SIDERIS

Meet Our Cohort Leaders

These leaders facilitate the way people find community at Sideris and serve our city.

Magnolia

 
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Tyler Smith

Where are you from & how long have you been in Seattle? I'm originally from Gig Harbor, WA, only about an hour south of Seattle. My wife and I have called Seattle, and the Magnolia neighborhood, home since 2008.

How did Sideris become home for you? We found Sideris after looking for a new church home for a couple of years. Some close friends of ours recommended the church and we felt right at home during the first service we attended. We feel like the church has become our family over the past 2 years and are so excited to see it grow and thrive.

Why is considering in community important? Being part of the body of Christ is probably never more evident than when you get to build close relationships with other Christians and "do life" with them - more than just friendships, it's an opportunity to learn from each other, and see how God is working in the lives and stories of the people of this city.

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in your neighborhood? Our favorite restaurant in Magnolia is Mulleady's Irish Pub - a great place to cozy up next to a fire and enjoy some great grub and brew in the winter.

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Trista Smith

Where are you from & how long have you been in Seattle? I'm originally from Gig Harbor where my husband and I met in childhood. We have called Seattle home since 2008.

How did Sideris become home for you? Some friends of ours recommended the church and God moved in a very powerful way on our first visit (ask us about it, we love to share). Sideris feels like family now after 2 years of taking steps out of our comfort zone and getting involved in the life of the church.

Why is considering in community important? We realized after a few years of being unconnected with a local church that we were not growing in the ways we knew God desired. When we stepped back into life in community we saw things begin to change. When I feel like taking a step back, I am always reminded of a quote that I read once: “If not me, then who?”

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in your neighborhood? Since Tyler already said Mulleady's, I’ll tell you about the fig tree in our backyard. Every summer we love having people over to pick figs and experiment with new fig-based recipes. We’d love to have you come “fig”ure it out with us ;)

 
 

 Ballard

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Patrick Ottinger

Where are you from & how long have you been in Seattle? I grew up in Issaquah and have lived in the Seattle area my entire life.

How did Sideris become home for you? My wife and I passed a Sideris sandwich board while driving one Saturday afternoon. We decided to visit the following Sunday and immediately felt at home.

Why is considering in community important? Considering in community gives us the opportunity to explore and grow our faith in a unique way, by sharing life with one another and hearing different perspectives. 

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in your neighborhood? Señor Moose is my favorite restaurant in Ballard, hands down!

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Whitney Vines-Ottinger

Where are you from & how long have you been in Seattle? I'm from Dallas, Texas, and I've been in Seattle for almost 4 years.

How did Sideris become home for you? We first heard about Sideris from an A-frame sign on the street. I had been a member at a different church, but felt we wanted to find a new church once we got married. Sideris quickly became family and the Lord graciously made it clear that's where we belonged.

Why is considering in community important? Considering in community is so important, and I want to emphasize the "in community" piece here. Without honesty and accountability and openness and vulnerability with other believers, it's easy to slip into a stagnant or stale faith without the rejuvenation and joy that comes from living in closeness with brothers and sisters in Christ. We yearn for zeal not boredom.

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in your neighborhood? My favorite restaurant in Ballard is definitely No Bones Beach Club. I am a vegetarian and it's a vegan restaurant. I'd love to share with you! Don't be scared of vegan food; you'll eat avocados, right?? :)

 

Queen Anne

 
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Ben Thompson

Where are you from & how long have you been in Seattle? I grew up in the Portland area, before coming to Seattle Pacific University for college. I returned to Portland for graduate school, and then spent a couple of years in Denver, before my wife and moved back to Seattle in November 2016. The Pacific Northwest will always feel like home.

How did Sideris become home for you? When we moved back to Seattle, we had a friend who attended Sideris and told us to come check it out since he knew we were looking to get connected with a church. Our first Sunday, Sideris was having a soup potluck/Christmas party following the service, so we decided to stick around. We felt welcomed right away, and were impressed with the vision and mission of the church, and it's been our home ever since.

Why is considering in community important? My greatest growth as a Christian has always come in community, as I've learned from others, and been able to serve others as well. Taking the time to consider the gospel requires me to check my assumptions, while also providing encouragement during difficult times. 

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in your neighborhood? In the Queen Anne, it's probably The 5 Spot. I enjoy the ever changing menu featuring recipes from different regions around the country.

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Caitlin Thompson

Where are you from & how long have you been in Seattle? I’m from Central Point, OR. I’ve lived in Seattle for the past 2.5 years, but I also lived here from 2005-2010

How did Sideris become home for you? When we moved back to Seattle we were looking for a church and our friend who was attending Sideris invited us. We quickly fell in love with the people and the community. 

Why is considering in community important? Considering in community is important because we are made to be in community. We’re created to be a part of community. Considering together allows us to encourage and challenge one another which ultimately leads to growth.

