Inner Circle


Thursday, 31 March 2016

Dear Inner Circle,

Walking down toward Circular Quay the other day, hand in hand with my 10-year-old granddaughter, filled me with a sense of wellbeing like no other time and no other situation. There were people everywhere which caused us to duck and dash just to make progress. Suddenly my beautiful girl said, “Step on a line, break your spine. Step on a crack, break your Mum’s back”. I didn’t want to be responsible for anyone getting a serious injury so the both of us started to take sideways jumps; tiny steps or huge leaps in an effort to ensure our feet landed right in the middle of the squares in the footpath. No doubt those around us thought this was inconvenient and perhaps antisocial but we were both laughing so much, neither of us cared. I guess people don’t mind much when 10-year-old girls behave like 10-year-old girls but they probably mind a bit when an old grandfather behaves like a 10-year-old kid.

Quite a young man yesterday asked if he could see me and assured me that it would just take 5 minutes of my time. We stepped away from the crowd in order that we could hear each other. “I can hardly believe I’ve got a few minutes for us to have this conversation” he said. “Well,” I said, “I apologise that I’m really pushed for time but that is the kind of day I’m having.” A few awkward moments passed while I thought he must be wrestling with express whatever it was that was bothering him. “Can you tell me a joke?” he asked. I started to gather that this man was not very well. I told him a Dad joke! He told me it was the worst joke he’d heard ever! I was looking for a way to get on with my day so I explained that I was hoping to get away on a short holiday but that there were many little jobs for me to squash into the next few days. He looked quite concerned and said, “I suspect I’m not really old enough to fill in for you while you’re away.” I thanked him for the kind offer but explained that telling dreadful jokes was part of the job description.

Last Sunday was Easter and I’m pleased to say we had a massive crowd to celebrate the day at Church and then we had a sit-down lunch for 140 people. An ABC crew filmed the whole day and we achieved some great publicity on the TV news that day. I finished the day filled with admiration for the staff and especially the enthusiastic crew of volunteers. I’m not sure if you can imagine the logistics of feeding 140 people a sit-down meal and to serve good quality, home cooked, well presented and hot food. To do that in a timely way and then to get everything packed up with a clean kitchen, dishes washed, and chairs and tables back in their right place was quite a feat. Our people worked hard and a fabulous community event was the result. My deepest, highest, widest thanks to all involved.

Recent notes have been heavy going but I’ve got nothing but good news to report today. We’ve had a couple of beautiful happy weddings this week. One so large today that there is no way we’ll fit everyone in the building and another the other day that was so small there were no official witnesses. I had to grab a couple of volunteers who at no notice found themselves participating in a wedding. I’ve done many such small weddings and on every occasion, our beautiful volunteers have instantly brought joy and celebration as if it were long standing friends who were getting married. Tiny or large, the weddings this week were equally beautiful.

One more granddaughter story. Miss 8-year-old said to me on the weekend, “When I grow up, I’m going to be just like my Aunty Mandy. I’ll have a car just like her and I’ll have my own unit just like her but instead of a cat, I’ll have a penguin.”

Thanks for being part of this inner circle,


Rev Graham Long AM

CEO & Pastor

The Wayside Chapel

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Previous Inner Circles


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


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


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


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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