Flowering again from within

I’m still savoring last week’s remembrance of Francis, patron of this City and lover of the earth and its creatures. (Check out some of those creatures who showed up for our Liturgy this past Sunday.)

And now it’s time for my annual reprise of this poem by Galway Kinnell. I love its gentle earthiness and compassion that makes me once again so grateful for the critters that have blessed my life.

Saint Francis and the Sow
by Galway Kinnell

The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as Saint Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the sheer blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

See you in the church on Julian Avenue.


As the Bishop’s Committee plans the budget for 2018, thanks for prayerfully considering your financial contribution to St. John’s. Your pledge enables us to maintain our sacred space; pay our Musician, Administrator, and Vicar; and continue the many ministries God has asked us to do.

You can pledge your contribution either by placing a hard copy in the collection basket or online.

To fill out your pledge form online, click here.

This Sunday, 10/15, 12:30pm: Safeguarding our vulnerable ones

Since March 2017, St. John’s has been in a discernment process, clarifying our boundaries and agreeing upon appropriate responses to inappropriate behavior. We want to ensure both the safety of our sacred space and the dignity of our vulnerable ones, including our children and our sisters and brothers with mental health issues.

Part of our work includes training members of our congregation in de-escalation, compassionate response, and how to recognize and diffuse aggressive behavior.

SF Safe will conduct a 2.5 hour workshop on Sunday 10/15 at 12:30pm at St. John’s.

  • There are 20 available spaces.
  • Priority is given to St. John’s Bishop’s Committee members and ushers.
  • Please fill out this form to RSVP
  • You will be contacted to confirm attendance.

This Sunday, 10/15, 8:30pm: Compline with Endersnight

Join Endersnight this Sunday evening for the ancient office of Compline, sung by candlelight.

When: Sunday, September 15, 8:30pm
Where: St. John’s

10/16: Phone banking with Faith in Action for immigrant youth

This from Faith in Action:

Let’s Start CALLING to Support Immigrant Youth (Without Hurting Their Families)

Starting mid-October, we will run a three-week phone banking campaign to garner support for a clean DREAM Act, legislation that provides a legal pathway for undocumented immigrant youth that does not include additional funding for more beds in detention centers, more ICE and CBP officers, or increased border security.

In the week following the repeal of DACA, thousands in the Bay Area turned out in the streets to demonstrate their support for immigrant youth. And since the presidential inauguration in January, thousands have trained to become Bay Area Rapid Response volunteers, standing ready to protect their communities when ICE comes knocking.

Now, at a time when the futures of nearly 800,000 immigrant youth hang in the balance, when ICE is arresting undocumented folks at a 40% increased rate over the same period last year, we have a chance to demand legislation that would protect undocumented youth without hurting their families.

Join us on one (or more!) of the evenings below. Bring your cell phone and charger, and come meet others in the movement to protect immigrant families. We will provide a script and training.

Launch for Clean DREAM Phone Bank
Monday, October 16, 5PM
SEIU Local 1021
350 Rhode Island Street #100, San Francisco
(Entrance at 17th & Kansas Streets)

Our allies in Labor will be joining us to launch our Clean DREAM phone bank. RSVP to the inauguration for an evening of snacks, community, and ACTION.

Dates for Phone Banking
San Francisco Phone Bank
St. Anthony of Padua Parish
3215 Cesar Chavez, San Francisco

Week 1

  • Wednesday, October 18
  • Thursday, October 19

Week 2:

  • Monday, October 23
  • Wednesday, October 25
  • Thursday, October 26

Week 3:

  • Monday, October 30
  • Wednesday, November 1
  • Thursday, November 2

Please RSVP your preferred date and location here.

News from Mission Nightwalks

Here are some new developments within our beloved Nightwalks, as well as some headlines from our larger neighborhood.

