Detail of our Caledonia Alley mural. For more on the mural, see below.
One-time liturgies, events and programs
Saint John's, the San Francisco Organizing Project and El Buen Samaritano's vicar, the Rev. Gloria del Castillo take on Citibank and win!
Many of us stood outside Citibank on Market Street on the morning of December 20, 2012 to support the Rev. Gloria del Castillo, vicar of our sister parish, El Buen Samaritano. As you may have heard, Gloria is one of the more than a million people who have faced foreclosure in the years of the mortgage crisis. She'd been working with Citibank to renegotiate the terms of her loan, when last Friday she came home to find an eviction notice taped to her front door, saying her house was to be auctioned off on December 31 of this year.
Citibank was engaged in "dual-tracking" Gloria -- negotiating with her while simultaneously going forward with eviction proceedings. Dual tracking will become illegal, under the California Homeowners Bill of Rights, which takes effect on January 1, 2013 -- one day after Gloria's house was due to be sold.
So members of the San Francisco Organizing Project, Causa Justa, St. John's, El Buen Samaritano, and a variety of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian religious leaders came out to ask -- to demand -- that Citibank cancel the auction.
And that is what they now say they have done!
Of course, we will have to keep our eyes on them, but it seems that for now, the auction has been canceled, and Gloria can remain in her home.
What a perfect enactment of the Incarnation in this Advent season. Today we experience the Divine incarnated in the form of human solidarity, and we are reminded of Jesus's solidarity with all of us who are poor, outcast, imprisoned, or afraid.
SJE members Dr. Bonita Palmer and Michael Haines sing along.
Children's Mass • Sunday, May 20, 2012
Father Richard Smith led the parish in a special Children's Mass. We thought about what Jesus might have looked like when he was alive like us -- and what he looks like today. (Hint: Look in the mirror!)
We learned -- or remembered -- what all the different parts of our worship service mean. And we talked about the four things that happen to the bread in the Eucharist: It is taken; it is blessed; it is broken; and it becomes a gift for everyone. This is exactly what happened to Jesus during his life, and it is what can happen to all of us as well, if we are willing.
Parishioner Jan Adams took these pictures.
Ongoing/recurring liturgies, events and programs
Julian Pantry/La Bodega de Julian
Volunteers anytime before 9:15-noon
Food Distribution 10-11 am
A joint project of the SOMA Outreach ministry teams of St. John's, St. Gregory of Nyssa, Holy Innocents, and El Buen Samaritano, this pantry, located at St. John's serves 200+ individuals/families on a first-come-first-served basis. Volunteers are needed and always welcome. If interested, please contact the parish office.
The Garden Guild holds a workday the first Saturday of the month, from 1pm on. All are welcome.
Tuesdays at 8 am
Consider beginning your week with prayer at St. John's, and make it part of your Tuesday morning commute. This is a lay led service of about 15-20 minutes in length.
Vigil for Peace
Every Thursday, 12-1
Burton Federal Building, Golden Gate and Larkin
Some standing, some sitting, some speaking, some silent. All against these wars and for peace. Please join us if you can.
St. John's Book Group
Third Mondays, 7:30 pm
The "inquiring minds" of St. John's gather once a month at a member's home for fellowship and discussion of a book chosen by the group.
St. John's Receives Gift of New Mural
On Sunday, January 10, we blessed a new mural on the Caledonia Alley side of St. John's and recognizeed and thanked the artists: Dan Plasma, Mike Giant, and Mark Bode. It was very moving to cense the mural, present the artists with icons of St. John the Evangelist, and have them join us in worship. The city requires building owners to keep properties graffiti-free, and St. John’s had been fighting a losing battle with graffiti vandals for some time. Having noticed that no Caledonia buildings with murals seemed to suffer vandalism, some folks on the Vestry lobbied for us to commission a new mural. Grafitti artists Dan, Mike, and Mark came forward and offered to do a mural for us pro bono. A huge thanks to them all! For Mark's reflections on the experieince, visit Hi-Fructose. The San Francisco Chronicle also recently published a story on our mural.
A dream come true in the Mission/Un sueño que se hace realidad.
Pacific Church News September 2009
By the Rev. Gloria Del Castillo
Area Ministry, dream of many and challenge of The Episcopal Church 20/20 Program, was launched in the Diocese of California with the arrival of the Rt. Rev Marc Andrus. The idea has been to renew the ministries in the Mission District in San Francisco, where races, languages, and traditions come together in rich and unique cultures.
The goal was to develop a consortium of churches working together, reassessing their resources, and experimenting with new and different techniques to inform various communities in the Mission District of The Episcopal Church. As a Latin woman and immigrant I reviewed the Province VIII Hispanic Network documents during my coordination and other studies I made of the area, and on this basis and in consultation with local leaders we developed a plan to make the dream come true.
