Thursday, 12 June 2014
Dear Inner Circle,
“I’ve studied law!” was the opening line of a woman who butted into an already engaged conversation in our cafe. “I used to practice and do the best for my clients,” she said. “Well, I didn’t know you were a lawyer but you might see this fellow I’m speaking with is a bit upset,” I said. “I used to consult with everyone. If I had a problem I’d ring someone from the shadow cabinet or find someone else who could help me,” she said. “Interesting,” I said, "but perhaps we could talk some more after I just give this man (who was in tears) some time." “Well, it's how you learn isn’t it? You ask people around you for help. I was a good lawyer.” There was not the slightest recognition of the upset man between us. “You couldn’t lend me $5 till tomorrow could you, Rev?” came from another shortish bloke who I’ve never met before. “Can you ask me a bit later after I’ve finished talking to the man here?” I said. “Well, it's just that I haven’t got anything until tomorrow and I’d like to eat”. Another lady stepped up to our table and pulled up her jumper and shirt to reveal a black and blue rib cage. “I’ve had it with men,” she said. It was just a typical day yesterday.
Wow! If you get a chance, have a look at these wonderful clips capturing the spirit of our 50th anniversary. This clip shows the highlights of our amazing 50th fundraising dinner and this clip captures the fun and buzz of our 50th Anniversary Celebration Sunday. You can also see the Sydney Philharmonia Choir's flash mob performance of the Hallelujah Chorus here. Our 50th events were nothing short of astonishing and I’m pleased that we captured something of the flavour of them that we can share with you. Thanks to Anthony Lau and Jeramie Hotz at Alaud Films and David Gabriel for producing these clips for us at no cost.
I promised Adam Goodes that I’d watch him play football if he came to Wayside. Adam kept his side of the deal and so this Saturday I’m off to the SCG to see the Swans beat whoever it is they’re playing on Saturday. I’m sure I lacked oxygen at birth because I never really could connect with the sport thing. Two of my brothers and a nephew will join me on Saturday and they all get excited about football and can speak its mysterious language. I suspect personally that someone is planning to go out hard and early and lead from the front. I suspect that someone might be let down in their defence but that football will be the winner in the day. How am I doing?
When I joined Wayside ten years ago, there were just seven employees. We've now got a team of 45 people working their little hearts out to provide love and support to the community. To help engage and develop our team, we're hiring a People Manager. If you're someone who is passionate about bringing out the best in people and you want to leverage your background in human resources to improve the engagement and development of staff and volunteers at Wayside, we'd love to hear from you. You can apply here.
On our front seat this week a man told me that he’d won the lottery and asked if I could help him collect his winnings. “Show me your ticket,” I said. “Well, that’s the problem,” he said, “I can’t find it”. It turned out that he didn’t know which lottery he might have won. He thought it might have been something to do with the Red Cross. He was certain that he’d heard the news from a close relative who informed him of his win. The problem was that he couldn’t remember who the close relative was. A conversation like this is not at all uncommon. The longer we talked, the sadder I felt. In the early seventies I had a job for a short time in a boys home. It was often just one staff member and up to 90 boys that had to be fed, showered and put to bed. There was no discussion about child abuse in those days and the thought of it happening never crossed my mind. I will never forget how many so called delinquents cried for their mums at bed time. So many of them had stories of how their parents were millionaires and that one day everything they ever dreamed of would be bought for them. The lottery winner yesterday was a grown man but it was the same lost little boy voice that I recognised. I saw the man this morning as I walked into Hughes St, he was further down Macleay St, begging.
Robyn and I are off to Adelaide next week to spend a few days with my dear old Mum so there will be no note next Thursday.
That’s enough for now. 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
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