I am thrilled by the depth of history-making moments in MCCSF heritage. As we celebrate our 44th birthday, I offer a glimpse into some of our many groundbreaking efforts. We were the first, or one of the first, UFMCC congregations, ever to:
• use inclusive language in worship services–including our hymns–in the 1970s.
• have a “prison ministry” in the 1970s at Atascadero State Hospital and California Men’s Colony.
• be a “mission church” establishing mission churches and new church starts (membership under 35) in Oakland, Stockton, San Jose, Hayward, Monterey, and San Luis Obispo.
• have a ministry of putting flyers in bars and bathhouse inviting patrons to come to our worship services (as in “bring a trick to Church!”)
• be a “teaching church” for deacons and our staff clergy and clergy interns who would go on to pastor churches throughout the UFMCC.
• purchase our own building (June 1979); also the first LGBTQ organization in the city of San Francisco to do so.
• create, model, and mentor HIV/AIDS ministries (beginning in 1986), including support groups and compassionate care (including one Sunday each month dedicated to an evening AIDS healing service).
• introduce the “God/Goddess of Many Names” and the feminine divine into our worship services — along with Womenspirit and Solstice and Wicca services in the 1990s.
• live into its vision of what it means to be “social justice church” starting in 1997 with the Simply Supper meal program.
• have a Read Aloud program for grades K through 5 at a neighborhood school (Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy) that continues to this day.
• to initially host and provide rehearsal space for the Singers of the Street choir for the homeless and their allies.
I want to thank Lynn Jordan for his living memory and archiving of MCCSF history, and Maureen Bogues for her editing assistance.