Inner Circle

 

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Dear Inner Circle,


It is a great honour to announce that Monday marked the official release of Wayside – our iconic new coffee-table book that reaches into the soul of Sydney and showcases the depth and diversity of the people who call this city home. Wayside is a beautifully curated portrait of our community; it’s a book where everyone is a person to be met, not a problem to be solved. The stunning photography is by Gary Heery and the book is lovingly designed by Andrew Henderson. It features stories from the streets of Kings Cross, along with four letters I’ve written to people who have transformed in front of my eyes. Wayside has long been a place where love famously meets hate. We operate at the pointy end of humanity with some of the most difficult souls in the world but there is beauty to be found if you have the eyes to see it. Buy this book and drink it in. It is kindness, captured in a book and it shows on every page that there is a better way. We have a special offer for our dear Inner Circle readers - the first 100 copies ordered online here will be signed by yours truly. The book is also available in our Wayside Op Shops in Kings Cross and North Bondi and would make the perfect gift for Christmas.


We are witnesses to something of a seismic cultural shift. Overnight, many of you have become prophets. A prophet is a person who fights with a feather, calling things by their real name. Prophets are often seen as odd and even at times, disagreeable. America has declared something of a rebellion against a system that enriches the few and squeezes the many. America has shifted in the attitude that has, for many years, made them something of a global policeman. Given their dismal performance in this role, it might be a good thing. America has a rare opportunity to think and act differently about the biggest issues of our day. Whether the new President is up to this task, no-one knows. What we can say with certainty is that the world has changed, especially for those who believe that the welfare of all is contingent on the welfare of the least. We have become people who must swim harder against the tide. African Americans, Hispanics, women, refugees, those who are both poor and ill, are going to need the voice of some prophets now more than ever. Better to be an odd and disagreeable prophet than a dead loss.


This week, another wedding happened that lifted me and inspired me. I’ve not been the same since. I don’t remember when I’ve been quite so proud to be part of Wayside. Our rooftop filled with men wearing suits and women who were dressed to perfection. Some women had flowers braided into their hair. The whole gathered community had such love for the bride and groom that the atmosphere touched everyone deeply. People had travelled from all over the country to be a part of this moment. Children often possess the most wisdom in any crowd and at this gathering some ran around with joy, occasionally urged to calm a little by loving adults. Some children were crying with joy. I put my arm around a seven-year-old boy because he looked upset. He told me, “I’m OK, I’m just happy.” There were a few older girls who saw him and took him under their wings, loving him and letting him express his tears while assuring him of their closeness and affection for him. If he wasn’t only seven years old, I’d say this boy had his head screwed on pretty well.


My heart is still full as I type. I saw a dozen of our staff and volunteers work together to make sure this wedding was the classiest event of the year. Two particularly creative people decorated the place with such taste, our rooftop would have fitted into a high fashion magazine. One of our staff took an annual leave day to cook and gave lots of other personal time to make sure the food was of the finest quality. The wedding happened in the evening and staff members stayed late to make sure wedding guests were ushered to the rooftop with warmth and efficiency. Staff and volunteers gave of their own time to organise every aspect including food presentation, acting as waiters as well as the less romantic jobs associated with cleaning up. Volunteers worked with joy, staff gave their time and counted it a privilege. This was an Aboriginal wedding and the groom was our own William, who works alongside Mon with our busy and unique Aboriginal community. William and Mon in a day often assist up to one hundred Aboriginal people and they serve with energy and patience that is beyond most but for this occasion, everyone wanted to serve and honour Will and his bride, Ashleigh.


Thanks for being part of this inner circle,


Graham




Rev Graham Long AM

CEO & Pastor

The Wayside Chapel

www.revgrahamlong.com

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Be sure to follow Graham on Twitter if you have an account; @waysidepastor

