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Date for ezine: 11-01-2010
Subject for ezine: Partners in the Good Fight

Father Dave's Partner's Ezine

Partners in the Good Fight

When one man dreams, it is just a dream, but when we all dream together, it is the beginning of a new reality.

Dom Helder Camara

Welcome Fighter

Father Dave here and I'm writing to you from Binacrombi bush camp, where we are celebrating a beautiful Australian summer - walking the bush trails, swimming in the billabong and enjoying lots of good company.

Moreover, I just saw an enormous 4-wheel-drive, packed full of more teenagers than the vehicle's designer ever imagined it would hold, heading off to collect wood for the donkey-boilers (which we use to heat the water for showers, etc.). The young people were laughing and jostling each other as they bounced off into the scrub, and I couldn't help but smile.

Some of those teenagers have come here from refuges in Sydney that were no longer sure what to do with them, and still others are here because of desperate phone calls I've received from parents or grandparents who were no longer sure what to do.  I also saw visitors from a nearby church packed in there somewhere, along with members of our resident manager's family - all blending in together beautifully! 
Father DaveI

It has been more than seven years since we took possession of this beautiful piece of Australian bushland, and it's been a lot of hard work, but I must say that it is wonderful to see the place finally starting to fulfill the vision we had when we initially took the reigns.  Much of the credit for what has been achieved must go to Pete, Pauline, Shannon and BJ Trama, our on site management team.  What a privilege it is to work alongside them.  Primary thanks though must go to the Almighty, who has sustained this work thus far against impossible odds, and who we trust will see it through to a wonderful conclusion.

Thank you to everybody who has helped us to get this far in the journey - through your prayers, your financial contributions, through the sharing of your time and expertise.  There is a long way to go, but I am proud and excited to have been a part of the journey thus far.
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Father Dave What's News
The big news from Dulwich Hill this month is that I'll be holding a box-a-thon on Australia Day (Tuesday, January 26).

I'll be aiming to box 50 rounds on the night and will be looking for people to sponsor me per round.  All proceeds will go to Action Aid Australia - an international anti-poverty agency, active in more than 40 countries worldwide.

Amongst my box-a-thon sparring partners will be 3 of Australia's greatest boxers:
  • Solomon Haumono - the current e OPBF Heavyweight champion

  • Super-Middleweight Contender, Nader 'Lioinheart' Hamdan.

  • Dulwich Hill's own Sol Egberime - Aussie Light Welterweight champ
Of course, these will not be the only guys I'll be sparring.  Indeed, I'll be happy to follow the time-honoured tradition of women and children first in order to rack up a few rounds for Action Aid Ausralia before dealing with Nadar and the two Solomons.

If you're in Sydney, do join us at the Holy Trinity Gym on January 26th.  We'll be starting at 6.30pm and going till I either complete the 50 rounds or get carted off to hospital. You don't have to join me in the ring if you show up, but you will be expected to make a donation to Action Aid Australia before you leave.

For those who can't be with us on the night I'm going to try to video-cast the event through the video broadcasting system. That way you'll not only get to see me get beaten up, but you'll also be able to text in your questions to our special guests and dialogue with them.

Solomon Haumono Nader Hamdan Solomon Egberime

Virtual Pulpit: The Dysfunctional Family of Jesus?
For he was our childhood pattern
Day by day like us He grew;
He was little, weak, and helpless;
Tears and smiles like us he knew;
Christian children all should be
Mild, Obedient, good as He.

So goes the classic Christmas carol ('Once in Royal David's City'), and yet in the only story the New Testament gives us of the boyhood of Jesus, His behaviour seems to be anything but mild and obedient!
Father Dave
You can make up your own mind, but if the story in Luke 2:41-49 is the only thing we have to go by, we might want to think twice before encouraging our children to model themselves on the young Jesus!

Click here to read the rest of what I have to say on these words or click the play button below to listen..

You can download the MP3 version of this sermon (and all the sermons of the Fighting Fathers) from the Fighting Fathers Sermon Library

Video of the Week: 'Fists of Affection'

This 3-minute documentary was put together by my friend (and fellow Holy Trinity parishioner) Dave Mitchell.

Dave's interest was in my friendship with Sheikh Mansour - our local Islamic cleric. He wanted to know how - in the midst of so much nation-wide Islamophobia - the two of us ever became friends.  

This is a low-budget doco, but I think Dave did a magnificent job in getting the message through.  And the message is this: that Christians and Muslims can be friends.  

I do believe that prejudice is always based on  ignorance, and in this case the media has done a great job of reinforcing stereotypes and maintaining ignorance.

Change begins when we move beyond talking about our Muslim neighbours and start talking to them. That's what I discovered, and that's the story behind 'Fists of Affection'.

To keep up to date with new video uploads, subscribe to Father Dave's video channel

Before leaving you today I must share some bad news with you. In case you hadn't heard, my dear friend Morde Vanunu - nuclear whistle-blower and all-round nice guy - has been re-arrested again by the Israeli police.  This time his 'crime' was that he met with his Norwegian girlfriend! I'm serious.  There was no other crime sited beyond that he had contact with a foreigner!

If you don't know Morde's story, you'll find plenty of material that I've written in the article database (just do a search on 'Vanunu') and you'll find plenty of references to recent articles in the 'What's News' section above.  I'd recommend in particular the article by American whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg.
Morde and me in 2004

Please pray for Morde as you pray for the greater needs of the people of the Middle East - for peace, for justice, and for an end to the double-standard, where threats are made against some Middle-Eastern countries for their nuclear programs while nothing at all is said about Israel's massive stockpile.

That's enough from me for today. I'll hope to catch you in person at my Australia Day Box-a-Thon or via the live video link-up (if I can get it working). And if you want to keep in touch between now and then I'll be doing my best to be on deck in the Video Chat Room each week at the usual time.

And what is the 'usual time'? Monday morning at 9am Sydney time, which works out at (for example):
  • Sunday at 2pm for our members in San Fransisco
  • Sunday at 5pm for our members in South Carolina
  • Sunday at 10pm for our members in London

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

Yours in the Good Fight,


P.S. If you missed out on the last ezine, you can access back issues here.

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