They Also Serve

“They Also Serve Who Only Stand In Wait!

“They Also Serve Who Only Stand and Wait.” John Milton

Today When I Can Do Nothing

“Today when I can do nothing,

I saved an ant.

It must have come in with the morning paper,

still being delivered

to those in shelter in place.

A morning paper is still an essential service.

I am not an essential service.

I have coffee and books,


a garden,

silence enough to fill cisterns.

It must have first walked

the morning paper, as if loosened ink

taking the shape of an ant.

Then across the laptop computer—warm-

then onto the back of a cushion.

Small black ant, alone,

Crossing a navy cushion,

moving steadily because that is what it could do.

Set outside in the sun,

it could not have found again its nest.

What then did I save?

It did not move as if it was frightened,

Even while walking my hand,

which moved it through swiftness and air.

Ant, alone, without companions,

whose ant-heart I could not fathom-

how is your life, I wanted to ask.

I lifted it, took it outside.

This first day when I could do nothing,

contribute nothing

beyond staying distant from my own kind,

I did this.”

(Jane Hirshfield’s ninth book of poems, Ledger.


Today as we enter into a second week of staying at home, with businesses, entertainment venues, and Parks shut down we wonder during our time of being bored,

afraid, and fretful, if we are useful.

    John Milton in his blindness,  found that “They also serve, who only stand and wait,” and Ms. Hirshfield brings home to us that in each opportunity to support any living creature, we are worthwhile, even if it is one ant.

    We also affirm the San Francisco Interfaith Council’s Declaration of condemning the anti-Semitic feeling expressed about the  coronavirus virus. As the coronavirus continues to surge globally, antisemitic, xenophobic, and hateful messages and conspiracy theories are proliferating rapidly online. These messages spread hate and misinformation, making it more difficult to access accurate information while elevating fear and anxiety.     While some of these messages are new, many are simply old tropes repackaged for a modern pandemic–in San Francisco blaming our brother and sister Chinese residents, our brother and sister  undocumented migrants and in other areas our Jewish brothers and sisters.
Let us remember that when we point one finger at another, we are pointing four at ourselves. We are all brothers and sisters.

    During this time the American Red Cross is calling for blood donors. The blood supply is getting low, and blood is needed, so I invite you to join me in giving blood. Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!


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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


“Why am I compelled to write?… Because the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. By writing I put order in the world, give it a handle so I can grasp it. I write because life does not appease my appetites and anger… To become more intimate with myself and you. To discover myself, to preserve myself, to make myself, to achieve self-autonomy. To dispel the myths that I am a mad prophet or a poor suffering soul. To convince myself that I am worthy and that what I have to say is not a pile of shit… Finally I write because I’m scared of writing, but I’m more scared of not writing.”  -Gloria E. Anzaldúa

Tenderloin Stations of the Cross

Good Friday, April 10, 2020

Noon-2:00 p.m.

Polk Street side of City Hall

We will have the Stations of the Cross. Our plans are to do it alone, and have people go through the Stations at home. .

Holy Communion

We  take Holy Communion to individuals who request the Sacrament. We administer the Sacrament outside, and have plastic gloves on, standing six feet away. We give only use only wafer, as it contains the whole body of Jesus.


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