How Much Do We Care?

September 29, 2019

How Much  Do We Care?

The Rich Man and Lazarus–ESV

19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side.[a] The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

For weeks now we have slept about three or four hours a night. We see hundreds of people sleeping on the street, we feed many, listen to many, and lead  worship for some. Their pain, their faces and desperation are haunting. When we leave  them we  go home to a nice room, we  eat great food, we go to the doctor; they do not have that privilege, those are  gifts for us and they should be gifts for all of us.  We meet many who have minimum wage jobs, live on social security, and they sleep in their cars, the shelters, and the street. We can not sleep, their faces are always before us.

In reading the story of Lazarus we are reminded about a man who when going to his office everyday, noticed a ragged looking child sitting outside the building begging.  This irritated the man who asked God everyday why God did not do something about this. One day he heard God’s answer: “I did do something. I created you.”

The question for us is not how much do we have to give, but HOW MUCH DO WE CARE?

Prayer by Martin Luther King Jr.

“We will have to repent in this generation, not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of all willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Amen. “

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Home Coming

A Celebration of 25 Years of Service of Temenos Catholic Worker

Saturday, October 5, 2019, 6:30 p.m.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

1755 Clay Street

San Francisco CA

Service of Holy Communion opened (Gluten Free wafers, and Non-Alcoholic Wine)

A Home Cooked Meal by Fr. River Sims of:

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Ham

Cranberry Orange Chicken

Vegan Corn Chowder

Southern Cole Slaw

Dessert cooked by Ms. DinaTiedge

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

 

In The Cross of Christ I Glory

September 28, 2019

 

In the Cross of Christ I Glory”

“For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.

You sweep them away with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.” Psam 90:4-4 (EV)

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Through the years we have had a couple of thousand memorial services, two in the the last month, and in each service we  lift up the reminder they will not be forgotten, but are  God’s dream,  awaiting  the day when we live in Zion–flourishing like o strong redwoods and sequoias.

As I look back during this anniversary week we remember the words of my first therapist at Kaiser, our  first month in town:

“Your life will be like a person standing in the middle of a railroad track with twenty three trains coming at you at one time.”

And so it has been, and when asked if it has all been worth the pain, I remember the words of my friend Christopher, 32, from Portland, whom I have known since he was 14. We became friends when I was in Portland to preach, and through the years we have bloodied each other, he has called me every name in the book, in his adolescent and young adult struggles,  I planted my feet in the ground, and stayed,   he is now married with two kids, works for Progressive Insurance, and shared his feelings towards me:

“Being my Jesus here on earth. Ever present, opened arms of compassion.”

We wear on our left hand a Gucci ring, symbolic of being a “bro” with seventeen year old, Aaron who has walk with me the past two years through depression, surgery and pain, and I walk with him in his struggles. He has stuck with me through one of the worst times of my life. We are bros.

I was once told that we had the ability to open our lives in away where we let people in, and they into theirs, thus setting me up to be an excellent counselor, yet in  for a lot of pain. I have never stopped doing that.

In the end my goal is to be like the Velveteen Rabbit:

Wasn’t I real before?” asked the little Rabbit.

“You were real to the Boy,” the Fairy said,

“Because he loved you. Now you shall be real to everyone.”. .He didn’t mind how  he looked to other people, because the nurery magic had made him Real, and when you are real shabbiness doesn’t matter.” Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit.

My prayer is that the deaths of those who have gone before me and my death will quoting Fr. Henri Nouwen be the sending forth of God’s love.

  “The great mystery is that all people  who have lived with and in the Spirit of God participate through the deaths in the sending of the Spirit. God’s love continues to be sent to us, and Jesus death continues to bear fruit through all whose is like his death for others.” Fr. Henri Nouwen. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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You are cordially Invited to Attend

the 25th Anniversary celebration of Temenos Catholic Worker

on

the Night of October 5, at 6:30 p.m.

at St.Luke’s Episcopal Church

1755 Clay Street

San Francisco, CA

A Dinner of

Slow Cooked Brown Sugar Ham

Cranberry Orange Chicken

Vegan Corn Chowder

Slaw

Cake

Punch

will be served

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

Our Daily Bread

September 27, 2019

Our Daily Bread

Matthew 6:7-15 English Standard Version (ESV)

