Brave New World

Building a spiritual community in the bush - the monks of Binacrombi
Building a spiritual community in the bush - the monks of Binacrombi
Building a spiritual community in the bush - the monks of Binacrombi
Building a spiritual community in the bush - the monks of Binacrombi

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Hi Fighter,

I’ve just finished reading Aldous Huxley’s classic, “A Brave New World”. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it, as I don’t read much fiction. What surprised me even more though was to finish the book and then realise that it wasn’t fiction at all. I was living it!

Seventy years ago, Huxley envisaged a futuristic world where people are indoctrinated from an early age to believe whatever their governments tell them, and where critical speech and free thought are systematically suppressed, not primarily through force of arms but through education. If the treatment of Julian Assange – by government and by media – isn’t proof enough that we are living in this Brave New World, our response to this latest virus should remove any doubts.

Now … I’m thankful I’m out at Binacrombi as I write this – a long way away from people who can throw things at me and hurl insults. This is the problem. If you raise any questions about the virus or about the way it is being handled, you are immediately labelled a ‘pandemic denier’ who cares nothing for the countless people suffering.

Some of you may have seen the short video I posted on Facebook a couple of weeks ago where I shared some of my questions about our government’s response to the virus – whether it was the only or best option. The response was overwhelming! Persons who I had respected referred to it as a ‘rant’, and so many complaints were made to the bishop that he rang me and urged me to take it down, lest he be forced to publicly distance himself from me!

Well … I’ve now been forced out of my job with the church anyway, so the post is going back up. You can see it below. If you don’t like what I have to say, and you don’t think I should be allowed to raise these questions, you’re in good company.

For the record, I am not a ‘pandemic denier’. I do take the latest virus seriously, and I am concerned about those put at risk by it. My question though is whether our response is a bit like Johnson’s Snakebite Antidote (pace Banjo Paterson) where the cure is far more harmful than the disease!

I am concerned about those who may die of the virus, but I am also concerned about how the lockdown has affected the mentally ill. Indeed, while I don’t see any clear statistics on the local situation, I can’t count the number who have contacted me, saying things like, “I don’t know how much longer I can handle this”, and I’m told by friends who work in the mental-health sector that there have been thousands of suicides resulting from these lockdown measures already.

I am also concerned for those at risk of domestic abuse. When I heard there had been a forty percent increase in cases of domestic violence in Italy, I was very troubled. Now I’m told that in our country it’s a sixty-something percent increase!

I’m also concerned about those who have lost their jobs and will lose their homes, and I’ve read that around two million people worldwide are now at risk of starvation due to these lockdown measures. I appreciate that some of these figures may be askew or inflated, but please don’t tell me that if I criticize the lockdown measures, that just means that I don’t care about people at risk!

It has amazed me – how virulent the outcry has been against those who raise these questions. The most public example must have been the two American doctors – Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi – who run a clinic dealing with Covid19 cases and who did an interview with a local TV station where they disagreed with their government’s approach. The interview was shared on YouTube and went viral, getting more than five million views, before it was taken down by YouTube because it apparently ‘violated community guidelines’!

Of course, I don’t know whether these two doctors were right or wrong in the statistics they gave or in the way they interpreted them. That’s not my area of expertise. What appalls me though is that at a time when you’d think we needed open discussion and shared wisdom, these men on the front line were shut down, after which they were attacked by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) both of whom issued media releases, accusing the men of seeking media attention in order to further their careers (while not making any attempt to refute their arguments)!

The criminalising of dissent – that’s what we are seeing. It’s what Julian Assange is being put on trial for. It’s what Chelsea Manning and Ed Snowden and Morde Vanunu are suffering for. It makes good sense to keep your mouth shut in this brave new world but remember the wisdom of Pastor Niemöller:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

OK, I’ve said more than enough today, and I suspect a good number of you have already signed off out and unsubscribed. Fair enough. I don’t question your right to disagree with me or to not have to hear from me. For those still here, I was planning to leave a long list of links to articles for anyone who wants to look at divergent opinions about the virus and the way it’s being handled. I won’t bore you with all those links now. If you want my list, I’ll send it to you. If you want to watch that interview with the doctors, let me know that too. I downloaded a copy.

Perhaps I’ll leave just two links:

I found No.24 of the above 25 facts to be especially revealing – that Ed Snowden warned us that the corona crisis would be used for the massive and permanent expansion of global surveillance. You can see his video interview on that here.

Sorry. I said I’d only add two links. I’ll add one more as an extra video below, as I don’t think YouTube are ever going to delete Fox News (though I could be wrong).

If you’re still happy to stay in contact with me, why not join me each Sunday at midday when I stream a weekly Eucharist live from Binacrombi bush retreat via my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fatherdave007). Hopefully, Sunday worship won’t be banned from the air for a little while yet. You might even consider supporting me and our community of Fighting Fathers out here at Binacrombi. All subscriptions at www.fighting-fathers.com will be gratefully accepted.

Keep up the Good Fight.

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.boxersforpeace.com
www.warriorweekends.com

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Ready for an Easter Miracle?

Building a spiritual community at Binacrombi
my darling girl turns eleven!
my darling girl turns eleven!
Our dear brother, 'Binacrombi' Bob, turns 60!

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Hi Fighter,

It’s Easter week, but it hardly feels like a time to celebrate. Yes, the great feast day of the Christian year is almost upon us – the day of new life and triumph and chocolate eggs – but there will be no dancing in the streets this year and no Easter-egg hunts in the church. We will all be shut in our homes, hiding from the virus!

We live in apocalyptic times – so it seems – and if it’s getting to you, be assured that it’s getting to me too. Moreover, I know there are a lot of people in far more precarious situations than me at the moment – people who have lost their jobs, may be losing their homes, and mentally fragile people who feel they are losing their minds.

My fear is that these lockdown measures – designed to save the lives of thousands – may end up destroying the lives of millions. I hope I’m wrong. Either way, I’ll shut my mouth for now as I’ve already been censored by my bishop for speaking my mind on this subject and I don’t want to attract further trouble. Be assured though that if you are suffering at the moment through this lockdown, I am with you, and it’s just possible that I may be able to help.

