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Peneil-February

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 13:27:03 +0000

PENIEL“Where Jacob Wrestled With God and Survived” Temenos Catholic WorkerP.O. Box 642656San Francisco, CA 94164415-305-2124Temenos@gmail.comwww.temenos.org (pay pal)February, 2017Fr. River Damien Sims, Director-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Journal of An Alien Street Priest:We are in the season of Epiphany in which we celebrate the manifestation of Christ to the world. In this witness we have the manifestation of the Cosmic Christ –the Christ who transcends all races, creeds, sexual orientation, and boundaries, and brings us into oneness as his creation. From the Cosmic Christ we see the flow of the different spiritual traditions as reflections of the rain bow of the one God.We will soon be entering Lent which begins with Ash Wednesday and concludes with Easter. Ash Wednesday is a day of penance.  As I move on Polk and on the Haight imputing ashes on the foreheads of individuals who are the poorest of the poor, the most wounded in our society, I am reminded no matter one’s position in life, or how much money one has—that “Man, thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return,” in the end death is the great equalizer.Ash Wednesday forces us to face the great questions of life: Is life worth it? Is this all there is? And Is there anything beyond this life?We live by faith.  Personally I always push the limits and I am gambling that there is hope in Jesus of Nazareth .  There are no guarantees, only faith.  Faith has always led me home and that is what I am gambling on now.Faith gives meaning to our lives.  Even when some nights  we go to bed and ask ourselves the question “Is this all there is?” and I do that a lot, and then  faith kicks us in the pants and tells us to give of all that we have so that others might live, and have a decent life.  So pull your pants up—and go feed the hungry,  clothe the naked, care for the dying, visit the imprisoned, and know that in Christ there is hope. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!Rise from the Mud. . .Breathe: A Journey to Change the World This is a book by twenty two year old Texan Phillip Houston, who now resides in San Francisco in an SRO.  It is based on his experience and real conversations. Philip invites you to “embark on a challenging journey into the thick and heavy muck of ambiguity that permeates our world to explore, through the eyes of homeless and idealistic young men, the fundamental flaws in humanity’s current design of civilization.” This book may be purchased on Amazon. For more information email Philip at: phillip.m.odonnell@gmail.com.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- WE ARE BEGGARS:When people donate money to us, one can say it becomes the money of Temenos Catholic Worker, but we personally always remember that that money is the possession of others given to be used for the welfare of our street youth, and we use it as a sacred trust and in a responsible manner. Food, socks, pastoral care, and harm reduction supplies are provided through your giving. Please give as your heart leads you: Temenos Catholic WorkerP.O. Box 642656San Francisco, CA 94164Pay pal: www.temenos.org  “This Buddha sits with youin the broken light of pain-strewn streetsand slow-folded knees that signalunquestioned  presence— throughout the darkness,the voice of a friend.” By Jerry Bolick [...]



Peneil-February

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 13:26:50 +0000

PENIEL“Where Jacob Wrestled With God and Survived” Temenos Catholic WorkerP.O. Box 642656San Francisco, CA 94164415-305-2124Temenos@gmail.comwww.temenos.org (pay pal)February, 2017Fr. River Damien Sims, Director-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Journal of An Alien Street Priest:We are in the season of Epiphany in which we celebrate the manifestation of Christ to the world. In this witness we have the manifestation of the Cosmic Christ –the Christ who transcends all races, creeds, sexual orientation, and boundaries, and brings us into oneness as his creation. From the Cosmic Christ we see the flow of the different spiritual traditions as reflections of the rain bow of the one God.We will soon be entering Lent which begins with Ash Wednesday and concludes with Easter. Ash Wednesday is a day of penance.  As I move on Polk and on the Haight imputing ashes on the foreheads of individuals who are the poorest of the poor, the most wounded in our society, I am reminded no matter one’s position in life, or how much money one has—that “Man, thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return,” in the end death is the great equalizer.Ash Wednesday forces us to face the great questions of life: Is life worth it? Is this all there is? And Is there anything beyond this life?We live by faith.  Personally I always push the limits and I am gambling that there is hope in Jesus of Nazareth .  There are no guarantees, only faith.  Faith has always led me home and that is what I am gambling on now.Faith gives meaning to our lives.  Even when some nights  we go to bed and ask ourselves the question “Is this all there is?” and I do that a lot, and then  faith kicks us in the pants and tells us to give of all that we have so that others might live, and have a decent life.  So pull your pants up—and go feed the hungry,  clothe the naked, care for the dying, visit the imprisoned, and know that in Christ there is hope. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!Rise from the Mud. . .Breathe: A Journey to Change the World This is a book by twenty two year old Texan Phillip Houston, who now resides in San Francisco in an SRO.  It is based on his experience and real conversations. Philip invites you to “embark on a challenging journey into the thick and heavy muck of ambiguity that permeates our world to explore, through the eyes of homeless and idealistic young men, the fundamental flaws in humanity’s current design of civilization.” This book may be purchased on Amazon. For more information email Philip at: phillip.m.odonnell@gmail.com.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- WE ARE BEGGARS:When people donate money to us, one can say it becomes the money of Temenos Catholic Worker, but we personally always remember that that money is the possession of others given to be used for the welfare of our street youth, and we use it as a sacred trust and in a responsible manner. Food, socks, pastoral care, and harm reduction supplies are provided through your giving. Please give as your heart leads you: Temenos Catholic WorkerP.O. Box 642656San Francisco, CA 94164Pay pal: www.temenos.org  “This Buddha sits with youin the broken light of pain-strewn streetsand slow-folded knees that signalunquestioned  presence— throughout the darkness,the voice of a friend.” By Jerry Bolick [...]



