V&M is a compost bucket kind of church. We’re like leaves, twigs, and apple cores that get mixed together in community and heated up by the Spirit, to become a life-giving soil. Compost is only useful when it integrates and contributes to the ecosystem around it, helping other things thrive. And that’s our model for doing justice at V&M.

Solidarity Statement

V&M is committed to intersectional solidarity, including racial justice, LGBTQ+ liberation, gender justice, and ecological flourishing, and other movements for liberation. All three of our core values call us to these commitments. 

  • Deep Listening reminds us that we only have a slice of the truth, and calls us to learn from others, especially those whose voices have been historically marginalized. 
  • Creative Liberation reminds us that God is on the side of the oppressed, and calls us to throw off our yokes and take risky stands in solidarity with others throwing off theirs. 
  • Radical Hospitality reminds us that the Divine is present in others and calls us to the ongoing work of deconstructing privilege and growing in mutuality.

Resistance Choir

Bringing music to the movement and the margins

The working vision for the Resistance Choir is to be a multi-ethnic choir sharing songs of liberation, standing against the Empire, and supporting local social justice action. The choir brings the power of music to marches, actions, and places of (in)justice. It also brings music to V&M Celebrations for those who desire!

Table Turning

Table Turning Logo Zoom In

In 2011 we added a new justice-centered holiday to our annual calendar, Table Turning Day. 

While many direct actions and community moments we share may be considered Table Turning, we gather each year we carry out a direct action sometime between Palm Sunday and Good Friday to commemorate the day when Jesus walked into the Temple and turned over the tables of the money changers. Turning the tables at a symbolically-charged location that was controlled by the economic, political, and religious power elite, was a symbolic act challenging the complicity of his own leaders in his people’s oppression. And three days later Jesus was arrested by the Roman Empire and given a rebel’s execution. 

We think this is an important, and often ignored, part of the story and reminds people that this is a subversive tradition. While justice should be a daily practice not a once-a-year one, we hope this holiday will highlight this part of the story for people. It has been covered by Sojourners Magazine, Patheos, the Making Contact radio show, Yale Divinity SchoolReal Change, and numerous local new sources.

Click here for a short Video of Rev. John Helmiere speaking at Seattle Port on December 12, 2011.

View the Table Turning website

Creative Liberation

At V&M we are inspired to join the movement Jesus was on to “bring good news to poor, proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (footnote: The year of the Lord’s favor refers to the abolition of debt, slavery, and servitude, the establishment of peace, and rest for the environment). We practice life-giving creativity and call out oppressive systems through a great variety of means.

Kids & Justice

We believe children have an important place in creating another world. Many of the actions we participate in are intergenerational and organized with parenting and child care in mind. Our children’s ministry encourages children to grapple with justice issues in developmentally appropriate ways. V&M is welcoming an increasing number of families into our community and we are actively trying to find ways to incorporate the participation and gifts of children into our justice efforts.

Causes and Partners

A sample of the movements and causes we partner with:

La Resistencia We gather for their solidarity days outside the Northwest Detention Center. Reach out to [email protected] to co-create with other people here in our V&M community.

Faith Action Network Valley & Mountain is one of over 160 faith communities which participate in Washington through to FAN join their voices with people of faith from across the state. 

A Sacred Passing Together with community at ASP we collaborate to deepen our community care and education surrounding grief, end-of-life, and death.

Hillman City Collaboratory  We co-founded and managed the Collab which is a community hub, social change incubator, and Drop-In Center for people experiencing homelessness from 2013 - 2020.

Interfaith Economic Justice Coalition  Through the IEJC we have been part of the SeaTac worker justice movement, the $15 Minimum Wage campaign, and efforts to combat Islamaphobia.

Black Lives Matter and No New Youth Jail  We have marched regularly and participated in various actions in coordination with these movements.

Operation Nightwatch Together in community we have gathered to make and serve meals to 100+ people at various times throughout the year. We believe in co-creation, and members of V&M also collaborate with a variety of volunteer community groups in Seattle.

Onward Together!

Co-creating the Center for Faith, Art, and Justice

Building upon Valley and Mountain Fellowship’s decade-long praxis of deep listening, creative liberation, and radical hospitality, the Valley and Mountain Center for Faith, Art, and Justice will foster the integration of the faith, arts, culture and social justice within the local, state, national, and international movements. Using the base community model of Latin American Liberation Theology, the V&M Center will be a “base of bases” where people of different ages, ethnicities, cultures, orientations, socio-economic backgrounds, and religious and spiritual affiliations/practices (or none at all) are called into relationship through a commitment to social justice, organizing, creativity and the arts, skill-building across the life-cycle, and a build just society.  

