Community Ministries

Living our faith out in the world


San Francisco 16th and Mission Interfaith Peace Vigil

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!

Weekly Ministries

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

Foodbank Volunteers

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 or Barbara Addeo

Volunteers provide Spring Wreaths to recipients

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 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 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



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


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


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



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 Ava Eichler, and John Schlesinger,

2017 Recipients
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

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.

Below are the scheduled Evensongs and our partnering organizations.

September 20th, 2018 7:00 p.m.
Feast of St. Matthew, the Evangelist

Edward II: Edward II serves Transitional Aged Youth (TAY) aged 18-24 who are at risk of homelessness, including youth aging out of foster care.

October 18th, 2018 7:00 p.m.
Feast of St. Luke, the Evangelist
Sponsored by Elizabeth Gillespie Women in Music Fund

A Woman’s Place: A Woman’s Place (AWP) is the only 24-hour supportive residential services in San Francisco offering emergency shelter and long-term treatment programs to women and transgender women with special needs due to mental disabilities, sexual or domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and HIV+/AIDS-related issues.

February 2nd, 2019, 6:00 p.m.
Feast of the Presentation

Braid Mission: Braid Mission is a non-profit organization whose intergenerational mentoring program is designed to support Bay Area youth who have experienced life in the foster care system.

March 21st, 2019 7:00 p.m.
Feast of the Annunciation (observed)

HOMEY: The mission of HOMEY is to transform the lives of high-risk youth and inspire them to not only choose a path of education, self-sufficiency and non-violence, but also strive towards physical, mental and emotional health. We do this through the youth development practices of skill building, relationship building, youth participation in decision-making, and community involvement.

June 1st, 2019 6:00 p.m.
Feast of the Visitation (observed)

St. Mary’s Youth Group Mission Trip: The St. Mary’s Youth Group is a place where our teens can find a safe place to grow as a community, and grow in their faith. Loving leaders and teens meet weekly for Christ-centered discussions and games. In addition, from time to time we participate in some kind of community service, from feeding the hungry in San Francisco, to traveling internationally on our annual Youth Mission Trip.

All Evensongs take place at The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin (2325 Union Street, San Francisco).

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

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.

If you can’t make it to the church but would like to help, please visit The Gubbio Project on the Amazon Wish List.


Rise Against Hunger

Stop Hunger Now
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: supporting communities through advocacy and accompaniment 

Faith in Action

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,

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. 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


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.


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 $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


Youth Mission Trip

 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


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 2:00pm 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


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.


Social Justice Initiatives

Justice MinistryThe 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 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!