Corry Frost: Woman of Vision
Has Media in Worship Gone Too Far?
Violence and The Hunger Games
Salvationist The Voice of the Army
Salvationist.ca I May 2012
of Celebration Jesus Make Poverty the Streets ofArmy Mothers Personal programsSeeing Christ in the
strengthen family ties marginalized Pentecost: The Changing Face of Homelessness: Can These Dry Bones Live? Inside 5 Army Shelters Salvationist I April 2012 I 1
Public Welcome of Delegates to the 2012 International Conference of Leaders Sunday July 8, 2012, 5:00pm | Mississauga Living Arts Centre Conducted by
General Linda Bond Commissioner Barry C. Swanson, THE CHIEF OF THE STAFF
Commissioner Sue Swanson, WORLD PRESIDENT OF WOMEN’S MINISTRIES
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Mississauga Living Arts Centre 4141 Living Arts Drive, Mississauga ON L5B 4B8 www.salvationarmy.ca/ontariocentraleast/icl2012
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ORDINATION AND COMMISSIONING
Commissioner Brian Peddle – Territorial Commander Commissioner Rosalie Peddle – Territorial President of Women's Ministries
I'll Fight A Social Justice Concert featuring OCE
Divisional Youth Chorus & Canadian Staff Band Canada Christian College, 50 Gervais Dr., Toronto, Ontario
Ordination and Commissioning
of the Friends of Christ Session Canada Christian College, 50 Gervais Dr., Toronto, Ontario
Scarborough Citadel 2021 Lawrence Ave. East Scarborough, Ontario
The Salvation Army College for Officer Training Canada and Bermuda Territory
than is required.
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Features 8 Finding Refuge Cert no. XXX-XXX-XXXX
Separated from their family in the Republic of Congo, Lazare and Georgette Lefu received support from the South Windsor Corps by Kristin Fryer Cert no. XXX-XXX-XXXX
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9 Deepening the Bond
Across the territory, The Salvation Army is helping mothers and children connect with God and each other by Kristin Fryer PRODUCT LABELING GUIDE
FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL
14 Woman of Vision
Salvationist Corry Frost lauded by Global TV Edmonton for being a transforming influence in her community by Kristin Fryer
Departments 4 Editorial
The Secret of Grandma’s Success by Major Jim Champ
5 Around the Territory 12 Point Counterpoint
God on the Big Screen by Captain Mark Dalley and John McAlister
15 Mission Matters
A Generous Heart by Commissioner Brian Peddle
16 Letters 17 Social Justice
20 Cross Culture War Games by Kristin Fryer
21 Media Reviews 21 Territorial Prayer Guide 24 Celebrate Community Enrolments and recognition, tributes, gazette, calendar
29 Our Covenant
Make Poverty Personal by Rob Perry
30 Battle Cry
The Hallmark Effect by Major Danielle Strickland
18 Key to a Fresh Start
Vancouver’s Grace Mansion gives clients a place to call home by Ken Ramstead
22 Can These Bones Live?
When all seems lost, we need the Spirit of God to breathe new life into us by Donald E. Burke
28 Running the Race
As we run with perseverance, encouragement and conviction, we create Christian community by Major Ray Harris
Cover photo: Geoff Heith
Love in Action by Rochelle McAlister
Professional motocross racer Brian Deegan pursues his faith the same way he drives: full-on
A unique event helps The Salvation Army fight hunger
Far From Heaven?
Is Heaven Is for Real a bona fide account of a little boy’s near-death experience or just wishful thinking?
In The Avengers, an unlikely group of misfit superheroes joins forces to save the world
When you finish reading Faith & Friends in the centre of this issue, pull it Faith & out and give it to someone who needs to hear about Christ’s lifechanging X-Man + power
Motocross racer Brian Deegan pursues his faith full-on
Do you know what goodness is? Goodness is what’s inside us to make us kind, generous, fair and understanding. When we are good, we are like Jesus. Jesus is called the Good us, His Shepherd because He looks after sheep. Jesus wants us to love other people we can just as He has loved us. One way helping show our love for others is by Kids, you them. In this issue of Edge for will find a new feature: the KidsCare you Challenge. Every month, I will tell spread about one thing you can do to God’s love. You can do the KidsCare Challenge on your own or with other kids in your corps. Your pal, Pacey
Robin Good and
His Not-So -Merr
long time ago, in the faraway town of Bethling roved a band of ham, Robin Good. Their merry men, led by the fearless fundraising from mission: to help people by the rich and giving But when a greedy to the prince starts stealingpoor! townspeople’s the hams, donations are Robin’s friends take off and decide down and from the rich a try. Feeling rejectedto give robbing things can’t get , Robin thinks any the ham-hoarding worse, until he finds out that prince has also friends. Can Robin captured his overcome his own his friends and restore the townspe hurt, rescue ople’s hope? Find out in this fun Veggie story, hurt too big for which shows that God. there’s no
What kind of tree fits in your hand?
Can you find the two dolls that look exactly alike?
Inspiration for Living
HOPE FINDING IN HAITI
Edge for Kids A palm tree
Inside Faith & Friends
the avengers strike
Salvation Army Says: Can It!
Congratulations to Makayla Colbourne from Mount Hope, Ont. She has won a copy of Jonah: God’s Messenger. Happy reading, Makayla! Keep reading Edge for Kids – new competitions will be announced soon. Maybe you will be our next winner.
Edge for Kids is an exciting weekly activity page published by The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda for children five to 12. In this
month’s issues, readers will: • Learn the importance of prayer • Celebrate mom on Mother’s Day • Read about the Apostle Peter’s miraculous escape from prison • Welcome the Holy Spirit on Pentecost • Check out the new VeggieTales movie, Robin Good and His Not-So-Merry Men • Enjoy puzzles, games, jokes, colouring and more! Salvationist I May 2012 I 3
The Secret of Grandma’s Success
y maternal grandmother died 45 years ago, but images of her remain fresh in my memory. During my early teens, I stayed overnight at her house most Fridays after youth group instead of walking home alone in the dark. It was fun because Grandma understood her role. She served me all my favourite foods, there was no bedtime curfew and I could watch whatever I wanted on TV. Grandma believed firmly that the primary goal of grandparents is to spoil their grandchildren. And she did it well! Grandma never raised her voice, even on those rare occasions when she was angry. She always seemed to know the right thing to say. I never thought of her as religious but I knew she was a member of the United Church of Canada. My parents were dyed in the wool, or perhaps I should say serge, Salvationists. The corps was a huge part of our lives and we were there during the week and all day Sunday with only time out for meals. While Grandma rarely spoke of her faith, it was evident that every day she lived out her beliefs. One Friday night visit stands out for me. Grandma said goodnight and left me to eat the rest of her homemade baking
and watch TV. It was the usual routine. However, on this occasion, I discovered the secret to Grandma’s success in life. As I made my way to the guest bedroom, I saw the light was on in my grandmother’s room and the door was ajar. I went to knock on her door and say goodnight but stopped short. There was Grandma kneeling beside her bed with her Bible open. This month we focus on family with two articles celebrating Mother’s Day. Major Danielle Strickland shares openly about her parents’ journey of faith and its lasting impact on her life (page 30). Staff writer Kristin Fryer profiles Salvation Army programs for mothers and children in Ontario, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia (page 8). Several hours of interviews have uncovered heartwarming stories of families developing relationships with God and each other. “The church has given my family safe activities to be involved in,” says Joy Zhang, whose daughter became a Christian after attending a games night at Metrotown Citadel in Burnaby, B.C. We all come from different backgrounds and have our own stories to tell. Mother’s Day provides us an opportunity to reflect for a brief moment on our heritage. For me this year, it is the memory of a praying grandmother. Now, I realize that this is not the kind of thing that is published in a newspaper or broadcasted on the news. In fact, Grandma, if she were alive today, might gently rebuke me for even mentioning her in this way. But that image of her praying by the bedside left an indelible impression on the life of a 13-year-old. Some family secrets are worth sharing. 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 Features Editor (416-467-3185) Pamela Richardson News Editor, Production Co-ordinator, Copy Editor (416-422-6112) Major Max Sturge Associate Editor (416-422-6116) Timothy Cheng Art Director Ada Leung Circulation Co-ordinator Kristin Fryer, 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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AROUND THE TERRITORY
High Point Community Church’s New Look ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO, a church opened in Victoria on the corner of Raynor Street and Fullerton Avenue with the goal of serving the community. Fifteen years ago, The Salvation Army took ownership and renamed it High Point Community Church. Since its original opening, the building has undergone many renovations. On February 26, Lieutenants Peter and Alison Lublink, corps officers, led 120 people in celebrating High Point Community Church’s most recent refurbishing with a grand reopening.
“We live in one of the least-churched cities in Canada,” says Lieutenant Peter Lublink. “To incarnate the gospel to this neighbourhood we have taken a page from the Army’s early history and adapted our methods to fit our changing context. The result is that our Sunday gathering space borrows as much from traditional church architecture as it does from a local music hall, an art café or even a living room.” The sanctuary includes comfortable seating, a coffee bar with snacks and fair trade beverages, an art gallery and a state-
Andrew Benson and Curt Smith participate in the reopening service
High Point CC’s décor and aesthetics are intended to help the unchurched feel comfortable
Did you know …
… General Linda Bond announced that an international congress will be held in London, England, during the first week of July 2015 to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Army? “As we look forward to a great gathering of Salvationists from 124 countries, let us join our prayers for a God-glorifying, Kingdom-growing international congress in 2015,” says Commissioner Barry C. Swanson, Chief of the Staff … throughout March, Parkdale Thrift Store in downtown Toronto hosted an in-store fundraiser to support the local youth soccer club? Bloor Central Soccer Club is committed to offering high-quality recreation programs for low-income families. Last summer, 270 children, aged seven to 12, participated
… The Salvation Army received a grant from Area Community Foundation in Sussex, N.B., for Sally’s Community Kitchen to empower individuals to build basic skills through education and training in cooking, shopping, meal planning, budgeting, food safety and nutrition, thus enhancing clients’ quality of life? The six-week project can accommodate eight people and will run twice a year ... 10 McMaster University students in Hamilton, Ont., held a homelessness awareness event to raise money for the Army? Emily Landon organized the evening, which featured a live band and barbecue outside the Army’s Meadowlands Church in Ancaster, Ont., raising $800 for homelessness initiatives. The Salvation Army operates a men’s shelter and soup
of-the-art stage. The updated building features an attractive Sunday school and nursery area and office complex. “Aesthetics and décor often have a great effect on the way people gather and on their mood,” says Lieutenant Lublink. “Our hope is that it will be a warm and inviting sanctuary where longstanding walls against Christianity are broken down and people can experience the power of Jesus.” People toured the new space and connected with friends, family and neighbours following the reopening service.
van and provides other services to help the homeless and low-income individuals in Hamilton … Salvationists in Hungary are thanking God for answered prayer after their parliament granted the Army legal recognition as a church? New legislation on January 1 had cut the number of officially registered churches from 300 to 14. The Salvation Army was not among this reduced number. A later amendment to the legislation granted the Army church status. “We continue to enjoy privileges in taxation, government funding of our social services and clerical activities such as teaching Christianity to young people,” explains Canadian Cpt Andrew Morgan, Hungary regional commander, Switzerland, Austria and Hungary Tty Salvationist I May 2012 I 5
AROUND THE TERRITORY
Raising Awareness of Human Trafficking While women weep as they do now, chained to brothels and sugar cane fields under threat of death, I’ll fight. While men are tricked into working in cocoa fields for no money without hope of escape, as they do now, I’ll fight. While whole families are enslaved for generations in brick factories, While little boys are kidnapped and forced to weave carpets and never find their way home, While little girls are bought and sold like cattle and their virginity auctioned off to the highest bidder, I’ll fight. I’ll fight to the very end. A MEMBER OF TORONTO’S Corps 614, Sharon Hann’s adaptation of William Booth’s “While Women Weep” speech expresses the vision and passion that motivated her and her sister, Laura Hann, a member of Toronto’s North York Temple, to plan a weekend seminar for youth on human trafficking. Fifty delegates gathered at Jackson’s Point Conference Centre, Ont., and passionately prayed not only for those trafficked for the sex trade and labour industry, but also for the traffickers, johns and consumers. Young Salvationists gather to protest human trafficking around the world In discussing the roots of injustice, they explored reasons why people are vulnerable, such as discrimination, lack issues, pass their knowledge on to their friends and church family, of education and poverty. and build relationships with more vulnerable people. Some comBy video, Joy Smith, member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. mitted to organizing a “freedom relay” at their corps in the fall. Paul in Winnipeg, assured attendees that when “you raise your voices to Parliament, you will be heard.” Stan and Aura Burditt informed the youth about the work they’ve been doing in London, Ont., through Men Against Sexual Trafficking (MAST) and their women’s prison ministry. “We repeatedly heard the call to use our skills and opportunities to not just pray, ‘Thy Kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven,’ but to seek first that Kingdom in our own lives and to be co-workers with God in bringing his rule into our world,” says Laura Hann. On Saturday morning, the young people attended workshops on song-writing, resistance art and screen-printing. Other workshops explored topics such as healthy relationships, poverty and human trafficking, and political action. “We talked about the complexity of being part of a church that is called to break the chains of injustice while being a part of a society that supports exploitation and expects economic disparity,” says Sharon Hann. After a training session about Canada’s human trafficking laws, the youth took to the streets of Newmarket, Ont., on Saturday afternoon to inform the public that there are 27 million slaves in the world and still loopholes that make the charge of human trafficking rarely hold up in court. “It’s not just the laws on human trafficking that need to change, but also the systems and situations that make people vulnerable to slavery,” explains Sharon Hann. “We need to speak up for foster children, refugees and those growing up in poverty in Canada and around the world, to be willing to get our hands dirty and live sacrificially.” On Sunday, participants and leaders wrote down personal commitments, including to become better informed about the 6 I May 2012 I Salvationist
AROUND THE TERRITORY
Drop-in Centre Meets Needs of Local Youth FOR THE PAST YEAR, Pembroke Community Church, Ont., has hosted youth ages 12-18 who come to hang out, meet new friends and have fun in a safe and healthy environment. In 2011, after moving around to different locations for more than three years, the Pembroke Youth Centre, known as the Grind, found a permanent home at The Salvation Army. Weekly programs provide recreation, tutoring, mentoring and encouragement. Monday night music lessons are provided free, but youth are required to “pay-it-forward” through volunteerism back to the community. On Friday nights, teens play video games, foosball and air
hockey. IMPACT, a mentoring program, matches young people with a mentor, for a minimum of one hour a week, to help them reach their goals and potential. Scheduled events throughout the year include concerts featuring local and touring bands, skateboarding demonstrations, breakdancing, pool and discussions with guest speakers. “The monthly meetings with speakers address specific topics and direct teens to the help they need,” says the Grind’s co-ordinator Jerry Novack. “And we don’t shy away from the hard subjects.” Last summer a skate park was added to the list of the centre’s services.
