Monday Missive – November 26th, 2012

Hi Fighter!

I’ll need to be brief this week as I’m scheduled to fly to the USA tomorrow and haven’t started packing yet.

I do have four things I really want to share with you though, so I’ll try to rip through them:

  1. Saying ‘NO’ to violence against women
  2. Our Free Gaza rally
  3. The sermon on Homosexuality
  4. The Big Trip!

White Ribbon Day (say NO to violence against women)

I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to the organisers of this year’s White Ribbon Day for inviting me to speak. As a representative of both the church and the boxing community I thought I was an odd choice, as both are thoroughly patriarchal institutions that have a rather poor record with regards to the rights of women and violence respectively! Even so, it was a great privilege!

Say NO to violence against women

I’m sorry that I didn’t do a video of this address as I’m keen to help spread the word:

REAL MEN DO NOT HIT WOMEN!

You can read the written version of my address here if you’re keen.

The Free Gaza Rally

I’m even more sorry that I didn’t get a video-recording of my speech given at this rally, as the whole event was very intense and highly charged! You pick up something of that atmosphere in the Press TV report (which you can see here). You can read the transcript of my address here.

Free Gaza rally in Sydney - November 2012
(click the pic to see it full-size)

I don’t know how many thousands were at the rally but it was an amazing turnout when you consider that a ceasefire was already in place by the time we marched. You might have thought that everyone would think that the crisis was over and stay home. Not so! Most people seemed to realise that even though a ‘ceasefire’ is in place, the violence has not really stopped and will not stop until the occupation of Gaza is ended!

The State of Israel still controls all land, sea and airspace around Gaza and controls very strictly what sorts of goods and people are let in and out. In the name of preventing bomb-building materials from entering the city, all sorts of medical supplies and building materials are kept from the people of Gaza, and the densely-crowded population have to deal with enormous health and sanitation problems on a daily basis. It’s like a massive open-air prison, except that the warders all remain on the outside of the prison walls!

So the bombs and rocket-fire have stopped, but the captivity of Gaza has not stopped, which means, in a sense, that the violence continues.

If I might use an analogy from the world of pugilism, it’s as if you have two fighters, where a heavyweight has a lightweight in a headlock and is choking him. Every now and then the guy being choked starts biting at the big guy’s arm, to which the big guy responds by punching his captive in the face. A ‘ceasefire‘ in this context is where the punching and biting stops, but the violence hasn’t stopped because the little guy is still being choked, and the biting and the punching are bound to start up again soon if the big guy doesn’t ease up on the headlock!

OK, it’s a crude analogy, but that’s how I see it.

Before I move on from the rally, let me say what a privilege it was once again to speak alongside my mate, Antony Loewenstein.

Free Gaza rally in Sydney - November 2012
(click the pic to see it full-size)

There are few people in this struggle that I admire more than Antony. As a Jewish Australian committed to justice and peace, Antony is under constant attacks from both sides. There is genuine racist anti-Semitism in this country that feeds parasitically off the Palestinian cause, and Antony gets targeted by that. Conversely, he gets slander and death threats from people who see him as a traitor and ‘self-hating Jew’.

Despite all this Antony continues to stand on his convictions and speak the truth as he perceives it. Even though he’s not a religious man, I’m sure he won’t mind if you say a prayer for him!

The Sermon on Homosexuality!

I didn’t give the sermon yesterday. It was Fighting Father Keith!

Now, I’m not blaming Keith in order to avoid controversy myself (AS IF ). I think what Keith said was great! I just can’t take any credit for it.

The sermon was the first in a two-part series, and we’re going to publish the video-recording of part one very soon, but for the moment only the written version is available (click here).

I’ve asked Keith to field questions that come in on the blog, so feel free to leave your comments and questions there. Be warned though that any comments that are really nothing but personal attacks will not be published.

Now … the good news is that while there was no live video-cast of the sermon last week (due to technical problems at church.tv) this week their servers should be up and running again, which means that we should be able to bring you the sermon live on Sunday morning if you’re free!