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.[a]
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,[b]
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,[c]
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.[d]

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

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In eight days we will celebrate our 25 years in San Francisco, for it was on October 5, the Feast of St. Francis we moved into our Polk Street address and bought our first piece of pizza for a homeless kid.   We have learned several things in these years:

First, and most importantly, every aspect of life is dependent upon God. I came here an arrogant, sob, and I may still be arrogant, but we do have some humility. For I  have learned that even though we can run circles around eighteen year old’s, work physically as well as mentally hard, life is but a gift. Repeatedly through these years we have been brought low physically and emotionally, and  I  have  learned that our strength, our health,  is simply a gift, to treasure, and to eventually let go of, and all of our  being is dependent upon God. All is transitory–only God is eternal, only God is our strength!

Each day I pray “Give us this day our daily bread,” and we give thanks for that bread, and give thanks to share in return. I keep little, and share more because so many have not, and it can not be taken with us. We are completely dependent upon God.

Secondly, today is the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul. In this age of large scale religious, societal, political, and climate change when our imagery is focused upon stock markets, and making money; border security, political advancement, and destroying our enemies, Christians are called not only to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, give drink to the thirsty, to embrace the outcast, but to transform society with our renewal of the our love of God only than will we be truly free, and have peace. Culture is transitory, only the love of God is eternal. St. Vincent leads us forward through the centuries on this journey.

Fr. Henri Nouwen describes a joyful vision of life and death, that helps us keep in mine our place in the scheme of things:

“Our life is a short opportunity to say yes to God’s love. Our death is a full coming home to that love. Do we desire to come home? It seems that most of our efforts are aimed at delaying this homecoming as long as possible.

Writing to the Christians at Philippi, the apostle Paul shows a radically different attitude. He says: “I want to be gone and be with Christ, and this is by far the stronger desire—and yet for your sake to stay alive in this body is a more urgent need.” Paul’s deepest desire is to be completely united with God through Christ and that desire makes him look at death as a “positive gain.” His other desire, however, is to stay alive in the body and fulfill his mission. That will offer him an opportunity for fruitful work.

We are challenged once again to look at our lives from above. When, indeed, Jesus came to offer us full communion with God, by making us partakers of his death and resurrection, what else can we desire but to leave our mortal bodies and so reach the final goal of our existence? The only reason for staying in this valley of tears can be to continue the mission of Jesus who has sent us into the world as his Father sent him into the world. Looking from above, life is a short, often painful mission, full of occasions to do fruitful work for God’s kingdom, and death is the open door that leads into the hall of celebration where the king himself will serve us.

It all seems such an upside-down way of being! But it’s the way of Jesus and the way for us to follow. There is nothing morbid about it. To the contrary, it’s a joyful vision of life and death.”

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An Invitation to A Homecoming Feast Celebrating the

Twenty Fifth Anniversary of

Temenos Catholic Worker

Father River Damien Sims, Director

Saturday, October 5, 2019

6:30 p.m.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

1755 Clay Street

San Francisco, CA

An Evening of Celebration

With A Meal of

Honey Baked Ham

Cranberry Chicken Breasts

Vegan Corn Chowder

Cole Slaw

Dessert

Holy Communion and Sharing of Stories

Guest Speaker: Sara Solis, Daughter of Sue Haines, author of Are You Susan?

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min., D.S.T.               http://www.temenos.org

P.O. Box 642656                                                  415-305-2124

San Francisco, CA 94164

Transformation

September 24, 2019

TRANSFORMATION

I Corinthians 5: 6-8

6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Bread is a very simple food==four, water, oil, yeast, a small amount of sugar, and heat.  The yeast is a living organism, which eats the sugar, and the bread rises beautifully. In the same way our faith rises, as we nurture it with daily prayer, reading Scripture, and service.

Br. David Vryhof describes our journey of transformation: The call to follow Christ is a call to a lifelong process of conversion. It requires us to let go of our former identities – built on our gifts, our achievements, and our social standing – in order to embrace a new identity in Christ. It invites us to become changed people: people whose lives are characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and humility. It summons us to treat every person we meet with dignity and respect, seeing that they too are made in the image of God.”

