Subject for ezine:
Partners in the Good Fight
Father Dave's Partner's Ezine
in the Good Fight
one man dreams, it is just a dream, but when we all dream together,
is the beginning of a new reality.
Dom Helder Camara
It's Father Dave here again, and I'm enjoying a towelling-down between rounds at the moment.
If you've been following the chaos here in Dulwich Hill over the last few months you'll know that we've just finished an epic battle over our Council's decision to implement boycotts of Israeli goods and services in accordance with the global 'Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign' (BDS), aimed at ending the Palestinian Occupation.
To cut a long story short, our local Council voted last December to implement BDS, but were then put under enormous pressure rescind the decision. Heavyweight politicians from the Prime Minister on down condemned Marrickville Council for their action, and our state Premier even threatened to sack the Council unless they repented!
In addition to the political pressure there were legal actions, media slurs and numerous death threats. All this to oppose a strategy of non-violent resistance to a military occupation! I haven't been in a fight like this since my professional boxing debut fifteen years ago!
The result was a TKO win for the other side, but there was so much foul play going on that I'm just thankful the combatants survived!
I appreciate, of course, that not everybody who subscribes to this ezine will share my views concerning Israel/Palestine, and not everybody who is concerned for peace in Israel/Palestine supports BDS.
Even so, I don't think anyone of good conscience could support the sort of gutter-tactics that were used to crush our Council's BDS resolution and its advocates. Enough said!
Anyway, as I say, I'm in a towelling-down period now - that break between rounds where I get my breath back before the next surge of chaos, and looking at the month ahead I can see plenty of strife looming!
Take a look at the calendar below and you'll get an inking of what I mean. There are plenty of major events coming up over the month of May, and no doubt there will be plenty of controversy! Mind you, there is one event listed that should bring no controversy whatsoever but should be pure joy for all involved, and that's the grand opening of the Binacrombi gym, to which you are most definitely invited!
I'll leave you to read the details on that and our other up-coming events below, and to browse this month's package of preaching, protest and pugilism! Enjoy!
click the pics to see the full-size images
For your Diary
May 8: Holy Trinity's screening of "Hope in a Slingshot" in the church building
This documentary by Inka Starfrace is a journey through the underbelly of the Occupation of Palestine by Israel. It was scheduled to be screened on ABC TV last year but was suddenly pulled without explanation! We plan to follow the screening with a Skype linkup with Inka, live from Bethlehem (technology permitting).
Entry is by donation and funds raised will go to support the Australian contingent in the next Free Gaza flotilla. We will begin at 3pm with an afternoon tea, provided by church members and by our friends from the Imam Husain Islamic Centre.
May 13: Community Consultation on BDS in the church hall
Sponsored by the Sydney Peace Foundation, this meeting aims to educate the community on the issue that almost tore our local Council apart: why there is a global campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
With outstanding speakers such as Samah Sabawi, Antony Loewenstein and Sylvia Hale, you can find out more about the event on its Facebook page, and you can download a promotional flyer for the event here.
May 22: Jubilate Singers do 'Handel's Messiah'!
Great choir, great orchestra, great soloists! Enough said!
May19th:St Bede's Drummoyne at 7.30pm ($20 donation)
May 22nd: Holy Trinity,at 7.30pm ($20 donation to the church restoration fund)
May 27-29: Grand Opening of the Binacrombi Gym
Ten years in the making! This is a day I thought would never come. Multiple good people have poured in time, money and effort to build this gym, and now you are invited to join us at Binacrombi for the weekend of May 27 to 29, as it's time to celebrate!
I've booked out the entire site just for us for the weekend! We'll have some of Australia's greatest boxers with us, and there will be some great opportunities to improve your pugilistic skills and get fit as well as to enjoy the wonders of the Australian bush and the wonderful company!
Here's the deal: all financial members of our member site are invited to enjoy the weekend on us! Your accommodation, food, and training costs will all be covered! Subscribers to my mailing list who are not financial members of fighting-fathers.com are also invited, but will be charged a nominal fee of $150 for the weekend.
Whether you are paying or not YOU MUST BOOK if you want to join us. The only way to do this is to call Narelle on 1800 620 706. Please don't think you can book by emailing me. If you're quick you might still get a cabin. If you miss the cabins there will probably be room in the dorm, but this is for guys only.
If you miss out on a bed there's still plenty of space for camping. Indeed, while we have less than 70 beds, we had around 150 staying with us over Easter, so if you have your own tent we should surely be able to fit you in. So come and join us - sharing food, dreams, training and praying - and help make the weekend great! You'll find a map on how to get there on the Binacrombi site.
I always think it's curious that the proclamation of hope that is at the heart of our Easter message is one that declares the absence of Christ!
"Here is not here!" declares the angel at the tomb to the women who come looking for the body of Jesus. This raises the obvious question of course, "Where is He?" - a question to which nobody seems to have a satisfactory answer!
My feeling is that this Easter experience of trying to work out where on earth Jesus has gone is almost archetypal in the history of the church. We are always losing track of Jesus, and I think the problem may be that He is always moving ahead of us, and venturing into areas where we have no desire to go!
You can hear my complete Easter sermon by clicking the play button below or click here for the print version.
This was my second address to Marrickville Council concerning their controversial 'Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions' (BDS) resolution.
In December 2010 our Council decided to back the global BDS campaign against Israel - a strategy of non-violent resistance to the military occupation of Palestine.
The response to our Council's BDS resolution was extraordinary! Not only did the Murdoch press tear in to the Councillors, but every politician from the Prime Minister on down threw threats and insults in our direction!
For those who haven't studied ancient history (and who haven't seen the movie '300'), my exhortation, "Spartans, prepare for glory" is an allusion to the stand taken by the Spartan king, Leonidas, who, in 480 B.C., with a handful of gallant men, held the pass at Thermopylae against an army that was at least forty times their size! My point was a simple one: just because a battle can't be won doesn't mean it isn't worth fighting!
OK fighter, I'm sure that's more than enough from me for this issue, but before I go I want to send a word of congratulations to four of our Fighting Fathers who honoured our Order with their display of athleticism, self-control and good sportsmanship at the Woy Woy Leagues Club last Saturday night.
On the right you'll see two of our champions who fought on the night - Reza Sazesh and Irina Dayal (click the image to see it full-size). The other two pugs were Mungo McCall (making his heavyweight debut) and Graham Cassell.
All four showed great courage, skill and ingenuity. All four made us proud!
I'll leave off at this point in the hope that I might catch up with you in person at Binacrombi at the end of this month, where I trust that we'll have time to kick back, enjoy the beautiful surroundings, and maybe even chase a wombat or two.
Hopefully we'll also be able to share some of our hopes and dreams there too, over a glass of Binacrombi Red, and I can tell you about the secret project I'm working on, through which I hope to leave a legacy to every member of our online community. Just don't forget to call Narelle if you want to come (on 1800 620 706).