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Legacy of Love

Dear Inner Circle,

“Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated, I’m back baby!” was the jovial morning greeting over breakfast today in our community cafe. The piano was playing, the radio was on, and the natter was multi-directional as the joy of just being together has still not been lost on our lockdown weary hearts – and I hope it never does. A circle of friends and I sat together exchanging jokes as one started to drift off to sleep with his head landing on my shoulder, which drew another round of laughter that woke him up. At that time his sudden weariness was the only marker of the tough night before spent on the streets. Sadly many of us have been taught that success is only denied by our ability to acquire one of wealth, status or power, rather our ability to build good friendships and family connections. Some mornings we have a room full of the wealthiest people even without a cent between them. 

Today, after you will have received this note, I will be leaving a little earlier than usual to drive across town to conduct a funeral of a remarkable man, tragically taken from us all too young. We first met out, a long time ago in western Sydney and one of the first things he told me was that he was an atheist. We immediately hit it off! He was driven by the conviction that this world doesn’t need so much equality, as it needs equity. He believed that for those of us who have been given much, it is our responsibility to give back to make this world a better place. Many times he was offered lucrative positions, but only ever chose to work in the places where he was needed the most, and he could live his values out. A few years ago he got offered his dream job as Principal of a high school in western Sydney. At the time he had called me up giddy with excitement. In terms of how he lived, he felt he had hit the jackpot. The school had a reputation for being “rough”, but within a few years as he led the school with heart and passion, it turned into a “school of choice”, where both students and teachers excelled. We often spoke of the future but we never spoke of legacy. Legacy, he told me, isn’t something we look back on at the end of our lives, it is how we choose to live every day that builds a legacy in the lives of others. The legacy he leaves behind will be in the lives of those he has guided and mentored along the way. Today we lose him, but his impact will live on generations from now. Vale mate, we should all strive to live a life like yours.

The other day as I slid through the doors at home in exhaustion after another late night at Wayside, for once the kids looked up from their devices and in cheeky rehearsed unison sang “The Cat’s in the Cradle.” For those of you who don’t know the song its about a father’s absence. So I’m taking a little break for a couple of weeks to get some quality family time in, where I can be a husband, dad and an uncle. I look forward to being back soon refreshed and ready to roll to the end of the year. I will take a couple of weeks off from writing this note, but I look forward to reading some books that are beginning to pile up on my bedside table. Thank you for being our Inner Circle, I can assure you that Wayside will continue to thrive while I’m away, and love people back to life. I cannot wait to let you know about all the exciting things we have planned for the rest of the year upon my return. 

Thanks for being a part of our Inner Circle, 

Jon

Rev. Jon Owen
CEO & Pastor
Wayside Chapel 

PS. Today is 30 June and if you haven’t yet donated to our Winter Appeal, there is still time to make a tax-deductible donation before midnight tonight, so we can continue to provide vital support, warmth and love to our community. Donate here

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