Continuing our Nightwalks–with Rapid Response!
At our July 21 meeting, we discussed new ways of being present to the violence and resulting pain in our community. We want to continue being a regular, visible faith presence with a simple, clear message: “We care. Stop the violence”. We also want to respond more quickly whenever a serious violent incident occurs. Concretely, this means two things:

  • To remain visible on a regular basis, we’ll continue our Nightwalks as usual. To help us be even more visible, we now have a new Mission Nightwalks banner, AND we have ordered brand new jackets with a beautiful Mission Nightwalks logo to identify us more clearly. Thanks to Or Shalom’s Elliot Helman for helping get the logo!)
  • To respond more quickly when a serious act of violence occurs, we’re adding a Rapid Response component. We are currently developing this with our friends at HOMEY, Calles, Faith in Action, PICO National Network, and other community organizations.

This Rapid Response, now underway in other cities, works like this:

  1. Whenever a serious violent incident occurs, neighbors and bystanders call a dispatcher at a local hotline.
  2. The dispatcher sends a text message to a small number of trained volunteers.
  3. These trained volunteers, including people of faith, go to the scene to observe and record what is happening, but also to support any family, friends, or traumatized neighbors and bystanders. This support could include, for example, offering to pray with them, connecting them to needed services in the community, or simply being a supportive presence.

We hope to roll out this Rapid Response component over the next couple of months. Stay tuned for details!

Our next Mission Nightwalks

  • Next Nightwalk: Friday, October 20, 6-7:15pm from St. John’s
  • Friday, November 3, 6-7:15pm from Church of the Sojourners, 1133 Florida St, SF
  • Thursday, November 16, 5-6:15pm, from St. John’s (Note time change to an hour earlier than usual). SPECIAL NIGHTWALK WITH JOBS WITH JUSTICE!!! This walk will join our faith communities with join labor and community organizations in calling for an end to the violence.
  • Friday, December 15, 6-7:15pm, from Grace Fellowship Community Church, 3265 16th Street (near Dolores Street)

Some recent tragedies
Over the last several weeks, violence has continued to take its toll on our community.

  • Twenty-three-year-old Abel Esquivel, an intern working with at-risk youth at CARECEN, was gunned down near his home at 26th and Van Ness.
  • Three people were injured, one critically, in a shooting at Dolores Park.
  • Also near Dolores Park, in a domestic violence incident, Susana Robles was killed, leaving behind her four-year-old daughter Angel. Susana was a friend of our beloved Dawn Noelle Smith Beutler of the Church of the Sojourners. To help support Susana’s surviving four-year-old daughter Angel, here’s a link to the GoFundMe page.
  • This week, four people were injured in a shooting at 25th and Treat Streets.

March for Justice
Several SF community members of the Black & Brown movement are now marching from San Francisco to Sacramento to bring awareness to the countless murders by SFPD. From their Facebook page: “We are demanding that Attorney General Xavier Becerra does what District Attorney George Gascon is having such a difficult time doing, while that is him having difficulty in charging the police officers that have taken the lives of our brothers and sisters with murder!”

Sign up: St. John’s heads to the Bishop’s Ranch!

There’s still room! Sign up now! First come, first served.

The Bishop’s Ranch has offered St John’s a weekend respite in the beautiful Sonoma countryside. This is a great opportunity to refresh ourselves individually and as an active, involved congregation.  We’ve been invited to stay at the Kay Qvale Ranch House – which provides beds for 30 and a big meeting room with fireplace, and will be gifted delicious nourishing meals, a chapel, art room, and great hiking trails.

A small committee has developed a plan of optional activities that will be offered. The general theme is Gratitude. (You can see where that comes from.) We’ll have a movie, a chance to write a poem with our poet laureate, Ann Cromey and join a sense-activating walk with Lauren Chavez, plus Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, Compline and the Eucharist on Sunday morning.

Timeframe: Friday, November 10 by dinner at 6pm to Sunday November 12 after lunch at 12:30. We’re welcome to arrive Friday afternoon anytime to take a hike. We will try to arrange carpools for those who’d like a ride. Click here to RSVP if you have not already done so.

This gift has a lot to do with St John’s ongoing warm relationship with the Ranch and its director, Sean Swift, and the magic of Liz Specht! To show our commitment to receiving this gift, The Ranch has asked us to give a token amount toward the expense of our visit, sliding scale $30-$60 each. (No one will be turned away for lack of funds.) We have also offered to help with some manual labor while we are there.

Take a look at the Bishop’s Ranch website to learn more about the Ranch.

