Celebrating 50 Years of Service to San Francisco
San Francisco Night Ministry, now at 50 years, is often referred to as the Church's "Night Shift." We are engaged in over 21,000 significant conversations, and serve over 9,500 meals each year, becoming an important bridge and steady support for many people as they face the darkness of the night, but not alone. We provide compassionate, non-judgmental pastoral care, care of the soul, counseling, referrals, and crisis intervention to anyone in any kind of distress, every night of the year between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Carl Nolte featured the Night Ministry and the Rev. Lyle Beckman in his Native Son column on November 16, 2014 under the headline: Ministers who walk the Night Beat Have God on Their Side. Here is a link to the online version with a slide show posted on SFGate.com - Ministers walk San Francisco night beat, offering help
The Episcopal Diocese of California wrote about the 50th Anniversary Service of Thanksgiving at Grace Cathedral. The story led their weekly e-blast and their magazine, the Pacific Church News. Celebrating 50 Years of San Francisco Night Ministry
50th Anniversary Books
In celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2014, the San Francisco Night Ministry has published two books. One is a special edition of the memoir written by Don Stuart, the first Night Minister. The other is a book for children written by Diana Wheeler, a current Assistant Night Minister and illustrated by artist Joey McGuire.
I’m Listening as Fast as I Can
The Night Ministry in San Francisco
By Donald E. Stuart
The 50th Anniversary edition of I’m Listening As Fast As I Can honors the early work of the San Francisco Night Ministry in the words of its founder, the Rev. Donald E. Stuart. It is a vivid memoir of his gritty life on the streets, augmented by profiles of each of the four Night Ministers who have served since 1964. It also describes the current scope of Night Ministry programs and presents historical highlights of the organization.
About the Author
The Rev. Donald Stuart, founder of the Night Ministry in San Francisco and its director from 1964 to 1976, died on March 5, 2014, at 91. Called by the ecumenical Council of Churches to explore a new ministry to a growing number of "night people" in San Francisco, Stuart left his position as a pastor of the United Church of Christ in Lincoln, Nebraska and moved to San Francisco to minister to teenage runaways, homeless families, transients, hustlers, alcoholics, prostitutes, drug addicts, and gay refugees.
In the Middle of the Night
A Story About the San Francisco Night Ministry
Written by Diana Wheeler and Illustrated by Joey McGuire
In the Middle of the Night is a story for children. Written by the Rev. Diana Wheeler, this book tells the story of people who are awake at night. It also relates how caring ministers, who are also awake, talk or visit with them if they are lonely, sad or afraid. It reminds us that all people are important and loveable regardless of when they are awake, or where they live, or what they do. A section with topics for family conversation inspires a deeper understanding of why we need to be available for people at all times, especially in the middle of the night.
About the Author
The Rev. Diana Wheeler, a native San Franciscan and an ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church, has worked with San Francisco Night Ministry since 2008. She has been teaching young children for 25 years.
About the Illustrator
Joey McGuire is a performer, visual artist, and professional makeup artist. He lives in San Francisco, but works all over the United States.