Leadership

John Helmiere

Convener, Minister of Listening

Rev. John Helmiere is our convener, lead pastor, and Minister of Listening. Before rooting his life in South Seattle, John was a bit of a wandering yeti, living in Florida, New Hampshire, Connecticut, San Francisco, and Edinburgh, and traveling the world living out of a backpack and a tent. He still loves hiking, travelling, and eating weird foods, but most of all loves to eat the many combinations of bread and cheese devised by the human mind. 

John studied religion, philosophy, history, and physics, at Dartmouth College (B.A) and Yale Divinity School (M.Div). He learned life lessons from mentors, friends, activists, artists, intentional communities, and sidewalk saints. He is constantly being educated by his two daughters, Charis and Juniper, and his wife Freddie, an organizer for a global interfaith non-profit that works to end religiously motivated violence and create cultures of peace and justice.  

He is the co-founding Director of the Hillman City Collaboratory, a social change incubator, and is active with many local non-profits and social movements working on racial, economic, and social justice. He is currently Chair of the Interfaith Economic Justice Coalition.

John has been a fellow with the Fund for Theological Education and The Beatitudes Society, and is currently a fellow with the Louisville Institute, that is supporting his work on a forthcoming book on Mystical Subversive Theology.

Yasmin Ravard-Andresen

Music Minister & Resistance Choir Director

Yasmin ushers us into an eclectic musical space to connect with God and gratitude during the 11am Celebration. She joined Valley & Mountain in September 2015 and
lives in the neighborhood with her husband Dave, and their two kids, Kavinder (6) and Anjali (3). 

Born and raised in Los Angeles and Portland, Yasmin grew up with a solid diet of the performing arts, interfaith spirituality, and multiethnic community. She graduated from the
University of Oregon with a degree in theatre and vegan food. She served as a campus minister and worship leader for eight years on college campuses throughout the Northwest and worked as a professional actor in Seattle for a few years.

Now, she spends most of her time learning alongside her children--practicing deep listening, cooking from scratch in the kitchen, making beautiful things at the art table, singing through the forest with friends, and traveling all along their bus route. She likes to mix things that don't often go together, blaze trails and generally live life out of the Box.

Contact her at [email protected]

Neal Sharpe

New Church Start Instigator

Neal Sharpe has been embedded at V&M since July 2016, working with John to lead, help vision, and equip our leaders. Neal will be starting a new church in another neighborhood in Seattle that will be connected to Valley & Mountain. He is currently in the deep listening stage of this process. With over a decade of experience as a professional musician, Neal also helps lead music at the morning Celebration.

Emily Tanis-Likkel

Minister of Spiritual Play

Emily Tanis-Likkel joined Valley and Mountain in October 2014 as Minister of Spiritual Play.  She is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary and was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 2005. Emily served as associate pastor at Eagle Harbor Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in Bainbridge Island until 2011.  She then founded andled Tapestry, offering multi-sensory, intergenerational worship.  In
the summer of 2013, Emily, her husband Brett, and their two kids, Eva (14) and Day (9) moved to West Seattle. In addition to her primary job as a preschool teacher and her ministry at Valley and Mountain, Emily enjoys writing, providing pulpit supply in area churches, and leading workshops on engaging Scripture through movement.  She also teaches Nia, a sensory-based movement practice. You can learn more about Emily on her website at www.revemily.com