A Welcoming Community

In the heart of San Francisco

Sunday, July 23, 2023 – Calvary Strong

Photo of Calvary community on the Sanctuary steps in loving response to anti-LGBT protestors

In loving response to the anti-LGBTQIA+ protest that took place at Calvary on Sunday, July 16, 2023. Photo by Lisa Schilbe.

Dear Communities Near and Far,

On Sunday, July 16, Calvary was targeted by a well-organized group of anti-equality protestors. After posing as visitors disrupting our Bible Study, they grouped together outside and began spouting random homophobic epithets with an amplified mic at our congregation gathering for worship.

Calvary would like to thank all of those who supported us vocally, prayerfully, financially, and beyond. The SF Chronicle and KQED covered what happened. We’ve received phone calls, offers of professional services, donations (from folx who have never set foot in our church!), and social media messages of allyship and friendship. We are so very grateful.

On Sunday, July 23, Calvary celebrated 169 years of ministry. At 10am, guest preacher Michael Pappas, executive director of the SF Interfaith Council, spoke about answering hate with love. After service, we gathered on our Sanctuary steps for a “Calvary Strong” photo.

Our communal solidarity was woven with supporters from secular groups, folx from 10+ different houses of worship, the SF Gay Men’s Chorus, the Young Women’s Choral Projects, the Pacific Heights Residents Association, SF City Attorney David Chiu (remotely), and Nancy Pelosi’s Chief of Staff. 

Our stance on inclusivity will never change. We are a welcoming congregation because we follow Jesus—an unmarried, brown-skinned, itinerant Jewish rabbi who challenged the Empire and hung out with outcasts. Standing on the side of love is absolutely what Jesus would have done in 2023. 

Again, thank you for your kindness and support. We love our neighbors. 

Let God’s love shine light on the world,
The Team at Calvary

Calvary is open

COVID UPDATE: We are continuing to monitor city and county health guidelines as we make plans for worship and coffee hour at Calvary. We are grateful for your flexibility and understanding as we do what we can to make gathering as safe as possible. Remember that we will always livestream worship services, so if you have any symptoms that might just possibly maybe Covid, please stay home and get tested. The best defense against Covid is to be fully vaccinated and boostered. The second best defense is to continue to wear masks when you are indoors. Thank you for your understanding and your care for your community.

We continue to encourage vaccination, but we will no longer ask for proof of vaccination at the door. We encourage and appreciate people wearing masks in the church building, but masks are no longer required.

We cannot entirely remove Covid risk, but with falling cases, increasing vaccinations and boosters, and other markers, we feel it is safe to return to a more active and interactive congregational life.

Blessings to you,
Pastors Marci, Joann, and Victor

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Aligning with Calvary’s existing work, the Matthew 25 church focal points are  Building Congregational Vitality, Dismantling Structural Racism, and Eradicating Systemic Poverty. 

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