“Someday after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” Pierre Teilhard de Chartin
de Chartin and Margaret Wheatley in her statement: “It’s not differences that divide us. Its our judgements about each other that do. Curiosity and good listening bring us back together,” sum up for me the heart of the theology of Jesus.
Twenty two years ago the first of September we came to San Francisco looking for a job, we found nothing, and when we returned to Minneapolis there was a phone call offering us a counseling job. Thus we began making our way back across the country. Our life has always been ministry, but at the time, there were no churches accept one that had churches open to queer ministers, and we had always wanted to do street ministry, and for us that is being a pastor, pure and simple. And so we began buying people pizza and talking to them, formed the non-profit, and became ordained in the Evangelical Anglican Church in America. The work we do is that of being a pastor without walls or building. Temenos was never meant to be a “traditional” Catholic Worker of people living in community, but a pastoral ministry, living within the traditions of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin.
It has been a glorious twenty two years, really glorious. Today as we listened to one young guy, we thought, it never really changes, our problems remain the same. What has changed is our theological point of view.
Pierre Teilhard de Chartin talks about the cosmic Christ, which is Christ who is the God of many faces, and moves throughout the universe. Christ who burns with the fire of love, burning away all of our judgments, and bringing us into oneness. Our judgements divide and destroy us.
For example we celebrate the Eucharist in the Park every Thursday, and personally we do not invite “housed” people, because it is not your typical prayer book Eucharist. It is open to all, and these guys are simply themselves, and we have had “housed’ people bring so much judgement on them and us, that we do not want to be burned. For example there is a woman, who lives in a camper, and has for years, and she brings the Eucharist bread that she makes–but it is made out of marijuana. It is a beautiful offering, but to many people it is offensive, but for her it is the most glorious of offerings, and Christ is truly present. There are no “rules” for who can or can not take the Eucharist-it is God’s table be you atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish–God comes in many faces, and invites all to the Table.
People criticize us for not giving our opinion people on how they shall live their lives–and for us it is not our place. Like St. Francis says, “Preach the Gospel using as few as words as possible.” People make their choices, we walk with them, and talk with them about those choices, but it is still their choice. By not judging we can learn a lot about life, we can understand the pain and hurt of people. People live in ways other than our “middle class’ born and bred ways.
“Curiosity and good listening” bring us back together, and the fire of love burns off all of our differences, our creeds, and brings us into the Cosmic Christ. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
Temenos Catholic Worker
P.O. Box 642656
San Francisco, CA 94164
Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D..S.T. D.Min. Candidate