Special Building Announcement (Press Release)

Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco sells church for $2.3 million to private developers

SAN FRANCISCO – Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco, the spiritual heart of the Bay Area LGBT community for 45 years, sold its church building at 150 Eureka St. for $2,325,000 to buyers known as 150 Eureka St., LLC, a team of developers that specializes in small residential projects, said sales agent Katharine Holland of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

The sale closed escrow on Wednesday, Feb. 4. It was one of five offers received on the building, which went on the market in early January. The church’s four-unit apartment building next door at 138-140 Eureka St., has also sold and will close escrow on Feb. 11. The owner is not a developer and has promised to leave all tenants in place. The sales price of that building will be released upon closing.

The MCCSF congregation is moving to 1300 Polk St., where it will rent space from First Congregational Church of San Francisco. The first MCCSF services at Polk Street will be Sunday, Feb. 8, at noon (traditional service), and 6 p.m. (high-energy gospel service). Final services at 150 Eureka were held this past week.

The congregation, now numbering 92 active members, voted unanimously in December to sell the church because the 114-year-old building is worn out beyond repair. Executive Pastor Irene Laudeman led the committee that did an exhaustive search of churches to rent in the city; the offer from First Congregational Church of San Francisco came in November.

“We are excited about our new neighborhood and the relationship with First Congregational Church,” said Rev. Robert Shively, MCCSF’s senior pastor. “In many ways we are returning to our roots with this move,” he said, noting that Polk Street was the original gay neighborhood long before the Castro.

150 Eureka Street
150 Eureka Street
1300 Polk Street @ Bush
1300 Polk Street @ Bush

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to Congregational Transition Plan

Update on Sidewalk Bricks

unnamed (1)As we prepare to leave 150 Eureka Street, many of you have asked what will become of the “Miracle on Eureka Street” yellow-brick sidewalk in front of the building.

We knew when we installed the sidewalk that it could not be physically removed, and had planned that we would eventually reprint the bricks and reinstall them at a future home. That plan remains in place, but until we have a permanent building of our own, we want to share with you how the sidewalk is being honored in the meantime:

  • An image of the yellow-brick sidewalk will be made into a banner for Easter services.
  • All donors to the “Miracle on Eureka Street” sidewalk project will receive a letter and a photo of their brick.
  • We will reprint miniatures of all the bricks, and create a replica of the entire sidewalk design to display in our new location.
  • And finally, we will be creating a website to display all the photographs of the sidewalk bricks.

LINKS:

 

Move Announcement

1300 Polk Street @ Bush
1300 Polk Street @ Bush

We are moving!

Beginning February 8,
we will be sharing worship space with
the First Congregational Church of San Francisco:

MCCSF
1300 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA 94109-4614

Please note the following important dates and times as we transition to our new home at 1300 Polk Street (at Bush Street):

Sunday, February 1:
Last Sunday services at 150 Eureka: 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Wednesday, February 4:
Last Taize service at 150 Eureka: 7 p.m.

Sunday, February 8:
First Sunday at 1300 Polk Street: 12:00 p.m. and 6 p.m.
(Please note the changed start time for Sunday services)

Wednesday, February 11:
First Taize at 1300 Polk Street, 7 p.m.

More information on this transition is available on our website, mccsf.org.

Driving directions from our current home at 150 Eureka Street:
* Start out going north on Eureka Street toward 18th Street
* Take the 2nd right onto Market Street, travel 1.2 miles
* Turn left onto Franklin Street for a couple blocks, then turn right onto Fell Street
* Take the first left onto Van Ness Ave/US 101 N, travel nearly a mile
* Turn right onto Bush Street, travel one block
* Take the first left onto Polk Street
* 1300 Polk Street is on the right

Rev. Robert Shively
Senior Pastor – MCCSF

Pilgrimage Service

Sunday, February 1, 1 p.m. “Pilgrimage” – a service open to both morning and evening attendees, when we will “spiritual move” to our new location by carrying symbolic objects representing our legacy, passion, and values. Gathering at 1 p.m. at 150 Eureka, we will bless symbols, and by walking, driving, or public transportation (or all three) gathering again at 2:15 p.m. at 1300 Polk Street, to install these sacred objects in our new home.

