Peniel August

July 30, 2018

Peniel

August, 2018

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Journal of An Alien Street Priest:

Growing up in the South, the dog days of August were very real. The weather was hot, humid, we stayed around the house most of the day until the sun set. We drank a lot of ice tea, ate a lot of watermelon, and barbecued. They were days of reflection, and of looking ahead to the coming year.

In reflecting this year during this time I think of our countries psyche  and  my own life.  For me I have discovered within my life, and with  what is  happening  in the greater world similarities.

 I have discovered that my own desire to connect can sometimes become an inordinate attachment to receiving praise, love, and acceptance from others. I often struggle with sacrificing integrity and authenticity to orchestrate attachment to others. There is a phrase from the Henry Rollins album, “weight”, which says: “Loneliness will make you throw your sins away.”

Loneliness eats at our very souls, and I have found I will throw away everything to have a friend, and always it is in vain. The same in our country, we are so afraid we are going to lose the  freedoms and rights we have gained, that we “throw our sins away,” losing our sense of respect for the dialogue of other people who differ from us.

Doing these dog days of August I am listening to the Spirit, and am being reminded  not to fear, to respond in truth and love and to trust. And that is my prayer for others—do not fear, respond in truth and love, and trust each other. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Weekly Meals:

It has become apparent that personally I will not be able to prepare weekly meals alone.  We are asking for volunteers who will put in 4-5  hours a week to package and help serve the meals on the street. Thank you.

We now have two new interns, they are Cale King and Aaron Olaya, Juniors in High School from San Rafael, CA. Both are passionate and caring about people, and find working with us rewarding.

​                                                                                       Aaron                                                                       Cale

 Aaron and Cale.png

Death Penalty Protest:

September 5, Noon-1:00 p.m. we will begin our weekly Death Penalty Protest.  The Death Penalty is in humane, and makes of all of us murderers. Come join us!

We Are Beggars!

Our finances are very low. We are in need of socks, we are in need of money for food, and so we beg, for your support. We continue to minister to 500 plus young people a month through our pastoral care, socks, food, and needle exchange. And so as you reflect during these dog days we pray you will remember us. Please give:

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

Or

Pay Pal at www.temenos.org

Our web site has been changed to a new server it is much easier to go directly to Pay Pal and give directly through your Pay Pal account

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I Learned Everything I Need to Know In Kindergarten

October 23, 2020

I Learned Everything I Need to Know In Kindergarten!

The Most Important Commandment

34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

        Yesterday I received a phone call from a young friend who asked me what I thought of the Pope’s recent comments about civil unions. It is the same question posed by people about events every where, and the only answer I can give is in these words by Eric Rucker:

“We are in between. We’ve let go of one trapese and are hanging in the air, not having grabbed the other bar toward which we are sailing yet. There are no answers for what family, church, and society look like because we are co-creating with God.”

    We are “co-creating with God,” and that co-creation’s chief command is found in our Gospel above , and in the words of Jesus, “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.”

    There was a recent article describing how divided our society has become: rich, poor, different races, and political parties. We are each in our own little group, and Jesus calls us to move out and love one another.

    In his book All I Really Needed to Know I learned in Kindergarten,” Robert Fulghum summarizes the values we teach young children, and values that as we grow older we forget. Take some time and meditate on these values, and ask how do you put them into place:

Share everything.

Play fair.

Don’t hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

Say you are sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.

Flush.

Warm cookes and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life–learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and write and play and work everyday some.

Take a nap every after noon.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffice, hold hands, and stick together.

Play

    This is the common core of humanity, and remembering those words we can say the words with our whole heart all of us learned in the first grade:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Peel back all the mess and this is who we are as we live in America. This is who we are going, and struggle to bring closer into reality. One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. All! Not finished, yet–but “We are in between. We’ve let go of one trapese and are hanging in the air, not having grabbed the other bar toward which we are sailing yet.

Love is needed! “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Let’s become kindergartners again.!

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Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

http://www.temenos.org

What Difference Does It Make?

October 21, 2020

What Difference Does It Make?

“Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his deah on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.” Ephesians 2:16

    This past nearly six months witnessing so much pain and death, and recently with so much pain and exhaustion from having my lungs burned, the question that comes to mind is: “What difference does it make?”

