Transitions

Dear Church,

As we begin this final week of my service as Mission Bay’s Transitional Minister, I am mindful of how complicated and confusing transitions can seem, especially when involving a change in relationships. For that reason, I want to be as transparent as possible about what this means for you and me moving forward. It is always my greatest hope that my actions honor the well-being of the whole church community, the callings you are living into, and the visions that have not yet emerged. This is what I strived for as your pastor and will continue to hold dear as my time in that role ends.

Some of you may recall that when founding pastor Bruce Reyes-Chow received a new call, he remained out of contact with the MBCC community for a year. This is a commonly held boundary across most denominations to keep pastors and communities of faith in loving, right relationship with one another when those roles change. It is a practice that I find challenging, as it is painful to say goodbye to dear ones with whom spiritual lives have been shared.  It is also a practice I deeply believe in, as it upholds the integrity of the continued journeys of the pastor and the community. I believe it is important because it allows us to honor who and what we have been for one another, while acknowledging that something new is unfolding; new voices, relationships and ministries are emerging that need space to authentically and fully form. When MBCC does enter the search process for a settled minister, and if I feel called to apply, it is important for me to do so knowing that the vision and mission you all put forth is one formed by your own aspirations in response to God’s call, rather than the influence of myself or other former leaders.

What all this means concretely is that for the year following my final Sunday on February 26, I will not be participating in the life of the church through worship, food pantry, or other MBCC functions.  I will also not continue in conversations and relationships with MBCC community members, with the exception of other ministry colleagues (including former MBCC pastors and current seminarians). I recognize that a great deal of “church” for MBCC happens over social media. To respect those places as part of this community of faith, I will be unfollowing all pages and profiles of congregants and church groups, and unfriending individuals. After a year, if anyone wishes to get in touch with me, know that it would be a delight to hear from you.

I imagine this is a lot to take in and I completely understand if anyone feels a sense of rejection, frustration, or anger at me and with this process. It does not always feel natural to me to transition relationships this way, but I believe it is the most loving and just way for both you as a community and me as a minister to move forward. Ultimately, I trust that the Spirit is moving with us all in this time, leading us deeper into our callings and to places we could not even have imagined yet.

I love each of you and the community at MBCC dearly. My sense of vocation and spiritual life has been nurtured and enlivened during my service among you. I have truly enjoyed being your Pastor and I am going to miss you tremendously. I am so grateful for each and every way we have journeyed together. I look forward to celebrating some Transfiguration Love Letters with the community this Sunday.

With a spirit of trust & love,
Pastor Lacey Hunter

A Letter From Session Elders and Pastor Lacey

Dear MBCC Congregation,

Greetings with continual hopes and prayers that everyone who is part of Mission Bay Community Church may know God’s infinite love; and that everyone may discern God’s plans for their lives—plans which are just, merciful, and holy. Being on a journey of faith in Christ together is truly a joy. And MBCC best journeys with the studied, gifted, called, experienced help of a pastor.

Looking ahead as a church to the new year, it seems good to look back on the last year as well. The guidance and support of MBCC pastors has been an uninterrupted and amazing blessing. We are grateful—just very very grateful. That said, our church has experienced what seems like an awful lot of goodbyes in terms of pastors and we are not quite finished ….

After Pastor Dawn left, we steadied ourselves with longtime MBCC/PCUSA Parish Associate Leslie Veen; and also with MBCC Pastoral Intern and UCC Pastor Lacey Hunter.

Leslie moderated three monthly Session meetings. She brought great encouragement to the MBCC elders on the interim pastor search committee. Leslie assured that the process, which has seemed rather administrative and open-ended, would be fruitful, which it has been. She graciously gave of her time and care every Sunday. As she needed to conclude her time mid-January, and before she departed, she arranged local PCUSA pastors who are coming weekly to help serve communion.

At the same time Lacey took part-time hours and tasks of regular Sunday preaching and worship prep with Jason; pastoral prayer and care for the community; communication coordination and holding space for people to deal spiritually with transitions on a personal, church and even national level. Lacey’s pastoral leadership and care has been so very healing and timely. And she has offered it generously … until such time as the search committee could reasonably call an Interim Pastor from the PCUSA.

Leslie’s encouragement of our leadership and Lacey’s overall care for the whole community have greatly helped bring the church to a situation and time when we will soon welcome Rev. Diana Bell of the PCUSA to serve as our full-time Interim Pastor. But this does mean another goodbye. We hope in the coming weeks that you will consider how God has covered the church’s pastoral care needs so very well and that you will express your appreciation to Lacey.