Youth at the Grind, a program operated at the Army in Pembroke, Ont.
“Skateboarding was recognized as an area of interest among youth in Pembroke,” says Novack. Opening the skate park fosters fitness and gives youth the opportunity to have fun and meet others with similar interests. Several expert skaters from the community have joined the team as dedicated volunteers, often showcasing their skills for the youth. The goal of the program is that every teenager should have the confidence, competence and connections needed to live a healthy, fulfilling life and contribute positively to society. One by one the Grind is making a lasting difference in the lives of Pembroke’s youth.
The Saul Mendoza Band performed at the Grind Youth Centre along with guest speaker and breakdancer Jeff Goring from Sonz of God
Getting Healthy One Step at a Time IN GLACE BAY AND New Waterford, N.S., The Salvation Army is taking steps to help people become more active in their lives. The corps in these two communities, now operating as a circuit ministry under the leadership of Lieutenants Joshua and Joyce Downer, run a popular workout program called “Walk Away the Pounds,” a ministry that cares for both the soul and the body. The program, which has been going strong for over six years now, is held six times per week—four times in New Waterford and two times in Glace Bay. It follows a DVD workout program called Walk Away the Pounds and, because it takes place in the corps’ gyms, it runs all year.
On average, about 20-25 women attend the sessions in New Waterford, while about 10-20 come to the sessions in Glace Bay. These programs attract women of all fitness levels and ages, with some of the women being in their 70s and 80s. The women walk 3-5 kilometres at each session and, in Glace Bay, they socialize and eat healthy food together. “There is a real sense of community with these women,” says Lieutenant Joyce Downer. “It is a joy to see people attending to their physical needs and, at the same time, building relationships with one another. “On many days,” she adds, “it can be
difficult to hear the DVD over the roar of conversation happening between the ladies while they are walking.” Some of the women have also started coming to corps events, and one woman who came to The Salvation Army through the workout program is now a member of the corps in New Waterford. Be involved in the Army’s present Be part of the Army’s future For the latest news online, visit us at
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Finding Refuge Separated from their family in the Republic of Congo, Lazare and Georgette Lefu received support from the South Windsor Corps
Photo: Dan Janisse
BY KRISTIN FRYER, STAFF WRITER
Georgette and Lazare Lefu with their daughters, Lazarette, Lucette and Lazarelle
hen Lazare and Georgette Lefu arrived in Canada in 2007, they knew no one. Due to unsafe conditions, they were forced to flee the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), leaving their jobs, home and four daughters behind. Adjusting to life in a foreign land, the Lefus faced many challenges. But they knew that there was one place in Canada where they would be welcomed. After they settled in Windsor, Ont., they looked up The Salvation Army and made a phone call to the South Windsor Corps. Things Fall Apart While in Congo-Brazzaville, Lazare was a high school principal, while Georgette was a boat pilot on the Congo River. Together they operated an orphanage, which they opened in 1993. Both were involved in the local Salvation Army corps—Lazare as a youth pastor and Georgette as a nursery worker. When they left, they had five daughters ranging in age from five to 18, and Georgette was pregnant with twins. Plagued by war and corruption, the 8 I May 2012 I Salvationist
Republic of Congo was never a safe place for the Lefus to live. But in the time leading up to their departure, the situation worsened. As they faced increasing political persecution, they knew they needed to leave as soon as possible. The Lefus decided to seek refuge in North America, but they had no time to plan the trip or raise the funds necessary for the whole family to go at that time. The Lefus took their youngest daughter with them, expecting that the others would be able to join them soon after. Five years later, the Lefus are still separated from their four eldest daughters. A Windsor Welcome On their first Sunday at South Windsor Corps, the Lefus shared their testimony and the congregation responded with great concern, asking questions about their situation and offering support. They visited the Lefus at their new home and, recognizing that it was unsuitable, helped them find better housing and gave them “everything that you could need for a house,” as Lazare puts it.
When Georgette gave birth to twin girls two months prematurely, the congregation looked after the family and later helped them get a car. In April 2010, the Lefus were granted “protected person” status by the Canadian government—a crucial step toward reuniting the family. The following month, members of the South Windsor Corps created the Lefu Trust Fund to help cover the cost of bringing the daughters to Canada. In addition to asking for general donations, they held various fundraisers, including a benefit concert that raised just over $4,300. Lazare says the trust fund probably has enough to bring the girls to their new home in Canada. The only thing preventing their reunion is paperwork: the Lefus, who are now permanent residents of Canada, are still waiting for the Canadian embassy in Dakar, Senegal, to issue travel visas for their daughters. “We don’t know when the visas will be issued, but we hope it will be soon because we are tired of living without our children,” says Lazare. “And they are tired of living without their parents.” Keeping the Faith Lazare and Georgette talk to their children every day on the telephone. And when the telephone bill comes at the end of the month, it’s in the hundreds of dollars. “Our daughters need spiritual and emotional support, and that’s the only way we can give it,” Lazare says. “They don’t understand what’s going on. Sometimes they have doubts about whether they’re ever going to see us again.” Though the daughters live with their grandmother, their situation is far from secure. “Sometimes you don’t know what’s going on over there and you wonder, are they safe?” says Georgette, fighting back tears. “We try to have courage for them, but it’s very difficult.” Reflecting on what has been a challenging time for the family, Lazare says that they are very thankful for the spiritual and material support they have received from The Salvation Army. He and Georgette are active members of the corps—Georgette has joined the songsters and they both play in the band. “That helps us forget about the pain and it helps increase our faith,” says Lazare. “We pray every day that God will bring our children here,” he adds, “and we have faith that one day we will be together again.”
Deepening the Bond Across the territory, The Salvation Army is helping mothers and children connect with God and each other
BY KRISTIN FRYER, STAFF WRITER
eing a mom is not always easy. There are diapers to change, meals to cook, school meetings to attend, and so much more. Every family has its struggles and, without a support network to provide help and encouragement, raising children can be a challenge. That’s why The Salvation Army offers a variety of programs designed to meet the needs of mothers and children and show them God’s love. This article profiles four ministries in Ontario, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia.
WHEN EMILY ALLEN first attended Baby Song at Georgetown Community Church, Ont., in 2005, it seemed like a chance encounter. A friend of hers had seen an ad for the program in the local newspaper and suggested she take her three-month-old son, Brody. Emily never would have thought that, just a few years later, she would be running the very program that brought her back to church. She was new to Georgetown. None of her family lived nearby and she did not know many people there. She hadn’t been to church in years. “I was on the verge of suffering from postpartum depression, so I was reaching out for anything,” she remembers. “Before I went to Baby Song, I prayed, ‘God, show me if you’re there.’ ” Growing up, Emily had limited exposure to Christianity. She attended church as a toddler and accepted Christ at a Bible camp when she was 13, but her mother did not attend church and Emily didn’t have the opportunity to solidify her faith. Baby Song gave her the chance to connect with other moms and recon-
Photo: Emily Allen
Baby Song in Georgetown, Ont.
Kira Macoritti and her son, Matteo, enjoy water play at Baby Song
nect with God. Just a few months after her first visit, she also started attending the corps, remembering how much she enjoyed learning Bible stories as a child. Within her first year at the corps, Emily had an epiphany. “One Sunday, I was singing worship songs and I realized, ‘I still believe this stuff,’ ” she says. She became an adherent in 2006 and then a soldier in 2008. As her relationship with God grew, so did her connection with Georgetown Community Church. Soon after she started attending the corps, Emily was helping with Baby Song and other children’s programs. Over time, she took on more responsibility for Baby Song, running the program when the corps
officer was away. Then, when the corps officer received a new appointment in 2008, Emily took over as the leader of Baby Song. Today, Emily is a community ministry worker at the corps and the Baby Song program is still going. The corps usually runs two 8-10 week sessions per year, serving 10-12 mothers with children aged 0-12 months. Many of the mothers are separated from their families and trying to raise their children without a support network. “Whether they come to our church or not, Baby Song is a support and a connection for them,” Emily says. “We are with them when they go through challenges and they know that they’re not alone.” Salvationist I May 2012 I 9
Games Night at Metrotown Citadel in Burnaby, B.C.
Photo: Geoff Heith
IT’S IMPORTANT FOR mothers to form deep and lasting connections with their children, which is why The Salvation Army recognizes the need for programs that foster these relationships. Captains Paul and Lisa Trickett, corps officers at Metrotown Citadel in Burnaby, B.C., didn’t set out to create a program for single mothers, but when they started a games night for families last fall, that’s exactly what happened. “While their kids were playing games, the mothers started networking,” says Captain Paul Trickett, “and it has become a place where they find security and support.”
The mothers who attend the games night aren’t typical single moms. About 90 percent of them are from China and they are married, but they are separated from their husbands who live back home because they are not able to find work in Canada. “It’s similar to being a single parent,” says Captain Paul Trickett. “For two or three years at a time, they don’t see their husbands.” The games night offers them a chance to speak their first language and have fellowship with other newcomers. When the program launched, approximately 20 mothers and children came to the games night, which happens every Friday. Now, nearly 60 people attend each week. Most of the families who come have not had any prior exposure to church, but since the program started, six mothers have become Christians and 10 children have become junior soldiers. “The church has given my family safe activities to be involved in,” says Joy
Joy Zhang and her daughter, Lily, play games at the Metrotown Citadel games night 10 I May 2012 I Salvationist
Zhang, whose daughter, Lily, became a Christian after the family started attending the games night. “The church is teaching them about God, and it has given my son volunteer opportunities to help him complete high school.” In addition to the games night, the corps tries to help these families in whatever way it can, whether it’s showing them how to access services such as legal aid, helping them move or simply praying with them. At the request of these mothers, the corps has recently started an English-asa-second-language Bible study. “Our attitude is, ‘How can we meet your need?’ ” says Captain Lisa Trickett. “We now have women walking through our doors and saying, ‘I was told to come here,’ because they know it’s a place where they can get help.”
Read and Play Café in Wesleyville, N.L. IN THE SMALL TOWN of Wesleyville, N.L., the Read and Play Café at the NewWes-Valley Corps plays an important role. “There are not a lot of programs in the community for children, and we’re the only church that offers a program for moms and tots,” says Lieutenant Melissa Haas, corps officer. The café started several years ago when it was discovered that literacy rates were low in the community. The program has two components: a lending library, which includes children’s books and parenting help books; and a bi-weekly meeting where the children sing songs and have supervised play, while the moms socialize and have parenting discussions. About 15 mothers and 20 children come to these meetings. Lieutenant Haas says the mothers love the program because it gives them the chance to connect with other women and swap advice, but the program has also had an enormous impact on the children who attend. Norma Malendy says that Read and Play has completely transformed her granddaughter, Rhianna. Born prematurely, Rhianna was prone to infection so she spent her early years at home, only having contact with a few family members. Coming to Read and Play last September was very difficult for her. “Because she had spent so much
time alone, Rhianna struggled to interact with other children and adults,” Norma explains. When they first started attending, Rhianna cried throughout the sessions and wouldn’t participate in the activities. The setting of the program was instrumental in helping Rhianna develop her social skills. At the beginning of each session, the whole group gathers together in a large room, which allowed Rhianna to be with her grandmother, as well as other adults and children. When the children left the adults to have supervised playtime, Norma initially went with Rhianna, but she doesn’t need to do that anymore. “This program showed her that she could be in a room separate from me, but she was not really alone,” says Norma. Now, Rhianna participates happily in the program and has befriended other children. Norma originally brought Rhianna to Read and Play because she feared that her granddaughter would not be able to cope when she started kindergarten the next fall, but this is no longer a worry. “I think the program is a wonderful asset to the community and to children like Rhianna,” says Norma. “My only regret is that I didn’t take her sooner.”
Precious Moments in Dartmouth, N.S. RESPONDING TO THE needs of the community is at the heart of the Precious Moments program for moms and tots in Dartmouth, N.S. Major Marilyn Furey, corps officer at Dartmouth Community Church, started the program six years ago when she saw that many young mothers were visiting the corps’ food bank and asking for diapers and other supplies. Precious Moments started by offering these necessities, but when Major Furey noticed that many of the mothers could benefit from further support, the program shifted its focus to parenting skills. The Precious Moments group meets every Thursday morning with 20-25 moms and 35 children in attendance. “It’s very loud,” Major Furey laughs. “You have to be careful where you step so that you don’t walk on a child or a crayon.” Most of the mothers who attend are young and single. Some have been abandoned by their partners and many have experienced domestic abuse.