    I can drop dead in my apartment and probably will not be found for days, and then my ass will be burned to a crisp, hopefully, buried at St.Luke’s and then simply forgotten about, so “what difference does it make?

        In “In the Hound of  Heaven”, Francis Thompson wrote:

“I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;

I fled him dow the arches of the years;

I fled Him, down the labrinthine ways

Of my own mind; and in the midst of the tears

I hid from Him, and under running laughter.

Up vistaed hopes, I sped

And shot, precipaitated,

Adore Titanic glorious of chasmed fears.

From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.

But with unhurrying chase,

And unperturbed pace,

Deliberated speed, majestic instancy,

They beat–and a Voice beat

More instant than the Feet–

All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.’.

…………………………………………

“Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest!

Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me’

    I have been driven from the day at age 12, standing around a campfire at Arcadia, a Methodist Church Camp, feeling my heart warmed, and hearing the call to ministry, that rings through the years as clear as that night, and so “what difference does it make?”

    Through the struggles with an institutional Church, whose understanding of sexuality continues to be immature, and destructive, the years of prostitution, and the years working on the streets, I hear that call loud and clear, never dimming, and so “what difference does it make?”

    I have seen people come and go, walk away and condemn, and find myself not fitting in, being a misfit like  adolescents on the street, with no regrets, so “what difference does it make?”

    I fit really into no category, therefore making people uncomfortable, when all we are is an evangelist: “modeling Jesus’s love in our daily lives and finding opportunities to share that love.” A love that is seen in a kaleidoscope of all religions. “What difference does it make?

    Finally, as monuments are being torn down, schools renamed, and new “idols” being raised, remembering my ancestors and myself have worshiped at those idols at one time or another, but have grown and moved on, and yet condemned for the past, I ask myself: “What difference does it make?”

    I have no answers to that, accept to hold to the faith in the One my life is attached to and to hear the words of:

Verna Dozier, from The Dream of God, are words that have guided me, and remind me not to take life seriously:

“And so what difference does it make?”  For me it is simply a question mark (?) with the hope, of one day hearing the words: “Well done my good faithful servant, your work is well done, you are welcome into my Kingdom.” Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min. D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

Snap chat: riodamien 2

415-305-2124

Homo-Sapiens

October 18, 2020

HOMO SAPIENS

Matthew 22:15-22

    We are each classified as “homo-sapien”, meaning “wise person” in Latin.

God created us with the ability to choose wisely, to make decisions that bring fulfillment to ourselves and others.

    Carl  Jung once asked the question “What is my myth? We all have myths that guide us. It is the myth or sometimes the myths we choose that decides how wise we are.

    Jesus was challenged by the Phariseess about his myth:

“Now tell us what you think about this? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”. .Jesus said: “Well then give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God?”

        The “myth” to which Jesus gives the utmost loyalty loyal is described in his words: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind and soul, and thy neighbor as thyself.”

     This is a  myth which has no labels, meets people where they are, and is non-judgmental. In this election season we need to remember that our attitudes and actions determine the future, and as Martin Luthr King, Jr., so bluntly summed it up: “We must love as brothers and sisters or perish as fools.”

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    ” Out beyond ideas of wrong doing or right doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there when the soul lies down in that grass. RUMI. Translated by Coleman Barks

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Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

Trust and Gratitude

October 12, 2020

TRUST AND GRATITUDE

“As for me, I look to the Lord for help, I wait confidently for God to save me.”

    From the manisons  of Pacific Heights to the valley of Noe Valley,  the streets of the Tenderloin, and the hard and tough streets of San Francisco, all of us, the very rich, to the poorest of the poor are afraid, suffering within ourselves from fear. A disease, a killer is running among us.

   If we still ourselves from anxiety and list: these  words will bring   hope and guideance,  the words of  of Francis DeSales and Fr. Henri Nouwen, listed respectively:

“Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations, and say continually: The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart has trusted in Him and I am helped. He is not only with me but in me and I in Him.”


― Francis de Sales

And to offer gratitude:

Gratitude is the most fruitful way of deepening your consciousness that you are not an “accident,” but a divine choice. It is important to realize how often we have had chances to be grateful and have not used them. When someone is kind to us, when an event turns out well, when a problem is solved, a relationship restored, a wound healed, there are very concrete reasons to offer thanks: be it with words, with flowers, with a letter, a card, a phone call, or just a gesture of affection. . . . Every time we decide to be grateful it will be easier to see new things to be grateful for. Gratitude begets gratitude, just as love begets love. (Nouwen)

Let us pray:

“Almighty God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversaries which may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” (Book of Common Prayer)

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Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Finding the Rainbow

October 8, 2020

Finding Rainbows!

