12 New Mission Priorities
Toy Mountain Brings Cheer
The Generalâ€™s Christmas Message
Salvationist The Voice of the Army
Salvationist.ca I December 2011
Christ is Here
Celebrate anew the birth of Jesus
LETTERS Love Wins:
A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
The doctrines of The Salvation Army— including the eleventh one—encapsulate T my beliefs. From the review of the book Love Wins (August 2011), I’ve concluded that Rob Bell’s observations about Hell will provide little light for my spiritual pilgrimSalvationist age. They could result in “bruised reeds” being broken and “smouldering wicks” snuffed out (see Matthew 12:20)—a sure victory for the Enemy who is relentless in his perverse mission to provoke God’s people to “strain out a gnat and swallow a camel” (see Matthew 23:24). Philip Brace by Rob Bell
REVIEW BY DION OXFORD AND GEOFF MOULTON
he evangelical world is in an uproar about a controversial new book called Love Wins by Rob Bell, founder of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan, and featured speaker in the popular NOOMA video series. So what’s the big deal? While most evangelicals believe fervently in Heaven and Hell as real places where souls are punished or rewarded for eternity, Bell challenges readers with a new set of questions about our ultimate fate. Bell states that the story of Jesus is “first and foremost about the love of God for every single one of us.” He then criticizes the Church for making questions about Jesus, Heaven, Hell and salvation off limits. There is no question too big for Jesus to handle, Bell argues. And too many people have walked away from the Church because no one listened to their doubts. Particularly vexing for Bell are questions about Hell. He writes, “It’s been clearly communicated to many that this belief [in Hell as conscious, eternal torment] is a central truth of the Christian faith and to reject it is, in essence, to reject Jesus. This is misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts the contagious spread of Jesus’ message of love, peace, forgiveness and joy that our world desperately needs to hear.” Bell then outlines a number of alterna-
tive theories of Hell, including universalism, the belief that Hell is not permanent and that God will eventually reconcile all of humanity to himself. “Of all the billions of people who have ever lived,” he asks, “will only a select number ‘make it to a better place’ and every single other person suffer in torment and punishment forever? Can God do this, or even allow this, and still claim to be a loving God?” Using the parable of the Prodigal Son, Bell suggests that Heaven and Hell may be one and the same place, depending on our perspective. The younger son joins the celebration even as the elder son sulks in a self-imposed “Hell” of his own creation. While God, in his universal love, extends the invitation to all to participate in the abundant life, our choice to accept or reject him determines our experience, argues Bell. “If we want isolation, despair and the right to be our own god, God graciously grants you that option,” Bell writes. “If, however, we crave light, we’re drawn to truth, we’re desperate for grace … God gives us what we want … the peace that transcends all understanding.” For Bell, death doesn’t cut off the ability to repent. In the Bible, Bell sees no “infinite, eternal torment for things [people] did in their few finite years of life.” Despite his enthusiasm for the subject
matter, Bell’s book leaves a number of questions unanswered. What do we do with Jesus’ teaching about the final judgment? Why are the Apostle Paul’s words about Christ as the model or exemplar of our faith taken seriously, but the verses on substitutionary atonement dismissed as an outdated metaphor? Is Bell tailoring his message to the current culture at the expense of biblical revelation? And if we all end up in the same place anyway, what is the point of the gospel? In the face of intense criticism, Bell denies he is a universalist. Rather than embracing any particular view, he wants to leave room for uncertainty. Love Wins presents his “case for living with mystery rather than demanding certitude.” Some evangelicals see this “uncertainty” as incompatible with biblical teaching, while others say that the book is simply promoting overdue conversation about traditional interpretations of Scripture. No matter where you stand, these are questions worth exploring.
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I think Love Wins is an excellent book and is definitely worth reading and talking about. I don’t see how Love Wins is in contradiction with our eleventh doctrine. The doctrine talks about “happiness” and “punishment,” among other elements of our faith and theology. It does not, though, talk about Hell and what most people in general think about Hell. The doctrine does not talk about what the “punishment” looks like nor where it takes place. Captain Mark Braye Doctrine 11 states that we believe “… in the endless punishment of the wicked.” The operative word here is “endless.” This is in direct contradiction to Bell’s contention that there is no “infinite, eternal torment for things [people] did in their few finite years of life.” While the doctrine does not specifically describe Hell, it is only a brief summary of our beliefs. The failure of the authors to assertively challenge Bell’s conclusions could be misconstrued by the general public as a tepid acceptance of them by this publication and The Salvation Army. It is, after all, our duty as a Christian church to preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The truth is that Jesus, through his death and suffering on the cross, can save us all from our sin and Hell. Dwayne Goulding I loved the book and would recommend it to anyone. What is salvation for? For the here and now, to experience fully the power of forgiveness and give that fully to others. Do I believe in an afterlife? Absolutely. Do I think we need to scare people into being good? Absolutely not. I love Jesus (in thought, word and deed) because he first loved me. Not because he scared me into it. Captain Charlotte Dean
and beyond, who support cadets. Lieutenant Jaclyn Wynne
Called to Righteous Living
Proclaimers of the Resurrection Session challenged to lift up the name of Christ BY MAJOR MARGARET McLEOD
May each cadet and their children feel a special anointing of the Holy Spirit on their lives. They may not feel any different at first, but as the study and labour unfolds, complete and undeniable assurance will flood their hearts and go before them in the pathway of life. Major John Gerard
Cdt Dusty Sauder, flag bearer, marches in with his wife, Cdt Laurie Sauder, and their children
ach September, a new session of cadets commences training to be Salvation Army officers. Most of these cadets will spend the next 22 months at the College for Officer Training (CFOT) in Winnipeg. On Sunday, September 18, the Proclaimers of the Resurrection Session were officially welcomed as first-year cadets by Commissioners Brian and Rosalie Peddle, territorial leaders. Family Worship In the morning, cadets, family members, CFOT staff and divisional and territorial leaders gathered at the college for a worship service. The theme was God’s greatness and faithfulness. The CFOT worship team guided hearts and minds into the presence of the Holy Spirit as declarations of faith were made through the singing of I Stand Amazed in the Presence and How Great is Our God. Cadet David Hickman gave his testimony proclaiming God’s presence in his life from a very young age. Succumbing to temptations of culture, his relationship with God had lessened. “But God had a plan,” he said. Mission trips to Africa allowed him to become acquainted once again with God’s plan and desire for his life, which led him to pursue Salvation Army officership. Following the testimony, the congregation was blessed through the ministry of Cadet Darryl Burry, with his vocal solo, Word of God Speak. Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, territorial president of women’s ministries, expounded on God’s Word. Referencing the Book of Isaiah, she reminded those gathered that God has called each person by name into holy and righteous living, and in so doing, believers should expect God to do a new thing in the lives of those he has called. Public Welcome In the afternoon, a public welcome and worship service for the Proclaimers of the Resurrection was held at Southlands Community Church. Flags of Canada, Bermuda and the CFOT were marched in as the Heritage Park Temple Band played a rousing march. As the excitement mounted, Commissioners Brian and Rosalie Peddle, Colonels Floyd and Tracey Tidd, and Majors Eric and Donna Bond entered the sanctuary. Then Cadet Dusty Sauder, flag bearer of the Proclaimers of the Resurrection Session, together with his wife, Cadet Laurie Sauder, and their children, led the other cadets to the platform.
12 I November 2011 I Salvationist
Embracing the Vision
New Beginnings God’s grace offers us the opportunity to start afresh
Commissioner Brian Peddle has clearly articulated his vision for the Canada and Bermuda Territory (New Beginnings, September 2011). Like the prophet he referenced, he is acutely aware of the challenge that confronts the Church and The I Salvation Army in particular. Let us rise to the challenge and, with undaunted determination, implement what the Spirit leads us to do. Walter Boland
BY COMMISSIONER BRIAN PEDDLE
See, I am doing a new thing (Isaiah 43:19). have always been a fan of new beginnings. In a world where “starts” and “stops” are commonplace, the reality of a fresh start may have lost its place. We are now at a point where the economy experiences both upturns and downturns, vocations begin and end, working people engage with change daily and relationships ebb and flow. How convinced are we of the possibility that by God’s grace we can begin again? While serving in the New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory, I picked up a particular phrase that I’ve applied to my evaluative and thinking process: “You can always
walk away from yesterday.” I can hear the skeptic saying, “Yes, but there are always consequences from today.” I agree, but the age of grace in which we live presents us with possibilities that far outweigh any legacy from the past. I pray for a spirit, an attitude that permits me to view circumstances, situations and people clearly. That helps me see the possibilities, potential and the positive working of the Holy Spirit in everyone. My initial involvement with the Army as a teenager came as a result of a penitent heart, which led to a new beginning. Our services target the addicted, the broken, the wayward, the offender and the lost—all who need a helping hand. This is based on our conviction about new
beginnings. I have been fascinated by the recently launched Dignity Project. It is very fitting that The Salvation Army be a champion for dignity for all. It challenges us to believe in each other and reminds us that we are God’s treasured possession. It is my hope that all Salvationists will breathe in a new sense of confidence and hope based on God’s promise: “See, I am doing a new thing” (Isaiah 43:19). I find myself in a place of new beginnings—a new neighbourhood, home and appointment that involves leading the Canada and Bermuda Territory. While I gladly stand, with appreciation, on the shoulders of those who have gone before me, I embrace the days ahead with confidence in the fact that God has gone before us. His mission and ministry in this territory now require faithfulness and continued obedience. Over these next months, travelling the territory will provide an opportunity to listen to officers and Salvationists and catch up with the territorial story. My wife and I value that privilege. Having noted our respect for the past, we see a future that includes: A territory in celebration—While we give thanks for past blessings, we also anticipate “what’s next,” by God’s design. A territory with confidence—I want us to understand our “raised up” place in the body of Christ. God has begun a good work; may it grow as a result of our obedient faith. A territory committed to a cause—“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what
was lost” (Luke 19:10). For me this is an anchor that is steadfast. We must never forget the primary focus of God’s mission in the world. A territory that is creative—I want us to find solutions, challenge the status quo, engage the enemy with new spiritual weaponry, and stand in the gap and fight where injustice reigns. May it never be said that The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda missed the mark. A territory that is called— A song by Charles Wesley says we are “called to serve the present age.” We are also called to be comfortable in our biblical theology, proven distinctives, strong social care conscience, cutting edge mission initiatives and culture of being “saved to serve.” September has always meant new beginnings. Summer sunsets fade, regular routines quickly capture us and corps activities begin again. As our programs recommence and we welcome people back from holidays, may we have a renewed sense that God is poised and ready to do a new thing. I pray that Salvationists will embrace God’s mission in our corps and centres with an outcome that makes the impossible possible. “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). Commissioner Brian Peddle is the territorial commander of the Canada and Bermuda Territory.
8 I September 2011 I Salvationist
Soldiers Rise Up
The World for God
From the east end of London, England, The Salvation Army’s evangelistic mission has spread to 124 countries
service and discovered each had been a Salvationist in England. Before long they took to the open air to preach. The same year Frederick Booth-Tucker—a converted magistrate—and five companions planted the Army flag in India, much to the annoyance of the British ruling class. The same tactics were repeated wherever the Army “opened fire”: go in faith, preach the love of Jesus, be prepared for anything. Is it any wonder that by 1914 four international congresses had been held, with thousands of Salvationists from every country where the Army was at work bringing unimagined pageantry to London? From small beginnings in the east end of London 146 years ago, The Salvation Army has spread its ministry throughout the world in 124 countries. Recent additions include Togo, the Turks and Caicos Islands, United Arab Emirates and Solomon Islands. Active Christian concern has given the Army a visibility that far exceeds its numerical strength. And throughout the world there are unnamed, yet heroic, Salvationists who have answered the call to service, seeking nothing but the privilege of introducing people to the Saviour and thus healing the world’s ills.
Lt-Colonel Max Ryan points out how our W growth in the early days was often caused by soldiers who found themselves in a new country with a burning zeal to “raise the Army flag” in a hitherto unknown land, thus winning many souls to Christ (The World for God, August 2011). I am encouraged that some of our growth today is still caused by soldiers, lay members, who desire to see the Army’s work expand. The thought of new growth achieved and initiated by our laity, as well as by our officers, is exciting. May we learn a lesson from history and never forget that missional zeal can be lived out from the top down and the grassroots level up. Lieutenant Robert Jeffery BY LT-COLONEL MAXWELL RYAN
illiam Booth, founder of The Salvation Army, loved evangelistic campaigns. He viewed them as colourful, exciting and an effective way of getting things done. In fact, the Army—from its beginnings with General Booth—to the present with General Bond has engaged in a continual campaign to win the world for Jesus. Even though Army language has changed from battles and conquest to worship and relationship, the Movement still proclaims that “we are an Army, mobilized by God.” During the two decades following Booth’s first open-air meetings in England in 1865, the Army’s leaders busily directed a Movement that spread like wildfire throughout the British Isles. Drawing heavily on the orders and regulations of the British armed forces, Bramwell Booth and George Scott Railton formulated The Salvation Army’s own Orders & Regulations, which provided a cohesive yet flexible structure that ensured the fledgling Army would survive and grow. The evangelistic energy of early converts meant that wherever they went they
became the Army, challenged by a vision that included the whole world. They took to heart John Wesley’s phrase: “The world is my parish.” Early Army “war songs” (found in the current Salvation Army Song Book) reflect this imperialistic vision and reveal the motivation behind worldwide expansion: “Salvation Army, Army of God, onward to conquer the world with fire and blood”; “All the world to save, to battle we will go ... with a trumpet voice we’ll let the millions know, there’s salvation for the world.” As for mission strategy, some thought it did not exist. When the Army “invaded” the U.S.A. in 1880, the press could not contain its surprise as Railton and seven young unmarried women disembarked. This was an Army? The same year two men, who had been saved through the Army in the U.K., met in Adelaide, Australia, and commenced Army meetings. A year later William and Catherine Booth sent their daughter, Catherine, to one of the worst slums in Paris, France, to “open fire” and establish the Army. In 1882, two young men in London, Ontario, met at a church
Lt-Colonel Max Ryan is retired in Burlington, Ont., where he serves as a part-time hospital chaplain and amateur Army historian. William Booth with representatives of his soldiers from all parts of the world
Photo: Getty Images
Photos: Carson Samson
Where is the Love?
24 I August 2011 I Salvationist
Trick or Treat?
This month, little ghosts and goblins will come knocking on your door. Is Halloween a bad influence on our children?