The Monsters Within Us

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 13:01:22 +0000

 They Call Us MonstersCourage is more exhilarating than fear, and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.Eleanor Roosevelt There is a documentary that has come to the screen: They Call us Monsters about three teenagers who committed murder. They are in a juvenile facility awaiting trial and are in a class  writing a play. Typical, playful teenagers. That scene shifts to the scenes of their lives: raised in poverty, in areas of crime and gangs. They kill innocent people.  They become in the eyes of society monsters.  But are they?  Suppose they had been raised in an environment where they were free of poverty and the threats of violence, would they have committed violence?  Suppose they were raised in an environment free of racial prejudice, free of war, and religious intolerance would they have killed? Our country is filled with intolerance of other countries and other faiths. We see on television people who are just like all of us come out with prejudice against Muslims, and the Middle East.  We act out of fear, we act out of the monsters within each of us. Courage is more exhilarating than fear, and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.Eleanor Roosevelt We need to stare down our fears, and see in each person the face of God. John Ramirez of Texas was scheduled to be executed on Thursday, but his execution has been placed on hold because of questions about his legal council. How many people on death row have had inadequate defense, how many are innocent?  We need to fight our monsters by staring down our fears.  Join me tomorrow Thursday at noon in Vigil Against the Death Penalty: Franciscans Against the Death Penalty Vigil at NoonEarl Warren Supreme Court Building350 McAllister StreetSan Francisco, CA  Noon on Thursday, February 2, 2017 Let's Stare Down the Death Penalty! Franciscans Against the Death Penaltyfranciscansagainstdeathpenalty@gmail.com415-305-2124 [...]



The Touch That People Need

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 19:05:47 +0000

The Touch That People NeedHebrews 12:1-4; Mark 5:21-43St. John Bosco I have promised God that until my last breath I shall have lived for my poor young people. I study for you, I work for you, I am also ready to give my life for you. Take note and whatever i am, I have been so entirely for you. St. John Bosco There is a story about a little boy who did not want to go into his bedroom because it was so dark. His mother assured him, "You will not be alone, God is with you." To which the boy replied: "I know God is with me, but I need someone with skin."Jesus was always touched, and he was always touching. We are not Jesus but we have the touch that people need.   The letter to the Hebrews envisions the people of God as a cloud of witnesses on a journey together, all of us with our eyes fixed on Jesus.  We are all surrounding one another, not a group of independent and separate marchers. It is a part of our discipleship, "with our eyes fixed on Jesus," to be available, to be touched  by people who are in need of someone with skin.In the Haight the guys have a way of showing affection to those they are close to--rather than just shake hands you move in and grab the forearm.  It is an affectionate handshake, but reserved for friends.  We need to be touched, in our society with all of the social networks and fear of accusations we do not touch, and we see the results in the extreme loneliness of people, in their isolation, in their acting out.-Br. Geoffrey Tristra writes:"Walk out into the deep waters of the unknown – but filled with faith and trust that God will meet you there in Christ, and that he will guide you, and carry you when you fall, that he will lead you across dry land, and land you safe on Canaan’s side." We need to have trust in Christ to lead us into relationships without fear.  For only in that great communion of saints on earth can we find healing and move into the Communion of Saints in the future. The reign of God is now! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God! Fr. River Damen sims, sfwTemenos Catholic WorkerP.O. Box 642656San Francisco, CA 94164www.temenos.org415-305-2124 [...]



The Touch That People Need

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 19:05:42 +0000

The Touch That People NeedHebrews 12:1-4; Mark 5:21-43St. John Bosco I have promised God that until my last breath I shall have lived for my poor young people. I study for you, I work for you, I am also ready to give my life for you. Take note and whatever i am, I have been so entirely for you. St. John Bosco There is a story about a little boy who did not want to go into his bedroom because it was so dark. His mother assured him, "You will not be alone, God is with you." To which the boy replied: "I know God is with me, but I need someone with skin."Jesus was always touched, and he was always touching. We are not Jesus but we have the touch that people need.   The letter to the Hebrews envisions the people of God as a cloud of witnesses on a journey together, all of us with our eyes fixed on Jesus.  We are all surrounding one another, not a group of independent and separate marchers. It is a part of our discipleship, "with our eyes fixed on Jesus," to be available, to be touched  by people who are in need of someone with skin.In the Haight the guys have a way of showing affection to those they are close to--rather than just shake hands you move in and grab the forearm.  It is an affectionate handshake, but reserved for friends.  We need to be touched, in our society with all of the social networks and fear of accusations we do not touch, and we see the results in the extreme loneliness of people, in their isolation, in their acting out.-Br. Geoffrey Tristra writes:"Walk out into the deep waters of the unknown – but filled with faith and trust that God will meet you there in Christ, and that he will guide you, and carry you when you fall, that he will lead you across dry land, and land you safe on Canaan’s side." We need to have trust in Christ to lead us into relationships without fear.  For only in that great communion of saints on earth can we find healing and move into the Communion of Saints in the future. The reign of God is now! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God! Fr. River Damen sims, sfwTemenos Catholic WorkerP.O. Box 642656San Francisco, CA 94164www.temenos.org415-305-2124 [...]



