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Date for ezine: 27-02-2009
Subject for ezine: 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

Welcome Fighter!

It's an intense time for us here in Oz. No sooner had we finished celebrating Australia Day than we were hit with some of the most terrible bush fires this country has ever seen. The devestation has been terrible and many lives have been lost. Your prayers are needed.

Ironically, for me, this has also been a time of answered prayer, and I want to offer a heartfelt 'thank you' to ever body who responded to my recent 'appeal email' . It was with great reluctance that I sent it, but it was very graciously received. Indeed, the response was fantastic.
  • A number of you joined .
  • Others made one-off donations.
  • Others committed themselves to pray for our work.
  • Others volunteered to help organise fund-raisers.

All in all, we are managing now, and with your help we should get through the next couple of months, by which time the other initiatives I'm working on should have come to fruition.

Father Dave

If you missed the 'appeal letter', it's here , and you'd still be very welcome to contribute, though I'm conscious of the fact that most Australians will be thinking more about what they should be giving to support the bushfire victims in Victoria, and rightly so.

I don't know why it is that great joy and great tragedy are always such inseparable companions. Half the time I don't know whether to sing or to cry. I've had so many things to celebrate this past month, and I am thankful for all of them. And yet we can never be completely at peace in this world - not while bushfires rage and children are being killed in Gaza.

Maybe a part of the answer is that whether we are grieving or whether we are celebrating, we do it together. That is certainly how St Paul understood the spiritual community: "If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it; if one part is praised, all the other parts share its happiness." (1Corinthians 12:26)

Christians, Muslims & Jews in Support of Gaza
- a great success -

Antony Loewenstein

It was a big night at the Imam Hussein local Islamic Centre for the meeting of 'Christians, Muslims and Jews supporting Gaza'.

There must have been at least 300 people crammed into what used to be a couple squash courts before our local Islamic community transformed them into a prayer and conference room!

At any rate, it was crammed, we didn't start till late at night, and we might have anticipated that this, combined with the hot weather and the controversial subject, would have had tempers flaring. On the contrary, it was as quiet and respectful a gathering as we could have possibly hoped for.

Antony Loewenstein, our main speaker, spoke for about 20 minutes, and drew our attention to the growing number of prominent Jews worldwide who are now saying, 'Not in my name!' to the government of Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people. He then answered questions from the floor that lasted for around 40 minutes before Sheikh Mansour had to draw the meeting to a close.

Antony has published his own account of the meeting on his blog, alongside which he has also published the account of one of the local Muslims who attended the gathering (click here). All in all it was a fabulous success, both in terms of informing people about Gaza, and in terms of helping people realise that the Israel/Palestine conflict is not a battle between races or religions, but a fight for justice.

You can hear Antony's speech by clicking the play button below. Full members of can also download the MP3 version of the full session, including question and answer time. Right-click here (nb. you may need to enter your member name and password).

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Father Dave's 10-Day Drive Across the USA!

Father Dave across the USA

Yes friends, I'm almost ready to take off on my madcap race across the US.

While I'm beginning the trip with a conference in San Francisco, I'll be trying to cover the continent in the ten days following it, from West to East, and meeting up with as many members of our Order of the Fighting Fathers as possible. If you want to take a closer look of our intended route, click here.

It's my first attempt at doing some pastoral visiting amongst the US membership, and thankfully I'm now going to be joined on the road by another of our Australian members - Fighting Father Scott Minchin, whose presence in the car alongside me will increase my chances of surviving those ten days enormously.

Unlike the situation in Oz at the moment, where we're dealing with tropical floods in the north and bushfires in the south, the key danger for us in the USA will be icy roads and long hours at the wheel. Keep us in your prayers please. And if one of you guys happens to be living in the South Dakota region, that's the only stop scheduled in the trip at present where we don't have a member's house to bunk in for the night.

If you want to keep in touch with me during the trip, the easiest way to do that will be to follow me on Twitter. I'll be chronically my trip there, giving out details of where we're up to, and letting you know about videos and interviews that I'm publishing as I upload them.

Follow me on Twitter

The Virtual Pulpit:

I've got two sermons for you today, both given by me over the last couple of weeks and both from the first chapter of Mark's Gospel. See what you think. I'll appreciate any feedback you want to give on the forum.

Jesus was a very odd sort of Teacher
(you can find the written version of this sermon here)

"And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, "What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him." And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee." (Mark 1: 21-28)

Full members of can download the MP3 of this sermon by right-clicking
here and choosing 'save target as' (nb. you may need to enter your member name and password)

Jesus teaches us to Dance
(you can find the written version of this sermon here)

"Jesus and his disciples, including James and John, left the synagogue and went straight to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon's mother-in-law was sick in bed with a fever, and as soon as Jesus arrived, he was told about her. He went to her, took her by the hand, and helped her up. The fever left her, and she began to serve them" (Mark 1:29-31)

Full members of can download the MP3 of this sermon by right-clicking
here and choosing 'save target as' (nb. you may need to enter your member name and password)

Citizen of the Year Award

It was my great privilege this year both to be nominated for Australian of the Year and to receive our local Citizen of the Year award.

Such honours are never, of course, truly deserved, in the sense that any credit I receive for the work we do should really be shared by the whole team. Even so, I see such awards as a recognition of the efforts of the team and for that I am justly proud.

The award was presented on Australia Day (January 26th) by my good friend, our Mayor, Sam Iskander. Of course I couldn't resist the chance to say a few words.

To keep up to date with my video uploads, subscribe to my video channel here.

Let me close today by inviting you to my birthday party!

My birthday is actually on February 17th, which is the day I'm flying to the US. Indeed, as I'm leaving Sydney at 3pm, flying for 24 hours, and then arriving in LA at 9am on the same morning, it will be by far the longest birthday I've ever celebrated!

Unfortunately I don't expect to have any friends to celebrate my birthday with me on the plane, so we're having a BBQ luncheon this Sunday (February 15th). It will be at the rectory (Herbert Street, Dulwich Hill) and will begin sometime after we finish church, so you'll have to come to church first!

In truth though, if you really can't make it to church, turn up around midday or any time thereafter. But email me first to let me know you're coming so that we can get an idea of numbers.

OK. That's plenty for today. The next ezine won't be published until after I've returned from the US, but I expect to publish lots of interview and videos on in the meantime.

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.

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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