People criticize, judge, and threaten us saying we are not really a Christian, all sorts of names, and we have the notes to prove it. In the last three and a half weeks we have been struggling with pneumonia, and are well aware of that thin line between life and death. What people say has ceased to matter.

Our twenty fifth anniversary reminds us that in these years our life has been one of transformation into the love of God and neighbor. The thin line, the thin place, between life and death is brought home by a quote from Father Henri Nouwen:

“Is aging a way to the darkness or a way to the light? It is not given to anyone to make a final judgment, since the answer can only be brought forth from the center of our being. No one can decide for anyone else how his or her aging shall or should be. It belongs to the greatness of men and women that the meaning of their existence escapes the power of calculations and predictions. Ultimately, it can only be discovered and affirmed in the freedom of the heart. There we are able to decide between segregation and unity, between desolation and hope, between loss of self and a new, re-creating vision. Everyone will age and die, but this knowledge has no inherent direction. It can be destructive as well as creative, oppressive as well as liberating.”

For us personally aging, living in the thin place, walking the tight rope are a way into the light, and we give thanks to God for our past journey, the present journey, and the coming journey into Galilee following Jesus. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

An Invitation to A Homecoming Feast Celebrating the

Twenty Fifth Anniversary of

Temenos Catholic Worker

Father River Damien Sims, Director

Saturday, October 5, 2019

6:30 p.m.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

1755 Clay Street

San Francisco, CA

An Evening of Celebration

With A Meal of

Honey Baked Ham

Vegan Corn Chowder

Cole Slaw

Dessert

Holy Communion and Sharing of Stories

Guest Speaker: Sara Solis, Daughter of Sue Haines, author of Are You Susan?

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min., D.S.T.               http://www.temenos.org

P.O. Box 642656                                                  415-305-2124

San Francisco, CA 94164

Peniel–October Newsletter of Temenos Catholic Worker

September 22, 2019

 

Peniel

“Where Jacob wrestled with God”

Temenos Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Fr River Sims, D.Min., D.S.T., Director

October, 2019

Twenty Fifth Anniversary Issue

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Journal of An Alien Street Priest:

On October 4, the Feast of St. Francis, we moved into our room on Polk Street in 1994, and that day Temenos Catholic Worker  came into being. We walked out the door, and took four young men and bought them pizza beginning our ministry of presence. And on this twenty fifth anniversary Fr. Henri Nouwen speaks for me:

A New Vision of Maturity

“I find myself with the same old struggles every time I am in a new and unfamiliar milieu. In particular, the experience of isolation keeps returning, not in a lessening but in an increasing degree. Becoming older makes the experience of isolation much more familiar—maybe simply because of sheer repetition—but not less painful.

So maybe the question is not how to cope better, but how slowly to allow my unchanging character to become a way of humility and surrender to God. As I recognize my fears of being left alone and my desire for a sense of belonging, I may gradually give up my attempts to fill my loneliness and be ready to recognize with my heart that God is Emmanuel, “God-with-us,” and that I belong to him before anything or anyone else.

And so a new vision of maturity may emerge; not a vision in which I am more and more able to deal with my own pains, but one in which I am more willing to let my Lord deal with them. After all, maturation in a spiritual sense is a growing willingness to stretch out my arms, to have a belt put round me, and to be led where I would rather not go (John 21:18). “

Thank you for your support, your prayers, and your friendship. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Fr. River+

An Invitation to A Homecoming Feast Celebrating the

Twenty Fifth Anniversary of

Temenos Catholic Worker

Father River Damien Sims, Director

Saturday, October 5, 2019

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

1755 Clay Street

San Francisco, CA

An Evening of Celebration

With A Meal of

Slow Cooked Honey Ham

Vegan Corn Chowder

Cole Slaw

Dessert

Holy Communion and Sharing of Stories

Guest Speaker: Sara Solis, Daughter of Sue Haines, author of Are You Susan?

