San Francisco is teeming with sounds and sights and smells that are atypical. We came to cultivate SF but we are not the ones with drills in the ground, trying to change what is happening here. We came to learn from SF, to walk among her people, to listen, to capture shots of her beauty.
The first stop in town had to be the Golden Gate Bridge. There is a sense of awe that sweeps over you when you’re near. It's not just metal. It's not just a way for cars to get to the other side. It is a work of art. Let us not ever underestimate the beauty of useful and necessary things.
And then we met Perpetua. She came to Mission Dolores, which is a park in central SF. We always do photo walks before our Gatherings so that people have a chance to capture some pictures of the city and of each other. Here’s the thing though. Perpetua came not because she previously had met us. She came because her friend all the way in Kenya tagged her on the Instagram Cultivate San Francisco event just that morning. She showed up at 4:00pm and quickly began to feel like a warm, familiar friend. Her courage to come check out what we were doing gave us such peace to continue on.
The sun began to set over the city, and we made our way to Golden City Church, one of the oldest churches in SF. This night was different than most. It was more intimate than other Gatherings as we all just shared from our weaknesses and victories and low places and God-inspired revelations.
Josh Sisco, Pastor of Golden City Church, talked about how we must choose to see what God is doing in our cities instead of looking at the ugly parts—the shattered windows, the dilapidated homes, the families estranged, the feces smeared on sidewalks and the kid having to sit beside it. Do not turn a blind eye to these realities, but let that stir you to bring your beauty with all the more fervency. This is why we invite all to come to our Gatherings because whether you’re a musician, a writer, an architect, or someone still searching and frustrated, you are needed.
Thursday came to a close just as quickly as it started, but SF holds such ripe beginnings. Cultivation is all about the long-term work. It is never a task completed or an event set up, torn down, never to be done again. The people in SF gave generously of their time and space and lives.
We have only to come again and learn more from you.
To read some stories from our Cultivate Gatherings click here.