Thursday, 11 December 2014
Dear Inner Circle,
Adam Goodes dropped in the other day. No cameras, no reporters, no agenda; he came to spend some time with our Aboriginal community. What a fabulous bloke and what a worthy Australian of the Year!
Massive, gigantic and an extra large thank you to all of you who have “donated a plate” for our Christmas Day street party. Over the years this party has become more expensive and we could only achieve it with the help of good and generous people. You can still donate a plate here. For those of you who haven't experienced a Wayside Christmas, we close the street and throw a big party. We start the day with a Church Service at 10.30am and last year almost 450 people joined us to sing carols and be part of the magic of the day, then a generous lunch is served with all the trimmings at 12.30pm.
The importance of the Christmas street party has grown over the years. We don’t say its just for the poor any more but we invite lonely people from all walks of life to come and join us. The result is street dwellers, elderly people who rarely go out, the working poor and any manner of person who might be on their own on Christmas Day is welcomed and will find a place at our table. Also a big thank you to the hundreds of people who have registered as volunteers on the day. If you wanted to volunteer and missed out, come anyway and add YOU to the day. Come and talk to people; that’s a wonderful job that anyone can do. By about 2 pm, you’ll see street people dancing in the street. It causes my heart to leap for joy every time I see it.
Later this morning we will be visited by our new Patron, His Excellency General David Hurley and his wife. There is something quite lovely about the Governor being willing to have a close relationship with Wayside where he will meet some of the most marginalised people in Sydney. It says something lovely about the Governor and it says something lovely about the city of Sydney. This year has had plenty to discourage us so its great to celebrate something so positive and inspiring. Speaking of ‘inspiring” the City of Sydney has chosen “Inspire” as the theme for the world famous New Years Eve party. I was honoured to be asked to make a statement about what inspires me about Sydney and you can see it on their website here.
Social Ventures Australia interviewed me about how to find and maintain mission in an organisation. It was a fun interview and I reckon as a seasoned member of the inner circle, you’ll probably enjoy it. You can find it here.
On the way in this morning I was engaged in a light hearted conversation with a fellow at the front door. We weren’t talking anything much beyond weather and politics but my ears pricked up when he said, “Us clients must worry you some times.” I said, “Wooh, my friend, you are not a client, you are John and its my honour to know you.” There was no more conversation but I knew by the expression on the man’s face that for the first time, he could see that we were brothers. It was a lovely moment for us both.
Thanks for being part of our inner circle,
CEO & Pastor
The Wayside Chapel
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Previous Inner Circles
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
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