Not for Sale: Legalizing Prostitution is a Mistake
Commissioner Brian Peddle on Strengthening Our Workforce
Standing Up For Justice: Interview With Tony Campolo
Salvationist The Voice of the Army
Mending Hearts in Iraq Salvationist Erin Hardman visits troubled country to support life-saving surgeries for children
2 • February 2014 • Salvationist
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March 2014 Volume 9, Number 3 www.salvationist.ca E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Departments 3 4 Editorial
Faith in the Public Square by Geoff Moulton
5 Around the Territory 8 Mission Matters
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16 World Watch
4 Resilience and Recovery in the Philippines by Major Dean Pallant
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Enrolments and recognition, Strengthening Our Workforce tributes, gazette, calendar PRODUCT by Commissioner Brian PeddleLABELING GUIDE FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL
10 Talking It Over
Greenwashing and the Oil Sands by James Read and Aimee Patterson
29 Spiritual Disciplines
You Are What You (Don’t) Eat by Major David Ivany
30 Ties That Bind
The Provocative Pope by Major Kathie Chiu
Cover photo: Kendelyn Ouellette
Features 12 Mending Broken Hearts
Canadian Salvationist interns in Iraq at an organization that performs children’s heart surgeries by Melissa Yue Wallace
14 Standing Up for Justice
Christians have a responsibility to speak truth to power, says Tony Campolo Interview by Kristin Ostensen
18 10 Reasons People Don’t Go to Church
Addressing the common barriers that keep people from connecting with faith communities by Lieutenant Peter Brookshaw
20 Fight Fair
Mediation expert Alan Simpson on the good, bad and ugly of church conflict Interview by Melissa Yue Wallace
22 Not for Sale
The voices calling for legalized prostitution are growing. Here’s why we cannot let it happen by Major Danielle Strickland
Inside Faith & Friends Hoop Dreams
Toronto Raptor Austin Daye’s faith is a slam dunk as he tries to reclaim his career
Portraits of Pakistan
In a land of sectarian strife, The Salvation Army makes a difference
The Salvation Army helped James repair his broken life
Son of God, a revamped version of The Bible miniseries, focuses on the life of Jesus
Share Your Faith When you finish reading Faith & Friends, FAITH & frıends pull it out and give it to someone who needs to Hoop hear about Dreams Christ’s life+ changing power March 2014
Inspiration for Living
Toronto Raptor Austin Daye’s faith is a slam dunk
PORTRAITS OF PAKISTAN
JESUS AT THE MOVIES The (Tomato) Plot Thickens
Territorial Congress 2014
Mark June 19-22 on your calendar and plan now to attend. Visit salvationist.ca/ congress2014 to: • Register for workshops and congress prayer breakfast • Indicate childcare needs for congress events so the whole family can attend • Get a special rate on hotel accommodations • Find a full schedule of events and workshop details Join fellow Salvationists and friends as they gather at the
Delta Meadowvale Hotel and Conference Centre in Mississauga, Ont. Register today! Salvationist • March 2014 • 3
Faith in the Public Square
ex, politics and religion: three things you’re not supposed to bring up in polite conversation— or bicker about in church! This issue of Salvationist features all three. Major Danielle Strickland writes on the Supreme Court’s decision to suspend Canada’s prostitution laws. James Read and Aimee Patterson debate the environmental impact of Alberta’s oil sands. And associate editor Kristin Ostensen interviews Tony Campolo, a Baptist minister who hits hard on issues such as gay marriage and the struggles of Palestinians in the Middle East. Readers may not agree with our contributors this month; in fact, I expect we’ll get some letters. Some will say they go too far; others, not far enough. But while we may not agree on every point, one thing is certain: we ignore these issues at our peril. Conflict isn’t always bad (see page 20). It is possible to still be one in Christ and hold different opinions. Diversity of views can be healthy, as long as we speak respectfully. Living in a world of shifting values can feel overwhelming. It’s a fine balance—being culturally relevant while maintaining the integrity of the gospel. But we cannot afford to retreat from our mission. When the disciples met with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, they begged to stay in his presence. But Jesus insisted that they return to the grittiness of everyday life to live out their faith. In the same way, we cannot isolate ourselves. How we engage with the world is one of the true measures of our faith. It’s bound to be messy and complicated—but it is part of our calling. Our first job is to continue to be faithful witnesses of what it means to be God’s people. We must read Scripture carefully and take the gospel seriously in all its dimensions. We must explore the implications of our faith, not just for moral “hot-button” issues, but also for economics, the environment and people in need. The Army is not known for its public advocacy. We are more often the ones who “roll up our sleeves” and quietly go about serving society’s neediest. But we can also leverage our good reputation to speak out on important 4 • March 2014 • Salvationist
issues. Commissioner Brian Peddle and other representatives of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada recently met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to speak on poverty and homelessness (see page 5). The Army has a wealth of knowledge and experience that can help the government respond in these areas. The church today is faced with a choice. We can lament the changes that are happening around us or we can resolve to live in the reality and ask: “How is God going to help us respond?” As a faith community, Christians must continue to be involved in public discourse, although not in a way that imposes our beliefs or makes it seem like we have all the answers. That kind of triumphalism has already driven too many people out of the church (see page 18). Rather, we must find a balance between respecting differences and being willing to “speak truth to power.” If we have open minds and hearts, we can help each other become a community of faith and a faithful community. It is a journey through which we continually learn how to live out our responsibility to God, our neighbour and our world.
