Gradient

Ecumenical House

Report to Convention 2021

This last year has been a wild one for Ecumenical House. In 2018 & 2019 (prior to the pandemic) our GoodWorks Café & Pantry was the grounding center of our ministry. With students off campus our pantry changed.  We continued to offer pantry bags for students still in San Francisco, and then moved towards offering $25 gift cards to students who moved out of the city. Our students are so grateful to St. Francis Episcopal & St. James Episcopal who sent us gift cards this year which contributed to the 100+ cards we have given away this year alone. Campus has reopened for hybrid classes and our pantry is beginning to take a new shape that reflects both the in person and remote nature of student’s lives. This remains an important ministry and we anticipate re-opening the café in the spring to offer coffee, tea, and sandwiches once again. 

 

Our ministry remains mostly online. In the Spring 2020, we had 5 small groups gathering virtually with 30 students regularly attending: wholeness & wellness, pop-culture and theology, social justice and activism, anti-racism (had two Sacred Ground groups), and bible. For advent and lent we sent care packages with resources as well crafts. This fall has been a bit more of a challenge as campus moved towards hybrid and nearly all of our regular students have graduated. Like many campus ministries we are very much starting from scratch. The energy amongst students has been heavy, especially amongst returning students who are feeling burned out. We anticipated three small groups starting in the fall, but we have moved to focusing solely on two groups, bible and the wholeness & wellness. 

 

For the past 15 years, EcHouse has been a residential and intentional living community for students with below market rent. After much discernment, this spring, the board voted to terminate the residential living community to provide more sustainable income. Over the summer we began working with Larkin Street Youth Services and are preparing the house to welcome their residents this fall. We believe that their commitment to youth and young adults as well as providing resources and support to those youth who are unhoused falls closely in line with our mission and work. EcHouse has been doing necessary remodeling and improvements and will be fundraising to help us cover the costs. This partnership will deeply change the life of our physical ministry space and we are excited to see the ways in which it will move and change us. 

 

Rev. Hannah Elyse Cornthwaite, Chaplain & Director of Ministry at Ecumenical House, San Francisco State University