Those Who Bring Hope

Sat, 28 Jan 2017 18:46:41 +0000

 Those Who Bring HopeZeph. 2:3, 12-13; Ps. 146; I Cor. 1:26-31; Mt. 5:1-12 The beatitudes are promises that Jesus has made to humanity.  They are words of hope. Franklin Roosevelt said in 1932: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," and in those words he called people to challenge the Great Depression, to move from fear to facing reality.  There is so much fear in our society, fear of different races, nationalities, religions, sexual orientations, and that fear keeps us from coming together in our humanity. That fear keeps us from talking to one another. For example I see over and over on my Facebook page people telling others who voted differently to remove their names from their pages--that is a form of fear, a form of fear that divides. Fear is overcome when we share openly, honestly, and in that sharing meet half way. David Stein-Rast says: "Happiness is not what makes us grateful. It is gratefulness that makes us happy."  People all the time asked me "How can you maintain your hope, how can you stay happy seeing so much pain and suffering?" For me it is my gratefulness that makes me happy. My gratefulness that I am given the opportunity to provide for people when they do not have enough, and  gratefulness for the gift of life. We need to look for the non-material items in our lives to find gratefulness, and in so doing share of our material items.  Sean is 17 years old, he travels, he sleeps out in the Park, he pan handles, and has nothing materially, but he is happy, content, and I herd a person asked him one day: "How can you be so happy?" Sean looked at the man oddly, and said: "I am alive, I have friends, I have what I need, I can travel, and I can bring hope to other people,  what more do I need?" Like Jesus and Sean we need to look at the Beatitudes and bring hope to people around us. We need to search the Scriptures and craft new messages of hope: "Blessed are the anxious and the depressed: The God who feeds the birds of the air will care for their every need;  Blessed are those who destroy the lives of others, they do not know what they do and they will be forgiven; Blessed are those who are on both sides of the abortion issue--for God loves you, gives you both life, does not condemn either side; Blessed are the children traumatized by war: they will play on the streets once again; Blessed are those defeated by economic injustice they will find plenty on God's holy mountain. ----------------------------------------------------------------------“If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the church door, you will not find him in the chalice.”.............................................................................“There Christ is with the poor, the suffering, even in the cup we share together, in the bread we eat."--------------------------------------------------------------------May our hearts be turned away from despair to dreams of hope. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!Fr. River Damien Sims, sfwTemenos Catholic WorkerP.O. Box 642656San Francisco, CA 04164www.temenos.org415-305-2124 [...]



Extending Love

Thu, 26 Jan 2017 14:15:06 +0000

  Extending LoveSaints Timothy and Titus"The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." I Timothy 1:15 Salvation is a growing process. Salvation is a growing process of loving our neighbor, for only in caring for our neighbor can we become fully human and experience God face to face. People have asked me  lately if I am pro-life. The reality is I am pro-life--my whole ministry has been about being pro-life: Pro-life in meeting people where they are and seeing all as equal regardless of the color of their skin, sexual orientation, religious expression, and age; Pro-life in providing for the health care, provision of food, clothing, and housing for all, as an equal right for all; Pro-life in sharing of our own goods until all have; Pro-life in believing that people have a choice in how their bodies are used;Pro-life in believing that non-violence is the practice of Jesus and to which we are all called to practice. There have been two times in my own life when I wanted to kill someone. Many years ago I was prostituting in Los Angles, and I was picked up by a man who said he wanted to "help" me, and than he held me down and raped me, and as I got to my feet I grabbed the knife I carry and seized him and held it to his throat--and than I came to my senses; and the second time was when my son's murderer was dying and it went through my mind as he asked for my forgiveness and for me to administer the Sacrament of Reconciliation to tell him "to fuck off";  both times I backed off, and in so doing found peace.  I also found out my own capability for violence and vengeance. All of us have that capability, and to support the death penalty allows us to express that capability justifying it in the name of the State. Join me Friday, January 27, 2017 at Noon at 350 MC Allister, at the Earl Warren Supreme Court Building when we will walk in Vigil Against the Death Penalty.   Join me in being pro-life in these days when we are have around us a culture of death. Join me in remembering the following who are scheduled for execution over the next month: 26TXTerry Darnell Edwards31MOMark ChristesonFebruary  2TXJohn Ramirez7TXTilon Lashon Carter15OHRonald R. Phillips Join me in "working out our salvation" in whatever your tradition as we Vigil for Life."Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God! Fr. River Damien Sims, sfwP.O. Box 642656San Francisco, CA 94164Franciscans Against the Death PenaltyFranciscansagainstdeathpenalty@gmail.com415-710-8709 [...]



How to Ensure Your Website Is Optimised for 2017

Wed, 25 Jan 2017 06:47:03 +0000

Website optimisation trends are constantly changing, and unless you have a dedicated team to keep you updated with the most recent changes, your website might be left behind.

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 If you are noticing that your website is not attracting visitors, and not generating any new enquiries then you may need to tweak your website. Here are 5 points to consider to ensure your website is optimised for 2017:

 Responsive Website Design

Responsive web design ensures that your website displays correctly no matter what the visitor’s screen size is, their viewing orientation or operating system. Since your website will look different depending on a visitor’s viewing device, responsive web design is becoming increasingly important as visitors nowadays could be viewing your website from a desktop, mobile phone or tablet.

 Make Your Website Navigation Intuitive

Your website navigation should be easy to use and lead a website visitor down the path of being a reader to converting into a lead, and eventually becoming a paying customer. Thinking in terms of your customers perspective, you will be able to create an intuitive navigation menu that will lead them to topics that they are interested in.

