Inner Circle


Thursday, 21 November 2013

Dear Inner Circle,

Attending a gathering of advertising gurus last week, I was shocked to be called out to receive an award. I went to give moral support to the incomparable team from UrsaClemenger who have done so much for Wayside over the years. The work they had done to design our logo was being considered for a Global Award for design. Something seemed seriously wrong to me when they called me up the front to receive an award for the Brave Client of the Year. They did all the work and they’d never sent us a bill and yet I was standing up the front to receive an award for our logo. I said something about being the “luckiest” rather than the "bravest" client and left the stage feeling quite awkward. I was utterly delighted when later in the night the team from UrsaClemenger won a Global Award in the Logo/Symbol Design category. I couldn't overstate the confidence that their design has contributed to Wayside.

On the same night, Environa Studios and Tone Wheeler, our architect, won a Sustainability Award for our building as part of the IDEA event. We are over the moon that Tone won recognition for his ground-breaking building that serves us so well. Congratulations Tone, Jan, Hilary and the whole team.

Every 5 years or so the Uniting Church considers a minister’s placement and makes an assessment to either continue the placement or recommend that the minister move along. Last Sunday was the day that 4 officials from the church showed up to our service to hear from the people gathered for church their feelings on the matter. About 80 people showed for worship and most of them were keen to bend the ear of an official. As it happened immediately after our little service a “flash mob” choir walked in and sang the Hallelujah Chorus. That should have done the trick. It was also my birthday on Sunday and so the Hallelujah Chorus was followed by happy birthday. I knew the news was out because when I arrived a lovely old man with no teeth greeted me by saying, “Thweet thixtheen and never been kiththed” and then he planted a big mushy kiss on my cheek.

Yesterday Robyn and I celebrated 42 years of marriage which is more an achievement of Robyn’s than of mine. We walked around looking for the restaurant with the fewest people in it because I go deaf in a noisy crowd. We were home by 8.30pm and laughing at how old we’ve become.

To cap off a rather eventful week, Premier Barry O’Farrell named me as Local Hero in NSW for 2014 as part of the Australian of the Year Awards. When I accepted the award I said, "'I don't really believe in the concept of 'singular achievement' any more than I believe in 'singular failure'. All our achievements are shared - so if you can imagine 8 Board members, 36 staff members and 600 volunteers standing beside me, then I'm happy and proud to accept this award. Thank you." The affirmation from social media, email and phone calls has streamed into Wayside in an unprecedented flood of love. Confidently I assure you that no one at Wayside does what they do for a round of applause but it is lovely when what we do is recognised as an important gift to the community.

It’s been quite a week and I hope you don’t mind that I use the note this week to share it all with you.

Thanks for being our secret ingredient, our stealthy weapon, our oxygen, 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

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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