St. Matthew / San Mateo Episcopal Church, Auburn
In the spirit of the Rev. Gertrude Apel, both Killian Noe and St. Matthew/San Mateo Episcopal Church in Auburn have the "talent for fostering cooperation and getting things done." The Church Council of Greater Seattle celebrates these witnesses to the Gospel of Christ who model faith-filled compassion with justice.
Killian Noe co-founded the Recovery Café, a therapeutic community for men and women recovering from homelessness, addiction, and mental health challenges, in 2004, as an outgrowth of the New Creation ecumenical community that she co-founded in 1999. In the tradition of Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C., the New Creation ecumenical community is committed to contemplation and action and to standing in the ever-widening gap between the world’s rich and poor.
Prior to coming to Seattle, Killian co-founded Samaritan Inns, a 28-day residential treatment program with five transitional homes, and three longer-term housing communities in Washington, D.C. Samaritan Inns has become a national model of healing communities for men and women recovering from homelessness and addiction.
As Co-Founder and Director of Programs Ruby Takushi, Ph.D., and Executive Director David Coffey, write in their introduction to Descent into Love: How Recovery Café Came to Be, “Grounded in authentic local community, Killian has a deep desire for her life and the Recovery Café model to be part of eradicating the stigma associated with addiction and other mental health challenges, and reforming the criminal justice system that imprisons women and men suffering from addiction and other mental health challenges. She envisions, instead, healing communities, like Recovery Café, in every town and city across the U.S. where the addicted and mentally anguished can reclaim their lives.”
Killian has received many awards and recognitions, including being honored as a distinguished alumna by Yale Divinity School in 1998 and Wake Forest in 2015; and a recipient of the 2012 Seattle University Red Winged Leadership Award, along with an honorary doctorate from Seattle University in 2015. She is the author of Our Way Home: Addictions and Divine Love (2001).
We are excited to honor Killian Noe with the 2015 Rev. Gertrude Apel Pioneering Spirit Award for an individual.
St. Matthew / San Mateo Episcopal Church in Auburn, Washington, is an Intercultural faith community called to live faithfully into its Baptismal Covenant from a variety of cultural experiences and expression. Their principal Sunday service is bi-lingual with about one-half of attendees with the head of household being an immigrant. Their Baptismal Covenant calls its members to "Respect the dignity of every human being and to work for justice and peace.”
Among the dear elders of the congregation who have passed on over the past 10 years were Japanese Americans who were sent to internment camps during World War II and gave the St. Matthew/San Mateo community the foundation to advocate for persecuted communities. They also inspired the church community with their ability to rebuild their lives.
In 2007 St. Matthew / San Mateo was stunned when long time member Rene Martinez, a husband and father of two was detained in a work place immigration raid. Rene's visa did not get renewed in a timely manner through no fault of his own. St. Matthew /San Mateo declared itself a Sanctuary Congregation and declared Rene in Sanctuary through the ministry of accompaniment. St. Matthew/San Mateo was at the center of the Washington New Sanctuary Movement, which has sought to walk with families at risk of deportation. The church became a meeting place for immigrants rights organizing and continues to be strong advocates for immigration reform.
St. Matthew / San Mateo is a designated Jubilee Ministry of the Episcopal Church. Jubilee links faith with justice and strives to empower and respect the leadership of the people it sets out to serve. The Jubilee Center offers support services to immigrant Spanish speaking victims of domestic violence. It also is a gathering place to share information to primarily Spanish speakers regarding housing and work place rights, immigration, and public health.
We are honored to celebrate the ministry of St. Matthew / San Mateo Episcopal Church with the 2015 Rev. Gertrude Apel Pioneering Spirit Award for a congregation.