Inner Circle


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

20 June: You cannot take what can only be given



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