“Where Jacob Walked With God. .”


Journal of An Alien Street Priest:

During our unusual late summer rains, I engaged in a simple ritual–walking on the beach in Pacifica, and picking up starfish washed up on the shore. A time of reflection on my twenty-eighth anniversary of coming to San Francisco, October 1, 1994.

I slowly walked the beach, free of people, except for the few walking their dogs, hearing the waves rush in, feeling the rain on my face, I observed the starfish shells, and some alive, pushed in by the waves. This was a meditative practice for me, which I realized sounds loftier than reality. I was simply picking up starfish, alive, throwing them back into the ocean.

 Sometimes my attention landed on the shells, other times there were some alive, and my heart leaped as I picked them up and threw them back into the waves.  It was all shocking and clear. For each one picked up my memory journeyed back through the years remembering all of the starfish on the street  I have picked up, caring, listening, and throwing them into the Sea of Love.

Reading The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis for the past four weeks I have arrived at a new appreciation of life and ministry. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, one reads of Lucy (one of the children allowed into Narnia) asking Aslan ( the Lion who represents Christ) how to get into “Aslan’s land.”  His reply: “Find the land within yourself.”

For me “Ashlan’s land” is on these nitty, gritty streets, where each move can mean pregnancy, a wound, and death, where  I have experienced the gift of casting the starfish of God into the Sea of Love.

Eckhart Troilo’s commented: “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” To live in the present moment, accepting it as for what it is,  and walking the way of the Gospel.

And so as we enter into our twenty-ninth year we invite you to continue our journey together. The journey of following Jesus into Galilee, finding the “land of Ashlan” within ourselves, and finding the peace of God.

Thank you for your support, friendship, and prayers during these years and for continuing with me on throwing our starfish into the Sea of Love! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


The Feast of St. Francis is October 4, in which we remember Francis, this year we will celebrate on October 6, providing vegetarian sandwiches on the street.


We Are Beggars!

    We beg! We are in need of funds as always and invite you to give through the mail:

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164






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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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