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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Accepting Our Wholeness:Both Light and Darke

January 17, 2019

Accepting Our Wholeness-Both the Light and the Dark

Mark 1:40-45 The Message (MSG)

4″0 A leper came to him, begging on his knees, “If you want to, you can cleanse me.”

41-45 Deeply moved, Jesus put out his hand, touched him, and said, “I want to. Be clean.” Then and there the leprosy was gone, his skin smooth and healthy. Jesus dismissed him with strict orders: “Say nothing to anyone. Take the offering for cleansing that Moses prescribed and present yourself to the priest. This will validate your healing to the people.” But as soon as the man was out of earshot, he told everyone he met what had happened, spreading the news all over town. So Jesus kept to out-of-the-way places, no longer able to move freely in and out of the city. But people found him, and came from all over.”

“It is very difficult for each of us to believe Christ’s words, “I did  not come to call the virtuous, but sinners..” Perhaps no psychologist has stressed the need for self-acceptance as the way to self-realization so much as Carl Jung. For Jung, self-realization meant the integration  of the shadow. It is the growing ability to allow the dark side of our personality to enter into our awareness and thus prevent a one-sided life in which only that is presentable to the outside world is considered as a real part of ourselves.  To come to an inner unity, totality, and wholeness, every part of our self should be accepted and integrated. Christ represents the light in us. But Christ was crucified between two murderers and we cannot deny them, and certainty not the murderers who live in us.” Henry Nouwen

In the time of Jesus leprosy was not just one disease, but was any scaling, of the skin, acne would have been considered leprosy. People who touched those with “leprosy” were considered law breakers, usually pushed to edges of society. Jesus broke the law. He demonstrated that love and care broke the boundaries of the leprosy of his time.

We have forms of  leprosy in our society which separate us from people, for we all have the goodness of God with in us, the ability to love our neighbor, but we let the “law” separate us, laws that we make to protect ourselves.

Two forms of leprosy are privilege and survivors guilt.

We are all entitled to housing and health care, but our streets are filled with people suffering from no housing and health care. Those of us who are Caucasian are very privilege.  It is difficult for us to go beyond that privilege because when we do so we feel guilty, and we question why we can have what we have and others can not, so we put up our walls. This past year each day I would go to Kaiser I felt guilty because every one I know on the streets do not have that “privilege,” sometimes it was difficult to look them in the eyes; people who get off the street have trouble seeing their friends on the street again because of guilt over that privilege.

Survivor’s guilt is a common problem for those who survive disaster, illness, and other forms of death dealing disasters. I have known men who survived the AID’S CRISIS of the 80’s who have let that guilt incapacitate them in their relationships and all of their lives–they live in the past, feeling guilt; I experience survivor’s guilt–surviving the streets, surviving vocationally, surviving attempts on my life. 

Both of these can separate us from caring from our neighbors who are different from us, but the reality is we are no different, we all  suffer, we hurt, and struggle, it is just some of us have been more privileged by the color of our skin, intelligence, or just plain luck, to live more comfortable lives. And we fear we may lose that privilege so we have difficulty looking the “others” in their faces. A person who became homeless recently told me how her friends have turned their backs  away her.  We are afraid that we too may go that way. We live in the fear that we may become one of the “other’, we may get leprosy.

Only in accepting our dark side, as one of our two halves, can we truly come to healing, and to loving our fellow human beings and all of creation. Dr. Will Tuttle summarizes it in this way:

“Love brings freedom, joy, power, grace, peace, and the blessed fulfillment of selfless service. Our true nature is calling us to awaken our capacity for love, which is understanding.”

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Making Time For Life

January 16, 2019
MAKING TIME FOR LIFE!
Mark 1:29-39
All people make mistakes. All of us are sinners. All of us are criminals. All of us violate the law at some point in our lives. In fact, if the worst thing you have ever done is speed ten miles over the speed limit on the freeway, you have put yourself and others at more risk of harm than someone smoking marijuana in the privacy of his or her living room. Yet there are people in the United States serving life sentences for first-time drug offenses, something virtually unheard of anywhere else in the world.
Michelle Alexander

Remembering Janet B. Jones

January 12, 2019

 

Remembering Janet B. Jones

“Beloved Follower of Christ”

I learned of Janet’s death yesterday. She was found deceased in her home on Van Ness Avenue yesterday morning. My heart was filled with sadness, and grief. 

