, Nov 22nd, 10:00am-4:00pm.
  • Tenants Union Annual Meeting, Mon, Nov 24th, 6:00-9:00pm.
  • Yoga for all Bodies, Tue, Nov 25th. Weekly yoga returns to the Collab!  Welcoming of all bodies and experience levels, this class is taught by volunteer local teachers.  Mats and instructions are provided.
  • SAFE Weekly Organizing Meeting, Tue, Nov 25th, 6:30-8:00pm. Meal served 6:00-6:30pm.
  • Thanksgiving Feast, Thu, Nov 27th, Noon-5:00pm: Everyone is welcome! Bring something to share if you can (okay if you can’t).
  • Collab Holiday Decorating Party, Sun, Nov 30th, after Celebration (5:30pm). Bring lights and other fun things if you got em!
  • Check out other events on the collab website: www.hillmancitycollaboratory.org

A New Children’s Minister!

We are delighted to announce that a new children’s minister is joining the team at Valley & Mountain!  Rev. Emily Tanis-Likkel is a dance teacher, storyteller, and collaboration-minded entrepreneur, with a good deal of experience in children’s ministry and community building.  Emily and her partner, Brett, have lived in the Puget Sound area for almost 20 years and have two children (Day, 7 and Eva, 12).   She has a passion for creating inclusive intergenerational spiritual experiences and is an ordained minister in the UCC (a progressive denomination with a long history of pioneering inclusivity and stands for social justice).  Please offer her a warm welcome and assure her that she has not made a terrible mistake.

Solidarity with Muslim Brothers and Sisters

Link to Seattle P-I article

The imam of a mosque in our area was kicked off a plane for using the bathroom in a “doubtful way” and has asked for faith leaders to support him in asking the airline to investigate the occurrence and other discriminatory reports.  John participated by speaking at a press conference calling for Delta and the federal transportation agency to investigate a growing list of reported complaints (and as-yet-unreported instances) of Muslims being ejected from planes for purely discriminatory reasons.  He called on Christians who claim discrimination when cashiers fail to say “Merry Christmas” to look at this case of religious prejudice and join in solidarity with Muslims who face this kind of treatment on a regular basis.

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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