GEOFF MOULTON Editor-in-Chief
is a monthly publication of The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory André Cox General Commissioner Brian Peddle Territorial Commander Lt-Colonel Jim Champ Secretary for Communications Geoff Moulton Editor-in-Chief Melissa Yue Wallace Features Editor (416-467-3185) Pamela Richardson News Editor, Production Co-ordinator, Copy Editor (416-422-6112) Kristin Ostensen Associate Editor and Staff Writer Timothy Cheng Art Director Ada Leung Circulation Co-ordinator Ken Ramstead Contributor 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
COMMISSIONER BRIAN PEDDLE, territorial commander, met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper this past fall as part of a delegation from the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC), of which The Salvation Army is a member. Eight leaders from the EFC were selected to attend the meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, where they represented different issues of importance. “I was chosen to address the prime minister on the issues of homelessness, the ‘housing first’ initiative and the increased concern we have for child poverty and increased marginalization in Canada,” explains Commissioner Peddle. During the 90-minute meeting, the leaders engaged the prime minister on issues such as poverty, euthanasia, human trafficking, prostitution, international development and religious freedom. “He responded quite openly to everything that we raised with him,” says Commissioner Peddle. “He also stated that we ought not to hide our faith behind our back, but demonstrate to people that out of that ethos of faith, we have the best interests of Canada at heart,” adds Commissioner Peddle, noting that the prime minister expressed his personal value of the church and the role it plays in Canadian culture.
Photo: Office of the Prime Minister
Territorial Commander Meets with Prime Minister
Commissioner Brian Peddle and Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Commissioner Peddle says that the prime minister’s willingness to engage with church leaders is “quite encouraging.” “We wanted him to know that the church is not the enemy, but that we want to support any good the government is doing,” he says.
THE SALVATION ARMY’S Toronto Grace Health Centre (TGHC) is one of four hospitals in Ontario that rank in the 90th percentile for providing high-quality care to patients and their families. The ranking is based on a comprehensive survey of employees and physicians by the National Research Corporation Canada (NRCC). The biannual survey found the hospital to be a “good, very good or excellent” place to work or practise. “I was very pleased with the results,” says Marilyn Rook, TGHC’s president and CEO. “It was an affirmation to myself and the management team that what we are doing is working. It shows that we’re doing the right things for staff and patients.” Rook notes that measuring the engagement of employees and physicians is an important aspect of enhancing hospital care and the staff and patient experience. “If you have a staff who are happy and involved in decision making, you will ultimately have better patient care and satisfaction,” she says. The data from this report will also help TGHC identify ways it can improve the hospital experience for everyone
Photo: Element Eighty, courtesy of Toronto Grace Health Centre
Army Hospital Recognized for Excellence
A nurse attends to a patient at Toronto Grace Health Centre
involved. “We function in an environment of quality improvement,” Rook says. “We strive to do our best, and that’s why we have to evaluate what we’re doing on a regular basis.”
