What We Do

Tom and Trent listen deeply.
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Areas Of Ministry

 

Connection:  Our night ministry and phone counseling, every night of the year.

Community:  Programs bringing people into a spiritual community that reflects their understanding of reality.

Cultivation: Forming, training, and inspiring a new generation of spiritual leaders. 

CONNECTION
Night Ministry & Phone Counseling

NIGHT MINISTRY

Night Ministers walk the streets while counselors operate the telephones.

The heart of our work occurs at night. We offer spiritual and emotional care and referral services on the streets, in the middle of the night, every night of the year.

We provide companionship to those who are lonely and isolated. We attend to mental and physical needs. We provide harm reduction for those at risk to themselves and others. We encounter many of the most vulnerable, who fall between the cracks of the city’s social services.

Phone Counseling

We are unique among telephone lines.

Most hotlines are centered around a particular topic or have other restrictions. We are the only counseling line who will talk with anyone about anything.

And we are the only phone counselors who can arrange for a face-to-face conversation, and in the middle of the night. Counselors can dispatch a Night Minister to meet someone in an SRO, bar, coffee shop, the streets . . . wherever they may be.

Part of our social justice call is opening access to care for everyone, bringing spirituality to the streets. Our “ministry of presence” also opens space for people to be themselves, without judgment, wherever they are at in their lives.

 

Service

We meet people wherever they are.

Help us walk in more neighborhoods, every night. Your donations fund more nightly services.  ❤️ Donate Now

COMMUNITY

Spiritual Gatherings & Programs

Interfaith & Multifaith

We offer a variety of programs so people can find a community that most closely speaks to their understanding of reality and the Ultimate. Some programs are interfaith – widely inclusive of several religious traditions. Other programs are multifaith — deeply reflecting one particular tradition. We strive to be as inclusive as possible.

     

OPEN CATHEDRAL

Mission:  Thursdays  5:30 pm  @16th & Mission BART

Civic Center:  Sundays  2:00 pm  @UN Plaza, Leavenworth and McAllister

Open Cathedral is a non-denominational Christian outdoor worship service, held twice weekly in two different locations. Everyone is welcome. After worship, there is fellowship and a meal. 

We invite people to participate at any level of comfort. People come as they are, in whatever state they find themselves.

Attendance at worship is not required to receive a meal or private conversation. Groups volunteer to host the meals.

Contact us if your group would like to host a meal.

About 50 people gather and 100 meals are offered each Thursday; and 75 people gather and 150 lunches are offered each Sunday.

Scroll through the photos to learn more.

Congregation

Each Open Cathedral has an active usher corps – regular attendees who help set up for worship, greet people as they arrive, and supervise the meal serving.

Communion

We build communities that reflect the basic Christian values of love for one another and service to the world, while encouraging people on their own spiritual journeys.

Respite

Amidst praying, singing, and preaching are the realities of life on the streets occurring nearby.

Rain or Shine

Open Cathedrals are reliable gatherings helping to stabilize communities.

Baptism

Open Cathedrals offer the full range of Christian rites.

Fellowship

Groups volunteer to host the meal.

All Are Welcome

People who come from traditional walled churches are often moved by the experience they find.

MEDITATION GROUP

Mondays  6:00 pm  @Faithful Fools (234 Hyde)

Meditation Group is a weekly Buddhist-inspired gathering. After check-ins and tea, we do a guided, trauma-informed meditation. We end with check-outs. Teachings center on the two wings of Dharma — wisdom and compassion.

All are welcome. No meditation experience is necessary. We are co-creating this program with the community. We may experiment with outdoor meditation periods and sitting in the zendo at Faithful Fools. Join us as we live into the Bodhisattva Vow to awaken for the benefit of all beings.

View Video about this pilot program.

Consider supporting this program!

 

TUESDAY GATHERING

Tuesdays  6:00 pm  @Faithful Fools (234 Hyde)

Tuesday Night Gathering is a time of connection, meal, and reflection. We begin with a period of check-ins and food, followed by a deeper dive into a spiritual reading or discussion. Topics range from traditional Bible study to general conversations about faith, hope, love, and life.

