- About Us
- Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 15, 2013
- Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, July 21, 2013
- 4th Sunday after Pentecost – June 16, 2013
- Trinity Sunday – May 26, 2013
- Pentecost – May 19, 2013
- The 5th Sunday of Easter – April 28, 2013
- Third Sunday of Easter – April 14, 2013
- Easter Sunday – April 8, 2013
- Palm Sunday – March 24, 2013
- Fourth Sunday of Lent – March 10, 2013
- Third Sunday of Lent – March 3, 2013
- The Baptism of our Lord – January 13, 2013
- Third Sunday of Advent – December 16, 2012
- Sermon on 9/11 – September 11, 2011
- The Syrophoenician Woman – 9-9-12
- Eighth Sunday after Pentecost – July 22, 2012
- Fifth Sunday after Pentecost – July 1, 2012
- Many Paths – May 6, 2012
- An Unexplained Absence – April 15, 2012
- Easter Sunday – April 8, 2012
- Easter Vigil – April 7, 2012
- First Sunday of Lent, 2012 – February 26, 2012
- The Transfiguration – February 19, 2012
- The Calling of Nathanael – January 15, 2012
- Feast of the Holy Innocents – January 1, 2012
- 22nd Sunday after Pentecost – October 16, 2011
- Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost – September 4, 2011
- God has a sense of humor – August 21, 2011
- Liturgy of Thanksgiving – July 31, 2011
- Palm Sunday, 2011 – April 17, 2011
- Lazarus – April 10, 2011
- Christmas 2010 – December 25, 2010
- Third Sunday of Advent – December 12, 2010
Holy Innocents is an inclusive Christian community, and we welcome all visitors and newcomers to worship with us at any of our services. Whether you are simply visiting or looking for a church home, you are welcome here for as long as you are with us.
If you are new to the Episcopal Church, the Eucharist (Communion) is the central focus of our worship at Holy Innocents. We invite anyone who feels drawn to join us around the table for the Eucharist to do so. You can also remain in your seat if you are unsure about participating.
If you are interested in becoming a member of Holy Innocents, please speak with any of the clergy. Please do not hesitate to contact the vicar or other clergy if you have special needs such as baptism, confirmation, or marriage, or if you wish to consult a priest.
Holy Innocents Episcopal Church was founded in 1882 as a mission church for the parish of Saint John the Evangelist, located at Fifteenth and Julian streets. The mission attained parish status shortly thereafter.
The current Victorian church building, built for the parish in 1890, is the oldest standing Episcopal church in San Francisco. It was designed by Ernest Coxhead, a noted church and residential architect of the period. He mentored both Julia Morgan of Hearst Castle fame and Bernard Maybeck, who designed San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts. Holy Innocents is a superb example of Coxhead’s ideal of the romantic English country church.
Holy Innocents has had an eventful history over the last century. Loss through an aging church-going population and the AIDS pandemic, coupled with costly damage from the Loma Prieta earthquake, threatened to close Holy Innocents in the early 1990s. Under the leadership of Bishop Cathy Roskam and the Reverend Armand Kreft, Holy Innocents was revitalized and grew to become a financially self-sustaining church.
The Reverend Rosa Lee Harden joined Holy Innocents in 2001. With the growing number of children in attendance, Holy Innocents now offers the children’s program Godly Play on Sundays. And in 2003, Holy Innocents became an Oasis Covenant Congregation, pledging to reach out, welcome, and support gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.
Joshua “Griff” Griffin joined Holy Innocents as our deacon in August 2010, and Bertie Pearson became our priest-in-charge on September 12, 2010.
Our place in the community
Holy Innocents is a neighborhood church. We provide meeting space for community groups such as the Fair Oaks Street Association and various Twelve-Step groups. Each May we participate in the Fair Oaks Street Fair. Our annual Victorian Tea and Do-It-Yourself Christmas Pageant are popular neighborhood events.
In addition to our schedule of regular worship services, we also have special services, such as Christmas Lessons and Carols, Evensongs, and Holy Week services. Please call the church office to check for news of upcoming events and the calendar of events.
Please contact the church office if you are interested in using space at Holy Innocents for an event.
About the “Holy Innocents”
Holy Innocents are the children slain by King Herod. Matthew 2, recounts that Herod, angered because he had been deluded by the wise men, ordered the massacre of all male children of two years or under in Bethlehem. The feast of the Holy Innocents is commemorated on December 28th of the Roman Calendar and is often referred to as Childermas.
As a collective Patron Saint, the Holy Innocents provide protection against the injustices inflicted on children. The Holy Innocents are represented by three lilies and two crowns. The lilies symbolize the purity and innocence of children. The two crowns symbolize the two Kings, Jesus and Herod.
About the Episcopal Church
The name “Episcopal” comes from the Greek word “episkopos,” which means “bishop” or “overseer.” The leaders of our church are called “bishops,” and we are called “Episcopalians.”
