Weekly Missive – August 1st, 2013

G’day Fighter,

Let me begin today with a big thank you to everyone who responded to my job offer last week. Thank you for the emails. Thank you for the phone calls. Thank you for the prayers.

It was wonderful to have people making contact from around the globe, ready to make the big trip down-under. Serendipitously, I think we may have found the persons we are looking for much closer to home.

Having said that, this is an ongoing and expanding work and we are always going to be looking for new players on this team. If you’re interested in the work we do with young people and/or our activities in the bush, come and spend some time with us here.

Spend your next holiday break doing a Fighting Fathers apprenticeship! :-)

Thank you Bourke Street Bakery

Bourke Street Bakery, Kings Cross

Bourke Street Bakery, Kings Cross

A big thank you to Dave and all the team at Bourke Street Bakery for the fundraiser last Saturday night. These people donated their time, their restaurant and all the food to raise $3,650 towards our Youth Centre rebuild.

As I said on the night, with most of the businesses who support us there is some degree of reciprocity in the relationship. They support us financially and support their club or business by promoting their work or attending their events. In the case of Bourke Street Bakery, we give these people absolutely nothing, and yet they continue to support us!

with Will of the Bourke Street Bakery team

with Will of the Bourke Street Bakery team

They have been providing our Youth Centre kids with their left-over gourmet breads and pastries on a daily basis now for some years, and when our doors closed (or, rather, were burnt down) they found another way to support us! So … if you’re in Sydney, here is their website with the location of all their branches. Go and buy a loaf of bread from them and say ‘thank you’ from Father Dave’.

The Grand Reopening of the Youth Centre!

And speaking of the Youth Centre, this Sunday is the date of our grand re-opening! :-)

No, we haven’t built a new youth and community centre yet but what we have done is team up with the Salvo’s to launch an exciting new joint venture!

Captain Tara has named the venture “Alive and Free” and that captures something of the vision and energy that she and her husband, Captain Peter, are putting into the project. She’s also put together a poster that you can access here.

In terms of content, we will basically be returning to our familiar routine:

  • ·Youth drop-in Monday to Friday, 3pm to 6pm
  • ·Boxing training, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6.30pm and Sundays from 4pm
  • ·Sunday night prayer and worship to follow the boxing on Sundays

Actually, the Sunday night worship is something that we haven’t been doing in recent times, and the energy for this is again coming from our Salvo friends. Personally, I have always found prayer and pugilism to be a perfect partnership!

Anyway, it all starts this Sunday with doors opening at midday. There will be music and a BBQ and 2nd-hand clothing stalls and all sorts of good fun! The address is 46 Dulwich Street, Dulwich Hill (right on the corner of Marrickville Road and New Canterbury Roads).

I’ll be taking my gloves and am happy to do a couple of rounds with anyone who is willing to make a donation to the cause! I’ve already had a few challenges and, while I’m not in tip-top condition at the moment, I’m trusting that the occasion will nonetheless prove to be a fitting baptism for the new boxing ring!

putting together the new ring

Thanks to Matt and Suhail for all the help in putting this together!

Captains Peter and Tara and I celebrate the new ring!

Captains Peter and Tara and I celebrate the new ring!

Is God Incomprehensible and Irrelevant?

I want to share my Trinity Sunday address with you today – my sermon on the doctrine of the Trinity.

I appreciate that Trinity Sunday was some time ago, and I appreciate, moreover, that a sermon on the doctrine of the Trinity was probably not something you were looking for. After all, whether you are an orthodox Christian believer or not, what has the doctrine of the Trinity got to do with anything?

Big things are happening in our world at the moment:

  • Bradley Manning is being crucified for exposing US crimes
  • Israelis and Palestinians seem to be about to begin real negotiations.
  • The death toll in Syria has topped 100,000

What has the doctrine of the Trinity got to do with any of this?

Well … in my view the connections might be far more tangible than we might have thought.   Click below and get my take on the subject, if you dare!

[imaioVideo v=1]

And if you can’t view this video click here.

That’s enough from me for this week, fighter, though I’m sure you won’t mind if I share another family pic with you before I let you go. 

In the last few missives I’ve included pics of my son, Soren Lee, and my 15-year-old daughter, Imogen. It’s about time I added one of ‘the baby’ – Francesca – now 4 years old!

Baby and me

I’ll hope to see you at the re-opening of the Youth Centre on Sunday.