As Providence would have it, the timing of this lockdown has coincided exactly with the latest initiative being undertaken by our Order of the Fighting Fathers. We are forming a spiritual community in the bush.

When I drove away from Binacrombi last weekend, I left another two ‘fighting monks’ lodged in the Cloister. Another two have applied to join us. We have an initiation period, of course, involving two weeks of isolation in one of the more distant cabins. By the end of that period though it should be clear whether initiates are physically and spiritually suitable for our community, and there are plenty of beds available in the cloister.

We have even developed a draft Rule for the community. Every day our monks must devote at least one hour to prayer, one hour to fight training, and one hour to giving something back to Binacrombi. I appreciate that we’ll need to work on this a bit if we’re going to get it up to the standard of the Benedictine Rule but it’s a great start. 🙂

Would you like to join us? I can’t guarantee you a place in the community, and I can’t even guarantee that we’ll be able to take you for the two weeks’ initiation period if government rules change and make that impossible. I can guarantee though that I’ll talk it through with you if you contact me. See my promo video below if you need further convincing.

I don’t have a regular ‘sermon time’ sermon for you this week as we haven’t been having regular church services lately! I’ve streamed a couple of Eucharists from Binacrombi (which you can see here), and I’ll be streaming services from the Holy Trinity church building in Dulwich Hill for Easter morning and for the following Sunday.

Both services will be streamed from the Holy Trinity Facebook page. We’ll start each Sunday at around 9.15 am, and you don’t need a Facebook account to access these live events. Please join me if you can. These may be the last services I hold in our church building, though nothing has been finalised as yet.

It’s a difficult time for all of us at the moment. I know that. It’s a difficult time for our economy and for our planet, and it’s especially difficult for those who are on the underside of the system – the poor and marginalised, prisoners, the mentally and physically disabled.

Pray with me. Pray for our planet and for its people. So many of the issues needing our attention are getting scant consideration at the moment. How many know, for instance, that the extradition trial for Julian Assange is being pushed ahead with relentlessly in London. Sadly, there is only one item in the news at the moment.

That all makes sense, of course. When you have a toothache, you can really only think about two things – your pain and a dentist – and when we’re locked down in fear of the virus, it’s really hard to expect anyone to think of anything else, which is why this is the perfect time for corrupt corporations and governments to be about the devil’s work.

And so we must pray. We also need to mobilise, but it’s hard to mobilise if you’re not allowed to meet. We must therefore pray that God will show us how to do the impossible, which brings us back to Easter, of course, where we celebrate that the impossible indeed happens! Perhaps it will turn out to be a great Easter after all?

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.boxersforpeace.com
www.warriorweekends.com

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Controlled by Fear?

Rallying for Julian Assange - Bring Him Home
Rallying for Julian Assange - Bring Him Home
Rallying for Julian Assange - Bring Him Home
Bush adventures at Binacrombi
Bush adventures at Binacrombi
My battle with the Combat Sports Authority continues
Celebrating Ola and Jessie's wedding on Lord Howe Island
Celebrating Ola and Jessie's wedding on Lord Howe Island
Celebrating Ola and Jessie's wedding on Lord Howe Island
Celebrating Ola and Jessie's wedding on Lord Howe Island
A foreword by the Grand Mufti of Syria
A foreword by the Grand Mufti of Syria

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Hi Fighter,

I begin today’s newsletter from beautiful Lord Howe Island, somewhere off the east coast of Australia (though I have no idea exactly where). This is not somewhere I ever thought I’d end up, but about 18 months ago I agreed to do a wedding here for a young Swedish boxer named Ola (who also happens to be an Anglican priest) and his Australian partner, Jesse, and … here we are. Two days in paradise!

Back on the mainland things look far less idyllic. Indeed, we seem to be quickly degenerating into a society ruled by fear – fear of infection from this latest virus. People are fighting to empty the supermarkets shelves, preparing for a lock-down. Tempers are short and anxiety levels are high.

I guess we used up our resilience. Will-power is like any other muscle. You can only exercise it so much before it wears out, which is why advertisers always try to hit us repeatedly with their ads in order to wear us down. In this case, we survived the drought, the fires and the floods. We just didn’t have any will-power left over to resist the next crisis. It wouldn’t have mattered what it was.

Personally, I have no intention of being ruled by fear and I don’t think the church should give in to fear either. “Perfect love casts out all fear”, the Apostle John says (1 John 4:18). In Jesus’ case that meant Him touching all sorts of people who others considered unclean (lepers, people with different illnesses, etc). Likewise, in today’s environment, I can’t see Jesus refusing a handshake or a hug to anyone, I won’t either.

Mind you, I’m battling my own fears at the moment – fears about my own future, as my life’s vocation as parish priest of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Dulwich Hill draws to a close. Everyone has been asking me what I plan to do next – none more so than my youngest daughter who gets worried about where we will live. I thought I’d take the opportunity in this newsletter to share some of my hopes for the future.

I’m not envisaging any further opportunities to work with a church, and, at 58 years of age, I think I’ve left my run a bit late to retrain as a neurosurgeon (as attractive as that option might seem). My hope is that I’ll be able to keep going with my work with the young people through the boxing club, and hopefully continue too with my social justice work – campaigning for peace, for freedom of speech, for a fair go for asylum-seekers, etc. The trick will be finding a way to stay financial while I do what I feel called to do. I’ve got a few ideas:

Firstly, I may be able to develop our campsite ministry – Binacrombi – into something that generates an income. After almost 20 years of operation, it’s yet to turn a profit. Even so, we’ve seen lots of wonderful things take place there, and it may be that if we can increase the number of wonderful things taking place, it may also generate enough to support Fran and myself.

I’ve been talking lately with some Indigenous leaders about running camps for Indigenous young people at our site. That would be brilliant. I’ve also been separately talking to an old boxing champion who now works with vulnerable men, and to a church leader who works with at-risk women. They are both really keen to try bush retreats as a path to healing for the people they work with. Who knows where this might take us? 🙂

Independent of this, I’m about to publish my second book – “Christians and Muslims can be friends”. As I said to my young daughter, all we need to do is sell a million copies at a profit of $1 per book and we’ll have enough to buy a house! That’s easier said than done, of course, and the aim of the book is not to make money. Even so, God works in mysterious ways. We’ll see where this takes us.

