Dear Inner Circle,
Many people ask what this year has been like around here. Sometime around mid-August, someone walked into our building. There were no bells heralding their arrival, yet their presence signified something important. It was a threshold moment for Wayside – by then we’d welcomed as many visitors as in the entire year of 2022. Take a moment to think about that: the rising costs of inflation should be measured in lives, not just spreadsheets.
As I get older, I find myself shedding some of my fear of letting people know just how proud I am of them. I couldn’t be prouder of our team, who throw open our doors in Bondi Beach and Kings Cross every single day, ready to embrace whoever comes through, with whatever they may bring.
Can you believe Christmas is getting close? I can’t! Pretty soon, we’ll be engulfed in the full force of advertising, urging us to upgrade our latest gadgets. Sadly, we know that as soon as you buy something, its “upgraded version” is released, leading to perpetual dissatisfaction. This hedonic treadmill robs us of appreciating “being enough”.
This morning, I shared a moment with someone who had the gaze of a person ready to take on the day after emerging fresh from a hot shower and in a new set of clothes. He joined me for breakfast in the cafe at Wayside, and told me he was full of plans to “work on himself” next year. I listened quietly, and when he finished, I looked him in the eye and said, “I reckon you’re already pretty amazing as you are.”
At Wayside we are driven by a belief that everyone we meet is capable of more than they could ever dare to dream or imagine. Life is a tale of hidden glory, and the truly fortunate participate together in the great unveiling of each other’s gifts, beauty and potential. We give that to each other, embracing our common humanity, free from the drive to “fix” or “help”. I wished I could have told him all of this. He just blushed and smiled, saying “You know that’s bull$h*t, Rev.” I respectfully disagreed and we shared a smile. That’ll do for today.
Thank you for being part of our Inner Circle.
Rev. Jon Owen
CEO & Pastor
P.S. Thank you for seeing the beauty and potential in those in our community who can’t yet see it in themselves. Your gift to our Christmas Appeal will help more people start their day fresh with a shower, clean clothes and a simple yet profound message, “You are enough”.