At the start of each session, Major Furey shares a short devotional message and a prayer. Then she leads the group in a discussion of parenting issues, such as potty-training, nutrition and discipline. “I don’t say, ‘This is the way you have to do it,’ ” she says. “I start by saying, ‘This is what worked for me. This didn’t work. What’s working for you now?’ ” Major Furey has also brought in a number of speakers, including nurses, dental hygienists and nutritionists, to answer questions and offer advice. The change in some of the mothers, Major Furey says, has been incredible. “When they first came, many were unsure of themselves and needed help to care for their children, but now they have so much confidence,” she says. Over the past six years, Major Furey has also seen a number of mothers go back to school, get off welfare and escape abusive relationships. As Precious Moments helps these mothers practically, Major Furey hopes it will also help them spiritually. “I would love to see these moms find God and experience a relationship with him,” she says. “Basically, my message is, God loves you and I love you.”
Salvationist I May 2012 I 11
God on the Big Screen
Should we encourage the use of visual media in church worship?
YES. The use of visual media helps the Church bring people closer to the story of Jesus. BY CAPTAIN MARK DALLEY
I LOVE BOOKSTORES, so I decided to work at one when I was a university student. While there, I learned how easily we are swayed by appearance. For example, when you are in a bookstore, how do you decide which book to pick up? Most of us want to believe that we base our decision on the value of the content, but if the cover isn’t attractive, we won’t even bother looking at it. We are surrounded by images in our society. Everywhere we look we see graphics, posters and videos. The use of images has always been part of the life and worship in the Church. This is exactly how God intended it, which is why Scripture speaks so frequently of the use of image. In Genesis 1 we are told that we were created in the image of God. This means that each one of us is a billboard for God—we are literally God’s walking, breathing media. And in John 1, we are told that God’s plan of redemption and revelation hinged on his revealing himself to us in the image of Christ, in the “medium” of a man. In fact, the Word needed to be transformed into the image of flesh so that God’s glory could be fully revealed and salvation given through the “medium” of Christ’s broken body. Media itself is simply defined as the primary means of mass communication. Therefore, the cutting-edge medium of Jesus’ day was parables. Jesus almost exclusively spoke in parables, using the images of the culture around him. He used parables because it allowed him to not only teach the deep truths of God but also to present them in an understandable way. Christ used the images of his culture and the media of his day to bring people into worship and relationship with God. The use of media in the Church has always been of some debate. In the past this has been in the form of anything from stained-glass windows and popular music to the use of radio and TV. The real debate here is not about the use of media, but rather what forms of media are helpful to worship and which images should be used. Many of you will remember the flannelgraph. I spent many years teaching Sunday school, and nothing helped me make the stories of Scripture more understandable than the flannelgraph. It was like a switch came on as my students were able to see, perhaps for the first time, the stories of the Bible play out before their eyes. The flannelgraph was the medium of the day and proved essential to the spiritual growth of many of us. In Uncommon Lectionary, Tom Bandy writes, “Worship is a form of mission. It employs the indigenous cultural forms of any 12 I May 2012 I Salvationist
“A picture is worth a thousand words”—Anon.
given micro-culture, in order to introduce seekers to Christ. Or, it employs whatever learning methodologies are most effective in any given micro-culture, in order to motivate disciples to witness, serve and model authentic Christian faith.... Worship is not intended by God or planning teams to send people to coffee, refreshments and conversation with their friends. It is intended to help people drink deeply from the fountain of grace, and send them to bring living water to the rest of the world.” In other words, our use of images and the media that proclaim the gospel are integral to the mission that Christ laid out for us so many years ago. From the flag to the projector, the images of our worship have become the scrapbook of our lives together with each other and Christ. As a corps officer, I have found that the type and amount of media used is directly dependent on the culture both within the congregation and the community in which we minister. What this means is that the media we employ must represent those we seek to reach rather than our own personal preferences. If the media that we use in our worship does not connect to the indigenous culture we seek to serve and to save, then we are hindering the mission of God.
POINT COUNTERPOINT No one picks up a book without a good cover, and no one keeps a book without a good story. Media, when used well, helps the Church bring people closer to the story of Jesus. We have the greatest story ever told, and the most powerful created image ever given: the cross. Knowing that the tool of media is available to me just as it was to Christ so many years ago, I would not want to attempt to portray the story of Jesus without it. Captain Mark Dalley and his wife, Naomi, are the corps officers in Listowell, Ont.
NO. We should be wary of how dependent we’ve become on technology to guide our experiences in church. BY JOHN McALISTER AS THE CONGREGATION sings Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?, I follow the words projected onto a large screen at the front of the church. Behind the words of the first verse, I’m shown a mountain in the background with clouds moving across the screen. On the second verse, I see images of people raising their hands in worship. For the third verse, I view a flowing river with birds flying in the sky. By the fourth verse, my eyes are sore and I’m mentally adjusting the first line to read, “Open up the doors and let me go home.” All of this feels more like a full-out assault on the senses rather than a source of spiritual refreshment. Has the Church become too reliant on technology in its worship services? Whether it’s the use of creative—and sometimes tacky—PowerPoint backgrounds or the prevalence of video clips accompanying devotional messages, we are obsessed with finding new ways to visually engage our congregants. Since images already pervade our society through billboards, TV, Internet, movies, magazines and social media, people have come to expect a visual experience in everything they do. So, in order to connect with people in a relevant manner, the Church feels obliged to incorporate media into its worship services. While I’m no Neo-Luddite—just try taking away my iPhone— I believe that we should be wary of how dependent we are on modern media in church. A good starting point is the question: What would our worship look like if we had no electricity this Sunday? Although I earn a living by designing and managing websites, a part of me craves a community where the many distractions of the world are stripped away. In other words, a church unplugged. As God tells us in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” As a society oversaturated with visual stimuli, it takes great discipline for us to sit still. While we may think we’re helping people to focus on the service through visual media, perhaps we’re making it even harder for them to connect with God. While I recognize that it’s not feasible to eliminate technology altogether, we also shouldn’t overdo it. For example, the words we sing each Sunday have their own power to inspire and challenge us; they don’t need elaborate visual backgrounds to help us connect the dots. So, project the words on the screen, but use
a simple background that doesn’t distract. We should also be aware of how PowerPoint presentations and other visual media are used in the secular world. In almost every case, they are created to sell things or to market an idea. While we may think we have redeemed this technology, people are pre-conditioned to respond warily to advertisements. As well, if our sermons incorporate many bulleted statements, we may be connecting with people on an intellectual basis but missing their hearts, which is where profound change occurs. Rather than unpack the reasons why we should believe or behave in a certain manner, our preachers should turn off the screen and tell an inspiring story of how God and his Word have impacted their lives or someone they know. The passion they exude will come across as real and uncontrived. In The Importance of Being Foolish, Brennan Manning writes: “Consider how our churches have explored and exploited our need to replace the numbness in our lives with a passion for something, anything. We’ve created worship in which music is meant to stir the emotions but the soul is left unmoved, in which the words spoken are little more than manipulations of the heart. We have created cathartic experiences filled with weeping and dancing in the Spirit that leaves us with the sense that we have touched God but that fail to give us the sense that God has touched us. We run to churches where the message feels good and where we feel energized and uplifted—but never challenged or convicted.” Of course we want our churches to be engaging and relevant. But we must ensure that they remain places where people can find divine intimacy, not just locations where we try to market and sell Christianity. John McAlister is the features editor and web producer for The Salvation Army.
% August 25 to September 1, 2012 %
Jackson’s Point Conference Centre Salvationist I May 2012 I 13
Woman of Vision
Salvationist Corry Frost lauded by Global TV Edmonton for being a transforming influence in her community
BY KRISTIN FRYER, STAFF WRITER
hat a difference a decade makes. Just 10 years ago, Corry Frost was in a downward spiral. Addicted to drugs and alcohol, she was working the streets to support her habits. Now, Frost is the community care ministries secretary at Edmonton Crossroads Community Church and she’s back on the streets, this time sharing God’s love and helping women escape a life of drugs and prostitution. She also speaks at youth conferences and schools, telling teens about her life and the ugly realities of drug addiction. For her commitment to being a transforming influence in her community, Frost was recognized as a Woman of Vision by Global TV Edmonton in February and given an award at a special luncheon. The award was a complete surprise for Frost. “I was shocked,” she says. “When they told me I had won the award, I was thinking, ‘Yeah, right.’ ” Not long ago, winning such an award would have been unimaginable. Raised in a single-parent household, Frost was addicted to drugs and alcohol by the time she was 14. While still a teen, she was working in the sex trade and, by 24, she had four children. Motivated by her desire to raise her children in a drug-free home, Frost gave up using for 18 years. “But I didn’t change the way I saw it in my head,” she says. “I didn’t change that I had no self-esteem. And when my youngest turned 18, it was very easy to slide back into the drug lifestyle.” Arrested for drug trafficking in December 2002, Frost took the opportunity to clean up while she was in jail. While there, she took 19 programs, including relapse prevention and anger management.
Corry Frost at the Global TV Woman of Vision annual awards luncheon
“I took everything I thought I would need to fit back into society,” she notes. When Frost got out of jail in spring 2003, she decided she wanted to go to church. She tried many different churches, but she didn’t feel like she fit in anywhere. Then one of her friends, a former addict himself, invited her to visit Edmonton Crossroads. “I felt like I was home,” Frost says. “No one looked at me any differently than anybody else. No one judged me.” She joined the corps and became involved in a Salvation Army thrift store in Slave Lake, Alta. When she returned to Edmonton, she started working in the corps’ drop-in centre. MAY-AUGUST 2012 ISSUE NOW AVAILABLE! Now, she runs women’s ministries, which Faith is a journey. Explore what this means for your life as you includes a van ministry that helps women meditate on God’s Word through The Salvation Army’s Words who work the streets. Every Monday and of Life daily devotional book, published three times a year. Friday evening, Frost drives around town, Through the travels of the Israelites to the Promised Land to giving women food, hot drinks and a place the spread of the good news in Acts, Canadian writer Major to warm up. Beverly Ivany takes you on a faith journey in the May-August If any of the women express an interest 2012 issue of Words of Life to see how God stands by his peoin leaving the lifestyle, Frost works to get ple when they trust in him. Along the way you will consider them off the street that night, connects them the importance of prayer, the suffering of Job and the story of to appropriate services and gives them the Ezra, while guest writer Major Sasmoko Hertjahjo from Indocorps’ contact information. nesia provides a Pentecost series. “We offer hope,” she says. “That’s why I $6.99 per issue (plus taxes, shipping and handling); $5.99 per issue (plus taxes, do it. I want the girls to know that there’s a shipping and handling) for five issues (remaining two 2012 and three 2013 issues) way out if they want it.” For Frost, the Woman of Vision award is a To order, contact The Salvation Army Supplies and Purchasing • 416-422-6100 great encouragement. “It means I’m doing the firstname.lastname@example.org • SalvationArmy.ca/Store right thing,” she says. “It means a lot to me.”