I appreciated the Point Counterpoint NO. Halloween is harmless Just because some have it as their “helliday” debate on Halloween (Trick or Treat?, fun.chosen doesn’t make it evil. The Church can redeem this event October 2011). Historically, the observ- without succumbing to its dark side. ance of Halloween and All Saints’ Day is a W Christian attempt to dissuade nonbelievers from practising pagan rituals and remember Christians who have been martyred for their beliefs. The Bible makes it clear that God wants no part of evil or evildoers, and that as followers of Jesus we are not to conform to the norms of the world. It also warns, “Do not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:27 NASB) and “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22 KJV). For most of us, however, Halloween is an excuse to have some fun, give out candy and dress up. In the end it comes down to motivation. If you are just having fun, enjoy the day. If you are celebrating for anything other than amusement, you’d better think twice. Rick Skouin
I came to The Salvation Army because of its dual emphasis on belief and service. In other words, living our beliefs. Having said this I cannot conceive that a God of love can condemn a person, who knows nothing of our Saviour, to eternal torment. My way to salvation is through Jesus Christ, yet, at the back of my mind, there is always the question: “Are those of other faiths necessarily condemned?” This is a question which, most certainly, needs airing. Ian Kirkpatrick
Cadet Encouragement I was glad to see an update from the welcome weekend for the new session of cadets (Called to Righteous Living, November 2011). God bless the Proclaimers of the Resurrection Session as they begin their training. God bless all the corps, both in Winnipeg 2 I December 2010 I Salvationist
18 I October 2011 I Salvationist
Photo: © istockphoto.com/Sean Locke
BY MAJOR KATHIE CHIU
hen I was young, I loved dressing up in elaborate costumes each Halloween, smelling the crisp, earthy air from the fallen leaves, running from house to house … and, oh yes, the candy! But Halloween is hard for some Christians—they just don’t know what to do with it. Is it sinful and evil? Is it all about Satan worship and pagan gods? Or is it just fun and games? Years ago, when I got serious about my relationship with God I wanted to make sure that if I participated in Halloween I wasn’t breaking some kind of spiritual law. So I did some research. Here’s what I found. Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic feast of Samhain (pronounced sah-ween). Although it’s all about the candy now, it had some eerie beginnings. Originally it was a night for the druids to lead the people in a celebration of Samhain, whom they believed to be the Lord of the Dead. His festival fell on November 1. Most pagan nations had a belief that at death the souls of good people were taken by good spirits and carried off to paradise, but the souls of wicked people were left to wander the space between the earth and the moon or consigned to inhabit animals. On Samhain, the veil between the physical world and the spirit world was pierced, releasing evil spirits that would then harass the living. These wicked souls would return to their homes, so people would attempt to ward them off by wearing scary costumes. They would draw gargoyles on their houses and carve out gourds and pumpkins and put lights in them. They even tried to placate the evil spirits by offering them food. However, if the spirits weren’t satisfied, they would play a trick on them. Hence, trick or treat! When Christianity spread through Europe and the British Isles, many pagans and druids converted to Christianity. However, they were still very superstitious. Many of the people were illiter-
ate and uneducated and so their understanding of many things was very primitive. In order to combat superstition, the Roman Catholic Church established All Saints Day, a rival celebration on November 1. All Saints Day honoured all the martyrs who had died that year. On October 31, the Church held a mass called All Hallows, and the evening became known as All Hallows E’en, which means “holy evening.” Halloween is the Church’s attempt to redeem a pagan celebration. This is nothing new for the Church. Christmas and Easter were also timed to replace pagan celebrations. Some of the old symbols remain—the Easter egg is a sign of fertility as is the Christmas tree. So what is so evil about Halloween? Some simply practise it as a cultural festival—a night to dress up and have some fun. Others have embraced a pagan-like religious belief and have resurrected some of what they think are ancient Celtic practices. Still others have embraced evil and declared Halloween their special night. The Bible tells us that we are not to have anything to do with
than is required.
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We may not see a host of angels or a guiding star, but if we seek him, God will reveal himself to each of us this Christmas by General Linda Bond
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PRODUCT LABELING GUIDE
9 Christ is Here
FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL In the busyness of Christmas,
Departments 4 Editorial
The Gift of Giving by Major Jim Champ
5 Around the Territory 14 Ministry in Action Helping Hands by Ken Ramstead
16 Battle Cry
Fighting Greed With Generosity by Major Danielle Strickland
17 Social Issues An Eye for an Eye by Dani Shaw
19 National Advisory Board Addressing Homelessness by Major Jim Champ
Inside Faith & Friends Change From a Toonie
How a kind word from a Salvation Army kettle worker changed a grieving widower’s life
20 World Watch 22 Gospel Arts
Voicing Their Faith by Julia Hosking
24 Pursuing Holiness The Jesus Walk by Major Clarence Bradbury
25 Media Reviews 25 Territorial Prayer Guide
27 Celebrate Community
Enrolments and recognition, tributes, calendar, gazette
30 Cross Culture
What Would the Doctor Do? by Michael Boyce
when her life hit a low ebb, Carol Willems knows what it is like to be in despair at Christmastime
When you finish reading Faith & Friends in the centre of this issue, pull it Faith & out and give it to someone who needs to Christmas Eve hear about Conversion A Berenstain Christ’s lifeBears Christmas ChanGe changing From a Toonie Gifts of power Love
In The Little Drummer Boy, the VeggieTales characters put a new spin on a classic Christmas tale
Love Never Fails
Helped by The Salvation Army
we must not lose sight of the significance of Jesus’ birth by Commissioner Brian Peddle
10 Redeeming Christmas
Can we celebrate the holiday without debasing its Christian message? by Major Fred Ash
12 Making Spirits Bright
Through the Toy Mountain campaign, The Salvation Army and CTV give children a reason to smile at Christmas by Julia Hosking
18 Operation Bethlehem
Why does it take Christmas to heighten our sensitivity toward the poor and disadvantaged? How do we move with Jesus to a post-manger experience? by Major Julie Slous
21 Greater Things
When we humble ourselves in prayer, God will restore us, direct us and help us to stand firm by Major Brenda Murray
23 Tears in the Manger
In our eagerness to assert that Jesus is divine, we sometimes lose sight of his humanity by James Pedlar
26 One Army, One Mission, One Message
General Linda Bond launches International Vision for The Salvation Army by Kevin Sims
General Linda Bond’s letters to Salvationists around the world can be read at Salvationist.ca/ tag/sharing-the-vision
Inspiration for Living
How The Salvation Army Helps Those In Need
appropriate icons found at the bottom of every article posted on Salvationist.ca
Sharing the Vision
‘Twas the Night ...
Pass It On
Share your faith electronically by forwarding articles from Salvationist and Faith & Friends by e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. Just click one of the
Keep abreast of what the Army is doing internationally. Visit Salvationist.ca/worldwatch to read more about the Army’s work in over 120 countries Salvationist I December 2011 I 3
The Gift of Giving
e just want to teach our children the true spirit of Christmas,” said Greg. He and his wife, Hillary, sat in my office on a chilly November morning. “We have more than we need or deserve and it’s time for us as a family to give back.” They were not a wealthy couple but lived a comfortable lifestyle. I could have asked them for a cheque, but that would have been too easy. As the conversation unfolded, it was clear that they wanted to involve their children, aged seven and nine, in the act of giving. I helped match them with another family, a single mom with three young children. Only first names and children’s ages were provided. I informed them that this young family had fallen on difficult times and could benefit from any display of kindness during the Christmas season. So Greg, Hillary and their kids set out to do some shopping to make Christmas special for a group of strangers they would likely never meet. Every year, The Salvation Army partners with people and companies to brighten the lives of the most needy and vulnerable citizens in our communities. In her article “Making Spirits Bright,” Julia Hosking highlights the Toy Mountain campaign and how it benefits people like Tracey Gordon and her daughters. “If it wasn’t for The Salvation Army and Toy
Mountain,” states Gordon, “I wouldn’t have been able to give my girls a nice Christmas.” In a timely article alluding to the “occupy” movement, Major Danielle Strickland challenges us to fight greed with generosity. If you don’t think you’re a part of the world’s most affluent people, then Major Strickland encourages you to think again. “When we share our wealth with others,” she notes, “we embrace the true spirit of Christmas.” Major Fred Ash takes us on a journey from Christmas past to present with practical insight and advice on how Christians can embrace both the secular and sacred elements of the festive season. In early December, Greg and Hillary returned to my office. Their eyes were alight as they brought a Christmas package for delivery to their newly “adopted” family. They spoke of the time spent with their children explaining the importance of Christmas and the joy of giving to others. It didn’t matter to them that they would never meet the recipients. They thanked me and The Salvation Army for the teachable moments that they had with their kids. “Christmas has taken on a whole new meaning for us as a family this year,” exclaimed Hillary. The message was clear. Here was a young family who set out to make a difference in the lives of others and in the process experienced profound change within their own lives. They had discovered the gift of giving. “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ ” (Acts 20:35). MAJOR JIM CHAMP Editor-in-Chief
is a monthly publication of The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory Linda Bond General Commissioner Brian Peddle Territorial Commander Major Jim Champ Editor-in-Chief Geoff Moulton Assistant Editor-in-Chief John McAlister Senior Editor (416-467-3185) Major Max Sturge Associate Editor (416-422-6116) Timothy Cheng Art Director Pamela Richardson Production and Distribution Co-ordinator, Copy Editor Julia Hosking, Ken Ramstead, Debbie Sinclair Contributors Agreement No. 40064794, ISSN 1718-5769. Member, The Canadian Church Press. All Scripture references from the Holy Bible, Today’s New International Version (TNIV) © 2001, 2005 International Bible Society. Used by permission of International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide. All articles are copyright The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory and can be reprinted only with written permission.
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The Salvation Army exists to share the love of Jesus Christ, meet human needs and be a transforming influence in the communities of our world. Salvationist informs readers about the mission and ministry of The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda. Salvationist.ca Salvationist@can.salvationarmy.org Facebook.com/salvationistmagazine Twitter.com/salvationist 4 I December 2011 I Salvationist
AROUND THE TERRITORY
Unique Pillows for Children Moncton’s Small Blessings Battling Cancer Centre Has Regional Impact TUESDAY EVENING IS A highlight of the week for the sewing club at the corps in Sackville, N.S. The group has been meeting for the past three years to work on personal projects and items for the club’s annual tea and sale to raise funds for the corps. At the suggestion of one of its members, the group embarked on a special task earlier this year to brighten the lives and hospital rooms of children battling cancer at the Izaal Walton Killam Health Centre in Halifax. The project involved making pillowcases for children to use during their hospital stay and to take home following treatment. “They’re called rolled pillowcases,” explains Captain Gerri Durdle, corps officer, “which means there are no seams inside or out.” In one evening, club members created 25 pillowcases, many brightly coloured and decorated with fun prints.
SMALL BLESSINGS EARLY CHILDHOOD Development Centre in Moncton, N.B., is the only Salvation Army facility of its kind in the Maritime Division. The team recently organized a professional development day that is among the first of its kind in the daycare industry in New Brunswick. “We are delighted that centres in this region have recognized the importance of such a day,” says Lorraine Veysey, the facility’s director. The annual Small Blessings Sunday was held in June to build relationships between Moncton Citadel Community Church and the centre. This year featured a barbecue and carnival for the children following the service. Approximately 200 people enjoyed an afternoon of games and fellowship. For a second consecutive year, Small Blessings collected school supplies for Moncton community and family services. They also partner with the Moncton Fire Department to hold an annual hop-a-thon that raises an average of $1,000 each year for muscular dystrophy.
Children dealing with cancer at the Izaal Walton Killam Health Centre in Halifax receive pillowcases made especially for them by the sewing club at Sackville Corps
To promote quality child care, staff, parents and children of Moncton’s Small Blessings Early Childhood Development Centre participate in an annual parade and picnic that involves all centres in the region
Christmas is coming! Send a gift that will last all year. Yes! Send a gift subscription of: ❏ Salvationist (includes Faith & Friends) (Canada $30; US $36; other countries $41) ❏ Faith & Friends (Canada $17; US $22; other countries $24) ❏ Foi & Vie [French version of Faith & Friends] (Canada $25; US $30; other countries $32) ❏ Edge for Kids (Canada $12; US $15; other countries $17) To: Name: ������������������������������������������������� Address: __________________ Town/city: �������������������� Province/state: ____________ Postal/zip code: ��������������� Phone: ____________________ E-mail: �����������������������
From: Your name: ��������������������������������������������� Address: __________________ Town/city: �������������������� Province/state: ____________ Postal/zip code: ��������������� Phone: ____________________ E-mail: ����������������������� (Attach a separate sheet for additional subscriptions) Send a gift card ❏ Yes ❏ No Payment: ❏ Cheque (Payable to The Salvation Army) ❏ Visa ❏ Mastercard Name on card: ������������������������������������������ Card #: ___________________ Expiry date: ������������������ Return to: T he Salvation Army, 2 Overlea Blvd, Toronto ON M4H 1P4 or contact 416-422-6112; circulation@ can.salvationarmy.org; Salvationist.ca/subscribe Salvationist I December 2011 I 5
AROUND THE TERRITORY
Breaking Ground on Hope for Others THE SALVATION ARMY of Central York Region, Ont., held a ground-breaking ceremony in September in Aurora, Ont., for a new facility which will enable the Army to continue to serve the needs of people in the region. The ceremony acknowledged some of the financial gifts received by the Hope for Others campaign in support of the new facility, including Magna International Inc. who gave $250,000 and TACC Developments and Brookfield Homes who each contributed $100,000. The Salvation Army, through Northridge Community Church in Newmarket, Ont., assists thousands in Central York Region each year with basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter, and provides advocacy and other programs to help people overcome emotional and social obstacles. “The Salvation Army is thankful to the countless donors, community partners, volunteers and employees who have made this project possible,” said Lt-Colonel Susan van Duinen, divisional commander, Ontario Central-East Division. “The Salvation Army’s new facility in Central York Region will be a place of transformation, hope and dignity for all who walk through its doors.” Did you know … … Canada’s first federal parole officer was a Salvationist, Brg Walter Archibald? He was appointed in 1905 by the department of justice and established a system of parole supervision for released offenders that served as a model for the later federal and provincial parole systems … the 2011 Salvation Army Ontario Central-East Golf Classic at Angus Glen Golf Club raised money to rebuild the climbing wall and ropes course at Jackson’s Point Camp? Thousands of children and youth from at-risk neighbourhoods have been enabled to experience the fun of summer camp and learn important life lessons of trust, co-operation and teamwork … more than 260 motorcycle enthusiasts rode in support of The Salvation Army’s 28th annual Toys for Tots ride in Thunder Bay and London, Ont.? … the Life Works program sponsored by the Army and local service providers in Tillsonburg, Ont., addresses such issues as self-esteem, abuse, rental rights, budgeting, cleaning green, creating menus and cooking low cost, healthy meals? This 6 I December 2011 I Salvationist
Participants in the ground breaking for the Army’s new facility to be constructed in Aurora, Ont.