 Website Speed and Loading Times

Ever since Google introduced the “Accelerated Mobile Pages” (AMP) project, website loading times have been important for optimising your website for rankings. Even if you aren’t using AMP, it is still important for your website to load quickly as it affects a user’s experience. Often, if a website takes too long to load a user will simply leave and look for an alternative website to find what they are searching for.

 Factors which affect loading time include the hosting service you use, caching of your website as well as the plugins that you might use on your website.

 Use A Consistent Style and Theme

Given the amount of options available for website themes and designs, it is easy to become distracted by flashy graphics and the latest plugins. However, they shouldn’t come at the expense of your website’s usability. By keeping to one style that is used throughout all areas of your website, it will keep your branding consistent and help you achieve your website objectives.

 Increase Interactions With Your Website Visitors

You will be able to drive more visitors into leads by engaging with them with interactions. The content on your website should be informative enough to show them how your business can be of service to them, but leave out just enough to entice them to contact you for more information.

 Offering case studies, reports and white papers in exchange for an email address is a good way to do this. If you have a blog, your comments section can be a way to engage users and also build up a contact list.

 Final Word

Website optimisation trends are constantly changing and require you to be up to date to keep your website relevant. By using a responsive web design, a consistent theme, improving website loading times and interacting with your users you will be able to ensure your website is optimised for 2017.

 If you are interested in optimising your website design, then contact the Room Graphic Design  Brisbane to discuss how we can help you. 




Maritime Law Firms; To Get Success In The Maritime Cases

Wed, 25 Jan 2017 06:32:00 +0000

It is a fact that working on the ship that remains for months in the water is not easy. As a matter of fact, there is nothing except the crew and the sea all around. Though maritime is not just confined to the ships but also includes the working at ports as well. It is a growing industry and involves risky work. This is why the Maritime Law Firms are there to provide legal assistance whenever there is a case of personal injury or accident.

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Introduction:

As we all know that Maritime Law Firms provide guidance and legal assistance regarding maritime accidents. But one thing is necessary to mention here maritime is the riskiest industry. There can be any kind of accident at any time. Following are the types of maritime accidents:

  • Capsizing
  • Explosions
  • Falling from height
  • Collision with other vessels
  • Injuries on deck
  • Oil spills
  • Problems with lines and winches
  • Tripping
  • Fires

Types Of Injuries:

A person can get the following types of injuries working as a maritime employee:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Burns   
  • Diseases in case of working in dangerous substances
  • Hypothermia
  • Amputation injuries
  • Broken bones

When a person gets injuries in an accident at the workplace, then he is entitled to get worker’s compensation. And when an employee gets injuries in a maritime accident then law gives him right to get compensation for his pain and suffering. The plaintiff can file a lawsuit against the responsible person to attain his compensation. The law firms provide attorneys who help them to win the case.

What does The Maritime Lawyer do?

As we have discussed before that working as a maritime employee is the riskiest job. Though this industry is growing rapidly but the risk of accidents and injuries is high. But one thing that gives a bit financial relief that if an employee gets injuries during his work then he can get compensation. The attorney he hires will do his best to get justice for him. The lawyer will first get the medical reports to find out how much serious his injuries are. Then he will get the police report and then start his own investigation.

He will visit the scene of the accident to collect facts that could make his case strong. Moreover, he will also meet the persons who were present at the time of the accident. As a matter of fact, the statements of eyewitnesses play an important part in making the case stronger. And then he will do further processes to complete the investigation.

Compensation In Case Of Maritime Accidents:

When a person gets injuries in case of maritime accident he may get paralyzed. He might become not able to work anymore. In fact, the consequences of an accident can be overwhelming. So the victim must consult an attorney to get the compensation for his loss after all the law gives him the right to do so.

But keep in mind that maritime cases are bit complex than other cases. So you should not lose hope. The compensation in case of the maritime accident depends on the type of injury. If the injuries are severe, then you can get more, but in the case of minor injuries, you will just get the medical expenses.




A Way of Freedom and Love

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 17:22:04 +0000

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"As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers making a cast in the lake with their net.  He called them, and they left their nets at once and followed him."

 

Yesterday after noon as the various marches ended, and people headed to the restaurants and home, I watched as they walked past people sleeping on the street, as they ignored individuals asking them for money. It was as if the people on the street were invisible. And the thought that ran through my mind was that if each of the forty thousand people who marched would feed one person on the street no one would have been hungry.

 

When Jesus proclaims: "Repent for the reign of God is at hand," he summons people to be the reign of God in the present moment--to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to visit those in prison, to visit the sick and comfort the dying. He was not talking of some future, perfect place, but calling us to make the Word  active in the present time, in the here and now. 

 

In the days ahead, rather than wringing our hands, let us be about the work of bringing the reign of God to fulfillment in the present.  Our streets are full of people without housing, food, and friends--find one person and be that friend, feed that person, provide housing for that person.  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Temenos Catholic Worker

Society of Franciscan Workers, Inc.