WORDS OF LIFE
14 I May 2012 I Salvationist
A Generous Heart Through the Partners in Mission campaign, we can improve the lives of people around the world BY COMMISSIONER BRIAN PEDDLE
elcome to the warm heart of Africa.” These were words I heard over and over again when I visited Salvation Army projects throughout the Malawi Territory. At first I thought that this descriptive phrase simply captured the inspiring landscape and hot temperatures. But the truth of this greeting is found in the Malawian people. For many Salvationists, the Partners in Mission campaign is a time of self-denial as we focus on the needs of the international Salvation Army. This year, our territory set a goal of raising $2.2 million, with each division setting targets in faith to see this happen. I am grateful for every supporter, and as I write these thoughts, I am aware that you will be reading them in the closing days of the campaign and likely preparing your final donations. I am strongly convicted that I should support the work of the Army around the world and I have a desire to do something tangible, so I pray that you will join me in supporting this campaign. In February, I had the opportunity to visit Malawi and see the work that your funds make possible. When I ask you to give, I do so having witnessed the many possibilities created through your generosity. Despite their many challenges, the people of Malawi are gentle, respectful, hopeful and hardworking. They speak Chichewa and English, but both languages are surpassed by smiles, singing and traditional dance. When you see the obvious and significant needs facing them, your initial response is shock and deep concern. But then the Malawian people embrace you and tell you their story, opening your eyes to the beauty and strength of the nation. Nonetheless, the needs are great. There are limited resources, economic instability,
Commissioner Brian Peddle interacting with children in Malawi
widespread poverty, illiteracy, human child trafficking, HIV/AIDS and high unemployment. In the midst of this dismal picture, we discover the positive self-determination of the Malawian people. And we also find The Salvation Army’s development team. As the Army in Malawi identifies opportunities for development and mission, other territories such as Canada and Bermuda are given the privilege to partner with them. We support projects that are changing lives and helping communities improve their future. I need to say, however, that while the people of Malawi appreciate and benefit from our assistance, they are quite able to help themselves. They have an enviable sense of community as they carefully manage their projects—some of which continue long after the funding has run out. They also demonstrate the capacity to discover solutions when roadblocks suggest there is no way forward. Our involvement as a partner territory must focus on augmenting what already exists as we support their journey to being selfsustaining. I believe that our partnership must continue and, where appropriate, be enhanced. The projects and programs our territory supports would not be possible without the contributions made to the Partners in Mission campaign. This is
the starting place for projects such as bee keeping, water wells, HIV/AIDS outreach, literacy and feeding programs to help children stay in school. These initiatives are valued and a means of empowerment. Also effective are the donations made to Gifts of Hope. It seems simple, but even the gift of two pigs, properly cared for, can create income for a family so that they can afford to eat adequately and send their children to school. These things are all possible as we continue to give sacrificially. As I reflect on my trip to Malawi, I’m flooded by a sea of images: rescued children, orphans, poverty, malnutrition, HIV/AIDS and missing parents. But in the midst of it all, The Salvation Army is there to show God’s love and concern for his people. I’m thankful for the ministry of Major Gillian Brown who leads our world missions team at THQ. In addition to Malawi, we are Partners in Mission with Zimbabwe, Liberia, Latin America North and Germany and Lithuania. Your help is critical in providing the resources that can make a difference in a life and in a community. Thank you for giving! Commissioner Brian Peddle is the territorial commander of the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Salvationist I May 2012 I 15
experience many sleepless nights because of a thoughtless word or legitimate criticism that was stated badly. And yet … The man who preaches to you despite not always putting into practice what he preaches does so anyway with passion and conviction, knowing that he is following in the footsteps of Peter and Paul—both deeply flawed yet used by God to preach and teach his Word. So with great humility and much prayer, your corps officer preaches on. The woman who shakes in her shoes when she has been called by God to be a spiritual leader leads with confidence and certainty that “… he that began a good work in [her] will carry it on to completion” (Philippians 1:6). The man who has family problems of his own will continue to help you with yours because he believes that “… all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). The woman who is scared of not meeting the expectations of her more difficult members will probably not meet them. Or if she does, the standard will be set higher and higher as such people are seldom easy to please. Yet, she will labour on, “… not trying to please people but God” (1 Thessalonians 2:4). The man who finds it hard to surrender control will, in the end, joyfully surrender it when he realizes that it is a stubborn spirit of pride within himself that says, “Hold on to this; don’t let it go.” He’d rather follow the words of Paul: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). The men and women who lead you in your spiritual walk despite their sins, easily bruised egos and flaws count it a privilege to grow with you in the ways of holiness. They are blessed to receive that text message, phone call, e-mail or conversation that says, “Pray with me.” And when they respond to the call, whether it’s a request to celebrate a joyous milestone or to sit with you in the depths of despair, they do so not in their own strength but in God’s. While this article is not necessarily autobiographical, it is an account of every officer and spiritual leader that God has called to shepherd his people. So hold us accountable, pray for us and walk with us. Together we comprise the true body of Christ.
Photo: © iStockphoto.com/Eric Gevaert
Thank you, Lieutenant Robert Jeffery, for articulating the challenges facing spiritual leaders (Flawed Shepherds, Flawed Shepherds March 2012). It is powerful to express our fears, concerns, worries or doubts T for the purpose of standing in the truth of God’s Word and claiming freedom from the things of this world (which sometimes strongly reside in our hearts and minds). We are not our fears. We are men and women called by God to lead. I thank God for the transformative power that equips us to move through our fears, concerns, worries or doubts and trust in our holy God to shape us into the men and women that God knows us to be. Lieutenant Phillip Blindenbach Despite their weaknesses, the men and women who lead you in your spiritual walk count it a privilege BY LIEUTENANT ROBERT JEFFERY
his may shock you, but the man or woman leading your church is a flawed shepherd. That’s right, flawed to the core. I’ll tell you what I know about it and you can judge for yourself whether what I have to say is true. The man who preaches to you every Sunday, who exhorts you to live as Jesus did, sometimes lives in such a way that his actions don’t always match his words. The woman who confidently prays with you at the mercy seat often feels woefully inadequate to be your spiritual leader. The display of confidence that inspires you may at times be an act. The man who listens to you pour out your heart about family troubles has plenty of his own: wayward sons and daughters who don’t know the Lord; marital conflict; aging parents who demand his time and attention. His problems make him want to throw his hands up in the air and cry, “Enough!” The woman who encourages other women in her corps to grow in their faith is sometimes scared of these very same members of her flock. She’s afraid that she won’t measure up to their expectations or will be told, “Dear, that’s not how we
do things here.” She worries that if she’s not crafty enough, is a bad cook or can’t sing, that she’s somehow unworthy of her calling. The man who encourages you to get involved and take on leadership within the corps may have a hard time surrendering control, because when he empowers you to lead, he gives up some say in what that ministry looks like and how it is run.
Hold us accountable, pray for us and walk with us. Together we comprise the true body of Christ
The man or woman who leads your church has a very fragile ego. A misplaced word or subtle criticism that is not done in love may be forgotten by you 10 seconds after it is said, but remembered by them for weeks to come. These flawed shepherds
Lieutenant Robert Jeffery is the corps officer of Spryfield Community Church in Halifax. Married to Hannah, they have two children. Salvationist I March 2012 I 21
Call to Ministry
The Salvation Army needs to look seriously at tailoring officership to the needs of individual people (Exploring Officership, March 2012). At the present time when a person becomes an officer, they lose their self-determination, I money from their assets (usually in order to go to training college) and they do not end up owning very much. If they need to leave down the track, they are trapped. Who wants to sign up for that? Our young people are bursting with enthusiasm to serve God but they will find another way to do this if the Army does not change. I have great faith that we can. Glenys Page The Salvation Army still needs officers. But how do we encourage Salvationists to consider this unique call to ministry?
Photos: Timothy Cheng
In order to fulfil his purposes for the Army, God needs officers who will maintain and lead us in our mission.
Kevin Slous: “Salvationists should take an active role in encouraging people to consider officership”
n this round-table discussion on Salvation Army officership, John McAlister, features editor, speaks with Major Fred Waters, candidates’ secretary, Captain Mark Braye, corps officer, Temiskaming Community Church, Ont., Kevin Slous, youth pastor at Mississauga Temple Community Church, Ont., and Megan Smith, a student at the University of Toronto.
JM: What is officership? How would you describe or define it? MB: It’s an avenue of full-time ministry, although in a sense all Christians are called to full-time ministry. It’s giving up secular employment to be a servant. KS: It’s a life surrendered to fulltime service and leadership within The Salvation Army. MS: It’s a calling and purpose that God has for your life. It’s a life-long commitment that is sealed by a covenant. FW: That’s a key difference between employment and officership. I am a covenanted leader in The Salvation Army. I could have done ministry in a variety of
different avenues, but I felt God specifically calling me to this ministry. So, I entered into a covenant with him to be an officer and then allowed The Salvation Army to focus how that calling is worked out.
JM: What is the difference between someone serving as a covenanted soldier or a covenanted officer? FW: A soldier’s covenant revolves around behaviour. Much of it has to do with lifestyle issues, so there are the “I promise to” or “I promise not to” statements. With an officer’s covenant, the aspect that keeps me awake at night is the haunting phrase, “I will live to win souls.” Our mission is held in the hands of our officers, not by function but by covenant. KS: I don’t think you can be a soldier and not give officership serious consideration. The officer’s covenant is different in that officers give their lives wholly in service to the Army. It’s necessary to have officers as leaders who embody the mission of Salvationism. MS: God raised up The Salvation Army, and part of its DNA is the role of officers.
JM: Will the Army always need officers? FW: When General Linda Bond installed Commissioners Brian and Rosalie Peddle as our territorial leaders, she said that we will know when God is finished with us because he will stop sending us leaders. It seems that mission and leadership are always tied together. In The Salvation Army, we view that in terms of officership. As the demographics change, it will be a greater challenge for officer leaders who can help us find our way forward. We’re not only looking for people to answer God’s call, but people who will bring with them the skills and abilities to lead in a complex and everchanging world. We not only need officers; we need many different kinds of officers. We’re starting to see that with our officer training programs, people come to us from around the world with different languages, skills and education. Rather than sending out missionaries, we need people to come and be missionaries here. The challenge for us organizationally is to find a spot where those people have valid ministry. There needs to be an openness to changing the way that officership—and training—looks in the future. KS: Officers must carry the mantle of leadership in the Army. How that looks can change over time. But we still need officers who are willing to offer their lives and serve where they are most needed. We need that mobilization to be an effective Army. FW: That’s the tension of our present generation. As an organization, we’re still looking for people who will say, “Tell me where you need me and I’ll go.” I think that’s a great adventure, but we’re dealing with a generation that wants a greater say in where they serve. MS: Not only that, our education system and societal norms are influencing people’s career choices. More people are
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I have been influenced by many positive officers, and by many positive soldiers, who encouraged me to take up full-time ministry. For me, officership is the best calling in the world. For my own experience, I’ve never felt that in becoming an officer I had to give up my self-determination. I’m sorry that some experience it that way. Lieutenant Robert Jeffery Officership is a great avenue to serve God and to serve others. I believe many young people are called to ministry, and it is up to our leaders to encourage and help these young people discern their vocation. This article will go a long way in helping all of us in this task. Major/Captain Patrick R. Lublink The equation of leadership with officership is highly questionable in theological terms because The Salvation Army is a “lay movement” and it should not be assumed that “officer” equals “clergy.” As developments over recent years have shown, there is virtually nothing that an officer does that cannot be done by a soldier. So, leadership is not the preserve of officers. All of which raises the question: what is the key function of officership? I suspect that ultimately the key function is the way in which the officer is a symbol or icon for the mission of the Army (and the Church as a whole). It is precisely the ideal of lifelong commitment that marks the crucial difference between the officer and the soldier, in that the officer does not have to balance the competing claims of a secular employer and Christian vocation, but is freed for a 16 I May 2012 I Salvationist
single-minded focus on serving God through the Army. David Cavanagh Officership is not an easy life, but since when did God ever call his people to an easy life? I believe that every Christian should ask God if he wants them to be in some kind of full-time service, perhaps even assuming that they should be until it is clear that it is not God’s calling. Royal Senter There are some interesting thoughts in this article, some I agree with and some that I have not yet seen evidence of. One of those is the claim that people are reticent to consider officership due to the desire for self-determination. I have talked with a number of young people and people my own age (late 30s) who are still eligible for candidacy, but this is not the issue that comes up. It is perhaps a straw man that we have subconsciously created because we are afraid of looking at the truth. There can be little doubt that officership is tied directly to corps growth. The more people we have attending corps and actively involved, the greater the pool of people who will consider officership. The more of those corps that are energetic, passionate and innovative, the more those numbers will increase. Major Juan Burry
Inclusive Language The problem with many modern transThe Gender Gap lations of the Bible (The Gender Gap, March 2012) is that too many translators have agendas that they feel they need to publicly air in their particular version. The result: obscuring the true meaning of important biblical texts. Secondly, more should be done to educate churchgoers about the lands of the Bible and the cultures of the Old and New Testaments. Those maps found in the back of most Bibles are there for a purpose. Stephen Scarborough POINT COUNTERPOINT
Should we embrace the use of gender-inclusive language in modern Bible translations?
YES. While the Bible was written thousands of years ago, its message is timeless and intended for all people. As such, we should be open to translations of the Bible that speak to all genders. BY MAJOR CATHIE HARRIS
SHOULD WE ADOPT the use of gender-inclusive language in The Salvation Army? Absolutely! When we are speaking or writing we should use language that includes everyone. For example, The Salvation Army believes that the good news of Jesus Christ is for all people. But if we revert to the language of previous years and say “the gospel of Jesus Christ is for all men,” most of our daughters, granddaughters, nieces and female visitors to our worship services or family services centres will not understand that they are meant to be included in that statement. Language changes over time. Not everyone likes the changes or agrees with them, but words matter and language is not neutral. It either conveys a clear message or it leads to confusion. Like any form of communication we need to understand not only what was meant but what was heard. The generic use of “man” and “mankind” of the past is not currently understood to include the female gender. If we want to communicate clearly and be understood, we need to keep our language current. We cannot be a “transforming influence in our communities” if our language erects barriers. One of The Salvation Army’s key principles, first established by Catherine Booth, was a willingness to “adapt our measures,” or applied in this case, to adapt our language. Certainly gender isn’t the only issue when it comes to adapting language. The Committee on Bible Translation has worked since 1965 on the New International Version of the Bible, the most widely distributed translation. The committee meets each year to keep current with new discoveries in biblical scholarship and the use of Standard English around the world. One of the changes they’ve made more recently is found in Genesis 23:4 where Abraham says, “I am an alien and a stranger among you.” In Standard English the word “alien” now brings to mind someone from another planet. So the updated NIV 2011 reads, “I am a foreigner and a stranger among you.” This conveys both the intent of the original author and is understood accurately by English speakers today.
The same principle is at work when it comes to gender. In the 1984 New International Version, Romans 3:28 reads this way: “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.” At the time, it was assumed that female readers would understand that they were included. We can no longer assume that. So the NIV 2011 translates it this way: “For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” This maintains the original meaning of the writer and communicates with clarity to readers today. Using gender inclusive language is not about compromise. It is not about changing the Bible. It is not about neutralizing the differences between men and women. It is about using language that makes sure that all people—men, women and children—know that they are loved by God and are recipients of God’s grace. All of our writing and speaking must clearly include everyone who is meant to be included. The tricky part is knowing how and when to rewrite the gender-exclusive language of the past. There are times when this is easy. Bible passages that were meant to include men and women have moved from exclusive to inclusive language in new translations to reflect current Standard English. This reflects the work of translation from the original languages of Hebrew and Greek into English. The King James Version translated the original languages into Elizabethan English. Translations today should reflect current usage of the English language.