LINKS:

 

 

 

Transition Plan Update

Here is a list of upcoming activities on the transition plan:

Upcoming Events

Date Event
Sunday, Jan. 18, 12:30 p.m A “brown bag” discussion will take place regarding logistics, i.e. how we will dispose of items we are not taking with us to Polk Street. Other details of the actual physical move will be discussed here.
Sunday, Jan. 25 A final “fireside chat” at 12:30 p.m.; an opportunity to share feelings about the transition.
Sunday, Jan. 25, 2–5 p.m. A “Celebration of Life” at 150 Eureka, at which people can share stories and say goodbye to the building. We will tell stories, listen to speakers, play music and enjoy light refreshments.
Sunday, Feb 1 Last Sunday at 150 Eureka;
11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Worship “The Buildings and More”
1 p.m. Pilgrimage service starting at 150 Eureka, and continuing at 2:15 p.m. at 1300 Polk Street.
Wednesday, Feb. 4 Last Taize at 150 Eureka; 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb 5 Moving day
Sunday, Feb. 8 First Sunday on Polk Street, 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. services. (Please note new start times.)
Wednesday, Feb. 11 First Taize on Polk Street, 7 p.m.

Transition Planning for MCCSF

Transition Planning for MCCSF

You will recall, at the congregational meeting on December 7th, the congregation approved four things:

  1. The revised bylaws,
  2. The 2015 budget,
  3. Selling both buildings (138 and 150 Eureka), and
  4. Engaging with FCC to develop a lease agreement to share space on Polk Street.

There is a committee that is coordinating the transition planning: Robert Shively, Irene Laudeman, Dennis Creagh, Jan Corlett and Wendy Tobias. Each person has specific responsibilities and will form subcommittees as needed. There is a lot to be done, and here is a brief summary of what is going on now, and what you can expect after the first of the new year:

Worship Planning – Robert Shively and Wendy Tobias

We are looking at a variety of services and events to engage this diverse community.

  • Church Chats after morning worship, and before evening worship.
  • Robert will post new office hours for January.
  • Watch for an event / worship service calendar to be shared in January.

Real Estate – Irene Laudeman

  • We have a realtor, Katherine Holland of Caldwell Banker, that we have been working with to identify options for space. Many congregants know her.
  • Katherine is preparing all the necessary documents to put the buildings on the market, which we expect to happen in January.
  • Selling both properties together could bring a higher price than selling them individually, but weʼll have to wait and see what offers are received.
  • The tenants of 138 Eureka have been told that the property is going to be sold.

Rental Agreement – Irene Laudeman

  • Irene is working closely with the pastor and board of FCC to negotiate a five year lease agreement.
  • The agreement will detail the space that will be available to MCC for offices, and for storage in the basement.
  • The agreement will also include decisions on sharing the use of the sanctuary, the first floor meeting room/fellowship hall, the sound equipment, organ, piano, etc.

Resource Management – Irene Laudeman and Jan Corlett

  • We are engaging a law firm who specialize in working with nonprofits who will help us to prepare a recommendation for how we will safeguard and invest the funds from the sale of the property.
  • The revised bylaws include specific provisions to shift the power over the funds from the Board to the congregation. This means that the Board will present a recommendation about what to do with the money to the congregation for a vote.
  • The Board recommendation will include a strategy for paying rent and supporting programs that will grow the church.