Until then I remain …

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.zerocostwebsite.net
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.how2changetheworld.com

P.S. And 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

Weekly Missive – July 25th, 2013

G’day Fighter,

You’ll have to forgive me if this week’s missive reads more like a ‘positions vacant‘ ad, but we need some help over here at Fighting Fathers Headquarters and I’ve decided to put out a world-wide appeal.

Position(s) Vacant

The Good Lord has somebody in mind for this position, I am sure. Maybe they’re here in Sydney? Maybe they’re currently in Alaska or Damascus or El Salvador? I’ve got no idea, but if you’re in the mood for an adventure and you fit the criteria, it could be you!

The criteria are three:

  • You must love teenagers
  • You must be no lover of money
  • You have to be be a little bit crazy! 

Those are the primary requirements anyway. Being a champion boxer and having an excellent know-how with machinery would also be valuable assets, but are not essential.

In truth, there are actually three jobs, and they could be handled by three separate people (or even more) but they could also resolve into one full-time position too.

  1. We are re-opening Trinity’s Youth Centre in two weekend’s time. We’ll be sharing a space with our good friends of the Salvation Army of Dulwich Hill. We are going to need an extra youth worker to do between 15 and 20 hours per week.
    .
  2. Our brother Geoff is finishing up at Binacrombi Bush Camp in the next two weeks.  We are looking for people who are capable of being team-leaders in helping to manage the site over the weekends (Friday arvo to Sunday arvo). If we can find enough leaders, no one person will need to do more than one weekend per month.
    .
  3. We need someone to coordinate camps at Binacrombi for kids from Trinity’s Youth Centre. These are our Warrior Weekends, and we are looking to run at least one every few months at the moment.

As I say, these roles could be filled by three or more persons, but they could also become a full-time job for one person.

Binacrombi Boot Camp II

We need you! Come and help us!

Interested? Email me, phone me, or leave an expression of interest as a blog comment. Either way, I will get back to you.

Join us for Dinner this Saturday

This Saturday night, in case you’ve forgotten, you’re invited to a fundraiser dinner for the rebuilding of our church hall/youth centre/boxing gym.

The dinner is being organised and hosted by our friends from the Bourke Street Bakery – a tremendous group who have been supporting our youth work by providing our kids with their daily leftovers (of first-class breads and pastries) for a number of years. And now they want to help us rebuild! :-)

The details are on the flyer below (click to enlarge) but I’ll mention them here anyway:

  • Saturday, July 27th
  • 46a Macleay Street, Potts Point (enter via Crick Avenue)
  • cost = $100 (and includes wine!)
  • Call (02) 9569-3225 to book

Holy Trinity Invite

A Different Take on a Familiar Story?

It’s high time I shared another sermon with you in my weekly missives, and this week I thought I’d go with my recent sermon on ‘The Good Samaritan’.

I suspect that even my non-Christian readers will be familiar with the story. It’s one of Jesus’ most well-known parables. A man gets beaten up by thieves and is left at the side of the road for dead. Various religious figures see him there and do nothing. Eventually he gets help from an unlikely figure – a stranger from a different race and religion.

That’s the story in outline, and generally we take from this that the ‘Good Samaritan‘ is an example of how we ought to live – showing compassion to the bruised and bleeding.

I don’t doubt that the Samaritan in the story is a good example, but I don’t think this was the main thing Jesus was hoping to communicate through the story. Click the video below if you want to hear my thoughts on the subject, and leave your comments at the end. Let me know you’re take on the story.  If you prefer the written version to the video, it’s here.

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If you can’t view this video, click here.

That will do for this week, fighter, though I trust you won’t mind if I share another family photo with you this week before I go.

Imogen Angela Smith

That’s my 15-year-old daughter, Imogen, who is generally much more interested in drawing pictures than having them taken.

I couldn’t believe it was her when I first saw this photo. It seems like only yesterday that … (add typical dad-type reminiscences here …).

Thanks to John Clutterbuck who offered to create a portfolio for her at no charge. You can see more of his work on the Getty Images site.  And if you want to see some of Imogen’s wonderful drawing, you’ll find her site here.

OK.

I’ll hope to see you Saturday night at the fundraiser dinner.

Until then, I remain …

Your brother in the Good Fight.

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.zerocostwebsite.net
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.how2changetheworld.com

P.S. And 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

Weekly Missive – July 11th, 2013

G’day Fighter,

Father Dave here after a fantastic week where I got to meet two of my heroes! :-)

Yes, there they are below: Dr Chandra Muzaffar and George Galloway!