“Our communities need the valued services provided by The Salvation Army and this new facility will provide the space to accommodate these growing needs,” said Tony Van Bynen, mayor of Newmarket. “It is the stepping stone to a better tomorrow for those who need a helping hand.” Also present for the ceremony were Ted Handy, architect, Ted Handy and Associates; Lt-Colonel Dirk van Duinen, area com-
mander, Ontario Central-East Division; John Crowell, Magna International Inc.; Majors Brian and Glenda Bishop, corps officers, Northridge Community Church; Mayor Geoff Dawe, Aurora; David Stewart and Eddie Weisz, TACC Developments, Paradise, Fieldgate and Arista Homes; Mayor Virginia Hackson, East Gwillimbury, Ont.; and Peter Schut, Brookfield Homes.
year’s graduates received donated dresses and jewelry and were treated to a catered meal with family and friends who watched them graduate … on October 5, moviegoers were treated to an amazing 3-D experience at IMAX Winnipeg during its premier screening of the movie, Tornado Alley 3D, the most ambitious effort ever made to understand the origins and evolution of tornadoes? Proceeds, in part, from the screening helped support The Salvation Army’s emergency disaster services … the Army’s Toronto Harbour Light facility recently received its third award: the Toronto Urban Design Award in the elements category, specifically for the chapel element when lit up at night? The firm of Diamond and Schmitt Architects designed the building … The Salvation Army’s director for correctional and justice services in Newfoundland and Labrador, Dolly Sweetapple, has launched a pre- and postrelease offender reintegration program? Through workshops and mentoring, the pilot initiative helps inmates prepare for life
after prison, and then follows them closely afterwards to support and encourage them … The Salvation Army in Abbotsford, B.C., observed the sixth annual weekend of prayer to end human trafficking with an inaugural event called STAND? Its main objective is to give individuals the opportunity to stand with victims against the atrocities of human trafficking through education, awareness building and focused prayer. The event featured a screening of the documentary Sex + Money: A National Search for Human Worth. Saturday included a panel discussion led by representatives from the International Justice Mission, the British Columbia Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons, The Salvation Army Territorial Anti-Human Trafficking Network, The West Coast Domestic Workers Association and a RCMP representative who deals with victims of human trafficking. During the afternoon, participants prayed for those involved in human trafficking, including the victims, perpetrators and users
AROUND THE TERRITORY
Exploring Rural Ministries in the Maritimes MAJOR MIKE HOEFT, consultant for rural ministries, organized a conference at Scotian Glen Camp in Nova Scotia for those involved in rural ministry. For three days, they worshipped, prayed and shared the challenges and joys of rural ministry. Group sessions covered topics such as relating to community youth, publicizing one’s ministry, generating community support and developing leaders within corps and community services. “It is amazing the number of opportunities available in rural ministry for building relationships and influencing transformation in these communities,” said James Watson, territorial consultant for church planting and congregational revitalization.
The conference encouraged delegates to understand their identity as servants of God and to maintain their joy in ministry. Lt-Colonel Junior Hynes, territorial secretary for program services, stressed the importance of remembering one’s calling, and Major Morris Vincent, area commander, Maritime Division, challenged them to keep the message of Jesus Christ central in all of their work. Major Marlene George, pastoral care officer, Newfoundland and Labrador Division, emphasized self-care and offered a self-assessment on “compassion fatigue.” Major David Ivany, THQ pastoral services officer, presented workshops on spiritual direction. “The conference was a great opportunity to see what God can do in a small town,” says Major Jim Hann, corps officer, St. Mary’s Community Church, Ont. “It was encouraging to be with like-minded people who understand the challenges and joys of rural ministry.”
Westminster Park Tackles Hunger in London Rural ministry conference delegates discuss the challenges and opportunities of serving in smaller communities
For more information, contact Joanne Tilley, THQ social services: Joanne_Tilley@can.salvationarmy.org
WESTMINSTER PARK IN LONDON, Ont., annually hosts a community barbecue with hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks for more than 300 people from the nearby London Middlesex housing project. On Wednesdays, seven volunteers make meals for 60 high school students and 20 community people who come for lunch. This program began several years ago to build relationships with students from the nearby school. At the same time, two volunteers deliver 25 lunches to three elementary schools so that teachers can provide a child with a lunch if needed. Christmas kettles and community donations fund the program. Before the worship service on Sunday mornings, more than 30 community families enjoy a hot breakfast in the corps’ multipurpose room. “We changed our Sunday morning service starting time to make it easier for those having breakfast to attend,” explains Lieutenant Tracy Savage, corps officer. “Several have attended worship and we also have an adult Bible study that runs during the breakfast time. “Through dealing with hunger needs, relationships are built and other services are offered,” says Lieutenant Savage. “People see hope for a better future.”
Westminster Park Corps builds relationships with local students Salvationist I December 2011 I 7
For Such aTime as This We may not see a host of angels or a guiding star, but if we seek him, God will reveal himself to each of us this Christmas
8 I December 2011 I Salvationist
Photo: © istockphoto.com/Adyna
ow relevant is the Christmas story for the 21st century? It is celebrated every year with carols, trees, glitter, lights and gifts, but is the coming of Jesus into the world of any significance for such a time as this? More than two thousand years separate us. Where are the points of connection? The answer becomes clear when we look at two groups that played a central role in the first Christmas—the wise men and the shepherds. The two groups have often been contrasted, emphasizing the differences of occupation, religious background and learning. However, what they have in common may be what relates to us now. Both groups were men of reflection, the wise men studying the heavens, looking for signs; the shepherds with their long evening hours thinking of their occupied homeland and wondering when the promised Messiah would come. Surely there was an expectation that something would happen, must happen, to bring peace to the world. Would such reflection give birth to hope? I think so. Both groups experienced a divine intervention—a revelation. The shepherds were visited by an angelic host announcing the birth of the Saviour of the world. The wise men saw a star which became their guiding light to lead them to the Christ child. These two groups of very different men responded to the supernatural events and moved out of their comfort zones. Both shepherds and wise men took the divine signs seriously. An action of faith was needed and they took it. God never disappoints. For both groups, the realization was all that God had promised. The Saviour King was born. And whether it was kneeling at a manger or giving gifts to the child, shepherds and wise men all saw the face of God, the face of love in Jesus, Saviour of the world! This past year has been a time of unparalleled natural disasters, economic troubles and political upheavals. For such a time as this, reflecting on this world and
BY GENERAL LINDA BOND
perhaps even our own needs, there could be cause for despair. Yet Christmas is about hope, as it was two thousand years ago. Jesus not only came, he lived and died for the world. And he lives today! That gives us hope. We may not see a host of angels this Christmas or a guiding star, but God will come to each one of us in a discernible way, as he did to the shepherds and the wise men. We may choose to conclude that it is just the annual spirit of Christmas but it is God making himself known to us. How we react to it will be a matter of faith, a case of rising from our watch in the fields or following the star, so to speak. And if we do leave our comfort zone to seek the
God who seeks us, we will discover that he is real, just as the shepherds and the wise men did. He is love. We are loved. The Saviour of the world came to earth many years ago but he also comes today to us, to you, to me.
General Linda Bond is the international leader of The Salvation Army. Her letters to Salvationists can be read at Salvationist.ca/ tag/sharing-the-vision.
Christ is Here
Photo: © istockphoto.com/Liliboas
In the busyness of Christmas, we must not lose sight of the significance of Jesus’ birth BY COMMISSIONER BRIAN PEDDLE
hortly after Thanksgiving, I drove by a big box store that had a large sign proclaiming, “Christmas is Here!” My first reaction was one of offence. I knew that the commercialization of Jesus’ birth was at the heart of this announcement. The advertisement reflected an uncomfortable truth about the season: The earlier that businesses engage in Christmas preparations, the more money and profit they can make. As I reflected further, I became saddened by the thought of this store (and others like it) encouraging people to buy expensive gifts to celebrate the holiday. This is not the true spirit of Christmas. The focus of this season should be on the arrival of the Christ child. During this period of Advent (the weeks leading up to Christmas Day), we celebrate the coming of Jesus into the world. This event resonates with the intentional plan of God to both express his love and redeem his created ones. As Scripture reminds us, “When the time had fully come, God sent his Son” (Galatians 4:4). If by human standards God had been silent for years, this all changed with the drama that we refer to as the Christmas story. The narrative makes good material for school and church plays. The characters are not all willing participants, but in the end God facilitates his entry into the world of humankind. Advent, in its simplest form, means coming. Our journey through Advent marks the fact that Christ is here; he has come. There is permanence about his pres-
ence that supersedes the idea that a shopping season has arrived. The Christmas season permits us to celebrate, gather with friends and family, and engage in expressions of love through gift giving. I hope we understand the significance of John 3:16 as it declares, “For God so loved the world that he gave ….” The gift came in the form of a baby, born to Mary in Bethlehem, but equally significant is the love that spans the years all the way to his death on Calvary. The primary message is that Christ makes himself available and as a result we are privileged to live in this age of grace. This poem by Ann Weems sums up God’s plan through Christ’s coming. Christmas comes every time we see God in other persons. The human and the holy meet in Bethlehem or in Times Square, For Christmas comes like a golden storm on its way to Jerusalem— Determinedly, inevitably… Even now it comes In the face of hatred and warring— No atrocity too terrible to stop it, No Herod strong enough, No hurt deep enough, No curse shocking enough, No disaster shattering enough— For someone on earth will see the star, Someone will hear the angel voices, Someone will run to Bethlehem, Someone will know peace and goodwill: The Christ will be born!
I am committed to challenging my own thinking this Christmas season so that Advent does not come at my convenience. I want it to resonate as more than a calendar entry or a cycle of commerce. In order for Christmas to be here, so must Christ. In Corrie’s Christmas Memories, Corrie ten Boom brings this holy season into focus when she writes, “For you know, if our Lord were born a thousand times in Bethlehem and not in you, you would be lost anyhow.” In some ways we are all innkeepers who are confronted with the question: Is there any room for Jesus? It is a personal matter. I accept the fact that I live in a world where much of the meaning of Christmas is lost in the commercialism and frenzies of the preparation. Having said that, I declare that I am taking back, with appreciation, the significance of the holiday. I personally acknowledge that in the midst of it all, Christ is here and he remains. It is my hope that each of us will welcome the Christ child into our lives as a permanent reality of God’s eternal love. “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The gift is given. Christ is here. Commissioner Brian Peddle is the territorial commander of the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Salvationist I December 2011 I 9
Can we celebrate the holiday without debasing its Christian message?
ity poor Scrooge. He saw Christmas as an interference, a day when he paid Bob Cratchit to stay home and enjoy himself with his family. To Scrooge this was like having his pocket picked on an annual basis. Bah! Humbug! If only he’d known the art of commercializing Christmas, Scrooge could have made himself a lot more money, and Christmas would have been something for him to anticipate all year. Today’s business owners are a lot Scroogier. Rather than despising Christmas they have learned to make it the most profitable time of the year. If Scrooge is synonymous with greed, avarice and taking advantage of others, then today’s multinational corporations with their slick advertising, sweat-shop manufacturing and international distribution network have commercialized Christmas to a degree unimaginable even to Scrooge in his original reprobate state. Ironically, Charles Dickens, the creator of Scrooge, whom he described as “a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner,” unwittingly contributed to the creation of more such people. Nothing stirs the average Christmas shopper more than the ideas that have come to us from the Dickensian Christmas and the Victorian era. Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, the popular royals of their day, were pictured in the Illustrated London News standing with their children beside a Christmas tree. Immediately Christmas trees became fashionable among the British population. About this same time there was a revival of Christmas carol singing in churches and orchestral halls. (For almost two hundred years public carol singing was prohibited in England and the practice went on only in private homes.) In 1843, the same year that Dickens published A Christmas Carol, the first Christmas card was designed and printed. This card was a triptych consisting of three panels. The centre panel pictured a happy family enjoying a Christmas dinner 10 I December 2011 I Salvationist
BY MAJOR FRED ASH
complete with wine, even for the children. The panels on the left and right showed Christmas acts of charity—feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. Written in bold, red letters were the words, “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.” Then we have Dickens’ Christmas stories, the greatest of which is A Christmas Carol. One contemporary sociologist writes: “Charles Dickens has probably had more influence on the way that we celebrate Christmas today than any single individual in human history except one.” According to historian Ronald Hutton, “the current state of observance of Christmas is largely the result of a mid-Victorian revival of the holiday spearheaded by A Christmas Carol.”