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min., D.S.T.               http://www.temenos.org

P.O. Box 642656                                                  415-305-2124

San Francisco, CA 94164

A NEW IOU

September 21, 2019

A NEW IOU

Luke 16:10-13 English Standard Version (ESV)

10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

We are in a time of crisis–people are threatened with homelessness, or they are homeless, the majority of people do not have health care, and we hold our heads up and say: “It is the government’s responsibility,” when we are the power behind the government and we go our own merry way.

On this weekend of crisis, let us look deep within ourselves and see where God stands on our list of goals: money, power, fame, whatever. Then like our manager friend take the IOU we have with God, rip it up, write a new one: this time write: “I shall love the Lord my God with all of my heart, soul, and strength,” and add, “And I shall love others as I love myself.”

And in writing our IOU remember our ending, and see the greatest gift of all:

“If I die with much anger and bitterness, I will leave my family and friends behind in confusion, guilt, shame, or weakness. When I felt my death approaching, I suddenly realized how much I could influence the hearts of those whom I would leave behind. If I could truly say that I was grateful for what I had lived, eager to forgive and be forgiven, full of hope that those who loved me would continue their lives of joy and peace, and confident that Jesus who calls me would guide all who somehow belonged to my life—if I could do that—I would, in the hour of my death, reveal more true spiritual freedom than I had been able to reveal during all the years of my life. I realize on a very deep level that dying is the most important act of living. It involves a choice to bind others with guilt or to set them free with gratitude.” Fr. Henri Nouwen

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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An Invitation to A Homecoming Feast Celebrating the

Twenty Fifth Anniversary of

Temenos Catholic Worker

Father River Damien Sims, Director

Saturday, October 5, 2019

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

1755 Clay Street

San Francisco, CA

An Evening of Celebration

With A Meal of

Vegetarian Lasagna

Cole Slaw

Dessert

Holy Communion and Sharing of Stories

Guest Speaker: Sara Solis, Daughter of Sue Haines, author of Are You Susan?

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min., D.S.T.               http://www.temenos.org

P.O. Box 642656                                                  415-305-2124

San Francisco, CA 94164


 

Befriending Death

September 17, 2019

Befriending Death

Luke 7:11-17 English Standard Version (ESV)

Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son

11″ Soon afterward[a] he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12 As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus[b] gave him to his mother. 16 Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” 17 And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.’

We put off talking about death, we feel uncomfortable talking about death, we shun people who bring up the subject of  death.  But if we listen, we hear of death minute by minute each day:

     In the news people are dying every minute–many as a result of our government’s behavior; life is cheap in most of the world, and life is cheap here in our own City. Young blacks, homeless, and the poor die unacceptable  deaths due to violence, not having housing,  and health care. In the last two weeks we have dealt with three unnecessary deaths, and see death in the form of people in tents, on the street, the doorways, each day.

    We face our slow dying as we age: we are slow to heal, our mind is slower and our pace slows. We die slowly, even though “the new fifty is seventy.” We die!

    Fr. Henri Nouwen calls us to befriend death,to embrace our dying, and see death in the light of the resurrection, and calls us to  be the resurrection as long as we live on this earth in our care for  the homeless, the aged, the sick, and the dying:

Befriending

“Our first task is to befriend death. I like that expression “to befriend.” I first heard it used by Jungian analyst James Hillman when he attended a seminar I taught on Christian Spirituality at Yale Divinity School. He emphasized the importance of “befriending”: befriending your dreams, befriending your shadow, befriending your unconscious. He made it convincingly clear that in order to become full human beings, we have to claim the totality of our experience; we come to maturity by integrating not only the light but also the dark side of our story into our selfhood. That made a lot of sense to me, since I am quite familiar with my own inclination, and that of others, to avoid, deny, or suppress the painful side of life, a tendency that always leads to physical, mental, or spiritual disaster. . . .

I have a deep sense, hard to articulate, that if we could really befriend death we would be free people. So many of our doubts and hesitations, ambivalences and insecurities are bound up with our deep-seated fear of death that our lives would be significantly different if we could relate to death as a familiar guest instead of as a threatening stranger.

