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Palm Sunday: April 2 at 10am

Reverend Joann

Statement from Session regarding Sanctuary Congregation, March 2018

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27


Dear Calvary Members and Friends,

The Session met Tuesday night, March 6, to discuss and vote on a motion regarding whether Calvary should become a Sanctuary church. The decision was not an easy one nor was it unanimous. We thoroughly debated the topic at length where all sides were heard and represented by members of Session. It is important to understand that while not every Elder was in support of the motion, everyone was in support of the precepts and activities involved. In the end, God led Session to pass the following motion:

The Faith in Action Team moves that Calvary declares itself a Sanctuary Congregation and as such, will provide accompaniment, advocacy, and rapid response for immigrants. We also proudly announce this to others in San Francisco and beyond as our understanding of how we are called to be a faithful witness and stand with others from communities who have declared sanctuary.

What does declaring Sanctuary mean?

  • We will not provide housing at Calvary.
  • There will be no additional fiscal impact – any financial support will come from money that is already budgeted for international missions activities by the Faith in Action Team.
  • The ministry is volunteer driven, and no one at Calvary is forced to participate.
  • We will join a Sanctuary network to help provide assistance to undocumented immigrants.
  • We will provide mostly emotional and spiritual support to those who have been stripped of human dignity and respect.

We acknowledge that the term “sanctuary” has incurred a negative connotation associated with being anti-law and order. Session defines “sanctuary” as standing by those who have been stripped of human dignity and respect. We’re making this formal declaration to support those who are being subjected to unjust processes.

We will host a table after the congregational meeting this Sunday to address any concerns or questions you may have. We also plan to host a forum in April to discuss our discernment process. We look forward to this opportunity to serve humankind, and invite your support as we follow God’s call for Calvary.

For any immediate feedback to Session, please email

On behalf of Session and together in Christ,

Scott Nagelson                                                                Stephanie Gee
Chair, Faith in Action Team                                         Elder, International Mission


For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.  Matthew 25:35


More to Explore

Talking with Kids About the Order of Worship in the Bulletin.

If I visited Calvary for the first time and had not been to a Presbyterian church before, I would want someone to help me understand what I was doing throughout the order of worship. This blog provides an example of how some churches annotate their bulletins so children, youth, and adults can learn more about why we choose to read, sing, pray, and listen at certain times during the worship service. Harvey Browne Memorial Presbyterian Church ( in Louisville, Kentucky offers a model of how to explain the order of worship. Being transparent about how we worship together is in line with our reformed tradition. We can read and interpret the Bible ourselves, as well as worship and say prayers with our own bodies. Many years ago, a priest would do all of this while the congregation sat or stood. It is important for parents to share with their children that all people have the freedom to contribute to a worship service. By singing, listening, praying, and sharing, we get to know each other and witness each other’s talents and inspiring work. Fellowship and education events are only part of the ways that we form our faith together. Participating in worship is what binds us together each Sunday, so that we can support each other at or outside of church during the week.

Support Trans Kids

Calvary Presbyterian Church continues to support transgender youth and adults. March 2023 is Transgender Awareness Month. We show our continuing support through messages such as, “Trans Lives Matter,” “Believe Trans Kids,” “Support Trans Kids,” and “Protect Trans Kids.” This blog will offer some insight into Presbyterian and San Francisco organizations that actively support and advocate for LGBTQI+ people. I hope that you will take time to read through these resources. There is hope. So many inspired people of all ages are working together for freedom, safety, and love. Now that I am raising two teens I have come to more clearly understand the context and reality that LGBTQI+ youth live in every day. It is crucial to support the growth and development of transgender children and youth who sense that their “gender identity does not correspond with, or sit comfortably with, the sex they were registered at birth.” That is the definition of transgender offered by Twinkl, an education website for children ages preschool to 8th grade. See more definitions at the end of this blog. Transgender children, youth, young adults, adults, and senior adults do not want to be "othered" as they are children of God. We want to believe, support, and protect them, so that they can live safely and freely without fear and shame. When adults do not see or support children or youth as they are, the risks of gender dysphoria and youth suicide increase. God created all of us in Their image. May we have the courage to send out Jesus’ message of love and acceptance to ourselves and all people.

2022 Annual Report