Inner Circle


Thursday, 23 April 2015

Dear Inner Circle,

Dreadful weather didn’t stop about 40 people from attending our Slam Poetry session last night. Such rare and priceless gifts were generously offered by a range of poets. Some people with whom I’d only exchanged brief greetings suddenly revealed themselves as masters of technique in the delivery of their poems. Some stood before us, spiritually naked, sharing their deepest struggles in poetry form. I was often on the edge of my seat as someone opened their heart, not in the safety of counselling, but in the safety of an audience who listened and affirmed every offering. At Wayside I sometimes think the greatest riches in life are freely given, never more so than last night.

Do you think we might have overdone the ANZAC thing this year? I’m sure it's true that WWI did wake up a sense among us of being Australian. Before that war, we thought of ourselves as British. My Dad was an army nurse in Darwin when it was being bombed. Dad didn’t talk about his war, not because he was traumatised but I suspect because he regarded his role as insignificant. Yet, he and I loved to discuss the battles of WWI and the strengths and weaknesses of various Generals. Dad sometimes went to ANZAC services but always in emotional turmoil. Dad hated anything that glorified war. His favourite ANZAC Day story was when in Sydney, after speeches by high ranking people in uniforms, a moment of wreath-laying took place. It was solemn. The silence was broken by an old drunk who sang at top note, “Hallelujah I’m a bum”. Police ran to shut the man up. Dad loved the outburst. He liked to think that the drunk was an old soldier who had the courage to protest against all the fine speeches that tried to convince the crowd that all the death, particularly that of Gallipoli and the Western front, was anything other than an unspeakable waste of life.

In March 1915 there was a group of women who were uncomfortable that schools gave students military training and thereby prepared them as future soldiers. A group of 30 women met in Melbourne and although their voices drowned in a sea of jingoism they were confident that women could have a role to play in bringing peace to a country with its heart set on war. They called themselves the Sisterhood of International Peace and later the Woman’s Peace Army. Ultimately they became the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and they still exist. Last weekend a group of people from Wayside travelled to Canberra to celebrate the presence of these mighty women among us for 100 years. About 50 Wayside visitors participated in the making of a quilt that was displayed on the weekend.

I'm constantly aware that nowhere else in Sydney does such a diverse cross-section of society coincide than in the heart of Kings Cross. We’ve been very fortunate that over the last six months the incredible photographer, Katherine Williams, has been capturing the faces and stories of people around the streets for a Humans of Kings Cross photo exhibition. The images and stories will blow you away. The opening night is on at Wayside on Tuesday, 12 May at 6pm. We’d love to see you there. More details here.

Spare a thought for our brothers and sisters sleeping rough through the dreadful weather this week.

This week my 8 year old granddaughter said,
“Sometimes I hardly get any playtime at school because I have to solve people’s problems.”
“Really” I said, “What kind of problems do you have to solve?”
“Well, Jasmin really likes Trent and Trent really likes Jasmin. They want to play together at lunch time but they always get into fights and they want me to help them solve their problems.”
“Gosh” I said, “It sounds like they should be married.”
“Oh no” she said, “Then every time they had a divorce, they’d call me.”
As soon as I part from this dear girl, I start looking forward to our next conversation.

Thanks for being part of our inner circle,


Rev Graham Long

CEO & Pastor

The Wayside Chapel

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Previous Inner Circles


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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