Located in downtown Toronto, TGHC is a 119-bed rehabilitation and palliative care facility with a 95-percent occupancy rate. Operating for more than 100 years, the hospital has 281 employees, 16 professional staff and 132 volunteers. Salvationist • March 2014 • 5
AROUND THE TERRITORY
New Van Boosts Army Program THE SALVATION ARMY’S Community Venture program in Winnipeg will be better able to serve its clients, thanks to a generous donation that enabled the Army to purchase a new vehicle. The Community Venture program supports adults living with disabilities by providing them with opportunities to work and participate in the community. “Transportation is a critical element in providing our clients volunteering opportunities, community service functions and recreational activities,” explains Kim Park, executive director of the program. “Our clients participate in Meals on Wheels programs, shopping for seniors programs, volunteering at Salvation Army thrift stores and countless other opportunities that build self-esteem and community spirit throughout Winnipeg.” Due to extensive usage, the program’s previous vehicle was no longer fit for service, prompting Bonnie and John Buhler to offer their support. “The van is so desperately needed,” states Bonnie Buhler, “and The Salvation Army has a proven record of good stewardship. We were honoured to be a part of this Salvation Army project.” The Buhlers donated $37,816, making it possible for the program to purchase and convert a new Dodge Caravan.
The Army’s Community Venture program assists adults with disabilities
Alberta EDS Director Applauded for Relief Work MAJOR ROY LANGER, divisional emergency and disaster services director, Alberta and Northern Territories Division, was publicly recognized at the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for his relief work after devastating floods hit Alberta in June 2013. At a session of the assembly in November, Danielle Smith, leader of the opposition and member of the legislative assembly for High River, Alta., introduced Major Langer as “a High River hero.” “Through ongoing flood relief efforts in Alberta, The Salvation Army has served more than 10,000 people with food, water and emotional care,” said Smith. “Major Roy was among the first NGO representatives in High River in the last month, and he personally helped over 150 front-line workers in High River heal from their experiences through the Critical Incident Stress Management program, including me and my constituency staff.”
MLA Danielle Smith thanks Mjr Roy Langer for his relief efforts following flooding in Alberta last summer
Sally’s Kitchen Teaches Valuable Skills A NEW PROGRAM from Vancouver’s community and family services is helping people gain new cooking skills and develop friendships. Sally Ann’s Healthy Eating Kitchen celebrated its first graduates this fall, as Major Russ Holland, community and family services director, presented 12 women with certificates of completion. The diverse group of participants ranged in age from 20 to early 60s, and included four single moms with school-aged or older children. The women also brought various skills and experiences to the kitchen. The weekly sessions were quick in drawing the participants together through a series of small-group cooking activities. The sessions also provided them with handouts and an opportunity to discuss topics such as nutrition, food safety, budgeting and meal planning. In addition to positive feedback from participants, the program has received generous support from agencies in the 6 • March 2014 • Salvationist
community, including Canadian Tire which donated cookware. Five more cycles of the program will be held in 2014.
The graduates of Vancouver’s Sally Ann’s Healthy Eating Kitchen
AROUND THE TERRITORY
Saskatchewan Family Gives Back to Army sions in the past. Oliver’s godson had next to nothing when she moved him to Prince Albert from Ontario. With two kids of their own and two full-time jobs, it was still a problem to make ends meet, she says. They went to The Salvation Army for second-hand clothing for her godson, where they received the help they needed. “And when we lived in Prince Edward Island, they were more than generous to us then. So, it’s nice to give back to an organization across Canada that gives to other people,” Oliver says. At that time, Oliver was a student, living on student loans. “And with only one parent working, things got a little bit tough sometimes,” she says. “The Salvation Army there has a heat your house program [the Good Neighbour
Energy Fund] in the winter.” After helping to put together the New Year’s dinner, Oliver said she hopes her children learn to “pay it forward” from this experience. Photo and story: Thia James, PA Now.com
A PRINCE ALBERT, Sask., family hosted a New Year’s dinner at The Salvation Army in January, looking to pay forward the generosity the Army has shown them in the past. The Oliver family’s original plan was to volunteer at Christmas, but since the Army already had many volunteers, they asked Major Glenn Patey, corps officer, if they could do something for New Year’s. Brandi Oliver, son Wylie, daughter Jordann, husband Lorne, friend Karin Crowmarty and her son, Lucas, and their godson, Nat Prieston, all took part in preparing and serving the food, with the help of volunteers from the community. Local businesses provided donations for the event. The Olivers were helped by The Salvation Army on two separate occa-
The Oliver family and their friends prepare a New Year’s dinner at The Salvation Army in Prince Albert, Sask.