Groups volunteer to host the meals. Contact us if your group would like to host a meal. About 12 – 22 people join us each week. Most participants are regular attendees of Open Cathedral. This program is building and sustaining strong relationships among people.

 

SACRED SPACE

First and third Saturdays – Sacred Cup

Sacred Space – San Francisco is a ministry of outreach and presence with the LGBTQ+ communities. We encourage each other in our queer spiritual journeys. And we create “sacred space” within the ordinary spaces of our lives, including the streets of the Castro District. At Sacred Cup, we meet in a local coffee shop. We co-sponsor this program with St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church. Dates and locations rotate. For information, check out the Sacred Space – San Francisco website or contact us directly.

MOVEMENTS

Schedule to be determined

Movements is an emerging program based in yogic spirituality, Tai Chi, and other forms of somatic and breath meditation. We will invite people, as they are able and comfortable, to gently flow through a guided series of body gestures and activities. Our focus is on centering and attending to the breath in relation to movement and space. This program may be good for people who find it hard to sit still to meditate. We are securing an outdoor space in which to launch this program in the near future.

 

MEMORIAL SERVICE

Winter Solstice – Civic Center UN Plaza

December 19, 2019

Around the winter solstice, people all across the country remember unhoused people who have died that year. We partner with the Coalition on Homelessness, SF Interfaith Council, Faithful Fools, Skywatchers, and other groups who offer the annual Procession and Vigil in San Francisco. In 2018, we estimate that at least 241 people died on the streets and in single room occupancy hotels. The actual number was likely much higher. We honor the anonymous along with the named. Learn more about the 2019 memorialRead more about the 2018 service.

OTHER PROGRAMS

We cooperate with a number of other organizations on common goals.

  • SF CARES We sit on the board of SF CARES (San Francisco Compassion, Advocacy, Resilience, and Education Services) along with three other non-profits: St. Paulus Lutheran Church, Grace Lutheran Church, and Welcome: A Communal Response to Poverty) SF CARES provides feeding programs, educational programs, and other outreach efforts such as free vision screenings, harm reduction education, and domestic violence quantification.
  • San Francisco Suicide Prevention We have an agreement to provide a framework to refer callers between our crisis lines, to cooperatively train volunteers, and to mutually support confidentiality and safety policies.
  • Domestic Violence Prevention – We have an understanding with both WOMAN Inc. and La Casa de las Madres to provide safe transportation to a safe house for victims of domestic violence.
  • Winter Shelter – In the wintertime, the San Francisco Interfaith Winter Shelter program provides overnight housing for homeless men. We send a Night Minister to serve as an additional staffer at one of the locations, enabling an additional 40 men to be housed.    

HELP SUSTAIN OUR SPIRITUAL COMMUNITIES

CULTIVATION

Training Leaders

CLINICAL PASTORAL EDUCATION (CPE)

CPE is clinical training for spiritual leaders. Most CPE programs occur in a hospital or health care clinical context. Our clinical context is the streets of San Francisco. We are unique among community-based CPE programs. Our center and site is a nonprofit organization.

Cultivating new leaders is a critical part of our ministry.

We are fully accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) to offer all levels of CPE training. Learn more.

Our programs emphasize cultivating a ministry of presence and deep listening. We focus on how to be present with suffering in ourselves, with others, and in groups for the purpose of transformative healing.

Our CPE center is open to all people who are rooted in a spiritual tradition or practice. Spiritually-driven helping professionals – such as social workers, therapists, and nurses – are welcome to apply.

Our CPE programs are funded by generous donors who have a heart for education.  💜 Help Emerging Leaders.

2020 CPE PROGRAMS

We are now accepting applications for two programs.

  • Buddhist CPE Spring 2020  A part-time “extended” CPE unit from January 13th – May 15th open to students with a Buddhist practice or an intimacy with Buddhist teachings.
  • Intensive CPE Summer 2020  A full-time, 40 hours/week, CPE unit from June 1st – August 14th open to all students.

To apply: email your completed CPE Application and submit a $35 fee. We also file applications for future CPE programs.

Satellite

We are proud to announce a new satellite program birthed from our CPE center. Our own Rev. Silvia Tiznado launched this daughter program to meet the needs of marginalized people in Phoenix, AZ.