12 I March 2012 I Salvationist
It is very important to observe the language comparison exactly. Formal contemporary English should be used, not a slang or street version. I know it’s important to have a relevant translation so the current culture can relate. I, too, have felt the discrimination when I have read the male text. Angela Marie Change, change, change, that is all I hear. God’s Word never changes and never will. It is as relevant today as it was in the past. It has stood the test of time. To change certain words to suit someone else isn’t going to make a difference. After a while there will be nothing left of the Word of God. It has been translated so many times—enough is enough. There are more important issues such as eliminating poverty. I think the Word of God needs to be left alone. Dawn Green We want to hear from you. Comment online at Salvationist.ca or e-mail us at Salvationist@can.salvationarmy.org.
Love in Action
God calls us to break down the barriers that foster discrimination and intolerance
Photo: iStockphoto.com/Alex Max
BY ROCHELLE McALISTER
ne of the interesting things about Christianity is that you can spend your entire life studying it and still not exhaust its riches, yet even a child can grasp the essence of the gospel. Basically, following Jesus is about loving God with everything that we are, and loving our neighbours just as much as we love ourselves. When questioned about the greatest commandment,
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40). If we want to follow Jesus, we have to love our neighbours. All of our neighbours. It’s the most natural thing in
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the world to want to spend time with people who look like us, think like us or act like us. But it’s the most Christian thing in the world to want to spend time with people who are different from us. The family of God is, and should be, diverse. Society may require us through laws or norms to show tolerance to all, but Christ requires us to move a step beyond tolerance to reconciliation and love. Jesus Christ preached and lived love, compassion and inclusion for the excluded, and yet somehow in his name, the Church throughout the years has been known to promote discrimination against those who are different. Religious views and select Bible verses have been invoked to support racism, sexism, religious intolerance and homophobia. I wonder if using God’s name to defend discrimination embarrasses, infuriates or hurts him? As Christians, we’re meant to live, breathe and express love for all of our neighbours. There is no room for discrimination. While it may take us out of our comfort zones to speak with people from different backgrounds or cultures, it’s essential that we seek to engage with others. As we do so, we will find that we have more in common than we thought and much to learn from each other. Take Action What can individuals, fam-
ilies or corps do to end discrimination? • Pray • Check your heart, attitude, thoughts, words and actions for discrimination and seek change • Speak up when your family members, friends and co-workers make discriminatory comments • Get to know people who are different from you • As a corps, look at your leadership team and assess how you can be more representative of your community Embracing Diversity God has used amazing creativity in his design of human beings—making us in different colours, sizes, personalities and abilities. Human diversity is a reflection of God’s joy. God wants us all to live in unity with himself and with each other. As Christians there cannot be any room in our hearts for discrimination, whether based on gender, colour, ethnicity, language, ability or disability, sexual orientation, illness, age, economic status or any other factor. As The Salvation Army, we believe that all people are made in the image of God and are thus of equal intrinsic value. For more information about the Army’s position on Human Dignity, visit SalvationArmyEthics.org/ positionstatements/humandiversity.
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Key to a Fresh Start Vancouver’s Grace Mansion gives clients a place to call home BY KEN RAMSTEAD, EDITOR, FAITH & FRIENDS AND FOI & VIE
ithout Grace Mansion, I’d be dead in some back alley over there,” says Grace Edge, motioning down the street to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. “The Salvation Army and Grace Mansion saved my life.” Filling a Need In 2006, The Salvation Army purchased an underused seniors’ facility to provide housing and support services for Vancouver’s at-risk and homeless population. Six months later, it reopened as Grace Mansion. The four-storey building has 84 units and, at any point in time, about 80 residents. Referrals come from other Salvation Army facilities, such as Belkin House and Harbour Light, as well as non-Army treatment centres in and around Vancouver. “We get self-referrals too,” says Major Don Grad, executive director. “People living in cock- A beaming Robert Harris receives the key to his apartment from roach-infested hotels think there’s residential support worker Diane Macleod got to be something better, and they’re probably struggling with addiction necessitated a cornea transplant, which the issues. About 70 percent of those living at staff at Grace Mansion helped facilitate. Grace Mansion have some sort of addiction Where he had been almost blind in his right background.” eye, he now has almost complete vision in Grace Mansion is wheelchair-accessible it. “I wake up with a purpose in life, in a with communal space and an open-air patio clean safe place that I am proud to live in.” on the second floor, where barbecues are “All of our apartment units basically held in the summer for staff and clients. look the same,” Major Grad continues. “The staff manning the front entrance “It’s roughly equivalent to a bachelor address clients by name and they ask them suite: kitchen, fridge, stove, bathroom how they are doing,” says Major Grad. and shower.” “We want our interactions to be happy A tour of the various floors proves his and supportive. Many of our clients are point. The apartments are bright and cheery only learning here how to have a normal and could easily pass as condos, especially conversation again.” so close to trendy Gastown. “When you’re in an environment where In a city with little affordable housing, people are kind, thoughtful and caring, people with the lowest social incomes and it makes you peer into yourself a little the least social support face the risk of deeper,” reflects Robert Harris. He came homelessness. Perched on the border of to Grace Mansion with eye problems that the Downtown Eastside, Grace Mansion 18 I May 2012 I Salvationist
answers an important need. “We don’t provide food,” continues Major Grad. “The residents do their own cooking. Basically, it is independent living with one important proviso: everyone that comes here has to be on their own personal development plan program.” Grace Period The Personal Development Plan (PDP) is at the core of all that Grace Mansion does. “We wanted to provide an intermediate step between treatment and living independently,” says Tara Ayers, Grace Mansion’s director of residential services, “so our PDP program is structured around goal setting and how we can help our clients make changes that are effective and lasting in their lives.” Grace Mansion’s objective is to look at the individual, help that person identify what needs to be changed in their life and then give that person the resources needed to do that. “We believe that what’s missing for our clients is setting goals—reasonable goals—and achieving them,” Ayers explains. “They’re not going to own a house and a business in two years. We try to help them set measurable goals.” Starting with the first intake session, residents are asked questions such as: “Where do you see yourself in two years? What do you want to achieve while you’re here?” A residential support worker is then assigned who meets with each client at least once a month, using a PDP worksheet to monitor progress. Major Grad recalls one client who purposefully taped four goals to his refrigerator: go to school; get a job; get a driver’s licence; get a car. “And he did it!” smiles Major Grad. “He achieved the first three while he was here and obtained a car a month or two
after he left.” In this client’s case, he was able to stay a few months past the maximum 24-month period that residents are allowed. Body and Soul Grace Mansion’s flexibility stood Norman Daryl Milne in good stead. An addict who came to Grace Mansion after spending a year at Harbour Light, he needed to undergo hepatitis C treatments that he found hard to handle, so he was allowed to remain during his treatment regimen. “It’s like a stepping stone for me here,” Milne says. “Once I leave, I’ll be leaving the downtown area, where I spent the last 35 years of my life. “I have a lot of gratitude for The Salvation Army and Grace Mansion,” he continues. “It changed my life. I’m no longer an addict, I have a place to stay and people here care. They’ve given me a chance to go ahead with my life.” “We’ve given Daryl a stable place where he can live clean while he attends to his medical recovery,” says Major Grad. “He’s also working on his spiritual recovery and we’ll be there for him, too.” The spiritual aspect of Grace Mansion is always a factor in the growth of the clients. “I don’t know if it’s so much a sense
smiles. “My mind, body and soul.” This past December, Edge celebrated her first sober Christmas in 30 years. As part of the celebration, her younger brother visited her at Grace Mansion. “That was the biggest day ever,” she says, beaming. “I hadn’t seen my little brother in over 20 years. Before, I had been either working the streets or drugged up somewhere. Now, I’m clean and I’m in a great place.”
Mjr Don Grad
of our clients coming to faith for the first time,” says Major Grad, “but for many it’s been a renewing or reviving of a faith that perhaps had been dormant for too many years to count.” Grace Edge found her faith at Grace Mansion and it changed her forever. She now attends evening Bible study sessions and volunteers at the facility, something that she intends to do even after she leaves. “Everything in me has to be clean,” she
“They Care” This spring, Edge moved out of Grace Mansion into her own apartment. “This is the first time that I’ll be on my own without drugs, without alcohol,” she says. “This is me going off as an adult, moving forward into the future.” That future includes moving home to Surrey, B.C., where she hopes to eventually become an official member of The Salvation Army. Arrangements have been made for a corps there to contact her when she relocates. “That means they care about me, even when I am no longer with them,” marvels Edge. “When I came to Grace Mansion, I was scared. I didn’t think I could make it. But here I am, on my own. I like who I am today.”
COMMEMORATING THE 98TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SINKING OF THE
EMPRESS OF IRELAND AND PAYING TRIBUTE TO THOSE OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS OF THE SALVATION ARMY WHO HAVE BEEN PROMOTED TO GLORY SINCE MAY 29TH, 2011
SUNDAY, MAY 27TH, 2012 AT 3PM MAJOR MAX STURGE, ASSOCIATE EDITOR OF SALVATIONIST HERITAGE BRASS MOUNT PLEASANT CEMETERY, TORONTO. RAIN OR SHINE
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In The Hunger Games, 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen struggles to retain her humanity while fighting for her survival
Photo: Murray Close, Lionsgate Films Inc.
BY KRISTIN FRYER, STAFF WRITER
Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games
ummer blockbuster season started early with the March release of The Hunger Games, one of the most anticipated films of the year. Though directed at a younger audience, the film appeals to both teens and adults. Based on a bestselling novel of the same name, the story follows Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl who lives in the country of Panem in post-apocalyptic North America. Most of the people of Panem live in fear of their government, the totalitarian Capitol, which intimidates and oppresses the population. As punishment for rebelling against the Capitol many years ago, each of the 12 districts of Panem must provide one boy and one girl (known as “tributes”) to 20 I May 2012 I Salvationist
participate in the annual Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death where only one person may emerge the victor. Katniss, a competitor in these games, is not always likeable, but she is brave, compassionate and fiercely loyal to her family. After her father dies in a mining accident and her mother sinks into a deep depression, she takes responsibility for the welfare of her family—no easy feat given that she lives in District 12, the smallest and poorest district in Panem. And when her younger sister, Prim, is chosen by lottery to participate in the games, Katniss volunteers to take her place. With 24 tributes fighting in the arena, the Hunger Games are war in miniature, and the story does not shy away from
addressing the dehumanizing realities of combat situations. Prior to the games, Katniss’ friend, Gale, grimly suggests that killing another human being may not be so different from killing an animal, to which Katniss responds, “The awful thing is that if I can forget they’re people, it will be no different at all.” As Katniss battles the other tributes, she also struggles to retain her humanity—and see the humanity in others. And like a soldier returning home from war with post-traumatic stress disorder, Katniss is haunted by her experiences in the arena and filled with anger toward the Capitol for sending the young tributes to their death. While Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games, has stated that one of the purposes of the novel is to educate young people about war, the story also has a strong social justice theme. Collins sets up an obvious parallel between the Capitol and our world’s affluent societies which, while benefiting greatly from the cheap labour of people in developing countries, often turn a blind eye to their poverty. While the citizens of the Capitol live a life of luxury, the people of the districts, who produce the goods these citizens enjoy, can barely afford to eat. Many of them live in huts and do not have regular access to electricity. In District 12, where the main industry is coal mining, working conditions are unsafe and accidents are common. Watching The Hunger Games, it’s hard not to be disturbed by the Capitol’s attitude toward the districts and wonder what kind of a society would be OK with this arrangement. The answer, perhaps, hits too close to home. As the film’s PG-13 rating suggests, The Hunger Games is not meant for children. It’s a dark film that explores some murky moral territory, and the level of violence may be a concern for some parents. However, this is no reason to write the film off. The violence portrayed in the film is disturbing because violence is supposed to be disturbing. This is one of the story’s key themes. Rather than glorifying violence, the film demonstrates the importance of kindness and the power of love. This is seen most clearly in the friendships Katniss develops with two of her fellow tributes. Given the popularity of the books, the buzz surrounding the Hunger Games film is not surprising. But with its strong themes and engaging characters, The Hunger Games is a rare blockbuster— one that’s both entertaining and thoughtprovoking.
Leading Young Adults in Our Age of Acceptance Chris Tompkins, Don Posterski and John McAuley REVIEW BY MAJOR JIM CHAMP
lastic Morality is a must read for those concerned about young adults aged 18-29 and their lack of commitment to the Church. They have been described as the “black hole” of church attendance or “missing in action” from most congregations. The Salvation Army is not immune to this phenomenon. Recent studies indicate that more than 75 percent of young people leave the corps before adulthood. Elastic Morality is the result of a project by cultural strategist Don Posterski and youth leader practitioners John McAuley and Chris Tompkins. Posterski has devoted his career to interpreting social trends and their religious implications. In 2010, Muskoka Woods’ seasonal staff of 230 Christian teens and young adults from evangelical and mainline denominations completed a questionnaire about morality and values. Topics included the power of acceptance, sexuality, technology and consequential faith. This group sees the world differently from their parents and teachers. The authors contend that to retain this generation for the Church, we need to understand them. What are some things learned through the survey? • Young adults rarely view only one legitimate way to live a healthy and full life. They highly value the freedom to choose what they want from the buffet of options. • Young adults are high on inclusion and low on exclusion. Uncensored acceptance is a primary value. • Young adults see morality as a set of private decisions based on personal intuition and opinion. The book contains helpful narrative, graphs and statistics, and questions at the end of each chapter to stimulate discussion among church leaders and parents.
