Peniel–November–2014

PENIEL
“Where Jacob Wrestled With God and survived”
Temenos Catholic Worker
Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.S.T.
P.O. Box 642656
San Francisco, CA 94164-2656
temenos@gmail.com http://www.temenos.org Phone: 415-305-2124 PayPal: on website

Rumors and Repentance

Today, Christians are often compromised by the proliferation of rumors, or flawed stories, that are passed around in social and professional circles through Face Book, Twitter, Tumblr, and other social media. When we are drawn into these conversations we fail to realize the damaging effects. Secondly, we have our little “pity parties” and take no action.
During the holiday season, we surround ourselves with our friends and give out our beautiful stories of holiday cheer on all of our social media to the point we cover over a hard reality–there are millions of people who are suffering on our streets alone. They have no food, they have no friends, they have nothing but the clothes on their back, and the majority cannot find health care.
Presently I know two people who are dying of cancer, and it has been impossible to get them the support they need. There is one young man, with a college degree, who has been unable to find a job, and lives out of his van, and moves from one city to another looking for work.

These are not rumors, but flesh and blood people, out of countless millions. We hear of our economic recovery and yet that recovery does not touch the lives of millions. Our media overlook that, the majority of the time. We cry out for our government to take care of “those in need,” and for what it is worth the City of San Francisco has done its best; I can give nothing but praise to the efforts of San Francisco. What is needed is a transformation in all of society to turn our eyes to the needs of the “least of these” and to give of our own plenty.
Jesus reminds us, “If we do not repent, we will all perish,” and repentance takes the form of opening our eyes and seeing the need, and moving from that seeing into doing. And that doing during this Thanksgiving time can lead to doing all year long. “Doing” simply means to me: feeding people each day of my life; looking them in the eye and speaking to them; continually, through emails, phone calls, and letter writing, lifting up the needs of the homeless to our government officials; and living simply, in order that others may live.

A Cherokee legend retold on Tumblr speaks well to the great dichotomy we face, a grandmother tells her grandson, “Two wolves live inside me, as they do in each of us. One is anger, sorrow regret, inferiority–the other, love, ;joy, peace and hope. These two are in constant struggle with each other.” The child considers this and asks her, “But which of these wolves wins the fight?” She answers, “The one I feed.” And as we look in our own lives–which wolf do we feed–the one who is “love, joy, peace and hope,” or the one who is “anger, sorrow, regret, inferiority?”

It is is simply a matter of opening our eyes, and our hearts– experiencing that suffering as we walk with people. We can hide behind our charades of “all is well,” or “our elected officials are doing what they can,” or “these people deserve what they have,” or we can open our hearts, repent of our ignorance and of doing nothing, and take the one little step at a time–looking people in the eyes and speaking, providing food to one person at a time, writing letters to our elected leaders, and living more simply–just take one step. And those little steps together will swell into a waterfall of steps and change the situation. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
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THANKSGIVING MEAL

On Thanksgiving Day we will be starting a new program entitled, “Thanksgiving Thank you,” in which we will take a Thanksgiving meal to people who work in our service stations and other convenience stores in the neighborhood. They often work without recognition and separation from those they love. Following this we will serve our meal in Hemlock Alley. We will start at Noon from St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 1755 Clay Street, at Van ness, San Francisco, CA.
—————————————————————————————————————————- CHRISTMAS GIFTS

We are giving beanies (stocking caps) for our Christmas gifts. We will be giving out approximately 1000 to those on the street on Christmas Day.
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WE ARE BEGGARS
This year we come to you with our begging bowl in our hands. We are especially in need with the increase in those we serve, and so we come in humble gratefulness for all you do and ask that you will open your heart to provide for those who have so little. This past month we have served 1500 hot meals, provided sandwiches and other food items to 2000, provide pastoral care of the Eucharist, hospital visitation, and counseling to too many to count. So please give, and thank you for all you do. Fr. River Damien Sims. You may give through PayPal on our website: http://www.temenos.org or by check.

WEEKLY WITNESS AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY
Each Wednesday from Noon-1:00 P.M. hold our “Weekly Witness Against the Death Penalty” at 355 McAllister Street, in front of the Earl Warren State Supreme Court Building. Come join us!

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