22 Jesus also told them other parables. He said, “The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who were invited. But they all refused to come!

“So he sent other servants to tell them, ‘The feast has been prepared. The bulls and fattened cattle have been killed, and everything is ready. Come to the banquet!’ But the guests he had invited ignored them and went their own way, one to his farm, another to his business. Others seized his messengers and insulted them and killed them.

“The king was furious, and he sent out his army to destroy the murderers and burn their town. And he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, and the guests I invited aren’t worthy of the honor. Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see.’ 10 So the servants brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike, and the banquet hall was filled with guests.

11 “But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who wasn’t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding. 12 ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?’ But the man had no reply. 13 Then the king said to his aides, ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

14 “For many are called, but few are chose

     Twenty-two years ago on October 6,1998, Matthew Shepherd was beaten and left for dead—tied to a fence in Wyoming. The only part of his face not covered in blood were  two white lines running down his cheeks from where his tears ran dry. His death ignited a fight for equality and calls us simply to be human, to love our fellow human beings. Matthew was gay, and his death is symbolic of the hate and discrimination that is often given to LGTB Q people.

    Equality for LGBTQ  will truly be manifested when we have “a revolution of the heart” and everyone is seen as a child of God.

    Sarah’s story describes a journey that many experience. She was raised in the South. It was tough. She was in the closet half her life. Her vocation as in a homophobic institution, which is still the same today.

    She suffered from severe depression, fearful she would discovered. During that time she had several therapists, and each one would try to “change her”, and one reported her to the organization resulting in her being dismissed. Sarah has never trusted a  therapist since that time.

    Sarah became a sex worker and reinvented her life, and now is a counselor. Today she finds that her guard must always be up, always the possiblity of being hurt.

    We need to be aware that danger still lurks. Matthew was killed because of hatred and misunderstanding.

    I was invited to attend his burial at Washington Natural Cathredral and watched it on zoom instead. In his statement, the father spoke loud and clear how homophobia is a live and well. They were at peace now because Matthew would be safe, they were afraid to bury his ashes any where else. Homophobia followed Matthew in death for twenty-one years. He is safe now, buried in honor.

    The question I asked myself I often:

“How do I find the energy to keep loving when the world seems to be going the other way?”

    Personally, my answer to the the question is found in these words:

“I have seen Sorrow’s kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows with a harp and a sword in my hands.” “Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on A Road.

    Ultimately to find “the peaky mountain  wrapped in rainbows,” we must remember that in the finality of life the only thing that matters is love.

    We honor Matthew today, rest in peace!

    Deo Gratias! Thanks be To God!

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Father River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

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National Coming Out Day is October 11–Send an     LGBGTQ a message through text or phone. Celebrate who they are. Thank them for their courage in coming out.

Love In Practice!

October 6, 2020

October 1, 2020

Love In Practice

“Love in Practice is a Harsh and Dreadful Thing, Compared With Love in Dreams” Dostoevsky “

St. Therese of the Child Jesus

    On October 1, 1994, the Feast of St. Terese of the Child Jesus, of the “Litte Way, we bought pizza for four young huslers, at the pizza place between Sutter and Geary, the first acts of our ministry.

    Our vision was simply to be a listener, a pastor, being present to young guys in their fears and pain.

    In a world where every ordinary day life becomes  a series of quick questions, every incorrect answer death, and there is no one to trust, we honor our ordination vow: “To preach the Word and Administer the Sacraments,” through listening. Along the way, we have given  food, socks, and a ministry of harm reduction.

    Through the years we have learned to love with out judgement, being indifferent to the world, and listening to the words of St. Therese:

“My vocation is love! In the heart of the Church, who is my Mother, I will be love. So shall be everything and so my dreams shall be fulfilled–to make Love loved.”

        We have come to see all as our brothers and sisters, and success simply as dedication to our path of listening, a path that Dorothy Day sums up for us in these words:

“A revolution that starts with each one of us. When you begin to take the lowest place, to wash the feet of others, to love…with that burning love, that passion which led to the Cross, then we can truly say! Now I have begun. . .”