Every manufacturer of children’s toys and candy saw dollar signs flashing before their eyes Family Focus And what does that Christmas look like? Ideally it is a family-centred event with gatherings around a Christmas tree, a feast with relatives coming from far and near to enjoy one another’s company, a turkey the size of Tiny Tim, lots of good cheer and best wishes that God will bless us every one. It is this Dickensian ideal that modern-day Scrooges unabashedly commercialize at Christmas. Advertisers inevitably show happy family gatherings as they promote products that will make those family times even happier. This includes everything from bigscreen TVs that families can gather around to watch Christmas specials, to new seven-
passenger vehicles that can accommodate the whole family as they go out looking for the perfect Christmas tree. Perhaps the most profitable entrepreneurs to capitalize on the family aspects of Christmas are the moviemakers. Untold millions have been made by the producers of Christmas family movies, which include such popular titles as It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), A Christmas Story (1983) and Home Alone (1990). And there have been more than a dozen movie versions of the Dickens’ classic, including the 2009 Disney 3-D animated version that featured the voice of Jim Carrey. That film alone grossed more than $325 million. Party Christmas The next big idea associated with Christmas that came to us from the 19th century was that Christmas is a fun time. The most popular song sung during Christmas is arguably Jingle Bells. The song was written in 1850 by American songwriter James Lord Pierpont just seven years after Dickens published A Christmas Carol. Although the song says nothing at all about the Nativity, we can hardly imagine a Christmas without singing Jingle Bells. The song is sung all over the Englishspeaking world. Even in Australia where Christmas comes in midsummer and they celebrate on the sandy beaches, people sing, “Dashing through the snow.” Even The Salvation Army has the music for the song in its repertoire, and whenever a band strikes up the melody any children present immediately begin clapping, singing and dancing. The song has made millions for crooners all over the world, including such notables as Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, The Beatles and Luciano Pavarotti. Even the Sex Pistols made money on this song. Promoting Christmas as a fun time is not a hard sell. Those who chose to promote this aspect of Christmas have made fortunes. The greeting “Merry Christmas” implies fun and enjoyment. One way to do this is through an innocent activity like a sleigh ride. But sleigh rides don’t
generate a lot of income, so why not take a cruise to the Caribbean instead? Or how about a week in Florida or Christmas in Disneyland? For those who want to stay closer to home there are the ski vacations and snowboarding. Fancy brochures picture young men and women in colourful outdoor fun-ware enjoying the Christmas holidays in a mountain resort. Closely associated with many of these fun activities is the consumption of alcohol. Whether on a cruise where people wine and dine, on the slopes where people open a cold one or at the office where there is an open bar, alcohol is a must-have ingredient for many when celebrating Christmas. And advertisers are quick to promote their products. Always the products are linked to good times as videos show young men and women either partying or enjoying some sporting activity. The result in Canada is a 36 percent increase in alcohol consumption during the holiday season and a lot of money in the pockets of the brewers and sellers. It pays to advertise! Here Comes Santa Claus Then there is Santa Claus. The popular picture of Santa is that of a magical figure who dashes around the world on a sled pulled by flying reindeer on Christmas Eve distributing gifts to children. This picture has come to us from the pen of Clement Clarke Moore in his poem A Visit from St. Nicholas (also known as The Night Before Christmas), which first appeared on December 23, 1823, in the Sentinel, a newspaper published in Troy, New York. Saint Nicholas (Dutch: Sinterklaas) in the Dutch tradition is the patron saint of children. In the old customs of the Netherlands, children put their shoes in front of the fireplace before they went to bed on Saint Nicholas Eve (December 5) and the next morning they found presents around their shoes. Moore kept the name of Saint Nicholas in his poem but changed the other elements of the legend. As the poem’s popularity grew so did the child-centred version of Christmas. Children all over America began hanging up their stockings on Christmas Eve in anticipation of a visit from Saint Nicolas who would fill those stockings with toys
and treats. Every manufacturer, distributor and seller of children’s toys and candy saw dollar signs flashing before their eyes. Millions of children with millions of stockings waiting to be filled meant millions of dollars to be made. It was the Coca-Cola Company that created the modern image we have of Santa Claus. The official Coca-Cola Company website explains that prior to 1922, Coca-Cola was thought of as a drink for warm weather, so the company started a campaign with the slogan “Thirst Knows
Christian Response The commercialization of Christmas was complete. Christmas is now big business. The question facing the followers of Christ is how are we to celebrate the Nativity in the midst of a secularized Christmas? We could stand on our proverbial soapbox and rant against the commercialization of our holy day. But most likely we would be seen as preaching against family, fun and children. Such a stance would not likely win anyone to our cause. We could go about our celebrations in our own quiet way and ignore the rest of our culture, singing our carols behind closed doors, retelling the story to ourselves and pretending that we are not interested in Santa Claus. This holier-than-thou stance creates an us-and-them mentality and only further widens the gap between believers and those who have yet to believe. A third alternative is to recognize Christmas for what it is in our culture: an event that is both secular and religious. We do not have to reject one to embrace the other. It is not a matter of eitheror, but a matter of both-and. It is not a sin to celebrate with your family. Jesus is not insulted by laughter. Even God gives good gifts to his children. The Christian can embrace all these elements of Christmas and add to them one more, as the converted Scrooge did. That is the element of faith. For Scrooge truly was converted. The story says that on Christmas morning after his awful night with the spirits “he went to church.” He asked forgiveness from the men he had insulted the day before and pledged a large donation to charity for the benefit of the poor. He went to his nephew’s house and was reconciled with his estranged family. He gave a gift to his employee and made restitution for the wrongs he had done. Pity Scrooge? No, for he had discovered the true meaning of Christmas. He embraced it all as he testified: “Wonderful party, wonderful games, wonderful unanimity, wonderful happiness!”
How are we to celebrate the Nativity in the midst of a secularized Christmas?
No Season” and developed advertisements picturing winter and Christmas activities. In 1931, the company commissioned illustrator Haddon Sundblom to develop advertising images using Santa Claus. Sundblom used Moore’s poem for inspiration and produced the Santa we now know as the “warm, friendly, pleasantly plump and human” character in the red suit and white beard.
Major Fred Ash is a retired officer living in Barrie, Ont. Salvationist I December 2011 I 11
Making Spirits Bright Through the Toy Mountain campaign, The Salvation Army and CTV give children a reason to smile at Christmas
BY JULIA HOSKING, STAFF WRITER
A Million Smiles With Christmas approaching, many Torontonians are tuning in to CTV’s nightly news, where weather anchor Tom Brown champions the CTV and Salvation Army Toy Mountain campaign now in its 16th year. Together, the two organizations work in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to collect toys for children whose parents can’t afford to buy them. “As soon as we get into November, I know Toy Mountain is around the corner,” says Brown, beaming. “I’m pumped, I’m excited—it’s the highlight of my Christmas season.” Thanks to the promotion on CTV and support of many businesses and individuals, goals are regularly exceeded. In 2010, Toy Mountain collected over 143,000 toys, surpassing its goal of 120,000. This meant 65,000 children received several toys on Christmas Day. Brown recalls his “magical” Christmases as a child—running down the stairs and seeing brightly-wrapped presents under a sparkling tree—and that is what he wants to provide to others through Toy Mountain. “Let’s give every child that magical moment every year; let’s put a smile on their face and let them know they’re loved,” he says. A Valuable Partnership Major John Murray, divisional secretary for public relations and development, Ontario Central-East Division, believes the campaign has a wonderful spin-off effect. 12 I December 2011 I Salvationist
Photos: Neil Leduke
ast year, Tracey Gordon saw her two girls’ faces light up on Christmas Day. Gordon smiled as she watched them excitedly unwrap dolls, games and stocking stuffers she had received from The Salvation Army’s Toy Mountain. The unemployed, single mom, who is a client and volunteer at Toronto’s Cederbrae Community Church, was grateful for that moment. “If it wasn’t for The Salvation Army and Toy Mountain, I wouldn’t have been able to give my girls a nice Christmas,” she shares.
Tom Brown, CTV weather anchor, thanks donors who gave toys to the Toy Mountain campaign
“Toy Mountain is also about highlighting the Army’s presence in the community—bringing hope to people, engaging volunteers and developing corporate partnerships,” he says. During the Christmas period, in the GTA alone, there are 400 Christmas kettle sites and 2,000 volunteers, making it the most visible time of year for the Army. “We’re on the news a lot talking about poverty, the marginalized and the working poor,” continues Major Murray. “We strategically turn the message of Christmas
into an opportunity to bring dignity to people. Toy Mountain and CTV help us with that task.” Many Hands In addition to the public’s generous support of the campaign, major corporations, such as Toronto Ford Dealers and McDonald’s Ontario, are an integral part of Toy Mountain’s success. McDonald’s Ontario has been a proud supporter of the campaign for several years. In 2011, their GTA restaurants
will once again have toy collection boxes available for public donations. “A program like this fits perfectly within the culture of McDonald’s, which is giving back to people in need and helping to support our local communities,” says Sharon Ramalho, vice-president, McDonald’s Ontario. The Toronto Ford Dealers Association joined the Toy Mountain team in 2010, donating more than $100,000 worth of toys and money and giving away a 2011 Ford Fiesta in a draw as a reward to Toy Mountain donors. “Being part of Toy Mountain brings a smile to our faces,” says David Nourse, vice-president, Toronto Ford Dealers Association. Shopping malls and small businesses also play a significant role in Toy Mountain by hosting toy drives and collection boxes. The Railside Food and Toy Distribution Centre located in Toronto, which collects, collates and distributes the toys, offers businesses an electronic toy drive via their new website (salvationarmyfoodandtoy. org) as part of Give Joy, an arm of Toy Mountain. From the Store to the Corps Throughout the Toy Mountain campaign, the Railside Food and Toy Distribution Centre is hard at work to prepare those toys already collected. They pick up donations from more than 300 locations—including shopping malls and businesses—and sort them by age and gender. This process, which commences in mid-November, relies heavily on corporate volunteers such as IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Bank of Montreal and Allans Candy.
“If it wasn’t for our volunteers, we couldn’t do Christmas,” says David Rennie, executive director, Railside Food and Toy Distribution Centre. “We have 150 corporations support us each year. Many continue to return as they are so thankful for the opportunity to help others.” “Not many people feel as good as we do at Christmas,” reflects Don Butt, director, Railside Food and Toy Distribution Centre. “One Christmas Eve, as I was heading home, I realized that 65,000 kids would have toys under their trees in the morning because of our work.” Once sorted, toys are delivered to Salvation Army ministry units for distribution, many of which have adopted a process whereby parents “go shopping” for their children. “Providing parents with a selection gives them more dignity,” says Rennie. “They know what their kids like. For example, some five-year-olds have an eight-year-olds’ reading level and there are girls who prefer trucks over dolls.” Major Sandra Ryan, corps officer at Corps 614 in Toronto’s Regent Park, discovered this process can be as meaningful in parents’ lives as in the children’s. “One mother came to select gifts for her kids who were in foster care at the time,” recalls Major Ryan. “Being able to choose was significant because so many other choices had been taken from her. The following year, she came to us again, this time with her children. She said that because we treated her with respect, she had resolved to change her life and worked to get her kids back.” To ensure that children will receive a toy on Christmas Day, the distribution to parents and caregivers commences in
CTV and The Salvation Army express their appreciation to the Toronto Ford Dealers Association. From left: Tom Brown; David Nourse, vice-president, Toronto Ford Dealers Association; Mjr John Murray
early December for most corps. “We don’t normally start getting the onslaught of toys through Toy Mountain until mid-December, and so each year we need an opening inventory for ministry units to start distributing,” says Butt. “The toys we get up to the end of December and even at the beginning of January go into the system for early distribution next year.” Toys Open Doors As the Toy Mountain campaign gains momentum this December, there is once again a need for toys. With families still recovering from the global financial crisis, and one in 11 Canadians living in poverty, last year’s goal has been increased to 150,000 to deal with this heightened demand. “Christmas is a time for giving and because I cannot give to Toy Mountain, I give my time to The Salvation Army,” says Gordon. “Through that, I’ve seen parents who, like me, can’t afford the toys they’re receiving. It’s amazing to see the joy those parents have when they pick out the gifts for their kids.” Whether donating to Toy Mountain or the Salvation Army toy drive in your local community, Major Murray offers a reminder that the Christmas campaign is about more than toys. “When Army officers, staff and volunteers distribute Christmas gifts to clients, it opens the door for broader conversations about what is going on in their world and how they live,” he says. “We can then connect the kids with our summer camps and other programs where we can plant seeds of hope, joy and Christ in their lives. And all that starts because someone donates a toy to us at Christmas.”
CTV joins The Salvation Army in the campaign to build a mountain of toys Salvationist I December 2011 I 13
MINISTRY IN ACTION
For women across the city of Calgary, The Salvation Army’s Community Services is a welcome refuge BY KEN RAMSTEAD, EDITOR, FAITH & FRIENDS AND FOI & VIE
never expected to stay in Calgary,” says Karen Livick, executive director of The Salvation Army’s community services in Calgary. Part of the executive team tasked by territorial headquarters to oversee the amalgamation of the Army’s social programs in the city into one ministry unit, Livick had thought she’d be there for only two years. “That was in 1999, and here I stay!” she laughs. “But I wouldn’t have it any other way.” “We have a solid, efficient organization,” says Livick proudly. “And while everything we do is important, I’m particularly excited about two of our initiatives, the women’s residential program and the Global Café.” It Takes a Village This past September, the women’s residential services moved into their own separate facility, called the Village. “While there are some basic qualifications, we rarely turn anyone away,” says Livick. “We meet the women where they are, one to one.” At the Village, the Army works with women over a three-month period on the skills they need to be successful when they move back into the community. Core classes include computer literacy, job readiness, self-esteem, anger management, values and relationship building. “Central to everything we do here is our pastoral care services,” says Livick. “It allows the women to have that additional support to search for their spiritual side. We’ve had a few clients who have grown in their spirituality thanks to our chaplain, Lieutenant Kathy Blindenbach.” In a little over a year, 42 women have passed through the program, and 22 have graduated. “While the program officially lasts three months, there is no set graduation time,” explains Sheila McKillop, the women’s residential program manager. “Some of our women have learning disabilities, some may not pick up a skill on the first attempt. We’re more than happy to con14 I December 2011 I Salvationist
A Global Café client and her daughter enjoy a fun moment
tinue to teach them the skills they need to be successful.” One of the core courses is the cooking component, which Ann Underhill oversees. There, the women learn basic kitchen skills, food safety, health and nutrition. She recalls one of the first women who participated in the threemonth program. “She was pregnant during the whole program,” Underhill says. “She graduated with flying colours and successfully moved out on her own. We
contact her on a monthly basis to make sure the new mother is doing all right, but there’s almost no need. It’s awesome to see her strength and coping skills continually evolve. “Many women who come to us have been denied the opportunity to learn how to provide healthy, properly proportioned meals for themselves and their families,” Underhill continues. “It’s an essential component of the life skills that The Salvation Army provides for these women.”
MINISTRY IN ACTION Global Café Originally created to support the influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants to the Calgary area, the Global Café is a community centre that offers job training and legal services. “Most of our mothers are from the Latino community and didn’t have a place to go where they could socialize and build networks,” says Olimphya Elizondo, a staff member. “We promote integration of multicultural families into Canadian society, provide information about community resources and help answer any questions they may have about their new country,” says Livick. “We also provide ESL courses so that these newcomers can effectively cope with life’s challenges and become self-sustaining and more independent.” More than 100 families avail themselves of the Global Café’s services every month. “Our role is to provide a non-judgmental area where newcomers can build their self-confidence, learn English, build networks and overcome some of their stumbling blocks so that they can move on with their lives here in Canada,” continues Livick. “Our clients have gone on to start businesses and are now helping those who have followed with employment and support in their turn,” explains Elizondo. Patricia Barreda started attending the Global Café last year and couldn’t speak a word of English. “Thanks to this place, I developed the skills and self-confidence I needed to get a job,” she says. Margarita Sevilla, now a volunteer at the centre who helps immigrants, was once a refugee herself. “I took refuge in a church for seven months while my claim
was being processed, so I understand exactly what my clients are going through,” Sevilla says. “Now, I’m trying to make a difference in their lives.” “The challenge can be overwhelming for any woman who decides to leave her home to go ask for help, who doesn’t know the language and who might be unfamiliar with the city,” says Elizondo. “Every woman here is a warrior and a survivor.