Franciscans Against the Death Penalty

 




The Cross and Resurrection

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 19:54:18 +0000

THE CROSS AND THE RESURRECTIONSt. Agnes  Mark 3:20-21Judge John Hathaway, Juvenile Court Judge, writing to a social worker who works with children writes: "I've been reading and thinking and praying a lot lately about joy and peace on the one hand and suffering on the other.  I long for the joy and peace Christ promised.  Too often I'm more about depression.  I'm trying to figure out the connection or distance between suffering and depression.  Depression is biological, and we can and must treat it.  I'll struggle with it my whole life.  Suffering is something you and I I'm afraid will always experience, because we've had a taste of the kingdom and we know how much better things should be and ultimately will be.  We ache for the children and families we've served for so long - we suffer because we so want better for them and helping them achieve it is so hard.  This is our vocation.  If it really is, don't we have to suffer in some way in the process just as Jesus suffered?  His work came at such a cost - how can ours in his name not cost something?  Suffering and joy.  Cross and resurrection" We live in a broken world. We have seen in these last days how much pain people are in, how much fear they hold.  We are expressing that fear, anger, and pain at ourselves and others.  I am am working with a young man facing the death sentence, people's anger have been turned on me, because I talk of seeing goodness in him. I am criticized because I do not talk of housing people, or of getting them off the streets. You see I talk of being their pastor, walking with people, without judgement or expectation. Success for me is in the dedication to my chosen path, not in numbers.  And so on.  It is painful, very painful to to have threats and comments made.   Dorothy Day said: "The greatest challenge is how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each of us."Arlie Russell Hochschild talks in her book Strangers in Their Own Land,about the economic and sociological reasons for the rise of President Trump. At the heart of her thesis is that we all have the same basic needs, it is just that we have become unwilling to talk to one another, with our differences, and work together--we have separated into tribes.   To do so we need a revolution of the heart, one in which we look at ourselves, our differences, and put them aside to care about one another. In which our hearts see the other with eyes of love and care. Dr. N.T. Wright in his book The Day the Revolution Began talks about how the crucifixion signaled a transformation of life, a transformation in which Christ loved us and in that love calls us to love one another in all areas of life. The crucifixion is a life changing event for all of life in the here and now.    These days I am simply listening, praying, letting people email me, face book me, or however in this crazy age of social media, and going into my own heart. I am doing my work-- my activism, my marches, and protests-- are my daily work of feeding people, taking them to the hospital, listening, and caring for them. I am seeking to allow God revolutionize my own heart more and more.  For like Judge Hathaway tells us suffering and resurrection go together, and it is a slow process, not completed in our own life times, but one of eternity.Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God! Fr. River Damien Sims, sfwP.O. Box 642656San Francisco, CA 94164www.temenos.orgtemenos@ gmail.comTemenos Catholic WorkerSociety of Franciscan Workers, IncFranciscans Against the Death Penalty  [...]



Being Crushed by the Crowds

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 18:43:17 +0000

Being Crushed by the CrowdsMark 3: 7-12, "Jesus told his disciples to have a boat ready so he would not be crushed by the crowds."The crowd's are crushing, you don't have to think, you simply go along, it's easy,  crowd's  are destructive, crowd's kill emotionally and physically.  Arlie Russell Hochschild, writes in her book, Strangers in Their Own Land, how we Americans are so divided because we stay in our own "tribes,"--rich white with rich white, queer with queer, black with black, brown with brown, liberal with liberal, conservative with conservative. That failure to mix, share, and respect has lead to much division and hate. The past few days I have been making arrangements for my memorial service, and the disposition of my body when I die. It is simply a practical step, that must be done. And as I have been preparing these plans I have reviewed the past year.  As I have walked with a person going through a murder trial, I have found people pulling away--because I say simply I see the broken face of Christ in him.  I see his goodness.  It does not mean I am giving support to the most evil of evils, but within him their is goodness, and he is God's child. It is like the man who killed my son, as I gave him the Sacrament of  Reconciliation as he was dying, my heart saw him as the child of God.  I loved him in those moments with all my heart, but I did not like him, and I forgave him.  All of us are broken human beings and it is in admitting that, and seeing in the presence of Christ a new beginning do we grow.  I am against the death penalty because first of all in human hands it is imperfect, innocent people are executed, secondly it does not give a chance for the person who committed the crime to find reconciliation and to grow, and vengeance only causes more violence. We need to step away from the crowd and look at ourselves, and in so doing look at our own brokenness, and  see ourselves in each other, and  walk with compassion with each other. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God! Join me tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. to Vigil Against the Death Penalty at 350 McAllister Street--if you are nice I might even buy you breakfast. Fr. River Damien Sims, sfwwww.temenos.org415-305-2124Temenos Catholic WorkerSociety of Franciscan Workers, IncFranciscans Against the Death Penalty [...]