On the surface one would see Janet as a prim and proper Episcopalian. She was white haired, slender, well educated, but her life was lived as a “Doer of the Word.” She was active in her church participating as a Lector, and in so many other ways, but where she shined was in her service to others. She missed our Good Friday Service last year because she was sitting with someone who was dying; she took the Eucharist to people regularly, she visited the sick, and fed the homeless. Janet was a “Doer of the Word”.

And to me she was a good friend.  Janet has edited our newsletter for years, she spent endless hours editing my dissertation, and when I became ill last week and my phone had been turned off, she emailed me to call her,  to let her know I was alright. I called, and told her I was sick and in bed. Next I knew she sent me an email saying she had paid for food for me for the week to pick up a cross the street; when I had surgery last year, she sat with me several days so I would not be alone; Janet celebrated communion with me several times when I could not do it myself or get out.

More importantly she was a pastor to me. Last year I became bitter after my surgery, it showed in my writing, and my attitude toward others, I was very, very lonely. One day Janet looked me in the eyes, with her all knowing and caring look,  and told me a story of how a young guy taught her that forgiveness was the most important thing in all relationships, and that judgment was useless, and to truly live you lived without judgment and you forgave. She said, “You are that young guy,” pray, and think, and go back to the One who is always with you, and you will find healing.”

That was the beginning of my healing, of coming back to being myself. She taught me that while others may turn, always forgive and we remain whole.

She gave me a poem to read, to reflect upon, and I now leave you  with this poem, and with the knowledge that Janet has now joined that Great Cloud of Witnesses, cheering me on in my ministry, and cheering all of us  in our respective ministries,  until we join her and all the saints.

Love After Love

The day will come the time will come when with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door and each will smile at each other’s welcome saying sit here, eat

you will love again the stranger who was yourself.

Give wine, give bread, give back your heart to yourself to the stranger who loved you all your life who ignored you for one another who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, feel your own image in the mirror, see it.

Feast on your life.

Derek Walcot

Janet knew that when we feast on our own lives, seeing our own goodness, we can open ourselves to share that goodness with others. 

Janet:

“May the Lord bless you, and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine up on you.  May the Lord be gracious to you.  And may the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and grant  you peace. Amen.”

If you would like to remember Janet and her ministry.

Please give gifts to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1755 Clay Street, San Francisco, CA. 94109

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Remember Your Baptism and Keep It Holy!

January 11, 2019

Remember Your Baptism And Keep It Holy!

“After all the people had been baptized Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.”

There is a poem entitled “Wait” by Galway Kinnel, which reads:

Wait, for now.

“Distrust everything. If you have to.

But trust the hours. Haven’t they

carried you everywhere, up to now?”

One of the hours that I trust was the hour of my baptism on a sunny day in May. I was so excited. My parents had been raised in the Baptist tradition and did not believe in infant baptism, so I had to wait until I came of age (ha! at 12). As the water was dripped on my head I was overwhelmed with joy and my life seemed so full. That was followed in  August with my experience of my  call  to ministry at a campfire.  I remember those two hours in my worst times, and they carry me through.

I remember as a student pastor my first baptism. Two young guys, brothers. There parents too was of a Baptist background, and wanted them immersed. On a hot summer day we gathered at a creek and as I baptized them, I felt God’s Spirit so close, and was so thrilled to be a pastor. That was an hour of trust I remember in my low times.

Another hour I remember is the night when I was on the street and so far away from ministry, that I had nothing but disgust for it. A young friend of mine was seeing a “john” in a motel, and the date went wrong and he was stabbed. He called me and as we waited for an ambulance, his blood dripping over me, Shane requested to be baptized. He was 19, and he looked in my eyes, and said, “I know you are a minister, and my friend, please, please baptize me.”  Dripping water out of a glass the words of baptism were pronounced, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” and added, “May God receive you into his Kingdom,” and a few minutes later Shane entered into the Kingdom.  This is an hour in which I trust, and hold on to, and remember in tough times.

Baptism says to us, “You are my beloved son or daughter,” you can trust me in your hour of pain, need, and doubt.”

Through the years I have baptized many–in churches, hospitals, hospices, and on the streets, and each time it reminds me that it is an hour that I can trust because it calls me back to the Beloved.