For those wondering about departures of former pastors, the PCUSA maintains a standard of professional space-making with pastoral transitions. This is to allow a new, called pastor to form their own pastoral bond with a congregation.

On Sunday Feb 26 MBCC’s Session will welcome and introduce Pastor Diana. Pastor Lacey will preach the Sunday message.

Please note the date and join us!

With humble, heart-felt thanks to God,

Mission Bay Community Church Session:
Alan Siu
Christópher Abreu Rosario
Denise Kendall
Ellen Burroughs
Joel Bylsma
Julio Delgado
Morgan Meyers
Sam Lundquist

*****

A Note From Pastor Lacey:

Dear Beloved Church,

Where to even begin! One of my favorite spiritual practices is that of creating Love Letters. Somehow that framing allows me to hold with gentleness and care, all of the beauty, hopes, urgency, stillness…all of the complex emotions that go into a moment, everything that pulls and tears and inspires my heart to honor this tremendous and flawed journey we are all on. I have found epiphany love letter to be particularly precious to me in these days, as the world around us continues to break open, as the vulnerability of the Divine rises up in our midst and as hearts turn, day by day, to their greatest callings of beloved-community-creation. As I reflect on my departure from MBCC and the journey that awaits us all, I cannot help but want to offer this love letter, because truly, this church means the world to me!

Our journey together goes back to 2013 when I began serving with you as your Intern Pastor. It was Mission Bay that invited me to preside at my first baptism, baby blessing, Holy Communion and lead a community in confession. Together we created Ashes on Bart, prayed together after the mass shooting in Orlando, and encouraged and challenged one another in how we engage from a place of solidarity in social movements like Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock. To share all of this with you, to learn alongside you and feel the presence of God in this place, is a blessing that lives within me and anoints my vocation. “Thank you” is not enough for the opportunities I have received in this community, for the trust you gave me with your prayers and the openness and creativity you greeted me with in worship and in this time of transition. I am so grateful we share communion together each week as it captures the adoration and hope I feel for Mission Bay.

While it is terribly difficult to journey from MBCC, my faith delights in knowing that beautiful, radical, Spirit-filled ways are open and opening here. In these last few months, amidst ongoing transition in our church and the nation, I have seen a new fire kindle and spark in MBCC. A unique heart beats in this church. I know you will continue to beat and sing out, because the world needs your song!

My final Sunday will be February 26—Transfiguration Sunday. The story of the Transfiguration is indeed one of my favorite scriptural Love Letters, and is a good Holy Day to celebrate all that we have done together and the joy of welcoming Rev. Diana Bell as the full-time Interim. I look forward to sharing these next few weeks together and to all that awaits.

In steadfast prayer & communion,

Pastor Lacey Hunter

The Pastor Report: Jan 23, 2017

Liturgy, translated from the Greek meaning, “work of the people,” and “public service.” One of the questions that I find most compelling as a pastor is, What does our liturgy—the structured time of communal worship, reveal to us about a/our community’s values, theology, mission and vision? This time of transition, coupled with the festive seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, are as good a time as any to intentionally delve into such a question to see what inspiration, affirmations and areas of growth emerge. The worship team, (Leslie, Jason and myself), have brought forth new orders of worship in this time in the hopes of engaging the congregation as a whole in diverse ways, providing different entry points to our relationship with the Divine and how we as a Christian community move in the world. The following is a report of some of these approaches, changes and my thinking behind them. None of these are set in stone. Rather they are opportunities for us all to consider what is important to MBCC liturgy. What is the work of this community, who is our worship in service of and to?

