Taking a breath at El Buen Samaritano, San Francisco

After a time of prayer and consideration and following the June 22 service, the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, bishop of California, suspended the mission congregation of El Buen Samaritano, San Francisco. This action was taken together with the consent of the Executive Council. The Rev. Gloria del Castillo will retire from active ministry in the Diocese of California on August 1, 2014.

The congregation has not been closed, though it will not operate with a vicar nor have regular weekly worship. During this suspension, which can be understood as “a time for taking a breath,” the diocese will engage with and coordinate discernment for the mission and ministry of The Episcopal Church in the Latino / Latina communities of San Francisco — particularly in the Mission.

The discernment will include monthly discussions with members and friends of El Buen Samaritano, members of the bishop’s staff, consultants from The Episcopal Church’s church-wide offices, Latino / Hispanic lay and clergy ministers in the Diocese of California, members and leaders at St. John the Evangelist, San Francisco, and neighbors and stakeholders in the Mission. Everyone is invited to be a part of this discernment for how best to serve the Mission community. 

During this time there will be weekly worship in other Spanish-speaking congregations in the Bay Area listed below. El Buen Samaritano will continue to gather for Holy Eucharist on a monthly basis. For more information about the monthly Eucharist or to participate in the diocese’s ongoing discernment contact the Rev. Cn. Stefani Schatz, stefanis@diocal.org, 415.869.7806 or the Rev. Eric Metoyer, ericm@diocal.org, 415.869.7810.

Spanish-language Eucharist services

Saint James / Iglesia de Santiago, Oakland — Sundays, 9:30 a.m.
Iglesia El Buen Pastor, Redwood City — Sundays, 9:30 a.m.
Holy Trinity / La Santisima Trinidad, Richmond — Sundays, 12 p.m.
Holy Child and St. Martin’s, Daly City — Sundays, 10:30 a.m. (English and Spanish)

Photo: The members of the mission congregation of El Buen Samaritano gathered around the font at St. John the Evangelist (where they have worshipped for 7 years) to celebrate the close-to-40-years of lay leadership, share reflections, and to bless one another as they enter this time of discernment.