God never let’s us go, we move away from God, but Jesus will always seek us out, “trust the hours.”

“Remember your baptism and keep it holy.”

 

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Perfect Love

January 8, 2019

Perfect Love

Mark 6:34-44

“Give them some food yourselves.”

Last night I gave a young lady some food, as she huddled under  her blanket, and she smiled and said: “You are giving me communion!” And for me each piece of food I give is the body of Jesus, becoming flesh in the person given the food.

She told me that this was all she had to eat all day. Studies show that nearly one in four people go hungry each day in San Francisco, they lack nourishment. The wealthiest City in the nation, and people go hungry. People walked by her last night with food in their hands and simply ignored her.

Jesus did not care much about appearances.  The first line of the gospel demonstrates his care: Jesus heart was moved with pity, He felt compassion for people who were suffering. His immediate response was to feed both their spiritual and physical hunger. Jesus fed them with loaves and fishes through the people present. Each shared of what he or she had and there was enough. He also demonstrated and revealed the deeper sustenance that comes from God’s word and the promise of God’s enduring love.

So we are to do the same. To love one another without regard to race, creed, social or economic standing, gender or sexual orientation. For we are all the same.

We are called to be the love that Jesus so perfectly demonstrated to the world.

The people in Washington D.C. this week who are demonstrating in Witness Against Torture are being the love of Jesus to the world. Lifting up the pain of people on Guantanamo Bay and our neglect of them. 

We can be the love of Christ each time we eat in a restaurant by having our left over food boxed up and giving it to a homeless person; we can take our left overs at home and give out. We can keep candy bars on us and give as we move through our daily routine. Simple ways of demonstrating the love of Jesus.

Personally I have given up hope of our government doing very much, but where hope for me comes from is in each person who reaches out and feeds the hungry, one by one, builds a majority who can change the world, Feed some one today!

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Doing and Being

January 7, 2019

Doing and Being

Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25

In our lectionary reading Jesus is about doing: “He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people.”

His ministry was of doing. He got his hands dirty, he preached the Good News, but he was also about being. Rabbi Heschel tells us that in our age when knowledge is king that we need to be on guard for the “the immense preciousness of being.” Fred Rogers said, “Just be quiet and think, it makes all the difference in the world.”

Taking time to be allows us to comprehend our lives, and our world, and see that we are all in it together. We are so splintered, and our technology brings the good but also the bad. The negative is our lack of communication with one another, our lack of being observant of our part in climate change,and homelessness, and what we can do. We all bare  guilt, we all bare responsibility to make changes.

I am ill with a high fever that comes and goes, my shoulder is in a lot of pain this week, but the blessing is simply to be.

I have been questioned a lot about why I do what I do, and it is simply that  been lead through my own circumstances and experiences.

I was on the street for three years, had to fight each day for a place to sleep, had to endure threats of violence, and some days not eating–even now I eat sometimes too much because I am afraid I want have anything later, when I have plenty;

I have walked with people as they face murder trials and seen them go to prison for life; my son was murdered, and through my own journey came to see the death penalty as wrong, but can understand the other side;

I work with people on death row, and those who may go, seeing them as children of God, who have hope. I simply do not argue the other side of any of these issues, because for me arguing is useless, I know where my responsibility lays.

Now I face threats of violence, in the present housing market, my place of living is insecure, and financially I struggle, sometimes not knowing where the next dollar is going to come from.

All of this is why I work with homeless kids, and people who are on or facing death row simply as children of God, without judgment. That is why I protest the death penalty. I have and still face plenty of judgment–I will not pass it on–that is God’s responsibility.

Today we begin the Guantanamo Bay Fast. “The US attempts to make demons out of the 40 men still detained at Guantanamo, stoking citizen’s fears and then satisfying that fear with lawless brutality against these men. We fast to keep their humanity in front of our own eyes and the eyes of our nation. Let us fast and act together this week in  search for a solidarity that transforms.”

My goal in life is the search for a “solidarity that transforms,” and as I share my journey, I invite each of you to reflect upon your journey, and simply be, and in that being seeing the “solidarity that transforms,” as that which holds each of us together, and brings us into right relations with each person we encounter and nature around us. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

The Hidden Revealed

January 6, 2019

The Hidden Revealed

Matthew 2:10-11

“They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his  mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense , and myrrh.”