Hope Springs Eternal

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 07:25:13 +0000

  HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL In Man's Search for Meaning Viktor Frankl describes hope as the key to survival amid the horrors of a concentration camp.  Hope is not sentimental optimism, but in the words of Marianne Kara "Hope is a discipline." When we hope, we face reality because God is found in what is real.  We know that things may not turn out as we want, but we strive valiantly regardless.  God is faithful, and there is meaning in all circumstances.  When we hope we live generously and gratefully in the present because we know deep down that all will be be well--not perfect, but well. With every word or deed steeped in hope, the future opens up to reveal a present beyond our imagining.  This week we are remembering that forty years ago the death penalty was reinstated.  We are celebrating the Week of  Prayer for Christian Unity, and last week Dylan Roof was sentenced to death in South Carolina.  The news reports talks of the coldness in Dylan's eyes, of his flat tone, he is portrayed as ruthless,  but if you look close enough you can see in those eyes a scared kid, raised on hate, not hearing much of love and diversity, and driven by a force of evil, which overcame him.  Dylan is a broken human being, and rather than send him to death, he should receive life without parole, and in the years in prison be given a chance to see his wrong, to come to an inner peace, and through that peace to become the child of God that deep down he is.  Pope Francis says: "Capitol punishment is cruel, inhumane, and an offense to the dignity of life.  There is no crime in the world that deserves the death penalty." This Friday, rather than watch the inauguration at 9:00 a.m. come join us at 350 McAllister Street, in San Francisco, CA at the Earl Warren Building as we Vigil Against the Death Penalty.  Sr. Margaret Magee speaks to us in these words: "Our Franciscan char-ism and spirituality calls us to be Chris-tic peacemakers, instruments of peace. Francis of Assisi was truly a man of peace and reconciliation. Francis lived, embodied, and witnessed the person of Jesus Christ by breaking down barriers and seeing all people and all creation as sister and brother. In doing so, Francis became visibly marked by the wounds of Divine Love, the stigmata.  May we be the visible instruments of God's presence opening doors to reconciliation, creating new relationships and new ways of building up the Kingdom of God." Let us hear those words, let us try to live those words out in our lives. Come Join Us! Let us remember the Fortieth Anniversary of the Reinstatement of the Death Penalty! Let us remember The Week of Christian Unity! Let us remember Dylan and all those on death row! Let us remember the victims! Let us seek new ways of building up the reign of God! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL!Franciscans Against the Death Penaltyfranciscansagainstdeathpenalty@gmail.com415-305-2124Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw [...]



Hope Springs Eternal

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 07:25:08 +0000

  HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL In Man's Search for Meaning Viktor Frankl describes hope as the key to survival amid the horrors of a concentration camp.  Hope is not sentimental optimism, but in the words of Marianne Kara "Hope is a discipline." When we hope, we face reality because God is found in what is real.  We know that things may not turn out as we want, but we strive valiantly regardless.  God is faithful, and there is meaning in all circumstances.  When we hope we live generously and gratefully in the present because we know deep down that all will be be well--not perfect, but well. With every word or deed steeped in hope, the future opens up to reveal a present beyond our imagining.  This week we are remembering that forty years ago the death penalty was reinstated.  We are celebrating the Week of  Prayer for Christian Unity, and last week Dylan Roof was sentenced to death in South Carolina.  The news reports talks of the coldness in Dylan's eyes, of his flat tone, he is portrayed as ruthless,  but if you look close enough you can see in those eyes a scared kid, raised on hate, not hearing much of love and diversity, and driven by a force of evil, which overcame him.  Dylan is a broken human being, and rather than send him to death, he should receive life without parole, and in the years in prison be given a chance to see his wrong, to come to an inner peace, and through that peace to become the child of God that deep down he is.  Pope Francis says: "Capitol punishment is cruel, inhumane, and an offense to the dignity of life.  There is no crime in the world that deserves the death penalty." This Friday, rather than watch the inauguration at 9:00 a.m. come join us at 350 McAllister Street, in San Francisco, CA at the Earl Warren Building as we Vigil Against the Death Penalty.  Sr. Margaret Magee speaks to us in these words: "Our Franciscan char-ism and spirituality calls us to be Chris-tic peacemakers, instruments of peace. Francis of Assisi was truly a man of peace and reconciliation. Francis lived, embodied, and witnessed the person of Jesus Christ by breaking down barriers and seeing all people and all creation as sister and brother. In doing so, Francis became visibly marked by the wounds of Divine Love, the stigmata.  May we be the visible instruments of God's presence opening doors to reconciliation, creating new relationships and new ways of building up the Kingdom of God." Let us hear those words, let us try to live those words out in our lives. Come Join Us! Let us remember the Fortieth Anniversary of the Reinstatement of the Death Penalty! Let us remember The Week of Christian Unity! Let us remember Dylan and all those on death row! Let us remember the victims! Let us seek new ways of building up the reign of God! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL!Franciscans Against the Death Penaltyfranciscansagainstdeathpenalty@gmail.com415-305-2124Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw [...]



Scholarship Review: Are You Ready for The Next Step?

Mon, 02 Jan 2017 18:23:12 +0000

 Have you ever thought that you, your son/daughter, or someone else you know could have most college expenses paid? Or maybe that you can even go to university for free? Yes, you heard that right—FREE.For a while, I have been talking to friends and acquaintances, and there is always a feeling that lingers from someone: that unconscious willingness to go back to school, whether it is to further their education or eventually to have a competitive edge in the unmerciful job market. Not to mention, I always find a parent who tries to save for their offspring’s college education, but the problem that hits everyone hard is always in the pocket. For some, money will most likely be the biggest issue.If you are one of those who wanted to have an opportunity to improve yourself but you have limited means, or you are a parent who is looking for savvy ways to save for your child’s college education, hang tight because I have good news for you.There is no shortage of scholarships out there that you or someone you know can take advantage of. I’m not only talking about those hard-won scholarships from prestigious, Ivy League universities. If being accepted in those places was always your dream, by all means, you should go for it. However, there are always other options for the ones who find the whole process difficult to undertake.Many institutions offer scholarships with minimum requirements. Here are some examples:Write an essay about a particular topic for the Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest. Be enrolled or have plans to enroll in a college or university within a given period of time, and, in some instances, a minimum GPA. One example is the “From Failure to Promise” Essay Contest.There are also some no-essay scholarships available. In some cases, you will be asked to simply fill out a website registration form, such as in the Niche $2,000 NO Essay Scholarship, respond to short questions for the Course Hero Scholarship or take quizzes and participate in “competitions.”The best is yet to come: some scholarships even allow parents to participate, such as the CKSF Scholarship Competition. As an added bonus, I can’t forget to mention to Pokémon lovers that there is a scholarship for you as well. Play! Pokémon scholarshipThe money provided, which varies between $500 and $20,000 depending on the scholarship, can go toward tuition, books, and anything in between. Some are even completely up to you; you can spend the money any way you want. Each sponsor has their own requirements, and you will have to certify the information on their websites first.Now you might be asking, Are they legitimate?You bet they are. There are reports of students who were awarded a significant sum of money through scholarships. Arianna Alexander, a high school senior from Chicago, once won a record $3 million in scholarships No joke!  Daniel Guerriero, a 19-year-old, won $40K in scholarships, which he used for college. And what did both candidates have in common that made them win this whopping amount of money? Their hard work and perseverance. Those students are perfect examples showing that everything is possible if you put in an effort. I can speak from my personal experiences. Although I never made an insane amount of money, I did have part of my tuition covered for my first graduate degree, and I received $1,000 for an education scholarship from Hardwood Forest Foundation later on in my career. You or someone you know can be the next scholarship winner.The big question is Where Can You Find Those Scholarships?Some websites specialize in providing information about scholarships and are excellent starting points.Fastweb, my go-to site when I have to[...]



