Community Ministries

Living Our Faith in the Community

Community Ministry

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!

St. Mary’s Partners For Food Delivery with City Hope Community Center and Church in the Tenderloin  
During the COVID 19 Shelter in Place directive, St. Mary’s Food Delivery Team is not able to make deliveries on Thursday mornings. Fortunately, our partner the SF/Marin Food Bank arranged with CITY HOPE’s volunteers to deliver food to our recipients temporarily until the SIP directive is lifted.  St. Mary’s teams are grateful for this new partnership with City Hope and have sent thank-you videos to Rev. Paul Trudeau, City Hope’s co-director, for inclusion on their website.


Spring Gift Bags for Edward II

Easter Bag
The photo shows this year’s version of the “spring baskets” for the residents at Edward II.  Ruth Tatum has put these baskets together since we started doing this 5-6 years ago.  And since this year we didn’t want to give opened candy in the smaller individual cellophane bags we’ve used in the past, Ruth found this festive spring big bag which holds lots of wrapped candies for the residents.  Plus the gift cards from Walgreen’s that we’ve given them in the past also.  Ruth dropped them off this past Saturday, so hopefully the residents were able to enjoy their goodies for a few days. During the Coronavirus, St. Mary’s isn’t able to provide dinner for the residents, but we will continue when the crisis is resolved.

Gubbio Project Article with St. Mary’s Mention
This week, an article was written about the Gubbio Project detailing the extent of the good work taking place through the nonprofit. In the article, there is mention of St. Mary the Virgin and a quote by our own Rev. David Erickson!
You can read the full article on the SF Chronicle webpage HERE or read the PDF version of the article HERE.

Winter Shelter Dinners Ministry- Episcopal Impact Fund’s Approval of St. Mary’s Congregational Grant Request!
The Episcopal Impact Fund has notified us that their board has approved our grant request to help fund two winter shelter dinners for 75-100 homeless individuals each that we have committed to host during the upcoming winter season in partnership with the SF Interfaith Council.  The first winter shelter dinner took place on Tuesday evening, November 26, 2019, and the other took place on Tuesday evening, January 14, 2020, at St. Mary’s Cathedral. As we’ve done in the past two years, we will partner with our neighboring church St. Vincent dePaul in hosting these dinners. We invite parishioners including families to help serve and share the Holy Spirit with our dinner guests! Please contact Ruth Tatum (, Laura Akel (, or Deacon Tim Smith ( if you and/or your family are interested in ministering with the homeless on a upcoming compassionate and joyful occasion!

Tidings of Comfort and Joy Fundraiser – The members of the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin in San Francisco raise money each year around the holidays through a special Tidings of Comfort and Joy fundraiser and then grant those funds to worthy non-profit organizations which serve the disadvantaged and under-served.  Individual grants are generally between $1000 – $4000. The Grant Team is now reviewing the grant applications and will provide money to the deserving organizations. Thank you to all who made this event a success.


Weekly Ministries

San Francisco Marin Food Bank: delivering food to those in need throughout our city

Foodbank Volunteers

Volunteers in teams of two deliver healthful food to 55 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! We currently have 25 regular and substitute volunteers. We invite you to join us. For more information about volunteering, contact Tim Smith or Barbara Addeo

Volunteers provide Spring Wreaths to recipients

St. Mary’s Justice Ministries
St. Mary’s has organized a very active Justice Ministries group. Please see the Justice Ministries page for more details.

Next Door Shelter Eucharists: worshiping with shelter residents

Next Door Shelter

Next Door is a residential shelter managed by Episcopal Community Services on Polk and Geary.  Nancy Bryan and Tim Smith 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 Smith at or Nancy Bryan to join them at any of the services.

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

Monthly Ministries

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 ministry.  Volunteer leaders take turns planning the dinner, which volunteers assist in cooking and stay to share the meal with the residents. To get involved, please contact Marta Johnson at

Rafael House – preparing and serving meals for formerly homeless families

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

COVIA (formerly Episcopal Senior Communities)

COVIA, formerly “Episcopal Senior Communities,” is a nonprofit organization that serves seniors in the community and at home.

