The Basics: Location, Time, & Kids
ATTENTION: AUGUST LOCATION!
Due to an annual deep-clean at all SFUSD schools, we are gathering at the St. John's Presbyterian Church on Lake Street during August. In the fall, we will return to New Traditions Elementary School
Citizens gathers on the first three Sundays of every month at the St. John's Presbyterian Church** (on Lake and Arguello).
Our services begin at 4:30pm and last ~75 minutes. Each week, we strive to offer quality music, thoughtful teaching, and sincere community. Atmosphere and dress is casual, so come as you are!
For families with children, Citi-Kids offers age-appropriate play and learning with trained volunteers in a safe, fun environment. Citi-Kids is a great place to make friends and learn about who Jesus is.
If you have any more specific questions, see "What to Expect" questions below.
**Note: St. John's Presbyterian Church are not affiliated with or sponsors of Citizens Church.
How to Get Here
St. John's Presbyterian Church is located off Lake Street and Arguello Blvd in the Presidio Heights neighborhood of San Francisco.
If you're taking public transit, we are closest to the 33, 1, 2, and the 38. Lyft and Uber rides are always close by, too.
If you're driving, only limited street & neighborhood parking is available. Plan some extra time to hunt for a spot.
What can I expect?
Attending a new church can be a little unsettling, especially if you don't already know someone. If you're not the blind-date type, below you'll find a more detailed description of our Sunday gatherings. If you have any additional questions, send us a message.
+ When should I plan to get there?
Most people will be arriving between 4:20pm and 4:30pm. (And don't worry if you arrive late. We've been there!)
+ What do I do while I wait for everything to start?
Grab some coffee and pick up a Welcome Card. There will be someone to talk to, information to take home, and a selection of books that have shaped the vision and convictions of our community.
+ How do I enroll my kids in childcare?
If you have children elementary aged or younger, then someone will direct you to Citi-Kids ministry. One of our volunteers will guide you through the check-in process and introduce your child(ren) to the teacher. (And before you come, read "What My Kids Can Expect" with them.)
+ My kids are too old for Citi-Kids, or not interested. What can they do?
For older kids and for those who would rather sit with their parents, we have Sunday Coloring sheets, crayons, and lollipops in the back. The coloring sheets are listening guides for kids that help them to stay engaged in the Sunday service. On the way home, they also provide a great way to talk with your kids about what they saw and heard.
+ What's a typical worship service like?
At Citizens, we always open with songs that walk through the basic gospel story: that God is good, even when we are not, and Christ saves freely. Afterwards, we take a short break to "pass the peace" and welcome each other. A pastor will then teach from a section of the Bible, seeking to explain it and relate it to life in San Francisco. Then, we finish with the Lord's Supper, an opportunity for Citizens members to give financially, and a couple more songs. We close with a benediction, "a blessing for the road."
+ Do I have to [sing, stand, talk, take communion, give money, etc.]?
You are our guest and are welcome as you are. There is wide freedom to participate (or not) in each aspect of our worship. In particular, communion and giving is offered for those who believe in Jesus Christ and are able to do so in faith and with joy. If you don't believe, you can stay seated. Don't worry about offending anyone.
+ If I like it, what's next?
Our Sunday Gathering, while vital, is only one expression of Citizens Church. If you like it, come back and see us again! But be sure and fill out a Connect Card. We'll add you to our weekly email and a leader will reach out to you about opportunities to connect more meaningfully to our community.
What Can My Kids Expect?
We know that first impressions are really important for children in new places, especially our more anxious, shy kids. Children decide how they feel about something very quickly, often before they even arrive. We want to help you empower your children to feel safe and confident while with us. Read through the questions below so that you can help your child know what to expect.
+ What will be my child's first experience of Citizens?
Your son or daughter will walk with you to the classroom and check into Citi-Kids. The classroom is Room 6, just down the hall from the auditorium, and is very welcoming.
Every kid gets a sticker with their name on it, your phone number and any special instructions. You will also receive a matching sticker, that will include a unique code that connects you with your child.
+ Then what?
After checking in, your child will join the classroom. Each week, we try to have a teacher and two helpers. We always have coloring, Play-Doh, and other games ready while kids wait to start the lesson. Parents can stay as long as they need while children adjust to the new environment.
+ What's the classroom like?
Room 6 is a kindergarten classroom. While we try not to bother the teacher's things, we bring in toys, puzzles, Play-Doh, coloring supplies, and other fun activities. There are tables and chairs for story and activity time, and a smaller enclosed play-space for crawlers and toddlers. The bathroom is just down and across the hall. We also make use of the outdoor play structure and play yard.
+ What happens during Citi-Kids?
We begin with 15-25 minutes of free play. Then, we learn a short Bible story by reading, acting it out, asking questions, or doing crafts. Then, if the weather permits, we play outside on the play structure and with outdoor toys. Outside, we also have a snack and water. (All snacks are nut-, meat-, and egg-free. Let us know if your child has additional allergies or needs.) Before the end of service, we come back inside to gather our crafts and clean up.
+ What if my child gets sad?
If your son or daughter becomes sad or frustrated, we will probably take a break with a helper to help you calm down. If after 5-10 minutes, the child is not consolable, we will text/call the responsible adult to ask for assistance. If sadness persists for a few weeks, let us know and we'll make a game plan with you for helping your child.
+ How do I check out my children?
We ask parents to pick up their children within ten minutes of the conclusion of the service. Kids will only be released to adults with matching stickers. Please do not send anyone else to pick up your child, even an older sibling. If you lose your sticker, notify a volunteer and they will contact a staff member to approve the request.