Questions

Sat, 31 Dec 2016 18:15:38 +0000

ice of a frienPENIEL--NEWSLETTER OF TEMENOS CATHOLIC WORKER,  ""Where Jacob Wrestled With God"Newsletter of Temenos Catholic Worker, P.O. Box 642656, San Francisco, CA 94164, www.temenos.org, 415-305-2124In Memory of Diane Sims---------------------------------------------------------------- Journal of An Alien Street Priest:There was a young man who drew a picture of the cross surrounded by question marks. He was struggling with the contradictions in his life of being gay, a Christian, and not welcomed by friends or family, and ultimately he took his on life. On Christmas Day I took some volunteers to serve food in the Haight.  On Tuesday as I was talking with one of the guys   he commented, "It must really drive you crazy being with all those "weird" people." I laughed, just simply laughed, because he describes what we all feel in our different peer groups about  others--they are "weird". Ministers and priests in their buildings, see me as weird, different races see each other as weird, different religions see each other as weird-when in reality we are united by our shared humanity.  And that describes my life, it is a life of contradictions, that have been  interwoven together with the scars that come from living in the midst of those contradictions--scars from much pain, but scars that have become a beautiful piece of wood that allows me to live within those contradictions. I am a priest--clergy--who feels uncomfortable within a church building--because I was condemned, and pushed out because of being gay; yet God pulled me back kicking and screaming, for I have come to see that the Church is the body of Christ--and it is human beings in their weaknesses, their own pain that hurt others, not the living presence of Christ; I do not refuse to interact with any one because of what they believe, what they feel, because I believe we are all on the same journey, and it is in interacting that we grow.  People make their own choices.  They are free to choose, and I respect those choices. I listen to people, and in listening I see them find their path, not the one I choose for them. My cousin Diane Sims, died yesterday, she was 59.  She was a life long Christian, taught Sunday school, attended church for most of her life. She struggled with alcoholism.  It was on her journey to sobriety that she came to understand that  she was a lesbian, and through coming out brought wholeness to her life. When she came out to her church (my former denomination) she was no longer welcome to teach Sunday school, even though she was welcome to attend- because "God loves us all, " ( extreme and I mean extreme sarcasm).  Diane found her spiritual home in AA, and she lived a life of service. Like the young man who drew the picture with the "Questions" she faced those questions and in her struggle found wholeness and freedom. Diane lived out the questions in her own life. She lived a life that witnessed to the wholeness of faith and witness. Diane did not want to die, she enjoyed life. Her life was a life of contradictions, and she witness to the wholeness within those contradictions.  I chose to live my contradictions with in the context of the Church, and found a place outside its walls, in which I can witness to the contradictions. I remember Diane today in praying the Office of the Dead and I remember her in every person I meet who is struggling with the questions and offer her as an example of one who lived within those contradictions, who lived out the questions of life to their fullest. She lived a life of joy and love. Diane chose life, and not[...]



Walking A Mile in the Shoes of Another

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 13:58:52 +0000

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WALKING A MILE IN THE SHOES OF ANOTHER PERSON

 

I John 1:5-2:2 Matthew 2:13-18 Feast of the Holy Innocents

 

Rabbi Manis Friedman tells us  that "When a poor man knocks at your door and says 'I'm hungry,', and your first thought is Why can't you get a job? you've invaded his privacy.  Why would you need to know why he can't get a job? He didn't come to discuss his inabilities or bad habits; he came to discuss his hunger.  If you want to do something about it, feed him."

 

The Holy Innocents of our society are the homeless, who are judged, ridiculed, studied.  They come to our door--they asked to be fed, housed, provided health care, and rather than judge and discuss we should provide for their needs.

 

The one thing I have learned in twenty two years of walking with people on the street is never to judge--each one is where he or she is for a reason, and those reasons are usually the result of a society that has not provided for them.  For example I would have been on the streets if I had not been a lucky sperm--who knows I may still wind up on the streets with the way rent is going--a lucky sperm who is a white male, a lucky sperm who had parents with money and provided him the best education money can buy, a lucky sperm who was loved and cherished from the day he was born, a lucky sperm who has always had medical insurance, and a lucky sperm who has encountered people who have loved him, and  cared for him when needed.  It is a matter frankly of just plain happen stance that we are where we are, with our privileges. Rather than judge another we should walk in the shoes of that person, and listen to them, and feel their pain. We should learn to keep our mouths shut, listen, just simply listen.