Thank you to All Who Walk With Us through Prayer and gifts! You have made this journey possible!

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Father River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

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We are beggars! Money is needed for socks, food, and other supplies and we appreciate whatever is given:

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

pay pal can be found on http://www.temenos.org

Lost Boys and Girls

September 30, 2020

Lost Boys and Girls!

    There is a photo of five young black men who were murdered, and they are a symbol of all of the lost boys and girls in the world. We are all lost boys and girls, and in the process, we lose others. We lose them to our selfishness, racism, and all divisions. My personal email is “Lost boys” because I know I am a “lost boy.”

    Each of us is “saved by grace,” and it is in that grace that we stand, and are called to look at our actions in relation to all of life.

    The Feast of Christ the King was created by Pope Pius XI in 1925, at a time when political extremism and naturalism were threatening Europe and partisans both left and right were each offering a kind of secular salvation, often salvation from partisans on the other side. Sound familiar? In this context, the Church felt it an opportune time to remind the faithful that no political system, party, or candidate will bring about the Kingdom of God and that believers need to be wary of the totalizing claims of politics.

    It has always been a temptation to seek salvation by political means. In fact, in all of history salvation and religion have seldom been separate. When St. Paul taught the early Christians to say “Christ is Lord,” he was subversively co-opting a maxim common in the Roman Empire at the time, namely, “Caesar Is Lord”. To acknowledge Christ as Lord is to relativize the claims of politics on our lives. God is in charge, and no matter who is elected on November 3, we will celebrate Christ the King on November 22. Christ Kingdom of non-violence and love is above all.

    I have donors and friends of all persuasions, we differ and many disagree, some strongly with the way I do ministry, many through the years have walked a way. I am told “you never listen.” In otherwords I do not agree.
    But those who stay, are like a kaleidoscope, where our differences sparkle and melt together radiating love and respect.

    Jesus is clear in how he sees us deal with each other and life:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you invited me into our home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.”

    And his life demonstrated one of non-violence-in all areas-and was crucified and rose again demonstrating that victory ultimately comes through non-violence.

    Our calling is to mode our lives around the words of Jesus, and live a life of non-violence.

    We all approach our understanding of this ideal from  different perspectives, and so long as we mode our actions in those differences around providing for the “least of these,” as described by Jesus all is well. We are all sinners, imperfect, working for the Kingdom.

    Dorothy Day did not vote because she would not participate in a “dirty rotten system,” and so for those of us who vote, we need to be aware that our system is “dirty and rotten,” and “hold our nose” as we vote–for there is no perfection in our votes.

    And if our candidate or candidates have different views on an issue dear to our hearts, we are called to respect those he supports, and to move out and actively  work for those he does not, and do so in peace. There is no perfection.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “All I want to do is do God’s will”, which was love of his neighbor and he gave his life for that love.

    One of my favorite stories is of Ajuan, who would get up in the morning and fight all day, at time shake hands, and sit down and eat with his enemy. In the days ahead let us do the same.

    Krisna, tells us: “what occupies the mind at the time of death determines the destination of our dyings,” and T.S.Elliot clarifies his statement: “The time of death is at every moment.”

    We die many deaths, moving towards our final death, and in each death what occupies our minds shape who we are, and the lives of those around us.

    And in each moment may we love each other in all of our differences, not judge, love God, and our neighbor as ourself–may we be a part of the great kaliescope of love. We are all “lost boys and girls”, and only in God can we be found.  Let us pray:

“Life passes so swiftly. Events that a few years ago kept me totally preoccupied have now become vague memories; conflicts that a few months ago seemed so crucial in my life now seem futile and hardly worth the energy; inner turmoil that robbed me of my sleep only a few weeks ago has now become a strange emotion of the past; books that filled me with amazement a few days ago now do not seem important; thoughts that kept my mind captive a few hours ago have now lost their power and have been replaced by others. .Why am I continuously trapped in this sense of urgency and emergency? Why do I not see that you are eternal, that your kingdom lasts forever, and that for you a thousand years are like one day? O Lord, let me enter into your presence and there taste eternal, timeless, everlasting love with which you invite me to let go of my time-bound anxieties, fears, preoccupations, and worries. .Lord, teach me your ways and give me courage to follow them. Amen. (Henri Nouwen)

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Fr. River Sims, D.Min.

http://www.temenos.org

punkpriest1@gmail.com

Hard Questions, Harder Answers

September 28, 2020

Hard Questions, Harder Answers

“I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord.”

