Dear Inner Circle,
Thank you so much for the outpouring of love and support in this past week. I try to respond to most of your emails but this week it was well north of six hundred emails and I need to be content to express my deepest gratitude here. We buried Mum in the same grave as Dad. At the moment of lowering the casket, I asked my siblings to sing an old hymn that we’d heard our parents sing together hundreds of times. When we were young, we sang pretty well together with strong harmonies. Last week we sounded a bit like someone was trying to drown kittens. It was a lovely, even powerful moment and my siblings will forgive me in just a few short years.
If you’ve ever attended our Sunday Church service in Kings Cross, you’ll be aware of a little lady up the front who we’ve lovingly named, Saint Interruptus. Our dear little saint died this week and we’re very sad to part with her. She’s been a regular at Wayside since 1967. She told me how previous ministers would be annoyed by her interruptions and at times, make her sit at the back of the chapel. In this past 12 years, Saint Interruptus and I had become something of a double act. I loved her and she loved me. I’ll have to rely on someone else in the community for Sunday interruptions. I’m pretty confident that our community won’t fail me.
One phrase stopped our world last week. A young fellow who has lived on the streets for two years, just last week obtained housing in a small flat. The positive attitude of this bloke is uplifting, not because he uses easy phrases or because there has been anything easy about his life, but because it’s been so tough for so long. As time has passed he’s become more involved in volunteering and is keen to help others even when his own situation is not fabulous. “How can I help?” is a good sign that a life is opening up and on the way to thriving whereas, “What can you give me?” is a sign of the opposite. Last week we had a function at Bondi and our young friend worked all night and until every task was done. He then said something that stopped all of us, “I’m going home now”.
Here is something that I promise will make your day, perhaps your year! Check out this beautifully crafted story of Wayside baker Andrew who spent many years in a spiral of addiction and homelessness and behold today the man, alive, engaged, contributing and even leading. Watch it, you’ll love it and you’ll love Andrew.
After a massive effort Wayside’s new serviced apartments at Bondi Beach are open for business. The location is right on Bondi Beach and the apartments have been redecorated by our new Ambassador, interior stylist, Jason Grant. The best part of this announcement is that all the profits from the rent will go directly to support our work with the most vulnerable in our community. Find out more and book here.
One of my granddaughters has a remarkable affinity with animals. When we walk hand in hand, I literally sense her heart leaping toward any dog that passes. The other day she said, “Oh Papa, look at that poor lost Jack Russell”. “Darling,” I replied, “Look at his lead and the lady holding it, he’s not lost.” “Papa,” she said, “Look at his face, he’s lost.”
Thanks for being part of our inner circle,
Rev Graham Long AM
Pastor and CEO
The Wayside Chapel