  • Moments of extended silence have been added, often between the Prayer of Confession and Assurance, as well as following the scripture and/or sermon, to invite further opportunities of contemplation and stillness, and an embodied alternative to the fast paced lives many of us lead. When our lives, worship and communal processes are rushed or speed is favored in a community, what might be lost and alternatively, what deeper insight might be felt and heard through practices of intentionally slowing down, unplugging and settling into a rhythm of listening? What could be learned from the discomfort or awkwardness of silence and how might that change over time? Similarly, further opportunities for communal singing have been added throughout the service, including a sung refrain/chant prior to Confession and leading into the Prayers of the People. Additional prayer stations and ritual actions have also been introduced to many of our recent services as entry points to engage with our faith and relationships with God.
  • Language is one of the most instrumental tools for providing hospitality throughout a worship service. For example, our simple announcements at the beginning of worship regarding the use of the space are a good way of helping people feel at ease in a community. I also witness an extension of MBCC hospitality in the invitation to the communion table, where it is expressed clearly that this table is for everyone while also providing numerous ways for people to participate. The language used for God in worship is another key area that indicates to people who is welcome in a community and who is not. Over the past few months, Jason and I have both introduced diversified language for God, alternating from consistently masculine pronouns for God to include now feminine pronouns and images as well as gender-neutral. These changes are often unsettling and disorienting, as many if not all of us were raised understanding “God” and “man” [“he”] to be one-in-the-same. When we limit the ways we name God, we also limit who in our community understands themselves to be images of God.  If we only refer to God as “he,” women and girls, trans* and gender-queer folks can get the message that they are, in fact, not beloved images of the Divine.  They/we have a harder time seeing them/ourselves as ways that the Holy is manifest in our world. As we seek to be a church focused on issues of justice, how might these changes in language disrupt systems of patriarchy and sexism within our community? How might alternative gender expressions empower the women in our community and provide further witness and inclusion of transgender and gender-queer people?
  • Community announcements are a fabulous way to hear what the literal work of a community is. Announcements say something more about how we understand ourselves as an active community outside of Sunday worship. For this reason, we have moved announcements to the end of the service, to be part of the liturgical “sending and going forth.” This leaves people with some concrete ways they can continue to be active in their faith and the church throughout the week. In framing/leading the announcements this way, I have noticed that almost all of our church activities happen within our immediate church community. It is a beautiful thing that we want to be together in conversations and build within the church this sense of familiarity with one another. I wonder too, what it means for us to Go Forth from the church, without actually engaging with activities and communities outside of MBCC? Similarly, the inclusion of issues of justice work often arise in the sermons and prayers of the people, yet are rarely demonstrated in the larger work of the church. Food Pantry, for example, is rarely attended by anyone not on the Steering Committee. In looking to the future of MBCC, what are the ways this community envisions its call to justice? Are there ways that MBCC wants to be empowered and active in taking ownership of the justice issues preached about and prayed for?

It has been such a joy to offer pastoral care and lead worship during this time of transition and to explore with the community the complex interweaving and meanings of our liturgical calendar and lives. One of my most precious memories is of Cathy holding Tyler over the Advent wreath, as he giggled and stumbled to light the candle of Joy. I so appreciate the way MBCC expresses delight in these “imperfect,” human moments. I experience a deep joy and resiliency in this community that gives me hope for the world. What ways are we being called to share that joy and resiliency, in the face of fear and overwhelm, outside of our immediate church community, out in our neighborhood, city, region, world?

Thank you for this opportunity to reflect and be in conversation.

In communion & prayer,

Lacey Hunter

Introducing our Interim Pastor: Diana Bell

Greetings Mission Bay Community Church!

I am Diana Bell, and I am excited to join you as your Interim Pastor. I am coming to you after a fruitful call in Redwoods Presbytery where I served as the Associate Pastor for Families for six years at First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo.

I am a native Texan, a cradle Presbyterian, and a proud alumna of Union Theological Seminary (NYC). Now, I enjoy calling Northern California home. I appreciate that one can have a night out with world-class entertainment and then be on a trail the next morning with locally-sourced snacks and breathtaking views of redwoods or coastline.

Justice and witness opportunities are central to my faith in Christ. Previously I’ve been part of mission to the Gulf Coast after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and interned with homeless people organizing for their own rights. I have traveled to Palestine and Israel, and worked with ecumenical projects regarding hunger and privilege in Marin. I am passionate about sustainability, eco-justice, and am hopeful that we will create safe spaces and stand up for each other’s dignity in the midst of our fear-based political climate.

As an openly gay/lesbian/queer woman and pastor I look forward to leading in a community that reflects the diversity of God. I love engaging in thoughtful, spiritual conversation that leads to fresh understandings and perspective. (Doubts and Stouts is right up my alley as an experienced doubter and a newbie brewer.) I hope that each time we gather together, we are grounding ourselves in our spiritual practices that empower us to face heartache and celebrate joy.

My first Sunday with you will be February 26, 2017.

I look forward to getting to know you, and being part of the Mission Bay community.

