Marin Interfaith Street Chaplaincy
Marin Interfaith Street Chaplaincy | 1510 Fifth Ave., San Rafael, CA 94901 | (415)-302-0248
"The world always works in circles, and everything tries to be round."
-Black Elk
Who We Are
How We Help
How You Can Help
Current Projects
Member of the Marin Interfaith Council
Site last updated: 2011-08-02

Who We Are

Our Mission: To bring compassionate spiritual support to the unsheltered and precariously housed people in Marin County.

Our Vision: The Interfaith Street Chaplaincy of Marin (ISC) creates a movable sacred space where all are encouraged and empowered to be fully authentic, express the full range of their emotions, and extend faithful support to one another. By co-creating sacred space on the sidewalks and in the service organizations where the members of the Street Community already are, ISC encourages a deeper realization of community, extending beyond conventional labels and judgments. This community seeks to recognize the sacred spark in each person, encouraging creative expression and responsible civic involvement. We envision a community in which nobody is seen as "less-than" and all life-giving traditions and ways of life are honored.

Rev. Paul Gaffney

Rev. Paul Gaffney was born and raised in western PA, the son of a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Paul received his BA from Hiram College, where he majored in Sociology, minored in Music, and met his wife, Annie. After their wedding in August of 1998, Paul and Annie spent two years in Cleveland, OH before moving to San Anselmo, CA where Paul attended San Francisco Theological Seminary. During his third year at SFTS, Paul began working with the Marin Interfaith Homeless Chaplaincy (now the Marin Interfaith Street Chaplaincy). In 2004, he graduated from SFTS with a Master of Divinity degree, and in 2005, Paul became the sole chaplain of the Street Chaplaincy, providing emotional and spiritual support to people in transition. Paul was ordained into Christian Ministry by the Northern California/Nevada Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Lafayette Christian Church on June 4, 2006. Rev. Gaffney also is a lay-ordained student of Taigen Leighton in the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition. Paul and Annie both live and work in San Rafael.

Listen to Sermons

Bob King , Chaplain Assistant



Brother Rich Atkinson, OSF

Rev. Alison Hendley
San Rafael First United Methodist Church

Dan Gudgel (Web Design)

Past Events / Chaplaincy History

In 1992, the Marin Interfaith Homeless Chaplaincy (MIHC) was founded to be a spiritual presence on the streets of Marin County. At first, this mission manifested as a ministry of presence; meeting people where they are, being an open ear and open heart through which people living with less could process their experiences. As the organization grew, the concept of spiritual presence expanded to include a vehicle for creative expression.

In 2001, MIHC published its first series of poetry books: The Sacraments Flame by Malcolm Jones, Miracle by Anna Ione, and Strings of Light by Bob King. The following year, MIHC reprinted all three titles, as well as a volume of poetry by Shurli Grant entitled Rainbow. In 2003, a second volume of poetry by Anna Ione, Intense and Joyful Blue was published. In the same year MIHC brought out Zebra Blues by Shurli Grant. In 2004 an anthology of poems entitled Homeless Dance was published, and included work by a variety of poets and artists including Shurli Grant, Malcolm, Corkland and Anna Ione.

In 2003, MIHC acquired a storefront space on 2nd Street in San Rafael, which was converted into a sanctuary/art studio. Within the first nine months of its existence this space became a focus for creativity and artistic expression. Numerous artists generated watercolors, oil paintings, jewelry, sculpture, collage, and music.

In 2004, MIHC - in cooperation with Theresa and Johnny's Comfort Food in downtown San Rafael - held an art show where over 100 works were displayed and offered for sale. Unfortunately the drop-in space was not able to stay open after December, 2005, due to leasing, funding and staffing issues.

In 2005, the organization was renamed the Marin Interfaith Street Chaplaincy, and program's activities were taken under the umbrella of Community Action Marin (CAM). Under CAM, MISC has returned to a ministry wholly concerned with presence, allowing the Chaplain to focus on direct street-level interaction with the population in need. In 2007, MISC moved from its association with CAM to the fiscal sponsorship of the Marin Interfaith Council.

Who We Are | How We Help | How You Can Help | Current Projects | Contact

Marin Interfaith Street Chaplaincy | Chaplain's Office: 822 B Street, San Rafael, CA |
(415)-302-0248 (Chaplain's cellphone)