The Birth of SF CARE
Saint Paulus has entered into a “collaborative” relationship with SF Night Ministry and Welcome, both nonprofit groups which have creatively and effectively cared for the marginalized and poor of our San Francisco community. Since October of 2010 representatives from each of the governing boards of these three organization have been meeting, identifying common values, sharing visions, and figuring out what God is up to when we come together. What has emerged in our association is an entity called SF CARE, the letters meaning Compassion, Advocacy, Resilience, Education, the new creation of collaboration – sharing values, resources, energy, and direction. The first fruits of SF CARE has been the hiring of a “volunteer coordinator”, the Rev. Valerie McEntee, to help organize, solicit, train, manage, and gather up volunteers, wherever they may come from, to assist in the effective delivery of the many ministries which these three organizations maintain. Volunteers are needed to operate the Free Farm (at St. Paulus), to cook and serve dinners at Welcome and the Friendship Banquet, to staff the “crisis lines” which operate every night from 10PM until 4AM under the supervision of Night Ministry, to sort and organize the clothing that is donated, to accompany people to appointments with medical folks or government agencies, to provide food for the Open Cathedral gatherings on Sunday. And this is only a partial list, with many more volunteer opportunities just waiting to be discovered. Valerie has already launched SF CARE into cyberspace (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SF-CARE/227748047251375 , http://sfcares.blogspot.com/, firstname.lastname@example.org) with much more advertisement and outreach planned. Tune in and get on board.
That which emerges from this collaborative is known only to God, but my best guess is that the combined energies and creative juices which have been joined in SF CARE, along with good staffing and organization, will allow for compassion, advocacy, resilience, and education to be advanced among the poor with great power and dramatic consequence. I look forward to the days ahead, watching, and participating in what God continues to do in our midst.