In truth, I am very excited about the book. I’ve been waiting for many months for the foreword to be completed by His Grace, the Grand Mufti of Syria. I received that forward in Arabic a few weeks ago and I’ve subsequently had four translators working on it to give me the best possible English translation. I’m so proud of this forward that I can’t resist sharing a part of it with you today. I’ve published an excerpt here. My sincere and deep thanks to my esteemed brother, Dr Hassoun, the Mufti – a man I deeply admire and pray for every day. May God’s peace rest upon him and strengthen him as he shoulders the task of rebuilding his country.

In terms of my hopes for staying financial, my primary hope is actually that I will land a big fight in the near future. I appreciate that 58 is not normally considered the ideal age for a professional boxer. Even so, I figure that being ancient also makes me a novelty, and the truth is that I have never been fitter, stronger or faster. I’m not sure how to explain that except that I believe it is God’s way of telling me to keep on punching.

Of course, the first step to getting a big fight is getting a fight, and the Combat Sports Authority (CSA) has made that very difficult for me. I took the CSA to the Administrative Tribunal (thGloves of God bannede poor man’s version of court) after they prohibited my last fight in my hometown – stopping me an hour before I was due to go on. Unfortunately, the case was ultimately dismissed on a technicality. The Daily Telegraph published an article about that last weekend (click the pic for a more readable version)

My plan was to fight in Port Moresby again next month, which was part of an attempt to draw attention again to the plight of asylum-seekers in Papua New Guinea, this time with the backing of Amnesty International. Even so, travel restrictions currently being implemented by the government will mean that I have to abandon that plan for the moment.

Even so, I’ve also got ‘Wild Bill’ Kimbacher wanting to rematch me in northern Queensland where the NSW-based CSA can’t reach me. Bill has even put together a video challenge (which you can see here). That will be a tough fight. I trust that these virus fears won’t stop the bout happening.

From there … Syria again perhaps (when travel restrictions lighten up) or perhaps they’ll let me fight in Sydney again by then? Time will tell. Pray for me though please – pray that the Lord will open the doors I need opened and that I get my shot at a brighter future.

Sermon Time

I’m including today my sermon on Jesus’ encounter with an unnamed woman that He met at a well in Samaria, as narrated to us in the Gospel of John, chapter four. It’s a story that I found myself identifying with in many ways, and I did share a lot that is personal in this sermon.

Henri Nouwen pointed out that it was only when Jesus shared his wounds with His disciples that healing began. Nouwen saw this as the model for the priest/preacher. I had hoped that this sermon might lead to healing too. Time will tell. Click below, or get the written version here.

In terms of what’s on, everything is in turmoil due to new regulations coming down in response to the virus. April 19 is still the key day for me – the day when I hand over leadership of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Dulwich Hill to Father Hugh Isaacs. Whether I’ll be able or organise anything special for that day, or whether we’ll even be meeting is now uncertain. I’ll keep you up-to-date, but if we can do something, we will do something, and we do do something, you are invited. 🙂

I’ll finish off today by adding a few extra videos below:

  1. Wild Bill’s Kimbacher’s fight challenge (4 minutes)
  2. My speech at a recent rally for Julian Assange (4 minutes)
  3. Episode four of Revved UP! (45 minutes)!





May the Lord bless you and strengthen you for the work for which you have been called.

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.boxersforpeace.com
www.warriorweekends.com

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Into the Wilderness

Celebrating Indigenous Sunday
Celebrating Indigenous Sunday
Imogen paints an amazing picture of her little sister
Sisters! ❤
Fran and I see Star Wars at the Moonlight Cinema
Fran and I see Star Wars at the Moonlight Cinema
an afternoon on the Harbour
dinner with friends
Soren receives his HSC! 🙂
I receive a foreword for my book from the Grand Mufti of Syria
Celebrating the birthday of my friend, Paul
Team Watego make it to Binacrombi and meet Bob
with my wonderful Affinity friends - Mehmet Saral and Ahmet Polat

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Hi Fighter,

Last Sunday was my last service in my current position at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Dulwich Hill, where I’ve been parish priest since 1990. Father Hugh Isaacs joins us this Sunday. Although he’s not officially on staff until March, next Sunday, to my reckoning, marks the beginning of the new era for me and for our church.

Where the church goes from here is hard to know, and I accept that I have very little control over that. As to where I go from here, I feel similarly vague, and I’m not sure whether I have much greater control over that. What I am sure about is that all the good things that have happened over the last 30 years in Dulwich Hill need to be celebrated, and the date to do that will be April 19th – the first Sunday after Easter.

I’m not sure how that day will pan out. I envisage a big Sunday service with plenty of pomp and ceremony, with the organ blasting, and having all my friends and supporters with me. We’ll celebrate some of our triumphs over the last 30 years:

  • Our initial ‘Get off the gear and into the ring’ outreach heroin users
  • Trinity’s Youth drop-in Centre, which ran for 24 years
  • All the Work for the Dole programs we ran
  • Our food-distribution programs
  • Refugee support initiatives,
  • etc., etc.

Of course, behind each of those programs there are thousands of very personal stories – some heartbreakingly painful, and others wonderful stories of success. Hopefully, April 16 will be a day when we can share a lot of those stories.

I will have to do some boxing on that day. Perhaps I could do a couple of rounds with each of those who helped me develop those outreach programs. You’ve all been fighters – even those who didn’t actually step into the ring (like my best mate, Walter, who is fighting to recover from a stroke at the moment). Even so, when I think of all of you who have traded sporting blows with me over the last 30 years, it would make quite a spectacle if we could all get together for one final stoush!

Of course, we have some months between now and that final stoush and, from a church calendar perspective, that interim period will be dominated by the season of Lent (which seems kind of appropriate). I’ve ordered some special devotional material for the church this Lent, entitled, ‘Into the Wilderness’. Hopefully, this Lent will prove to be a fruitful wilderness-wandering for us all.

