Archive for December, 2013

December 31, 2013

Tuesday, December 31, Jn. 1:1-18

On this the last day of the year our Gospel takes us back to the beginning–the real message of the end of the year–we are offered a new beginning–we are given fresh opportunities–and I believe if we look beyond ourselves we will really have a new beginning–see a new beginning in advocating for homelessness, for better housing for all, for really true healthcare for all–tomorrow morning feed a homeless person, talk to them, and do that every day and I promise you your life will take on a new perspective,  love someone beyond your own circle, family–move out and encompass all the world as family–that is a new beginning. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Everyone on earth could be fed easily because we currently grow more than enough grain to feed ten billion people; our current practice of feeding this grain to untold billions of animals and eating them forces over a billion of us to endure chronic malnutrition and starvation while another billion suffer from the obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer linked with eating diets high in animal foods.


December 30, 2013

Monday, December 30, Luke 2:26-20

In Biblical times women were at the bottom, being a widow was difficult, but Anna gave her life to the temple, waiting for a glimpse of the Messiah.  Our losses can be openings to a deeper identity. Those unnerving, psychic earthquakes can deepen our experience of God’s loving presence. In that light we see new ways and we are able to reveal God’s love to others. In my own coming out, my own losses–my own psychic earthquakes–I have always found ways to reveal God’s love to others, for I have found that it is in those earthquakes that God is most real–and can use us when we open ourselves to him. As I look back through the years–I have no regrets–God’s love has been, is present, and will be present to me in all the earthquakes. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

The transnational corporations profit from animal food consumption, as do the big banks, which have made the loans that have built the whole complex and demand a healthy return on their investments.

The system spreads relentlessly and globally, and while corporate and bank returns may be healthy, people, animals, and ecosystems throughout the world fall ill and are exploited and destroyed.  Dr. Will Tuttle

December 26, 2013

 December 26  St. Stephen                                                           Acts 16:8-10;7:54-59

Last night as we served the meal, one young guy,  moved away in tears and I reached out to him and he hugged me, and thanked me, and I told him to thank my volunteers, and he said, “No–you are here, always–you are one of us, ‘and I looked at him and he said, “u are the  outlaw priest.”  And it hit me in listening to him the sadness that has been upon my heart for days.  Despite all of my education and background I know this is all temporary.  I remember several Christmases, when I was alone, no gifts, no friends, on the streets of LA, now I am surrounded by people, and gifts, and love. That is why I do what I do–seek to give love, attention–to those who have none,  and for whom society in general does not even see these men and women.  For me in each person is the Christ, the very broken body of the Christ–the One who has been with me in the darkest of hours-who continually calls me with those eyes that tell me of his love no matter what I have done or will do because I am loved for me, and calls me to give the same love back. Ultimately we will all be alone-accept for that One who goes before us into Galilee.

Today at church where I served a reception a gentleman asked me why I was so much a  “stickler”about cooking vegan food. The truth of the matter I am not really a stickler, but for me it is an expression of my faith–again it is a part of this jourey of my life, and Will Tuttle sums it up best:

Jesus’ exhortation that we love one another and not do to others what we wouldn’t want done to us is the essence of the vegan ethic, which is a boundless compassion that includes all who can suffer by our actions.

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

December 26, 2013
P.O. BOX 642656


I have heard the comment that I talk like a teenager—I can be edgy, snarky—and I consider it a complement, for that is one of the reasons I work well with teen agers and young adults for you see when I read the Bible I see the same thing—it is not black and white, it is a mixture of the goodness and evil of human beings wrestling with God, who is snarky and insolent in the Scripture.  Our faith is an evolution, that continues to evolve in the struggle of all of creation. This Epiphany as we remember the birth of the Christ child, and see his light spread to the world, we are reminded that his light is an evolving light, and its evolution is in our hands, how we evolve in our relation to other human beings. The newspaper has had almost every day a story of the anger of people in San Francisco, pitting the “teckies” against the natives, or those who have been here for along time.  The reality is  this conflict is really about consumerism, and pure greed on the part of everyone.  Rather than blaming each other, we need to look at ourselves, and to see the needs in our midst and to reach out and meet those needs.  It means a thorough examination of our needs, and opening to share of what we have.  I see so much pain every day, people who have no homes, no food, no health care in this City of St. Francis, and they are ignored.  We need to embrace the needs of everyone, to open up our hearts and as we do the light of Christ will spread, and will glow.  It is not a black and white issue, it is an issue of many grey areas, what is black and white is our call to share of what we have, that others might have comfort, housing, food, health care. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“The spiritual revolution needs all of us, whatever our religious beliefs, ethnicity, class, or other variables may be. Every one of us has a piece of the puzzle to contribute, and our overall success depends on each of us discovering our talents and passion and persistently contributing them.  Dr. Will Tuttle.


ASH WEDNESDAY,March 5:  Noon: City Hall:


GOOD FRIDAY:  Noon: City Hall: April 18


May 9: 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. City Hall:


Budget 2014


Rent:                           7500.00

Health Insurance:     9600.00

Salary:                       18000.00

Counseling  Insur.      500.00

Liability:                       300.00

Newsletter/Press      2500.00

Parking                       3720.00

Car Expense:              2000.00

Stipend for Use

Of St. Luke’s                 500.00


TOTAL:                      44,620.00


Food:                             10,000.00

Socks:                            25,000.00

Pastoral Care:              35000.00

Special Events:              1000.00

 Philip Workman/Good Friday/Anti-Death Penalty Demonstration

TOTAL:                           71000.00

TOTAL BUDGET:  115, 620.00                          





Sr. Helen Stipend: 450.00

Travel and Hotel 500.00

Dr. Will Tuttle Stipend  200.00

Justin Ryan—Music—350.00

Sound System/Rent for Space—450.00

Publicity/Posters/Signs/ 950.00


TOTAL: 2150.00
We enter the New Year with 8, 250.00. We give you thanks for your support this back you, you have been a Christ bearer to many and we once again beg, and beg for your support, for we are beggars, all of us, so we asked you to give of what you have so that others might have a little.
Fr. River