Ann Underhill (left) working with one of her clients in the kitchen
Olimphya Elizondo (left) with one of the Global Café volunteers
Global Café clients at a moms and tots camp held in Pine Lake, Man.
With courage, hope and faith, they hold on to their dreams and move forward. “As Salvationists, we try to be a transforming influence in the lives of others and support those in most need. It’s a huge responsibility, but it’s also a great opportunity.”
Caring and Support
The Salvation Army’s social services in Calgary consist of 165 employees spread through five main locations. Some of the services offered include: • Men’s Residential Services— Housed at the Centre of Hope, accommodation for homeless and transient men include 159 emergency and 164 transitional beds. • Pregnant and Parenting Support Centre—Counselling and workshops help new parents gain life skills so that they can raise healthy and happy children. • Addictions Recovery— Counselling, life-skills training, and anger and stress management are just some of the programs provided. • Family Christmas Assistance Program—Low-income families in Calgary and the surrounding area can receive food vouchers and ageappropriate toys or gift certificates for children under 17. • Community Support Services— Programs such as rent assistance, income-tax assistance, workboots programs and backpacks for children are designed to meet the pressing needs of families and individuals.
Olimphya Elizondo (left) and Karen Livick (right) flank a happy Global Café client and her child Salvationist I December 2011 I 15
Fighting Greed With Generosity
When we share our wealth with others, we embrace the true spirit of Christmas BY MAJOR DANIELLE STRICKLAND
n September 17, protesters calling themselves “The 99 Percent” gathered in New York to demand change from the top one percent of America that control the nation’s financial institutions. Since these Occupy Wall Street demonstrations began, similar “occupy” campaigns have spread to over 70 North American cities, including Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver. The protesters are railing against corporate selfishness, social and economic inequality and the ever-increasing influence of corporations and banks over governments. Essentially, they’re fighting greed. Now greed is a tricky thing to understand because most of us have been convinced that it’s measured by how much stuff we have. However, even if we are working for minimum wage or receiving a government subsidy in a developed country we are still in the top 10 percent of the wealthiest people on the planet (see www.globalrichlist.com). But just because we’re rich doesn’t mean we’re greedy, right? If so, what does greed look like? My friend was a missionary for a few years in a poor country. On the compound where she lived were several families. Some of them were from the host country and some were from Western countries. One of the young boys, Johnny (name changed to protect the guilty), received a gift of a tricycle from his home country. He was very excited and rode it around the compound all morning. His friend had never seen a tricycle before and was running after him and enjoying the excitement of it all. Eventually, as Johnny got tired of riding, his friend asked him, “Can I try?” At this question, Johnny got very mad, said “No” and wouldn’t get off the bicycle. A few minutes later, the little bike rider saw the swings close by and decided that he felt like doing something different. But because he didn’t want to share his new bike, he got off, picked it up in his little arms and carried it over to the swing set. He was not going to share that bike! Greed looks like that. It’s a staunch refusal to share. 16 I December 2011 I Salvationist
Mother Teresa was once questioned by a skeptical reporter who asked, “How can you believe in a God who allows people to go hungry?” Mother Teresa replied, “Don’t you go blaming poverty on God. Poverty exists in the world simply because God’s children refuse to share.” Ouch. Greed grows like an infection in us, hollowing us out inside and making us dead to other people’s needs and plights. There is extreme poverty in the world, and while other people are looking for food to survive, we in the Western world are throwing ours out by the platefuls. So what can we do? We need to fight greed in this generation, but how? Jesus helps us by living a life that is radically different than the status quo. Greed isn’t a new idea—it’s an old one. It’s greed that caused Adam and Eve to want what they couldn’t have and then blame each other. It’s greed that has bred wars, famines, dictatorships and countless casualties of crime. It’s greed that turns the greatest expression of generosity the world has ever known—Christmas—into a frenzy of selfishness. But Jesus always attacks greed with excessive generosity. Even salvation is generous; Jesus made it free for anyone who would receive it. Ever since I began to see the way Jesus lives his life open-handed, I’ve been trying
to live like him. It’s hard, but it’s fun. It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t receive (even as a young baby he received extravagant gifts). It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t have any money (he had appointed a disciple just to look after the cash). It’s that Jesus wasn’t owned by his money, gifts, status and successes. Jesus instructs his disciples to make this the principle of their whole lives: “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). Once the disciples catch this radical idea of living open-handed in a closed-fist world, it’s amazing what happens. Thousands get saved in one day, there are miraculous prison breaks, people receive healing, dead people are raised up and people start living together to share resources. The Scriptures tell us that the first disciples so caught this message that in their community no one was in need (see Acts 4:32-35). They solved poverty by learning to live open-handed. Freely they received, now freely they gave. Why don’t we live like that? For more information on fighting greed at Christmas, visit theadventconspiracy.org. Major Danielle Strickland is the corps officer of Edmonton Crossroads Community Church. She has a personal blog at djstricklandremix. blogspot.com.
An Eye for an Eye Should Christians support capital punishment?
Photo: © istockphoto.com/gremlin
BY DANI SHAW
apital punishment strikes me as fundamentally flawed. Killing a person to send the message that killing is wrong seems contradictory at best and hypocritical at worst. The fact that executions are pre-meditated, and corrections officials or private citizens are paid to carry them out, makes them seem all the more heinous. What goes through the mind of an executioner as he or she administers a lethal injection or activates the electric chair? Does he believe the condemned prisoner is a threat to society who deserves to die? Or does she see the humanity of someone who made a terrible mistake, often decades earlier, and who may no longer pose any threat to society? Capital punishment has been abolished in most of the Western world. According to Wikipedia, only the United States and Belarus continue to practise capital punishment, and Latvia has reserved the death penalty for war time. By contrast, the death penalty is practised in 14 out of 54 African nations as well as 24 of the 55 Middle Eastern and Asian-Pacific states. And although the United Nations has called for a moratorium on the death penalty, the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights does not mandate its complete abolition. Rather, it requires states that have not abolished the death penalty to restrict it to the “most serious crimes.” In the Middle East and parts of Africa, adultery is often considered a “most serious crime,” punishable by death by stoning. These executions are especially troubling, not only because they are savage and barbaric, but also because the legitimacy of the allegations made against the accused and the fairness of their trials are often called into question. By contrast, the United States tends to reserve capital punishment for murder. The story of Troy Davis, a Georgia man who was executed on September 21 despite maintaining his innocence, revived public debate about the death penalty. Davis was sentenced to death for the 1989 murder of a 27-year-old off-duty police officer. At the time of sentencing, he was 22. He spent the final 20 years of his life fighting both his conviction and his sentence. His execution date was set and postponed three times along the way. Unlike other death-row inmates who often have lengthy criminal records and a history of violent crime, Davis had only one prior conviction of carrying a concealed weapon. For that, he was fined $250. Despite multiple appeals, a constitutional challenge, widespread public support as well as the support of prominent international leaders such as Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Davis’ conviction and sentence were upheld. How should Christians respond to these situations? We cannot simply ignore crime in our communities. And not all accused are innocent. Too many people get caught up in a life of crime, committing increasingly dangerous and violent acts. Some of them are a genuine threat to the safety of others, whether to fellow criminals or innocent bystanders. In some cases, it can be very difficult to show compassion. Salvation Army positional statements on capital punishment reflect the diversity of views and the complexity of our own spiritual heritage on this issue. While each and every territory affirms the belief in the sanctity of human life and the possibility of redemption, they do not universally condemn the death penalty. The Australian territories’ positional statement unequivocally asserts that “Salvationists do not support the death penalty.” By contrast, the Canada and Bermuda Territory and the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland acknowledge that there are Salvationists who firmly believe in the state’s right to execute and the moral acceptability and deterrent effect of capital punishment. How do we resolve this dilemma? The Salvation Army has resolved it by choosing not to advocate for the continuation or reinstatement of the death penalty and by continuing to minister to families of both victims and offenders. Outside the Church, George Clooney may have resolved the dilemma best. Playing a presidential candidate in the movie The Ides of March, Clooney’s character gives the following answer when asked about his views on capital punishment and what he would do if someone killed his wife. “If I could get to him, I would find a way to kill him … I would commit a crime for which I would happily go to jail.” When asked, “Then why not let society do that?” Clooney’s character responds, “Because society is supposed to be better than the individual.” Dani Shaw is a lawyer, a former political advisor to the prime minister and the federal minister of health, and a long-standing member/observer of The Salvation Army’s Social Issues Committee. Salvationist I December 2011 I 17
Why does it take Christmas to heighten our sensitivity toward the poor and disadvantaged? How do we move with Jesus to a post-manger experience?
he call came through in the late hours of the evening. The voice on the phone was frantic. “Major Julie,” she said. “All the families in our complex are being evicted. We don’t have anywhere to go and we don’t know what to do.” This is the dilemma faced by more than 100 families this Christmas in the neighbourhood surrounding Winnipeg’s Heritage Park Temple. Final notice is served for January 31, 2012. Some might say, “What’s the big deal? Just find yourself another place to live!” But solutions are not so easily found when you calculate the limited options that exist for low-income housing in the city. With this dark cloud hanging over their heads, it’s not going to be easy for any of these families to have themselves a “merry little Christmas.” Here is the challenge so many of us face at this time of the year: Christmas does not cancel out life’s realities. The blanket of nostalgia that covers our winter wonderland with warm sentiments of the season does not eliminate eviction notices, reduce the bills that have to be paid, alter terminal diagnoses, diminish depression or lessen loneliness. Christmas will not weaken the grip that hopelessness has on the marginalized and impoverished of our communities. Chestnuts may roast on open fires and hot apple cider simmer on stoves, but for many people Christmas remains a cold, conflicting experience. As Salvationists, we quickly rally to the call, perhaps more so at this time of the year than others. We recruit volunteers for kettle shifts, toy drives and hamper packing. We visit hospitals, seniors’ residences and correctional institutions. Our goal is to bring Christmas cheer. We move into this ministry for a season. But once we reach our December 25 deadline, we shut down our efforts. We pack up our kettle supplies, retire unused toys and try to recover from the mad frenzy of the past few weeks. This leads to an important question: Why can’t we rally the kind of support we see at Christmas at other times of the year? 18 I December 2011 I Salvationist
Why does it take this holiday season to heighten our sensitivity toward the poor and disadvantaged? Perhaps it’s because of what is encountered in the first experience of Christmas. Consider the gospel account: it is a picture of a holy God opening up the eternal realm and putting all of Heaven’s escalators in downward motion. In so doing, God moves into our neighbourhood in human form and does not show preference to the address or postal code. It is God launching Operation Bethlehem as part of his continuing dignity project to affirm the value and worth of all human beings for divine and holy purposes. Think about Mary. She is just a young peasant girl with no special status or reputation whom God chooses to be part of Operation Bethlehem. The angel’s message is clear: she will give birth to a son, but not just any son; he would become the Son of the Most High (see Luke 1:31-33). God could have written a much different screenplay. The child could have been born into the noble courts of the day where there was extravagant wealth and affluence. (If King Herod had not been so threatened by the coming of the Messiah,
maybe this could have been the script.) However, Jesus arrives in the midst of King Herod’s raging fear and jealousy, with the Jewish leader ordering all male babies to be murdered so that he could secure his throne at all costs. It is not a pretty picture. Injustice cries out from the margins of the text as those who have no means to change their circumstances fall victim to the edicts of the day. In the midst of this, a young peasant girl is elevated to bear the Son of the Most High God. Joseph, the man chosen to be Jesus’ earthly father, is a common carpenter with no unique distinction or station in society either. Operation Bethlehem strategically includes someone of the blue-collar trade. Joseph’s livelihood depends on the skill of his human hands and the endurance of his will. In no way did Jesus have societal advantage by way of his earthly parents. The poverty surrounding the first Christmas intensifies when we tread with hastened steps into the birthing room of the Saviour. We will not find anything lavishly prepared. Rather, it is a rusty feeding trough, padded by the stubble of straw in a drafty barn, that becomes the cradle for
Photo: © istockphoto.com/Pink Tag
Third of a four-part series on dignity BY MAJOR JULIE SLOUS
God’s Son. Operation Bethlehem sends the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords into the most humble of circumstances, as he becomes one with those for whom there was no light shining “hope in the city.” Operation Bethlehem’s emphasis toward the value of all people is further illuminated as we encounter the presence of the shepherds. While there were probably more learned and influential voices that could have announced Jesus’ birth, God chooses a handful of grubby shepherds. Marginalized by the socially and religious elite, it is the riffraff from the distant fields who become the first onsite reporters and spread the word about the Saviour being born (see Luke 2:8-20). While there might have been a more prestigious way to give this event the media attention it deserved, Operation Bethlehem entrusted this responsibility to the lowly and disenfranchised. So, why does it take Christmas to heighten our sensitivity toward the poor and disadvantaged? The first Christmas, God’s Operation Bethlehem, naturally navigates us in this direction. Heaven’s dignity project deliberately emphasizes that all people would see the glory of the Heavens opening and know the good news coming into the world. If peasant girls, common carpenters and poor shepherds find centrality in the Christmas story, surely it is good and right that this demographic becomes central to our own expression of Christmas.
While we might rest comfortably in this realization, the gospel does not release us from the work Operation Bethlehem initiates. Ministry does not cease at the manger, nor does it cease for The Salvation Army. The One who was anointed “to proclaim good news to the poor … to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free” will travel many miles beyond Bethlehem (see Luke 4:18-19). Ministry to the poor will continue to be a
Ministry does not cease at the manger, nor does it cease for The Salvation Army primary focus. It is our privilege to walk this distance with Jesus. Yet ahead, there will be a Garden of Gethsemane, betrayal, rejection, misunderstanding, a cruel and brutal death and finally the victory of a glorious Resurrection. Ministry will move out and find its fullest expression beyond the manger. While our own Operation Bethlehem will serve our communities for a season, we recognize that the ongoing work of advocating and caring for the poor will be an essential part of our postmanger experience.