Sermon Time

While Lent is indeed approaching, we are still in the season of Epiphany at the moment – the season that has as its starting point St Matthew’s strange story of the ‘wise men from the East’ who come to honour Jesus, the new-born king.

I think we need to keep coming back to this story as it reminds us that while Jesus is indeed ‘one of us’ in His humanity, that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily a member of our tribe. The new Testament has lots of tribes represented in those early Gospel stories, including this bizarre group of astrologers. We don’t know where they’re from, they don’t speak our language, and they are definitely not a part of our religion. Even so, it seems that God has invited them to join the party too!


What’s ON

There’s quite a few things happening in the next couple of weeks:

We’ll have our third episode of Revved Up today, featuring me and my colleague, Rev. Joy Steele-Perkins, discussing current social and political issues, along with this weeks’ Gospel reading. You can tune in live at midday via my Facebook page.

Next Saturday (Feb 15) we’ll be screening Rocking the Foundations here in the church hall. This 1985 film by Pat Fiske tells the story of how a union stood up to the NSW government to stop Sydney turning into a high-rise jungle. Mr Fiske will be with us for a Q&A after the screening.

Monday, February 24th, will be the day the US begins its extradition hearing against our brother, Julian Assange, in London. We’ll be protesting outside the US embassy in Martin Place in Sydney from midday. I’m privileged to have been asked to be one of the speakers at the rally.

The other big thing I’m working on at the moment is another possible trip to Port Moresby to support our asylum-seeker friends who were on Manus. I’ll tell you more on that when dates are confirmed, but it will involve working with Amnesty International as well as a team of high-profile boxers. I’m hoping we can do it at the end of March or the very beginning of April.

That’s plenty for now. Keep me in your prayers as I do you.

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.boxersforpeace.com
www.warriorweekends.com

P.S. I’ll post the last edition of Revved UP below. Do let me know what you think.

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

World on Fire

100 people turned out for our Carols on the Lawn this year 🙂
The carolers included my dear friend, Syed Shoaib Naqvi
a wonderful gathering for our Christmas Day lunch
a wonderful gathering for our Christmas Day lunch
mastering the art of patting two furry creatures at one time 🙂
with friends at the Imam Husain Centre, grieving the assassination of Qasem Soleimani
making an appearance on Iranian TV, discussing the prospects for World War
rallying in the Sydney CBD - Fight Fires, not Iran
rallying in the Sydney CBD - Fight Fires, not Iran
rallying in the Sydney CBD - Fight Fires, not Iran

Hi Fighter,

The year has only just begun and yet 2020 has been a tough one for many of us already. The fires in this country finally seem to be lessening in their intensity, but who knows if this is the end of this catastrophe. The whole country seems to have been on fire and, regardless of what happens from here, the devastation has been terrible.

Dozens of people have died, hundreds have lost their homes, and apparently over a billion animals have perished! I’m no expert when it comes to ecosystems, but are we going to recover from this? Can a billion animals (and countless more insects) really die and the rest of the country go on unaffected? I’m keen to hear what the experts have to say. In the meantime, I’ll continue to pray for more rain. We’ve had some – thanks be to God – but I believe we need a lot more yet.

And while this country has been burning, something happened in Iraq last week that had the potential to set the whole world on fire! Donald Trump ordered the assassination of Iranian General, Qassem Soleimani, and I really don’t think he had a clue what he was doing! Even disregarding the barbarity of the act, I am mystified as to what the US was hoping to achieve by this killing. If they were hoping to destabilize the Iranian government and to weaken Iran’s influence in the region, this action had the opposite effect in both cases.

The Iranian people have responded patriotically to seeing one of their favourite sons murdered and have gathered around the government. This is as one would expect. In terms of Iran’s influence in the region, Iraq has now asked the US to withdraw their forces completely from their country, thus aligning themselves more closely with Iran. I can only assume that Mr Trump’s focus was on domestic concerns and that he thought this might help with the impeachment process. It hasn’t.

The silver lining at this stage is that the Iranian response to the assassination was only a symbolic missile strike on a US facility in Iraq. Hopefully, by the Grace of God, the violence will end there. Keep in mind though that the US also assassinated the deputy-head of the Iraqi militia when they took out Soleimani, and they have promised to respond with no less severity than did Iran.

May God have mercy on us and preserve us from war.

Sermon Time

I’m sharing my Christmas Day sermon with you today. We had a big turnout at Holy Trinity on Christmas Day and my sermon was well received. Was that because it was shorter than usual, or was it because I was the only preacher in the world who began their Christmas Day message by extolling radical left-wing journalist, Caitlin Johnstone? You be the judge. Click below or find the written version here.

As you know, 2020 is a big year of change for me. In a little over a month’s time I’ll be going down to part-time work with the church of the Holy Trinity in Dulwich Hill. In April I’ll lose my position as senior parish priest. Father Hugh Isaacs will take over that position and I will continue on as his assistant, at least until the end of the year. The formal date of the hand-over will be April 19th (the Sunday after Easter).

I’d ask you to put that date in your diary now. I’d like to set that Sunday aside to celebrate with my friends and to reminisce over all we’ve achieved here over the last thirty years. It’s been an amazing ride. I suppose it couldn’t go on forever.

It’s not clear to me yet how I will support Fran and myself financially once I go down to part-time work but my hope is to use whatever extra time I have to focus on other ministry, such as our youth camps at Binacrombi and the development of our Christian-Muslim Justice League. I’m hoping to have my “Christians and Muslims can be friends” book published at about that time too, which will hopefully open up new possibilities for speaking engagements.

Another idea I’ve had is to develop a podcast/videocast that looks at current social and political issues from a Christian perspective. I managed to convince my friend and colleague, Rev. Joy Steele-Perkins, to help me put together a pilot for this. It’s a bit unpolished and it goes for a full half-hour. Even so, if you could take a quick look at it, I’d be very grateful for any feedback you can give me.