Last night I pronounced these words as I held the hands of a dying young man at the time of his death:

“There is nothing in death or life,

in the world, as it is or the world as it shall be,

nothing in all creation can separate us from your love.

We commend him  into your loving care.

Enfold him in the arms of your mercy.

Bless him in his dying wish and in his rising again in you.
Bless those whose hearts are filled with sadness,

that they too may know the hope of the resurrection;

for the sake of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Go forth Sean  on your journey from this world,

in the love of God the Father who created you,

in the mercy of Jesus the Redeemer who suffered for you,

in the power of the Holy Spirit who keeps you in life eternal.

May you dwell this day in peace,

and rest in the presence of God. Amen.

    Todays reading speaks to us in this time of death that surrounds us. We ask or at least I do a lot, “Where is God in all this?”

    There is no simple or easy answer. It is one of the mysteries of the being a human being. Few people were tested as severely as Jesus. Yet we know from the his life that suffering is not the last word.

    Our lectionary reading today Psalm 17:1-7 offers a response beyond our anger, our doubt, our fears: “Though you test my heart, searching it in the night/though you try me with fire/you shall find no malice in me” 

    It is a reminder of words from Marie Howe: “The wounded have to become the healers.”

    When faced with personal difficulties, when caught up in the political fight, when faced with illness and death, how will we choose to respond? With compassion toward ourselves and others? Will we see others as just broken human beings on the journey, and meet them half way? Will we seek the grace to say:”You will find no malice in me?

    And can we read the words of Henri Nouwen and pray:”You will find no malice in me?”:

A Death for Others
The great mystery is that all people who have lived with and in the Spirit of God participate through their deaths in the sending of the Spirit. God’s love continues to be sent to us, and Jesus’ death continues to bear fruit through all whose death is like his death, a death for others.

This is the mystery of Jesus’ death and of the deaths of all who lived in his Spirit. Their lives yield fruit far beyond the limits of their short and often very localized existence.
May the Lord be with you as we remember
“Life is short and we have never to much time for gladdening the heart of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.” Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
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Father River Damien Sims, D.Min.,D.S.T.
http://www.temenos.org


Peniel–October, 26th Anniversary

September 27, 2020

Peniel, “Where Jacob Walked With God!”

Temenos Catholic Worker

Twenty sixth Anniversary Edition

October 1, 2020

Fr. River Sims, sfw, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

415-305-2124

www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Snap chat: riodamien2

Journal of An Alien Street Priest:

“Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.  For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?’ And I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.” Proverbs 30: 8-9

At the start of the Spiritual Exercises , St. Ignatius Loyola writes:

“Human beings are created to praise, reverence, and serve God. . .We ought not to seek health, rather than sickness, wealth rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor. “…….

Instead our one desire should be for the freedom to choose whatever best allows us to fulfill “the purpose for which we are created.”

            Twenty six years ago on October 1, at the pizza place, down the street, which is still serving, we  bought pizza for several young hustlers, dirty, exhausted, and thus began the journey of fulfilling “the purpose for which we are created.”

            We are in the autumn of our life and ministry now, is beautiful with blazing leaves, and yet  we see the end of a season advancing in the dying leaves on the ground, and the cool weather at night. And so, we tire easily, have pain from a broken collar bone, becoming wrinkled; sagging, and ever so slowly, the leaves are dying.

             As we enjoy the beauty of the leaves we hear the words of Dorothy Day, “The final word is love.” It is an active love, action not words, despite our feelings, encompassing others. It is a love that moves across all boundaries: age, political, race, creed, ethnic background and brings wholeness.

            And that wholeness arrives as we in the words of Henri Nouwen experience our real human grief in “allowing the illusion of immortality to die in us. When those whom we love with an “endless love” die, something also has to die within us. If we do not allow this to happen, we will lose touch with reality, our lives will become increasingly artificial, and we will lose our human capacity for compassion.”

            When we look death in the face, and not use the illusion of immortality to shield us from the suffering around us, our hearts are open to compassion that is an active compassion embracing all.

            Buddha describes our vision of ministry, “When you like a flower you pluck it; when you love a flower you water it daily.”