At the National Advisory Board meeting held in Vancouver, board members see first-hand how the Army is ministering to those in need
BY MAJOR JIM CHAMP, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
he Salvation Army is the most significant partner in our homelessness strategy,” said British Columbia Minister of Housing Rich Coleman, as he addressed members of the Army’s National Advisory Board and Vancouver Advisory Board at a dinner hosted by Telus Corporation. The minister praised the Army for its efforts to meet the needs of the province’s most vulnerable citizens. Adopting a strategy that focuses on people and their individual needs, British Columbia has seen its homeless population reduced by 6,500 over the past six years,
a feat unmatched elsewhere in Canada. Rather than spending large amounts of money on new housing, the government has provided rent subsidies for individuals and families to remain in their accommodations. The challenge of meeting the needs of the homeless in Canada was the focus of the two-day visit to Vancouver by members of the National Advisory Board (NAB). The board was afforded a firsthand glimpse into the work of the Army in the city’s Downtown Eastside. Tours of Belkin House, the Harbour Light and the
Last Christmas, a Boeing 757 flight took off from Winnipeg International Airport. The passengers on board were not your average travelers. The plane was filled with 160 children from the inner city who were about to live out the fantasy of their lives. They were boarding the North Pole Express to get a bird’s-eye view of Santa’s workshop. Shortly after takeoff these kids were rallied into a caroling frenzy by one of the local radio emcees. With the help of the flight attendants, a Winnipeg Free Press reporter was transformed into Santa Claus. The experience was best summed up by 10-year-old Ley Zamora who said, “This is like the best Christmas gift ever! Can we do this again tomorrow?” Dignity workers in The Salvation Army should never lose sight that “tomorrow” is always flashing on the radar screens of the poor. Need knows no season. Just as ministry moved beyond the manger for Jesus, so we march with heightened fervour to complete the dignity work Operation Bethlehem initiates. In so doing, we lean our ear toward a manger and hear the piercing sound of a baby’s cry, defying the darkness of the night and daring us to see how all people can find the dignity that can be theirs as God’s valued and loved creation. Major Julie Slous, D.Min., is a corps officer, with her husband Brian, at Winnipeg’s Heritage Park Temple. She also serves as adjunct faculty at the College for Officer Training.
NATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD New Westminster Corps and Community Services gave opportunity for conversation between board members and front-line workers about the rewarding yet challenging ministry that is carried out on a daily basis. Suzanne Herbert, former deputy minister for social and community services in the province of Ontario, and now a member of the NAB, said, “The opportunity to see the Army with its sleeves rolled up and at work in the heart of the city of Vancouver reinforced and strengthened my commitment to support this wonderful organization in its important work.” On the second day of their visit, presentations by divisional and territorial social services personnel outlined the magnitude of the homeless problem and the Army’s engagement locally and nationally with some of the related issues. The board was asked to explore how they could lend their expertise in support of the Army’s efforts to minister to the needy. Salvationist I December 2011 I 19
The Canada and Bermuda Territory enters into new relationships as part of the international Partners in Mission program BY MAJOR GILLIAN BROWN
alvation Army International Headquarters introduced Partners in Mission in 2002, a program designed to create partnership between territories with the intention of increasing the finan-
cial support of the Self-Denial Appeal. The Canada and Bermuda Territory was placed in a partnership group that included Germany, Spain, Mexico, Liberia, Tanzania, Hong Kong and Macau, and
Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar. Since then, Partners in Mission has highlighted each of these territories, provided funding support for projects and encouraged several short-term mission team visits. Beginning in 2012, we will be partnered with a new group of territories, which includes some territories from our first grouping but adds the opportunity to develop new relationships. The Germany and Lithuania Territory (which includes Poland) will continue as one of our partners as will the Liberia Command (which includes Sierra Leone). Although the issues within each of these territories are significantly different, both are grant-aided territories requiring financial support from the international Salvation Army. Our group will also include Latin America North, Zimbabwe and Malawi. The two African countries will be familiar to some as we have sent short-term and long-term personnel to assist the Army’s work. The Latin America North Territory includes Cuba, which has been supported by short-term mission teams from the Ontario Central-East Division. While the Canada and Bermuda Territory responds to needs in more than 30 countries, we are privileged to support these five partner territories in prayer and the sharing of our resources. Major Gillian Brown is the director of world missions, THQ These children in Liberia and hundreds like them around the world attend Salvation Army schools because of the Partners in Mission program
Weekly Meeting Surrounds the World in Prayer
alvationists and friends from more than 80 countries have already signed up to take part in the weekly Worldwide Prayer Meeting launched in September by General Linda Bond. On the prayer meeting section of The Salvation Army’s international website, the General offers a personal invitation to join with her and the rest of the world in prayer for 30 minutes every Thursday morning, between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. She explains: “Because The Salvation Army serves in so many different time zones it means that for all, or most, of Thursday the Army is at prayer.” Participants from around the world can sign up through a link on the 20 I December 2011 I Salvationist
General’s website, www.salvationarmy. org/thegeneral. They are asked to choose a time when they will agree to pray each Thursday. The General will be providing specific prayer topics of an international nature. Everyone who has registered to pray will receive an e-mail with these prayer subjects. The first topics seek prayers for The Salvation Army itself. General Bond writes: “The needs of your own corps, centres, and territorial activities and plans will form part of your prayer list.... For the weeks ahead, I am asking that you hold before the Lord the following: 1) The need to deepen our spiritual life
personally and as a people of God. 2) In this economic climate, financial resources for our worldwide mission. 3) Renewed passion to bring people to Jesus and lead them to maturity in him. 4) The courage and compassion to stand for and serve the marginalized.” The General hopes that soon there will be tens of thousands of people across the world praying together every Thursday. She says to all who take part: “As we pray together across the Army world, I know the Lord will unite us in a special way as we seek his direction and blessing. Thank you for your partnership in prayer.”
When we humble ourselves in prayer, God will restore us, direct us and help us to stand firm
Photo: © istockphoto.com/ozgurdonmaz
BY MAJOR BRENDA MURRAY
ecently I attended the International College for Officer Training (ICO) in London, England. This was nothing short of a life-changing experience. It was an opportunity to “come away” from the regular routine of life―from family, work and ministry―to focus on my own spiritual journey. While at ICO God spoke to me about deepening my spiritual relationship with him; for who am I without him in my life? What is the purpose of what I do, if it is not all for his glory? What does my life count for if it doesn’t cause others to be challenged to accept Christ into their lives? Christ calls his people to pray. When we pray and commit everything to God, he uses that and blesses it. When we are obedient, God is faithful. If we look at the life of Christ, he always prayed before ministry. How often do we set the agenda and then get at the task without praying
How often do we set the agenda without ever praying to find out if this is what God desires? to find out if this is what God desires? Over the past year there has been a renewed emphasis on prayer. General Linda Bond has asked the international Army to participate in a global prayer meeting on Thursday mornings (see page 20). The Spiritual Life Development Centre located in London, England, has initiated a Global Call to 24/7 prayer, which has been adopted by our territorial youth department. The youth department is calling
young people to pray for our corps and ministry across the Canada and Bermuda Territory. At the Ontario Central-East Divisional Headquarters, Lt-Colonel Susan van Duinen has developed a strategic plan for the division with one of the objectives being “to reclaim the Salvation Army value of prayer” through prayer mentoring and prayer partnerships. Following the divisional commander’s invitation, divisional headquarters team members took the challenge and opened and dedicated a prayer room in October. The quiet place of prayer and reflection is warm and inviting and has been well used in these early days. Scripture states: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:6). When we get down on our knees to pray we are humbling ourselves before our Creator. We recognize the one to whom we pray deserves this honour. In this postmodern age, I believe that we have lost some of the “awe” of who God is. We need to humble ourselves before him. We are also called to let the chains of bondage fall: • Personally—kneeling before Christ, being in relationship with Christ, asking for forgiveness of sins, praying for protection. • Praying for justice issues—human trafficking, poverty reduction, homelessness, abuse and violence. • Praying for our divisions—souls saved, creativity, positive risk-taking, clarity of vision • Praying for the world—for our partner territories, international leaders and political leaders. And then God tells us to stand firm.“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10). I believe that if we humble ourselves and let the chains of bondage fall, we will then be able to stand on a firm foundation. In closing, I am reminded of the words of the song God of this City by Chris Tomlin: “For greater things are yet to come, greater things are yet to be done in this city,” and I would like to add “in this division, in this territory and across the globe,” when we pray. Catch the vision and start praying in a renewed and refreshed way today. Major Brenda Murray is the Ontario Government liaison officer of the Ontario Central-East Division. Salvationist I December 2011 I 21
Voicing Their Faith
Through their musical witness, the Fernandes family testifies to God’s faithfulness BY JULIA HOSKING, STAFF WRITER
hen I was a teenager, I was a guitarist in a rock band with my friends called Bronze Axe,” says Robin Fernandes. “We started the group together, but after several years, they wanted to replace me. I held on to those feelings of rejection for a long time.” Fernandes later married Milly, became a Christian and had three sons, Steele, Jamie and Nathan, who, as they grew, were taught to play different instruments by their father. In 2005, they formed Cornerstone7177, their family band that plays slow rock and blues with a biblical message. “The name was inspired by 1 Peter 2:7 (NKJV): ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,’ ” explains Fernandes, now a soldier at Toronto’s York Community Church after emigrating with his family from Kuwait two years ago. The “7177” represents the birthdates of Fernandes’ three boys. “Being part of a Christian band is having a great impact on my sons’ lives,” says Fernandes. “Not only does it give us a sense of belonging together as a family, but they are maturing as Christians and are not ashamed to testify about Jesus to their friends.”
“In the way that pastors are called to preach the Word, I believe the Lord has called me to sing the Word” Reaching Out Fernandes is York Community Church’s family services outreach co-ordinator, and is also responsible for organizing monthly outreach concerts for the youth and young adults of the surrounding area. These roles allow him the opportunity to pursue his passion of reaching people with the gospel of Jesus Christ through music. 22 I December 2011 I Salvationist
Cornerstone7177 is the Fernandes’ family band: from left, Steele, keyboard, rhythm guitar and vocals; Milly, lead vocals and rhythm guitar; Jamie, electric bass, percussion and vocals; Nathan, acoustic drums and vocals; Robin, lead vocals and lead guitar
“I’ll bring out my guitar at the food bank and just start praising the Lord,” he says. “I testify that God has saved me, transformed my life and is capable of doing the same in other people’s lives. Then I’ve told them to check out my family band at the outreach concerts or on Sundays, and little by little, people are starting to come.” Cornerstone7177’s ministry extends beyond the church. This past summer, the band participated in the ecumenical Voices of the Nations concert along with 40 other Christian artists in two Toronto locations. “It was one of the best moments in my life,” reflects Fernandes. “I could stand in the heart of Toronto and witness that I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We were not free to do that in the Middle East. Since coming to Canada, life has become more meaningful because I believe I’m on a mission to testify about the transforming power and grace of my Lord and Saviour.” Written in Prayer Whether Cornerstone7177 performs at a school, festival or outreach event, many of Fernandes’ original compositions
are heard. “The Lord has been so faithful and he’s given me a new song for every concert,” Fernandes says. “One month, the theme was ‘Back to Basics’ and I wrote a song with the same name about getting back to the message of the Bible.” Although Fernandes says he doesn’t have a formula for writing music, his songs are all created during time with God. “I can’t tell myself, ‘I’ll write a song tomorrow.’ It doesn’t happen that way,” he shares. “Rather, when I am sad, feeling the hurt in people or wanting to thank God for the joy I’m experiencing, I’ll sit down with my guitar and start strumming or fiddling around with chords until a tune comes into my mind. That’s when I express my testimony to the Lord through music. There have been other times when, as I’m reading Scripture, I start singing what I’m reading and soon I’ve written a song. “It is amazing that God can do such awesome things through a simple person like me,” continues Fernandes. “I give him the glory for every song I write. In the way that pastors are called to preach the Word, I believe the Lord has called me to sing the Word.”
Tears in the Manger
Photo: © istockphoto.com/Peter Zelei
In our eagerness to assert that Jesus is divine, we sometimes lose sight of his humanity Fifth of a six-part series on heresy BY JAMES PEDLAR
Our God contracted to a span, Incomprehensibly made man.
hese lines from a Christmas hymn by Charles Wesley express an important truth: the Incarnation is a mystery beyond human comprehension. While the Councils of Nicaea (AD 325) and Constantinople (AD 381) clearly stated that Jesus was “true God from true God,” they left some questions unanswered about how Jesus could be both human and divine. As a result of this lack of clarity, two heresies evolved, each of which called into question the full humanity of Jesus. The first was developed by Apollinaris, bishop of Laodicea, who was one of the most vocal defenders of the divinity of Christ. In his eagerness to show that Jesus was truly divine, Apollinaris suggested that, although Jesus had a human body, he did not possess a human mind. Human reasoning is subject to change and development, and Apollinaris argued that the Son of God could not be said to have been subject to such change. The second heretical approach, centred in Egypt, became known as monophysitism, meaning one (mono) nature (physis). The monophysites, also keen defenders of Christ’s divinity, argued that Jesus did not have a human nature, but only a divine nature, because they didn’t think it possible that the two natures could be united in one person.
But that was precisely the solution to this problem, as it was ratified by the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451. The definition of Chalcedon said that Jesus is “complete in his deity and complete—the very same—in his humanity, truly God and truly a human being” and claimed that “the difference of the natures is not destroyed because of the union, but on the contrary, the character of each nature is preserved and comes together in one person.” Since that time, nearly all Christian traditions have agreed that Jesus Christ should be said to have two natures— human and divine—in one person. I say nearly all, because not all Christians accepted the decision of Chalcedon, including some traditions which survive to this day, such as the Coptic Orthodox Church. The mainstream orthodox theological tradition, however, rejected the Apollinarian and Monophysite positions for good reason. Both of these approaches to the doctrine of Christ lead down the same dangerous path of denying the full humanity of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is able to save us because he is divine; but the way he chose to save us was by becoming like us in every way, bringing humanity and divinity together in his very person, and then taking the penalty for human sin upon himself, dying in our place, and rising again as the first-born among many brothers and sisters—the first fruits of the new humanity. All of this is familiar biblical teaching. Consider, however, how these affirmations
are called into question if Jesus Christ is not fully human. If he is not human, how could he have died in our place? How could we expect to participate in the resurrected life that he has pioneered for us? I believe there are subtle spectres of these heresies in the Church today. Like Apollinaris, today’s believers are keen to emphasize Jesus’ divinity in response to critics and skeptics who suggest that Jesus was no more than a mere human being. But in our eagerness to assert that Jesus is divine, we sometimes lose sight of his humanity. Christmas is a good time to revisit this issue. As we remember the virgin birth, the choirs of angels and the star in the East, let’s not obscure the very real vulnerability and dependence that Jesus experienced as a newborn infant. Though I enjoy singing Away in a Manger as much as anyone else, I’m not so sure about the line that says, “No crying he makes.” Surely, since Jesus shares in our humanity, there was crying in the manger. Those of us who affirm the divinity of Christ need not be worried about such displays of humanity by Jesus. In fact, they are an essential part of the gospel story. Jesus, the Son of God, has entered completely into human existence and authored a full redemption for us. It is a great comfort to know that even our tears have been taken up into God’s own life. James Pedlar is a doctoral student at Wycliffe College, in the Toronto School of Theology. Salvationist I December 2011 I 23
Photo: © istockphoto.com/Pete Will
these two similar virtues. Love is that special quality of warm regard and selfless interest toward another. It is God’s kind of love that we see in Matthew 5:43-48, 1 John 4:19 and, of course, the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13.