What do we believe?
Episcopalians maintain three sources as critical to understanding God and the world:
- The Bible: We believe that God and God’s people speak to us through the Bible and that it contains the wisdom needed for a good life. And most important of all, the Bible proclaims to us the Good News of Jesus Christ. Scripture is sacred and authoritative, but not infallible. We balance what we learn from scripture with traditions and reason.
- Our Traditions: This includes the prayer and theological reflection by a multiplicity of voices throughout Church history. We believe that God has continued speaking through the generations and the traditions that have been established through the life of the Church have authority in our lives.
- Reason: While reason is commonly understood today to be an aloof, non-emotional consideration of clear ‘facts,’ since the time of 16th Century theologian Richard Hooker, Anglicans have used the term in a more holistic way, entailing both the operations of the mind and the heart. Anglican reason must include a combination of logic, and the subjective, basic sense of ‘rightness’ which each of us posses. Reason, which includes our own personal experience of God and God’s work in the world, is the third-leg of what is known as the Anglican Three-Legged Stool, a metaphor that is used to describe how Anglicans take into consideration of Scripture, Tradition, and Reason, each one informing the other two, to discern truth, make decisions, and find authority.
What is the Church?
The Church is not a building where people go to worship God. The Church is the people of God—all of God’s people. God’s people work in the world to show others God’s love for all people. Some—deacons, priests, and bishops—are chosen to be leaders in the Church. They undergo special training and are “ordained” (a public affirmation of their chosenness). We are all called to do God’s work every day in everything we do. Our baptism affirms that we are part of God’s great family that we call the Church.
What is the Book of Common Prayer?
You will find the Book of Common Prayer in any Episcopal Church anywhere in the world. The BCP contains language for the many different ways that Episcopalians worship God. Some of the worship services can be used every day, like Morning Prayer or the Holy Eucharist. Other worship services are for designated occasions, like weddings or funerals. It also contains numerous prayers for a wide variety of needs and situations.—From Robert Hamm Grindrod, trans., Episcopalians, 2002.
Information about Holy Baptism
At Holy Innocents, we believe that baptism is the beginning of a lifelong journey in the Christian faith. We welcome all that are interested in beginning that spiritual journey for themselves or on behalf of their children.
The Episcopal Book of Common Prayer states:
Holy Baptism is the full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ?s Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble.
Holy Baptism is appropriately administered within the Eucharist as the chief service on a Sunday or other feast. Holy Baptism is especially appropriate at the Easter Vigil, on the Day of Pentecost, on All Saints? Day or the Sunday after All Saints? Day, and on the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord (the First Sunday after the Epiphany).
Each candidate for Holy Baptism is to be sponsored by one or more baptized persons. Sponsors of adults and older children present their candidates and thereby signify their endorsement of the candidates and their intention to support them by prayer and example in their Christian life. Sponsors of infants, commonly called godparents, present their candidates, make promises in their own names, and also take vows on behalf of their candidates. It is fitting that parents be included among the godparents of their own children. Parents and godparents are to be instructed in the meaning of Baptism, in their duties to help the new Christians grow in the knowledge and love of God, and in their responsibilities as members of his Church.
- Baptisms are only held on Sundays or at the Easter Vigil.
- The preferred dates for baptisms are: the Easter Vigil (early spring), Pentecost (late spring), All Saints Sunday (early November), and the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord (early January).
- Baptism is available to members of the church and their children and grandchildren or…
- To anyone or their children who attend church at least three times prior to the baptism.
- For those who are new to the Episcopal Church, Holy Innocents periodically offers classes in baptismal instruction for those interested in being baptized, and for parents and godparents of children to be baptized. If you are interested in knowing more about this, please contact one of the clergy for more information.
- Adults or parents of children being baptized must meet with a clergy person at least once prior to the baptism.
- There is no fee for baptism. Thank offerings to the church are gratefully accepted.
For more information on Baptism, contact the church office.
Email ask(at)holyinsf.org to send an email to the clergy with any question, concern, suggestion, or curiosity. Want to know who an obscure saint is? Want to know why we Episcopalians say and do the things we do? Want to know when the next Bishop’s Committee meeting is?
Email rota(at)holyinsf.org to send an email to the MCs and clergy with questions about your serving on the rota, to be added to the rota, or to announce changes in your availability and substitutions. If you cannot serve at your appointed time, please do your best to find a substitute and notify the clergy and MC’s of the change by the Thursday preceding the Sunday in question.
Email announcements(at)holyinsf.org to send an announcement to be published in the Sunday service leaflet. To appear in the Sunday bulletin, announcement requests must be received by the preceding Tuesday at 10 AM. Please indicate the number of weeks the announcement should run. Announcements are uploaded on the website on a regular basis.