Archive for January, 2022

Journey on the Edge

January 8, 2022

A Journey on the Edge!

Reflections Given to High School Students!

My name is River, I am a priest, our non-profit is Temenos Catholic Worker,  and my information is on the handout you have been given.

I started literally by moving into my apartment on Polk Street, and handing out food, becoming friends with the young adults on the street. At the time on Polk, they were young homeless prostitutes, and today it is older homeless people, using drugs; on the Haight, they are all young homeless youth, from broken homes, homes where they are not wanted, many born of homeless parents, others simply for the freedom of not being told what to do. They mainly smoke dro, acid, and LSD. In the summer we have what is called “summer punks,” they come from home or college, simply to be free and at the end of the summer return to their lives.  They are out there for a million reasons.

My work is being on the streets and simply being a listener, without judgment, without expectations of my friends; I am their friend, whom they can come to when they are sick, depressed, or just simply to hang out.

Carl Rogers once said: “I don’t try to control the sunset, I watch with awe as it unfolds. ” He also said; “The good life is a process, not a state of being, it is a direction, not a destination.”  For many, it is a good life. For others, it is the best life they can have.

On New Year’s Eve, I attended a party in Marin on the beach with a bond fire, and all the trimmings of what high school, college students love doing, many are my friends.  Their problems, and their actions–smoking pot, drinking, etc, are no different than the guys on the street, they simply have places to live and families who care for them. They are simply adolescents, young adults on their journies.

Success isn’t measured by money or power or social rank, race, creed, color, religious background, but simply by inner peace, and never giving up through hell or high water.

What works for me, what is effective for me is to be a listening ear, a good friend, walking with each one on their journey, and seeing where it leads.

In each person–the gang banger, murderer, thief, and all I look in their eyes and can see the beauty, that is present, and see the broken body of Christ.

And if someone tells me how to live my life, and I have a hunch if I or someone else told you, you would tell them like I do, to “rub their di..k’s with sandpaper.”

I came here with nothing, and when I die will leave here with nothing, and in between, I beg and sometimes work to do the joy of this work. I  journey on the edge.

My invitation to you is to see the beauty and goodness within yourselves and share that beauty, that goodness with others, and you will see the world change. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

415-305-2124

http://www.temenos.org

punkpriest1@gmail.com

snap chat: riodamien2

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Please feel free to contact me at any time.

 Volunteers are welcome if they have vaccination and booster.;

Good Friday, 2022, Stations of the Cross through the Tenderloin, with participants being housed and unhoused youth, if you are interested, give me a call;

San Francisco LGBTQ Pride, June 22-23 We host the area where older, and people with disabilities sit, Good view of events. Pay: $20.00 an hour.

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Haight Street Christmas 2021

Haight Thanksgiving, 2021

Book Review: The Whole Thing by Jason English

January 6, 2022

A Book Review and Reflections on The Whole Thing by Jason English!

The Bible is often explained with an overwhelming emphasis on the brokenness of the world. This is an attempt to teach the story of the entire Bible in a way that is simple, fresh, and memorable, showing how the story isn’t about brokenness, but wholeness. This book is not about brokenness but wholeness. The book does not explain everything, it explains the whole things
.

Love is a word so misunderstood, for love is simply not about a “feeling”, but about caring for our brothers and sisters; love is about recognizing every human being and every part of creation as made by God, each part deserves love; love is about seeing no race, creed, color or religion, but only the face of God in each human being we meet.

The message of Jesus is about reconciliation–not division–it is about unity, not disunity.  It is not about a place in the “hereafter”, but about NOW, working for the Reign of God, the reign of love NOW!  It is about giving our lives for one another.

I was asked one day by a young high school student, “What can I do to get rid of homelessness?” My reply: “You see the person sitting in the doorway–go feed him!

The Whole Thing is a narrative that invites us to delve more deeply into the Bible and to see it as a story of the human race that continues, and that our hope is in the redeeming love of Jesus.

