Church Vitality

For the history behind the Beloved Community vision, how these Beloved Community principles were formed, and the vitality practices to live into these priciples, visit The Beloved Community page.

Church Vitality requires moving from maintaining established and set structures to creating communities that are growing and thriving. Vital churches are those that engage not only themselves, but make a difference in their surrounding community.

The Asian Commission of the Diocese of California (ACDC) organized a joint retreat/worship picnic held at the Westborough Park in South San Francisco, under the prodigious collaborative efforts of ACDC co-chairs the Rev. Merry Chan-Ong and the Rev. Leonard Oakes. The event was met with praise and delight with over 100 people in attendance from members of Christ Church (Sei Ko Kai), San Francisco; Incarnation, San Francisco; St. James, San Francisco; Holy Child and St. Martin, Daly City; St. Ambrose, Foster City; True Sunshine, San Francisco; Our Savior, Oakland; and seminarians from CDSP. Read more on DioCal News:

St. Luke’s, San Francisco, and Christ Church, Portola Valley, shared the same weekend for parish retreats at the Bishop’s Ranch. All programming, childcare, worship, and fun were shared thanks to collaboration and joint planning. Collaborative planning for a shared retreat led to friendships across congregations. Read more on DioCal News (Photo by the Rev. Dana Corsello)


St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco, organized people from their neighborhood, the city, and the Diocese of California to meet with city planners concerning a development that would have blocked light essential to their worship. Read about their organization efforts here’s-san-francisco. (Photo from St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco)


Holy Child and St. Martin invited the Daly City community to join them in the groundbreaking for their long-awaited elevator. The elevator has become even more of a necessity with the active health care ministry — housed in the lower level of the church — open to the neighborhood. The groundbreaking coincided with the yearly Health Fair where approximately 10 local health-related agencies provided information, blood pressure checks, and flu shots, together with the hospitality of snacks provided by the members. A fuller story is at


St. Timothy’s, Danville, is in transition between clergy, but that hasn’t stopped their communications group from exploring best practices. They meet regularly and are actively engaged in discernment about how best to evangelize their neighborhood and reach out to their community — in person and online.


The Communications Working Group regularly engages congregations’ vitality by consulting on websites, social media, and print media — in person or on the phone. Additionally, they offer coverage of events to share the stories of vitality with the broader diocese and Bay Area. The bishop’s staff members also empower congregational vitality by helping with transitions and offering trainings throughout the year. (Photo by the Rev. Stephen Hassett)