~ Diana

P.S. If you wish to email me you can do so at diana@missionbaycc.org

A Vigil for Orlando

“Jesus began to weep.” (John 11:35)

Edward Sotomayor Jr., we remember you.
Stanley Almodovar III, we remember you.
Juan Ramon Guerrero, we remember you.
KJ Morris, we remember you.
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla/Alanis Laurell, we remember you.
We remember you
We remember you
We remember you…

On Tuesday, June 21, eleven church and community members gathered at table to pray, break bread together, and remember the lives that were lost in the shooting at Pulse nightclub just a week before. We gathered to hold in sacred space our vulnerable humanities in all of their complexities, and to communally lament our overwhelming anger, experiences of doubt and betrayal, fears for safety, and deep grief. Our prayers were the sharing of our individual experiences (as LGBTQ and ally folks) tied together to the names and stories of those killed in Pulse, tied together with the ancient laments of Mary and Martha who wept at Jesus’ feet saying, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:32). Our prayers became an altar built of pictures of God’s dancing beloveds and of our commitments voiced to one another.

There is no “right” way to respond to such tragedies. In the Christian faith, there is the story of the resurrection—a story that invites us to believe that death does not have the final word. In times such as these, we are called to explore resurrection as a call to continue coming together, to be the Body of Christ moving in this world, creatively and compassionately building up the Beloved Community. This is one of the ways life rises from death. Some of the resurrection commitments voiced during the gathering at Mission Bay included commitments to listen more fully to people and communities who are unsafe and to show up again and again as allies, to remember and share the names and stories of those who are killed, to live each day out loud as our whole selves, and to be attentive and responsible to the parts of the stories that get erased, be it the race, gender, sexuality or faith of people and communities involved. What are your resurrection commitments this day? In what ways will your life be part of the way life rises from death?

As the weeks continue to pass and stories of massacres and shootings surface each day—we remember also this week, the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile—I pray that we learn and share our stories, the stories of the people we meet and the stories of those who have died and are dying. I pray that in the face of overlapping systemic evils including white supremacy, homophobia, Islamophobia, and gun violence, we commit ourselves to giving voice to our resiliency and to being more present allies and co-conspirators in the Spirit-filled work of justice that is dancing in the clubs and the streets, as well as in the churches and mosques. In the face of death, may we seek resurrection—may we come together to speak our truths, hold one another through suffering, and bind our lives to one another in all of our daily actions.

SF Night Ministry

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Reverend Lyle – Night Minister

On Friday, March 4th, some of us joined SF Night Ministry to walk the streets of San Francisco and offer a presence of listening and prayer for those in need. Here are some thoughts on the experience from Becca Rhodes:

(1) What was it like?

Before we walked with two night chaplains named Lyle and Tom, we spent about an hour talking through the experience of  homelessness in San Francisco.  Lyle described many of the social services offered to these folks by organizations and churches, and described that the role of the Night Ministry is to provide spiritual presence on the streets not only to people who are unhoused, but also to people who are out on the streets and to the many bartenders and restaurant owners that they have come to know over the years.

(2) Did you feel safe?

I felt incredibly safe!  Lyle and Tom, the chaplains, are so well known by folks on the street.  They are two middle-aged, 6 foot men who have a gentle presence, but because of the goodness of their spirits and reputation, no one is going to mess with them.  Walking with Rev. Dawn, Lyle and Tom was fun because they were all wearing their “priest” collars- which got quite a lot of attention from locals who were out on the streets with their friends just talking and drinking on a regular Friday night.  In general, clergy are respected in SF so it was quite safe!

(3) What surprised you?

I was surprised to realize how many preset patterns of interaction I have with people who are experiencing homelessness.  You might call them biases.  First, there is my gender which is oftentimes a disadvantage, while other times can be a blessing.  Second, the Night Ministry does not provide handouts (i.e. money, meals, clothing, bedding, etc.), so I was surprised that when we were approached for a few dollars, my best response was, “I’m sorry I don’t have that.”  Truth is, I do have the money.  But that was not what we were on the streets to do- we were on the streets to provide a spiritual & human presence.  My bias is to apologize and turn people away, but what I learned is that I should have responded, “Hey, I can’t offer you money, but I can offer you conversation if you would enjoy that!  What’s your name?”  And start a real conversation acknowledging the person’s humanity rather than just turning them away.

(4) When did you feel Christ’s presence?

I felt Christ’s presence when a woman came up to Lyle and told him news that she would be in the hospital in July for cancer treatments.  The woman asked for prayers.

