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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Giving in Friendship

October 25, 2021
Giving in Friendship

    Last night sitting outside an  Italian restaurant down the street, it was getting ready to rain, and  I watched the cars pass,  reminding me of Puerto Vallario when Matt and I went visiting a couple of years ago, and the cars drove continually up and down the street, and I remember the poorest of the poor out begging there, and now  around me tonight people were begging, more and more all the time; one, Jim, whom I haven’t seen in a while walked over smiling, we talked, he was going to buy some food from money earned selling the  “Street Sheet,” he patted me on the shoulder and moved on.

    Today,  Jamie, approached me at my door, telling me of his recent life events–in and out of jail, being hit by a car, and now he is planning to get his life together, and making money, honestly–the same story he has been telling for twenty years.     Through individuals like these guys the one lesson learned is that we can fix part of a person, but not all will be fixed. The same in myself, and in all of us. There is always good to be found.

    Last night eating dinner outside, a person at a near table, observed the vaccination card around my neck; he came over and tried to start an argument about vaccination, he is “anti-vax” proudly labeling himself. And as I always do I said, “Yes, I respect your position” and I thought to myself  with an “and, ” I feel the vaccination is necessary for me.” There are no judgments made.

    “When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Viktor Frankl.

    Finally, I was giving food and socks to people later,  and an individual started screaming because I did not have what she needed. I listened, and she calmed down.     Someone asked me “How can you tolerate being screamed at.” We are all created with a full range of emotions, there is nothing to fear. We need to allow people to express their emotions.

    Learning to find joy in the ordinary is a key to having a satisfying life. And one of the keys to joy is finding we are friends with everyone, whether they are friends to us. Fr. Henri Nouwen summarizes friendship:
“When we truly love God and share in his glory, our relationships lose their compulsive character. We reach out to people not just to receive their affirmations but also to allow them to participate in the love we have come to know through Jesus. Thus true friendship becomes an expression of a greater love.
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Fr. River Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.
P.O. Box 642656
San Francisco, CA 94164
http://www.temenos.org
415-305-2124
Snap chat: riodamien2

A Service of Remembering Those Who Have Died in the Year 2021

Noon, Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Golden Gate Park, at Stanyan and Haight

Come, Name, and Remember Your Friends and Loved Ones!

Inside and Out

October 24, 2021

Inside and Out!

“So the then,” they  said, “who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

Jesus  called a child and stood her in the middle of them.’

“I’m telling you the truth.  ” he said, “Unless you turn inside and out and become like children, you will never, ever, get into the Kingdom of heaven. So if any of you make yourselves humble like this child, you will be great in the kingdom of heaven. And if anyone welcomes one such child in my name, they welcome me.” Matthew 18:1-5 (The Kingdom New Testament: A Contemporary Translation” N.T. Wright).

    There was a time a colleague threw in my face the comment, “You are just a child,” angrily. It hurt because I did not meet this person’s expectations.

    And as that comment has come back repeatedly to me in pain, it has evolved into a compliment of the highest form, bringing feelings of joy, after joy.

    Jesus tells us to become like children, and Dr. Jerome Berryman gives an excellent summary of our journey of faith when he says:

 “Becoming Real: A Theology of Childhood,” summarizes the task of becoming human, saying “We are summoned from another realm to become like children playing in the flow of God’s creative power, flowing in the River of God.”

    When we become like children, we see everyone as our brother and sister.  I remember growing up I never noticed any differences in my black friends until it was thrown in my face, they were “Lesser than white,” and someone who was gay was “going to hell.” Adulthood is destructive.

    Becoming like a child we enter into the “flow of God’s creative power, flowing into the infinite River of God.” Our lives are changed into the words of Paul in I Corinthians 13:4:

     Love’s great-hearted; love is kind,

Knows no jealously, makes no fuss,

Doesn’t force its rightful claim,

Doesn’t rage like a bear or grudge,…

    We can be an adult and stop being vulnerable or we can remember the words of Reverend Eugene Peterson, and become like a child and see “Every Act of Love as a Risk of Self,” may we take that risk and change the world around us. We are turned from the inside to our outward caring side. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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

Servant Bishop of the Society of Franciscan Workers, Inc.
P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Snapchat: riodamien2

A Service of Remembrance of the Souls Who Have Died in 2021

All Soul’s Day

November 2, 2021

Haight And Stanyon

Edge of Golden Gate Park

12 Noon

(Please contact me if you are coming)

Measuring Our Lives by Productivity

October 21, 2021

Measuring Our Lives By Productivity Is A Killer!