As you can see, I’ve got lots of ideas for the future. How to translate them into something that will help support Fran and myself in the days ahead remains to be seen. I’m trusting that the Good Lord has it all in hand. Keep me in your prayers though please. Keep this country in your prayers. Keep our world in your prayers. Let’s pray that 2020 will not be remembered as the year of fire but as the year we came of age – the year that we learnt to respect each other and our environment.

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.boxersforpeace.com
www.warriorweekends.com

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Merry Christmas

catching up with Father Bob
Antony Loewenstein wins the Jerusalem Peace Prize
Brian Dawe - a great comedian and committed supporter of Palestine
with Eddie Wardy on 'The Good Smoke' (Radio Skid Row)
with Albo (Australia's next Prime Minister) discussing Julian Assange
Bring Him Home! Support for Julian Assange is growing worldwide.
Luke Cornish throws his support behind Julian
Fran and I construct gingerbread houses 🙂
My darling Veronica turns 30!
My darling Veronica turns 30!
Soren gets his first tattoo!


Hi Fighter,

“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”

The quote (in case you don’t recognise it) is from Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” and is his description of Europe at the time of the French revolution.  For me it equally describes the experience of being in the middle of the Christmas rush, with all the busyness and goodwill and tinsel and chaos.

In the light of ‘the rush’, I’ll be brief, but I must ask you to pray with me for our country. We seem to be in the grip of the worst fires in recorded history!

A friend of mine is amongst the many who have lost their homes, and Bob sends me the photos from Binacrombi. It hasn’t been hit yet (thanks be to God) but the smoke is so thick there sometimes that you can’t see your hand in front of your face.

I know some scientists believe that it’s already too late to recover from global warning and that things will only get worse from here. I pray that they are wrong. I pray too for our many courageous fire-fighters, including the countless volunteers. Strengthen and protect them, O Lord!

Of course, it’s not only Australia. The whole world seems to be on fire (literally as well as figuratively). My friends in Syria are buckling in for a harsh winter without access to diesel to heat their homes (courtesy of our draconian sanctions). Meanwhile, the situation in Palestine continues to degenerate, and our dear brother, Julian Assange, continues to languish in Belmarsh Prison – paying the price for telling the truth!

Forgive me if none of this rings of Christmas Cheer. There are plenty of lights shining in the darkness. We have not given up the struggle, and I’m trusting that the New Year is going to bring with it new vigor as we continue to fight the good fight together.

If you’re in the Dulwich Hill over the next few days I can assure you too that there will be plenty of love and laughter circulating here. You would be very welcome to join in.

  • Christmas Carols on the lawn on Christmas Eve (Tuesday) from 7 pm
  • Christmas Eucharist at 9.15 am on Christmas Day (Wednesday)

And for anyone who will be themselves on Christmas Day, you are welcome to join me and my family for lunch from midday onwards. Just give me a bit of notice that you’re coming in case I need to add a few more tinnies to the fridge.

Sermon Time

Christmas, for most of us, is a time for family, which is also why there are more suicides at Christmas than any other time of year. A lot of us don’t want to be reminded of what happened to our families, and the pristine images of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus only highlight our own failings.

But not so fast! While religious art has always depicted the holy family as an image of perfection, the Gospel accounts themselves are far more realistic. The birth circumstances of Jesus are far from ideal, and with Jesus’ broader family, there were plenty of skeletons in the closet!

Take a moment to listen to Matthew’s account of Jesus family and you may find that it is not too dissimilar to your own! The written version is here.

I do pray that you have a great Christmas and New Year. A big thank you to all my faithful friends and supporters this year. 2019 has probably been the most difficult year of my life and you guys have helped me get through.

the view from Binacrombi

Like the view from my cabin at Binacrombi, it’s hard to know what lies ahead for me in 2020. Even so, I am trusting that the God who has brought me this far will both bless and protect me and my children in the year to come. I believe I still may have my best fights left in me, and I look forward to having you stand alongside me in the rounds that lie ahead.

May the Lord bless and strengthen you for the work to which you have been called.

Yours in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.boxersforpeace.com
www.warriorweekends.com

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Things have got to change

Christmas is on its way! 🙂
The numbers supporting Julian grow daily!
The numbers supporting Julian grow daily!
The numbers supporting Julian grow daily!
with Superhero, Jennifer Robinson - Julian's lawyer
Alex wins yet another Karate tournament!
Nestor fights for the title
Nestor fights for the title


Hi Fighter,

It will be a quick one today as I’m weary after another round with the Combat Sports Authority (CSA).

The CSA is the government body that oversees all combat sports, including boxing. Unfortunately, my stoush with them is a legal one. It’s over the prohibition they placed on my fight last March.

In case you don’t know the story, the CSA had approved my fight against Jason Mac Gura some weeks before it was scheduled but then reversed their decision at the last minute – issuing a probation order just an hour before I was due to go on!

They gave no reason. They communicated their decision to the promoter via an email. I tried calling them to get the decision reversed, or at least to find out what the problem was. I got nothing. Given that I had 50 supporters there, many paying upwards of $200 per ticket to watch me fight, the CSA’s action left everyone out of pocket and me without credibility. I haven’t been able to fight in my home state since!

I was hoping that today I’d have my day in court. I had taken the case to the Administrative Tribunal, rather than to the regular court, as it only costs $100 to go to the Tribunal and I simply can’t afford anything else. I had all my points prepared and I really thought I’d be able to convince the judge to order the CSA not to treat me like this again, and perhaps to even give us some compensation that I could put back into our work. Unfortunately, the CSA instead asked that the case be dismissed on a technicality. According to their legal team, if the CSA cancels my fight on LESS than 24 hours’ notice, they cannot be taken to the Tribunal. Go figure!

Anyway, the judge told them to put their dismissal case in writing and to send it to me so that I have a right of reply. Of course, I wouldn’t have a clue how to respond to this, though dismissing the case because I was NOT given any notice seems radically unjust! So … if there are any legal eagles out there who’d like to give me advice on this one, I’d love to hear from you.

