Eco House 2022 Report
This last year has been a wild one for Ecumenical House. Throughout the pandemic our GoodWorks Café & Pantry continued offering $25 gift cards to students who moved out of the city, thanks to the support of congregations across denominations. In spring 2022, we reopened the pantry three days a week, served coffee and tea, and allowed students to study in the chapel and patio. The number of regular on-campus students remained smaller due to the school remaining hybrid, but even with lower numbers it was a joy to continue offering a place of rest to students.
Like many campus ministries this last year was drastically different from the one before, requiring us to once again start from scratch. EcHouse ministry remained mostly online. In the fall 2021/spring 2022, we had 30 students regularly attending our small groups. We read Cole Arthur Riley’s “This Here Flesh,” Elle Dowd’s “Baptized in Tear Gas,” Tarana Burke and Brené Brown’s “You Are Your Best Thing,” and had a group who worked through Resmaa Menakem’s “My Grandmother’s Hands.” The most engagement came from virtual game nights and watching/discussing shows like Abbott Elementary, Ted Lasso, and Reservation Dogs.
Throughout 2021, EcHouse did a lot of work remodeling and making improvements for Larkin Street Youth Services to move their LGBTQ+ residence into the house. Residents moved in during the summer of 2022. 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.
July 1, 2022, Rev. Hannah’s contract ended with EcHouse due to funding. The board remains active while the ministry discerns its next steps and how to reimagine campus/young adult ministry in this changing climate.
Rev. Hannah Elyse Cornthwaite, former Chaplain & Director of Ministry at Ecumenical House, San Francisco State University
The Board of EcHouse is comprised of members from the Episcopal, Prebyterian, UCC, and Methodist church and each of these four denominations owns a stake in the physical property and has contributed to ministry to students at San Francisco State University over the years. This board remains committed to ministry in the neighborhood and the University utilizing our shared assets, but we are taking some time away from active ministry. In this fallow time, the board is reflecting on what we have learned and listening for where God might be leading. We will also be reaching out to area churches to listen and connect on ministry with young adults as well as researching new funding resources for the future.
Amy Cook, Canon for Faith Formation and board member at Ecumenical House, San Francisco State University