Monday Missive – August 6th, 2012

Hi Fighter,

It’s Father Dave here with you again, and I do hope that your week is unfolding well.I seem to have an enormous week ahead of me, with three significant events looming – each of which makes me feel a little nervous, and some of which I’m hoping you might get involved in. More on all that in a moment …

Firstly though I must say that my feelings of nervousness about the week ahead have taken a back seat for most of today, with feelings of pain and dismay and even disgust taking over as I’ve been updating myself with the latest news about Syria and Iran!

Mind you, it’s not what the Syrians and the Iranians are doing so much that so bothers me. It’s what we westerners are doing!

I read an article today about the planned U.S. attack on Iran and found it absolutely chilling! You can read it here. According to the author, various details about the planned attack have been leaked, and they involve bombarding Iran’s defenses with Tomahawk missiles for a few days, afer which an ultimatum will be put to the Iranian government, demanding that they discontinue all further nuclear research or face escalated violence!

The authors of the plan evidently believe that the Iranian government will roll over at this point and give in to whatever demands the U.S. places upon them. What planet are these people from?

Would we really expect it to work the other way around? If the Iranians (or anybody else for that matter) bombarded America with missiles and then told the U.S. government to dismantle their nuclear program, would anyone take them seriously?

I think at the heart of so much of this political strategising and power-play is simple racism!

I remember the great Jewish peace activist, Uri Avnery, saying of his country’s political leadership that their greatest mistake is that they don’t consider the Palestinian people to be their equals. They figure that if the Palestinians are kicked around for long enough that they’ll eventually just crawl away subserviently like a dog with its tail between his legs. Of course this doesn’t happen because the Palestinians, like all peoples, are a proud and noble race, and so as the oppression increases so does their resistance!

I think an identical miscalculation is at the heart of much of this western war-mongering against Iran. Would we really expect the proud Persian race to cow-tow to the west because we fire a few Tomahawk missiles at their defenses? Would a few million missiles elicit servile obedience? Not a chance! For God’s sake, show these people some respect!

I believe racism is one of the most significant (and most sinister) forces at work in our world today – destroying communities, fueling wars, and shaping foreign policies. Not surprisingly, racism is also one of the key themes in the New Testament too. The issue of racism has been central to most of my sermons lately – inevitably so, as we’ve been working our way through St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. I don’t think you can understand St Paul at all until you realise that his liberation from his own sense of racial superiority was at the heart of his conversion experience on the road to Damascus.

And speaking of the road to Damascus …

I will restrain myself from saying too much about poor Syria today, though my heart bleeds for the Syrian people. Let it suffice for me to point you to a few of the best articles I’ve read of late:

    • I highly recommend this article by Steve Lendman. His opening paragraph reads “Syria’s conflict isn’t an uprising, revolution or civil war. It’s lawless Western aggression.” I think Lendman is entirely correct.
    • Then there’s this excellent article by Michael Collins, which is a succinct expose of the lies we are being fed about Syria by the western media.
    • And finally this one from the great Robert Fisk speaks for itself. It’s entitled
      “The Syrian War of Lies and Hypocrisy”

….. (five hours later) …

It’s probably just as well that my passionate rave was interrupted by domestic duties and by my weekly run. I’m feeling much more settled.

I’m also feeling somewhat chuffed that I set a new best time for my half-Marathon run tonight – 1 hour, 53 minutes, 35 seconds. I’m sure someone will reply and let me know that the Olympiads are doing the full Marathon in less time. I’m not concerned. I’m only competing against myself, and I’m winning!

Now … let me tell you about my three big events and let’s see if we can get you involved!


1. Lovemore N’dou vs. Gairy St Clair

It’s all happening this Friday night in Southport in Queensland. Lovemore N’dou – champion boxer and parishioner at Holy Trinity, Dulwich Hill, is on a quest for a third world title. First he needs to get past Gairy St Clair, who is also a former world champion!

The great thing about this fight is that it’s about a lot more than boxing! Lovemore is a Fighting Father, and his plan for this and all his subsequent bouts is to keep none of the proceeds for himself, but to spread the money around between different youth organisations, both here in Australia and in his home country of South Africa.

If Lovemore can achieve a third world title, a lot of young people around the world will benefit. I’m excited to be involved in the campaign, and it will be a great privilege for me to be in the corner for Lovemore on Friday night.

I don’t know if the fight is being broadcast on any of the TV networks, but be assured that I’ll be giving you a blow by blow description next week if you’re not able to catch the event live.

2. Holy Trinity Videocast

I appreciate that this might not be a huge event to anybody else, but it is to me!

We’ve been trying for some time to refurbish the church with new audio and video equipment so that we can offer a solid video-cast to our friends who would like to join us from around the world, and I think we are finally ready!

If you pick up the hesitation in my voice it’s because we still need to run some tests on the new hardware, but I’m trusting that this will all be completed before Sunday. One thing I can confirm is that we’ll be using the services of church.tv to do the video streaming.

I’m personally very impressed with church.tv. They’re a faith-based organisation with a real vision for bringing the world together in worship, and I’d encourage you to take out a free membership there now in anticipation of our videocasts. I’ll confirm with you by the end of the week whether we’re on this Sunday.

3. Visit of the Peace Activists

The third very exciting event this week is the visit of the two young Jewish peace activists who will be joining us this Sunday afternoon in our church building.