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in your neighborhood? My favorite coffee shop is El Diablo. An unfortunate name but a great cup of coffee ;)

 

Eastlake

 
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Allie Jones

Where are you from & how long have you been in Seattle? I’m originally from a small town with lots of cows about an hour drive north of Seattle. I’ve been in Seattle for six years.

How did Sideris become home for you? When I was nearing the end of college, I knew I wanted a church community that would help bridge the gap between college ministry and whatever would come after. I reached out to an acquaintance that went to Sideris and he recommended I check it out. On my very first week, when I tried to be the first one out the door after service, Young-Bin stopped me to introduced himself, say hello, and make me feel welcomed. That’s when I knew this church was special.

Why is considering in community important? I had a revelation a long time ago when a mentor pointed out the last chapter of Romans. Paul was greeting people in his community by name. He knew their backstories and families and relationship with the Lord. What used to seem like an irrelevant list of names has become an invitation to build a community that looks like that. Since then, I’ve come to find so much value in knowing and being known by people who truly see and know me. In that kind of environment, I’m able to come with my questions, doubts, misunderstandings, and ignorance, knowing I’ll be loved all the same.

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in your neighborhood? Coffee and danish from Le Fournil in the AM and then a pint and a sandwich from Mammoth in the PM.

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Young-Bin Song

Where are you from & how long have you been in Seattle? Birmingham, AL; I’ve been in Seattle a little over 4 years.

How did Sideris become home for you? Through my friend Tyler, whom I’ve known from church back home (we were in a small group together),Gospel-centered teaching and emphasis on community.

Why is considering in community important? Christian community is like a light beacon, a visible expression of Christian living that reaches out and serves God’s mission.

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in your neighborhood? Portage Bay Cafe! Be prepared to wait in line!

 

Greenlake

 
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Abby Finnegan

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Jef Fry

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Claire Campbell

Where are you from & how long have you been in Seattle? I was born in Santa Barbara, but raised in Woodinville. Now I live here in Greenlake.

How did Sideris become home for you? I had a friend (who is now my co-leader!) who started attending Sideris. I wasn't finding community at the church I was attending, so I joined Abby.

Why is considering in community important? When I was at another church, I found that considering alone week after week was disheartening and felt like two steps backward in my faith. Having people around you allows a deeper understanding of the gospel. Community reminds me of a line from Les Miserables, "to love another person is to see the face of God."

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in your neighborhood? It's a bit up the road, but I love getting tacos at La Cabana. If you park around the corner from the restaurant, there is a very nice cat that will let you pet it for as long as you want as well.

 

Tangletown

 
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Jared Cok

Where are you from & how long have you been in Seattle? I'm from Bozeman, Montana and have been in Seattle for almost 4 years

How did Sideris become home for you? I moved to Seattle after living in Michigan for awhile, and was looking for a church, community, and friends. I felt like this was all easy to find at Sideris.

Why is considering in community important? I think it's important to surround ourselves with people that support each other in life and our walk with Christ, while challenging and praying for each other. Also, it's fun!

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in your neighborhood? I love Burgundian. It has always been a go-to, but there are lots of great options on 45th as well.

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Emily Gariepy

Where are you from & how long have you been in Seattle? I grew up in Sunnyvale, California and then moved to Portland, Oregon during high school. Moved to Seattle after graduating and have now been here 8.5 years. Moving north one state at a time!

How did Sideris become home for you? I first came to Sideris right when we "officially" launched in Feb 2015. I was immediately drawn in by the sense of community that oozed out of every facet of Sideris and the people who attend. It is impossible not to get involved here, which is something I was searching for and not finding at larger churches.

Why is considering in community important? I believe we grow deeper in our relationship with God and our understanding of his plan when we discuss his Word and consider its meaning in community. It also introduces a level of accountability between brothers and sisters in Christ that stems from being intentionally relational. 

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in your neighborhood? Despite being called Tangletown, our group meets in north Fremont every other week and that is my neighborhood! In Bocca al Lupo has the best pizza and cocktails, and lately I've been into Vif for coffee.

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Preston Mossing

Where are you from & how long have you been in Seattle? I grew up in the Seattle area and have stayed ever since. I love the mountains too much to leave.

How did Sideris become home for you? The first few times I attended it was to play drums to help out a friend of mine who was doing worship here. I guess I kinda liked it.

Why is considering in community important? I love having big conversations and thinking deeply about the things of God. I’ve never been okay with easy answers, so I love how community pushes me to think more clearly about the things I believe.

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in your neighborhood? I’ve got to give some love to Diggity Dog. A hot dog shop that can last in the city this long must be good… right?