Photo: Kristin Ostensen
A Record-Breaking Kettle Campaign
Kettle volunteer Sofia Vasquez-Rivas collects donations at a Toronto Loblaws during the 2013 kettle campaign
DID YOU KNOW?
… the Army’s National Recycling Operations opened two new thrift stores recently, one in North York, Ont., and one in Spryfield, N.S.? … the integrated mission office at territorial headquarters now has its own Facebook page? This page will allow ministry units to post stories of integrated mission in their local context, share stories of transformed lives and offer resources
CONTRIBUTIONS FROM DONORS throughout Canada helped The Salvation Army exceed its goal, setting a new record for the Christmas kettle campaign. In its 123rd year, the annual fundraiser collected more than $21 million in donations, a two-percent increase from 2012. “Year after year, we are truly thankful for the support we receive from our partners, donors and volunteers,” says Captain Les Marshall, public relations and development secretary. “This year, despite unprecedented weather that wreaked havoc across the nation, Canadians once again rose to the occasion, giving generously at more than 2,000 kettle locations from coast to coast.” Donors were also encouraged to support The Salvation Army online through fillthekettle.com, which allows individuals to host their own virtual Christmas
kettle, and ask friends and family to give. Through the online tool, The Salvation Army raised close to $144,000. Support for the kettle campaign also came from the Army’s National Recycling Operations (NRO), which collected funds at Army thrift stores across Canada. The NRO nearly doubled its goal of $100,000, raising $174,000 for the campaign. In addition to donations to Christmas kettles, The Salvation Army was supported by multiple partnerships with Canadian retailers. Walmart Canada hosted “Walmart Fill the Kettle Day,” which saw the company match donations to kettles at its stores up to a maximum of $50,000. Other national corporate partners included Loblaw Cos. Ltd., Costco, Canadian Tire, Sobeys and countless local retailers and shopping malls.
to help others increase their focus on integrated mission. Find the page at http:// on.fb.me/1dyJmAy … The Salvation Army provided assistance after a train carrying dangerous goods derailed in Plaster Rock, N.B., in January, forcing about 150 people from their homes? A community response unit was deployed and, over the course of three days, the Army served more than 250 meals
… an 11-piece ensemble from the Army’s Ontario-based Heritage Brass band accompanied Scottish singer Johnny Reid on his annual Christmas show, which aired on Global TV in December? … The Salvation Army holds a 30-minute worldwide prayer meeting every Thursday morning, between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. local time, with thousands joining in from around the globe? Visit sar.my/wwpm for details Salvationist • March 2014 • 7
Strengthening Our Workforce Flexibility in officer moves, succession planning and a voice for local leadership are critical to our future BY COMMISSIONER BRIAN PEDDLE
his June, Salvationists will notice something different in our territory: fewer officers will change appointments. We have an excellent personnel services team that helps manage officer appointments across the territory. Many would be shocked to realize how consuming that process is and the energy it takes for our territorial and divisional teams to bring about a successful personnel change. This year, however, we’ve asked all officers if they’d be willing to stay in their appointments for another year so that, wherever possible, we minimize the impact of the move. What’s So Special About June? It is a significant change. Rather than moving nearly 25 percent of our officers as we have in past years, our goal is to reduce the percentage. The reason is not just the massive expense—though that is a factor. What we really need is time to examine the issues that are affecting officers—not all of them positive—and begin to manage the appointment changes differently and more intentionally. Over the past number of years, the Army in Canada and Bermuda has emphasized a sequential appointment system whereby officers go to their appointments for five years, consult with administration and then stay for intervals of two years as appropriate. But the ideal does not always fit the reality. Last year, for example, roughly 60 percent of the moves were not sequential in that we needed to move people earlier than anticipated. We admit that this is not sustainable for the future. We admit that a different consultation is required. We admit that the annual June change doesn’t always make sense. We’re asking ourselves, “Does it have to happen every year? Could it be a minimal move one year and a substantial move the next? Are there instances where we don’t need to wait until June? How does the timing of the moves serve the mission?” Of course, the June moves fit the 8 • March 2014 • Salvationist