            And so we  continue to water the flowers, without expecting anything in return, continue in our struggle to let go, and pray that like the Velveteen Rabbit we will drop all of our leaves ultimately to  be truly real.

“Wasn’t I real before?” asked the little Rabbit. “You were Real to the Boy,” the Fairy said, “because he loved you. Now you shall be real to every one.”

Thank you for walking with us on our journey! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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Thanksgiving Celebration!

     We are going to prepare a meal of turkey and dressing casserole and serve on the streets of Polk and Haight Thanksgiving and will have our first Eucharist since the shutdown.

      Until the pandemic is under control, and it is safe we will not use volunteers. We will not compromise on this stance. 

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Volunteers

    We can use volunteers to put socks together. If you would like to help we will arrange for socks to be picked up or we will bring them to you. That would be most helpful. So please email or call.

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We Truly Are Beggars!

    We have intentionally not since March, pushed for donations because people are struggling, and everywhere we turn you are receiving requests. But as we enter the holiday time of the year, we are begging for donations, our needs for socks, food, and support are deep. So please give, and we are beggars.

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

www.temenos.org

Pay pal on the website

415-305-2124

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Holy Communion

    For anyone desiring Holy Communion, we can set up time on Zoom or by phone, and celebrate together. Just email or call me — 415-305-2124. We can meet at your time of choice. You will simply need to have the elements of bread and wine or just bread.

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    “Creator and lover of our souls: Teach us to release our burdens and accept your love.

    May your love be the deepest reality of our lives, and may we offer real love to others. Amen.”  (Daily Prayer for All Seasons, p. 147.

Holy Troublemakers

September 23, 2020

Holy Troublemakers and Unconventional Saints

by Daneen Akers

    Akers in this book emphasizes the stories of women. LGBTQ people, people of color, Indigenous people, and other who have often been written out of religious narratives. These stores are a challenge and move us towards more love and a faith that works for the common good of all.

    The main criticism is that she goes to a comfortable edge in her stories, people who basically are mainstream now. Many are controversial in other parts of the country, and in our conservative churches, but for San Francisco, they are rather tame.

    Several of these figures have challenged traditional sexual norms, yet little was discussed about those challenges.

    I laugh because I never have talked to church people about sexuality. My early experience raised in a homophobic church was all negative, anyone who was not married and did not do the missionary position was sinners, liking guys meant you would be hanged figuratively and sometimes literally. I remember in one town where I served a young man was caught having sex and his minister listed him in the bulletin for prayer, and the girl was shunned; now churches that are open and affirming never talked about sex and certainly not to youth–because of the fear deep within our society of pedophiles. Yet our advertisements on bulletin boards, T.V. etc. have girls that are really on the edge of being too young.

    My true sex education came as a whore on the street, and then later academically through university courses. I learned everything about sex on the streets, but the one lesson that I have worked through for years is that sex in any form is a gift from God provided you do not hurt anyone, but use it in care and concern for the other and for one’s self,   “Thou shalt love the Lord your God. . and your neighbor as yourself.”

    Sexuality is about our total being.  We are sexual, whether or not, we have the physical act of sex. It is in that blend of feminine and masculine that we find our greatest selves. We are sexual animals from the day we are born until the day that we die. 

    People of all ages, social backgrounds, and ages talk to me about sex, because their minister are afraid to, churches never talk to their youth, and I listen, without making a judgment.

    Forty-percent of LGBTQ youth is homeless, and alone because of their sexuality. One woman who is now 35, recently sent an email of thanks because she could talk to me about sex when she was 16, no other minister would talk to her without judgment.

    Sexuality has been used throughout history to control and manipulate people. Women have been subdued, controlled, and manipulated, and still are.

     Today sexuality is used in politics, ie abortion, and politicians continue to use it as a tool, that is turned into much pain for many, looking at the black and white, rather than the grey areas.

    Holy Troublemakers, Unconventional Saints does not open up those edges of sexuality, that bring the goodness to life. It is a good book about heroes, but the majority of the heroes mentioned have walked the tight edge of sexuality that is whole, good, and fruitful, and we need to hear of those edges.

    Until we open the doors, move out in the open about sexuality, and see it in all manifestations as but a kaleidoscope of life, we will continue an oppression of people which affects all of life.

    “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, thy mind, and thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself.”

Jesus of  Nazareth

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Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

www. tememos.org

415-305-2124

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