Our name “Valley & Mountain” has several layers of meaning.
Our name is geographical. We’re centered in the Rainier Valley region of Seattle. Looming above this valley is an awe-inspiring mountain (Mt. Tahoma/Rainier). We emphasize our geographical location to remind ourselves that we are responding to the needs of this particular place.
Our name is metaphorical. We have all experienced “mountain top” moments of joy and fulfillment in our lives. Those moments are so much better when we share them with a supportive community that celebrates with us. We have all experienced “valley bottom” moments of grief and strife. Those times are far more bearable when we have a loving community that cares for us through the pain and that helps us to remember that mountain top moments will come again.
Our name is political. There is tremendous inequality of possessions, power, and privilege in our world. Our name is a reminder that when we find ourselves on the mountain top of accumulation, we are called to get off our pedestal (to share, to listen, to be humble), and when we find ourselves in the valley of deprivation, we are called to rise up and ascend (to acquire, to speak out, to have pride).
Our name is ecological. Part of the our work at V&M is to celebrate the interdependent fabric of all the created order through the way we live. Our name reminds us of the ecological commitments that are part of this community’s identity.