Inner Circle

 

Thursday, 17 August 2017

 

Dear Inner Circle,

Our politicians well know that if they issued a postal vote on the question of ‘capital punishment’, many of the people would prefer we return to the dark ages. Thankfully, this issue doesn’t dominate us and divide us because a prior generation of politicians exercised leadership. No matter the result of our current exercise on marriage equality, I suspect we’ll pay a high price and suffer divisions and hurt that will linger for years.

At best, this exercise will tell our leaders how we feel, as if that were a sure guide to the right decision. Remember it was democracy that killed Socrates. A jury of 500 citizens found by clear majority that Socrates was worthy of death. A win for the democratic process deprived the world of its finest and clearest voice.

Not all who oppose this change are bigots, homophobes or even remotely religious. Not all who want the change are anti-religious or take any joy from merely overturning age old traditions. This is not a contest between lovers and haters but a cultural shift whose origins lie in a web of unnoticed or forgotten drifts in this highly fluid world of ours. People of good will are on both sides of the fence we are building.

For years, I’ve suggested we abolish the Marriage Act. I’ve had occasion to express this view in front of Prime Ministers and other movers and shakers but mostly all I get is a chuckle. I propose that we be equally free rather than equally bound. OK, I get that people need to be legally bound to each other and that it is important for things like inheritance. At minimum, I would separate the Church from this function of the State. People should make whatever legal arrangements they want according to law and if some feel that their marriage is a sacrament, they should then go to a church to celebrate the event in a context where such things are celebrated.

My worry is that our present exercise will divide us and hurt a lot of people and leave many bewildered. My advice is to make sure you’re registered to vote; have at least one discussion with someone you love who holds a different view; vote according to your conscience; look after each other.

A fellow had been waiting at the front door this morning, looking for an opportunity to see me before anyone else. He just wanted to tell me he’d been free of drink for some months and was enjoying life. In our café, generally at least two things happen at once. While this guy was giving me his good news story, another fellow was telling me that he was terminal, riddled with cancer. He was thankful that he’d had a couple of years sober and in that time had helped his daughter fund her singing lessons. He said that his last wish is for his daughter to sing “Hallelujah” at his funeral.

Thanks for being part of our inner circle,

Graham

Rev Graham Long AM
CEO & Pastor
The Wayside Chapel

www.revgrahamlong.com

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Previous Inner Circles

2017

17 Aug: Time to Look After One Another

10 Aug: The Price of Love is Sorrow

3 Aug: Jumping To Confusions

27 July: Gardening Australia

20 July: Contemplation Of The Awesome

13 July: A Season For Gratitude

6 July: Awestruck

29 June: Back In The Saddle

22 June: Between Longing And Love

15 June: When Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

8 June: Reduced to "Wow"

1 June: Time For A Long Look

25 May: For Those With Ears To Hear

18 May: Covering Some Ground

11 May: Costly Kindness

4 May: Blown Away By Beauty

27 April: Better A Troubling Prophet Than A Dead Loss

20 April: ANZAC Day

13 April: Easter

6 April: Captured By A Face

30 March: I'm On Ice

23 March: Another Day At The Office

16 March: A Good Start To The Day

9 March: Permission To Be Human

2 March: Every Life Celebrated

23 February: Surprised By Joy

16 February: Wayside Isn't A Place, It's An Activity

9 February: Heavy With Meaning

2 February: The Danger of Stability

26 January: Australia Day

19 January: Wow

13 January: The Joy of Being Useless

2016

22 December: Miracles in the Messy

15 December: A Season for Demons

8 December: Soul Restorer

1 December: Holy Ground

24 November: Opening Presence for Christmas

17 November: On Our Best Behaviour For a Day

10 November: A Seismic Shift

3 November: Outcomes by Accident

27 October: Wow! Look How Far You've Come

20 October: Moving Toward Our Destiny

13 October: A Tribute

06 October: Risk and Sacrifice

29 September: Wisdom in Unconventional Places

22 September: It's What We Do at Wayside

15 September: The Joy of Being Wrong

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

2015

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

2014

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

2013

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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