    Around 3:AM on Tuesday night, my phone rang, and Jimmy was at the door requesting some socks and food.

   In reality, he simply wanted someone to listen to him. And so for the next hour, I listened. Jimmy is 50 and has lived on the streets, in and out of jail for thirty-one years.

    Alan Watts tells us to, “Stop measuring your days by degrees of productivity and start experiencing them by degrees of presence.”

    Listening, being present in the moment, without judgment, is the greatest gift we can give each other.

    To place our expectations on others is a “killer”, we find ourselves failing every time, but to listen is life-giving, for the person finds acceptance and love, and we find reciprocation in care as well.

    Each of our lives is a journey, we each have to find our way. We make choices that can not be fixed easily or not at all, and we become tired, want to give up, but when we can sit for an hour with a listener, who can simply be present, it revives us, keeps us going in the face of difficult circumstances.

    Mother Janet Erskine Stuart once commented:

“Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, and transformation. It is continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, teaching you to see clearly and deeply, helping you to listen to your intuition.”

    In listening, we allow others to follow their path, and we journey with them for a moment our shared path. 

    Change and transformation can not often be measured, and so in listening, we are planting seeds of care, and compassion– those seeds will blossom, and we may not know it, but they blossom and come to flower in the lives of those we listen to.     People who have listened to me, former pastors and teachers, had no idea where I would be going, but they listened, and hopefully, I am coming into full blossom.

    Productivity leads to our own sense of failure, when others do not meet our expectations, and leads to the failure of others when they can not meet our goals for them. Productivity is a killer.

    It is not so much what we say or do that makes changes in others, but who we are.

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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

Servant Bishop of the Society of Franciscan Workers, Inc.
P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Snapchat: riodamien2

A Service of Remembrance of the Souls Who Have Died in 2021

All Soul’s Day

November 2, 2021

Haight And Stanyon

Edge of Golden Gate Park

12 Noon

(Please contact me if you are coming)

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Hanging on the Haight!

October 17, 2021

nging on the Haight!



    This week our daily readings will be from the book of Luke, and as I walked down the Haight yesterday evening his stories of the Prodigal Son, and many others, emphasizing the care for the homeless, and the disadvantage became a living reality.
    Come with me on a brief journey of the Haight, the Haight of the streets.     We first encounter two guys panhandling, and in chatting they were sharing of heading to Florida for the winter, and now they simply needed something to eat, had not eaten all day, so we gave them a couple of sandwiches, water, socks, and some underwear we happen to be carrying; Next, we encounter, Sophia(not her real name) on the side of Haight and Clay, with a couple of male friends. Sophia is skinny as a rail, her face full of wrinkles, aged before her time, being on the street twenty years plus. She wanted socks, candy, clean needles, and some of my time to talk.
    We progressed further down the street, talking to one after another, until we came to Jamie (not his real name) in our photo, on the corner of Haight and Masonic. He had all of his belongings scattered around, sitting silently making necklaces and bracelets. The material is colored rocks he found in the Sierra Mountains, and aluminum wire. We talked and I gave him $20.00 to make a necklace for a gift, food, socks, and we sat for an hour talking as he made the necklace.
    The one thing learned in these years is to care, one must offer one’s own vulnerable self to others, as a source of healing.    Only when we live in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are homeless, and all people and speak out of common experiences can we help others to discover the freedom of our humanity, through or common provision of each one’s needs.
    Father Henri Nouwen sums up the story of Luke, and of the Gospel, and our call:
“The poor we see every day, the stories about deportation, torture, and murder we hear every day, and the undernourished children we touch every day, reveal to us the suffering Christ has hidden within us. When we allow this image of the suffering Christ within us to grow to its full maturity, then ministry to the poor and oppressed becomes a real possibility; because then we can indeed hear, see, and touch him within us as well as among us. . . . Once we have seen the suffering Christ within us, we will see him wherever we see people in pain. Once we have seen the suffering Christ among us, we will recognize him in our innermost self. Thus we come to experience that the first commandment, to love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, resembles indeed the second: “You must love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39–40).”

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

Servant Bishop of the Society of Franciscan Workers, Inc.
P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Snapchat: riodamien2

A Service of Remembrance of the Souls Who Have Died in 2021

All Soul’s Day

November 2, 2021

Haight And Stanyon

Edge of Golden Gate Park

12 Noon

(Please contact me if you are coming)

The Call of the Child

October 16, 2021

A Reflection on A Call of the Child

Cultivating Peace in a Climate of Conflict

by Bruce McKibben

Romans 4:1-8; Luke.12:1-7

St. Teresa of Avila

    This book is a jewel. At first glance, we see the language of a conservative, and as we read we see a diamond reflecting in the sun.