Giving to God
A response of love Lt-Colonel Ian Southwell Why should we give to God? How can we best do it? How much should we give? Is tithing a requirement for Christians? To what degree is our spiritual condition, and that of our fellow Christians, reflected by our giving? This book explores these questions and draws together seven interrelated biblical principles of Christian living. Through biblical reflections, activities, questions and anecdotes, readers are invited to encounter God in fresh ways, stepping up to new levels in their relationships with him and with others.
Navigating transitions to make the rest of your life count H. Norman Wright With life constantly changing, how can you seize opportunities to live and love well? Christian counsellor H. Norman Wright’s wise guidance in What’s Next? will help readers make transitions to enjoy everything God has designed for them. You will discover more about parenting, maximizing the second half of marriage or singleness, retiring, and restructuring or redirecting your work life. Wright also gives advice on how to experience fulfilment, leave a legacy and navigate life’s “last chapter.”
Territorial Prayer Guide WEEK 1 - MAY 1-5 Partners in Mission – Latin America North Territory • The territorial goal of 20 cadets in each session to be realized • The reopening of the training college in Cuba with at least eight candidates in every session • The empowerment of women who will attend the territorial women’s congress this month in Panama WEEK 2 - MAY 6-12 Bermuda Division • Salvationists to passionately use their leadership and spiritual gifts for God’s mission • All ministries to relevantly connect with people • Ministries to children and youth to lay a solid foundation for the future WEEK 3 - MAY 13-19 Territorial Legal Department • Compassion and integrity to be the hallmarks of the legal office • Wise counsel to be given in every situation • God to supply ongoing resources WEEK 4 - MAY 20-26 International and Territorial Vision: One Army • The territorial focuses of One Army, spiritual renewal and leadership development to be cultivated • International and territorial leadership teams to have wisdom, good health and discernment in communicating the vision • Guided by the Holy Spirit, each territory and command to adapt to the vision • Leaders to mentor, facilitate and provide resources on prayer WEEK 5 - MAY 27-31 Personnel on International Service • Cpt Elizabeth Nelson, assistant undersecretary to the South Asia Zone, IHQ, London, England • Brigitte Kloosterman, assistant corps leader, Furth, Germany and Lithuania Tty • Cpt Heather and Lt Nicholas Samuel, COs, Thurso, Scotland, United Kingdom Tty with the Republic of Ireland • Mjrs Stan and Debi Carr, COs, Houston, U.S.A. Southern Tty Salvationist I May 2012 I 21
Can These Bones
Photo: iStockphoto.com/sharif photo
When all seems lost, we need the Spirit of God to breathe new life into us
BY DONALD E. BURKE
he prophet Ezekiel is one of the most bizarre characters in the Bible. Ezekiel was a man touched by God—and this made him stand out from the crowd. He was prone to having strange visions, carrying out loony actions and creating outlandish word pictures. Ezekiel’s vision in Ezekiel 1-3 is a masterpiece of prophetic imagery as he struggled to put into words the revelation that had propelled him into his ministry. In Ezekiel 8-11, in an extravagant vision that is filled with wild and wonderful images, Ezekiel saw God departing from the Holy of Holies, from the Temple and then from Jerusalem itself in response to 22 I May 2012 I Salvationist
the sinfulness of the people of God. Judah had wandered so far away from its identity as the people of God, that God was driven into exile from his own Temple and by his own people. By the time that Ezekiel began his prophetic career, the land of Judah had been devastated by the armies of Babylon under the leadership of King Nebuchadnezzar. Thousands had died in the devastating attack. Others were forced to travel hundreds of kilometres into exile in Babylon—and Ezekiel was one of them. It was there, in exile in Babylon, that Ezekiel saw his vision of the valley of dry bones (see Ezekiel 37:1-14).
Life-giving Spirit Transported by the Spirit of God to a valley, Ezekiel surveyed a mass of skeletal remains. The heap of bones seemed to stretch as far as the eye could see. Life had long ago passed out of these dry bones. Then God asked what must have seemed to Ezekiel an absurd question. “Son of man,” he asked, “can these bones live?” “God only knows!” was Ezekiel’s reply (Ezekiel 37:3; author’s translation). This response was less an affirmation of the power of God than it was an exclamation expressing the absurdity of the question itself. Of course these bones could not live. They had been stripped of all life. They were just dead bones. Fast on the heels of Ezekiel’s response, the Lord told the prophet to prophesy to the bones, for God was about to bring new life into them. In spite of his skepticism, Ezekiel did as he was instructed. He spoke God’s word to the dead bones. This was not a word of command; it was a word of promise: “… I will cause you to live!” Astonishingly, there was then a rattling sound as the bones stirred about and came together. Flesh and muscles started to appear on the bones. Then skin enclosed the developing bodies. But even when fully reconstituted, there was still no life in these bodies. They were just lifeless cadavers. Then came a second command, this time to summon the wind from the four corners of the earth, to blow upon these bones. Thus the life-giving wind—the Spirit of God—blew over the lifeless bodies and they came to life. Soon the valley of dry bones was transformed into a valley of life and a vast multitude of people (see Ezekiel 37:10). Interpreting the meaning of this rather grotesque vision, the Lord informed Ezekiel that this was God’s response to the despair of the people of Israel (see Ezekiel 37:11-14). In the aftermath of the destruction of their land and in their exile in Babylon, the Israelites lamented that they were nothing more than dry bones. The cruel reality was that their world had collapsed; all the certainties of life that they had taken for granted had been stripped away. They were lifeless; as still and dead as dried-up bones. Of course, Ezekiel’s previous message to his people was that they had brought this upon themselves; their own actions caused their demise. As far as they could see, there was no hope for them. All they could see were dry bones. But the time for recriminations had passed. God spoke a
life-giving word and sent his life-giving Spirit. As a result, the valley of dry bones was transformed by the power of God into a valley of life. The people of God would live to see another day. There was a future for them, after all. The Upper Room Centuries later, a group of 120 were gathered in an upstairs room in Jerusalem. A defeated, bereft company, they had experienced incredible ups and downs in the preceding weeks (see Acts 2). They had followed Jesus, whom they confessed as their Lord, and travelled with him to Jerusalem where—to their surprise and dismay—he had been arrested, tried and crucified. Yes, this death had been overcome by the amazing Resurrection of Jesus. They had enjoyed a few weeks with their risen Lord, but now they were left alone once again after Jesus’ Ascension. The followers who gathered in that room may well have been praying out of despair, feeling that without Jesus’ close presence among them they were little more than dry bones. After all, Jesus’ followers had often failed him. They had been thick-headed; one had denied him and another had betrayed him. Few showed any signs of maturity and leadership potential. Without Jesus they probably wouldn’t fare much better. But it was to this group of disappointing, wounded and unlikely disciples that the Spirit of God came—the life-giving, life-transforming Spirit. After this wind of God blew upon them, that little band of Christ followers was different. In the succeeding chapters in Acts we read how they were no longer the dry bones that had been so obvious in the Gospels. Now they were themselves life-giving instruments of the Holy Spirit. Promise of Pentecost These two stories, each in its own way, relate the promise of Pentecost: the God whom we worship specializes in bringing new life into dead, dry bones. When we call to mind the sending of the Holy Spirit into this world—the Spirit who dwells with us and within us—we need to see the dry bones we may have become and then lay claim to the wind of God, which can bring flesh upon our dry bones once again. Dry bones take many shapes and forms. Perhaps our hearts are dried up, untouchable, untouched. Perhaps we have experienced some great injustice, an unfairness that, try as we might, we cannot forget or forgive. The wounds of our injury have
sapped the life out of our hearts. In carrying this burden of resentment, our bones have dried up. Perhaps we have had some great disappointment, some trial or problem that we cannot resolve and it, too, has dried up our bones. Perhaps we have a relationship that has sapped all the moisture of human kindness from our souls. Or we may have experienced a loss that has wounded us so deeply that we are trapped in our pain. Perhaps our spirits are dried up and we come to worship more out of obligation than gratitude, more out of habit than faith, more out of despair than hope. Perhaps we come to worship expecting only more of the same because our experience of worship itself is like a great dryer that wrings out of us the last hints of moisture and life.
Pentecost is a day when the Church can claim the life-giving, healing power of the Spirit of God Perhaps our church is like a valley of dry bones and, together with the shrinking remnant left behind, we have gone to our collective grave, thinking that things must always be as they have been or as they are at this moment. Upon reflection, perhaps we are not so far removed from the experience and sentiments of the Jewish exiles when they cried out, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.”
A Fresh Wind Such despair reflects both our human arrogance and our helplessness. On the one hand, it is profoundly arrogant to assume that we can navigate our way through all of the vicissitudes of life. Our self-help culture teaches us that we can manage all of the challenges we face, that we can insulate ourselves from disappointment and pain. But the haunting reality is that sometimes we are just dry bones with no resource of ingenuity or strength within ourselves. When that realization comes, we are left with a deep-seated helplessness that can lead to despair. Through Ezekiel’s vision and the experience of the small crowd in the upper room, God shows us our inability to manage all things. Through his Spirit, God is working to bring new life where there was none and to bring hope where there was only despair. Pentecost is a day when the Church can claim the life-giving, healing power of the Spirit of God. We need not be a valley of dry bones—individually or corporately. The healing breath of the Spirit of God can restore our desiccated hearts; the wind of God can bring forgiveness for past injustices and unfair treatments; God’s Spirit can heal broken relationships and revive dead ones; and the Spirit of God can breathe new life into dried-out, lifeless communities of faith. Where our hoarded resources fail us, the Spirit of God has room to work. The promise of Pentecost is that the Spirit of God still comes afresh, often unexpectedly and in ways that we cannot imagine. Just as surely as Ezekiel saw his vision of dry bones brought to life and the followers of Jesus experienced a new life in that upper room, we, too, can experience the wind of God’s Spirit. Yes, these bones can live. Dr. Donald E. Burke is the president of Booth University College in Winnipeg.
What is Pentecost?
The term Pentecost is derived from the Greek pentekostos, which means 50th. It was originally an Old Testament agricultural festival that began on the 50th day after the beginning of Passover (celebrating the deliverance of Israel from its bondage in Egypt). Later, the festival became associated with the day that the Ten Commandments were revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai. In Christian tradition, Pentecost is a holy day that celebrates the birth of the Church. Following his Resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples over a period of 40 days before ascending to Heaven (see Acts 1:1-12). After this, his disciples stayed together in a room in Jerusalem. Then, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples (see Acts 2:1-13). Pentecost Sunday is celebrated seven weeks after Easter Sunday. Salvationist I May 2012 I 23
ENROLMENTS AND RECOGNITION
FREDERICTON—During a youth focus weekend at Fredericton CC with Mjr Wanda Vincent, DYS, Maritime Div, nine young people received certificates for completing one to six years of study and training in the CROSSZone and CROSSTraining programs. From left, Devon Russell; Mjr Larry Goudie, CO; Mjr Wanda Vincent; Xavier Russell; Sarah Bishop; Cody Russell; Claire McKenzie; Daniel Schriver; Alex Bishop; Matthew Schriver; Justin Russell; Mjr Judy Goudie, CO.
DILDO, N.L.— Timothy Pilgrim, Chelsey Reid, Cheyenne Reid and Abigail Drover stand with Cpt Chris Pilgrim, CO, as they celebrate their graduation from the junior action program.
DILDO, N.L.—Mackinley Wolfrey and Dillon Brown are the newest junior soldiers at Trinity Bay South. Supporting them are CSM Glen Reid, JSS Cora Smith and Cpts Claudette and Chris Pilgrim, COs.
VICTORIA—The ranks of Victoria Citadel are reinforced as soldiers and adherents are welcomed. From left, Ruth Peacock; Cpt Carson Decker, DYS, B.C. Div; Gordon Riddell; Elizabeth Ding; Lee Stephenson; Cristie Stephenson; Mjr David Grice, CO; Gladys Whittal; Janis Mitchell. Larry Corbett holds the flag.
Newfoundland Camps Come Join the Fun!
ST. ANTHONY, N.L.—The corps in St. Anthony is expanding its outreach by commissioning seven new members for its community care ministry. From left, Mjr Dinzel Baggs, CO; Hazel Rowbottom; Ivy Taylor; Andrew Compton; Paul Humby; Donald Noble; Donna Budgell; Lester Budgell; Mjr Kathleen Baggs, CO.
PENTICTON, B.C.—Volunteer week was recognized at Penticton CC with a Sunday meeting attended by more than 100 Army volunteers. At the appreciation lunch following the service, Susan Adams and Kate McGregor cut the cake honouring all those who freely donate their time to the Army’s work in the community. Adams has helped regularly with the Army food bank since 1994. McGregor joined the team for the 2011 kettle campaign and now volunteers for the food bank. 24 I May 2012 I Salvationist
The Salvation Army Newfoundland and Labrador Division has an exciting camping ministry! During the summer, Camp Starrigan and Twin Ponds operate holiday camps, teen camps, Pioneer camps, and junior and senior music camps. All programs focus on spiritual development, social interaction and providing every camper with an unforgettable camp experience! For information, call 709-579-2022 or e-mail Julia_Butler@can. salvationarmy.org.