Sadly, I won’t be free to tune in at all as I’ll be working the corner at the main event in West Virginia at about the same time that we’re starting Sunday morning worship in Sydney. Even so, for those who won’t be at the fight, tune in to church.tv at 9.15am (Sydney time) next Sunday to catch part 2 of this sermon series.

The Big Trip

God willing, I leave for the US tomorrow and will be there for just over a week.

My itinerary is looking pretty full now.

I hope to meet up with a new member of the Order (Fighting Father Ricardo) in LA before heading to the East Coast. I’ll then hopefully catch up with friends and battlefields in Gettysburg before heading to the fight venue in West Virginia.

Sol Egberime vs Paul Spadafora
(click the pic to get details of the event)

The fight is the reason I’m there of course and I hope to be of genuine service to our boy, Sol Egberime. Despite being the underdog in this event, I know that he will put on a great performance and I look forward to telling you all about it in my missive next Monday.

I’m also looking forward to meeting Paul Spadafora and his team after the fight. I hope I’ll get a chance to meet up with Roy Jones Jr too, as he’s promoting the event.

From West Virginia I’ll be doing about 10 hours driving further West to meet up with Fighting Father Rob Burgess and my old friend Father Iovane of the Community of St John – both now based near Chicago.

I’ll start to bore you if I go into any more detail but it’s all very exciting for me of course.

OK. I’d better go and start packing! Say a prayer for me!

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

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave

dave@fatherdave.org
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.how2changetheworld.com

P.S. As I’m apt to remind you, if you’d like to support our work, the best way is to become a financial member at fighting-fathers.com. It only costs you $10/month but it makes all the difference at this end!

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Monday Missive – November 19th, 2012

Hi Fighter!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been less than a week since the latest assault by the IDF on Gaza. There has been so much death and destruction in the last few days! I’m afraid that it’s going to be difficult for me to talk about much else in my missive this week.

The Assault on Gaza

I appreciate that I will have already alienated a lot of my readers by speaking of the ‘assault on Gaza’ when the official narrative says that it is not an assault but a war. I’m sorry. I can’t use that language.

I appreciate that there are casualties on both sides of this conflict, and indeed I grieve for the Israeli dead as I do for the Palestinian dead, but a war suggests that there are two armies involved in this conflict. There are not two armies. There is one army. It is a highly-trained and well-equipped army. Fighting this army are disparate groups of home-grown militia-men.

If you think I’m being outrageous, let me quote from the great Noam Chomsky:

Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely-crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, mosques, and slums to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command in control, no army … and calls it a war. It is not a war, it is murder.

When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing. You can’t defend yourself when you’re militarily occupying someone else’s land. (see Chomsky’s full statement here).

Chomsky’s last point is important too. Defending yourself is not always an act of self-defense! If a thug attacks an old woman in the street and she fends him off with her umbrella, the thug might indeed have to defend himself against the blows of the umbrella, but this would not make his assault an act of self-defense.

Don’t misunderstand me: I do not approve of the fact that the people of Gaza are firing rockets into Israel. I pray to God that they will show restraint and recognise the futility of retaliating in this way. Further, I am not anti-Israel and do not want to see the country wiped off the map or anything of the sort. But that is not what this latest outbreak of violence is about. What it’s about, I believe, is politics. Specifically, I believe it’s about the Israeli Prime Minister ensuring his victory at the polls in the forthcoming Israeli elections.

Am I being overly cynical? Read Uri Avnery’s analysis (former member of the Israeli parliament).

While you’re at it, you might appreciate a few other choice articles and videos that depart from the official narrative:

I include this last link as a reminder that this violence is not about race or religion. The problem is not the Jews or the Muslims or the Christians or the Arabs or the Palestinians or any particular racial or religious group. The problem is (as always) politics, greed, and the lust for power!

Pray for Peace!

And don’t simply Pray for Peace. Pray for Peace with Justice – the only kind of peace that can last.

And don’t simply Pray. Protest!