The Jesus Walk
Is it possible to resemble Christ in our words and actions? How do we cultivate this character of godliness? BY MAJOR CLARENCE BRADBURY
Bible Study: 2 Peter 1
oliness begins when we receive Jesus into our lives. From that point on we pursue a Jesus walk that lasts through eternity. We become more intimate with him over time. The story of his life from Heaven to Bethlehem to the empty tomb and his return to Heaven stirs our passion to know and resemble him. The Apostle Peter affirms that Christian holiness is progressive. Just as babies grow with nourishment, new believers move toward maturity. Intentional action builds a healthy body system. Peter’s list of Christian virtues is God’s multivitamin for a healthy soul. The list begins with goodness and knowledge (review part two in this series at Salvationist.ca/tag/ pursuing-holiness). READ—Take time to read 2 Peter 1:5-9. Highlight all the behaviours in Peter’s list, as well as key words that stand out. Pray for the Holy Spirit to use this study to 24 I December 2011 I Salvationist
stimulate new insight, new intimacy with Jesus and a new spurt of spiritual growth. REFLECT—Take a closer look at these nutrients for Christian spirituality. Self-control means restraint of our emotions, passions, desires and appetites. Although grace is free, self-discipline comes at personal expense. Ask any athlete or successful businessperson. Perseverance is the capacity to hold out or to bear up in the face of difficulty. Perseverance is seen in Peter’s bold refusal to stop preaching Christ, even when threatened with flogging (see Acts 5:40). Godliness, seen also in verse 3, is repeated here as an outcome of perseverance. It is a profound reverent wonder and awe toward God. It is a non-flippant attitude that pursues God through a pattern of spiritual disciplines. Christian affection is the love of brothers and sisters in the family of God. Notice that it is listed separately from the next quality of Christian spirituality, which is agape love. Reflect on why Peter separated
RESHAPE—As you consider your character, allow these questions to stimulate your Jesus walk. Am I angry, fearful or judgmental of others? Do I allow myself to get spiritually soft by skipping worship, Bible reading and prayer? What specific efforts am I investing toward my growth as a Christ follower? Do I persevere when things go wrong or stubbornly dig in my heels on a self-chosen path, even when I know it’s wrong? Why is a disciplined devotional life important to you? What disciplines help you open your spirit to God’s Spirit? How can you be more effective in loving your Christian brothers and sisters? How is it possible to transcend self—even for a short time—and become like Jesus; to think like him, love like him? What might agape love look like in your circle of influence? RECEIVE—We all know how sinful behaviour puts a drag on our Jesus walk. Just remember that when guilt condemns, God is never the accuser, no matter how miserably we fail. The enemy of all goodness, the Devil, is our accuser (see Revelation 12:10). Instead of dwelling on our failures, let’s pursue a more healthy way: • Separate your sin from who you are in Christ. • Check your self-assessment for accuracy. • Accept you just as Christ has accepted you. • Read 1 John 3:19-24, then embrace and live its truth.
•T ouching the Holy: Ordinariness, SelfEsteem and Friendship by Robert Wicks, Sorin Books, 2007. •A pprenticeship With Jesus: Learning to Live Like the Master by Gary W. Moon, Baker Books, 2009. •R eplenish: Leading From a Healthy Soul by Lance Witt, Baker Books, 2011. Major Clarence Bradbury, D.Min., is co-ordinator of mentoring and web facilitation at The Salvation Army Jack McDowell School for Leadership Development, Atlanta. Previous articles in this Bible study series can be accessed at Salvationist.ca/tag/pursuing-holiness.
Territorial Prayer Guide
The Authoritative Life of General William Booth
George Scott Railton Commissioner George Scott Railton’s 40-year friendship with William Booth gave him an intimate understanding of the Founder’s mind, heart and purposes. Originally compiled just months after Booth’s death, this 2011 reprint contains many of the Founder’s extensive writings. It includes such chapters as Salvation in Youth, Fight Against Formality, Japanese Heroism, His Social Work, The Spirit of the Army, Our Financial System, The General as a Writer and Conquering Death (a deeply moving account of Catherine Booth’s battle with cancer). Especially revealing are the lengthy tributes paid to Booth at his death by some of the great editors and writers of that time.
One for All
A Dream for The Salvation Army, Global Edition James Knaggs and Stephen Court Commissioner James Knaggs and Major Stephen Court have arranged One for All into three main sections: One Day, One Thing and One Army. It features concise, pithy articles by many Salvation Army officers and soldiers around the world. Chapters include: A Sparkling, Refreshing “Cocktail,” Eradicate Indecencies, Contagious Holiness and What Is the Holy Spirit Saying to The Salvation Army Today? “You will find the manner in which this uniquely diverse company of the committed engage the issues as deeply encouraging as we have,” write General Paul A. Rader (Rtd) and Commissioner Kay F. Rader.
Children of God Storybook Bible
Archbishop Desmond Tutu Children of God Storybook Bible: Deluxe Edition is filled with Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 50 most-loved Bible stories. This edition aims to captivate small hearts with its simple, imaginative language and stunningly colourful illustrations. To create the first truly global Bible for children, 20 artists from around the world portray the stories with the style and richness of their own cultures. Included are two accompanying audio CDs of Archbishop Tutu reading these stories, enhanced by music and sound effects. Every story shows how God works through history and ends with a personal, one-sentence prayer.
10 Things Jesus Never Said
And Why You Should Stop Believing Them Will Davis Jr. 10 Things Jesus Never Said shows how to replace our common myths about God with the truth of how he really feels about us. Chapters include: You’re Too Far Gone to Be Saved, This Wouldn’t Be Happening to You If You Were a Better Christian, It’s Okay Not to Love Certain People and You Missed My Will for Your Life. Discussion questions at the end of each chapter help small groups or individuals apply these truths to their current situations.
The Bare Facts
39 Questions Your Parents Hope You Never Ask About Sex Josh McDowell with Erin Davis In The Bare Facts, Josh McDowell writes conversationally and frankly to teenagers, answering questions such as: Aren’t my hormones too strong? Isn’t it unrealistic to wait? How far is too far? How does pornography really affect me? How can I say no? Is there a relationship between premarital sex and mental health? Group discussion questions are included.
WEEK 1 – DECEMBER 1-3 Overseas Personnel • Mjrs Bill and Donna Barthau, Indonesia Tty • General Linda Bond and the team at IHQ • All officers serving outside their home territory WEEK 2 – DECEMBER 4-10 Mexico Territory • Safety for officers and soldiers in Mexico • Building of a new training college and territorial headquarters complex in Xochimilco • Seventy-fifth anniversary celebrations in 2012, including congress in June 2012 with General Linda Bond WEEK 3 – DECEMBER 11-17 Friends of Christ Session of Cadets, 2010-2012 • Brian and June Bobolo, Dennis and Mary Maybury, Bethany Howard (see Psalm 1:1-3) • Cory and Kelly Fifield, Lance and Monika Gillard, Joshua and Jennifer Ivany (see Proverbs 4:5-9) • Jason Dockeray and Kristen JacksonDockeray, Kimberly Chan (see Psalm 37:5-6) • Keesom and Tina Phanthaamath, Stefan and Laura Van Schaick (see Psalm 32:8) WEEK 4 – DECEMBER 18-24 Maritime Division • God’s blessing upon Mjrs Doug and Jean Hefford and their team • Strength and courage for youth in their faith journey • Officers to receive divine wisdom and guidance in leading people • Thank God for the persevering ministry of front-line laity WEEK 5 – DECEMBER 25-31 Jesus the Prince of Peace • Express gratitude to God for Jesus the Prince of Peace (see Isaiah 9:6) • Praise God for Jesus’ everlasting government of peace (see Isaiah 9:7) • Thank Jesus for his peace given to all who will receive it (see John 14:27) • Praise God for your personal experience of joy, peace and hope (see Romans 15:13) Salvationist I December 2011 I 25
One Army, One Mission, One Message General Linda Bond launches International Vision for The Salvation Army
BY KEVIN SIMS
n October, General Linda Bond made a passionate call for The Salvation Army around the world to be united in mission and message and to grasp new opportunities as she launched the International Vision: One Army, One Mission, One Message. The vision is given substance through 12 mission priorities that call on Salvationists to say “we will” to principles such as deepening spiritual life, reaching and involving youth and children, and communicating Christ unashamedly. The General said she was aware that, if not approached practically, a vision could be “only a pipe dream” but that the mission priorities make it clear that “you have to do something.” She emphasized that One Army, One Mission, One Message should not be seen as “the General’s vision” but that she wants Salvationists around the world to say: “This is our vision.” “As General I need to own the world’s priorities,” she told a packed meeting room at International Headquarters (IHQ) in London, England. She committed IHQ to “owning” the mission priorities and explained that the final wording had come about after extensive consultation with Salvation Army leaders around the world. One Army The General spoke to Salvationists around the world via the web when, referring to the biblical promise that God would care for his people, she said, “I truly believe Salvationists need to know we have a hope and a future.” The General said that in order to be one Army, The Salvation Army “needs to be marked by holiness and prayer.” She took this point further: “People should look at us and say: ‘Here is a holy people of God—a people with a passion for the gospel.’ ” She called on Salvationists to see self26 I December 2011 I Salvationist
denial—sacrificial giving to the Army’s world mission—as a vital part of their service. She spoke of the willingness she sees by people from poorer countries to help even those who have greater resources. One Mission Moving on to the next aspect of the vision, the General reaffirmed the importance of The Salvation Army’s integrated mission. She explained further that the Army must not hand over its “service to suffering humanity” to its social services; nor could it leave it to the officer training colleges to do all the work to grow saints within the Army. She had a clear message for corps, social service centres and headquarters everywhere: “If there is a Salvation Army shield on your building, you do all the mission!” The General was equally clear about the mission priority to reach and involve youth and children. “The future of The Salvation Army,” she said, “may hang on the priority to which we give our approach to children and youth.” One Message The General admitted that in parts of the world where The Salvation Army is adored by the public there is a danger that “we wouldn’t want to jeopardize it by being politically incorrect.” She said that the Army should always make clear that it does its work because “the love of Christ compels us.” Taking a strong stand on its motivation may mean that the Army sometimes loses money, admitted the General, before adding: “But I would rather have the blessing of the Lord.” Picking up on another of the mission priorities, the General called for a reaffirmation of the belief in transformation, explaining that through the power of the Holy Spirit a person can change his or her life not by making resolutions but
by undergoing a revolution. “I want you to be encouraged,” said the General. “I believe God raised up The Salvation Army.” The General hopes that the International Vision creates opportunity for Salvationists everywhere to look at what they say and do so they will “use new language and find new ways of doing it.” For more information and to watch the video of the launch, visit Salvationist.ca/ International-Vision.
The Salvation Army’s International Vision ONE ARMY: We see a God-raised, Spirit-filled Army for the 21st century— convinced of our calling, moving forward together We will ... • deepen our spiritual life • unite in prayer • identify and develop leaders • increase self-support and self-denial ONE MISSION: Into the world of the hurting, broken, lonely, dispossessed and lost, reaching them in love by all means We will ... • emphasize our integrated ministry • reach and involve youth and children • stand for and serve the marginalized • encourage innovation in mission ONE MESSAGE: With the transforming message of Jesus, bringing freedom, hope and life We will ... • communicate Christ unashamedly • reaffirm our belief in transformation • evangelize and disciple effectively • provide quality teaching resources
ENROLMENTS AND RECOGNITION
BELLEVILLE, ONT.—Belleville Citadel welcomes adherents and soldiers. From left, Dennis and Doreen Cross, adherents; Marguerite Clark, Kathleen Weber, Don and Helen Reid, soldiers; Bill Moore, holding the flag; Mjrs Marilyn and Bruce Shirran, COs.
BRIDGEWATER, N.S.—Andrew and Dayana Porter dedicate their four-year-old son, William Porter, to the Lord.
WINDSOR, ONT.—South Windsor Corps’ junior band, the Musical Crusaders, pose in their new uniforms made from fabric purchased in the Congo by one of the corps’ soldiers and tailored for the children locally by corps member Dian Wollison.
KENTVILLE, N.S.—Kentville Corps welcomes its first junior soldiers in more than 20 years: Ethan Simon, Joshua Lockhart, Victoria Cleveland, Hannah Lockhart, Tyra Bartlett. With them are Mjrs Ross and Doreen Grandy, COs; JSS Natalia Wheaton; Mervin Misner, holding the flag.
ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—Annette Hedges is the new corps sergeant-major at St. John’s Citadel. From left, Ivy Burt, retired CSM; Annette Hedges; Mjrs Valerie and Brian Wheeler, COs.
CAMBRIDGE, ONT.—Hespeler CC enrols three soldiers. From left, Mjr Nancy Hudon, CO; Rick Silva; Meghan McKay; Corrie McKay, holding the flag; John Woltz.
MILTON, ONT.—During an annual employee luncheon, Gallinger Ford Lincoln donated a new 2011 Ford Escape for one year to assist The Salvation Army in its service to the community. David Gallinger, p����������������� resident and general manager, presents the vehicle’s keys to Cpt Stephen Wiseman, CO.
CAMBRIDGE, ONT.—Mjrs Scott and Michelle Rideout, COs, welcome Baxter Freake as the new corps sergeant-major of Cambridge Citadel.
STONEY CREEK, ONT.—Winterberry Heights Church celebrates the enrolment of Cecile Black. With her are Mjrs Paul and Kelly Rideout, COs. Salvationist I December 2011 I 27
LETHBRIDGE, ALTA.—The Salvation Army CC of Lethbridge celebrates the enrolment of Mat and Denise Guthmiller and Jayden Castelli.