A game that some friends, Matt and Jacob,  and I have played this past year has been “Chasing the Tiger”,  which is basically hide and seek, as we chased the tiger through the woods in Marin County. After mid night, in the shadows of the night, in the darkness of the Park, one of us chase the other two, the tigers. You never know where you will end up–in the creek, the doorways of the school, but you keep on until you catch the tiger or you get tired, and give up.  It is delightful, and always full of surprises, as we try to reveal the tiger who is hidden.

Walking down Polk Street late at night one brings to mind the  photos taken in war zones across the world, for we see people sleeping in our door ways, huddled under what cover they have, cold, afraid, dirty, hungry. They have no where to go, they watch for predators who will rob them of whatever they have, beat them up, they watch for the police who will move them out of their sleeping place, and they watch for the housed  people walking down the street who scoff at them,  call them names, sometimes kick them or simply ignore them as they go into the fine restaurants and bars.

Epiphany calls us to reflect upon the Hidden One reflected in the 12 million undocumented immigrants on our borders and in the country, and the millions of refugees world wide, who suffer in homelessness, isolation, and rejection.

Epiphany calls us to to meditate upon the Hidden One at Guantanamo Bay, forgotten through the years. Below is an announcement of the Guantanamo Bay Protest this week, and ways of participating in which we can reveal the Hidden One.

The are the Hidden One, is waiting to be revealed on this day of Epiphany. Today as we celebrate the revelation of Christ to the world, let us remember the “better angels” in our midst, who call each of us to reveal the Hidden One, Christ, in our actions and attitude towards those who are homeless, refugees, and imprisoned in our world.

Call to Fast in Solidarity: From Gitmo to Kings Bay Plowshares

Join us from home or in DC

Dear Friends,

We’ll be gathering tomorrow in DC for Witness Against Torture’s week-long Fast for Justice. If you can’t join us in person, we invite you to join us from home, fasting with us in solidarity with the men in Guantanamo or taking action in other ways. We welcome you to join a conference call with us on Monday evening.  Details are at the end of this message.

This year, we will also be fasting in solidarity with the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 (KBP7), our friends who are currently awaiting trial for their dramatic anti-nuclear weapon action at the Kings Bay nuclear submarine base in Georgia last April. Many of them have been deeply involved with our WAT community.

In November’s KBP7 evidentiary hearings on their Religious Freedom Restoration Act motion, defendants presented testimony that can provide us with insights for WAT’s resistance to the prison at Guantanamo.

Martha Hennessy opened the Nov. 19th hearing by recounting that her mother and her grandmother Dorothy Day taught her to pay attention to others’ suffering and to practice loving kindness.  The KBP7’s concern for the death of billions in a large-scale nuclear conflagration is firmly rooted in their concern for the dignity of each person they meet in daily life.  Similarly, we in WAT carry in our hearts and proclaim in the public square the personal stories of men who have been tortured and imprisoned without charge or trial at Guantanamo.  Holding fast to the human dignity of each person unites our two causes to resist violence on every scale.

Carmen Trotta told the court that the possession of nuclear weapons freezes nations in hatred.  We must let go, he said, to become a cohesive community.  Likewise, we in WAT recognize that we can never achieve true security for the family of nations while our own nation clings to torture chambers and offshore prisons.

KBP7 members Mark Colville, Liz McAlister, Patrick O’Neill, Clare Grady, and Steve Kelly addressed the idolatry of nuclear weapons and the false sense of security these idols are meant to provide.  This idolatry of things hugely powerful has a flip side: the dehumanization of the utterly powerless.  The US attempts to make demons out of the 40 men still detained at Guantanamo, stoking citizens’ fear and then satisfying that fear with lawless brutality against these men.

We fast to keep their humanity in front of our own eyes and the eyes of our nation. Let us fast–and act–together this week in the search for a solidarity that transforms.

We invite you to join our fast next week wherever you are and in whatever way you choose.  Let us know of your intentions by writing us at witnesstorture@gmail.com

We will hold a conference call with those who are fasting or taking action in solidarity with us on Monday evening at 8:00 pm.

