About Bethany

 

A Word From Pastor Sadie

Welcome to Bethany United Methodist Church. Ours is a congregation of progressive Christians open to the direction of God and growing in grace together. Everyone is welcome here, just as they are. Join our vibrant and diverse Reconciling Congregation as we discover what God has in store.
I stand in a long, respectable line of pastors to this Christian community. Our roots go back to the 1800s, but Bethany is committed to the future. We remodeled our old, failing building into a sign of newness at the corner of Clipper and Sanchez. We intend to be here at least another 100 years.

Mission Statement

Guided by God’s radical love for all, Bethany seeks to… Offer sanctuary, Inspire personal transformation, Foster a faith community, and Engage locally and globally for social justice.

   We are a Progressive, Reconciling church defined by these principles:

    • We accept and celebrate human diversity – being radically inclusive in welcoming people of every color, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, physical and cognitive ability, and economic status.
    • We believe in social justice and support advocacy with persons experiencing poverty and oppression. We maintain a deep belief in the instruction to “love one another” – made clear in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
    • We live out these beliefs with spiritual vitality while believing that our church flourishes with many points of view, opportunities for creative expression, and participatory worship services. We are open-minded, but we also strive to be open-hearted and a true haven of acceptance for those who find their way through our open doors.
    • We are followers and Disciples of Jesus Christ who calls us into ministry with the marginalized.

History: A Tradition of Inclusion

Our congregation is deeply rooted in San Francisco history.

We were birthed from the joining of two historic congregations: Grace Methodist Church founded in 1852 and Epworth Methodist Church founded in 1877. Bethany was formed at the site of the Epworth Church (Clipper and Sanchez) in June 1965. Grace Church was demolished, and the site is now home to Bethany Center Senior Housing, a 134-unit housing complex. See bethanycenter.org.

Part of our living memory history includes the rise of gay pride and the trauma of the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. Bethany was an early joiner among United Methodist congregations to the Reconciling Movement, an attempt to teach congregations about the presence of the LGBT community among us and how to open our doors wide to all in our fellowship and offer full participation in the life of our churches.

Bethany members and staff served the needs of the gay community during the worst of the AIDS epidemic with personal and pastoral care, support of the local meals program, and a warm welcome to everyone seeking to know God in the midst of the turmoil.

We like to think the rest of the world is catching up with what we have known for a long time. Today, we are a mix of LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ folks and family members. We have all heard the call of God to love our neighbors and welcome each other warmly in our gatherings and endeavors.

Bethany United Methodist Church today is now housed in a completely renovated building. A project that was completed in 2012. We continue to be a congregation in tune with the social justice movements of the day, and try to make our worship and our ministries reflect the needs of our time. To be a United Methodist at Bethany has always meant to be actively engaged in the pressing social needs of the world, and we continue that legacy today through our ministries and radical inclusivity.

Bethany UMC Staff

Pastor – Rev. Sadie Stone

The Rev. Sadie Stone has a Masters in Divinity from Yale Divinity School and a BA from the University of the Pacific in Religious Studies. She has been sole Pastor of Bethany UMC since July 2015. Pastor Sadie does advocacy work with the Philippines. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the California Nevada Philippine Solidarity Task Force, Deputy Secretary of the Global Council of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, and is part of the San Francisco SURJ Direct Action Committee. Pastor Sadie grew up in Winnemucca, NV and lives and her twins Eli and Emerson. She has eclectic literary taste, reflected in the gross ton of books she refuses to get rid of, and her refusal to buy a kindle. Pastor Sadie also enjoys running, and the San Francisco Giants. Reach her by email.

Music Director – Evan Alparone

Evan joined Bethany as our new Music Director, July 1, 2021.  He is a Bay Area native and has been a music director, accompanist and teacher.  After graduating with a BA from UCLA’s Theater program, Evan began studying choral conducting at San Francisco State University and from 2007-2010 directed the choral program at Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward, California. From a few music classes he grew the program to a touring and competing choir of over 150 students.

As a music director, conductor, and accompanist Evan has worked on over 80 musicals including several Off-Broadway productions. Evan has served as a music director in the Methodist Church for 14 years, first at Open Door United Methodist Church in Richmond, and then Valhalla United Methodist Church in New York.

When not making music he enjoys biking, running, and playing with his 7 year old puppy Forrest and cat Nori.  Reach him by email.

Partners

Bethany partners with these three organizations. See our current ministry opportunities on our Connect page.
SF Night MinistrySF Food BankSF Interfaith Council