(5) What did you enjoy?
Homelessness seems like such a massive issue sometimes (and it is- Lyle said that a good estimate for people who don’t have their names on leases in the Bay Area is 30,000).   I enjoyed realizing that I might not be able to change a person’s circumstances very much, but I do feel much more comfortable having a conversation with a person who is marginalized by their housing circumstance!

(6) What else do you want to share?

Just last night, my boyfriend and I were eating Smitten ice cream in Patricia’s Green.  A man approached us and asked us if we would consider sparing a dollar on the condition that he was able to tell us a joke which made us laugh.  We said, “Absolutely!”  The man asked us if we would prefer a lawyer, politician or pirate joke.  We picked the pirate joke.  Then the man tells us a beautifully crafted, long linguistic joke about pirates (and it involved lawyers and politicians, too).  I could tell he had worked and carefully crafted this joke and practiced delivering it many times.  I laughed twice and was more than happy to give him the dollars in my wallet.  After I upheld my end of the deal, I told him, “I really appreciated your joke- I can tell you put a lot of thought into it.  I’m so happy we met you and I’m going to give you a couple extra dollars for using the word ‘guttural'” (I’m a language nerd).  He then told us about his linguistic passions and about a New Yorker article which inspired his joke.  Before he left, I asked him his name and thanked him by name.  He also was so grateful that he gave us a couple things he had found (treasures he was carrying in his coat pocket).  I don’t think I would have been able to have such a real conversation with this man had I not gone on the Night Ministry walk with Dawn.  Walking with Lyle, Tom and Dawn really helped me realize my patterns and biases and let go of some of the stereotypes I have for interactions with people who are asking for money.

New Elder Spotlight: Julio Delgado

How did you know you were called?

Julio Delgado MBCC Mission Bay Community Church

I do not think I can pinpoint to one moment in which I felt called, but rather there were multiple factors that contributed to my calling. First off, the community welcomed me with such warmth that I had no problem connecting with various people, especially during dinner time. Second, the quirkiness of the church environment put me at ease. From the way people are casually dressed to the Hawaiian bread used for communion, MBCC has its unique flavor. Third, the way the church is set up helps invite change. The way we are allowed to have a dialogue with the pastor during sermon keeps me engaged, the various community events spearheaded by its community members inspires me, and the church’s mission for social justice empowers me. This leads me to the strongest source of my calling- Doubts and Stouts. The fact that we get to hang out in a bar to talk about religion is already fascinating enough, but the way people are challenged to grow stronger in their faith through tough questions moved me to be an elder. It was a great example of how our community has the foundation to grow and I wanted to help its growth in any way possible. Being an elder seemed like the right fit.

What are you most excited about in joining leadership?

Where to begin?! To start, I am looking forward to the collaboration and enthusiasm for new ideas and change. The leadership team is full of some of the most caring and genuine people I know. Their passion to help MBCC prosper will undoubtedly inspire me to come up with ideas that will foster community in our church. I am honored to have a platform where I can make an impact on the MBCC community. I look forward to talking to everyone at MBCC and listen to their stories and ideas in order to furthers MBCC’s faith mission. I am excited to see the administrative side of the church and see how all the gears work together to make MBCC such a wonderful church. I already have a great respect to those in leadership like Marc and Dawn who do a lot of the little things behind the scenes that may not get its full recognition. Finally, I am just excited to be part of an amazing team that challenges me to maximize my gifts and see the best in me.

What did the ordination experience feel like for you?

So overwhelming! I could not stop smiling! I was filled with so much joy. It was truly one of the most special moments in my life. To have a community support me and encourage me to take on this role is truly humbling. That kind of strong support gave me goosebumps. It is a bit crazy to be given such a big responsibility in less than 2 years of first setting foot in the church. Though, what put me at peace was how the community members stood up and laid a hand on my shoulder to rejoice with me in that moment. It was a fitting scene- my community right there behind me in my next big step in my faith journey.

Women’s Retreat

Westmnster woods

 This past weekend the women of our church retreated away to Westminster Woods.

We gathered with other Presbyterian women from all over the bay area and explored the theme of hospitality. We studied the story of scripture and saw that God has given us the ultimate hospitality by creating the “home” of the world in which we live. Throughout history as God’s people we have experienced both being at home and being without a home. In both,  God’s instructions have been for us to integrate (Jeremiah 29). To make a home, a garden, a family wherever we are and to show Christ’s love in hospitality to others. We explored what is joyful and challenging about being a host and being a guest.