Social Justice Theatre

On a brighter note, this coming Saturday – November 23rd – we’ll be holding the first of our Social Justice Theatre screenings in our church hall. Our focus this time will be on Palestine, which this week took another big hit when the US government decided that the illegal occupation of Palestinian land was no longer illegal. Again … go figure!

We’ll be screening Budrus – an award-winning feature documentary film about Palestinian community organizer, Ayed Morrar, who unites Palestinian political factions and invites Israeli supporters to join an unarmed movement to save his village of Budrus from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier.

We’ll begin with coffee and snacks at 5.30 pm and start the actual film no later than 6 pm. That will make it easy to do dinner afterwards for any who are interested. More details are on the Facebook event page (here).

If you can’t make it this week, our second screening will be a fortnight later – December 7th. I haven’t got the title for the movie that night but it will be about our brother, Julian Assange, and we’ll have Julian’s dad, John, with us for the evening.

That evening may be a big one, as support for Julian is definitely growing! I attended a meeting at the University of Technology (UTS) last Friday where Julian’s lawyer – Jennifer Robinson – was interviewed. It was a full house!

I’m not sure why we’ve had such a surge of support.  Is it because the alleged rape allegations in Sweden have finally been shown to be a ruse? Are people concerned about the inhumanity of Julian’s treatment? Has the penny finally dropped with regards to the impact it will have on humanity if everyone who reports a crime committed by someone powerful is imprisoned and tortured? Maybe it’s a combination of the above, along with a healthy respect for the importance of free speech? I’m not sure, but I am sure that support is growing, and I’m praying that it will grow into an enormous wave that will sweep across this country and bring significant change.

Put it in your diary – same time, same place.

Sermon Time

I’ve given a few sermons since my last communication. I’ve decided today to share one entitled, “Love is forever. Marriage isn’t”. This is not a commentary on my personal struggles but a reflection on Jesus’ argument with a group of religious academics about marriage and the resurrection. In the end, the dialogue isn’t really about marriage at all but about the new and beautiful future that God has planned for our world. I hope you’ll find this encouraging, whatever you are struggling with. Click below for the video, or read the written version here.

In closing, thank you for your prayers for Bob – our caretaker at Binacrombi. Our dear brother is doing much better – in body, and certainly in spirits.

It was a horrible accident. The car blew a front tire on a remote dirt road and it rolled. Tragically, Bob had the window down and his arm resting on the outside of the door, and the car rolled on to his arm! Thanks to the wonders of modern surgery, we remain hopeful that Bob will regain full use of the arm. Keep praying.

That’s all for now. I hope to see you Saturday night if you’re in the vicinity. Either way, let me know what sorts of films/subjects you think we should be covering in our future Social Justice Theatre sessions. I’d love to hear from you.

Yours in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.boxersforpeace.com
www.warriorweekends.com

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Ted Time

Free Julian Assange #bringhimhome
Free Julian Assange #bringhimhome
Privileged to give Sydney's first Ted Talk (TedX)
Privileged to give Sydney's first Ted Talk (TedX)
Privileged to give Sydney's first Ted Talk (TedX)
another birthday for our beloved Imogen ❤
another birthday for our beloved Imogen ❤
Founding the Australia Iran Friendship Association in Canberra
Soren completes his time at High School
Soren completes his time at High School
Soren completes his time at High School
my friend, Dr Tim Anderson, launches his new book
Imogen and Fran in Melbourne ❤
Imogen and Fran in Melbourne ❤
Imogen and Fran in Melbourne ❤
Imogen and Fran in Melbourne ❤
Imogen and Fran in Melbourne ❤
with Imogen on our annual Fright Night adventure on the Gold Coast
with Imogen on our annual Fright Night adventure on the Gold Coast
with Imogen on our annual Fright Night adventure on the Gold Coast


Hi Fighter,

It’s Father Dave. Forgive the long time between posts but I had two weeks’ holidays and things have been predictably hectic since I got back.

Much has happened since I last wrote. A lot of it involved me spending time relaxing with my wonderful children, but there have been other events worth sharing too:

  • I helped found the Australia Iran Friendship Association in Canberra.
  • I had a tribunal hearing in my battle with the Combat Sports Authority
  • We had an amazing meeting of Julian Assange supporters in our church hall
  • I was privileged to deliver Sydney’s first Ted Talk.

It was indeed a humbling experience to give Sydney’s first Ted Talk. I had always quietly hoped that one day I might join the ranks of TedX speakers – a group that includes Bill Clinton, Stephen Hawking, Billy Graham, Richard Dawkins and Pope Francis. Of course, I’m more comfortable being associated with some of those characters than with others. Even so, it was a great privilege.

I’m adding the TED talk below, right after the sermon. It’s had a lot of good feedback so far. I hope you like it.

As to my Tribunal hearing, it was less inspiring.

My issue with the Combat Sports Authority (CSA) is that they prohibited me from fighting on March 22nd of this year. Indeed, they cancelled my fight about an hour before it was scheduled to take place, while I was getting ready to go on!

The immediate result of that was that we didn’t raise the money for Syria that night that I’d hoped to. More serious though is that it destroyed my credibility for future events. I haven’t been able to get a fight in Sydney since!

So … I finally had my matter heard before the tribunal. I was hoping that the judge would immediately see that I’d been grievously wronged and order the CSA to give me what I’d asked for:

  1. A guarantee that the they would not arbitrarily prohibit me from fighting again
  2. A payout that would allow me to compensate all my friends who spent money on tickets that night, with something left over for Syria.

It didn’t quite go that way, with the CSA’s lawyer catching us out on technicalities. Even so, they did promise to tell me why my fight was cancelled – just not there and then.

So … the CSA is now going to write to me some time in the next two weeks and tell me what the issue was. After that we return to the Tribunal. If I do get a payout, the first thing I’ll do is restage the match we had scheduled for March and pay for the tickets for everybody who missed out the first time. 🙂

Finally, let me say a word or two about the meeting of Assange supporters that we had in our church hall this week. It was truly inspirational.

I was contacted recently by a wonderful woman named Adriana who is a lawyer and a keen supporter of Julian Assange. She asked if she and some other supporters could come and meet with me at the church. I put aside an hour last Tuesday afternoon when I knew there’d be some space in our church hall. I was initially expecting half a dozen souls to show up. Well … word evidently got out and when I turned up at the hall there were more than 50 people waiting for me!