EDMONTON— Amy and Sean Barringham are enrolled as junior soldiers, and their mother, Christian Barringham, as a senior soldier, at Edmonton Crossroads CC.
KENTVILLE, N.S.—Edith Wheaton retires after 13 years of service at the Kentville Thrift Store. From left: Amy Johnson, human resources specialist; Maryann Doyle, divisional director of human resources, Maritime Div; Edith Wheaton; Mjrs Doreen and Ross Grandy, COs. POWELL RIVER, B.C.—For his ninth bir thday party, Tim Robins asked guests to bring donations for the East Africa Drought Relief Fund instead of birthday gifts. He collected $181.74 for this important work . “ We are really proud of Tim for remembering the children and their families still struggling in Africa, and thankful for his friends’ generosity,” say his parents, Cpts Jennifer and Rick Robins. In the photo, Tim is immediately behind the cupcake tree.
TERRITORIAL Appointments Cpt Robert Russell, director of distance education, CFOT, Winnipeg*; Mjr Roy Langer, public relations and development representative, public relations and development, Calgary, Alta. and Northern Ttys Div (maintaining additional responsibility of divisional emergency and disaster services secretary); Mjr Sandra Langer, assistant public relations and development representative, public relations and development, Calgary, Alta. and Northern Ttys Div; Mjrs Ron/ Joyce Stuckless, Fort McMurray, Alta., Alta. and Northern Ttys Div 28 I December 2011 I Salvationist
YARMOUTH, N.S.—Amy Moulaison receives her adherent’s certificate. “Amy recently gave her heart to the Lord,” says Mjr Janice Rowe, CO. “She is showing amazing Christian strength and we are pleased to welcome her as a member.”
ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—On Rally Day Sunday, St. John’s community and family services received $2,000 for its breakfast program from St. John’s Citadel’s vacation Bible school offerings. Celebrations also included the graduation of pre-school Sunday school children and the commissioning of Heather Osmond as young people’s band leader. In his message, youth pastor Jamie Locke brought a Harley-Davidson motorcycle into the sanctuary to spiritually compare the parts of the bike to people in the church. From left, Heather Osmond and Mjr Brian Wheeler, CO.
GEORGINA, ONT.—On Thanksgiving Day, Grant Verdoold, chaplain at the Sutton Youth Shelter, organized a dinner for the residents, Georgina youth and other community members. “Fifty-three people turned out and we had a blast,” he says. Verdoold arranged the dinner as an ancient Roman feast with people dressed for that era. “All of the youth I work with helped. We truly celebrated with a real sense of community.”
* Designation change Long service—30 years Mjr Barbara Bain; Mjr Elaine Braye Births Cpts BJ/Krista Loder, daughter, Ezri, Sep 29 Promoted to Glory Mrs Lt-Col Helen Morrison, from Picton, Ont., Sep 25; Cpt William Udell, from Mississauga, Ont., Oct 6
Commissioners Brian and Rosalie Peddle Dec 1 retired officers’ Christmas luncheon, Toronto, Ont. CE Div; Dec 3 Christmas With The Salvation Army, Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto;
Dec 8 Hope in the City breakfast, B.C. Div; Dec 10 Toronto Star Christmas carol concerts, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Toronto; Dec 12 home league Christmas dinner, Scarborough Citadel, Toronto, Ont. CE Div* * Commissioner Rosalie Peddle only Colonels Floyd and Tracey Tidd Dec 17 Laotian Corps, Hamilton, Ont. GL Div Canadian Staff Band Dec 3 Christmas With The Salvation Army, Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto; Dec 10 Toronto Star Christmas carol concerts, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Toronto
AURORA, ONT.—During the ground-breaking ceremony for Northridge Community Church’s new building in Aurora, several companies generously donated to the Hope for Others Campaign, recognizing the people to be helped by the Army’s social services in the community. Magna International Inc. gave $250,000. TACC Developments and Brookfield Homes each contributed $100,000. From left, Mjr Brian Bishop, CO; Steve Hinder and John Crowell, Magna International Inc.; Mjr Glenda Bishop, CO; Lt-Col Susan van Duinen, DC, Ont. CE Div.
TRIBUTES SOUTHAMPTON, ONT.—Alexander Wilfred (Pat) Thorne was born in 1927 in Sydney, N.S., and grew up with six brothers and two sisters. Pat served in the Royal Canadian Engineers during the Second World War. He was injured and returned home for a lengthy recuperation in the military hospital in New Brunswick. After moving to Ontario, he married Diane Smith, opened a variety store and became a successful merchant and later campground owner-operator. Retiring in 1990 due to poor health, Pat took up woodworking as a hobby, handcrafting many ships, Canada geese, ducks and other projects. He donated many of his creations to organizations for fundraising. Pat was especially well known for building replicas of the famous Bluenose schooner and giving them to family and friends. He volunteered with the Canadian Cancer Society, Optimist Club and Salvation Army Christmas kettles in Canada and in the United States. He also served as an auxiliary police officer in Brantford, Ont. A blessing to many people at Owen Sound Corps, Pat is missed by his wife of 44 years, Diane; children, grandchildren; extended family and many friends. LEWISPORTE, N.L.—Arthur William Sheppard was born on Indian Islands, N.L., in 1920 and married Daisy May Sheppard in 1942. They initially lived in Stag Harbour, N.L., and in 1956 relocated to Embree, N.L., where Arthur was corps sergeant-major for 12 years. His carpenter trade enabled him to share his faith with others. Arthur went the extra mile in transporting corps members to Sunday and weekly services. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5) was his favorite Scripture verse. Arthur is fondly remembered by daughters Virley (Frank) Hoddinott, Lucy (Alonzo) Stryde, Cavell (Norman) Price; sons Scott (Madeline), Oswald (Ida), George (Thelma), Edward (Judy); brothers Stephen and John; 15 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. HAMILTON, ONT.—Born in Woodstock, Ont., in 1938, Ronald Allen Graham accepted Jesus as Saviour in 1963 at Hamilton Temple. After becoming a soldier, he served as a songster and bandsman. Missing him are his wife of 51 years, Linda; children Kathy (Rob) Allan, Wendy (James) Keillor, Jennifer Finucan; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. DEER LAKE, N.L.—Annie Olive McAllister was a faithful supporter of and worshipper at Deer Lake Corps. She was enrolled as a soldier in 1999. Left with loving memories are children Brenda (John) Knee, David (Wanda), Diana (Jim) Kimberlin; brothers Bryant (Betty) Caines, John (Holly) Caines; four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
LINDSAY, ONT.—Born in 1922 in Baptiste Lake, Ont., Eileen Holmes-Carr (nee Woodbury) committed her life to Jesus at the age of eight at an Army Sunday school in Lindsay. Her service there and subsequently at the Wychwood Corps and North York Temple in Toronto included participation in the singing company and corps cadets, and as a primary teacher, songster and home league member. After marrying Alexander (Alex) Holmes in 1950, they had four children: John, Ken, Elizabeth and Kathleen. She also fostered over 150 children in 25 years and served on the Foster Parent Executive and served as president of the Foster Parent Association of Ontario. Eileen returned to the Lindsay area in 1988 and led the shepherd program at the corps for 12 years. After Alex’s death in 1993, she married Rowland (Roly) Carr in 1994. Noted as a zealous follower of Jesus Christ, Eileen is greatly missed by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren; sister, Gwen Fish; other family and friends. LETHBRIDGE, ALTA.—Born in 1919 in Hanna, Alta., Mrs. Brigadier Gertrude Frayn (nee Fehr) entered the Valiant Session at The Salvation Army College for Officer Training in Toronto at the age of 24. With her now deceased husband, Cyril, she served for 36 years in corps and divisional ministry in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. After retiring, the Frayns lived in Lethbridge, Alta., where they enjoyed participating in corps activities. Gertrude’s delightful humour, ready wit and extensive vocabulary endeared her to all she met. She is survived by daughter, Shirley (Clifford) Cummings. CAMBRIDGE, ONT.—Robert French was born in 1918 in Dumbarton, Scotland, and moved to Clydebank a few years later. He committed his life to the Lord at an early age and was involved in Army banding all his life. He moved to the United States with his family in 1954 and then came to Cambridge (Galt), Ont., in 1959. At various times at the Galt Corps, he served as bandmaster and songster leader. Until the last few months of his life, Robert continued to play his Bb horn with other Salvationists at seniors’ homes and performed solos at the home where he lived. He enjoyed good fellowship with his friend, Bert French. Robert is survived by daughter, Mary (Gary); two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. BOWMANVILLE, ONT.—Fred Gold Sneed was born in Henderson, North Carolina, U.S.A., in 1937 and married Marion McReelis in 1963. He became a senior soldier in 1976 at Bowmanville Corps and was involved in the scouting program, from which he received a Medal of Merit and a 35-year medal. He also served as president of the men’s fellowship for 12 years. Fred is lovingly remembered by wife, Marion; children Debbie (Jim), Richard, Mary Ann (Paul), Charles (Becky), James (Megan); six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren; sisters Libby and Ruth. PENTICTON, B.C.—Born in Vancouver, Gertrude Grace Miriam Roper (nee Fitch) was promoted to Glory at age 96. Growing up in Grandview Corps, Vancouver, Gertie was active as a junior and senior soldier, songster, girl guide and ranger leader, earning the General’s Tassel Award. She worked as a secretary in public relations at divisional headquarters. After marrying George Roper in 1939, she served as the divisional commander’s secretary while George was overseas for five years during the Second World War. With her husband and their four children, Gertie eventually settled in Kelowna, B.C., where she gave leadership in Sunday school and home league. Following retirement in Penticton, she served the Lord through home league and community care ministries. Gertie is remembered as a loving wife, a praying, giving mother and grandmother, trusted friend, dedicated Army soldier and faithful follower of Jesus Christ. She is greatly missed by husband, George; children Beverley, Major Marg (Joe), Donald (Janice), Mary (Thomas); 11 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren; brother Colonel Ernest Fitch; many other family and friends. Salvationist I December 2011 I 29
What Would the Doctor Do?
Science fiction stories such as Doctor Who provide a window on our faith BY MICHAEL BOYCE I travelled across the world. From the ruins of New York, to the fusion mills of China, right across the radiation pits of Europe. And everywhere I went I saw people just like you, living as slaves! … The Doctor has saved your lives so many times and you never even knew he was there. He never stops. He never stays. He never asks to be thanked. But I’ve seen him, I know him ... I love him ... And I know what he can do. —Martha Jones, “Last of the Time Lords” (Doctor Who)
30 I December 2011 I Salvationist
hen I was in youth group (more years ago than I care to admit), I recall at least four different leaders talking about the relationship between the Christian faith and the Star Wars movies. Most were well-meaning but superficial attempts to allegorize George Lucas’ trilogy (and this was back in the glorious days when it was just a trilogy). They read it as a cosmic Pilgrim’s Progress: Luke Skywalker is the Christian everyman, the Force is the Holy Spirit, Darth Vader is temptation or Satan, and the Ewoks are, well … walking teddy bears. And that’s where the allegory falls apart. Later, when I was a youth leader myself, I led more than a few discussions about The Matrix, another science fiction film in which the hero, Neo, leads a crusade to free humanity from machines that hold them captive in another dimension. Admittedly this line of thinking is quite limited and reductive; any aspect of the narrative that doesn’t fit could undermine the whole argument. However, the attraction of trying to view these science fiction films through a theological lens does suggest something about the unique ability of science fiction to comment upon religion and matters of faith. As Adam Roberts argues in Science Fiction, “A great deal of science fiction is fascinated with religion … even some science fiction written by atheists. This may be because religion is so similar to science fiction; in some respects religious belief depends on an apprehension of the world in which we live, and in some respects it posits a world utterly different from this world.” Television shows such as Star Trek, V, Lost and Fringe, and movies such as The Source Code, Star Wars, The Matrix and Avatar have provided starting points for explorations of faith because they consider what it means to be human, free will versus predestination, the nature of faith and belief and our relation to the created order. In Everyday Theology, Kevin J. Vanhoozer notes, “Culture is not a faith-free zone ... Christians must learn to read popular culture not least because it has become an important locus of everyday theology.” Over the next few issues of Salvationist, I will examine the use of religion and faith in two recent science fiction shows, Doctor Who and Battlestar Galatica. In Doctor Who, which the BBC relaunched in 2005 and currently airs on Space in Canada, we follow the adventures of a time- and space-travelling alien, the Doctor, and his human companions. The Doctor uses his wits and superior intelligence to solve problems, battle evil and save the world (well, worlds).
The Doctor uses his wits and superior intelligence to solve problems, battle evil and save the world
What makes the Doctor such a unique science fiction hero is his refusal to use violence to resolve conflicts, his insistence on making people better and his mastery over death (when fatally injured, the Doctor can regenerate, an ingenious plot device that has allowed 11 different actors to portray the character since the show premiered in 1963). It might be tempting to draw connections between the Doctor and Jesus—former series head writer and show runner, Russell T. Davies, continually drew such parallels during his time on Doctor Who. But that’s the sort of reductive thinking I decried earlier. Let me make it clear: I don’t think that the Doctor is Jesus (Heaven help us), but I do think that Davies purposely appropriates Christ imagery and the Christian narrative into Doctor Who because he is aware of the power of those characteristics and that story. Though Davies identifies as an atheist, he consistently wrote storylines that explored matters of faith, the nature of good and evil, and the idea of a controlling force in the universe throughout his tenure on the show. These themes ultimately culminate in the two-part series 3 finale, “The Sound of the Drums”/ “Last of the Time Lords,” an interesting and thought-provoking take on the passion narrative. Not only does Davies reinforce the Doctor’s Christlike qualities of forgiveness and sacrifice, he also considers the role of disciples and of their witness. But I’ll go into that in more detail next month. Michael Boyce, PhD, is assistant professor and chair of English and film studies at Booth University College in Winnipeg.
Emily Moulton Student, Bachelor of Business Administration
Before she enrolled in the Bachelor of Business Administration at Booth, emily Moulton thought she had her education and career already mapped out – after earning her degree she’d open a successful restaurant. it didn’t take her long, however, to realize that she had other options. “since attending Booth, my dreams for my career have been completely altered,” remarks emily. “i’ve now come to realize that through my education there’s a world of possibilities open to me.” At Booth, emily not only discovered new ways of looking at the world, she also found fresh ways of looking at herself. “i found that linking my education to my walk with God has truly inspired me,” she says. “Booth has also allowed me to see that money and success aren’t everything; that there is so much more we can do with the privileges we’re given through education.” While still a few years away from graduating, emily understands that education is a gift that can be used to help make the world a better place.
Education for a better world.
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