Many of St Mary’s parishioners have participated as volunteers at our monthly senior lunch and as a volunteer for “Social Call,” a friendly visitor program.

The “co” of Covia comes from our belief in the importance of community, of connection, of companionship, of compassion. We 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. Covia hosts a produce market at Presidio Gate Apartments on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 10:00 a.m.

Volunteers are needed for our friendly visitor program (Social Call) in San Francisco and our free senior lunch held on the 4th Wednesday of each month at St Cyprian’s on Turk Street at Lyon.

For more information, contact Amy Brokering at


To Be A Light


During the office of Evening Prayer in the Episcopal Church, we pray the Magnificat. Not only is it a canticle of praise, but it is filled with language concerning justice, power structure, and uplifting the marginalized and the needy. He hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden. He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he hath sent empty away.Time and again, Christ demonstrates love and commitment to the marginalized, the outcast, the impoverished, and the hopeless. Just as Mary was chosen to bear Christ, the Light of the world and Love eternal, we, too, are chosen and ordained to bear Christ’s light, and to share the love of God with all.

Evensong for Change is a way that you can participate in sharing the Light of Christ with the world. For each Evensong at The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin, we are partnering with a local non-profit that targets justice issues such as homelessness and assistance for at-risk women and youth. We will educate about the mission of each organization, and donate 100% of the plate collection toward each respective organization.

God is calling us to be a light. Join us.

Open Cathedral: bringing food to an outdoor Eucharist for homeless persons
Open Cathedral

During the school year, our Sunday School classes love to prepare 100 sandwiches and fill lunch bags for the participants at Open Cathedral, held at the corner of Leavenworth and McAllister streets at 2:00 p.m. every Sunday of the year. St. Mary’s prepares lunches every third month and our children have this opportunity to learn about serving others while enjoying an educational team effort. This service is prepared and presided by one of the Priests from San Francisco Night Ministry, a valuable ministry that officially began in 1964. It is a blessing to attend this open air service. You will leave feeling awakened by God’s compassion and hope for a better life for everyone. To volunteer, contact Nancy at

Compass House Valentine’s Party

For the past several years close to Valentine’s Day, 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. For more information, contact Eric Choate,

Annual Fundraiser and Grant Program

Tidings of Comfort and Joy is an annual December 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 the sale of holiday greens and baked goods and a benefactors’ celebration.

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 Laura Wharton, or John Schlesinger,

2018 Recipients
Brainstorm – Art with Elders – All Saint’s Episcopal Church – Ecumenical House at SF State University – Family House – Gubbio Project – Oake’s Childen’s Center – Raphael House – Rebuilding Together SF – School for Deacons – SF CASA – SF Night Ministry – Sojourn Chaplaincy – St. Dorothy’s Rest Hospital Camps – Village Project

Rise Against Hunger

Stop Hunger Now
On two separate occasions over the past few years, St. Mary’s has hosted and provided volunteers to package over 40,000 meals to impoverished communities in partnership with Rise Against Hunger. Rise Against Hunger then shipped the packages to Asia, Africa or Central America where their local partner distributed them. People 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.

Rebuilding Together (Formerly Christmas in April): Renovating homes of vulnerable San Francisco residents

Rebuilding Together

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  For more information, go to

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. Each 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 gifts for the residents. For more information or volunteer,  contact Nancy Clark at

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 money being raised by Sunday School children during Lent. 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

Youth Mission Trip

 Youth Group

Each year in June. 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

The Candlelight Concert Series

Several times each year, we host a series of Candlelight Concerts for our members and guests. For more information please visit the concert page.

Interfaith Winter Shelter Dinner

In November and January, St. Mary’s joins other San Francisco parishes in partnership with the San Francisco Interfaith Council to host, cook, plan and serve a holiday meal to the homeless. It is a wonderful opportunity for families and single individuals, young and old, to minister with, serve and build community with homeless individuals and to discover that in giving we receive. Clergy contact, Deacon Tim Smith,