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Date for ezine: 07-08-2009
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

As you probably already know, it's been a helluva time for me over the last week or two. I've found myself plunged into public controversy again and have been on the front page of a number of papers, and this time I really wasn't looking for the publicity.

My decision to invite Anthony Venn-Brown - an openly gay man - to share his story with our congregation earned me censure from the Diocese. I'm told I was naive not to have anticipated the response, though I did anticipate the media interest once the story broke (see, for example, here).

My continued support for Sheikh Mansour - our local Islamic cleric - also got me on the front page this week but caused less controversy. Perhaps in his case people realise that my support for him as a friend (and a victim of injustice) doesn't necessarily mean that I've changed my religion (any more than my support for Anthony means that I've changed my sexual orientation).

The other really big news from the Dulwich Hill camp was that our dear brother Solomon Egberime successfully defended his Australian Light Welterweight title last week.

Father Dave
The first of the thumbnail images below (on the left) is my favourite pic from the night. That's me with Solomon and his son Nicko, right after the fight. You can click the thumbnail to see it full-size.

And as if one champion fighter wasn't enough for this club, young Ray Ingram followed up Solomon's victory by winning the 81kg division in the National Indigenous Boxing Titles, held in Brisbane the next day! That's Ray in the next thumbnail (second from the left)!

And the other great thing we did here recently was enjoy an ecumenical night of 'Prayers, Bangers & Boxing' with the Catholic Community of St John, We began the night with prayers and singing, and then barbecued an enormous pile of sausages (ie. 'bangers') before inviting the visitors to compete for the 'I thumped Father Dave' trophy. As ever, there were no shortage of contenders.

So it's been a big week of fighting for us here in Dulwich Hill, though not all of them have been ring fights. The good news is that we seem to be winning most of our battles, though I'm conscious that with some of them we are still in the early rounds.

click to read the full article click to read the full article
click to read the full article
click to read the full article
click the thumbnails to see the full-size pics

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What's news on ?

Lots of things to pass on today
  • Firstly, a welcome to our newest members of the order, Aislinn O'Connor, Jane Weber, and Fighting Father Kevin Crinks from Manchester.

  • As news comes through that the British have now lost more soldier in Afghanistan than they did in Iraq (see figures here), Fighting Father Ciaron O'Reilly has been arrested again, protesting military exercises for troops being deployed in Afghanistan. You can read the story of Ciaron's arrest here or listen to him talk about the situation in an interview he did with Eco Radiohere.

  • Our friend Antony Loewenstein reports from the West Bank that he sees few signs of any impending peace. You can read his report here or see some amazing video footage he took in Gaza here.

  • Meanwhile 'Breaking the Silence' published a stunning series of confessions from IDF soldiers about atrocities committed in the Gaza assault. The publication was denounce by the Israeli government but received strong support from Jewish peace activist Uri Avnery in this article.

  • I've published a whole new series of sermons to the online sermon and article library:

  • We put out a Press Release in support of my friend Sheikh Mansour (which led to this article in the Inner Western Suburbs Courier).

  • On our forum, Dave the Journo has been bewailing the state of Public Dental Care in Oz. Not much else is happening on the forum. Please share your thought there! (nb. VIP code is 'NO HOMERS').

  • The teleconference with Brother Andy Blair has finally been uploaded to the member site, as has the teleconference with Anthony Venn-Brown, which you can also listen to below.
Anthony Venn-Brown & Father Dave

Yes, here it is! Once you've listened to it, you may well wonder why this man's visit was the cause of so much controversy. Even so, Anthony has an important story to share, and I commend it to you (nb. if you'd prefer to listen to this MP3 later, you can download it from our member site)..

Virtual Pulpit: 2 Sermons on John 6

Jesus Most Trivial Miracle
Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." Now there was plenty of grass in that place. So the men sat down, numbering about 5,000. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were seated. He also distributed the fish, as much as they wanted. (John 6:10-11)

It had to be one of Jesus' most spectacular miracles, and is probably the best remembered. Even so, it has to be one of the most pointless uses Jesus ever made of his miraculous powers! No one is saved from death through this miracle. No souls are saved and no one is healed. So why does Jesus bother?
You'll get my answer by clicking the play button.

/Father Dave

If you'd prefer the written version of this sermon, you'll find it here. members can also download the MP3 version of this from the 'Members Benefits' area or by right-clicking here and choosing 'save target as' (you'll need your member name and password).

Asking the Right Questions

When they had found [Jesus] on the other side of the sea, they asked him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?" Jesus replied to them, "Truly, truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate the loaves and were completely satisfied. (John 6:25-26)

A wise person once told me:
  • What we see depends on what we are looking at.
  • What we hear depends on who we are listening to
  • And the answers we receive in life depend largely on the questions we ask
Perhaps that's the key to understanding why Jesus is so rough with these guys who ask him a very simple question - When did you get here?' It appears that they were asking the wrong question. members can also download the MP3 version of this from the 'Members Benefits' area or by right-clicking here and choosing 'save target as'.

Video of the Week:
Father Dave on Lonely Planet TV
I thought that with all the heavy material that I was covering in this ezine, it might be fitting to add a video that is a bit of fun.

For those who aren't familiar, Lonely Planet put out a series of guide books for tourists. They also produce a less well-known TV show, called "Lonely Planet TV'. that screens occasionally on the ABC and more regularly on airlines, informing passengers about imminent destinations.

My appearance was (obviously) as a part of the Sydney episode of the series
, where presenter Toby Amies (who turned out to be a lovely guy) visited out gym to chat to my pro-wrestler mate, Phil Picasso, as well as to me.

I remember that Lonely Planet also covered me singing 'Pretty Vacant' as part of a fundraiser at the local pub, but unfortunately the remaining Sex Pistols wouldn't give them permission to screen it.

To keep up to date with Father Dave's video uploads, subscribe to my video channel here.

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Before I let you go today I've got a couple of favors to ask you.

  • In response to a Twitter invitation I've applied to be Action Aid Australia's next Outreach Blogger. This would involve using my next holiday to travel to a developing community somewhere (possibly Gaza) and teach local people how to use blogs and social media to share their stories.

    This sounded like a brilliant idea to me, and I figured I was uniquely qualified to do the job. If you agree with me, would you leave a word of support for my application here. Just leave a comment on their blog along the lines of 'Father Dave is your man'. I'll let you know how I progress.

  • Finally, if you'd like to make a very tangible difference in the life of one family living in Occupied Palestine, consider donating a couple of dollars to help rebuild the home of brothers Abdullah, Hamad, and Mohammed Soleiby, who had their family home recently destroyed by settlers.

    You'll get the full story here, and can make a donation of any amount through Paypal. I only put in a few dollars, but if we all did the same, we'd rebuild their home and restore their farm, and let them know that there are people all around the world who do care.
That's plenty for today, my friend.

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're free to join us for our weekly online web-chat, we meet every Sunday in the Fighting Fathers Video Web-chat room. We meet at noon, Greenwich Mean time, which translates as 10pm Sydney time, 8am USA East Coast, 5am on the West Coast, and ... you can work out the rest.

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

P.P.P.S. If you haven't done so yet, please do me a favour and download and install my special RSS notifier from here. It solves the problem of my emails to you not getting through.

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