school year, and we must be sensitive to officers with families, but there is nothing from International Headquarters that mandates it must be done a certain way. The bottom line is that we have to be more fluid in how we approach officer moves. Officers have been invited to speak into this dialogue and the signals we are getting from them are overwhelmingly positive. Balancing Officer and Lay Staff My biggest preoccupation these days is ensuring solid leadership and the sustainability of the Army. It’s no secret that the number of officers in the field is gradually shrinking due to retirements, attrition and an inadequate number of recruits to fill the needs. Many employees and lay personnel are now taking on roles that have traditionally been held by officers. This is changing the makeup of the Movement. I don’t want to dodge the issue, but shrinking officer numbers is not the whole story. I am equally concerned about what we are doing with the leaders we have now—both officer and lay—and how we are targeting capacities in the people we are recruiting. As territorial commander, I long for a healthy mix of officers and lay personnel. Our organization will always have officers at the leadership level. There is a difference between the covenant relationship of an officer to the Army and a contracted position of an employee. The Army needs people who are set apart— the ordained, ecclesiastical order—who are available to the territory to serve wherever and in whatever circumstances required. We are a spiritual Movement and need to be guided by people who, first and foremost, put that marker down. But we also need employees who have vocational inclinations to share ministry with us. We must carve out space for lay personnel who want their work to intertwine with a sense of God’s calling. If you look at the profiles of territorial and divisional headquarters, you’ll find
any number of lay leaders and hired staff where, 10 years ago, it would have been impossible. The instances are growing where lay personnel not only have management responsibilities, but spiritual remits—where they are responsible for the spiritual mission of a ministry unit and the spiritual well-being of those under their influence. I’ll also admit that there are cases where we need to supplement our staff with accredited expertise that doesn’t necessarily require a spiritual commitment, but that ensures we can run our operations efficiently. My hope, however, is that no one works for The Salvation Army who does not understand our mission and goals. To this end, Booth University College is helping us create an online orientation course for our employees—a kind of Salvation Army 101. I wouldn’t want to give away the spiritual leadership of The Salvation Army, but we need to broaden our scope to include others who can bring muchneeded expertise. Get on the Bus Jim Collins, management guru and author of Good to Great, talks about getting the “right people on the bus” in your organization. But it’s also a challenge to get people “in the right seats.” I’ve been hesitant to delineate too clearly in every situation what an officer position is and what a lay position is. It’s easier when we talk about corps officers or divisional youth secretaries and their roles in modelling officer recruitment for young people. But it gets blurry after that. For example, I wouldn’t want to see a day when there were no officers involved in public relations. Nor would I want to shut out skilled employees from the financial side of what we do. When we work as a team, we have a distinct advantage—provided we get the right people with the right skills in the right places. Recently I visited a community where I was impressed by a corps officer who
Illustration: © iStockphoto.com/danleap
The Army needs to get the “right people on the bus,” but also make sure they are “in the right seats”
was running an excellent communitybased ministry. When I went up the street, I met an Army employee from community and family services who took me on a tour of the soup kitchen and introduced me to dozens of people with whom he has built relationships. At the end of the day, the officer I met in the morning and the employee I met in the afternoon were both working toward the same outcomes. The people in that community weren’t checking the colour of the epaulets; they just saw The Salvation Army. One of my laments is that the Army does not currently have an internal promotion policy for employees. We need a process whereby employees can look at the breadth of the territory’s ministries, from St. John’s, N.L., to Vancouver to Bermuda, and say, “Is there something that I could be doing with the Army in a different area?” Is there a way to queue up people for promotion? How can we better collaborate with employees on their professional development? Have we got the right resources for that to happen? Can we come alongside them and say, “Where do you want to be in five years?” To achieve this, we need to cultivate a greater culture of trust among all our staff. We can do that by trying to understand potential obstacles. We have to open up lines of dialogue where the trust may be on shaky ground. We need to take the private discussions into a more open forum where we can explore what trips us up. What do we not understand about the organization that causes us
