Inner Circle


Thursday, 2 June 2016

Dear Inner Circle,

A good mate sent me a text this morning to say that he’d found a homeless man near where he lives and offered him a perfectly good doona so that he could be warm at night. The homeless man refused the offer by saying, “Sorry mate. I’m downsizing!”

First thing yesterday I spoke to a hundred or so Year 12 boys at a large Catholic school. I don’t normally do this kind of thing because there are others here at Wayside that would do a much better job. The teacher who invited me could ask me to speak at the South Pole and I’d grab a jumper and be off. I first met her when she was the eldest of five children, homeless because of unthinkable domestic violence. I found refuge accommodation for the family and in due course assisted in finding public housing. This senior teacher was just 13 years old when we first met. The battle she had just to do her homework would have discouraged anyone. On the day she enrolled in university, I was by her side to support her. On her graduation day, I was there taking the part of a proud father. I performed her wedding ceremony and baptised her child. Is there any man on earth who knows such blessing? She’s now around 40 years old and to see this competent, respected, senior teacher yesterday was such a special thing. She introduced me to the school and I hesitated for a minute, waiting for Jesus to enter the room. What a wonderful day.

A minister asked me this week if he could spend a few hours at Wayside, “soaking in the Wayside experience”. I told him he could visit anytime but there was no “Wayside experience”. Wayside is all about meeting. If you see Wayside at its best, you’ll meet someone in such a way that all the normal categories like sick and well, saved and lost, housed and homeless, rich and poor, all evaporate. I told him that in due course if there is a real meeting, there will also be an experience, but this will be a clear indication that the meeting is over. A meeting happens between people and an experience happens within an individual. I shouldn’t have been so tough but I really tire of the church that continually holds ‘meetings’ in which no meeting takes place. I tire of ministers who regularly get an opportunity to speak words that reach out to connect with others but instead only offer ‘reflections’. Don’t get me wrong, I love the church and I know that somewhere in all that bathwater, is a baby.

We had another moving memorial service at Wayside this week for a young man. We heard the voices of workers from various agencies around Kings Cross and we heard some voices from the street. It is so important for us to stop and remember the life we’ve just lost. There is a real danger for those of us who work in this situation that we’ll be so busy managing that we’ll fail to see what we’re looking at every day. The expressions of love for the young man we lost were inspiring. Some laughed at the cheek we all endured. Some despaired at what might have been. Some wondered at what the full story might have been in order that we could make more sense of the tip of the iceberg that we knew. All were thankful for a unique life, shared with us and most of us looked at each other and agreed that we’re pretty lucky to be doing what we do and involved in this community.

We have a number of positions vacant at Wayside at the moment – Op Shop Coordinator, Social Enterprise Manager and Business Development Coordinator. If you’re keen to join us in our mighty mission to create community with no ‘us and them’, you can apply here. Applications close today.

That’s enough for now, thanks for being part of our inner circle,


PS. Some of you may have experienced some issues with the inner circle recently. We’ve been transitioning to a new and improved system, but there have been some teething problems. My apologies, thanks for your patience, and I assure you things seem to be on the mend.

Donate to Wayside's Winter Appeal here.

Rev Graham Long AM

CEO & Pastor

The Wayside Chapel

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

Previous Inner Circles


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


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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