A Message from San Francisco Night Ministry
by Kathye Hamm
Could Jesus be described as the first Night Minister? We imagine him so. The phrase “It was night” appears at the recalling of the last supper where Jesus had just celebrated the Passover with his disciples, instituted the Eucharist as a means of continuing to feed and sustain them, and shown them how to love each other in the example of washing their feet. All the disciples were washed, fed and blessed – the disciple whom Jesus loved, the one who would deny him, the one who would soon betray him – all were included in that love. As Judas leaves the upper room, the narrator of the story uses these short, powerful words: It was night.
Nicodemus come to Jesus “by night, for fear of the Jews” and the conversation soon turns to the meaning of eternal life and being born again.
In my fourteen years as a Night Minister I have had more profound and meaningful conversations with people on street corners, in bars, and in coffee shops at night, than in any of the more respectable places one might be found.
Night Ministers hear confessions, secrets, and stories of abuse, guilt, shame and loss. We help folks mediate the complicated strands of faith and life; the fears of God’s wrath and punishment; and the hopelessness that God doesn’t love them anymore. We connect to them to their earliest memories of faith; and pray with them in confidence in Jesus name.
Just as Jesus did, we are there to listen, to forgive, to love, to bless, and to share a word of hope in the middle of the night.
We could not continue without your support. Thank you for your prayers, socks and other hand-outs, and your Second Mile Giving offerings. With your help Night Ministers and volunteer Crisis Line Counselors engaged in over 30,000 significant conversations last year, and we will continue serving as the “churches’ night shift”.
San Francisco Night Ministry, now in its 54th year, is a multi-faith organization providing crisis intervention, counseling, referral services and spiritual care every night of the year between the hours of 10:00 PM and 4:00 AM. We staff a Crisis Telephone Line with trained volunteers, and support Night Ministers who literally walk the streets of San Francisco, offering face-to-face conversations to those who are lonely, anxious, and afraid in the middle of the night, when crises are most acute and social services not readily available.
In addition Night Ministry sponsors three feeding programs, a wellness program, a volunteer street chaplain program, several community-building and educational programs, including Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), internships, and other programs that extend our outreach to many more people in need.
Pr Lyle J Beckman
For more information about what we do and the programs and services we offer, please contact us at:
September 18, 2018
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