St. John the Evangelist and El Buen Samaritano are an oasis in the Mission for those seeking God and a family of many races, colors, and flavors. The challenge was great: we began by defining what our communities wanted, their resources, and gifts. We held varied and fruitful meetings in each church. We shared our stories and discovered that we had much in common: all had undergone discrimination and isolation, and had leaders who were survivors of unspoken tragedies.
The community of El Buen Samaritano lost its building due to the 1989 earthquake, and the diocese gave up the property to the city to build a Community Center. The LGTB community of St. John the Evangelist suffered the AIDS epidemic and the ignorance of society — a living reality. We lack a big budget and monetary resources, but we are rich in time, talent, and have the desire to form a community of hope in our neighborhood — walking together. Language barriers vanished as we realized we are one body and Christ is our head. We have Bible study in Spanish with Latin music and spirituality. In Advent we started bilingual celebrations which continued to Epiphany. On Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday we distributed ashes and palms in the streets and BART stations. Holy Week services were bilingual and the Stations of the Cross were held in several places in the community; it was moving to see people join with fervor. On Holy Saturday we celebrated the Easter Vigil within the fire and the light of Christ. We celebrated martyr Archbishop Oscar Romero’s testimony and conversion to support the poor and oppressed. We have a bilingual service once a month and also during the liturgical calendar.
Our dreams are great, and yet we are realistic in our resources. We have hope that this new model adapts to the realities and necessities of our people, and constitutes a new hope and a new beginning for The Episcopal Church where the effort is united to reach a new vision of the Kingdom of God on Earth. It is a dream come true when “...neither race nor the color of your skin matters as much as how we love our brothers and sisters, and do good.”
El Ministerio de Área, sueño de muchos y un reto del Programa 20/20 de la Iglesia Episcopal se inicia a la llegada del Obispo Marc Andrus a la Diócesis de California. La idea fue renovar los ministerios en el Barrio de la Misión en San Francisco, donde se mezclan razas, idiomas, y tradiciones, creando un mundo de colores y sabores que resultan en una cultura rica y única.
La meta fue desarrollar un consorcio de iglesias que trabajaran juntas, reevaluando sus recursos y experimentando nuevas técnicas para dar a conocer la Iglesia Episcopal a varias comunidades de la Misión. Como mujer latina e inmigrante, consulté los documentos de la VIII Provincia de la Red Hispana durante mi coordinación y otros estudios que realicé del área, y con esta base consultando con los líderes locales desarrollamos un plan para hacer de el sueño una realidad.
St. John the Evangelist y El Buen Samaritano son un oasis en la Misión para aquellos que buscan a Dios y una familia de muchas razas, colores y sabores. El reto fue grande; escuchamos lo que deseaban las comunidades; conocimos sus recursos, y dones. Realizamos reuniones variadas y fructíferas en cada iglesia. Descubrimos que tenemos mucho en común: hemos sufrido discriminación y aislamiento, y tenemos verdaderos líderes sobrevivientes de tragedias tácitas. El edificio de El Buen Samaritano sufrió daños en el terremoto de 1989 y la diócesis entregó la propiedad a la ciudad para convertirla en centro comunitario. La comunidad LGTB de St. John the Evangelist sufrió la epidemia del SIDA y la ignorancia de la sociedad a una realidad viviente.
Carecemos de grandes presupuestos y recursos monetarios, pero somos ricos en tiempo, talento y el deseo de formar una comunidad de esperanza en nuestra vecindad. Las barreras idiomáticas desvanecieron según demostramos ser un cuerpo, donde Cristo, es la cabeza. Realizamos estudios bíblicos adaptados al español con música y espiritualidad latina. En Adviento iniciamos celebraciones bilingües que continuaron en Epifanía. El Miércoles de Ceniza y el Domingo de Ramos impartimos cenizas y palmas en las calles y estaciones del metro. Celebramos la Semana Santa con servicios bilingües, y realizamos el Vía Crucis en diferentes lugares de la comunidad. Fue conmovedor como la gente se unía con fervor. El Sábado de Gloria celebramos la Vigilia Pascual en la luz de Cristo. Festejamos al mártir Monseñor Oscar Romero, testimonio de conversión, en apoyo al pobre y explotado. Celebramos servicios bilingües una vez al mes y durante el calendario litúrgico.
Tenemos grandes sueños, pero somos realistas en cuanto a nuestros recursos. Nos adaptamos a las realidades de nuestro pueblo formando así un nuevo comienzo lleno de esperanza, una nueva visión del Reino de Dios en la tierra para la Iglesia Episcopal, uniendo nuestros esfuerzos para que, el sueño se haga una realidad, “...no importe la raza ni el color de la piel, amemos a nuestros hermanos, y hagamos el bien.”