Intercessors Session 60-YEAR REUNION A reunion for members of the Intercessors Session, trained in St. John’s, N.L., and commissioned in 1952, is being planned for July 6-8, 2012. Join in the celebrations at New Hope Community Centre (the former St. John’s Temple), 18 Springdale St., St. John’s, N.L. Those interested should contact Major James Cooper as soon as possible. Phone: 709-257-1036; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CELEBRATE COMMUNITY WINNIPEG—Colonel Floyd Tidd, chief secretary, presents Col Benita Robinson with the official letter announcing the establishment of the Earl Robinson Memorial Lecture Series at Booth University College. The honour comes following the promotion to Glory of her husband, Col Earl Robinson. “[Earl’s] years of officership served in the establishment of Booth University College were a reflection of his life’s calling and commitment to the study of God’s Word and its application to life,” says Commissioner Brian Peddle, territorial commander, in the letter. “[It] recognizes especially his contribution as the first president of Booth University College.” Specific lectures may focus on Salvation Army mission and theology, the Wesleyan theological tradition, Salvation Army history, ecumenism, Christian faith and ethics, Christian Scriptures, global Christianity and Christian higher education. Booth University College held a memorial service for Col Earl Robinson on March 10.
OSHAWA, ONT.—Ruth and Bob Young of Oshawa Temple receive appreciation certificates for 62 and 56 years of faithful ministry as songsters. With them are SL Dara-Lynn Gerard, former SL Steve Armstrong and Mjr Robert Reid, CO. Bob and Ruth became songsters in Fenelon Falls, Ont., before transferring to Oshawa Temple in 1959. Bob was also the songster leader at Oshawa Temple for 25 years.
Addressing the Army’s Work in Yellowknife YELLOWKNIFE—MLA Bob Bromley hosted Mjrs Ron and Donna Millar, DC and DDWM, Alta. and Northern Ttys Div, for an extensive discussion regarding the Army’s work in Yellowknife and the Northwest Territories. “The meeting gave us an opportunity to discuss the challenges of the Army’s work in Yellowknife and express gratitude for the territorial government’s support,” says Mjr Ron Millar. From left, Mjrs Ron and Donna Millar; Bob Bromley; Mjrs Dale and Joan Sobool, COs.
CONCEPTION BAY SOUTH, N.L.—Shayla Barrett and Noah Denny are happy to be enrolled as junior soldiers. With them are junior soldiers and junior action members who renewed their pledges. Back, from left, Mjrs Lorne and Barbara Pritchett, COs; Jerry Mercer, colour sergeant; Rosemarie Dobson and Claudette Hillier, leaders.
Officer Retirement Major Margaret Bailey retired February 1 from her appointments in Fraser Valley correctional and justice services, Chilliwack, B.C., and as divisional prayer co-ordinator for British Columbia. Born into a family with a rich Salvation Army history, she accepted the Lord at an early age and became very active in corps life. Margaret was commissioned in 1969 as a member of the Evangelists Session and served as corps officer in Kitsilano, B.C., before marrying Lieutenant Joe Bailey in 1970. Three corps appointments in Manitoba were followed by two years on the College for Officer Training staff in Toronto and corps ministry in Bermuda, Alberni Valley, B.C., West Toronto Corps and St. Catharines, Ont. During these years, fulfilment came from working with young people and women’s ministries. A two-year appointment in addictions and rehabilitation in Calgary preceded corps appointments in Chatham, Ont., and at Saskatoon Temple. Margaret is thankful to God for his faithfulness and blessing during the challenges and opportunities experienced on her journey. She is grateful to all who supported and served with her in all areas of her ministry. Margaret is looking forward to spending time with family and friends and enjoying hobbies while serving the Lord in Chilliwack.
Dedicated Service at Victoria Sunset Lodge VICTORIA—Sunset Lodge for Senior Citizens, a 108-bed complex care facility in Victoria, held an afternoon reception to recognize staff members who have completed between five and 30 years of devoted service. Mjr Larry Jennings, executive director, expressed appreciation for their work and dedication. The staff is committed to creating a friendly, supportive, non-institutional environment where residents and caregivers feel at home.
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Accepted for Training Shawna Goulding, Kitchener Community Church, Ontario Great Lakes Division Last summer I jumped off a cliff and zip-lined from one side of a canyon to another without much hesitation. I wish I could say the same was true in answering God’s call to be a Salvation Army officer. The good news is that God is patient and didn’t give up on me. While I was extremely cautious, I can confidently say that now is the time. “Here am I. Send me” (Isaiah 6:8). I know there will be many moments when I will need to rely on God’s strength to get me through. I join the Apostle Paul in saying: “Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back” (Philippians 3:13-14 The Message).
Sutton Youth Shelter Recognized GEORGINA, ONT.—Sutton Youth Shelter has obtained its certificate of accreditation, receiving a rating of more than 90 percent in achievement in social services and upholding the core values of the Army. The scoring reflected the centre’s excellence in five main areas: governance, finances, human resources, residential services and spiritual care. During a visit from Lt-Col Dirk van Duinen, AC, Ont. CE Div, the centre received a certificate of recognition and cheque for $1,000 from divisional headquarters in honour of the accomplishment. “We have worked with 1,202 youth in the emergency program and 95 youth in our transitional program since 2006,” says Grant Verdoold, chaplain. From left, Jeff Snelgrove; Melissa; Theresa Treadwell; Corriene Edison; Lyndsay Crane; Muriel Scott; Sue Wakling; Lt-Col Dirk van Duinen; Laura Kay; Rochelle Saunders, director; Craig Renaud; Grant Verdoold.
The Salvation Army
Bay Roberts Corps 125th Anniversary Celebrations June 1-3, 2012 Special Guests: Colonels Floyd and Tracey Tidd Musical Guests: St. John’s Temple Youth Band Share in this celebration with us! Greetings from former officers and friends can be sent to PO Box 759, Bay Roberts NL A0A 1G0 Telephone: 709-786-6371 E-mail: Morgan_Hillier@can.salvationarmy.org
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TRIBUTES CONCEPTION BAY SOUTH, N.L.—Walter (Wally) Bishop grew up in the Army and became a soldier of Conception Bay South Corps in 1965. He served God faithfully as the bass drummer for many years and was a loyal member of the men’s fellowship. He also served as property sergeant, and as colour sergeant proudly carried the corps flag at the march of witness during provincial congress gatherings. With a strong faith in God, Wally was a generous, encouraging and compassionate man who always made time to show practical love to others. His pleasant smile, happy disposition and ready wit are missed by Maizie, his wife of 59 years; daughters Roslyn (Ralph), Major Lorraine (Roland) Shea, Marilyn, Rosemarie; son, Paul; 11 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. LOWER SACKVILLE, N.S.—Aux-Captain Douglas Knee grew up in a Salvationist home in Corner Brook, N.L., and became a junior soldier in 1945. At 17, he joined the Canadian Navy where he served for 28 years. After some years away from God, Doug recommitted his life to the Lord in 1972 at men’s camp at Scotian Glen Camp, Thorburn, N.S., and served tirelessly in various positions in Dartmouth Corps, N.S. After retiring from the Navy, Doug worked with the Army’s correctional services, following which he and his wife, Donna, entered full-time ministry, eventually becoming aux-captains and serving in corps and family services appointments in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Doug retired in 2000 and served in the Sackville Corps. A kind man of God, Doug faithfully pastored his people and took every opportunity to witness. He is remembered by wife, Donna; sons Robert (Mary), Stephen (Lea), David, Randy (Sandy), Derril (Darlene), Bill (Sandee), Philip (Jill); 16 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; sisters Effie Ward, Jean (Frank) Pilgrim, Lt-Colonel Audrey (Raymond) Rowe, Dorothy (Aubrey) Budgell, Major Doreen (Max) Sturge; brothers Benjamin (Maude), Wilfred (Peggy), Frank (Joan). ABBOTSFORD, B.C.—Lt-Colonel George Oystryk was born in 1915, committed his life to Christ at the Army in Yorkton, Sask., and became an eager and effective leader. Commissioned in 1938 in Toronto as a member of the Enthusiasts Session, he was appointed to Toronto’s Mimico Corps to assist Captain Leslie Pindred. Additional corps appointments followed in Aurora, Selkirk and Kenora, Ont., and Dauphin, Man., where he also ministered in war camp chaplaincy services. After serving in Fort William, Ont., and Winnipeg’s Logan Avenue Corps, George married Lieutenant Gertrude Brooks in 1949. They served in Dauphin, Man., Prince Rupert, B.C., South Vancouver, Winnipeg’s St. James and at Toronto Temple. Subsequent appointments included divisional youth secretary in the then Western Ontario Division, training college principal in Japan and initiator of that country’s public relations department. George served in public relations in Windsor, Ont., and Winnipeg, as divisional commander in the then Ontario North Division, and as territorial public relations secretary before retiring in 1980. George is missed by wife, Gertrude; son, George Jr.; daughters Jean Meinke, Catherine Hayward; brother, Lawrence Owen; sister, Pauline Campbell. OTTAWA—Mrs. Captain Hazel Townsend (nee Brown) was born in Clarendon, Que. Hazel was 13 when she moved with her family to Ottawa and eventually married Leonard Townsend. They were commissioned as officers in 1952 and served in corps ministry in Kirkland Lake, Sudbury and Gravenhurst, Ont., Prince Albert, Sask., Toronto’s Rhodes Avenue Corps, Fenelon Falls and Hanover, Ont. They concluded their ministry in family services in Kingston, Ont. Following Len’s promotion to Glory, Hazel continued her service through the Army, in addition to secular employment and busy family commitments. She loved home league, was a mentor to prospective soldiers and adherents, and served in community care ministries. Remembered for her hard work, prayer, kindness and generosity, Hazel is survived by two daughters and their spouses, six grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, four great-greatgrandchildren, five sisters, extended family and friends.
CELEBRATE COMMUNITY PORT ALBERNI, B.C.—Major Joanne Guenther was born in 1952 in Parry Sound, Ont., and married husband, Rolf, in 1978. They began their service as envoys in 1982 in Gananoque, Ont., and became aux-captains the next year. They were appointed to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, in 1987, and were commissioned as captains in 1989. In 1991, they were appointed to Nuremberg, Germany, where they served as corps officers. A year later they moved to Munich as directors of the William Booth Heim shelter for homeless men, with Joanne also serving as corps officer of Munich Corps. They returned to Canada in 2002 to give direction to the William Booth Centre in Hamilton, Ont., and Joanne also served as the divisional volunteers services secretary for the then Ontario South Division. An appointment to Oakville Community Church, Ont., saw them commence the Lighthouse Shelter for homeless people. Retiring in 2006 to Port Alberni, B.C., Joanne volunteered for the Army in Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni. Known as a friend, helper and blessing to many people, Joanne spoke English, French and German fluently and had numerous hobbies, particularly gardening. She is survived by husband, Rolf; daughters Sergeant Rachael (Eric) Olson, Lydia; son, Daniel; grandchildren Abigail and Mareike; sister, Grace; brothers Douglas (Shirley) and Ross (Helena). DEER LAKE, N.L.—Edgar Barnes was born in Summerford, N.L., in 1928. He moved to Deer Lake at the age of 16 and went to work with Bowater’s Newfoundland Pulp and Paper Mills Limited. He regularly attended worship at Deer Lake Corps until he became ill and moved to a personal care home where he enjoyed playing his spoons at church services in the lounge. He loved hockey and rabbit hunting. Edgar is sadly missed by daughters Barbara (Mac), Alice (Roy), Cindy (Phonse); son, Brian; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. MAPLE RIDGE, B.C.—Colonel Earl Robinson, DD, was born in Moose Jaw, Sask., in 1936, where he became a junior soldier. Musically gifted, he played in the senior band at the age of eight. Earl and Benita, his wife of 53 years, married in 1958. They were commissioned in 1962 as members of the Soldiers of Christ Session and served congregations in Penticton, B.C., Lethbridge, Alta., Toronto and Vancouver. After serving at the College for Officer Training in Toronto, he became the territorial secretary for candidates. A lifelong student, Earl earned several degrees, including his doctor of ministry. He was the founding president of Winnipeg’s Catherine Booth Bible College, now called Booth University College, and then divisional commander of the then Ontario West Division. He served as secretary for international external relations at International Headquarters in London, England, and was chair of the Army’s International Doctrine Council for 12 years. Within his IHQ appointment, he represented the General at the United Nations in New York, the World Council of Churches in Geneva, and at other world Christian communion gatherings. In retirement, Earl served as pastoral officer for the British Columbia Division and was a distance education professor for Booth University College for the Wesleyan distinctives course. Missing him are wife, Benita; daughter, Manda (D’Arcy) Poole; grandson, Ethan Poole; sister, Bev (Dennis) Hotz and their children; brother, Barry (Teresa). HALIFAX—A Christian legacy and life to celebrate and give thanks for, Major Solomon (Saul) George Jewer was promoted to Glory in his 80th year. Originally from Sydney, N.S., Saul was dedicated and grew up in The Salvation Army, becoming a corps cadet and bandsman. He was commissioned in Toronto in 1954 as a member of the Shepherds Session. Married in 1956, Saul felt blessed to have shared more than 55 years with his loving wife, Lillian. “Each for the other and both for God.” Saul served as an officer for more than 42 years with his “heart to God and hand to man.” His service to God included men’s social services centres and corps appointments in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. God blessed him with the gift of three devoted daughters, Nancy, Janice and Janet. “The King is coming, the King is coming! I just heard the trumpet sounding and now his face I see. The King is coming, the King is coming! Praise God, he’s coming for me!”
