About Us

Who We AreHoly Innocents Episcopal family children friendly inclusive church San Francisco

Holy Innocents Episcopal Church is a diverse, inclusive community of worshipers who believe in openness to new ideas and ways of worship

We are young, we are old. We are straight, gay, lesbian and transgendered. We come to church in one, twos, threes, fours and more. We treasure being family to all members of our congregation. We are a welcoming, open, and diverse church that values both tradition and creativity.

We belong to the Episcopal Church, and welcome all who wish to worship with us, wherever they are on their faith journey. We value beautiful worship services that appeal to the intellect and to the senses. We encourage curiosity about the scriptures. We enjoy considering the implications of our developing faith in the lives we lead in the world. And we throw great parties!

Our place in the community

marcus_timHoly Innocents is a neighborhood church. We care about many of the same issues that you do: our children; our seniors and housebound; street safety and crime; affordable housing and healthcare; justice for all; and the homeless and psychologically challenged.

We also provide meeting space for NERT trainings, community groups, Music Together, and a number of 12 step programs. Please contact the church office if you are interested in using space at Holy Innocents for an event.

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Our tradition

We celebrate the rituals of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition. The Eucharist (bread and wine) is the central focus of our worship. We invite everyone to participate in the Eucharist at the altar or remain seated if preferred.

In addition to our regular worship services, we also have special services, such as Christmas Lessons & Carols, Evensongs, and Holy Week services.

About the “Holy Innocents”

holy_innocentsHoly 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.

If you are interested in using our space for an event, are interested in baptism, confirmation, a wedding, have questions about joining our congregation, or to consult with clergy, please feel free to call our church office or contact our Vicar.