The Holy Underground
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The Holy Underground is a multi-phase project to renovate our basement and chapel spaces, making them even more hospitable and welcoming to the ministries that serve out of our church. The first phase will focus on improving the bathroom facilities for soup kitchen guests and improving the heating and ventilation system in the Manna dining room and kitchen.
The overall cost of the project will be about $300,000. We’ve already raised over $100,000. Can you help us reach our goal?
Why "The Holy Underground"?
We often call St. Peter’s “Holy Ground.” We’re holding ground in the midst of gentrification. And not just holding ground, but caring for it and creating welcoming space and community for poor people and social movements. We sense God’s Spirit in this.
A lot of our holiest work happens down in the basement (or in Episcopal-speak: the “undercroft”). Since the 1970s under the leadership of Fr. Tom and Marianne and with support of so many volunteers over the years Manna Meal has been feeding and clothing hungry and unhoused people. Al-Anon, NA and others have been meeting in fellowship to support each other. The IWW & water struggle have organized here. More recently the Corner Shower and Laundry has helped the homeless and near-homeless live healthier and with more dignity through access to shower and laundry facilities.
This is our “Holy Underground.” However, over time given heavy use, last year’s flooding and few resources for maintenance, the basement facilities have deteriorated. Our guests make do with substandard restrooms, dining areas, lighting and ventilation. We want to do better for our people and groups.
We envision transformed spaces that are warm and welcoming; spaces that are visually appealing, healthy and designed for their intended uses. These will also be spaces that acknowledge the realities of climate change and its causes. Systems will be designed to save on water, gas and electricity. Building materials will be utilized that can withstand periodic flooding as well as heavy use. The result will be space that allow St. Peter’s to extend its ministries while exemplifying its values of social justice and care for Creation.
The phrase “Holy Underground” sounds a little subversive on purpose. It calls to mind the underground seminary of the Confessing Church in Nazi Germany, the Underground Railroad, and other risky ways people have organized to subvert Empire and the power of death. If we are to be good news for the poor, we know that works of mercy must be yoked to struggles for justice, freedom and peace. We may be called wage love in risky ways. We know this is part of what it means to follow Jesus and to be doers of the Word.