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An update from GLIDE about our relationship with the California-Nevada Conference

GLIDE’s Assets Are Held in Trust for the People of San Francisco, Not the United Methodist Church

To the supporters and extended family of GLIDE,

The GLIDE Foundation filed a countersuit yesterday in its legal dispute with the California-Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (CNAC) and Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño. In the countersuit, GLIDE explains that Lizzie Glide put her 330 Ellis Street property into a charitable trust in 1929 so it could be used for religious, charitable, and educational purposes, held in trust for all people of San Francisco, not for the CNAC or the United Methodist Church (UMC).

Over the past ninety years, GLIDE has been true to Lizzie Glide’s wishes and used the 330 Ellis Street property to operate programs ranging from a Women’s Center to the Daily Free Meals Program (which serves over 750,000 meals annually) to GLIDE’s church. Since the 1960s, when Cecil Williams, an ordained Methodist minister, and later his wife Janice Mirikitani, first arrived, GLIDE has focused its efforts on helping and empowering the most marginalized in San Francisco. Since then, GLIDE’s 330 Ellis Street facility, in the heart of the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood, has been home to GLIDE’s many programs.

These efforts and programs have resonated across the city and far beyond.

GLIDE’s countersuit says CNAC and the Bishop’s lawsuit filed in December is baseless because it ignores Lizzie Glide’s wishes, the CNAC-GLIDE relationship over the past ninety years, and the revolutionary changes at GLIDE that started in the 1960s under The Reverend Cecil Williams, which have placed GLIDE at the center of efforts to help San Francisco’s most vulnerable. GLIDE’s suit also claims that the Bishop breached fiduciary duties and interfered with its activities as trustee of the 330 Ellis Street property.

“GLIDE exists to help the less fortunate, to give hope, provide unconditional love, spiritual nourishment, and to make San Francisco and the world a better place,” said Mary Glide, a board member and great-great granddaughter of Lizzie Glide. “My great-great grandmother was clear: She wanted her property used to help and benefit the people of San Francisco. GLIDE’s community services are extensive and vital to the people of San Francisco and fulfill the commitment, purpose and legal parameters of the original trust and assets of Lizzie Glide.”

As stated in the suit filed in San Francisco Superior Court by our lead attorney, Scott T. Nonaka of the law firm Sidley Austin LLP, “This case is about one California nonprofit organization (the CNAC) trying to seize control over the operations and assets of another nonprofit corporation (GLIDE).” GLIDE’s complaint asks the court to protect GLIDE, its services, and its assets from a hostile and unwarranted attempt by CNAC and Bishop Carcaño to seize control of GLIDE operations and assets without a valid claim.

Over the past many months, GLIDE has been preparing for all contingencies to ensure our work continues and our donors’ intent is honored no matter what happens with this lawsuit. Our staff are focused every day on what is most important—stepping up to meet the growing need in our city for meaningful solutions to help those most in need. The future of GLIDE is at stake in this legal battle, but we are confident we will succeed, not just because we are on the right side of the law, but also because we are on the right side of the facts. Everything we do is grounded in religion, charity, and education, just as Lizzie Glide wanted.

Again, as stated in February 27’s court filing, “Many know GLIDE as a beacon and refuge for the people of San Francisco. For the city’s fortunate, GLIDE has inspired, prodded, and nudged us to follow our better angels. For the city’s marginalized, GLIDE has given us a community of unconditional love, hope, and inclusion. To those touched by GLIDE, it’s more than an organization: It’s a source of physical and spiritual nourishment, a place of healing, an advocate and guidance counselor wrapped into one, a place to gather and worship, thousands of volunteers, a social service center and health clinic, and a place to celebrate the spirit. Put differently, to many San Franciscans, GLIDE is our city’s conscience and soul.”

This dispute with CNAC and Bishop Carcaño is nothing short of a fight to keep the GLIDE we all know alive.

Thank you for your continued support and the innumerable acts of love we have received since this dispute arose last year.

Karen Hanrahan

President and CEO