Keep Your Hand to the Plow

Keep Plowing

The Feast of St. Francis

Tenth Anniversary of Episcopal Consecration

Luke 9:57-62

“Jesus said: “No one who puts a hand on the plow and looks back is fit for God’s kingdom.”

I remember one of my child hood nannies, an old black woman, named Lucy, telling me when I accepted my first church–“Keep your hand on the plow.” I have found that only by keeping my hand on the plow and moving forward in the midst of controversy, hatred, and doubt, can you see the face of Jesus.

Ten years ago today I was consecrated a Bishop in the Old Catholic movement primarily because frankly I am feral, I do not fit in, I am wild in many ways, like my kids, I know how to play the game, to a certain extent.  I am told I don’t listen, but the reality is I listen intently, and follow what my instinct, tells me to do. 

And so  on this Feast of St. Francis what is “success” in ministry for me. 

First of all success is my dedication, and through that dedication I see Nathan, who is 40, whose drug use keeps him from getting a job, who comes for food and to talk; I see Jason, who is 16, and has been emotionally abused through his religion over being gay; I see Sue, 19, who ran away from home because her parents tried to get her to stop using drugs, and the list goes on and on. My success stories are simply being present, listening, and letting the Spirit move in their lives.

Pain, and hurt comes, but so does much joy from  being who we are as we listen to that still small voice within.

The two phrases on my tattoo says it all for me: “No regrets”–there are no regrets; and we find God in all things, nothing does not have God, he is in all of life. So we should not judge. But listen, and be aware God comes in unexpected places. Last Saturday God  came to me in my 17 year old volunteer at the Veg Fest. Kevin showed more love and care for people in those hours, than I see most days. We all have to find the meaning to our existence on our own, but we can walk with one another, and in that walking find strength. My goal is to give my kids strength for their journey, strength to lift their heads high, and say “I am all right!”, regardless of what people  say, of what they  wear, of what they  do. If in these years I have given one person strength –strength for the journey, I am happy, if I have not than I can say loud and clear “I have tried”, and that is all we are ask to do is to try.

Thomas Merton gives a good summary on how we should live our lives, and find much joy:

‘In the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his (her) own life and for ”finding himself.” If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence.”
– Thomas Merton Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Planet First! Season of Creation! Rally


Earl Warren Supreme Court Building

350 McAllister Street

San Francisco, CA

Bring a Sack lunch to Share with A Homeless Person

Come and Celebrate Creation

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



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