Beekeeping Supports Hunger Ministry
Living Church News Service
Posted on: September 18, 2009
A deacon based at St. John the Evangelist Church in San Francisco is fighting two scourges — urban hunger and widespread devastation of bee colonies — by keeping beehives in her backyard.
The Rev. Jacqueline Cherry said her beekeeping began after receiving a simple gesture of holiday cheer—a jar of honey for Christmas from a keeper of approximately 100,000 bees.
“It was raw, pure and natural. Frankly, it was the best honey I had ever tasted — nothing like the processed, pasteurized honey we buy at the grocery store,” Deacon Cherry said. “Only after receiving the honey did it occur to me that I could keep bees in my San Francisco backyard, too.”
She had already felt concern about dwindling populations of bees.
“I have a backyard vegetable garden and became interested in honeybees after reading about Colony Collapse Disorder,” she said. “Entire colonies are disappearing at an alarming rate, not just here in the U.S., but throughout Europe as well. Honeybees are responsible for the pollination of about one-third of the U.S. crop species: almonds, apples, cucumbers, the list goes on and on. In essence, if we want to continue to eat fruits and vegetables and see the wildflowers blooming, we need to take care of the bees.
“I currently have one very active and productive beehive in my backyard,” Deacon Cherry said. “I have a second beehive that just got its bees. A friend caught a six-pound swarm in a residential section of San Francisco and brought it over unannounced while we were having dinner. Beekeeping is like deaconing. You never know what’s going to happen next.”
Deacon Cherry refers to her backyard guests as Julian Bees because sales of the honey they produce will support the Julian Pantry, her congregation’s ministry to the hungry in the Mission District neighborhood of San Francisco.
“As I was researching urban beekeeping, I read a lot about urban gardening, the Bay Area locavore movement, sustainable agriculture and how the globalization of the food supply affects the environment, our health, our communities and our disconnect with the food we eat,” she said. (Locavores favor food grown as close to home as possible.)
“Most of us don’t know who produced our food, how it has been processed and how many thousands of miles it has traveled to get to us,” she said. “We need to be fed. Not knowing where our food comes from, or how it is grown, is bad for our bodies and, I’d argue, bad for our souls.
“As I was thinking about bees and gardens and food, I remembered what we do on Saturday mornings at St. John’s: Julian Pantry gives good food to hungry people. And it all fit together. Honeybees are in trouble, we need bees to grow food, we keep bees, they make honey, we sell the honey to benefit the Julian Pantry so we can continue to give good food to hungry people.”
Deacon Cherry said that one of St. John’s parishioners, Lauren Dieterich, also plans to begin keeping Julian Bees.
“Lauren will have one hive buzzing this spring, and if all goes well I’d like her to have a second one,” Deacon Cherry said.
“I think to some this was just another harebrained idea,” she said. “But creating a network of hives to benefit Julian Pantry seems very diaconal to me. Keeping honeybees will do so much more than raise funds for our food pantry ministry. By housing bees, we are also providing education and modeling stewardship of creation.” --Douglas LeBlanc
Deacon Breaks Out in Hives
from Diobytes Aug. 2009
The Rev Jackie Cherry was ordained as a deacon in June of this year and her ministry is buzzing. With the assistance of a $750 grant from the Celtic Cross Society, a missionary outreach organization managed by students of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Cherry and another member of St. John the Evangelist in San Francisco Lauren Dietrich have each set up bee hives in their urban backyards.
In a letter to the vestry of St. John the Evangelist, Cherry wrote “I am happy to report that I have a healthy and very productive beehive in my backyard on Potrero Hill.”
The plan is for Cherry and Dietrich to sell the honey that their bees produce and to use the funds to support the Julian Pantry, St. John’s weekly food pantry. “While we won’t have a mother lode of honey this year,” Cherry wrote to the vestry, “Lauren and I believe that once our colonies are established, our two beehives will generate about $2000 annually for the Julian Pantry.”
These Episcopal beekeepers hope to build a network of backyard hives to include members of the South-of-Market Area Ministry congregations, Julian Pantry volunteers and participants, and interested neighborhood residents. “The beehives will facilitate education and cross-pollination within the many communities and cultures that are part of Julian Pantry,” Cherry wrote. “We may even be able to process beeswax for use in Paschal Candles. This project will honor God’s creation, build stronger community, and raise funds to feed the hungry in our neighborhood.”
Links of Interest
St. John’s-related Blogs
Rev. Richard Smith’s Blog
The Anglican Communion
The Episcopal Church
The Diocese of California
The World Council of Churches
The National Council of Churches
The California Council of Churches
The New Revised Standard Version Bible
The Book of Common Prayer
The Lectionary Page
The Daily Office
Anglican Online Hymnal
Affirming Anglican Catholicism
Gay and Lesbian Advocacy
Claiming the Blessing