— Fr. River Damien Sims Temenos Catholic Worker Society of Franciscan Workers, Inc Po. Box 642656 San Francisco, CA 94164 415-305-2124

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December 24, 2013

December 24, Lk. 1:67-79

I can remember being in Memphis with my parents one Christmas Eve coming out of  one of the upper class hotels, seeing an homeless person, and it scared my parents to death because I wanted to feed them.  I have always seen homeless people, and people in need primarily because I am open to seeing them. This Christmas Eve as we celebrate the birth of Christ, remember the Christ child we will be feeding on the streets–broken, cold, , lonely, scared–turn your eyes to them and reach out to them. Will Tuttle commented:

We are all presented with the same evidence and hear the same call for mercy and justice.

Open your eyes among all the gliltter this Christmas Eve and behold the Christ! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

December 23, 2013

  December 23, Lk. 1:57-66

Last night my friend Dana gave me a tee shirt for Christmas that said, “The Church Militant”; and I thought of John the Baptist and of Jesus–how they call us to be the Church Militant.  Sr. Margurite of Youville commented “We need crosses in order to reach heaven.”   In nearly twenty years of ministry I have had many crosses, but like her my prayer will always be: “Give us this day our daily bread–or if not to us, at least to the poor,” for that is my prayer that we remember those who live on our doorsteps, in our parks,  who fit into no catagory, and who are hungry.  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


Because the quality of our food is directly connected to our mental and physiological health and to our quality of life, diminishing the quality of our food can make us sicker, weaker, and more distracted, violent, stressed, drugged, confused, and disempowered.

This is perhaps the real agenda behind the vicious efforts to weaken the standards for organic foods and to introduce highly toxic foods through irradiation, genetic engineering, addition of artificial dyes, noxious flavor-enhancers like MSG, chemical preservatives, known carcinogens like NutraSweet, and dangerous genetically engineered hormones like rBGH and carcinogenic growth hormones.

This is in addition to promoting animal-based meals, which concentrate the largest variety and intensity of toxins and are inherently confusing and disempowering.

December 22, 2013

December 22, Mt. 1:18-24

This past week I have been so ill; and each person I come into contact with is so full of fear–one friend has been evicted under the Ellis Act; one of my kids called and has not hooked up with Healthy San Francisco and c an not get medical service, and so on.  And I lie here and become afraid–I live on the edge,  depend on the generosity ofothers–and yet it is a life i would choose again and again–and that is when i asked myself the question, Where does hope come in?–hope is the moment of beginning again–and when you tie that in with fear it should kill fear. The world has always been full of evil. Human beings are free to choose good and evil and that is why the Gospel is not fulfilled in us because we say no to the Holy Spirit. But with God, every moment is a moment of beginning again–we are not lost, with God every moment is the moment for us to begin a new.  “perfect love casts out fear”, and their is hope with that perfect love. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


As we research, discuss, and deepen our understanding of the mind-body connection, of the human-animal connection, and of our connection with all the larger wholes in which we are embedded, our spiritual purpose will become manifest. Dr. Will Tuttle

December 21, 2013

December 21, Lk. 1:39-45

“Our society teaches us to satisfy desire immediately, with quick fixes and self-indulgence.  Yet the season of Advent teaches us the opposite, the desire that is a gift from God, to be oriented toward God alone.. To practice holy desire is to practice self-emptying, preparation, and trust in the One who comes.”  Mahri Leonard Fleckman.

The past three days I have been ill with a virus and I have thought of Frosty, who lives on the river bank on the Sacramento River, 21, cares less about anything; I have thought about the kids in the Haight who live day to day. And I think about the rise in rents, the greed that is embracing the City–the desire for material goods–and I think of Advent calling us to the desire of practicing self- emptying, preparation and trust in the One who is, who was, and who is to come. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

“We exhibit not only hubris but remarkable obtuseness in caging, torturing, and infecting animals in the name of improving our health.

We can see the outcome of our actions already, as new diseases continue to arise and old ones spread, often becoming impervious to our increasingly devastating drugs.” Dr. Will Tuttle

December 21, 2013

December 20, Lk. 1:26-38

Mary said yes to God, and each time I feed someone, give them a pair of socks, and listen to them I am saying yes to God–it seems simple, insignificant, but I am saying yes to God. Each of us can say yes to God when we see everyone for who we are–individulas broken, and struggling–all of us in our own way. Will Tuttle says it best:

None of us is completely innocent, because to some degree we all are, and have been, in all three roles as victims, perpetrators, and bystanders.

One kid told me he could trust I would never turn my back–that Will’s comment is why I am open-I am not innocent-, I am the biggest bastard of all. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

December 19, 2013

Luke 1:5-25 December 19

Meister Eckhart once said: “Do not cling to the symbols, but get to the inner truth.” It is easy to cling to symbols–they give us something to hang our hat on,to avoid dealing with reality.  For me dealing with reality means facing my own sinfulness, what I do that causes the problem, and my actions, as small as they are, impact the problems of our society.  We need to get a way from our symbols and look at the inner truth–that we basically are self-centered, and only when we move our selves away from that self-centeredness will we begin to meet the needs of those who need housing, health care, food.  Advent is a time of expectation–the expectation of Christ–who wound up on the cross–because he could not meet the expectations of people–so we should look at Christ and see where he leads us-for me it is to stand on the margins. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!