COURTICE, ONT.—Roland Woodrow (Woody) Clarke was born in Howley, N.L., in 1927. He married Olive Jean Budgell and they served as Salvationists in Corner Brook, N.L., and at three corps in Toronto, specifically Greenwood, West Hill and Cedarbrae. They also ministered at St. Catharines Corps, Ont., and Whitby Community Church, Ont. Woody proudly wore his uniform to church on Sundays and volunteered to help the needy and less fortunate, including manning the kettles at Christmas and raising thousands of dollars to bring happiness to others. He is missed by wife, Jean; daughters Catherine (Bernard), Christine (Kenneth), Janet (Daniel); son, Warren (Rose Mary); many relatives and friends. TORONTO—Born in 1917, Amy Hennessy (nee Sims) was promoted to Glory at the age of 94. Amy was a loyal member of Salvation Army congregations in Calgary, Hamilton and St. Catharines, Ont., and Toronto. As director of the Red Shield residential fundraising blitz in several cities across Canada she was also active in programs for children and youth, her creative talents finding expression especially at Christmas. Until his passing in 1997, Amy’s husband, Bert, was her strongest advocate, facilitating her focus on the well-being of others. Through her cradle role teas, Amy was often new parents’ first contact with the Army. Amy is remembered by all whose lives she touched for her quiet dignity, positive attitude and grace as a Christian lady. Missing Amy is her daughter, Dr. Carol Hennessy. Correction: Gordon Jaremko was promoted to Glory from London, Ont., and not Oakville, Ont., as stated in the March issue. Salvationist regrets the error.
TERRITORIAL Appointments Mjrs Wilson/Linda Janes, Point Leamington, N.L. Div Promoted to Glory Cpt Mrs Mary Wray, from Winnipeg, Mar 1; Lt-Col Beulah Craig, from Peterborough, Ont., Mar 12
Commissioners Brian and Rosalie Peddle May 1 National Prayer Breakfast, Ottawa; May 24-25 National Advisory Board, Toronto; May 27 North Toronto CC, Ont. CE Div; May 27-30 Territorial Leaders’ Conference/Territorial Executive Conference, JPCC Colonels Floyd and Tracey Tidd May 25-26 National Advisory Board, Toronto*; May 27-30 Territorial Leaders’ Conference/Territorial Executive Conference, JPCC *Colonel Floyd Tidd only on May 26 General and Mrs Bramwell Tillsley (Rtd) May 1-6 School for Officer Training, Suffern, N.Y.; May 26-27 St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Brockville, Ont.
The Salvation Army Victoria Citadel 125th Anniversary October 26-28, 2012 Special Guest: Commissioner M. Christine MacMillan Help us celebrate this special event! Greetings from former officers and friends can be sent to 4030 Douglas Street, Victoria BC V8X 5J6 Phone: 250-727-3770; e-mail: email@example.com Salvationist I May 2012 I 27
As we run with perseverance, encouragement and conviction, we create Christian community BY MAJOR RAY HARRIS
Above: Colin Harris running in St. John’s, N.L.; right: Mjr Ray Harris and Colin
unning has played an important role in my life. It has kept me in shape, provided good moments of laughter and offered me a helpful image with which to grasp the Christian faith. The Apostle Paul’s final words to Timothy hold significance for me: “… I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). I have learned much through this image over the years, but especially through a run in 2011. I have a son who runs. On occasion he and I have run together. But early last year Colin began a run on his own. It was a cold January morning when he stood at the top of Signal Hill in St. John’s, N.L., looked out at the north Atlantic Ocean, did a little jig and started running ... toward the Pacific Ocean … 7,600 kilometres away. Running the Trans-Canada Highway at the rate of a-marathon-a-day is a daunting task. It takes its toll not only on the body but on the spirit. Great perseverance is needed. True, a run like this enables you to see the exceptional beauty of this land. But to get up successive mornings and face at least 42 kilometres is tough work. When I drove the RV support vehicle for Colin, I witnessed those mornings when 28 I May 2012 I Salvationist
his body pleaded for more sleep, but still he got up and ran. At one point in the run, my wife, Cathie, e-mailed our son: “Run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (see Hebrews 12:1). He did. Perseverance is often simply a matter of putting one foot in front of the other. This is necessary in running and in matters of faith. There are times when our praying vanishes into thin air; there are times when relationships in congregations become toxic and we are inclined to pack it in. But we don’t. We get up in the morning and run. We persevere. Perseverance is necessary, but it also requires encouragement. Colin needed it. And it came in various forms: students who wrote notes to him, schools that created outdoor projects, Newfoundlanders who provided a meal or a power outlet, a Salvationist congregation in Toronto that created a video for him, friends who cheered him on Facebook, cyclists and police who escorted him into Regina, and friends who took time out of their lives to drive the RV for him. Perseverance in Christian faith requires encouragement. Note that the same biblical writer who emphasized perseverance also saw
the Christian community as a place for “encouraging one another” (see Hebrews 10:25). It, too, comes in different forms, such as expressions of thanks or accompanying someone as they go through a difficult situation. Encouragement fuels perseverance. Colin’s run was born as a personal dream, but the dream alone couldn’t sustain the run. We talked often about the convictions that grounded his run. Why was he doing this? His work as an outdoor educator convinced Colin that it’s becoming essential for Canadian youth to spend less time in front of television and computer screens and get outside (see TakeMeOutside.ca). As he ran across Canada, Colin also spoke in schools to over 20,000 students. He may never know the full impact of his presentations. But he ran out of a deep conviction. There are moments when Salvationists will step back and ask the same question: Why am I doing this? Why am I engaged in the sometimes hard and lonely task of living with Christian integrity? In moments like this, convictions play a very important role. Running creates community. In many respects Colin ran across Canada alone. And yet in important ways a community formed as he ran. He met some interesting characters on the Trans-Canada Highway, such as Jean Beliveau completing his 12-year walk around the world, a doctor running to promote prostate cancer research or cyclists riding on behalf of accident victims. He also became aware of an online community cheering him on and supporting him financially. Salvationist community is created as together we serve Christmas dinners for street people, visit shut-ins or rehearse in instrumental and vocal groups. Community is created as we run. This is true along the Trans-Canada Highway, and it’s true in The Salvation Army. On October 25, Cathie and I stood at the bottom of a hill at Royal Roads University in Victoria. A crowd gathered. Students formed an honour guard and rehearsed their cheer: “Go, Colin, go! Go, Colin, go!” We sensed movement at the top of the hill. There he was, surrounded by a running team from a nearby elementary school. They reached the bottom. He put his foot into the Pacific Ocean, joked with the students, talked to journalists and then we hugged. Colin had finished the race set before him. As Salvationists, may we run the race set before us with perseverance, encouragement and conviction, and so create Christian community.
Photo: © iStockphoto.com/jonhortondesign
Make Poverty Personal
Salvation Army soldiers agree to live by a sacred code to share God’s love and care for the poor BY ROB PERRY
ost successful enterprises include a well-defined mission statement. This is as true for churches or social agencies as it is for businesses. That’s why in nearly every Salvation Army building—whether a church, shelter or office—there is a mission statement posted somewhere on a wall. The Salvation Army’s international mission statement articulates the purpose of our Movement “to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name without discrimination.” Throughout our history, The Salvation Army has struggled to balance this dual calling: to tell the world about Jesus and to care for those in need. As a church and social service, we have managed to fulfil these separate but complementary purposes. However, when we examine The Salvation Army’s Soldier’s Covenant, we see that this dual mission is not only meant to be carried out by the Movement as a whole, it should be the heartbeat of every Salvationist. The sixth promise statement in the Soldier’s Covenant says: “I will be faithful to the purposes for which God raised up The Salvation Army, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, endeavouring to win others to him, and in his name caring for the needy and the disadvantaged.” From our earliest days, every soldier was expected to be engaged in The Salvation Army’s mission. It would have been inconceivable to early Salvationists that corps might be filled with uniformclad soldiers who attended services each
week, but in no way engaged in either evangelism or service to the poor. One of the other statements in the Soldier’s Covenant says that soldiers promise to “abstain from alcoholic drink.” This is often the primary promise that Salvationists remember when they think of their covenant. Of course, this is an important issue, but temperance is only one of eight promise statements in the covenant.
Following Jesus’ example makes loving the poor a calling for all Christians A portion of the sixth promise statement says that in Jesus’ name, soldiers will “care for the needy and disadvantaged.” For some reason, this promise seems to be easily forgotten, or at least relegated to “professionals” or social institutions. To this day, if soldiers are discovered drinking, they undergo church discipline, including removal from areas of leadership and not being allowed to wear the uniform for a time. However, to my knowledge there is no discipline for soldiers who do not care for the poor. As debates happen around the Salvation Army world about our future direction, the argument has already been made and won. If you are a soldier, you care for the
poor—personally. You promised. It’s that simple. There is one more mission statement worth noting. It’s Jesus’ personal mission statement, articulated himself, and recorded in Luke 4:18-19: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” Then, in verse 21, he says, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Following Jesus’ example makes loving the poor a calling for all Christians—not just Salvationists. However, it is interesting to note how similar The Salvation Army’s mission statement is to Jesus’ own. We proclaim the good news and care for those in need, particularly the prisoners, the oppressed, the poor and the blind. Jesus’ mission was to the poor and the marginalized. Is it possible for us to be Christians if we are not involved in the sort of actions and interactions that characterized Jesus’ life? If we are not personally reaching out to those rejected by society, whose example are we truly following? As members of a Movement that exists to show God’s love to the poor, Salvation Army soldiers have covenanted to care for the needy and the disadvantaged. Let’s keep our promises. Rob Perry is the ministry co-ordinator at Toronto’s Corps 614. Salvationist I May 2012 I 29
The Hallmark Effect
Even though others may abandon you, God will never forget you BY MAJOR DANIELLE STRICKLAND
30 I May 2012 I Salvationist
Photo: © iStockphoto.com/Rinelle
others are amazing—at least that’s what Hallmark says. I’m always conflicted around Mother’s Day. It’s not just the commercialism, sentimentalism and manipulated emotionalism of the day, it’s also the fact that my own experience is so vastly different from many of the people I serve. My mother is amazing. She is the spitting image of Hallmark propaganda. I think she may have taken some kind of special training. She’s always kind, considerate, full of love, understanding, persevering, and not too soft and not too hard. I’ve been extremely blessed. However, many of the people I serve and work with every day have had different experiences with their mothers. They share stories of abandonment, neglect and abuse. Just a few weeks ago we had to call the police because a mother was prostituting her own daughter. It’s a sick world. So my conflict grows. I’m certain that God shares this concern. There is an incredible verse in Isaiah 49:15 that explains this tension much better than I can. “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?” The question asked by the prophet is a rhetorical one, but it hangs in the air. What you want to do is respond with a big fat “No” and you even want to believe it. But if we are honest, we know that the answer is “Yes.” Tragically, through brokenness or sinfulness, a mother can forget her own child. But then the Scripture continues, “Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15-16). This isn’t Hallmark, but it would make a great Mother’s Day card for a lot of people I know. Even though their mothers may have forgotten about them, God will always remember them. The reality is, people are not born by the will of a human alone. The willingness or goodness of the parent does not determine the value of the child. God has planned and willed our births. His desire is to see life grow and prosper. So, God is like the ultimate Mother. We catch a glimpse of this through
Jesus’ weeping over Jerusalem, when he says, “I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings” (Matthew 23:37). I first heard about the promise recorded in Isaiah from my dad. The fascinating part of this tension in my life is where my parents come from. They are both supposed to be statistics that reflect the world’s worst news. Both of them were discarded children. My dad was abandoned, and my mom was a casualty of addiction and violence, becoming a ward of the court at 10. In adoption circles she was known as a hard case, the kind people talked about with raised eyebrows, because the chances of her success in life were small. But God intervened. Even though their mothers forgot, God didn’t. A few good Salvation Army soldiers scoured the poorest communities for children that society had given up on to offer some good oldfashioned hope and hard work. A kids’ club for my mom and a junior band for my dad were enough to offer a glimpse of this promise from God. And that was
enough to stop statistical probability in its tracks. Both of them received this beautiful promise of God’s faithfulness and went on to live lives that were not only meaningful and abundant in their own family but that impacted hundreds of others along the way. My parents are a shocking display of Christian faith—radical and beautiful. Every time I’m with them I remember what my faith is all about and I long to shout at every street corner in deprived neighbourhoods that “God is here” … “He loves you” … “There is a better way. You can change” ... “Life is stronger than death” … “Love wins” … “You can change the world” ... “You were born good” … “God loves you” … “Even though others have abandoned you, God will never forget you.” Now take that, Hallmark. Together with her husband, Major Stephen Court, Major Danielle Strickland is the corps officer of Edmonton’s Crossroads Community Church. She has a personal blog at djstricklandremix.blogspot.com.
Oneyda Sandoval-Varela, BA
Alumna 2008, Bachelor of Arts
looking Back oVer her tiMe at Booth, oneyda Sandoval-Varela is thankful for the knowledge and wisdom she gleaned from her professors, the sense of community that came from knowing virtually everyone around her and the life-long friends she made amongst the group of young people who shared their journey together. “Some of the greatest people i know, who i’m honoured to call my friends, have come from here,” she states. “So many people from different walks of life came to Booth for one purpose, and in the end they came out more complete than going in.” now working on an education degree at Brandon University, oneyda credits Booth’s professors with inspiring her to pursue her own career in teaching. oneyda says that as a group they challenged her in ways she didn’t know were possible. “the profs are awesome at Booth,” she says. “they make you look beyond the words that are written in a text, to the potentially hidden meaning that you work to find on your own.” Photo taken while oneyda waS in thailand StUdent teaching, SUMMer 2011
Education for a better world.
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