My apologies for another prolonged silence. I’m afraid I’ve been flat out of late organising our Peace Pilgrimage to Syria. We leave next week and I wanted to invite you to our send-off BBQ this coming Sunday.
I appreciate that not everybody will be able to come but all are welcome. Unless it’s raining we’ll meet in my backyard after church.
Church starts at around 9.15, and since our house is alongside the church building I’d suggest that you join us for worship first and then just stick around (though if you want to arrive for lunch only, I’d suggest you come around noon).
All the meat will be halal and there will be no alcohol served, so whether you’re Christian or Muslim (or neither or both) you are welcome to attend the BBQ, and you’re equally welcome to join us for church too.
If you don’t know how to find Holy Trinity Dulwich Hill, click here.
Whether or not you can make it to our farewell, I’m certainly hoping that you’ll keep us in your thoughts and prayers while we’re away. The pilgrimage will take us three weeks in total. It starts in Iran and ends up in London, with Syria sandwiched in between.
The main aim of the pilgrimage is to develop a conduit into Damascus through which we can channel ongoing aid and people, such as aid workers and sporting champions – all of whom can play a vital role in the rebuilding of the country. We intend to arrive in Damascus heavy-laden with medicines that we will purchase in Tehran, and with Australian boxing champion, Sol Egberime. My hope is that Sol will be the first of many great Australian boxers who will travel to Syria to help bring hope and joy to young people across the country!
Anticipated highlights of the trip for me include:
- Catching up again with dear Mother Agnes, Mairead Maguire and other old friends.
- Seeing more wonderful grass-roots reconciliation work in action in Syria.
- Meeting up again with the Grand Mufti of Syria
- Hopefully also meeting the Archbishop of Canterbury and Julian Assange in London (though not at the same time).
- Sol and I doing some boxing bouts both in Damascus and in London.
These are some of the highlights I’m anticipating but I’m sure there will be lots of other wonderful experiences that I haven’t even dreamt of yet! It is a great privilege to make this pilgrimage and I’m hoping that there will be others like it ahead. Perhaps you’ll be able to join me on the next one?
I must also mention that I am accepting donations both towards the cost of the medicines and the overall costs of the pilgrimage. I’ll have two separate donation tins set up accordingly at the BBQ this Sunday. If you can’t make it but you’d like to contribute, please Paypal any amount to me at my regular email address – dave AT fatherdave.org (with AT replaced with an @ of course). Please specify whether you want your donation to go solely towards medicines or whether you’re leaving it to my discretion as to how the funds are distributed.
I wanted to include a sermon today that I gave earlier this year – a sermon on a text from St Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth:
Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose.” (1 Corinthians 1:11)
I was interested in this text because it occurred to me that ‘being of the same mind and same purpose’ was a good description of the Jihadist terrorists who are reeking havoc and destruction across Syria at the moment!
It raises for me the question of whether ‘unity‘ is always a good thing and how Paul might have distinguished what he meant by being ‘of one mind’ from the sort of mindless group-think that we associate with terrorist violence?
If you’re interested in exploring these issues with me, click below or access the written version of this sermon here.
and if you can’t view the video, click here
OK Fighter, I’m going to finish up here and get back to work. I’m taking off at dawn to head down to the Iranian Embassy in Canberra to finalise visas so I need to get an early night.
I’ll hope to see you this coming Sunday at the BBQ. If not, do keep me in your prayers as I do you.
Your brother in the Good Fight,