to second guess? Where does the friction occur? How can administration listen to the concerns of officer and lay personnel? Giving Local Officers a Voice Beyond our employees and officers, we also need to better connect with our local officers—our lay volunteers who hold significant positions of responsibility in corps. We need mechanisms to reach out to our people in the pews. In the past, our territorial symposiums have given lay leaders a voice. But it’s a missing piece in our system right now. Our local officers have a vested interest in the Army and need opportunities to speak beyond their local circle. There is a move afoot to bring local leaders together at the Territorial Congress in June. Out of that, we hope to create a permanent forum whereby senior leadership can hear from people on the front lines on a regular basis. We’ve also talked about “town hall”-style meetings that can be broadcast on the Internet to allow people from all parts of the territory to respond. If we want to guarantee sustainable leadership, then we have to train, recruit and develop officers, employees and local officers in such a way that our mission priorities are matched with our human resources strategy. That includes leveraging the expertise we already have in place. We’ve identified Booth University College as one key resource that has the wherewithal to respond to various gaps in our leadership needs. To this end, the college has launched a School of
Continuing Studies for the territory that has the capacity to train the workforce, both ordained and lay. Anot her innovat ion i s PE AC (Performance Excellence and Coaching), a new review system for officers and employees that is at the pilot stage across the territory. PEAC is more than just an assessment tool, it’s a culture shift toward developing our workforce. It fits naturally into the coaching environment that the territory has been promoting. It sets up open dialogue where succession planning and appropriate training become the norms. It also helps us to be more outcome-based and more accurately measure our efforts. The result will be a stronger workforce on all fronts. We trust that God is in control, but that does not absolve us from making difficult decisions in how we structure and develop our leadership. We have to figure out how to optimize our workforce with recruitment strategies, appropriate consultation, capacity development and succession planning in a way that gives us a sustainable strategy for the future. Organizationally we have a reciprocal relationship with the Almighty. If we keep our spiritual temperature where it needs to be, if we keep our Army engaged in prayer, if we keep our mission focus on target, then I believe God will continue to bless the Army. Commissioner Brian Peddle is the territorial commander of the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Salvationist • March 2014 • 9
TALKING IT OVER
Greenwashing and the Oil Sands Are we prepared to get serious about climate justice?
In their Talking It Over series, Dr. James Read, director of The Salvation Army Ethics Centre in Winnipeg, and Dr. Aimee Patterson, Christian ethics consultant at the centre, dialogue about moral and ethical issues. DEAR JIM,
ou say “we [meaning The Salvation Army, presumably] minister to people who are marginalized”—which is true, I hope—but in this case I feel marginalized myself. Maybe not because I am being intentionally ignored by “Big Oil,” but because the issues seem so complex and so convoluted, and change seems so threatening to my present way of life, that I want to ignore it. I admit that shouldn’t immobilize me, however. I may not be in a position yet to say whether The Salvation Army should refuse to invest in any oil sands development firms, but I should do something about my own decision to simply sit on the margins. To do that, I need to get a better handle on the facts and 10 • March 2014 • Salvationist
Photo: © The Canadian Press/Larry MacDougal
hether it will happen by pipeline or rail, many of Canada’s powerful players are intent on getting the most out of Alberta’s oil sands. The reasons are clear: oil sands development turns a tidy profit; it creates a lot of jobs and fuels the economy. But what about the environmental harm it causes? I’ve been told that there are ongoing efforts to develop technologies that will mitigate the negative impact oil sands production has on the air, land and water. But it’s not clear when or even if these technologies will appear. It seems we are quite far along in terms of our economic strategy with little to show in the way of an environmental strategy. The whole thing seems reckless and, in a way, ironic. The oil industry arose to address a real social concern—the human need for energy. If we’re careful, we can use energy for human activities in sustainable ways. But we can also use energy in ways that make life difficult or destroy it. And this is the irony: although the oil sands industry yields something we need to live, its increasing production levels are getting in the way of sustainable living. I wonder if The Salvation Army feels it has any moral responsibility to engage this problem. Might it advocate that substantial changes be made to any policies and procedures for oil sands development that negatively impact the environment? Might it even encourage divestment from this form of energy production? It sounds radical, but perhaps less so when the connection between social justice and climate justice is recognized. We minister to people who are marginalized, whose voices are often tuned out by powerful bodies that profit from their marginalization. Shouldn’t we do something about this? AIMEE
Suncor Energy’s oil sands upgrader facility near Fort McMurray, Alta.
