Forum for Theological Exploration FTE Leaders

John Helmiere, Trustee

Rev. John Helmiere is the founding pastor of Valley & Mountain, a mystical-subversive church based in south Seattle, and he serves as co-convener alongside Rev. Osagyefo Sekou. He is also the co-founder and former executive director of The Collaboratory, a progressive organizing incubator and arts space in Seattle. Born and raised in Tampa, Rev. Helmiere studied religion, philosophy, and physics as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, and went on to receive an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School, where he was awarded the Tweedy Prize in 2010.

As an FTE Ministry Fellow, he visited eight progressive, innovative churches around the country, which was a crucial part of his preparation process before planning Valley & Mountain in 2010. On multiple occasions over the past decade, Rev. Helmiere has created and led workshops and facilitated learning labs at FTE events. He strongly believes in the mission and the efficacy of FTE.

Rev. Helmiere has been formed by a vast array of mentors, friends, activists, artists, intentional communities, and sidewalk saints. He is constantly being educated by his two daughters, Charis and Juniper, and his wife Frederica, a scholar who works at the intersection of spirituality, ecology, and international relations. He is an activist and organizer involved in many movements and was the founding chairperson of the Interfaith Economic Justice Coalition. Rev. Helmiere has also been a fellow with the Beatitudes Society and the Louisville Institute.

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