There is a wonderfully long list of protest rallies that are taking place around the world listed on the Facebook page of the Palestine Action Group of Sydney.

There’s a Sydney rally listed there for this coming Saturday. Perhaps I’ll see you there?

Heading to the USA

Thanks be to God, I am now booked to fly to the USA next week to support by dear brother and Holy Trinity parishioner, Solomon Egberime, in his fight against Paul Spadafora on December 1st.

The fight has evidently been generating a lot of interest. I did a quick Google search on ‘Egberime v Spadafora’ and got more than 22,000 results, including this press release from Roy Jones Jr.!

Egberime v Spadafora

I have had the privilege of being in Sol’s corner for each of his fights since 2008, but this is certainly the most significant one to date. I know I carry the hopes and prayers of our parish and suburb and country with me as I go to support our Nigerian-Australian brother.

Of course, I am also hoping to catch up with as many of my American friends and supporters as possible while I am in the US. My itinerary has not been finalised but my current plans are to:

  • Leave Sydney on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 27th
  • Arrive in Los Angeles about six hours before I left (go figure) !
  • Fly to Washington D.C. the same evening (November 27)
  • Drive from Washington to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on November 28
  • Drive from Gettysburg to the fight venue in Chester, West Virginia on November 30
  • Drive to the monastery in Princeville, Illinois on December 3rd
  • Fly out from Chicago airport on December 5th (landing in Sydney December 7th)

As I say, none of this has been finalised as yet, though the flights (and the fight) are fixed. Certainly I’ll be looking for someone to share lunch with in LA on November 27, though I suppose I can make a day-trip to Hollywood if I don’t get a better offer!

My itinerary from Washington D.C. to Chicago is flexible, apart from the fight. I do hope to take some time to re-visit some of my favourite US Civil War battlefields, but I won’t let that take priority over meeting up with new members of the Order of the Fighting Fathers should there be opportunity.

Congratulations and Thanks

Let me say a big thank you to everyone who turned out to support the team from Holy Trinity Gym last Friday night at our charity boxing night.

  • Fighting Father Caine put in a strong performance to win his bout quite decisively.
  • Kath Biggs also put in a brilliant performance but lost a narrow points decision.
  • I likewise lost my bout in a points decision to Fighting Father Rod.

Mine was a bit of a surprise. I thought I’d done enough to win but the judges thought otherwise. This was sort of fitting though as in my last fight against Rod I thought he’d won but the judges scored it my way!

As I always say, you can’t control the judges decision. All you can control is how much effort you put in, and I can assure you that both Rod and Caine and Kath and I all put in 100%. Congratulations to everyone who had the courage to step in the ring on that night!

Holy Trinity Gym
(click on the pic to see it full-size)

And while I’m congratulating people, let me extend my congratulations to my dear brothers and sisters of the Passionist Order who celebrated 125 years of ministry in our area on the weekend.

Ange and I had the privilege of attending a fantastic celebratory Mass at St Brigid’s church in Marrickville. I know that our Catholic brothers and sisters in this country are facing some serious challenges at the moment, but this just made the celebration all the more wonderful to me. In the midst of adversity we celebrated the goodness of God and all the good things that the Passionist Fathers have brought to our region and our country.

God’s blessing to all our Passionist sisters and brothers, and a special congratulations to Father John (pictured on my left) for staging Saturday’s celebration.

125 years of the Passionist Fathers in Marrickville
(click on the pic to see it full-size)

And before I let you go I must apologise to you if you’ve been trying to catch the live video-cast of our service here at Holy Trinity.

We have been trying to stream our worship services to you each week but unfortunately the church.tv server has crashed and it’s taking them some time to put their network back together!

This Sunday coming Dr Keith Mascord is giving the first of a two-part sermon series on homosexuality, and I’m sure that many of you would have been keen to join us for the video-cast. Be assured that if church.tv can’t manage the live broadcast we will be recording the sermon anyway and will post it to YouTube as soon as possible.

Unfortunately my Sunday sermon from yesterday was recorded by neither video nor audio device, though you can read the written version here if you’re keen.

