Glide Memorial Methodist Church San Francisco Reviews
An inspiring, humbling, uplifting and free experience Dec 01, 2009
Glide Memorial is a church in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. The Tenderloin is right downtown next to the touristy area of Union Square, but has the highest number of homeless and drug users in the city.
I'm reviewing Glide for two reasons: the Sunday morning service is a big tourist attraction; and the outreach program is a great way for visitors to volunteer and really experience the gritty reality of this aspect of the city.
Glide's Sunday morning church services are renowned for both the performances of the gospel choir and the charismatic and provocative sermons of the pastors. Every Sunday they hold services at 9am and 11am, and every Sunday there are lines outside and the church is completely filled. The mission of Glide is to provide an all-inclusive and loving community and the congregation on Sunday morning is a true reflection of this. From the affluent to the homeless and everyone in between, you will find almost every ethnicity, socio-economic group and even people of varying faiths and religious beliefs attending the services. The ushers are used to a large majority of the visitors being first-timers or tourists, and are very friendly and helpful and will answer all your questions.
San Francisco has a huge homeless population and Glide Memorial has an incredible outreach program that provides over 5,000 meals every day in addition to health, rehabilitation, education and general well-being programs for the needy and homeless of San Francisco. When I travel I like to find local volunteer organizations as it's a great way to give back and learn about the community you're visiting; an opportunity to meet and work alongside locals; and more often than not it's a completely free activity that will give you a unique and memorable experience.
Glide always needs volunteers to help serve one of the three meals they provide daily and I can not recommend a more moving and humbling experience. The volunteer shift is normally a couple of hours and they welcome volunteers of all ages. Comfortable shoes and clothes are a must, as well as an open heart.
For information on volunteer shifts go onto Glide's website and search under the 'Give' tab.
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