Dr Chandra Muzaffar

Dr Chandra Muzaffar

George Galloway

George Galloway

I met up with Chandra last Tuesday in his offices in Kuala Lumper.

Denning and I were there as a part of Mother Agnes’ team – giving her whatever support we could as she spoke about the Syrian crisis to Malaysian politicians and a slew of foreign ambassadors.

Dr Muzaffar had organised a forum of over 100 people to come and dialogue with Mother Agnes and it was a magnificent event! :-)

with the under-secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs in Malaysia

Malaysian Department of Foreign Affairs

with the he JUST team in Kuala Lumper

with the he JUST team in Kuala Lumper

We got back on the Thursday and George Galloway’s meeting at the Town Hall happened that same night!

For those who missed the event, you really missed out! It was more like a rock concert than a political gathering.

George evidently has an enormous fan-base in Sydney, most especially amongst Shi’ite Muslims. The fact that we managed to fill the Sydney Town Hall when the meeting was only organised 6 days earlier, with (almost) everyone there paying at least $30/ticket, was an outstanding testimony to George’s profile and popularity.

On Friday morning I was deeply privileged to have George drop by for coffee. I invited about a dozen local activists to come and join us. We had a fantastic time!

Ange with George Galloway and Gayatri

Ange with George Galloway and Gayatri

2013 - with George Galloway

walking the streets of Dulwich Hill!

I feel I’ve had a week of unparalleled learning as I’ve tried to suck up every word or wisdom and insight that has been shared with me from each of these great men.

I’ll record only one insight from each of them here, though I can think of many.

The first was Dr Chandra Muzaffar telling me about the work of his organisation, JUST (The International Movement for a Just World).

Chandra has been running JUST now for more than 20 years now and its focus is solely on issues of global hegemony. This seems to me to be potentially the most frustrating and unrewarding work that anybody could choose to devote their life to. How could you ever be sure that you were seeing results for your efforts? :-0

Even so, Chandra told me emphatically “We endorse no political party of ideology. We simply critique global power structures with spiritual values and shared wisdom”

That statement impressed me deeply. Here was a man who was happy to forego short-term results for the sake of maintaining the integrity of his mission!

The other most memorable statement for me was from George.  I asked him (in the interview that’s featured below) how he, as a politician, managed to always speak from the heart. Every politician I know tailors what they say to fit in with what they think their voters and/or sponsors want to hear. George’s answer was as simple as it was profound. “I have no power so there is nothing they can take from me”.

On reflection I realised that the wisdom of both these men was as one, and the message to me was clear: Maintain your integrity above all else! Don’t look for short-term results but stick to what you know to be true! Amen!

Other News

I’ll try to be brief but let me throw a few other things your way today:

  • Last week I mentioned that I was looking to sell off some websites that I can’t manage any more. A few people have expressed interest. The sites (and there are around 20 of them) are in the areas of drug addiction, child custody and speed reading. If others are interested, contact me soon before I make any final decisions.
  • We are looking to finalise our teams to manage weekends at our bush camp, Binacrombi. A goodly number of people have responded and we’re currently organising training for the teams. Get back to me ASAP if you’re interested.
  • We are planning to re-open our Youth Centre very soon in an exciting joint venture with the Salvation Army. Unfortunately we’ve had to push back the launch date to August 4th. Never mind. All the greater opportunity to plan a truly dynamic celebration! Let me know if you’d like to contribute. :-)
  • Our friends at Bourke Street Bakery are putting on a fundraiser for us on Saturday, July 27th. You can see the flyer with all the details here. In truth, I am deeply grateful to these good people and I know that they will put on a wonderful feast. Please consider joining us if you are able.

Holy Trinity Invite

And now for the videos …

As I said, it was a very special week for me, getting to meet two of my heroes. In truth, I fear I’m running out of heroes to meet! There’s still Julian Assange, of course, but apart from him and Johnny Rotten, Ive just about exhausted my list of heroes that I haven’t yet met! 

I’ll let the great men now speak for themselves. Please leave your comments at the end of the blog post.

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If you can’t view this video, click here

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If you can’t view this video, click here

In conclusion …

That’s enough for this week.

I’ll leave you with a  closing picture of my son, Soren, showing off a praying mantis that he found in our back yard last Sunday.

Soren Lee Smith

Soren finds a new friend

I’ll look forward to engaging with you again next week if I don’t hear from you before then.

Until then I remain …

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.zerocostwebsite.net
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.how2changetheworld.com

P.S. And 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