    The heart of this book is not arriving as a peacemaker, but to return to our childlike qualities to be wrapped in the love, coming from the heart of God our Father/our Mother, and become peacemakers. It is a revelation that reaches deep into our own hearts and changes us to be more like our loving God.

    Indeed, the conflicts in our personal lives, as well as the conflicts on regional, national, or world scales, are our conflicts, and only by claiming responsibility for them can we move beyond them–choosing a life of forgiveness, peace, and love. This is the Call of the Child.

    Yesterday afternoon as I wandered the Haight, one young guy commented, “We are fewer now because this is the Great Shift, many are going to the East Coast, and others are coming West.” 

    These guys are not interested in social services, or even a roof over their heads, they are “nomads,” traveling the country. They are round holes that do not fit the square pegs of our social service system.

    As I wandered the street it hit me if was asked to summarize my ministry, it is simple: “To LISTEN, and I mean listen, to give food, socks and whatever I can, and to love, each one, as a brother or sister, even when it is painful.”

    Recently on a church sign, a message was printed, “Worship Times 10:00 a.m, 11:15 a.m. Be Vaccinated, and BE SAFE,”   (L0L), it is not our call to be safe, but to be out in the messiness of the world, and giving our lives away.

    The words of St. Teresa of Avila, thrown from her horse while crossing a river, soaked to her skin, “If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few of them, tells us to feel Jesus saying to each one of us:

“Be unafraid to know yourself  Be fearless in your inward search. God’s care for you never wavers. No threat can silence God’s whispered call to you. No shadowy valley you walk through can extinguish the light that leads you to salvation. Hypocrites cannot damn you because God has deemed you precious. You count. So take courage.  Come clean. Tell God who never changes, everything you know about yourself, and more will be revealed. : You will be countered among my disciples, one of my beloved friends.”

    St. Teresa calls us to be a child of God, and in that childhood we are peacemakers, and in that peace, the hungry are fed, the naked are clothed, the homeless are housed, healthcare provided to all, and peace reigns. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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

Servant Bishop of the Society of Franciscan Workers, Inc.
P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Snapchat: riodamien2

A Service of Remembrance of the Souls Who Have Died in 2021

All Soul’s Day

November 2, 2021

Haight And Stanyon

Edge of Golden Gate Park

12 Noon

(Please contact me if you are coming)

Evil Twins

October 13, 2021

Evil Twins!

 

“I’ve had it with you, you’re hopeless! You Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but manage to find loopholes for getting around basic matters of justice and God’s love. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required.

43-44 “You’re hopeless, you Pharisees! Frauds! You love sitting at the head table at church dinners, love preening yourselves in the radiance of public flattery. Frauds! You’re just like unmarked graves: People walk over that nice, grassy surface, never suspecting the rot and corruption that is six feet under.”

45 One of the religion scholars spoke up: “Teacher, do you realize that in saying these things you’re insulting us?”

46 He said, “Yes, and I can be even more explicit. You’re hopeless, you religion scholars! You load people down with rules and regulations, nearly breaking their backs, but never lift even a finger to help. Luke 1:42-46

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    Harsh words given to all of us!

    In the past year, we have had statues torn down, people resigning over racist comments, and we all cheer! Racism is ending; we hear little of HIV these days, and in the Bay Area we are so “inclusive” of everyone, we never mention “racism” or “homophobia”.

    Both are alive, and very well in all of us. The one thing I have personally become aware of is my own sense of hidden racism and homophobia. I am constantly working on both.

     I move in and out of the “K” in Marin, in some ways like a second home community, attending parties, hanging with friends, ministering to people, thinking nothing of it; The “K” is an impoverished area, multiple families living in one-bedroom apartments, the people making a living being housekeepers and gardeners in upper Marin. There are great restaurants in the “K”, ask a white friend to go, they run.

    The Pandemic has hit the area hard, while upper Marin has slid by; The “K” is primarily a Hispanic area, of poor families, some undocumented. They go unnoticed by the white area. I mentioned early in the Pandemic to several wealthy white friends of the needs in “lower Marin,” and the answer was basically being ignored.

    I have sat with youth in court, in school mediations, and invariably there is discrimination, they are treated differently from their white peers, and not positively,  maybe not intentional, or one would hope. The police and courts treat our Hispanic youth harsher and more suspect.