My text from the Gospel of Mark is about war and destruction in Israel, so you won’t be surprised to find more than one reference to Gaza in the sermon. In truth, it’s been difficult for me to think about much else of late. My heart bleeds for all who are caught up in the bloodshed.

That’s enough for this week.

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

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
dave@fatherdave.org
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.how2changetheworld.com

P.S. As I’m apt to remind you, if you’d like to support our work, the best way is to become a financial member at fighting-fathers.com. It only costs you $10/month but it makes all the difference at this end!

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Monday Missive – November 12th, 2012

Hi Fighter!

You’ll have to forgive me if it’s a rather bare-knuckle missive this week – no pics, no videos, nothing fancy. I’m afraid it’s been that sort of week for me – a bare-knuckle bash!.

There hasn’t been any literal violence. It’s been more of a spiritual stoush.

Mind you, I did fear that some real blows were going to be thrown a few days back when Judas (whom I mentioned last week) showed up again at our Youth Centre.

I must tell you about it as it ended up being almost humorous (in a tragic kind of way).

Racism in the Youth Centre?

Our boy is now wanted by the police for a number of incidents (and suspected of a number more) and I have banned him from the premises of our Youth Centre for the most obvious of reasons. He compromises the safety of the other children!

I confronted him as soon as I saw him enter the premises and asked him to leave. He wanted to argue his case with me, claiming:

  1. That he had smoothed over all issues with the police and that they were now not charging him with anything (which I knew was garbage).

  2. That since he hadn’t actually assaulted anybody on our premises (yet), none of his acts of violence and intimidation should affect his standing with the Youth Centre.

  3. That I had no right to ban him from our premises because the Youth Centre belonged to the church as a whole and that therefore only the congregation as a whole could ban him!

You have to give this guy points for ingenuity!

Of course my response was that his issues with the police were not resolved, that I didn’t care where his crimes had been committed, and that as far as he was concerned I was the church.

At this point Judas dug down deep and came out with what he considered to be the verbal equivalent of a knock-out punch. You’re being RACIST!” he cried.

I have seen this trump card played so many times now and yet it never ceases to amaze me that these kids seem to expect me to take them seriously when they play it!

I still remember one of the girls we banned, walking out of the Youth Centre with one fist held defiantly in the air, crying STAY BLACK!”

The girl in question had been involved in numerous thefts and assaults and had just stolen a brand new motor-bike from one of our Youth Centre staff ! I’m still scratching my head trying to work out how she construed that our taking exception to her actions had anything to do with the colour of her skin!

In the case of young Judas, I think his parents are Egyptian. The kids he’s been beating up on are Islander kids, and (for what it’s worth) they are certainly ‘blacker’ than he is. Playing the race card just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me in this context!

Anyway, in terms of my bare-knuckle week, this was more like the comedy relief than a stoush. The real battle-front was at Binacrombi.

For your Prayers

I don’t know if this is your experience, but I find that whenever I attempt something creative that could really make a difference, everything always starts going wrong!

I know that some people will think me superstitious but I believe there’s a spiritual dimension to this sort of thing. If you make a direct assault on an enemy stronghold, you get resistance!

The ‘assault’ was in terms of a decision we made last week to launch a series of youth camps down at Binacrombi in 2013. The ‘Fighting Fathers Warrior Weekends’ will combine fitness workouts, boxing training and spiritual reflection. We’ll be calling on some of Australia’s greatest boxers to help us lead the camps – men who will not only be able to impart their pugilistic expertise to their young charges but who will also function as mentors and role-models. We’ll draw our clients from boxing clubs, youth centres, refuges and anywhere else we can find young people who need inspiration and direction.

The vision has been taking form for a while. Last week I spent a night at Binacrombi talking it through with Fighting Father Geoff (our onsite manager). We committed ourselves to the project and to a timeline. Within days we’d taken so many hits that we were tempted to throw in the towel!

I won’t go into all the details, but the culminating blow was when Geoff and Laura had a vehicle accident that could have been very serious!

