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Date for ezine: 09-10-2008
Subject for ezine: Partners in the Good Fight

Father Dave's Partner's Ezine

Partners in the 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

I hope you are in good health and spirits. In truth, I've had another difficult week, beginning with me being laid up in bed for three days (with what I eventually discovered were 'kidney stones') and ending with me receiving a bizarre death threat via email!

I suppose it's only to be expected that in our electronic age no one will bother with cutting different-sized letters out of newspapers in order to paste together an effective death-threat, especially when using fonts of different sizes and colours can have an equally chilling effect.

When my predator warned me though that he had highly-trained "snippers" ready to take me out, I did consider writing back in order to correct his spelling, but then it occurred to me that he may have plans for me to meet with a bizarre gardening accident! We'll see.

Even so, the far more confronting issue for me this week is preparing a funeral for young Dan Bowtell, who was officially pronounced dead a few days ago.

Father Dave
Dan Bowtell

For those who didn't hear, Fighting Father Dan fell from a cliff in the Bronte Beach area last week.

The details for the funeral are as follows:

Thursday, October 9 at 10am
Holy Trinity Anglican Church
Cr. Herbert & Seaview Sts, Dulwich Hill Highlights

More exciting activity on our forum this week:

  • One of our most prophetic contributors, James, has returned to the forum, and has contributed a link to a riveting David and Goliath style MMA fight.

  • There's been plenty more powerful discussion on the All you Need is Love thread, where we continue to probe the question of whether the spiritual life is a matter of 'rule-keeping' or not..

  • But the most vibrant area of discussion this week has definitely been in the Meaning of Meaning thread. Not all of may be is comprehensible, but if you're interested in delving further into issues of language and meaning, this is definitely the place to go.

And remember, if you haven't registered for the forum yet, you'll need to use VIP code 1861.

Tales from the Vineyard

Jesus often told stories about vineyards and the manufacture of wine. One might have expected such stories to end up with everybody sharing a glass and enjoying themselves, but these stories are more marked by sweat, blood, injustice and violence than they are by merry-making.

The Unhappy Labourers (Matthew 20:1-16)

"For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, 'You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.' So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, 'Why do you stand here idle all day?' They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You go into the vineyard too.'

And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.' And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, 'These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.' But he replied to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?' So the last will be first, and the first last." (Matthew 20:1-16)

The Battle for the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16)

""Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them.

Finally he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.' And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" (Matthew 21:33-40)

Full members of can download the MP3 version of this last sermon
from the 'Members Benefits' area or by right-clicking here and choosing 'save target as'
(you may need to enter your member name and password)

Another Brick in the Wall!

At the heart of the Israel/Palestine drama lies the winding wall that was supposedly set up to secure Israel from the threat of suicide bombers.

Human rights activist Norman Finklestein here takes on the former advisor to Ariel Sharon who helped initiate the building of the wall.

Is the wall really about security or is this really just using this as a pretext to annex Palestinian land?

Sheikh Mansour

Before I let you go today, let me mention one other event that occurs this coming Sunday afternoon (October 12th) at St James Church, in the centre of the city of Sydney. It's a 'Christianity and Islam' interfaith seminar, featuring my friend, Sheikh Mansour.

You can read more about it on the St James site if you're interested. I'll be going along as the Sheikh's guest, but if you'd like to go but can't afford the $30 entry fee, let me now and I'll organise you a free ticket.

OK. That's enough for another week. I'll be back with you again real soon, providing the snippers don't get me first!

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 last weeks ezine, you can access back issues here.

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