Interns and Field Workers
Since its inception, the Night Ministry has offered opportunities for seminarians and others preparing for ministry to join our programs to learn our model of ministry, which emphasizes listening and offers a non-judgmental, compassionate presence. These students come from the Bay Area seminaries that comprise the Graduate Theological Union, the Episcopal School for Deacons, schools of social work, and chaplaincy institutes, often receiving academic credit for their time with us. Individuals have come from as far away as Europe.
The path to ordained ministry for many denominations requires at least one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education. CPE teaches the art of communicating with people who are in stress or conflict, are hurting, suffering, or needing someone who can be present with them, listen to them, and assist them in finding ways to solve problems. CPE helps caregivers to be less anxious with people in need or crisis. It teaches them to provide quality spiritual care.
Each unit involves 400 hours of learning both in the field, and in the classroom. Most CPE programs are situated in hospitals. We started this program partnering with Stanford University Hospital under their accreditation as members of ACPE, the national organization that gives CPE accreditation. Many seminarians seek an alternative site for CPE training; the Night Ministry is an ideal setting for this kind of learning. More details on Clinical Pastoral Education
Every December on a day close to the winter solstice, people all across the country gather to remember homeless people who have died that year. In San Francisco, this service was originally sponsored jointly by the San Francisco Network Ministries and the Coalition on Homelessness. When Network Ministries ended its 40-year history of service to people in the Tenderloin neighborhood in 2013, we took responsibility for organizing and conducting this event, attended by 150 people, who gathered to pray, reflect, pay tribute, and remember those so easily forgotten.
SF CARES (San Francisco Compassion, Advocacy, Resilience, and Education Services) is a collaboration among four non-profits: the Night Ministry, St. Paulus Lutheran Church, Grace Lutheran Church, and Welcome: A Communal Response to Poverty), formed to better close gaps in serving populations that all four groups share. We have feeding programs, educational programs, and other outreach efforts such as free vision screenings, harm reduction education, and domestic violence quantification. The collaboration started in November, 2011 and offers a way for us to reach and serve people during the daytime whom we serve at night.
We cooperate with a number of other organizations on common goals. For example, we have an agreement with San Francisco Suicide Prevention to provide a framework to refer callers between our crisis lines, to cooperatively train volunteers, and to mutually support confidentiality and safety policies. We have an understanding with both WOMAN Inc. and La Casa de las Madres to provide safe transportation to a safe house for victims of domestic violence. In the wintertime, the San Francisco Interfaith Winter Shelter program provides overnight housing for homeless men; the Night Ministry sends a Night Minister to serve as an additional staffer at one of the locations, enabling an additional 40 men to be housed.