But, whatever we think or hope, the way we will die is unpredictable and our worries about it quite fruitless. Still we need to be prepared. Preparing ourselves for our deaths is the most important task of life, at least when we believe that death is not the total dissolution of our identity but the way to its fullest revelation. Death, as Jesus speaks about it, is that moment in which total defeat and total victory are one. The cross on which Jesus died is the sign of this oneness of defeat and victory. Jesus speaks about his death as being “lifted up.” Fr. Henri Nouwen

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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An Invitation to A Homecoming Feast Celebrating the

Twenty Fifth Anniversary of

Temenos Catholic Worker

Father River Damien Sims, Director

Saturday, October 5, 2019

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

1755 Clay Street

San Francisco, CA

An Evening of Celebration

With A Meal of

Vegetarian Lasagna

Cole Slaw

Dessert

Holy Communion and Sharing of Stories

Guest Speaker: Sara Solis, Daughter of Sue Haines, author of Are You Susan?

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min., D.S.T.               http://www.temenos.org

P.O. Box 642656                                                  415-305-2124

San Francisco, CA 94164

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Five Interlocking Injustices That Create and Sustain Poverty

From Poor People’s Campaign

1. Systematic Racism

2. Poverty

 3. Ecologic al Devastation (Climate Change and Pollution)

4. Distorted Moral Narrative (think  blaming the poor, and race baiting).

5.The War  Economy—Budget and Militarism-Endless War

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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

Lost and Found

September 15, 2019

LOST AND FOUND

Luke 15:11-32 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to[a] one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’[b] 22 But the father said to his servants,[c] ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

 
“I have been meditating on the story of the prodigal son. It is a story about returning. I realize the importance of returning over and over again. My life drifts away from God. I have to return. My heart moves away from my first love. I have to return. My mind wanders to strange images. I have to ret24urn. Returning is a lifelong struggle. . . . I am moved by the fact that the father didn’t require any higher motivation. His love was so total and unconditional that he simply welcomed his son home.” Father Henri Nouwen

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All through last night  I was assailed by the faces of young men who have died through the years: there is blood on their faces, anguish and immense pain in their eyes, and they cry out, “help me!” Around them circles the Angel of Death, who stares  me straight in the eye, and says, “Remember your time is near.”

There are those who would call this dream, and the pain it causes PTSD, but gradually I have come to see these dreams, in all of their pain and fear,  as God reminding me of my ministry.  They are a way of kicking me in the ass, so I embrace them. I live with them, and I suffer with through them.

The Prodigal Son is a parable of two calls–one of being embraced by the Father/Mother, being embraced in safety, and the other of being the Father/Mother, and embracing the “lost sheep”, everyone.

Reverend William Barber says we have to be “poor” to understand the poor, but  the book of Matthew reminds us that “Blessed are the in are poor in spirit for they shall see God.” When we let our guard and false boundaries down, we see how poor we really are–our fears, etc. are universal, and we can embrace and assist everyone as our brother and sister. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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

P.O. Box 642566

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

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An Invitation to A Homecoming Feast Celebrating the

Twenty Fifth Anniversary of

Temenos Catholic Worker

Father River Damien Sims, Director

Saturday, October 5, 2019

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

1755 Clay Street

San Francisco, CA

An Evening of Celebration

With A Meal of

Vegetarian Lasagna

Cole Slaw

Dessert

Holy Communion and Sharing of Stories

Guest Speaker: Sara Solis, Daughter of Sue Haines, author of Are You Susan?

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min., D.S.T.               http://www.temenos.org

P.O. Box 642656                                                  415-305-2124

San Francisco, CA 94164

 

 

Mercy

September 12, 2019

Luke 6:27-38 English Standard Version (ESV)

Love Your Enemies

27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic[a] either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

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If we look at the daily news, or active on Facebook, we find that mercy is in short supply. We seemed to be living in a world, where if you are at some sort of disadvantage–a migrant, a person of color or different sexual orientation, a person of different religions other  than the dominant one, incarcerated and released prisoners, or simply afraid of the future-help is refused, fear is used. A world where St. Paul’s “kindness, humility, and gentleness, seem increasing rare.

