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.

This Sunday at Celebration:

Making Change, part 2
The Sensual meets the Prophetic: Bodies, Health, Love, and Social Justice

Reflection by John Helmiere

This Sunday at Celebration, we continue our series of Reflections on making change.  This week, as a new art show goes up in the Collaboratory exploring women’s experiences of body shame and overcoming internalized oppression, we will look at how bodies, health, and social action come together.  How do we change our lives, our habits, our relationships, our communities, and our world?  What sources of spiritual strength (and liberating weakness) does it take to break cycles of self-destruction, unhappiness, violence, and oppression.
Join us this Sunday, July 6th from 4:00-5:30pm at the Collaboratory (5623 Rainier Ave S, 98118) and bring a friend!


Community Cookouts this Summer

In years past we have altered our Celebration format from July-mid September to roll with the rhythm of the summer.   The Celebration Team has met with our collaborators from Community Arts Create and ROAR, and decided that we’ll co-host community cookouts on Sunday afternoons this summer. At 5pm, after our second movement, we’ll gather, sing, bless the meal, have announcements and a blessing, and then instead of eating inside with each other, we’ll have the opportunity to go outside and participate/co-host a community cookout.  Feel free to spread the word widely! This is a chance for us to continue building community with each other, but also to engage our neighbors and partner with Collaboratory amigos!  This will start on July 13th.  If you want to help with this, emailjohn@valleyandmountain.org

One Summer Chef Needed
This summer we have 3 chefs signed up to make food once a month for the Celebrations, which means we still need one more (plus someone to do it when there is a fifth Sunday).  Email john@valleyandmountain.org if you want to volunteer.

Marching in the Pride Parade

Love and welcome all people! All means all!  This year’s Pride Parade was a dedication to those who fought for respect and dignity in the earliest years of the LGBTQ movement. Eleven of us marched and had a grand time.  Love and Liberation!

Creative Liberation Mobilization Team had first meeting

We are in the beginning stages of forming a Creative Liberation Mobilization Team for V&M.  Eight of us met to begin identifying how to support creative liberation work of the V&M community.  We decided that our purpose was: education, mobilization, and community engagement (in our immediate neighborhood).  Our next meeting will beWednesday, August 6th.  Contact Ulysses atuhillard@gmail.com if you are interested.

Women’s Summer Social Gatherings

There will be biweekly Wednesday evening gatherings for fun, community-building activities to share in together.  These will be on alternate Wednesdays of the existing Womens Deep Listening Circle gatherings.  Our next one will be Wednesday, July 9th at 7pm.  It will be a desserts picnic at Seward Park!

Volunteers Needed to Make Dinner for Operation Nightwatch on July 18th

For several years now we have been making sandwiches for Operation Nightwatch, a sheltering and food ministry for people living on the streets.  They’ve asked us to come and make dinner at their place on Friday, July 18th. We need 6-12 people to help.  We’ll be serving about 150 people from 8:45-10:00pmthat night (arriving between 7-7:30 depending on what we decide to make).  Email Jaime Rodriguez at jairodr@yahoo.com if you want to help make the meal!

Small Groups
Next Biweekly Mens Group:
Monday, 7/7, 7:00-9:00pm
Contact bryan_lindwall@yahoo.com

Next Biweekly Womens Deep Listening Circle:
Wednesday, 7/16, 7:30-9pm.  Contact Kelle atrosekm@bardicgrove.org or Catherine atcatherinelivaudais@gmail.com

Next Biweekly Womens Gathering:
Wednesday, 7/9.  This is a drop-in group that welcomes anyone anytime for community building and fun social events.   See above for details

Cool Stuff @ the Collab

  •  “To Be Brave: Overcoming Body Shame,” Gallery Opening July 5th (art displayed throughout the month). Artist Chloe Allred writes: “Many women have experiences of body shame and histories of eating disorders and sexual assault.  Art is my place to reconsider the beauty ideals I have been given, and to create new ones.” Read more at: http://tobebraveproject.tumblr.com/
  • Backstreet Bazaar, July 6th, 6-9pm.  All welcome for pizza made on-site, a brass band, art, and community!
  • Collab Garden Coalition Meeting, July 7th, 7pm.  There will be a work party on Saturday July 10thfrom 10am-3pm. If you are interested in helping with the garden, contact racheltefft15@gmail.com.
  • Seed Saving Workshop, Wed, July 9th, 6:30-8:30 in the Collab garden.
  • Kumbayawesome Open Mic, Sat, July 12th, 6-9pm,sponsored by the Seattle Catholic Worker.
  • Outreach Help Wanted, from canvassing the neighborhood to introduce ourselves and get to know our neighbors, to making marketing materials, we need help– contact john@valleyandmountain.org if you want to lend a hand in this way.
  • Yoga for All Bodies, every Tuesday 4:00-5:15pm.  Donation-based with wonderful teachers!
  • Check out other events on the collab website:www.hillmancitycollaboratory.org

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.

Collaboratory Drop-in Center Now Open

Starting this week the drop-in center is open from 10am-2pm on Monday through Friday!  Part of the vision for The Hillman City Collaboratory, our creative liberation project, has been to build a drop-in center/neighborhood living room in the front reception area of the space.   The vision for this part of the Collab is a cross between:
(1) A Neighborhood Living Room that provides a games, puzzles, art and space for people in the area where strangers can turn into friends (or at least friendly neighbors), and
(2) A Drop-in Center that offers basic services to low-income folks and a ministry of listening to people who are unseen and overlooked.
But to truly create this would require a bunch of committed volunteers, so it seemed far off until the Seattle Catholic Worker house (an intentional Christian community that serves the poor and resists injustice) showed up to offer their time and commitment to the cause.  Several V&M’ers and Hillman City residents have also offered to help.  We now have a strong core but could certainly use more.  Email scwhouse@gmail.com if you want to help or have questions.

Life Together: Be included in the V&M Directory!

Part of our V&M vision and mission is building a radically hospitable community and sharing life together.  A V&M directory can help foster community organically, beyond scheduled V&M events.  We’ve also included some boxes you can check if you want to volunteer in some capacity. So click here now before you forget!  It takes less than 1 minute.  If you don’t live in Seattle, we still invite you to fill out the contact info on the link.  This will help V&M be in touch from time to time.

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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