Communications – Jan Corlett and Maureen Bogues

  • Weekly updates will be provided in eConnections starting in January.
  • A webpage will be set up for the transition, with FAQʼs, announcements, a calendar of events, AND a comment box for you to ask questions and make suggestions. That link is mccsf.org/building
  • Congregational “brown bags” will be scheduled to discuss the disposition of assets at 150 Eureka that wonʼt be needed on Polk Street such as the sanctuary chairs, some sound and lighting equipment, the organ, piano, etc.

Physical Move Logistics – Dennis Creagh

  • As you can imagine, there are thousands of details to take care of to ensure a smooth transition.
  • The first priority will be to figure out what furniture, files and equipment needs to be moved to Polk Street.
  • After the move is completed, the next priority will be to clear out 150 Eureka, and dispose of furniture and equipment we donʼt need either sell it, donate it to another organization, or dispose of in some other way.
  • You can help – we will need volunteers when it is time to pack up for the move; unpack in the new space; and do the final clean out at 150 Eureka.

Administrative Logistics – Jan Corlett and Dennis Creagh

  • Your trusty Board Secretary and Treasurer will work closely with Steve, Irene and Robert to ensure that administrative logistics are taken care of in a timely manner.
  • Addresses will need to be changed on bank accounts, insurance policies, etc.
  • Insurance policies will need to be added for Polk Street and the ones for Eureka cancelled after the properties are sold.
  • Community folks who use our space like Castro on Patrol, LGCSF and the Castro Country Club need to be told about our plans to move so they have time to find alternate space for their activities.

MCCSF Selling Properties (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 11, 2014

Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco selling properties, moving to share UCC church on Polk Street

SAN FRANCISCO – Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco, a congregation serving the Bay Area LGBT community for 44 years, is selling its two properties on Eureka Street, and is moving its congregation to 1300 Polk Street to rent space from the First Congregational Church of San Francisco.

The MCCSF congregation’s last Sunday services at 150 Eureka St. will be Feb. 1 (at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.) and its last Wednesday Taize service is Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. The congregation voted unanimously to approve the building sale and property rental at its annual meeting in December.

The properties being sold include the pink church at 150 Eureka Street, and a four-unit residential building next door at 138-140 Eureka Street.

Discussion to sell the church building began early in 2014 when a routine engineer’s report confirmed what the congregation had long known: The 114-year-old building is simply worn out. The board, staff and congregation explored all options—including rebuilding onsite, buying another building or renting other properties—and determined that a church partnership was the most desirable and affordable option. The offer from FCCSF came in early November, after an exhaustive search by a committee led by Irene Laudeman, executive pastor.

“It will be difficult to leave 150 Eureka, but we are so excited to pursue this partnership with First Congregational,” said Rev. Robert Shively, MCCSF’s senior pastor who has been on staff since October 2013.

MCCSF, which now has 92 members, has been serving the spiritual needs of the LGBT community of San Francisco and the Bay Area since 1970, meeting first as a nomadic church, and then, in 1980, settling in at 150 Eureka after purchasing an independent Pentecostal church for $250,000.

150 Eureka Street
150 Eureka Street
1300 Polk Street @ Bush
1300 Polk Street @ Bush

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to Congregational Transition Plan

New Home

704940_10151689070191788_1400716551_oI am so excited to share some good news with you regarding our search for a new home.

After a three-month intensive search, the Real Estate committee has found a opportunity with First Congregational Church of San Francisco-United Church of Christ, 1300 Polk St. (at Bush), whose congregation is looking to share their beautiful building with another congregation.

On Nov. 30 at 11 a.m., we are invited to a welcoming worship service and open house hosted by Rev. David Cowell, Designated Minister, and his congregation at FCCSF.

During this visit, you will have an opportunity to experience this spiritual space in worship, to ask questions, tour the facility, and be welcomed with the warm embrace of Rev. David and his congregation. (MCCSF’s service will be cancelled on Nov. 30 so that we may attend the event at FCCSF.)

How did this come about, you ask?

