Thursday, 13 March 2014
Dear Inner Circle,
Our modern obsession with managing people has robbed us of a capacity to see people. Many of us are too busy fixing people to meet anyone. Gosh, it's hard to swim against this cultural tide. Even for those of us who seek to create community, there are times when it's near impossible not to flinch and retreat into the language that creates distance to dim our eyes, and judgement to soothe our hearts. I sat with a man this week who as a young child was groomed and then used as the s*xual object for the gratification of two grown up men. I so wanted to make suggestions for help before I even saw the little boy in the man, mercilessly raped over years. It was hard to be alongside and although it made my heart heavy, I am honoured to have accepted such a burden. I saw damage; ugly damage, and yet I saw inspiring beauty. I don’t know the men who did this but I’ve known plenty just like them. It’s so tempting to use language as if such people were not part of our human race and as if none of us are capable of turning people into a means for our own ends. “Bring back the birch,” my Dad used to say when he couldn’t look upon evil. The outrage is understandable and right and although it makes my way heavier, I aspire to know good people and bad, wise people and foolish and beautiful people and ugly in acts that make people ever more real.
A darling old 87 year old told me of how vastly the world has changed in her life time. “Hardly anyone knows anything about the Australia in which I grew up". Her Dad served in the first World War. He was away from home for about six years. He was a good father and although he lived until he was 92, every night of his life he screamed in his sleep. This dear lady told me of her husband and how he had died some 20 years ago. She is alive and funny and we laughed a lot, but she’s keen for her race to be over. She said that the other day she fainted in Coles and she had time on the way to the floor to think, “Oh good, at last I’m going to heaven”; but she woke up in Coles. I told her she was lucky she didn’t see someone with a big red hand singing “Down, down”. Once again I find I’m the only one in the room who thinks I’m funny.
With wobbly fingers on my keyboard, I announce that our wonderful Partnerships Manager, Sarah Susak, has resigned to take a giant role in the corporate world. Sarah’s passion for Wayside combined with her ease in the corporate world has produced massive results. So we are now hiring a new Partnerships Manager. We're looking for someone who is passionate about Wayside and has exceptional relationship-building skills. Find out more about the role here. Applications close on Thursday, 27 March.
I’m sending out an SOS to the Inner Circle from our fabulous staff. We’re right out of socks and blankets and with the cold weather in front of us we’re asking for your help. We're also getting really low on toiletries, razors and deodorant. If you could make this a family project or perhaps an office project, we could really use your help with these things. Send the items to PO Box 66, Potts Point, NSW 1335 or drop them off at 29 Hughes St, Potts Point.
Imagine for a moment Kings Cross without The Wayside Chapel. Imagine thousands upon thousands of people over the past 50 years with nowhere to go for love and support in their hour of need. It's a loss that's hard to imagine and so it is with great delight that we today launch a special 50th anniversary website that brings our rich history to life and promotes all the activities happening at Wayside in April. I've been mesmerised by the stories from the past 50 years and I'm sure you will be too. Our deepest thanks to the team from Web105 who built the site for us. You can view it here: http://50.thewaysidechapel.com/
Thanks for being part of our inner circle,
Rev. Graham Long
Pastor and CEO
The Wayside Chapel
Click here to listen to podcasts of past Inner Circle's, aired on ABC 702's 'Afternoons with James Valentine'
Be sure to follow Graham on Twitter if you have an account; @waysidepastor
Previous Inner Circles
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