Conference Call information
Dial-in Number: 
1-605-475-5950
Participant Access Code: 1860434

We will be sharing advocacy and action information and reflections on our website, our Facebook page, and through daily update emails to this list. We look forward to being in community with you, in person or in spirit, this coming week!

Our commitment is eating one meal a day and fasting the remainder, writing our Senators and Representatives, and the White House, and keeping those in our prayer who are in Washington D.C. protesting.

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

415-305-2124

http://www.temenos.org

Limited But Full of Grace

January 3, 2019

Limited But Full of Grace

John 1:19-28

 

John the Baptist’s mission was to emphasize the importance of Jesus over himself. This became a major characteristic of Jesus’ teaching: humility. This means facing two realities about ourselves: that there is a very small part of us that is limited and sinful but that this must not prevent us from seeing the far greater part of ourselves that is gifted by nature and even more so with grace.

 

In my experience, middle-class Americans do not feel at ease around poor people. Even people of high ideals who care about the needy experience discomfort in the presence of the needy themselves.

Rabbi Eliezer Finkelman

 

We have difficulty seeing homeless people because we face our own fears, of where we could be, and we wonder if we deserve what we have. I have seen that with volunteers, and with interns, they just can not enter into the lives of our youth.

 

It took me years to realize that and have seen volunteers hurt, interns run away terrified. And my way of work is to enter into the lives of my kids.. I have spent a life time doing this, and to me it is just natural. That is why I have not taken an intern in a while, and why I keep volunteers doing stuff that is easy and fun. I have had a lot of guilt over expecting to much out of people.

 

It is scary, and threatening to hear people’s pain, to see their anger, and see them act out, to see their suffering. 

 

Today Aaron and his mom  Carla were here cleaning and reorganizing my place as a Christmas gift. And I spend a lot of time with Aaron and he really has never figured out what I do. He just knows I am free to hang out a lot, and than I go away and say I am working, and he wonders “what work?” But these two have been my greatest support and closet friends.

 

We all have our place, and what Jesus asks of all of us is to share of what we have, to live simply, to love each other.  We each have our place, my place is on the streets, others have their places they are called to. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

 

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

 

Pondering

January 1, 2019

 

Pondering

Luke 2:16-21

“Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.”

Last night as I walked in Golden Gate Park talking, giving socks, and food, but mainly listening, I pondered  how fragile each person I hung with is. Some one told me recently, “You handled the death of your son well,” and I thought how stupid. Zac is always with me, in each person in whose eyes  I look, each person I feed, each person I spend time with, he is present. I was so young when he was conceived, and missed so many years with him, and had so few when I found him, but he is always present.

My brother is always present. I remember so many years ago when he was killed a minister friend telling me I would be making a number of choices–either stay in my narrow world of a local church or I would simply bust out, be wild. He had a friend who had lost his son, and he became a car racer, and I became the priest who lives on the edge, whose friends are wild and feral, and in many ways like I am. I pondered Stacy in my heart last night.

I became ill, chills, and as I headed home I pondered with a lot of guilt how lucky I am–I have a home to go to, an electric blanket to sleep under, health insurance to take care of me, and these guys in the Park have nothing.

I pondered this past year, and the struggle with injury and the depression, the rejection of a number of people, the intense loneliness, and in that there was always the presence of Christ, sometimes in the form of the Virgin Mary, and in the form of Matt, Jacob,, Brandon, Aaron, Jonathan, Edwin, Cindy, Karen, Vicki, Kevin,  Mary, David, and others who reached out.  I understand this is where I am supposed to me and I walk to the road to which I am called, regardless of the consequences to myself. The Angel of Death flutters around me, and we are very good friends these days, but she is around, and until she takes me home, I am here.

I was recently called by a person wanting to talk to me about being given a reward, and I just laughed. I told her, my name is followed by so many letters now, and all they are are simply letters, what defines me, gives me meaning   is giving a cup of water, a pair of socks, a smile, and listening, that is all that matters. My ego is big enough as it is, and I would love to knock it down more, so no, give it to someone else.

As I pondered last night as my fever rose, I saw the cross on my bookshelf, the flickering of Our Lady of Guadalupe Candle and to me that is all that matters any more. To follow the One who could care less about anything accept us, who loves us, and gives us grace. All else is nothing.  We are called to love, to love inclusively, and that is what I will attempt to do. Only Christ matters, and following him his way of love.

