(Translation of letter in 中文)
In 2018, the Chinese United Methodist Church of San Francisco is celebrating its 150th year of Christian missions in the Chinese community. To commemorate this milestone, we will be having a day of celebration on Saturday, October 6, 2018. At 2:00pm, we will have a service at the Church, located at 920 Washington Street in San Francisco, followed by a banquet at Zen Peninsula Restaurant in Millbrae at 5:30pm. The details for the banquet can be found in the enclosed card. We invite you to come and share in the memories with us.
The Church has a long history of service to the San Francisco Chinatown community. In 1868, Reverend Dr. Otis Gibson and his wife, Eliza, founded the Church with the mission to protect the Chinese from the violence of racial prejudice. They tried to not only guide the Chinese people spiritually but also to teach them English. In 1906, the great earthquake destroyed the Church building. In 1911, after five years of displacement, the Church was rebuilt at the corner of Washington and Stockton Streets. The Church has remained a place of worship for many in the community. In the early days, the Church housed a Boy Scout Troop, the Flying Eagle Club, and Hip Wo Chinese School. Many who grew up near San Francisco Chinatown remember the days when the Church was their second home after they finished school and on weekends. Today, the Church continues its commitment to serve the Chinese community, whether it be those from the neighborhood or those who travel from the wider Bay Area, with programs in English and Cantonese.
In 2013, the City started digging for a subway station across the street from the Church. The project will be ongoing through at least the end of 2019. It is our hope that the proximity to the subway station will allow the Church to broaden its service opportunities. Unfortunately, the construction on the subway station has had a negative effect on the Church building. In particular, the ornamental corbels on the outside have been dislodged and hang precariously. The City has notified us that the Church is required to remove these ornamental pieces. When the subway station is completed, we are required to rebuild and replace the corbels, patch up the cracks on the walls, repair the woodwork, and repaint the building.
As we celebrate our 150 years of Christian mission, we are reaching out to you, our friends in the community, to ask for your support in helping us return the Church to its former beauty. Preliminary estimates of the cost to restore the building will be over $150,000. We hope you can make a donation to the Church to aid in the restoration effort. Donations may be made in the form of checks made out to “Chinese United Methodist Church” (indicate “150th Anniversary Building Fund” in the notes). As the restoration project proceeds, we will post pictures of the progress we are making at the Church website (https://www.cumcsf.org/150th-anniversary). If you have any questions, please direct inquiry to the email address below.
Sincerely, Adrienne Lieu
CUMC 150 Anniversary Committee Member
To make a donation to help aid the restoration effort, please fill out a pledge card.