The Night Ministry provides crisis intervention, counseling and referral services every night of the year. We haven't missed one night in 49 years.
And we do this every night, rain or shine, whether it's a holiday or not, between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. We staff a crisis telephone line and support night ministers who literally walk the streets of San Francisco offering face-to-face conversations to those who are lonely, anxious and afraid in the middle of the night, when crises are most acute and when social services don't readily exist. There are about 14 crisis lines in San Francisco, but we are the only one who will talk with anyone about anything. And we are the only one who, if someone then wants a face-to-face conversation, can make that happen. So we are unique in that way.
Night Ministry Van Project garners a $1,000 Mission Grant from the Society of the Celtic Cross at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Read more here
March 28, 1922 – March 5, 2014
The Rev. Donald Stuart, founder of the Night Ministry in San Francisco and its director from 1964 to 1976, died on March 5, 2014, after a stroke, in Claremont, CA. He was 91.
Called by the ecumenical Council of Churches to explore a new ministry to a growing number of "night people" in the city, Stuart left his position as a pastor of the United Church of Christ in Lincoln, Nebraska and moved to San Francisco to minister to a growing number of "street people:" teenage runaways, homeless families, transients, hustlers, alcoholics, prostitutes, drug addicts, and gay refugees.
He served this "congregation" in bars, coffee houses, and street corners for 12 years, offering a shoulder to cry on, an arm to lean on, and an ear to listen. Backing him up on the sidewalks, were Assistant Night Ministers and volunteers answering a telephone "Crisis Line." They sent the ministers to visit individuals in need who were suffering from loneliness, suicidal thoughts, or any kind of darkness-induced desperation. He authored a vivid memoir of his gritty life as Night Minister, I’m Listening As Fast As I Can.
Night Ministry sponsors two Open Cathedrals, weekly non-denominational outdoor worship services for anyone who wishes to attend. Singing, praying, preaching and the Eucharist are offered, followed by opportunities for private conversation, prayer, blessing or the same counseling that is offered at night. Open Cathedrals gather rain or shine.
Open Cathedral – Civic Center gathers each Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at Leavenworth and McAllister streets, near United Nations Plaza. Lunch is offered for anyone who wishes to participate. Worship attendance is not required to participate in the lunch.
Open Cathedral – Mission meets every Thursday at 5:30 pm at 16th & Mission BART.