I learnt two important lessons from that wonderful session. Firstly, there is evidently growing support for Julian and for the issues his case raises – most obviously, the importance of free speech and the need for the rich and powerful to be held accountable for their crimes. Secondly, that we need to get organised. Everybody seemed to be asking ‘what are we going to do?’ I was left wishing I had a good answer. Well … watch this space.

We will get organised, and as a first step in that direction we are scheduling more meetings – not just for supporters of Julian, but for all people in my area of Sydney who are wanting to take a stand for justice and peace. Our church will host a series of film nights on different social justice themes between now and Christmas. The goal will be to bring together persons of conscience from across our region with a view to mobilizing for social action.

The proposed dates are November 9th, November 23rd and December 7th. We will focus on Julian Assange, Palestine, and Indigenous Australia (respectively). I’ll be trying to get the Muslim community involved in this project too. Indeed, hopefully we’ll be able to consolidate our Christian-Muslim Justice League through this process. As I say … watch this space.

Oh … and if you’d like to hear what I had to say at the gathering last Tuesday, someone recorded it and published it here and here.

Sermon Time

Two Sundays back I gave a sermon that was very personal, but which I think touches an issue close to all our hearts. The subject was prayer and, more specifically, why so often our prayers seem to go unanswered. Jesus addressed this subject very directly on more than one occasion. You can hear my reflection on one of those occasions below, or click here for the written version.


Stop Press – prayer request

While preparing this post I received some distressing news about Bob Williams – my friend, and our caretaker out at Binacrombi bush camp. He had a car accident and has done some serious damage to his hand. If you know Bob, you know that he’s a rough diamond and a soul who is prone to accidents as he tends to live life on the edge. I love him dearly and ask that you’d join me in praying for his full recovery.

Further, if you’ve been thinking of spending more time out in the bush and would like to support our work at Binacrombi, now would be a good time to put your hand up. Even if Bob recovers fully, it’s going to take time and he’ll need support.

Let me know if you’d like to help out there on a weekend, or even get away from the big smoke altogether and move in there for a while. I’m not sure what the future is for our bush-camp ministry but I suspect that the Lord has someone unexpected out there that He wants to involve in this process. If that’s you, please contact me ASAP.

That’s all for now. Keep me in your prayers, please, as I do you.

Yours in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.boxersforpeace.com
www.warriorweekends.com

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

One more round

The 2-minute ice-water challenge
The 2-minute ice-water challenge
a happy Father's Day gathering 🙂
a happy Father's Day gathering 🙂
bunny
Imogen's wonderful gift
Imogen's entry in the art competition
Our Boxers for Peace Syria 2019 team reunion dinner


“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

Hi Fighter,

I remember as a young Christian – still a teenager – hearing a woman preach on these words of St Paul (reprinted above) to the church in Corinth. I remember her colloquialising Paul’s language using boxing terminology – “we are on the ropes but not on the canvas. We are down but not out!”

I don’t think the preacher knew any more about boxing than I did at the time, but I have indeed lived that experience since (both and out of the ring). What struck me as these words came to me again this week though was that the Paul used the word ‘we’ and not just ‘I’ when he spoke of his struggles. The experience of hardship and persecution is never something we go through alone. It just seems that way.

A number of us had our physical limits tested last weekend courtesy of the bush camp at Binacrombi. As ever, the Saturday involved lots of running and punching – all of which was exhausting – but all of which paled in comparison to the greater challenge of the Winter camp – the two-minute dip in the billabong.

In summer, a swim in the billabong is a great way to cool off after a hot day. In winter though it gets very cold, and two minutes submerged in its icy-cold waters can seem like an eternity. Bob (our beloved caretaker and amateur meteorologist) reported that the temperature had fallen to 15 degrees below zero overnight and that it had still been below freezing in the morning. The sun had subsequently made a timid appearance but could have made no more than a cosmetic difference.

I spent a lot of mental energy during my morning run trying to think up a worthwhile excuse as to why I couldn’t attempt the billabong challenge this time. I had a cough, after all, and didn’t want to make it worse. Besides that, I was exhausted, and thought it foolish to push my body further when I might already be at breaking-point. I imagined what my friends would say  and they were of one voice – “Don’t do it! You have nothing to prove. Set an example of common sense!”

And then some other words came into my head. I wish I could pretend that they were the words of Jesus. No, I recalled something I heard Kostya Tszyu say when he was explaining why he lost his fight against Ricky Hatton in London in 2005. Kostya said that the reason he lost that fight was because that night he hadn’t been prepared to die in the ring.

That made a lot of sense to me when I first heard it. It still does. Indeed, Kostya articulated what, for me, ring-fighting is all about. It’s a parable for all of life where you commit yourself completely – body and soul – to task at hand, whatever the cost. You can’t go in half-hearted.

I remember well the one fight I had where my heart wasn’t in it. It was my fourth fight – a kickboxing bout – against a guy named Toby. With the first kick of the fight he cracked the patella in my knee. I remember the pain shooting up my leg and my heart sinking. I just wanted to go home. Yes, I fought on for three rounds and lost on a split decision but, in truth, I lost that fight in those opening seconds.

Anyway … recalling Kostya’s words reminded me of who I am. I asked myself out loud, “are you the ‘Fighting Father’ or the ‘Frightened Father’?” Within half an hour I was charging into the freezing waters of the billabong, accompanied by the only other two warriors there who were willing to join me.

Big Max showed a lot of guts to follow me into that water and submerge himself. He only lasted about ten seconds though before charging back out. Henri stayed in with me for the full two minutes – God bless him! He was in pain, and kept cursing me for smiling at him the whole time, but he endured!

I smiled my way through it. Once I got my breathing under control, I found the experience surprisingly easy. Isn’t this always our the way? Our opponents are ferocious demigods in our imaginations. Then we absorb their punches. We survive!

All this was going through my head as I floated in the billabong on Saturday, and it emboldened me for the greater fight. For me, that greater fight is the battle for the soul of our church community.