Previous Inner Circles

2016

3 November: Outcomes by Accident

27 October: Wow! Look How Far You've Come

20 October: Moving Toward Our Destiny

13 October: A Tribute

06 October: Risk and Sacrifice

29 September: Wisdom in Unconventional Places

22 September: It's What We Do at Wayside

15 September: The Joy of Being Wrong

8 September: Turning Toward Love

1 September: The Power of Weakness

25 August: Words as weapons

18 August: Wattle become of us

11 August: Precious and fragile

4 August: A wave from Wayside

28 July: Understanding bedlam

21 July: Time for some straight talking

14 July: Holy ground

7 July: Sowing in tears, reaping with shouts of joy

30 June: A bit of banter about Bondi

23 June: My cup runneth over

16 June: Injecting some joy

9 June: At the end of the line

2 June: Lots of perspiration and a touch of inspiration

26 May: Swimming against the tide

19 May: Every 7 days but not weakly

12 May: I once was blind

5 May: A place to belong

28 April: Lest we forget

21 April: I've seen into the abyss

14 April: Colourful language

7 April: Poetic licence

31 March: Happy in the Cross

24 March: Easter

17 March: A party mix

10 March: The intimacy of everything

3 March: An unusual look

25 February: He ain't heavy

18 February: Tears of laughter and sadness

11 February: Wisdom is a tricky business

4 February: A wave from The Wayside Chapel

28 January: Some long distance loving

21 January: No time for judgement

2015

17 December: Last note for 2015

10 December: Sanity Clause if coming to town

3 December: It's all about the presence

26 November: The joy of not knowing

19 November: The curse of perfectionism

12 November: To speak is to act

5 November: My cup runneth over

29 October: Prophet and loss

22 October: Finding yourself in a magical team

15 October: A silly question

8 October: Surprised by the joy

1 October: Being dead right

24 September: A day by the Wayside

17 September: It's a gold rush

10 September: The psychology of onions

3 September: Life comes from without

27 August: Surprised by the beautiful

20 August: Light shining through the cracks

13 August: A matter of balance

6 August: Recognising a gift

30 July: Your weakly note

23 July: 'A thing' from the Wayside

16 July: The future is calling

9 July: In love with some Dame

2 July: Better days ahead

25 June: Something funny, something beautiful

18 June: Seeing what's there

11 June: Amazing mates

4 June: There's a time and a place

28 May: The weight and the joy of being a neighbour

21 May: You're invited

14 May: Laughing, lying and loving

7 May: The awesome in the ordinary

30 April: Wayside light

23 April: Priceless gifts, freely given

16 April: Good news from the Wayside is great news

9 April: Awesome

2 April: Easter by the Wayside

26 March: Thankful for little things

19 March: A few minutes in the cross

12 March: Seeing what isn't there

5 March : A tour like no other

26 February: Tough love

19 February: Puffing or building

12 February: The two shall become two

5 February: Chest pains

29 January: Shear joy

22 January 2015: Fully alive

15 January 2015: Blessed interruptions

8 January 2015: A glimpse of glory

2014

18 December 2014: Christmas hat in hand

11 December 2014: A little season of goodwill

4 December 2014: There was nothing silent about that night

27 November 2014: It's not about feeling better

20 November 2014: Gathering Moss

13 November 2014: Love the land, love the people

6 November 2014: The power of presence

30 October 2014: Paralysed by presence

23 October 2014: The joy of sight

16 October 2014: The best medicine

9 October 2014: Who would have guessed?

2 October 2014: There's no such thing as a terrorist

21 August: Saving souls

14 August: Squeaking out

7 August: A time for turning

31 July: You're okay

24 July: Happy tears

17 July: Let's aim higher

10 July: Gristle and good

3 July: The joy of not knowing

26 June: If not now, when? If not me, who?

12 June: Longing for riches

5 June: When you least expect it

22 May: Finding home

15 May: Flying

8 May: Tests, triumps and tissues

1 May: Skuse the French

24 April: Lifting the curtain

17 April: Collective love

10 April: Cardiac arrest

3 April: Awe struck

27 March: You're invited to something special

20 March: Rather a prohet than a loss

13 March: It's all happening at the wayside

6 March: Love makes all the difference

27 February: What goes around

20 February: The joy of being empty handed

13 February: Loving the growth spurts

6 February: Mighty glad to be back by the wayside

23 January: Some criminals have class

16 January: Wonderful surprises

9 January: Ready, set

2013

19 December: Thanks for an awesome year

12 December: Mission and wishin'

5 December: The ups and downs and all is well

28 November: Kissed by the community

21 November: Our cup runneth over

14 November: A revelation from wayside

7 November: When excrement happens

31 October: I am therefore I think

24 October: We are surrounded by heroes

17 October: When you least suspect

26 September: A wayside wobbly

19 September: Knowing a gift

12 September: Advancing at the retreat

5 September: A little dose of good

29 August: Fighting with a feather

22 August: The boom is just beginning

15 August: True riches

8 August: Small is beautiful

1 August: Sensitive people miss all the best views

25 July: A whole lot going on at wayside

18 July: Kings Cross a place of courage

27 June: Holy ground

20 June: You cannot take what can only be given

 

 

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