Reserve and secure your spot(s):

  1. By filling out the registration form
  2. By making a $30-60 donation to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund with memo designation: Bishop’s Ranch Retreat. (No one turned away for lack of money.)

Wednesday, 10/18: Fun evening for Mission Graduates

Every October, Mission Graduates hosts a Mission District-wide fundraiser, partnering with some of the best restaurants the city has to offer and the Bay Area diners who love them to dine out and raise funds for a great cause – sending more Mission youth to college.

Join Mission Graduates and Mission District restaurants in ensuring that Bay Area diners join us in changing the face of the Mission District while supporting local restaurants and businesses for our 8th annual Food for Thought.

Restaurants all over the Mission District pledge to donate 25% of the proceeds for one night – October 18, 2017.

Mission Graduates supporters dine out en masse at participating restaurants, showing their support for businesses doing good in the Mission District.

Food for Thought Ambassadors are on hand to speak about Mission Graduates and give diners a chance to support Mission youth through a raffle drawing.

Join us at any one of these participating restaurants and 25% of your meal will benefit Mission Graduates!

Baby Blues BBQ
Bissap Baobab
Doña Mago
Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack
Evil Eye
Foreign Cinema
Front Porch
Giordano Bros
Little Star Pizza
Melody Café
Mission Bowling Club
Panchitas #2
Rincon Nayarit

Monday, 11/6: St. John’s book club reads Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley

The book is reputed to be very funny.  Please join us!

Our next meeting will be on Monday, November 6, at 7:30 at Leah and Cecil’s home.

Save the date: 12/3/17, Bishop Gene Robinson visits St. John’s

On Sunday, December 3, Bishop Robinson helps us begin the Advent season. He will preach at our usual 10:15am Liturgy. His sermon topic: “Jesus Doesn’t Need Any More Admirers!”

After the Liturgy, he’ll lead us in an “Everything you’ve wanted to ask Bishop Robinson but never had the chance” forum.

Spread the word. Bring your friends.

Save the date: 2/11/18, St. John’s celebrates 160 years!

A truly festive evening with each other and our extended family to mark an amazing 160-year journey! Put it on your calendar. Spread the word!


This past weekend, St. John’s hosted REVIVAL!, a powerful evening of music, dance, food, and reflection connecting people who have experienced isolation, depression, loss, and loneliness as a result of the AIDS epidemic.

The event’s organizer Gregg Cassin writes: “To the community of Saint John the Evangelist….You have provided a safe haven over the decades of the epidemic and now are continuing that mission with our beloved long-term survivors. We cannot thank you enough!”

Blessing the beasts

A few photos of our beasts and those who, on the Feast of St. Francis, both laughed with them and blessed them. Thanks to Susan Hansen and Sarah Lawton, once again, for the great photos!

Tuesday, October 10
5:45am – 1:00pm Sacred Rest
7:00pm – 9:00pm Mission Dharma (Nave)
Wednesday, October 11
5:45am – 1:00pm Sacred Rest
1:00pm – 3:30pm Custodial Service, Entire Building
5:30pm – 9:30pm SF Bike Coalition Panel on Homelessness & Safety Issues
Thursday, October 12
5:45am – 1:00pm Sacred Rest
9-9:30am Meditation and prayer with guests of the Gubbio Project
Friday, October 13
5:45am – 1:00pm Sacred Rest
2:00pm – 3:00pm Daniel Gonzalez/Organ
2:30pm – 4:30pm Police reform meeting (Nave)
Saturday, October 14
5-11am Julian Pantry (food distribution at 10am)
10:00am – 1:00pm Custodial Service Entire Building
Sunday, October 15
10:15am Choral Eucharist
12:30-6pm Indivisible
6:30pm – 10:00pm Compline with Endersnight
Monday, October 16
5:45am – 1:00pm Sacred Rest
6:00pm – 9:00pm Danzantes Xitlali (Nave)
7:00pm – 9:30pm Lone Rangers meeting (Library)See our entire calendar here.
Readings for next Sunday (Reading them in advance can make the Liturgy more powerful for you!)The Rev’d Jackie Cherry, preaching
The Rev’d Richard Smith, Ph.D., presidingThe fourth-quarter rota is here.