Thank you for your interest in Open Cathedral and the San Francisco Night Ministry. The people we serve are grateful for even the smallest token of hospitality, and always respond well to a smile and kind word. We hope that you are able to join us and share with the folks a simple meal and some words of encouragement and love.
Open Cathedral began as an extension of the work of the San Francisco Night Ministry on Easter Sunday (March 23), 2008. Since then we have gathered weekly regardless of weather and other activities happening in the area.
Time and Location
We gather each Sunday at Leavenworth @ McAllister Streets near United Nations Plaza. Worship is scheduled to begin at 2:00 PM. Set up begins at 1:50 PM. The altar is set on the driveway that leads to the back entrance of the Federal Building there. Folks make themselves comfortable on the lawn or areas nearby. Food is kept in cars until after the final blessing. When everyone has lined up appropriately, and the altar has been cleared of worship items, lunch is placed on the table that has served as the altar and served.
Parking and Unloading
Most often parking is easy to find within a few blocks of our location. One or two cars that hold the lunch can be driven right up into the driveway (north side). Double parking with flashers on for a quick unloading seems satisfactory, but do not double park for any longer. For those taking Public Transportation, use the Civic Center stops. Walk toward the fountain at U.N. Plaza and turn north toward Leavenworth.
We gather for worship regardless of weather conditions. Our location is often windy, and please remember that San Francisco can be cold in the summer and rainy in the winter.
Please keep your things with you at all times, or leave them out of sight in your locked cars. Always leave one person from your group with the items you are dropping off. Also, please be alert and aware of those around you.
We offer the Eucharist at our worship service. All are welcome and encouraged to participate in the liturgy (order of service) wherever you may be in your spiritual journey. Communion is offered to those who wish to partake, but is not mandatory.
After the final blessing and dismissal the altar is cleared and people begin lining up for lunch. Only after the Night Ministry leader has given the “all clear” will food and drinks be placed on the altar and served. The Night Minister will have assigned 4 to 6 “ushers” from among the group to help serve and to be available to address disturbances in the line. Most people are mindful and considerate of the amounts they are taking, while others are not. It’s OK to remind people there is a line and to wait their turn. It’s OK to give friendly and polite instruction and advice regarding amounts.
If you are coming with a youth group, confirmation class, or some other group that can offer something special in our service, (music, skits, etc.) we would welcome it. We would welcome participation from musicians, lectors, and choirs as well. Let us know and we will be happy to incorporate these special gifts into our worship.
We are currently feeding between 50 and 75 people depending on the weather, so base your planning on that. Any food leftover can be distributed later that night by Night Ministry staff, if you wish. Sundays early in the month have fewer people, Sundays in the middle and end have more.
We welcome one kind from a variety of sandwiches: cold cuts, cheese, tuna, egg salad, and/or peanut butter and jelly. (Too many options makes for more complicated serving) It is helpful if they can be made in advance and put in individual baggies. Some groups simply buy the large trays of roll-ups from Costco or Safeway and serve individual pieces on a plate.
Potato chips (individual bags), boiled eggs, soft fruit, cookies, etc. are great additions but not expected. Be mindful that many people do not have teeth so please bring healthy, but easily chewed items.
Fruit juices and soda are always popular, although bottles of water are also appreciated. Individual cans of soda or bottles of juice are the easiest, although large bottles of juice are more economical. If using large juice bottles, please be sure you bring paper cups. Drink Mixes are fine if you have the large cooler/jug from which to serve, and the cups.
Many of the folks simply take the food and go, so the more portable the better.
In addition to food, it would be very helpful if you also brought a roll of paper towels or enough paper napkins; a few trash bags for clean-up; and other paper items such as plates or cups if needed.
You may also want to bring some “Wet Ones” or hand sanitizers for your group.
It is helpful if each group designated one person to be our contact. That person will arrange a date with us and plan and organize the group. The group is encouraged to participate fully - set up, visit with people who gather, participate in worship, serve the food and help to clean up. Please plan to arrive at 1:45 PM and prepare to leave about 3:45 PM.
The best way to reach us is by e-mail:
. You may also call our office at 415-441-0123.