    The San Francisco Chronicle documents that defendants who are black, Latino, or Latina, are 81% more likely given longer sentences and longer terms than white.

    My friends in the “K” tell me they do not trust “white people,” and I comment, “I am white”, and the answer is “we do not see you as white.” A high compliment, but one that makes me feel uncomfortable and very guilty.

    On the inside I know that down deep there is implicit racism. I can see “my whiteness,” as a privilege and tool, my education, the ability to attract donors to a ministry, that frankly has been to mostly white kids who are homeless; returning to a life of creativity from prostitution and homelessness. All of this is “white privilege.”

    The evil twin of “homophobia” raises its head in San Francisco, we claim we are over it when the reality it is simply unspoken. Travel into rural areas and one finds it. Our schools are ripped apart by homophobia.

    Our churches, those open and affirming as well as  LGBTQ churches have no youth programs for queer youth; in fact, in our open and affirming churches being queer is hardly mentioned–after all we have “moved beyond that.”

      Several tasks I undertake each day is to always be on alert to my privilege of whiteness, and of being a white queer, and how it leads me to indirect and sometimes direct discrimination; more importantly to tear down the statutes of discrimination within myself, before projecting them on others.

    Finally to live life in the light of  Jesus of the Gospels who calls us beyond our institutions, freeing us into a life of gratitude.

“True spiritual gratitude embraces all of our past, the good as well as the bad events, the joyful as well as the sorrowful moments. From the place where we stand, everything that took place brought us to this place, and we want to remember all of it as part of God’s guidance. That does not mean that all that happened in the past was good, but it does mean that even the bad didn’t happen outside the loving presence of God. . . . Once all of our past is remembered in gratitude, we are free to be sent into the world to proclaim good news to others. Henri Nouwen”

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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

A Service of Remembrance of the Souls Who Have Died in 2021

All Soul’s Day

November 2, 2021

Haight And Stanyon

Edge of Golden Gate Park

12 Noon

(Please contact me if you are coming)

Reflection on the Breed of Heaven by Kris Brower

October 11, 2021

A Reflection on The Bleed of Heaven

or Luke and Me

by Kris Brown

        Kris Brown takes us in The Bread of Heaven on a gentle and moving spiritual journey. At the core of this book are powerful readings and poetic readings of texts and equally insightful and poetic accounts of her life.  This book calls each of us to reflect on our own lives in light of the Gospel.

    Brown concisely tells us:The kingdom of God bleeds into everything, unsettles the structures it finds, but as it breaks apart what seems to be there, it opens up rooms, space we could not have imagined. The kingdom of God is a consistent story, the same new life bursting through, making apparent  as false structures what we hold onto just long enough for us to see and hopefully to let go.”

    Our tendency is to lock people into one mode. Our lives are made up of different segments, that do not always fit together.

    In the first segment of life people viewed me as the ambitious upper-class young man, going to school, being ordained, and serving churches, being extremely ambitious;

    In the second section we have the prostitute, the homeless guy, living in and out of motels in Hollywood doing what he has to do to survive;

    The third coming out of prostitution and struggling to regain a sense of “normal society;”

    In the fourth coming to San Francisco, beginning a ministry, trying to establish a non-profit, ambitious to fit in;

    Finally, moving into a time of simply service, not caring what others think, totally being present.           Being open to the kingdom of God bleeds into our lives until we are soaked in God’s Kingdom.

    And as we are soaked into God’s kingdom we feed and house the homeless, provide medical care for all, and be present to all who come to us! Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

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A Service of Remembrance of the Souls Who Have Died in 2021

All Soul’s Day

November 2, 2021

Haight And Stanyon

Edge of Golden Gate Park

12 Noon

(Please contact me if you are coming)

Questions! Questions!Questions!

October 9, 2021

“Questions, Questions, Questions!

Joel 3:12-21; Luke 11:27-28

“While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” He replied, ” Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

    There are always questions about “success”. Success for most people is “getting people off the street, and living fulfilling lives.” A church withdrew a grant from us last year, looking for another program with “more success.” in getting people into housing.

    Success is to keep on going, to persist, and to do that which one enjoys. 

    Yesterday I received a text from a gentleman, one I could not remember; wanting to have breakfast. This morning we sat down for breakfast.

    He was thrilled, overjoyed to see me, and recalled our first meeting, nearly twenty-five years ago late one night when he was fifteen years old. Sam (not his name) recalled all the times I simply listened and provided needed supplies of food, clothing, and harm reduction items. With tears, Sam told me that in his worst moments he saw my face, and felt comforted.

