Sacred Space ministry is a community of un-housed and housed people called by God into Christian community and ministry for the purpose of transforming all our lives. During our weekly outdoor worship service in Oakland and Hayward, California, we offer opportunities for private conversation, prayer, blessing or encouragement, and lunch. We draw from the resources of diverse congregations living into God’s compassion for the poor.
Our mission is to be in spiritual companionship with homeless and marginalized men and women and all who seek a non-threatening way to be with others in Christian relationship and in community.
Sacred Space was founded October 16, 2011 by the Reverend John Trubina, an Episcopal Deacon and supported by St. Clare’s Episcopal Church, Pleasanton California. We first met at Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland. We were there for a number of weeks and happily co-existed with the Occupy movement but realized the distraction of current events was interfering with our efforts to connect with our primary constituents, the homeless. We then relocated for a few weeks to the Oakland Peace Center located between uptown Oakland and the Lake Merritt area; however this location proved to be too remote for the homeless. After obtaining permission of the people who gather there, we are now located for the long term at the park at 32nd Street and San Pablo Avenue in west Oakland. In May of 2012, we expanded Sacred Space to Hayward with support from the Episcopal Southern Alameda Deanery. In August of 2012 we became a Specialized Mission of the Episcopal Diocese of California.
We operate outside the usual construct of four walls and a roof. Our current pattern and long term conviction is that Sacred Space not own property beyond basic equipment. Our start-up equipment includes a rolling file box for worship supplies, a folding table, and plastic storage bins and hampers for storing, transporting, and distributing lunches and clothing.
As we have moved forward in Sacred Space, we have received instruction and feedback from our community brothers and sisters and we have found enthusiasm and support from our donors and churches. As a result our vision of Sacred Space’s future has grown and taken form.
We have several Sacred Space locations under our umbrella structure in the San Francisco East Bay. All new locations are planned and established carefully, intentionally, and prayerfully with the full support of churches in the area.
We have 1) establishing formal, regular training for our volunteers, 2) recruiting experts such as a Nurse Practitioner, Licensed Social Worker and 3) establishing connections with county hospitals and health agencies through Registered Social Workers. We work with a particularly fragile segment of the population and must take care to appropriately handle difficult situations as they arise during our services and visits. We hold periodic workshops with guest subject matter experts to train us in leadership and interpersonal skills. Through our personal work, church, and social networks we have a great deal of information available and potential connections to share with our community of brothers and sisters. We recognize, however, that we have a responsibility to advocate, connect, and advise within the framework of understanding our non-expert status.
We envision expanding our presence to daytime drop-in centers that serve people beyond Sundays. We hope to tap into the current urban trend of city approved, short-term occupation of empty buildings to provide rest and refreshment, clothing, referral services, literacy programs, and other one-on-one help.
Side Note: For the year 2013, we have served over 9800 lunches to the homeless in Hayward and Oakland. we have had over 1924 attendees (one timers and faithful attendees), and communicated over 1900!
The Rev. Deacon John Trubina is the pastor of Sacred Space and is a Deacon in the International Old Catholic Churches. He and his husband and their son live in California.