Oil slicks on dirt roads are tricky at the best of times. When you hit one just after a rain-storm has started there is little you can do to maintain control of the vehicle. Thanks be to God that Geoff and Laura avoided going off the side of the ravine where they were.

The vehicle isn’t in great condition. Geoff and Laura were shaken but not disheartened!
As we say in the game, they were down but not out!

I would appreciate your prayers for both Geoff and Laura and for the Warrior Weekend program of 2013. The time has come for us to offer Australian youth a real alternative to the culture of reality TV and virtual violence! Let’s get our young people back to basics, back to nature, and back to building real relationships with real men and women!

OK … I’ll get down from my pulpit. You get the idea. The bottom line is that we are not going to step back from this one. We’ve got a great team and a great venue and it’s time to do something great together – something that we can all be proud of!

Prayers for Peace

Of course ours battles at Binacrombi are only small skirmishes in a much larger theatre of hostilities. I’m conscious of the fact that the US elections have been the focus of attention for most of the world in this last week.

I confess that I am glad to see Mr Obama back for another term. That’s not because I think he’s the Messiah. Indeed, for all I know my Republican friends may be right and he may be the man to bankrupt the US economy. Even so, I believe that he’s also less likely to lead us into World War III. Indeed, I think Uri Avnery is entirely correct when he says that Obama’s re-election means that any plans for an Israeli attack on Iran are off the table, and this is something to be thankful for!

I appreciate that we don’t all see eye-to-eye on these matters of course, and I’ve been encouraged to see some healthy debate on the forum of late. Please keep the discussion going!

Pray for me!

And put in a prayer for me as I take on the formidable Fighting Father Rod Walker at the Randwick Labor Club this Friday night. I’m not asking that you pray for me to win but just that we both perform to the best of our ability and that we don’t do too much damage to each other!

It’s a rematch! If you missed the original stoush you can see it here.

Rod is a great man and a great man of faith and, in truth, I’d sooner lose a bout to Rod than to anybody else I can think of. Even so, I’m planning on coming home with another win, but I know it won’t come easily.

If you’d like to join us, the show starts at 7pm, and Fighting Fathers Caine and Mungo and Kath will be performing as well as myself and Rod. The address is 135 Alison Road, Randwick. Tickets are $40, with all proceeds go to support the Urban Compassion project of Hope Street Baptist Church.

Heading to America

My plans for a trip to the USA to support our friend and parishioner, Sol Egberime, in his fight against Paul Spodafora are slowly coming together.

At present I’m thinking to arrive in Washington D.C. on Tuesday 27th November and leaving (probably from Chicago) on Wednesday December 5th.

These plans are tentative and open to change. I’m hoping to touch base with as many friends and subscribers as possible in my brief sojourn this time, while hopefully indulging myself with a few visits to US Civil War battlefields (a passion of mine that not everybody may be familiar with).

Anyway, hit me back if you think I’ll be coming through your area, and be assured that I don’t mind taking a hefty detour for a good home-cooked meal!

OK. That’s enough bare-knuckle brutality for one week!

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

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
dave@fatherdave.org

www.fatherdave.org

www.fighting-fathers.com

www.how2changetheworld.com

P.S. As I’m apt to remind you, if you’d like to support our work, the best way is to become a financial member at fighting-fathers.com. It only costs you $10/month but it makes all the difference at this end!

P.P.S. A big apology to everybody who tried to join us for our worship service last Sunday on church.tv. Apparently the church.tv servers in the US went down just at the time we began. We’ll be back on the air next Sunday at 9.15am (Sydney time). Take out a free membership at church.tv if you want to join in.

 

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Monday Missive – November 5th, 2012

Hi Fighter!

I hope you’ve had a good week.

Mine has been a roller-coaster, and the ride hasn’t stopped yet!

I could do with your prayers this week – especially for our Youth Centre.

Postition Vacant!

We had some violence issues over the last week, and the unfortunate result was that one of our Youth Workers threw in the towel. He resigned on the spot. He’d had enough!