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Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.MIn., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

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The Play of Love

January 6, 2022

The Play of Love!

.

 1 Jn 4:11-18

Beloved, if God so loved us,

we also must love one another.

No one has ever seen God.

Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us,

and his love is brought to perfection in us.

This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us,

that he has given us of his Spirit.

Moreover, we have seen and testify

that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world.

Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,

God remains in him and he in God.

We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.

In this is love brought to perfection among us,

that we have confidence on the day of judgment

because as he is, so are we in this world.

There is no fear in love,

but perfect love drives out fear

because fear has to do with punishment,

and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.

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“If  music  be the play of love–play on!” These are the romantic words beginning Shakespeares’ romantic comedy, Twelfth Night.

As the play’s title suggests Shakespeare wrote this heartwarming tale to celebrate the close of the twelve days of Christmas–January 5, the eve of Epiphany.

As we bring Christmastide to a close what better way to end, what better theme is there to reflect on than love.

As the words from first John, “God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him,” seems more elevated than mere music, or theatre, it is worth remembering that genuine love from the humblest human desire to the noblest act of sacrifice, flows from the very heart of God.

Love is a word so misunderstood, for love is simply not about a “feeling”, but about caring for our brothers and sisters; love is about recognizing every human being and every part of creation as made by God, each part deserves love; love is about seeing no race, creed, color or religion, but only the face of God in each human being we meet.

The message of Jesus is about reconciliation–not division–it is about unity, not disunity.  It is not about a place in the “hereafter”, but about NOW, working for the Reign of God, the reign of love NOW!  It is about giving our lives for one another.

I was asked one day by a young high school student, “What can I do to get rid of homelessness?” My reply: “You see the person sitting in the doorway–go feed him!

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Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.MIn., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

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The Reverends Sherman and Lorraine Skinner have given a gift to Temenos Catholic Worker in memory of their sister, Sarah Townsen Skinner, who had a real heart for the homeless but was killed in an auto accident ten years ago at the age of sixty. .

Reflection on Unthinkable Dreams

January 3, 2022

Reflections on Unthinkable Dreams

The Year That Mom Died and the Towers Fell

By Yeshaya Douglas Ballon

This book is a reflection by Yeshaya Douglas Ballon on the period surrounding his mom’s death, Jean Hymson Ballon,  September 11, 2001, the year of the Terrorist Attacks in New York City.

He describes his mom as a strong woman, a rabbis wife, her loyalty to her family, and to the ministry of her husband. Ballon reflects on her strengths and her weaknesses, and her influence on him and his brothers.

Ballon in essence concludes with the realization that his mother was a mixture, like we all are, of good and bad. Mrs. Ballon loved him, and essentially gave him the landscape of his life, which it was his responsibility to shape.

Ballon concludes how through his life he came to forgive his mom, for those things for which he felt she was responsible but concludes she was simply a human being, doing her best, and he shaped her guidance into his path.

Ballon describes our journeys with our mothers. For me, my mom loved me more than her own life. And several memories are vivid.

At four years old we were in a store, and someone taking a dress off the hanger, hooked me in my mouth, and as I bled my mom rushed me to the hospital, mothering me like a mother hen;

The final memory was when I was in the hospital, and she knew she was dying insisted on being brought to see me, and her comment was: “I know all is well with you, I have not failed.”

My mom was a mixture of the good and the bad, and through the years I resented, and at times hated her, and through facing those feelings, came to truly love and respect the gifts given to me.

Dr. Ballon concluded by giving a quote by his mom, that summarized  our journies: “The unshakable dream–you have to dream it yourself.”

It is that quote that summarizes my mom’s key teaching: To follow my own dream, to walk alone if necessary, to take whatever risk, and in so doing one’s life is fulfilled. My mom, Virgil Sims Smith, once said to me: “Find something  you love doing, and you will never work again.” That is exactly what have done. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

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