When you visit St. Luke’s Church, the first thing you will notice is our breathtakingly beautiful sanctuary! We like to think of our building as a geode. The outside is lovely enough, but not remarkable; if you are riding down Van Ness, you might not even look twice at the façade. But once you enter, the static of the world—the noise and rush, the distraction and impatience, the manic urban hustle of 21st century San Francisco—vanishes. The high altar with its white marble, its bas-relief porcelain Madonna sculptures, and its golden stars floating heavenward, makes for a precious jewel box. All of this is illuminated by the frozen fire of our magnificent stained-glass windows.
St. Luke’s is approaching its 150th year. While we are a mainline, traditional Episcopal church, we most certainly have a twist. We worship most church seasons using the Book of Common Prayer—even Rite I! But we also use alternative liturgies when appropriate. Our music is accentuated by a talented organist playing a world-class, historic pipe organ, choirs and occasional guest musicians. And while our pastoral care and ministries are always pursued with integrity and love, we have fun doing them. Hence our tag line: We Laugh. We Love. We Welcome You. It is not uncommon to have animals—a manger full on Christmas Eve, a donkey on Palm Sunday—punctuate our high holy days. Our worship and ministry life is creative, engaging and nourishing. How do we do it? Simply: by making sure that the love of Jesus Christ is made tangible for everyone who walks through our doors!
St. Luke's is an Oasis congregation in the Diocese of California, which means that we welcome everyone: gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and those that are questioning. Wherever you come from, whoever you are, you are welcomed here.
Our parish belongs to the Episcopal Diocese of California, which is part of the Episcopal Church USA and the worldwide Anglican Communion.
We Laugh. We Love.
We Welcome You.
- Thanks to all who attended, volunteered and donated to St. Luke's Annual Picnic on September 10. Your support made our 2017 picnic a great event this year
- St. Luke's has a new, Interim Rector: The Reverend Stacey Grossman and we welcome her! See the "We're Here For You" webpage for more information
- Sunday - October 1 - Blessing of the Animals and the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi will be celebrated. Bring your beloved pets; all kinds of animals will be blessed at the 10 a.m. service
- Saturday - October 14 - 7:30 a.m. - The Inter-faith Food Pantry. See the "Food Pantry" section under "Parish Life" for details
- Choir rehearsals began at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday evenings in the Parish Hall. If you enjoy singing sacred choral literature from all countries and time periods, come join this fun group for rehearsal including snacks and refreshments
Come to Church.
We Welcome You!
8 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite I
10 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II with Choir
A coffee hour follows each service
7:30 a.m. Healing Eucharist
Approaching a 150 Year
Tradition of Service and Celebration
St. Luke's Episcopal Church, founded in 1868, is one of the oldest parishes in the Diocese of California. St. Luke's first home, as an incorporated parish, was located in a building at 1625 Pacific Avenue. In 1884, this original wooden church was placed on rollers and moved to the parish’s current location at Van Ness Boulevard and Clay Street.
During the next decade, the church was expanded twice, and its membership grew to be the largest Episcopal congregation on the Pacific coast and a new church was built. This magnificent church, designed by Albert Sutton, was constructed of brick covered in rough, blue-grey sandstone. It was consecrated in 1900 and seated close to a thousand people. Unfortunately, this church was utterly destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire.
Determined to stay a part of the neighborhood community, the vestry retained Benjamin Geer McDougall as architect for our beautiful French Gothic sanctuary, built in 1910 on the same corner at Clay St. and Van Ness Blvd. The worship experience is enhanced by the building’s spectacular stained-glass windows, especially the east window over the altar and those which flank the nave on its north and south sides. The altar window, which depicts the Resurrection, was installed in 1911. The stained-glass windows on the north and south walls of the nave depict the Virgin Mary, various Saints and Biblical scenes. As an integral part of the community it served, St. Luke's became involved with the American relief effort for French wounded early in World War I. The parish's active participation in this humanitarian effort is commemorated in six stained-glass windows commissioned in 1919.
Today, St. Luke's is a beautiful and gracious space for worship. However, as former Rector Spencer Rice stated, "St. Luke's is not just a building in which to worship, it is a place to join a community and find a reflection of our humanity." It is a space that houses a legacy of faith, hope, and charity. This legacy is manifested in the stone, wood, steel, and glass that generations of past parishioners have provided for our use today and into the future.
We invite you to join us and encourage you to be a part
of our future.