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Christian Roscoe

Where are you from & how long have you been in Seattle? I grew up on a little micro farm outside of Woodinville. I have raised and cared for 19 species of creatures, including llamas throughout my life. When I was 22 I moved to Seattle to be closer to work and to live with my friends. 

How did Sideris become home for you? Jared Cok had been asking me to go for a couple months before I caved and showed up.  I found the community of believers that I was looking for.

Why is considering in community important? We all need support from those around us. People have a lot of questions about faith and its important to have a community that is willing to help guide one another to Jesus.

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in your neighborhood? Yoroshiku is my favorite Ramen Restaurant. Preston and I have been going there for the last 5 years. The Miso ramen is "lit," to quote the kids these days.

 

Wallingford

 
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Ryan Farrell

Where are you from & how long have you been in Seattle? I was born and raised in the Denver area and met my wife, Christy, at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Upon completion of my physics degree, I attended Denver Seminary and worked at a downtown church. Christy and I spent 7 years living in a downtown Denver neighborhood where our daughters were born, and arrived in Seattle in the summer of 2017.

How did Sideris become home for you? During our time in Denver, God grew within Christy and I a desire to work hard to put new churches in the urban centers of the country. Dave and I were close in Seminary, and along with our wives, we had led community groups together in Denver during our time there. Christy and I knew that Dave and Allie always hoped that we would come out and join them in leading a full church-sized community group... Eventually, we caved :)

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in your neighborhood? I’m a big popsicle guy so you can often find me and the girls at Seattle Pops on 45th.

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Christiana Farrell

Where are you from & how long have you been in Seattle? I was born and raised for 13 years in Albuquerque, New Mexico, spent 17 years in Colorado equally split between rural ranch hand and urban professional life, and have been in Seattle for 2 years.

How did Sideris become home for you? Ryan and I moved here with our two daughters to be a part of Sideris after God called us to be missionaries to Seattle instead of the mission field abroad. Ryan went to Denver Seminary with Pastor Dave, and I lived with Allie when I was in college in Boulder, CO.

Why is considering in community important? Because no one can do this life well alone. We need each other. We especially need other people that are different from us or that we don't agree with so that we learn a greater capacity for love, and grow a greater appreciation for the love God has for us.

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in your neighborhood? I don't trust the Mexican food in Wallingford. I only eat tacos out of the back of a track near Jackson and 12th in the CID.

 

Women’s Cohort

( ON PHINNEY RIDGE )

 
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Ann Watkins

Where are you from & how long have you been in Seattle? Raised in Eastern Washington — Wenatchee and Richland. I’ve been in Seattle since 1975.

How did Sideris become home for you? Our church on Capitol Hill of 12 years closed in June 2018. I looked on churchshoppingseattle.com and took note of Sideris. I truly believe in the power of seeking God in community so the network of community/cohort groups already in place was exciting. Then we attended on a Sunday and the teaching in the sermon was truly compelling. We were hooked!

Why is considering in community important? I am never more certain of God’s love for me than when I am in community! When I look in the faces of other believers — all unique children of God — his grace is tangible and sweet. He has given us one another to be his face, hands, feet, and hugging arms until we meet him in glory.

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in your neighborhood? Our favorite neighborhood restaurant is Saltoro. Though it’s not in our neighborhood, my favorite coffee shop is Zoka in Tangletown!

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Laura Merle

Where are you from & how long have you been in Seattle? My roots are in Argentina but my family has been in WA since 2004, and I’ve spent 7 years living in Seattle.

How did Sideris become home for you? Allie Evanger was my small group leader during my last year at UW, so I got to know her and Dave and hear all about this church that was just starting in their living room. I knew then that it was special and that I wanted to be a part of it, so I dove in as soon as I could!

Why is considering in community important? I personally tend to isolate myself a bit when things are hard or uncomfortable, so being surrounded by a loving and Christ-seeking community has made all the difference. Hearing about all the ways that God is at work in other people’s lives helps us to see more clearly how big and continuously faithful He is.

What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in your neighborhood? Coffee shop: The Stage Door by Taproot Theater. Restaurant/bar: The Lodge Sports Bar & Grill.

 

Kirkland

 
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Kurt DeVries

Kurt was a part of the five person bible study that laid the groundwork for the church back in 2014. Kurt hails from the great city of Spokane and a WWU grad, go Vikings! Kurt is an engineer at Boeing, enjoys mountain biking and fixing up old VW Vanagons. He is the proud father of two dogs and new baby girl named Oleta.

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Augusta DeVries

Augusta was a part of the five person bible study that laid the groundwork for the church back in 2014. Augusta hails from the great state of Wisconsin and the proud municipality of Wausau. She is a proud alumni of the Wisconsin Badger’s marching band and currently working for the Bellevue Downtown Association. Her baby girl Oleta is a true joy and a real chip off the old block.