I won’t mention the name of our beloved brother who quit and I won’t mention the name of the boy who has been causing all the trouble, but I will say that our brother was no novice. He’s been a part of our staff for three years now and has had a wonderful record of service to our young people.

The situation deserves careful analysis, and I’ll share some of the facts with you here so that you can pass on any wisdom you might have. I’ll refer to the trouble-maker as ‘Judas’.

  • Judas and his brothers have been a part of our Youth Centre for many years
  • Judas is only 17 but he’s of immense stature. He’s over 6 foot and at least 100kg.
  • He’s never been difficult but lately he’s been increasingly loud and aggressive.
  • He’s been driving various cars around and seems to have money (but no job)!
  • Apparently his mother has left his father and that he has moved out of the house.
  • He’s living on the streets and spending time with some very shady characters.

This gives you the background to a series of incidents, the latest of which saw Judas thump another local boy, claiming that the boy owed him money! It was done in public. Everybody witnessed it. Our Youth Worker took the victim down to the police station so that he could make a statement. The result was that Judas targeted the Youth Worker and blamed him for ‘snitching‘!

That’s it in brief. I’m sure you can fill in the blanks yourself. I confronted the boy when I found him and gave him a stern, fatherly talking-to. I also promised to support him if he went to the police himself and took some initiative in resolving his issues. My fatherly wisdom accomplished absolutely nothing! He was back the next day shouting, threatening, and carrying on, and when the police arrived he jumped the fence and took off!

The most disappointing aspect of the whole saga has been how the majority of our Youth Centre kids sided with Judas against our worker. That would make me want to throw in the towell too!

I asked our brother why he thought this boy was so popular. He said it’s probably because he’s big! I guess that makes sense. The Bible says that Saul was chosen as king of Israel because he stood a head taller than everybody else (1 Samuel 9:2). It’s all very primitive of course and, as King Saul’s record demonstrated, physical size is rarely a good indicator of leadership ability.

Anyway, that’s been one of the biggest downward dips in my roller-coaster ride this last week though of course there were some positives that came out of it. It gave Fighting Fathers Jim and Denning a chance to show their metal once again, for instance. They filled the breach and did a great job of maintaining equilibrium when things were chaotic.

Of course the ride hasn’t stopped yet. I’ll be putting in the hours at the Youth Centre myself for the next few weeks, alongside Fighting Father Caine, and we’ll be working closely with the police to try to resolve these issues and ensure that our Youth Centre remains a safe place for all local kids.

This also means that we’re looking for a new Youth Worker!

I’m guessing that few who read this will suddenly feel a need to send in their resumes. Even so, I’m sure that the Lord will stir up someone and send them to us. Could that someone be you?

A great time at the Imam Husain Centre!

I had a wonderful time at the Imam Husain Islamic Centre yesterday! All the members of our church community were invited to an open day there yesterday, with a free BBQ, jumping-castle for the kids, etc. I enjoyed some wonderful food and caught up with many good friends!

Open Day at the Imam Husain Islamic Centre

The girl on my left (your right) is Sister Feruzan. She has been de-facto Sheikh down there since dear Sheikh Mansour was taken from us two year ago. The guy on my right (your left) is Brother Muzaffar – the Syrian brother who first made me aware of what was really going on in Homs! Click the pic to go full-size.

Now, I know that every time I talk about my Islamic friends I get a plethora of emails telling me what Muslims are really like and why they can’t be trusted. While I appreciate the genuine concern behind such emails I do find that all those who warn me about the evils of Islam generally have one thing in common – none of them have ever sat down and shared a meal with a Muslim person!

This for me is the key! Sit down and break bread with your Muslim sisters and brothers. You’ll be amazed at how radically this can change your perceptions!

Egberime vs. Spodafora

Let me share another one of my recent high-points with you. It has to do with our dear brother Solomon Egberime, who flies off to Las Vegas tomorrow to prepare for his fight against Paul Spodafora on December 1. The pic was taken during our service yesterday, shortly after we’d said some prayers for Sol.

