Inner Circle


Thursday, 15 September 2016

Dear Inner Circle,

Being wrong has never been so sweet. Coca-Cola approached us to say that they were going to auction their iconic sign at the top of Kings Cross and donate the money to Wayside. I loved the gesture but couldn’t hide my scepticism about people paying money for a bit of an old sign. Getting into the spirit of the best intentions coming from the people at Coke, I started to tell people that we might benefit to the tune of $10,000 if all went well. When a text came one evening this week to tell me that they’d raised $100,700, I thought there had been a mistake. To say the least, we’re grateful to the good people at Coke and to all the people who paid money to buy a part of the old sign. When speaking publically, most people want to hear of our work, but with 90% of our funding coming from non-government sources, there is a story to be told about outrageous ideas, breathtaking generosity and faithful regular giving that keeps us doing what we do.

What could be more powerful than a eulogy delivered from a mother’s torn heart. This week we buried a young man. We saw slides of a little boy in a healthy, happy family. He was well provided for and surrounded by plenty of loving family. Something went wrong that shattered this young boy who spent the rest of his short life seeking what comfort and anesthetic that drugs could provide. His Mum said, “No life is wasted and there was nothing wasteful about my boy. He was here, and we’re all better people because he was here.” Just minutes ago I finished another meeting with a family to arrange the funeral for their young bloke. The endless stream of funerals that are a feature of life at Wayside do make our way heavy at times, but that is not to say, depressing. There are few honours like the trust given to us to stand with family and friends when the storm of grief is raging. Helping people give expression to the inexpressible means we are often part of a family’s defining, epoch-making history.

The past couple of Tuesday evenings I’ve been giving some lectures on the history of philosophy at Bondi. The final in the series will be this coming Tuesday evening. It will be turbo charged this week. The plan is to do Rationalism, Empiricism, Idealism, Existentialism, Pragmatism and a taste of post-modern philosophy…all on one evening! A Marist Priest who was my academic supervisor for a while and a philosopher whose shoe laces I am unworthy to unlace, reads this note, and I can see him shaking his head. You’re welcome on Tuesday even if you missed the prior evenings. You’ll find us at 95 Roscoe St, Bondi Beach.

Our incredible team at Wayside never cease to amaze me. This Sunday, Alex Nagle from our Community Services Centre is going to run the Sydney marathon with Dieter, a 74-year-old visitor to Wayside that we’ve been helping for the past few years. Think about that for a second! Alex has been supporting and encouraging Dieter and together they are raising money for Wayside. In another life Dieter was a successful engineer but in recent years his life has unravelled. He comes to Wayside to get some normality. He’s entered into the marathon to raise money for Wayside because he wants to give back to the organisation that has helped him. If you want to support Alex and Dieter, you can make a donation here.

Time to fly. Thanks for being part of our inner circle,


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


8 September: Turning Toward Love

1 September: The Power of Weakness

25 August: Words as weapons

18 August: Wattle become of us

11 August: Precious and fragile

4 August: A wave from Wayside

28 July: Understanding bedlam

21 July: Time for some straight talking

14 July: Holy ground

7 July: Sowing in tears, reaping with shouts of joy

30 June: A bit of banter about Bondi

23 June: My cup runneth over

16 June: Injecting some joy

9 June: At the end of the line

2 June: Lots of perspiration and a touch of inspiration

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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