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Peniel

December 31, 2018

 

Temenos Catholic Worker

Journal of An Alien Street Priest:

Luke 2:41-52

 

Matthew Fox has established a new spiritual  Order, “The Order of the Sacred Earth,” which has one vow, “I vow to be the best lover and defender of all of life.” This is the vow I am taking this year, this is my covenant with God. 

 

We are all broken bodies with broken bones–our bones have been crushed through the living of life. We are all wounded, we are all hurting.

 

God gives us a choice: we can continue to break one another’s bones with our hate, our rejection, or we can embrace each  other, listen, care, and love one another, and find healing.

 

In the coming of Christ we have the coming of the unlimited grace of God, the grace that led Jesus to the cross, and continues to lead Jesus to give us the same grace of all forgiving love, calling us to live out that forgiveness towards others, and in doing so become whole. Being whole does not mean not having broken bones that hurt,  and that ache in the cold and the rain, but those bones, remind us of God’s grace, and of God’s love. And we are comforted by one another in our brokenness.

 

We are all creatures on this planet and we are related to one another.  Our actions affect each other, animal,  plant and environment, as one suffers, all suffer.  We are dependent, animal and plant and environment,  on each other, and that dependence  calls us to ask in the words of Psalm 89: “To give us joy to balance our afflictions.”

 

Let us like Jesus sit in the Temple of Life and listen to nature, our environment, and one another,  to see the needs of our brothers and sisters and of all that surrounds us,  and take the vow:

 

“I vow to the be the best lover and defender of all of life.”

RESOURCES

 

Website:

https://www.orderofthesacredearth.org/

 

 

A Way To God: Thomas Merton’s Creation, Spirituality, Journey, by Matthew Fox

 

Meister Echart: A Mystic Warrier For Our Time, by Matthew Fox

 

Order of the Sacred Earth: An Inter-generational Vision of Love and Actions. by Matthew Fox

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Our Ministry:

 

In the last year the one thing we have learned, and value, more than any thing else is the healing of  one on one in face to face interaction.

 

Being a pastor has always been for me my calling, walking with people one on one, holding their hands, caring for them in their pain and their joys.

 

This last year for me personally  what has meant the most to me are  my ten or so friends who have walked with me in listening, talking, and caring for me, and the friends far off who have faithfully given support financially, providing our health insurance, and food and socks for our young guys, holding the hope of our healing.

 

And in remembering this past year, the joys, the triumphs, and the horrible failures, I have come to see that it is in the tending of relationships one on one, in face to face interaction that really matters.  Only in bringing our broken bones together can we find healing and wholeness. And that comes through one on one interaction. It is painful, very painful, but only in doing so can we truly arrive at our real potential.

 

Our ministry has always been a pastoral ministry, and in the coming year we will not let other concerns get in our way of that focus.  We are not in the business of changing people, that is between them and God. We hold their hearts, and allow them to find joy and acceptance without judgment or expectation and in doing so changes are crafted.  Hanging on the streets, is the way we make house calls, and so that is what we will do. We will always have some kind of food with us, harm reduction supplies, and socks, but our primary purpose is that of pastoral care. We will serve hot meals once, maybe twice a month. They will be a low priority.

 

Pastoral care comes together in our liturgical expressions, and so we will continue our liturgies on Thursdays, and Mondays. One in the Park, the other in our apartment for people who work late shifts; Our public liturgies on Good Friday, focusing on Christ crucified in the homeless, and income inequity, and on “Philip Workman’s Day of Execution” will focusing  on the pain of the death penalty in all of our lives.

 

Each Wednesday we will bear witness to the destructiveness that the death penalty brings to the lives of all of us as we “Vigil at the  Earl Warren Office Building” at Noon, and we will begin our visits to college campuses talking about the death penalty and its consequences, spiritually, and emotional on all of us.

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We Are Beggars:

 

We are truly beggars, depending on your generosity. Your gifts provide food, socks, and pastoral care each month. So please consider on this last day of the old year a generous gift, and again we offer the book: Christianity Without Insanity: For Optimal/Emotional/Physical Health by Boyd C. Purcell.

 

Pay Pal: http://www.temenos.org

 

Snail Mail:

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

 

All checks must be made out to Temenos Catholic Worker.

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