Dear Inner Circle,
Wayside’s leadership is passing into good hands. Jon Owen and I were in Mount Druitt this week, helping to make a documentary about our succession. We stopped at multiple locations and always someone recognised Jon, embraced him and tried to catch him up on as much news as they could in a few minutes. Each time we jumped back into the car to head to the next location, Jon shared something of the story of the journey he’d shared with the person we just met. After the first couple of these, I was impressed by the compassion of a man who’d shared the worst of human tragedies with people, without for a moment thinking he’s achieved anything special. In one location, we stopped long enough to hear raised, cranky voices. A woman jumped into a car and before our eyes, ran it into the bloke at whom she was yelling. The car knocked the man to the ground and I’d wondered if he might have broken a leg. He quickly jumped up to his feet in time to kick the bonnet of the car before it sped off down the street. I was momentarily in shock. “In this part of the world,” Jon said, “that was just a negotiation.”
Many of you have asked about the future of this note. It will continue and from July will be written by Jon. Many of you have pointed out that he, “has big shoes to fill” but I assure you that he’s bringing his own shoes. He’s one in a million. He writes well and his heart and mine beat as one. You’ll soon love him. As you know, I will still be around Wayside contributing where I can. I’ll probably write this note when Jon is away. I’ve got a blog and after a decent break I’ll start injecting energy into writing there. Next year I’ll be running classes for those of you who’ve been busting to learn about old Greek guys. I’ll also be a part of the Sunday community every week. It will be fun. They’ll officially call me “Pastor Emeritus” which sounds pretty much like “grandfather” to me. We all mostly know and love grandfathers – they are the people you hold in great respect as long as their visits are short and their lectures are minimal. Everything about Wayside’s vision and mission is stretching toward a better future. All who long for a better world will find a home and role here. My role will be reduced but the fun factor will increase dramatically. I hope you’ll be sharing some of the fun with me.
Thanks for being part of our inner circle,
Rev Graham Long
Pastor & CEO