Peniel–June 2016 Pride Month

JUNE 2016



P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


Fr. River Damien Sims, Director/Pastor, D.S.T., candidate for D.Min.



There are two gifts that I have received which I treasure.  First is a clergy stole given me at my ordination to the priesthood by an Anglican bishop. It is a rainbow stole made out of the quilts of men who had died of AIDS.  He was in the closet and when he placed the stole around my neck, he said, “You will carry the Gospel with the courage I have never had, and I give thanks to God for this moment.” There was a mixture of sadness and joy in his eyes, for he was a man who suffered in silence. He left the ministry at his retirement, and the church, and found a partner, and came out.  He was seventy years old.

The second is a small New Testament given to me by a woman who died in her nineties. One day, while I was visiting with her, she broke down in tears and shared how she “liked women,” but because of the times and her religious affiliation she had struggled with the guilt and never told anyone.  Jane shared her loneliness, and the hate she felt towards herself through the years. She was a great and devoted woman, but Jane was never allowed to be fully herself. She suffered much, she suffered long, and never felt completely whole.

Pride month is a big party in San Francisco, but we see young men and women coming to our City because of its openness and their own oppression at home.  Pride is a time to celebrate who we are, and to celebrate that being a human being is not about race, creed, color of skin, or sexual orientation, but how we treat others, pure and simple.  We are human beings created in the image of God, are called to “love our neighbor as we love ourselves.” Pride is about  celebrating our differences as gifts from God.

Pride is the month we celebrate the Exodus to Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Transgender/ and Questioning people into the freedom of being who they are, into the light of being fully human.

For the past six years, the Reverend Dana Corsello has worn our rainbow stole during the worship service at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, celebrating the Exodus of Queers into the promised land of freedom and acceptance. The wearing of that stole symbolizes a church with arms open for all.

Pride Month is an announcement to all the world that the “Janes,” Bishop Angus, and all people who suffer in the closet are free to be who they are, and that that freedom comes in God.  Happy Pride! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


Each year, Temenos is in charge of the Accessibility Area, and works with the Accessibility Area on the Parade site. We need volunteers. And so if you would like to volunteer on Saturday, in the afternoon, to work the Accessibility Area or on Sunday to work either the Accessibility Area or the Parade site, please contact Fr.River at 415-305-2124. It is a fun time, an awesome time!



We are beggars. Like St. Francis we depend on the love and care of others.  We do not accept grants, but live on the graciousness and love of others to provide for our support in serving food to 2000 a month, giving out ten thousand pairs of socks, providing pastoral care to 300.  We open our hearts to you.  You may send support to:

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