The Seamless Thread–

Rainbow Cross



Newsletter of



Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., Facilitator

July-August, 2017



Journal of the Alien Street Priest:


The new movie Wonder Woman is a parable on God’s relationship to humanity.


In one of the final scenes she is confronted with the temptation of using force to make a perfect world, and the “devil” figure told her she must destroy the woman who had created the weapon that would destroy the world. Wonder Woman turned away from that act of death and revenge on a human being by pointing out how much good there is within humanity and that everyone is responsible for evil, and that through their choices good can prevail. She offered the hope this woman could  change. She showed mercy. Showing mercy is the human trait that changes lives for the better. Showing mercy sets us free. Showing mercy makes us whole.


In his book, The Return of the Prodigal Son Henri Nouwen tells us:


“If God forgives sinners,

Then certainly those who have faith in God should do the same.

If God welcomes sinners home,

then certainly those who trust in God should do likewise.

If God is compassionate,

The certainly those who love God should be compassionate as well.

The God whom Jesus announces

and in whose name he acts is the God of compassion.,

the God who offers himself

as an example and model for all human behavior.”


The greatest act of compassion we can give is to offer the gift of life to those on death row, to model the seamless thread of life, and in that modeling lives will be changed, both theirs and our own. Deo Gratias! Thank be to God!



Anti-Death Penalty Vigil:


We will Vigil in front of the Earl Warren Supreme Court Building on the following dates at Noon and each Wednesday:


6      VA    William Charles Morva—On this date we will Vigil in front of the State Capitol in Sacramento at Noon.
26    OH   Ronald R. Phillips
27    TX    Taichin Preyor

22    MO   Marcellus Williams
30    TX    Steven Long






Dear friends,

I’m tucked away in Montana working on my book, River of Fire. I’m in the final stretch! Random House has generously extended my deadline more than once so that I could be at the side of those who need me. But now, here’s this firm and final deadline in early Spring and I intend to meet it. Then, I’m back out on the road.

But even while I’m in my writing retreat, I’m keeping watch on Oklahoma. It’s the state that botched the executions of Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner and almost killed Richard Glossip with the wrong drug. And it was our concerted action – hundreds of thousands of us from around the globe – that helped put the spotlight on Governor Mary Fallin’s administration and forced her to issue a moratorium on all executions.

But now Oklahoma’s new Attorney General, Mike Hunter, has vowed to recommence executions as soon as the state “gets a handle on the execution process.” AG Hunter made this statement just hours after the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission issued its damning report on executions and the justice system in the state and urged a continuing moratorium.

If executions start up again, Richard Glossip, who I believe to be completely innocent, will be first up to die. Another 12 men have exhausted their appeals and will follow Richard into whatever experimental death setup Oklahoma dreams up.

So I need you to do something: join our Oklahoma Action Team (OkAT). It’s not onerous and it’s not just for Oklahomans. It’s a shared learning experience and you can read about it below. We need to be alert, prepared and proactive to ensure that Richard and the almost 50 other souls on death row in Oklahoma do not face execution.

And if you’re ready to sign up now, just click that big green sign me up button!

From the heart,


Yes! Sign me up for OkAT!


So what’s Oklahoma up to now?

After Oklahoma almost put Richard Glossip to death with the wrong drug in 2015, Governor Mary Fallin was forced to impose a moratorium on executions.

This year, the bipartisan Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission issued a damning report about the state of justice and the death penalty in Oklahoma. The commission unanimously recommended that the current execution moratorium be continued and that major changes be made to the state’s justice system. (And we mean major!) The commission members felt there was no way to guarantee that the state would not execute an innocent person given its current system.

In a knee-jerk response just hours after the 272-page commission report was released, Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Mike Hunter, said he would ignore all 46 of the report’s recommendations. He wants to start up the killing chamber as soon as possible.

If Mike Hunter gets his way, Richard Glossip will be first in line to be executed, followed rapidly by 12 other men who have exhausted their appeals.

We want to stop him and we need your help. We’re asking that you join the Oklahoma Action Team (OkAT) today.


I want to join!


What do I do as a team member?

We’re inviting team members to do any or all of the following (it’s your choice how actively you become involved):

  • Learn about the deficiencies in Oklahoma’s justice system by reading our weekly mailings. We’ll be examining each chapter of the report (forensics, innocence, the judiciary and so on) and breaking it down for you so you don’t have to read the full 272-pages! When you join OkAT we’ll automatically add you to the OkAT mailing list.
  • Share what you learn with others, especially anyone you know in Oklahoma. Forward the newsletter, or share our tweets and Facebook posts with others.
  • Write letters to the editors of Oklahoma’s newspapers, or chime in (respectfully) in the comments when relevant articles are published.
  • Write to someone on death row in Oklahoma. These men are held underground, year after year, until they’re taken out to be killed. We can provide you with the name and address of someone for whom a letter makes all the difference.
  • If Oklahoma starts executions once more, call the governor, write a letter to the pardon board, share our alerts and posts with others in your networks.


Not just for Oklahomans!
The Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission’s report includes dozens of recommendations that are equally applicable to many other states that still carry out executions. We believe our action to stop Oklahoma from executing could have a ripple effect across the death belt. This is an invitation to all!



Sign me up!



Upcoming Executions

6      VA    William Charles Morva
26    OH   Ronald R. Phillips
27    TX    Taichin Preyor

22    MO   Marcellus Williams
30    TX    Steven Long









“Resting in Christ is no insulation from pain or suffering or anger or fear or frustration. Resting in Christ, who is all compassion, can, in fact put us in touch with the enormous suffering of the world. And compels us to action.” Br. Mark Brown




6      VA    William Charles Morva
26    OH   Ronald R. Phillips
27    TX    Taichin Preyor

22    MO   Marcellus Williams
30    TX    Steven Long



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