When Citizens Church started 4 years ago, we really wanted to learn how to love people who lived outside in Golden Gate Park. We knew Jared Dunham who served on the SFOC team but was leaving to go see about a girl. He said I should meet Claire Howard and listen to everything she said. What a gift to learn from her and the other SFOC team members. After 4 years of partnership, with humble and grateful hearts, we have agreed to carry this ministry forward in whatever way The Lord allows. Below is the official letter from SFOC and InnerCHANGE expressing their affirmation of this transition.
Dear SFOC Family,
For over 20 years, the San Francisco Outer Circle (SFOC) - as part of CRM’s InnerCHANGE collective - has ministered to the houseless community of Haight Ashbury. Now, the international leadership of CRM’s InnerCHANGE, in consultation with the current SFOC staff, has prayerfully discerned that the future ministry of the SFOC is best served by moving under the direct authority of Citizens Church. InnerCHANGE recognizes that Citizens Church, a family of servant missionaries, embodies the core values of the SFOC and is the natural new home for the SFOC’s ongoing ministry.
InnerCHANGE is thankful for Citizens Church’s long-term relationship with the SFOC. For many years, they have been a committed and consistent partner, humbly learning what it looks like to serve the houseless community of Haight Ashbury through years of dedicated service. We are therefore excited for this next season of the SFOC and confident that Citizen Church’s focus on continual learning and service will be a blessing to the work of SFOC moving forward.
We are greatly thankful for the current staff of SFOC--John Stiefel, Brian Cupps, Elizabeth Moraff and Matt Pritchard--and their faithfulness to SFOC and work in this transition. They will all leave SFOC staff effective July 11. John remains InnerCHANGE staff. Brian will be leaving InnerCHANGE staff. Elizabeth & Matt will be be moving to Atlanta and are now affiliate InnerCHANGE staff. Georgia Lee and C.J. Bergmen are taking on leadership of the SFOC.
This is an inspiring new time! InnerCHANGE blesses SFOC under Citizens Church to continue to discern God’s voice and how to best live out the love of Christ with the houseless community of Haight Ashbury. We expect this new season will bring some changes and new vibrancy. We release the SFOC to Citizens Church and bless them as they lead the SFOC into the future.
We understand with any transition there are both things to celebrate and things to mourn. We will miss the current SFOC team in San Francisco, as well as Claire and the many others who have served in years past and look forward to following Jesus’ lead to continue the work He started and has sustained all these years.
For any questions or thoughts, please email either C.J. Bergmen (CJ@Citizenssf.com) or Georgia Lee (Georgia@Citizenssf.com).