Being Present

The Chaplain visits with members of the under-served, under-seen and marginalized communities where they already are—on the streets of San Rafael and in the waiting rooms and service areas of the downtown safety-net agencies. The chaplain engages in direct conversation and prayer with members of these often-ignored and avoided people, and also provides reference and referrals to agencies and programs that address their direct needs. This is primarily a ministry of presence, showing respect to those who have lost a sense of self worth, and allowing hope to reenter the lives of those who have given up hope.

Individual Memorial Services are offered in order to honor the lives of those who have died on the streets. In doing so, we call the community to an awareness of their connection and their need to care for themselves and each other.

Marin County Jail Visitations are made by the Chaplain each Thursday. In a collaborative effort with the Ritter Center and the Marin County Jail, the Chaplain visits folks from the Street Community who are incarcerated with the goal of helping them connect with resources upon their release and, ultimately, avoiding re-incarceration. MISC is funded for this project through Ritter Center. In April, 2012, the Sheriff’s Office Re-Entry Team, the host of this program, was awarded “County Employee of the Quarter.” The chaplain and members of the Custody to Community team at Ritter Center were named as recipients of this prestigious award. (10-12 visits weekly)

Hospital Visitations are made by the Chaplain as the need arises. MISC maintains collegial relationships with the Office of Spiritual Care at Marin General Hospital, as well as with the chaplains serving other area hospitals.

Home Blessings are offered to those who have transitioned into housing. The ritual of blessing a new home can deepen the experience and realization of “being home.”

The Chaplain is able to perform marriages for those who are not otherwise a part of a spiritual community.

The MISC creates opportunities for the Street Community to connect with other faith communities, sharing and receiving wisdom.

Mitzvah Lunches and Dinners with Rodef Sholom Synagogue happen monthly with the young people at Congregation Rodef Sholom and are a regular part of the school program at the religious school. We share lunch or dinner and focused conversation with a class of students. For many students this is their first interaction with homeless people.

Green Gulch Zen Center and Farm welcomes a group from the Street Chaplaincy Community once each month. The group meets with a resident, receives meditation instruction, walks through the gardens and shares lunch with the community.