Sahar Vardi is a ‘refusenik’. She refused to do her required military service in the Israeili army if that meant enforcing the Palestinian Occupation. She has served a number of prison sentences as a result. She said “I realize that the soldier at the checkpoint is not responsible for the wretched policy of the oppressor towards civilians (and yet) I am unable to relieve that soldier of responsibility for his conduct”

Micha Kurz co-founded ‘Breaking the Silence’, an organization that collects stories from members of the Israeli Defense Forces who served in the occupied territories. Kurz served in the IDF during the second intifada, and his experiences led him to work against the occupation and treatment of Palestinians.

The event is jointly presented by Holy Trinity Dulwich Hill and by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society. It starts at 2.30pm and should prove to be a great coming together of Chirstians, Muslims and Jews within our area.

Denning has set up a Facebook page with details of the event here.

 

OK. That’s plenty from me this week.

I’ll hope to see you at one of the great events this Friday or Sunday, or have you join us for the video-cast if we can get it all up and running.

In closing though, let me ask you for your help in something close to my heart.

I’m still really keen to promote my How 2 Change the World eCourse. I still think it’s the best thing I’ve ever put together and I want to share it with the world. Any ideas on how best to promote it?

We tried running a contest but that didn’t achieve much. Perhaps you’ve got some better ideas? If so, please hit me back with your wisdom.

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

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Father Dave’s Monday Missive – July 9th, 2012

Hi Fighter,

It’s Dave again, back with another ‘Monday Missive’.

Actually … my clock says it’s one minute past midnight as I start this, so it’s not really Monday any more, but it is in lots of places in the world, so …

I’m actually still in hospital as I write – still at the bedside of our old friend, Morna. She continues to cling to life, so we who love her continue to keep vigil as best we can.

She is asleep at the moment, and it seems like a good time to write.

Incidentally, before you start thinking I’m some great saint, let me assure you that I haven’t been here all day. Indeed, I ran my regular Monday Half-Marathon earlier tonight.

Sadly, I ran alone tonight. Normally there’s at least one or two others who join me, but everyone seems to be down with the flu this week! Sydney winters can be miserably cold!

Boxing, Boxing, Boxing!

One man who has both joined me and literally run rings around me over the last few weeks is Australian and Oriental Junior-Welterweight boxing champion, Solomon Egberime.

Sol is fighting to defend his Australian title on Friday night, so he’s toned down his training this week. Last week he ran most of the last ten kilometers backwards so that I could keep up with him!

My fitness is good but his is phenomenal. I’m confident that he’ll put in a strong display against Joel Dela Cruz at the Melbourne Pavilion on Friday. It will be my privilege to once again be in his corner.

Speaking of corner-work, you may remember that when I wrote last week I was preparing to fly to Auckland to support our other Solomon – Sol Haumono – in his fight against the big New Zealand Super-Heavyweight, Joey Wilson.

Big Sol ended up with a draw, even though he knocked his opponent down (and almost out) in the second round. All credit to Wilson for surviving Sol’s punching power and coming back. Hopefully the result will motivate Sol to work on his fitness and not to rely on his knockout right-hand next time.

You’ll have to forgive me if you’re not a boxing fan. I appreciate that this is not of interest to everyone, but these bouts have been a major focus for me over the last few weeks.

Both Solomon’s are a part of our church and Fight Club, and I know that a priest’s pastoral responsibilities don’t normally extend as far as the corner of the ring, but Holy Trinity is not a normalparish!

And before I let go of the subject of boxing, I must also mention that we actually have three highly-credentialed boxers in our parish, and the third member of that trinity (so to speak) is Lovemore Ndou, who now also has a fight coming up!

Those of you who are boxing fans will know the name of Lovemore Ndou. – two-times World Champion and all-round champion human being!

Lovemore will be fighting another former world champion – Gairy St Clair – at the Southport RSL Club in Queensland on August 10, and he’s forwarding any proceeds from the event to our Youth Centre in Dulwich Hill. That tells you plenty about the man!

Of course, all three of our boxing champions share a common commitment to helping young people, and all three are involved in the work of our Youth Centre. All three are also deeply spiritual men, and it is indeed my privilege to be their pastor.

The Competition

I must get off the topic of boxing and talk about ‘The Competition, which is not really off topic, as the winner of the competition gets a personalized Boxing Game!

Let me put this as bluntly as possible: I’d really appreciate it if you’d join the competition!

The competition promotes the eCourse, and the eCourse has the potential to equip a lot more of you guys to go out and become virtual spiritual warriors in cyberspace!

I really believe that my eCourse can make a difference, and so I am asking you to help me promote it by sharing it with your friends, and win a prize for doing so!

This is how the competition works.

  1. You download your special links to the eCourse here
  2. You start sharing those links on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
  3. The person who has shared the most links by the end of the month wins the prize!

The reason you need to get special links is so that we can track those links as you spread them around. Be assured that we will be able to track your links every time they get Tweeted or Retweeted or put on somebody’s Wall, etc.!

You can sign up for the competition at http://how2changetheworld.com/contest/

The Ezine

Of course all the info about the contest is in the eZine, bundled in with all sorts of other goodies – videos and sermon podcasts, etc.

You should have received an email from me over the weekend about the eZine already. Even so, if you haven’t had a chance yet to look at it yet: http://www.fatherdave.org/news

I won’t keep you any longer today.

I had wanted to share with you the latest I’ve been hearing about Syria and the ongoing disinformation campaign, but that will have to wait. It’s getting close to 2am here and Morna isn’t going to wake again tonight. I’ll need to head home before I get too tired to drive.

Please put in a prayer for Morna. She is a dear soul, and I believe she is aware of all the prayers of her many friends from around the globe.

And please do join in The Competition! I’ll see you on the leaderboard!

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

Dave

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four