    Since I have seen him he has been in and out of prison, moves around from place to place, from job to job.

     Over breakfast, I am reminded this is a success, to be a constant in someone’s life, to be present, to simply listen, and be their friend.  The question of success is answered–I am successful. I love my ministry.

    Hearing the good news of love, and responding to others with the good news, we become mothers of love. 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

415-305-2124

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A Service of Remembrance of the Souls Who Have Died in 2021

All Soul’s Day

November 2, 2021

Haight And Stanyon

Edge of Golden Gate Park

12 Noon

(Please contact me if you are coming)

All for the Sake of Love (God Is Not A Working Number)

October 8, 2021

All For the Sake of Love (God Is Not A Working Number)!

Mark 10:17-30

     I just asked Siri for “God’s phone number, and received such numbers as “God’s Gym,” but no phone number where God can be contacted.

    Institutional churches are dying. Driving through parts of Tennesee and Missouri I found that mainline denominations are drying up, around are “fundamentalist evangelical churches.” Throughout our country, the “none’s” outnumber the religious.

    To bring people into a relationship with God, to give a “a connected number”, we must look at faith from different perspectives:

    +Reconnect with the Centrality of Jesus, through embracing ambiguity. We, first of all, must acknowledge that Jesus was not the only teacher of faith, simply one of many throughout the world, who offered the key message–“to love our all of creation.”  God uses various ways of communicating with people. Jesus is one of a vast rainbow of colors.

    When people react to my writings and preaching of “Jesus,” I remind them that the expression of God whom I relate to is Jesus, and believe that ultimately we all will be brought into One God. I recognize all, yet for me, the Gospel is my Book.

    +The Story and the Teachings of Jesus:

    The story of Jesus is the heartbeat of the Christian faith and the defining story of my life.

    At a time in my life when the institutional Church ripped me to pieces, the story of the grace and love of Jesus held me together, and ultimately defined my very being.

    The stories of Jesus, his teachings of love, and his dying and resurrection literally saved my life.

    +The Teachings of Jesus:

    Christianity is not primarily or even secondarily about doctrinal beliefs. Sustaining the institutional church is irrelevant.

      The heart of the Christian faith is about following Jesus, following the teachings of Jesus, living the spirit of Jesus, and engaging in the practice of the non-judgmental practices and love of Jesus.

    The heart of the Christian faith means living a life of love– living out a life of self-giving, of caring for the untouchable, for the disabled, the poorest of the poor, the poor in spirit, and seeing a rainbow of colors, rather than division and prejudice. 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

415-305-2124

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All Soul’s  Day

November 2, 202`1

Noon

Haight Street

Stanyan and Haight

We will gather

for

a

Remembrance

of Those Who Have Died

This Past Year!

If you would Like to Attend Please Let Me Know!

Ask, Seek, Knock!

October 7, 2021

Ask, Seek, and Knock!

.. .” And I tell you, ‘ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock

and it will be opened to you. .” Luke 11:9-10.

    Reading this text we can take it literally and be disappointed- Jesus will give us everything we ask, and when we fail to receive our desired request we walk away angrily.

    Rather than pondering a superman God, let us consider a God who cares deeply, and will give us what we need, fitting into his will:

    Ask: From the time I was 12, I desired to be a minister with a large church, many friends. LOL.

    I have received all, but never in the way expected. But in a way that is fulfilling. Not within an institution, but outside.

    Seek: I have always sought meaning, sought to know God through Jesus personally, an education, and to fit in; again all is given, but in a far more fulfilling way than ever expected.

    Knock: Through the years I knock, and that door opens when I am more than willing to follow the One who does the opening.

        These past three and a half months, the door has been wide open, I was prepared to find a different style of ministry if my hip did not heal wholely; I have healed physically, knowing that ministry is changing in one aspect–there can be no heavy physical lifting. That means definitely no more large meals, and the blessing more focused on one on one listening, and I am more open to the physically handicapped.

    My original desires would have been life-taking (my own), where the ones God fulfilled are life-giving.

    John Woolman (1720-1772) sums up the journey of “Asking, Seeking, and Knocking,” in these words:

“It requires great self-denial and resignation of ourselves to God to attain that state wherein we can freely cease from fighting.

Whoever rightly attains to it, does in some degree feel that Spirit in which our Redeemer gave his life for us.”

        Focus on Christ! Listen! and “Ask, Seek, and Knock! 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

415-305-2124