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We also enjoyed rest and restoration. We slept over 8 hours each night and took naps as needed. On Saturday afternoon, we did some free fall zip lining, bollywood dancing, yoga and a short trip to the town of Occidental.

jeanette zip

The food was delicious and the accommodations were warm and cozy. Best of all, we enjoyed each other’s company and worship with others in the woods. Women of the church, we hope you’ll join us next year. And EVERYONE, mark your calendars to retreat with us as a church in May (13-15, 2016) to Big Basin.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day

In light of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday today, we continue conversations on the reality of racial injustice and our dream for equality for all of God’s people.

During Doubts and Stouts the last two months, we have been discussing Nathan Rutstein’s book Healing Racism in America: A Prescription for the Disease. Rutstein claims that racial injustice is a disease that all of us suffer from and that healing starts with each of us acknowledging our part in the problem.

Hear from a few of our members:

“[The] conversation surrounding the topic of racial injustice and faith was invigorating. The topics were difficult to deconstruct and had many conceptual layers. However, it was a challenge that was worth fully embracing. The most powerful part of the conversation was how socially aware we were in how our faith is intertwined with racism that occurs all around us. Not one person assumed to know the answer, not one person claimed to not be part of systemic racial injustice in our nation, but everyone was willing to accept that their notions of racism could be altered at any moment.”  – Julio

“The looming question for us was how can we as Christians be a part of the healing? Conversations are important and good for us to draw near to our neighbor, gain understanding and insight into our own behaviors and actions, but conversations will not solve the problem in and of themselves. There needs to be change in behavior. Change in action. Change in systems as well as in our hearts.” – Dawn

“We know from scripture: ‘There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.'” (Galatians 3:28) The gospel is beyond the barriers of racism.

“The multiple perspectives in our conversation led to people reflecting in their own actions and beliefs about racism more deeply. This seemed to lead people to embrace the discomfort that comes with such heavy ideas and using that discomfort to grow closer to God. Specifically, the discomfort helped us try to find genuine solutions that can provide God’s work in our local communities. We could not simply accept that because we are part of a church that we were doing enough to counter racial injustice. In fact, we were aware that some aspects of Christianity have played a part in perpetuating racial injustice. Therefore, this humility and unassuming demeanor of our group really paved the way for constructive conversations about our own community. We left the conversation with more questions than answers, but that only helps us seek more justice with the presence of God and scripture in mind.” – Julio

 

Justice is an important part of the gospel. Join us in our conversation and in our prayers this day for racial justice in America and in the world.

Our New APP!

 

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Blog Post from Pastor Dawn Hyde

 

Theologian Karl Barth said to read the newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other. Well, these days we do both in one hand, on one device. A smart phone, a tablet, a laptop. One device to connect to the world, to each other, and to the divine.

At our church in San Francisco, our first encounter with Christ is online. Without fail, each visitor who walks into our church found us on Yelp or through Google. One search for “evening worship” or “progressive theology” in San Francisco and there we are: Mission Bay Community Church. Depending on your curiosity level, you might spend a few minutes looking over our Yelp reviews or wandering through our website. Within minutes, you’ve seen our faces, our worship, our camping retreat, our temporary tattoos. You’ve seen us. You’ve experienced us. You see Christ through us.

Mission Bay Community Church Website MBCC

When I left Columbia Theological Seminary to take this call in San Francisco, I knew I was signing up for more education. Faith in San Francisco takes unique shape and so I knew I had much to learn from my congregation. In the last few years, they have taught me the ways of Silicon Valley and stretched me to “catch up with the [tech] times.” In fact, I returned from my sabbatical in September to a few elders who had taken my permission to lead the church seriously and had designed a new church logo, website and app. I smiled, thanked God and thought to myself, “There really is an app for everything.”

Mission Bay Community Church App MBCC

These elders knew of eChurch, a software company that offers apps and a modern donation collection service to churches. You provide the content and they design the app. Our app “Mission Bay Community Church” is available through Google Play and at the Apple Store. It’s free and available to anyone for use. It has a Bible, calendar, church stories, sermon podcasts and social media posts. It gives you a way to financially support the ministry of our church. My favorite feature is a prayer wall. Throughout the week, you can post a prayer and know that this church community is holding you in prayer.

The church app is a hub for our community. It serves the real need for us to connect with scripture, with each other and with the divine 24/7. It also allows anyone, anywhere, who has access to a device and ability to open an app, to jump into our community and commune with Christ. Download it today and start your walk with Christ online with us!

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