 

Eli KIhamarov tells us that "Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn't commit."  Let us give a pardon for that crime in each person who we see and talk to who is poor and homeless. They are the Holy Innocents of our society today. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

 

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

 




Our Year in Laughs | MomCave 2016 Highlights

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 13:56:06 +0000

The past year has been... interesting. It may be a cliche but I've walked around muttering, "The truth is stranger than fiction." (I've also muttered, "Leave me alone, leave me alone" under my breath a few times. I'm working on patience!) So before we plunge into 2017 and things undoubtedly get even weirder, here's a look back on some of our MomCave highlights.

That time my kids reminded me of zombies...

That time (who are we kidding? ALL the times) we slacked on housekeeping...

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ALL the times Victoria's son was obsessed with his penis...

That time Harmony & Audrey reviewed the finest wine from Target...

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That time some teenagers told us we didn't know what stress was...

That time Meredith taught us about married sex...

That time Dina hated Mother's Day...

That time we found out if it was okay to eat during labor...

That time the Christmas tree was a total disaster...

Stick with us in the New Year for more embarrassing mom moments, Slacker Mom shortcuts, hilarious live guests, and useful giveaways. See you on the other side!

[caption id="attachment_2894" align="aligncenter" width="350"](image)  HELLO 2017! (This is how I spent every morning of 2016. Disheveled and needing a dragon mug of coffee!)[/caption]

 

 

 

MomCave TV (funny, snarky mom videos): http://www.youtube.com/MomCave

Our blog: MomCaveTV.com

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The Sacramental Life

Tue, 27 Dec 2016 00:28:03 +0000

THE SACRAMENTAL LIFEActs 6:8-10;7:54-59; Matthew 10:17-22The Feast of St. Stephen  St. Stephen is a witness to being faithful to the very end for the Gospel--for as a witness to the person of Jesus of Nazareth. He seems like an arrogant prick--but he was faithful to the end. Christ does not look for perfection-but for those who stand with him.He stands as a radiant witness. Munchella said to Bruno: "Poverty is not a natural condition--it is man-made."  We must change ourselves before there will be less poverty. And I can hardly handle changing myself. But what I do know is a quote sent to me by a friend is true for me: "You can't change the world--I understand that-but you  do this to keep the world from changing you"  And then there is another quote  from Pope Francis: “Christmas is a charade!” Francis said last year. “Christmas is approaching: There will be lights, parties, lighted Christmas trees and manger scenes. … It’s all a charade.” . . .“The world continues to go to war. The world has not chosen a peaceful path. There are wars today everywhere, and hate,” Francis said. “We should ask for the grace to weep for this world, which does not recognize the path to peace. To weep for those who live for war and have the cynicism to deny it. God weeps; Jesus weeps.”  These quotes were swirling around in my head as  I worked on thank you notes and reflected  on yesterday and how we are all basically human beings who struggle with the same issues,  and I received a call where I spent two hours with a twenty seven year old young man. He is struggling with drug use, pain over the people he has hurt, semi-homelessness, and  dysfunctional family, in fact the universal issues we all struggle with. In our time together I realized of how sacramental life is.  As I fixed him a meal and served him I thought of the Eucharist, and in those moments the bread became body of Christ  as we shared together. For he opened up  his life. In his sharing he basically shared of his fears, and the struggle with addiction and the pain it has caused him and others, and in those moments he was confessing his sins, and in the end as I assured him of his goodness I was pronouncing  absolution. He left forgiven, and starting again.   People asked me all the time if I am "happy", and I say I am "content", the truth is  I am  supremely happy in season and out of season, for happiness comes in serving God, and letting all else fall into place. It is never about comfort or material needs. I learned that from my mother the Church.  The Church is God's tool to facilitate our  growth and service, but like all mother's and sons' we hate each other half the time, but ultimately we love each other. It is to God the Church points, and in God through Christ we know wholeness and meaning. The Church points to all of life being sacramental. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God! Fr. River Damien SimsP.O. Box 642656San Francisco, CA 94164www.temenos.org415-305-2124[...]



The Center

Sat, 24 Dec 2016 14:09:58 +0000

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The Center

 

Luke  1:66-2-4  "He set the power of salvation in the center of our lives."

 

At the center of my life is Jesus of Nazareth. Through the years it has been my faith that has held me together. Scott Peck said, "Life is difficult," and having Christ at my Center has allowed me to see life as difficult, nothing is easy, but there is  beauty. We are called to live life in all of its dynamics--its joys, pains, its sorrows and in so doing grow.  Christ at my center has enabled me to see each person as a child of God, pure and simple, to see each creature as God's creation, and as sacred.  During the past weeks I have received a lot of Christmas cards and thanks, I have also received some hate filled emails and phone calls--the ying and the yang-and at the center is Christ reminding me of the goodness of humanity because he is a part of us.  I have had friends turn on me, and again Christ reminds me people are fragile beings, but he is the Center.

 

I am a priest.  And that is my calling, and God has used this calling to bring a lot of people into my life, but ultimately, being a priest is not why I care for people, it is because at the center of my being is Christ who calls me to care out of my relationship to him. We are each in all of our humanness children of God, and God cares for each of us so much.  And I am grateful this Christmas Eve. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

 

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

www.temenos.org

415-305-2124