Jeff Gaines, Pastor
I moved a lot as a kid, attending 9 schools in 12 years before high school — so its been pure gift to call San Francisco home since 1991 when I came to Seventh Avenue Church.
As native Californian, born in San Jose, I think of the Northwest as home even though I haven't lived there since I graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 1975. After a three-year stint back East at seminary in New Jersey, I was fortunate to be called to be one of the pastors at First Presbyterian Church of Monterey were I served for 12 years.
In Monterey, I really got into the liturgical art, and for a number of years, dance was my passion consuming much my free time. When I moved to San Francisco, though the arts are still core to me, I felt a deep call to the interior or spiritual life. Since then spiritual direction, leading retreats and pilgrimages to France have captured my imagination.
One thing I've learned about one's life with God is that Spirit is always placing new opportunities before us — so to know both ourselves and God more fully. All we need to do is open our heart and lives … and we'll be changed.
If I were to describe myself — I would say I'm eclectic in my likes and outlook as well as playful in spirit. I love to laugh; to meet new people and to explore that which I've not yet experienced.
Jeff received his Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ in 1979 and his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA in 1975.
Concurrent with his responsibilities at Seventh Avenue Church, Jeff was also spiritual director at the Lloyd Center Pastoral Counseling Service Center on campus of San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS), San Anselmo, CA.
He left the seminary in 1995 to become the first Executive Director of Spiritual Directors International [SDI] as well as continuing his ministry to the community of Seventh Avenue Church. In June of 2002, Jeff left SDI focusing his attention on the ministry at SAPC. He has a private spiritual direction practice as well as being a retreat leader and conference speaker at gatherings throughout the United States as well as internationally.
Gaines is known as a liturgist and liturgical designer. For the past decade he has been the lead liturgist/ celebrant for Companions on the Inner Way Retreats where he incorporates a variety of forms of art, instruments and movements into each liturgy. Since 2002, Jeff and some colleagues have been leading spiritual pilgrimages to France entitled: Portals to the Sacred.
Prior to coming to San Francisco, Jeff was Associate Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Monterey (1979-1991), a member of staff with the Iona Community in Scotland (1979) as well as serving as a chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, Trenton, NJ (1977-1978). He also worked as an interpreter for world hunger with CROP/Church World Service out of the regional office in Rocky Hill, NJ (1978-1979).
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Or call: (415) 664-2543 ext 2