May 3, 2018
The Rev Alison Gilchrist, Diocesan Mission and Evangelism Enabler for the Diocese of Perth in WA, is asking every parish in the diocese to be part of a project of saying ‘g’day’ to those they meet each day. Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy supports this initiative and invites all to join her in making the resolution in their services on Sunday 6th May.
Rev Alison says, “Saying ‘G’day’ seems such a little thing, but evidence shows it can make the world of difference in a world where loneliness is now pandemic. Saying ‘hello’ has been credited in the media and research as a lifeline for many facing all sorts of challenges. We never know when a simple ‘G’day’ or ‘Kaya’ could make the world of difference.”
Read an article written by Rev Alison which was published in the April 2018 edition of the Perth Anglican Messenger:
THE ‘SAY G’DAY’ RESOLUTION
Just before leaving for the UK to meet my firstborn grandson, I met a colleague at Mindarie, to chat and pray about missional endeavours. Sat with an ice cold drink near the walk through from the houses to the marina, we were approached by an elderly, quite frail lady, who said hello and asked us how we were. A delightful 20 minute conversation ensued, during which we learned she was from Blackpool, that she and her now deceased husband had been professional ice skaters, and had travelled the world with a famous show. Now living alone, every evening she visits the cafe area of the marina, to have some interaction with others. We offered her a drink but she said no thanks, she was just happy to have some company and some conversation. Lillian, in my experience, is much braver than most in seeking out some social time. Most, young or older, remain behind closed doors and as news reports, as well as research inform us, the consequences are often tragic.
One piece of research recently included a story about a young fellow who set out one morning to end his life. What changed his mind was the fact that someone said hello to him as he walked down the street. Little things can change lives, as Mother Teresa reminded us, ‘Little things are indeed little, but to be faithful in little things is a great thing.’ It was with these things in mind, as well as the nudge to do something that is quintessentially Australian, that the three year Veranda Ventures ∫ Beedawong Business initiative was birthed and launched at synod.
As the title of this article indicates, the first ‘we can all do this’ project within this initiative, is being unveiled. Although we didn’t ‘Say G’day,’ the northern English equivalent would be ‘morning’ or ‘afternoon’, this was an intentional missional activity of the first years of my time in East Hull, as we committed to greet everyone who crossed our paths in our daily lives. It led to all sorts of conversations, new friendships, new opportunities, and for some, a new journey as a follower of Jesus. It also had a wider impact on the community in which we were situated because it helped to dispel fear of ‘the other,’ brought down walls of mistrust and generated some new civility, where before there was none.
‘Say G’day’ also has Australian connections. South Australia is home to the #sayg’day challenge, where the vision is to encourage people to connect with others in their community by the simple act of saying g’day. The state library of Queensland with the Yugambeh Museum Language and Heritage Research Centre, along with other community groups, developed the Say G’day Indigenous Language Initiative for NAIDOC week 2014. Diamond Valley school won an award in the #VideoForChange competition 2016, with its ‘Just Say G’day’ project designed to help with welcome and inclusion. In 2016 Bundaberg North Tourism Board grabbed the phrase and invested $35,000 to increase the delivery of a quality experience for visitors to their area. Now in 2018, it’s the turn of the Anglican Diocese of Perth. Last year we undertook The BIG Welcome 2017, with 200+ people doing the Welcome Training Course. Veranda Ventures ∫ Beedawong Business, as the launch material advised, is aimed at enabling us build on past good work, and journeying on, to go beyond welcome to befriending, and developing open, outward facing koinonia.
So here you have it and it’s simple. Just take the ‘Say G’Day’ Resolution: I, (name) resolve to ‘Say G’day’ (Kaya is G’day in Noongar) to all those I encounter during the course of my day. Watch this space for more ideas.
Perth Diocese is making available information and resources for parishes to use including the following video. So why not encourage your communities to join in and say g’day!