Through partnerships with local, state-wide,  national and international organizations, the V&M Center will offer a context and an environment that can nurture and inspire the next generation of artists, organizers,  faith leaders and faith organizations; those who understand the arts not simply as the pursuit of the aesthetic, but as a vehicle and a means for social, and, often, spiritual, transformation, broadly and deeply construed; artists, organizers, and faith leaders for the most affected people are their primary resource. The Center has three areas of programming: Art, Education, and Organizing


Youth Open Mic 

The Center hosted Some of the Things I Believe:

A Youth Poetry Workshop and Open Mic with Poet, actor, and performing artist Staceyann Chin. In the workshop, Chin shared her knowledge of poetry with an intimate group of participants, ages ranging from 16 to 25—allowing young adults the opportunity to develop their craft. After the workshop, poets took to the stage to perform their original works.


“Set Us Free From Fear” Series

The fear of the Other continues to a driving force in United States.  Our political discourse is rife with dog-whistles and outright hostile to the othered.  There is a belief that the other has gained too much power and is undermining traditional values.  As the Jan 6th attack on the Capitol and hearings shape political discourse and the rise the Neo-Nazi organizations in our region, the mid-term election are proving to be as contagious as ever. Claims of Christian values forward fear, undermined elections, and more pointedly an attempt to return the United States to a pre-Civil Rights movement status quo.  Simultaneously, white supremacist ideas in our traditions and individuals in our congregations are to be contended with, faithfully.   

How do overcome the fear that is white supremacy?  Do we confront the maintain faithfulness in the face of the evils of racism in U.S. politics?   What is our responsibility?  

The Center for Faith, Art, and Justice in partnership with the Innovation Vitality Team of Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church are offering to clergy, congregations, and community resources to understand white supremacy, religion, and the election cycle. 

In addition to the expertise of Valley and Mountain’s pastoral staff, we have invited scholars and activists to share their wisdom.  Rev. Dr. Obery Hendrick, Visiting Professor of Religion, Columbia University, Dr. Anthea Butler, Geraldine R. Segal Professor in American Social Thought and Chair of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania, and Rev. Dr. Edward Donalson, III, Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of Doctoral Ministry, Seattle University, School of Theology and Ministry provided our community with a keen insight into current political climate and its religious implications. Noted public intellectual Dr. Cornel West delivered a reflection entitled: “The Prophetic Tradition in the Time of Neofascism. Ash-Lee Henderson and Rev. Allyn Maxfield-Steele, Co-Directors, Highlander Research and Education Center work to combat white supremacy organizing in communities and congregations.   


Militant Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Training 

Beginning with the George Floyd Uprisings (Summer 2020) through the Fall 2020, V&M trained over 3,000 people in partnership with Valley and Mountain and the Washington State Poor People’s Campaign and other local interfaith organizations.  These training took place outdoors in parks around the city. V&M has partnered local organizations and denominations to provide virtual trainings in anticipation of fallout from the 2020 presidential elections and subsequent inauguration.   V&M has virtually-trained organizers and clergy in Minneapolis (The office of the Bishop of the Minneapolis Conference of Evangelical Lutheran Church of America), Rochester, NY (First Unitarian) and nationally, Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ.  In partnership with the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites, the Washington State Poor Peoples Campaign, and Valley and Mountain Fellowship, V&M hired Nubian Productions—a Black Woman-led firm—to produce a militant nonviolent civil disobedience training video which be view here.

Future Dreams

In order to continue the current work, we would like to acquire a new building for church gathering, co-working, and support for local nonprofits. The V&M Centre will house will feature the works of artists of color. We are also considering opportunities to collaborate on workforce development training ground for formerly incarcerated, unhoused, and juvenile offenders through partnership with existing programs. Partnership organizations may include collaboration with: Onda Origins, Seattle Barista Academy, Community Pathways, Second Harvest’s Community Kitchen program, and Andy Shallal of Bus Boys and Poets in Washington, D.C. , and Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster Restaurant in Harlem.

Base Community — congregational growth and expansion (Seattle, Portland and Salem). By supporting existing Local Interfaith Collectives (Seattle Interfaith Clergy Collective, Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance, and Salem Keizer Interfaith Network), the V&M Centre will offer a space for collective strategizing and modeling for such collectives. Through collaboration with local, national, and international organizers and activists, we will support the creation of an Organizing Institute to support the work of justice to strengthen congregations and the broader social movement(s).

Make a Pledge to Co-create with Us!