Living our faith out in the world
Community ministries are in integral part of life at St. Mary’s. Involvement with community ministries is an important way that we live out our baptismal covenant, both to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves,” and to “strive for justice and peace among all peoples and respect the dignity of every human being.” Below, we list a variety of ways that you can become engaged with community ministries at St. Mary’s, from direct engagement with community groups to fund raising and granting efforts. Please join us in this fulfilling and life-giving work!
Faith in Action Bay Area (FIA) is an interfaith community organizing group that works to “ensure that the dignity of all members of our community is upheld.” FIA guides congregations through a discernment process to explore issues of concern, and then builds connections to other groups doing similar work. Members of St. Mary’s have started a process of congregational discernment with FIA, and individual parishioners have engaged with FIA around advocacy for and accompaniment of immigrants. You can follow their activities by visiting their facebook page. If you are interested in engaging with the St. Mary’s group, contact Margaret Stafford, email@example.com.
Rebuilding Together (Formerly Christmas in April): Renovating home of vulnerable San Francisco residents
Rebuilding Together San Francisco provides home repair and renovation programs for low-income, elderly and disabled San Franciscans and for nonprofit and community facilities. St. Mary’s partners with St. James’ Episcopal Church to do construction work on a house or agency once a year on the last Saturday of April. Interested? Contact David Sullivan firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to www.rebuildingtogethersf.org.
At this time when 815 million people in the world suffer from chronic hunger, please join us in packaging meals for impoverished communities in partnership with Rise Against Hunger. St. Mary’s has hosted and provided volunteers to package over 40,000 meals. Rise Against Hunger then shipped the packages to Asia, Africa, or Central America where their local partner distributed it to an impoverished community. Everyone of all ages, parishioners, friends and supporters, are invited to attend. This Spirit filled, joyful, community-building event, is an opportunity to show our gratitude for God’s many blessings and gifts to us – especially our abundance of food. Stay tuned for details of the next opportunity to join this ministry.
Forty-two regular, part-time and alternate volunteers in teams of two currently deliver healthful food to 43 pre-registered senior or disabled participants. The food, provided by the San Francico/Marin Food Bank is delivered to our courtyard, every Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Deliveries are made in neighborhoods throughout the city. It is a ministry between volunteer and participant, each sharing joy and compassion with the other! For more information about volunteering, contact Tim Smith email@example.com or Barbara Addeo firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers provide Spring Wreaths to recipients
Next Door Shelter Eucharists: worshiping with shelter residents
Next Door is a residential shelter managed by Episcopal Community Services on Polk and Geary. Nancy and Tim serve as deacons at these weekly Eucharistic services for the shelter residents. Please come to serve in the worship service, to share the Holy Spirit and to build community with shelter residents who eagerly await permanent housing. Services are on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. Please contact Tim at email@example.com or Nancy Bryan firstname.lastname@example.org to join them at any of the services.
The Episcopal church supports various social justice initiatives as part of God’s calling to us as Christians to create a Beloved Community of peace, justice, reconciliation, and faithful stewardship of God’s creation. Deacon Tim invites parishioners to join him in supporting social justice initiatives in the city including anti-gun violence, reconciliation between the police and the community, and anti-human trafficking, prayer vigils for and accompaniment of un-documented immigrants to federal deportation hearings, support and care for newly arrived refugees in the Bay Area. In the future he will post on our website the timing of volunteer training and events supporting these and other initiatives. Please contact Tim at email@example.com if you’d like to join him in initiatives to help bring social justice to our community or if you would like to propose Social Justice ministries for involvement by the parish!
Annual Fundraiser and Grant Program
Tidings of Comfort and Joy is an annual event where St. Mary’s parishioners raise money for local nonprofits. Each year the congregation raises about $50,000. One-hundred percent of the funds raised goes directly to support grants to community organizations. Components of the fundraiser include sales of greens and baked goods and a benefactors’ celebration. Volunteers are needed to help coordinate the event. Interested? Contact Steven Currier, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The St. Mary’s Grant Team reviews funding requests from local non-profits and allocates money from the annual Tidings of Comfort and Joy Fundraiser. Grant Team members also visit each community organization yearly to learn about the work they are doing and build relationships between the groups and St. Mary’s. Interested? Contact Ava Eichler, email@example.com and John Schlesinger, firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017 Grant applications are being reviewed and awards will be announced soon. The Grant Team welcomes suggestions for worthwhile organizations in our community.
Compassion for, and service to others is at the heart of the Hands-On Outreach ministry. This kind of giving to the community comprises gifts of time and talent from our parishioners. Some of the organizations we support with hands-on time and talent also receive funds as line-items in the parish budget and as donations from our Outreach Granting Team.
