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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Barbara Addeo email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Nancy Bryan email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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. They provide 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 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 (ElderWISE) in San Francisco and our free senior lunch held on the 4th Wednesday of each month at St Cyprians on Turk Street at Lyon.
For more information, contact Amy Brokering at email@example.com
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. 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.
Art With Elders – All Saints Episcopal Church, San Leandro – Ecumenical House San Francisco State – Family House UCSF – Gubbio Project – Oake’s Children Center – Raphael House – Rebuilding Together – School for Deasons – SFCASA – San Francisco Night Ministry – Sojourn Chaplaincy – St. Dorothy’s Res Hospital Camp – St. Dorothy’s Rest Wildfire Response – The Village Project
Donations Needed at The Gubbio Project
The Gubbio Project at St. Boniface Church at 133 Golden Gate in San Francisco is urgently in the need of blankets and socks. Donations may be dropped off at St. Boniface between 6:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m., Monday thru Friday.
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 them 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.
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 homes 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.
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.
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.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth Mission Trip
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 email@example.com.
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 2:00pm 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.
In this photo above, a participant who arrived looking despondent, with only rags on her feet, was truly blessed when Nancy Svendsen presented her with a new pair of shoes. Her grateful countenance and her raised arm seemed to signify a change in her spirit and open heart to God’s love for her.
The next time we serve in September, stop by at 2:00 pm. Listen to the prayers of those expressing their struggles and innermost hopes, extend your hand with others in prayer and receive the Holy Spirit that is present in each one of us. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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!