Outreach at St. Mary’s takes many forms, from overt efforts like serving meals, repairing housing, and donating to a variety of service organizations to less visible efforts like offering our space for 12-step groups, supporting diocesan outreach projects, and producing community concerts. The following report highlights the multiplicity of outreach endeavors, what they were able to contribute and accomplish in 2013, and the many volunteers from St. Mary’s who served the community in many and various ways.
How do you feel called to live out your faith in the world? How should St. Mary’s engage with the community around us? What is keeping you up at night?
The St. Mary’s Faith in Action team invites you to join one of our exploration groups to engage with the above questions and get to know each other more deeply. These groups are part of our congregation-wide discernment process to help shape our work with our community. We are doing this in partnership with the interfaith organization Faith in Action, which guides congregations in their own explorations and facilitates community engagement. Come join us at one or more of the following sessions:
Sunday, May 7 10:30-12 (after the 9 am service) in the vestry room. Childcare will be available.
May 20 at the retreat (details coming soon)
We look forward to this exploration process. If you would like to attend a session, please email Margaret Stafford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rebuilding Together (Formerly Christmas in April)
Do you like to help those in need? Want to put words into action? Every year a nationwide event is held called National Rebuilding Day on the last Saturday of April. On that day, teams of volunteers collect at sites throughout the country and San Francisco to provide free repairs and cleanup for seniors living at home and for non-profit agencies in need of TLC. St. Mary the Virgin has sponsored one of these projects in cooperation with St. James Episcopal Church each of the past fourteen (15) years and will again this year! Stay tuned for more information coming soon. For more information, go to www.rebuildingtogethersf.org.
Thorough and extensive preparations for the Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now) event culminated in the first event on May 21 in the Great Room, drawing support over 80 parishioners and friends in the community. We aimed to package an astounding 10,000 (!) meals in just two hours for an impoverished community in the Philippines. All parishioners were invited to attend, help package, and thereby help to sustain and heal those suffering from hunger in the world! Our second date was March 4, 2017 where we packaged 15,000 meals with an enthusiastic group of parishioners and friends.
This new ministry involves distributing food in partnership with the Food Bank on Thursday mornings to the elderly and disabled individuals who are unable to procure food for themselves. The church will serve as a staging location for volunteers to package and distribute food, primarily fresh produce, to Food Bank-qualified participants throughout the city. It will be an enriching ministry and community builder not only among volunteers but also between volunteers and participants. Please contact Deacon Tim Smith at Tim@smvsf.org if you’d like to join or have questions.
Volunteers shown receiving food for distribution.
Next Door and Sanctuary Shelters
Episcopal clergy throughout the Diocese participate in Eucharist services for residents at the Next Door (Sutter and Geary) and Sanctuary shelters in the city on Tuesdays (3:30 PM) and Thursdays (5:30 PM). Deacon Tim invites parishioners to join him at any of these services. The homily at each service is shared among the residents and the volunteers in reflecting on the Gospel reading for that day. The shared homilies are inclusive and redemptive and are filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit! Please contact Tim at Tim@smvsf.org or Nancy Bryan email@example.com 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. In the future he will post on our website the timing of volunteer training and events supporting these and other initiatives. Please contact him at Tim@smvsf.org if you’d like to join him in initiatives to help bring social justice to our community!
St. Mary’s Annual Outreach Grant Program Fundraiser
After a very successful fundraiser, the Grant Team has awarded the funds to organizations listed below. Thank you to all who supported this fundraiser.
2016 Grant Recipients
- Art With Elders
- Brainstorming Program at Janet Pomeroy Center
- The Episcopal School for Deacons
- Family House at UCSF
- Raphael House
- Rebuilding Together San Francisco
- San Francisco Court Appointed Special Advocates
- San Francisco Night Ministry
- Sojourn Chaplaincy
- St. Dorothy’s Rest Hospital Camps
- The Village Project
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.
St. Mary’s was thrilled to welcome our twenty-four newest neighbors (ages 18 – 24) when Edward II, a permanent supportive housing program of Larkin Street Youth Services, opened in November 2014. Located just blocks from the Church, the parish provided welcome baskets to new residents, hosts holiday dinners and events, and on the second Sunday of each month volunteers help cook a community dinner for and with the youth. As our partnership with Edward II and Larkin Street grows we continue listening for God’s invitation for deeper relationship and greater opportunities for service. To get involved, please contact Marta Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Led by Alisa Quint Fisher, groups of parishioners meet on the first Monday of every month at Raphael House, a shelter for homeless families. In this on-going outreach activity, the chef of Raphael House guides the volunteer set-up, food prep, serving, and clean-up teams. To volunteer, contact Alisa at email@example.com.
Under the care of point person and deacon the Rev. Nancy Bryan, St. Mary’s volunteer teams make lunches for distribution at the Civic Center Open Cathedral. For more information, contact Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
Every year a nationwide event is held called National Rebuilding Day, on the last Saturday of April when teams of volunteers get together at sites throughout the city to provide free repairs for seniors living at home and for non-profit agencies. St. Mary’s has been involved in Rebuilding Together (formerly called Christmas in April) for two decades. This year volunteers from St. Mary’s helped repair and renovate a home and garden in the city, together with volunteers from St. James Church and Treadwell & Rollo Engineering. For more information, contact David Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Giving Tree
This is an activity of Episcopal Community Services that benefits family residents of Canon Barcus House. In December, our parishioners picked up every single one of the more than 300 gift requests hanging as “ornaments” on The Giving Tree—a live tree provided through the SF Guardsmen. Parishioners then selected and purchased gifts for residents based on these requests. Nancy Clark arranged the project and for delivery of the gifts. For more information, contact Nancy at email@example.com.
The Heifer Project
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 $1500 total to the Heifer Project in 2013, with $280.70 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.
Students at the School for Deacons, spearheaded this project during Lent in which over 1200 pairs of clean, new socks were donated and distributed to those in need in the Bay Area. For more information, contact Nan Slavin at email@example.com.
Compass House Valentine’s Party
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. The Rev. Nancy Bryan and Josie McGann are point people. For more information, contact Nancy at email@example.com.
St. Mary’s Holiday Community Caroling
On a Saturday afternoon in December, we gather at St. Mary’s and walk in the neighborhood to serenade vendors, shoppers, and residents along Union Street with holiday carols, gathering participants along the way. To learn more contact Eric Choate, 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.
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.
Outreach Through the Diocese of California
Ten percent of our annual diocesan assessment goes directly to diocesan outreach efforts. Recipients of these funds are determined by the diocese. For details of diocesan outreach refer to the narrative budget, found on the Diocese of California website, www.diocal.org.
Working Board Members
A great number of parishioners donate time and talent serving as board members of non-profit organizations in San Francisco that our Outreach Granting Team supports as well as a variety of boards that serve the Bay Area and beyond.