It’s been hard to go on pastoring the church without my partner. What has made it harder still has dealing with the rumours that have been spread about me. I won’t repeat them again here. Suffice it to say that I thought people knew me better.

“Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you” (Luke 6:22). It is the words of Jesus that come to mind this time, and perhaps I should feel blessed by all this attention? I don’t. I feel like I’m struggling to stay upright – on the ropes but not on the canvas, down but not out!

So … what to do? The better angels of my nature speak with one voice – ‘Fight!’ Fight to preserve your community. Fight to maintain Holy Trinity as a place where God is truly worshipped and where all people are truly welcome.

In truth, I have always been driven by a vision of who we might become as a church. It’s a vision of a large church community made up of people from every nation, wealthy people and homeless people, people of various educational levels and differing sexual identities. All are welcome, and all are one in worship.

That vision has been driving me for the last thirty years. I’m accepting now that I won’t be around to see that vision reach its full fruition. That doesn’t matter. We are building for the future, and if we commit ourselves to the greater work, by God’s grace we will build something that will outlast us all.

I think this is something worth fighting for. How exactly we conduct the fight is not entirely clear to me yet but two things are clear. Firstly, we need to stand together if we are going to be successful. Secondly, we go one round at a time. Again, words of wisdom come to mind, this time from one of the fathers of modern boxing, ‘Gentleman’ Jim Corbett. …

“Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired that you have to shuffle back to the centre of the ring, fight one more round. When your arms are so tired that you can hardly lift your hands to come on guard, fight one more round. When your nose is bleeding and your eyes are black and you are so tired you wish your opponent would crack you one on the jaw and put you to sleep, fight one more round – remembering that the man who always fights one more round is never whipped.”

(you can download a poster I created that displays these words here)

Sermon Time

You probably feel that I’ve been doing enough sermonising in this post already, but let me my thoughts on one of Jesus’ healing miracles that we read about in the Gospel according to Saint Luke, chapter 13. It really struck me when I read this how Jesus’ opponents were never thieves or addicts but always upright religious people. How is it that religion so easily goes bad – a question as relevant for today as it ever was.

Click below for the video or access the written version of my sermon here.

I won’t take up more of your time today, fighter, except to ask you to continue to pray for me as I do for you.

I won’t take up more of your time today, fighter, except to mention that I’ve been invited to give a TEXx talk in Sydney this Friday evening. If you’d like to be a part of the audience, hit me back and I’ll let you know the details.

Please continue to pray for me as I do for you.

Yours in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.boxersforpeace.com
www.warriorweekends.com

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Feeling Weary

proudly wearing the colours of the Syrian Arab Army
taking the girls on a one-night holiday to the Blue Mountains
taking the girls on a one-night holiday to the Blue Mountains
taking the girls on a one-night holiday to the Blue Mountains
taking the girls on a one-night holiday to the Blue Mountains
taking the girls on a one-night holiday to the Blue Mountains
Imogen takes her shot at the Miss World title
Imogen enters an art competition
with my darling girls 🙂
Introducing Fran to Luna Park's Wildmouse


Hi Fighter,

It’s Father Dave, and I am feeling weary as I pen this week’s update. Energy levels ebb and flow for all of us – I know. I’m at a low energy point today.

Coming to terms with the fact that this may be my last year in parish ministry is something I’m struggling with today. It tends to be par for the course when clergy lose their family that they lose their job and home as well.  That might sound rough, but this is my second time round. I’m just thankful that I had a stay of execution after my first marriage broke down in 1991.

I’d been at Dulwich Hill for less than six months when that happened. I remember praying fervently back then that I might be given just a bit more time in the parish. I’d spent the previous ten years preparing for the opportunity and my heart’s desire was just to pour myself into the work. Well … that was almost 30 years ago, and it’s been an amazing ride. I wouldn’t swap it for anything in the world.

Where to from here? I am trusting that the Lord God has something planned for me – something that will allow me to contribute my remaining energies where they can do the most good and where I can generate enough income to support myself and my dear little one.

Of course, it’s only right that us preachers should be put to the test. We are always telling others to ‘have faith’ and ‘God will provide’. It’s one thing to say that very eloquently from the pulpit though and another thing to step forward in faith yourself. Having said that, I’ve never hesitated to step forward when it’s only my own life that’s at risk. I’ve put my body on the line plenty of times in Syria, Manus Island, in the backstreets of Sydney and in the boxing ring. Risking me is not an issue. It’s when I’m pulling others that I love along with me that it gets scary.

So, pray for me and Fran please. Pray for Ange and Soren too, and pray for our adult children – Imogen and Veronica. We need your prayer. We probably don’t need your good advice, and we definitely don’t need your judgement, but we do need your prayer. If you’re up to giving us the one without the others, thank you. And if you didn’t see last week’s letter to the parish and you’d like to see it, it’s here.

Sermon time

I preached last Sunday on the letter to the Hebrews, chapter eleven. Hebrews is not one of the church’s most loved letters and I don’t deal with it often. Even so, the great list of the heroes of the faith that the author gives us there caught my imagination, though perhaps not in the way you might have expected. Listen below or click here if you’d prefer my thoughts in writing.

Back to the bush

The timing may not be ideal but I’ve committed myself to running another ‘Warrior Weekend’ before the end of winter. That means we’re looking at August 30th to September 1st.

Are you ready to gird up your loins and head with me into the middle of nowhere for a weekend of running, fighting, immersion in icy-cold water and prayer? Who wouldn’t jump at such an opportunity?

All the details are on this flyer. Just print it off, fill it out and get it back to me. That can be as simple as taking a photo with your phone and texting it to me, and the cost for the weekend is negotiable, according to your means. Getting there is the easy part. Getting through the experience is the challenge, perhaps especially for me at the moment. Even so, I have two weeks to prepare for this mentally and physically and, in truth, I’d really enjoy your company if you can make it.

I’ll leave it there for today. May the Lord bless you and strengthen you for the work for which you have been called.

Yours in the Good Fight

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.boxersforpeace.com
www.warriorweekends.com

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four