We are all about participation at V&M and even online we are trying to practice co-creation. We invite you to share some of your story, vision, and perspective through these 4 questions. As a deep listening congregation, what you say makes an impact on who we will become.
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.
Music Minister & Resistance Choir Director
Yasmin Ravard-Andresen leads the music and prayers at our 11am Celebration, and she is the visionary, founder, and Director of the Resistance Choir. More about Yasmin, coming soon!
Capitol Hill New Church 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 the Cap Hill neighborhood that will be connected to V&M but not overseen by V&M. He is currently in the deep listening stage of this process, simply learning the stories, rhythms, and dreams of the people who reside, work, and find life in Cap Hill. With over a decade of experience as a professional musician, Neal also helps lead music at both Celebrations.
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
Steve Childress is in his third year of pursuing his Master of Divinity degree at Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry, and is interning with V&M. He is also pursuing ordination in The United Methodist Church. Steve was drawn to V&M because of our vision of church as something that integrates into the community, not an institution that just acts upon the community around it. Also, he lives here in the neighborhood. Steve helps with visioning, Sunday celebrations, and all the great variety of things that happen at V&M and the Collab.