A full FAQ can be found here, but the short version is, we were blessed with a miracle. Our team had called nearly 50 churches, synagogues, public and community spaces, and yes, even a couple of bars throughout San Francisco. We were either declined or got no response; many churches already were renting to other churches or otherwise unavailable. We looked into commercial rental properties as well, but pricing is through the roof in San Francisco, especially in any neighborhood where we would hope to settle. It was looking grim.

And then came a miracle. The word about our search had apparently gotten out, and a few weeks ago, we got a call from Rev. David at FCCSF. His congregation has been looking to welcome another theologically liberal congregation to use their lovely facility. After some preliminary discussions, we both thought this might be a good fit for both congregations and wanted to take the next steps. Let us be clear: This is not a merger; each congregation would retain its own identity and denominational affiliation.

We would love for you to join us as we explore this exciting opportunity. Please plan to join us on Nov. 30 11 a.m. for worship and an open house. We really want you to meet this friendly congregation, and to experience this beautiful building before we make any decisions about our future. Your feedback will be part of this process. Please email the board at mccsfboard@gmail.com, or contact board members with any questions. A suggestion box will also be set up in church. This potential relocation option will be brought up for a vote at the congregational forum in December.

I ask that you prayerfully discern this opportunity.
Peace,
Maureen Bogues, Lay Co-Leader, MCCSF Board of Directors

New Home FAQ – 1300 Polk Street

How will this affect our worship times?
MCCSF Sunday worship times will change to noon and 6 p.m.

What is the background of First Congregational Church of San Francisco?

The church, which now has a devoted congregation of about 60 members, has a rich history in San Francisco, where it was founded during the Gold Rush. FCCSF has had four previous buildings in its 165-year history; the current building was built for them six years ago.

What does a “two churches in the same space” arrangement look like?
MCCSF will have access to worship space, offices and storage. The congregations will maintain their own separate identities, and may collaborate on an occasional event or service. More details will be settled if we choose to move forward.

Were there other opportunities with other churches?

Yes, St. John’s (also a UCC church), and Bethany Methodist. St. John’s has a small, traditional sanctuary and no office space. We have not yet explored Bethany; their phone call came after the call from FCCSF.

What were some of the parameters of our search for space?
MCCSF needs about 3,500 square feet of office and worship space. Our next location needs to be close to public transportation and affordable (for us, somewhere between $5,000 to $6,000 per month).

What kind of spaces did you look at?
Churches and synagogues; public and community space; commercial rentals. Over a period of two months, Irene and the team contacted 36 churches and synagogues and were either declined or received no response. The committee reported to the MCCSF board that relocating to another church building was starting to seem unlikely, as many churches had already combined and were renting to other churches.

The team also contacted nine public or community spaces, including public schools, parks and recreation, Kanbar Center, the Lesbian-Gay Center of San Francisco; the Women’s Building. No long term guaranteed space was available. Prices ranged from $4,000 to $7,000 for worship and office space, and the worship space was only accessible on Sundays so we would have needed to do complete setup each Sunday. This option was possible but really not optimal to be in a space where would have to set up a worship space every week and/or have our offices in a different place from our worship space.

An online commercial real estate review showed that the only affordable places-ranging from $3,000 to $17,000 per month-were in Bayview or Dogpatch. Space in the Castro ranged between $21,000 to $28,000 per month minimum.

More details on commercial rentals:

  • Need to have a public assembly permit for any rental, which a vast majority of commercial property won’t have.
  • It takes six months to get a permit and it triggers requirements for seismic upgrades, sprinklers, bathrooms and off-street parking spaces (1 for every 10 congregants).
  • Property owners would expect us to pay for upgrades and to pay rent while we upgrading so we could move in.
  • It would require 6 months plus upgrade time with staff totally devoted to building renovation, and MCCSF paying $150,000-plus for likely upgrades on property we were only renting. This did not seem like a prudent use of our resources.

Did you look outside of San Francisco?
No, but we were starting to think about South San Francisco and Daly City. We also started calling any business that rented event space, including a couple of bars.