All parishioners are invited to participate in our hands-on outreach activities. These activities are part of our parish’s long tradition of helping those in need with our volunteer time and talent.
Edward II: Preparing meals and building relationships with formerly homeless youths
Edward II is permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless youth in San Francisco, ages 18-24. St. Mary’s volunteers prepare and serve a meal to the residents of Edward II on the second Sunday of each month, often with the help of some of the residents. Volunteers organize other special activities for major holidays. A friendly and trusting fellowship has developed because of this cooperative and fun activities. Volunteer leaders take turns planning the dinner. To get involved, please contact Marta Johnson at email@example.com.
Raphael House provides supportive housing for formerly homeless San Francisco families. St. Mary’s helps prepare and serve a meal on the first Monday of every month. The Raphael House Chef in charge designs the menu and supervises our volunteers. Needed are 4-5 (cooks) to help prepare food between 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and 4 (servers and cleanup) volunteers to help between 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. To volunteer, contact Alisa Quint at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open Cathedral: bringing food to an outdoor Eucharist for homeless persons
Open Cathedral is a weekly outdoor Eucharist service held at the San Francisco Civic Center for un-housed San Francisco residents and those in transition. The service is conducted by clergy of the San Francisco Night Ministry with assistance of Open Cathedral volunteers and deacons. Our fifth and sixth graders help to prepare 100 sandwiches and fill the lunch bags on the third Sunday of every third month. Nancy Bryan and other volunteers bring the food downtown and participate in the service. To volunteer, contact Nancy at email@example.com.
Food Basket and Travel Toiletries
Every week, throughout the year, people donate non-perishable food and toiletry items to the box located in the narthex. Items are distributed to a variety of partner agencies in the city. The Rev. Nancy Bryan coordinates this effort. For more information, contact Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Giving Tree:providing Christmas gifts for supportive housing residents
Canon Barcus House, a part of Episcopal Community Services, is a supportive housing program for formerly homeless families. Every December, parishioners at St. Mary’s take home residents’ gift requests which hang as “ornaments” on a tree provided by the SF Guardsmen, and purchased about 85 gifts for the residents. For more information or volunteer, contact Nancy Clark at email@example.com.
Using “Fill the Ark” calendars, videos, story books and even first-hand accounts, Sunday School children gain an awareness of the underlying causes of poverty and the very significant ripple effects of donations from individuals and parishes like St. Mary’s. A donation of $120, for instance, underwrites the cost of a pig, sheep, or goat. A heifer can be purchased with a $500 donation. St. Mary’s donated $800 total to the Heifer Project in 2016, with $180.70 being raised by Sunday School children. These funds helped provide animals but equally significantly, underwrote training in sustainable agriculture practices, accounting, and community-building for Heifer families. For more information, contact Nancy Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org
For the past several years, St. Mary’s Children’s Choir has connected with Compass Family Services—which provides temporary housing for families in transition. We participated in a Valentine’s Party for the children and families.
Youth Mission Trip
Each year our youth group travels to areas of need, providing physical work, friendship and community. They have visited places near and far, both in the United States and international destinations. They not only learn about other cultures and make new friends, but they learn the importance of helping others and their lives are transformed in the process. For more information, contact Mike Stafford at email@example.com.
Episcopal Senior Communities
Core outreach programs of Episcopal Senior Communities, Senior Resources, Senior Produce Markets, Senior Center Without Walls, and ElderWISE of San Francisco, strive to address unmet needs of elders in providing emergency essential financial assistance, affordable nutritious produce at our markets, and links to critical assistance, affording seniors an improved quality of life, a sense of community, and the joy of knowing they are cared for. ESC holds a weekly produce market at Presidio Gates Apartments. For more information, contact Josie McGann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kindred Nursing Home
The Rev. Nancy Bryan and Jan Bolles provide communion services monthly at the Kindred Nursing Home on Pine and Divisadero.
The Rev. Nancy Bryan and Anna Sylvester provide communion services at Presidio Gate twice monthly.
Outreach Through our Building and Grounds
Right here at 2325 Union Street, we offer use of our physical plant to a variety of outside groups for a minimal fee or for free. For more information on any of these programs, contact email@example.com.
The Candlelight Concert Series
Each year we host a series of Candlelight Concerts for our members and guests. For more information please visit.
Centrally located in the Cow Hollow/Marina neighborhood, St. Mary’s hosts a number of disaster preparedness workshops for our congregation members and the larger civic community.
12-Step groups and the non-profit Cow Hollow Association
These organizations use our space for meetings for a nominal contribution.