Personally we have received emails and comments on Face book  painting religion negatively and reflecting  the individuals negative experiences, but we look at the Gospel and the experience and witness of others, and what do we see?

Through history Christians have interpreted the Gospel as calling for Jesus to make earthly change, thus many use violence and discrimination. But when one looks at the Gospel Jesus calls us to changing ourselves,and from that change  responding in love to others with the same love. He calls us to “love our neighbor” as we have loved ourselves. To respond without judgment. Through that  experience in relationship with Jesus, we can change the world in love.

We think of countless people who have as individuals for example,  Dorothy Day who have operated out of their  experience with Christ, in love and care; But since lately we have received these emails and Face book comments we would like to comment on our own experience.

From the time I was twelve years old,   experiencing  at camp, a feeling my heart  was strangely warmed, Jesus has been at the heart of my life-=-deaths of family, rejection by a denomination, years of prostitution, and restoration to ministry, rejection by friends, and in the last twenty five years through the ups and downs of life,  depression, attempts on my life, and surgery.  He has been there, when others walk away-Jesus  wraps his arms around me and never leaves.  And in that experience Jesus asked us  to respond in love, which we have tried, with all of our heart to do, serving thousands. And we have found through Jesus what
Fr. Henri Nouwen describes:

“When productivity is our main way of overcoming self-doubt, we are extremely vulnerable to rejection and criticism and prone to inner anxiety and depression. Productivity can never give the deep sense of belonging we crave. The more we produce, the more we realize that successes and results cannot give us the experience of “at homeness.” In fact, our productivity reveals to us that we are driven by fear.”

We are called to operate out of the love Jesus shows us, to serve. We are called to love, not have numbers of production.

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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

punkpriest1@gmail.com

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There is a big debate over vaping cartridges. The Board of Supervisors has banned them in the City-they did not ban tobacco or alcohol-and through the press we are having different opinions. Below is an article that gives a more positive view.

Our position is simply to place restrictions on the age-only for people over 21–do the research and report the findings. We do not believe in censorship–we are not censoring alcohol and tobacco why? Could it be the money they raise?

Please read and include that in  your opinion as well.

Synergy: Vape Cartridges Are Safe!

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Many people have seen the recent news items about vape-related deaths and so we wanted to send out a message to put our customers’ minds at ease:

Nothing is added to our concentrates (vape cartridges and syringes). Concentrates are extracted using the CO2 extraction process (considered to be the cleanest method of extraction). The extracts are made from the cannabis flowers that we provide to our processor directly and nothing else. To be clear, there are no additives, preservatives, colorants, thickening agents nor flavors added (including Vitamin E acetate, propylene glycol and glycerin) – JUST CANNABIS.

In the Watch Fires. ..

September 9, 2019

In the Watch Fires of a Hundred Circling Camps

 Luke 6:6-11 ———————————————

    As I walked through the Tenderloin Saturday night for Resin’s service many people spoke to me from their tents on the side walk. Surrounded by a windy, foggy night, a verse from the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” echoed  through my brain:

“I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps.
They have built Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.”

    And as I read and proclaimed the Word to those at the memorial service I thought of the promise made by Jesus in his healing we read of  today in the lectionary reading,  and the scripture  proclaimed in the Book of Hebrews: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,”, the day of freedom on which we must do good, a festive Day of the Lord, which announces and sacramentally anticipates the endless feast in the fully realized Kingdom.

    Each person who spoke Saturday night shared of the good that came forth from Resin, and the good he brought forth from them, and  each  shared of his negative behavior. They shared of their positive, and their negative behavior as well.  In essence they shared of how we are all a mixture of saints and sinners, and  we fluctuate from one end to the other.

    At the same time I thought of a line in a book given to me by Sr. Helen Prejean: To River–the Jesus man who is on fire!” an  inscription which left me with an uneasy feeling, and yet on Saturday night I came to understand that is the best in me, to aim for, and like Resin, and my brothers and sisters standing in the chill,  we do the best we can–and ultimately we will enter the presence of God, and find ourselves in the day of complete freedom.

    I felt myself touched by an angel as I walked home:

“I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps.
They have built Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.”

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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

415-305-2124River On Fire