By Kelly Newell
CA-NV Director of Camping and Young People's Ministry
Join the Board of Camping and Retreat Ministries at an open house on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., to witness the transformation of a former church into a vibrant Community and Urban retreat center, serving the needs of ecumenical and nonprofit groups from throughout Northern California.
Light refreshments will be provided, along with tours of the facility.
This new urban community center is nestled on the outskirts of the San Francisco neighborhood of Cole Valley, adjacent to Haight-Ashbury. It is emerging thanks to the Board of Camping and Retreat Ministries' vision to transform the former Hamilton United Methodist Church, on the corner of Waller Street and Belvedere Street, into a vibrant community center and ecumenical urban retreat center by fall of 2013.
The Waller Center, as it currently is known, will feature a gymnasium, small conference rooms, a full professional kitchen, community dining area, and overnight accommodations for up to 40 individuals. As a community center for the local neighborhood, Waller Center will provide spaces for performances, meetings, and social gatherings. There are few large community meeting spaces in the Cole Valley/Haight-Ashbury vicinity now, and overnight accommodations that are suitable for visiting groups that include young people are extremely limited.
Working in concert with the neighborhood and surrounding United Methodist churches, such as Glide Memorial UMC, the Waller Center will provide a facility where ecumenical and nonprofit organizations that seek a safe, comfortable place within an urban environment, will have an opportunity to convene and, if they choose, participate in an urban ministry program. The Board of Camping and Retreat Ministries is very excited about this vision and the opportunities this new facility offers. We already have had several groups come out to stay and work on the facility as a part of their mission and service work in San Francisco.
Waller Center is located in the heart of San Francisco at 1525 Waller Street. Parking for the open house will be available also at Temple UMC, 1111 Junipero Serro Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94132.