Sol Egberime heads to the USA

The story I wanted to share regards an email I received from Paul Spodafora’s attorney!

Now … if you know me well at all you know that I don’t generally react well when I receive a letter from a lawyer or a legal firm, most especially when the letter begins by drawing attention to things I’ve been saying on my websites!

In this case though the letter was entirely positive! Spodafora’s attorney was encouraged by what I’d written and wanted to extend his hand in friendship! He also offered to assist in helping me get to the US for the fight! In short, I’m mightily impressed with Team Spodafora, and the quality of the team generally reflects the quality of the main man, so I’m very much looking forward to meeting him too!

Mind you, our friendships will most likely be developed over drinks that take place on the other side of the big fight. Right now our focus is on the stoush, and Team Egberime is going to the US in order to win!

Sol and I went on a final half-marathon run together today. I confess that I failed to make the distance this week and had to walk the last 3 kilometers. Even so, as Sol and I walked and talked it was clear to me that he is mentally ready for this event, and with a few weeks of training in Vegas he should be physically ready too.

Make no mistake – Sol will fight like his life depends on it! He will give this fight his all. We know that he is fighting a worthy and capable opponent with forty-six wins and zero losses, but we are confident!

Travelling to the USA

I haven’t finalised any travel arrangements to the US yet myself, but I have received some lovely invitations already from friends and subscribers in the US. One that came in today was from my dear friend Father Iovane from the Community of St John. The Community of St John is the Catholic Order to which Father Elias belongs.

If you don’t know who Elias or Iovane or the Community of St John are you’re probably getting a bit confused by now, so let me explain:

Elias joined us here at Holy Trinity in 2007 and stayed with us for 18 months. The Community of St John sent him over here so that he could work on his boxing! If that all sounds a bit crazy, you can read one of the stories that was written about the two of us and appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald (just click the pic to go full-size).

Sparring Padres

I met Iovane through Elias, and last thing I heard he was running a mission in Addis Ababa (in Ethiopia). He’s now apparently in Chicago, and no doubt doing some cutting-edge work with young people there! He wants me to come and see their work first-hand, and I’m very keen to do so!

Anyway, I’ll be finalising my own travel plans over the next few weeks so please, if you’d like to touch base with me while I’m in the US later this month and early December, let me know now!

Join us for Worship this Sunday!

Let me conclude this week’s missive with an invitation to join us next Sunday morning for worship!

If you’re not in the Dulwich Hill area it matters little. The bulk of the service will be videocast live from 9.15am, Sydney time, on church.tv as we’ve been doing successfully for quite a few weeks now.

Indeed, I believe the quality of our broadcasts is getting better and better. We finally had the sound working properly yesterday, which meant that my controversial sermon on the Book of Ruth would have been easy to hear even if it wasn’t easy to take!

Anyway … the reason I’m suggesting that you make a special effort to join us this week is because we have a guest preacher joining us – Father Elias!

Father Elias will be joining us directly from Utrecht in the Netherlands via the miracle of Skype! How we’re going to get the Skype broadcast fed directly to the church.tv feed I’m not sure at this stage, but Fighting Father Jim is working on it!

Father Elias was arguably the greatest preacher we’ve ever had in our church, so I trust we’ll be able to work out the technology side so that everyone can benefit from his wisdom. Just sign up for a free account at church.tv and visit timeanddate.com if you’re not sure how 9.15am Sydney time translates in your part of the world.

As to yesterday’s offering on Ruth, I wasn’t sure whether to entitle my sermon:

  • “Ruth – a Prostitute for God?” or
  • “Ruth – the Hot and the Holy!”

Either way, you can hear the podcast here or read the written version here if you’re interested.

That’s plenty for this week!

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

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
dave@fatherdave.org

www.fatherdave.org

www.fighting-fathers.com

www.how2changetheworld.com

P.S. As I’m apt to remind you, if you’d like to support our work, the best way is to become a financial member at fighting-fathers.com. It only costs you $10/month but it makes all the difference at this end!

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four