I need to ask what principles of social ethics apply. You’ve helped me start. I think you’re saying there’s a need to think long-term, aren’t you? To let the distant future have a voice? Currently, political and economic decisions seem to be made to achieve short-term results—profit in the next quarter, success at the polls next year. The present matters—Jesus says, “Don’t worry about tomorrow” (Matthew 6:34 NLT)—but the Bible also proclaims God’s faithfulness over millennia, “showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation” (Exodus 20:6 NRS). Part of our responsibility is to have our grandchildren’s children in mind as we make decisions now. Another principle, one that gets more serious attention now than it did when I first got into ethics, is to give “the environment” itself a voice. For a long time our society has regarded itself as progressive for saying that all people count. We demanded a principle of regard for the welfare and the
TALKING IT OVER rights of all people. But the environment was regarded as merely a resource. Ethical agriculture, for instance, meant making the earth as productive for human beings as it could be. Good mining meant safety for the miners. Basically, you are saying we should also ask what is good for the rivers and the plants themselves. That’s a stretch for me. I admit, however, that it forces me to take the Bible’s picture of creation more seriously. I could go on, but let me pause to ask if this is the sort of thing you mean by having an “environmental strategy.” Meanwhile, I’m going to track down some facts, and search out what the government requires right now by way of an environmental assessment. Grace and peace, JIM DEAR JIM,
do think that the environment has inherent value. I would defend there being a biblical basis for this right from the beginning. In Genesis 1, God observes the parts of creation to be good. All creation together is deemed very good. Does this mean people can’t leave an “eco-footprint” or that we must leave the world exactly as we found it? I don’t think so. Never to interact with our environment would be impossible. Moreover, it would mean we could never fully actualize ourselves as co-creators with God. Genesis 1 also recounts God’s call to our first parents to fill and subdue the earth. But surely not in devastating ways! Not in ways, as you indicated, that forsake the future in favour of immediate or short-term results. I think the first account of creation reveals that life on earth should be, in part, about healthy, fruitful engagement. It is together that creation is very good. But the long-term interests I’m concerned about are not only or even primarily environmental ones. Numerous environmental scientists are quick to remind us that the planet will survive our interference—we may not. Even if one doesn’t share the view that nature has inherent value, there’s reason to be concerned when alarm bells are raised about consequences the oil sands industry poses for the environment. These consequences are also likely to affect human life and communities now and in the future. Don’t get me wrong, divesting from this industry would threaten my present way of life, too. But I think there’s something even more important at stake. Grace and peace, AIMEE
ible to extract would hardly raise global temperatures at all. Consuming the “cleaner” natural gas resources would actually raise temperatures three to eight times as much (Globe and Mail, February 20, 2012). Bottom line: fossil fuels pollute. They pollute more than some alternatives. We should accelerate a transition. I was pleased to discover that Alberta is spending more than $6 billion on green technology in the next five years. And I suspect that if investors and ordinary citizens demanded it, that number could be a lot bigger. Have you read about “Masdar City,” the world’s biggest experiment in zero-emission modern urban living? Started in 2007, Masdar City is reportedly moving ahead by fits and starts, but it is moving ahead. And note this—it’s in Abu Dhabi, a gulf state that is phenomenally wealthy because of oil. I’m not using this as a justification for burning fossil fuels. Oil and gas don’t become cleaner by using profits from them to fund the transition to what is better, but it has the air of something feasible. With you in prayer and labour for shalom, JIM JIM,
wonder if I’m not expressing myself well. Why is it considered good enough to dump a little money into green technology when the real bucks are going toward the expansion of the industry? This is tokenism and greenwashing. The priority is economic success, not safe, sustainable economic success. Put another way: I don’t think the problem is oil or even the oil industry. It’s about a particular attitude most of us have that rejects the interdependence into which we were created. And the major consequence is not only climate change. It’s self-destruction. So I find it strange that environmental conservation is continually linked with a liberal attitude. I guess I always linked it with the attitudes of my grandparents during the Depression: make do or do without. AIMEE
Photo: © The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick
ou are absolutely right, the issues are hugely important, and we have to change. I just don’t want alarmism from the left or right to close off creative action. The Sierra Club—which we need to thank for protecting the earth from human predation—calls Alberta bitumen the dirtiest oil in the world. At the same time, scientists say that extracting all the bitumen that is economically feas-
The Council of Canadians and Greenpeace Canada hold a rally in Ottawa against the tar sands Salvationist • March 2014 • 11
Mending Broken Hearts Canadian Salvationist interns in Iraq at an organization that performs children’s heart surgeries BY MELISSA YUE WALLACE, FEATURES EDITOR
rowing up in the town of Kincardine, Ont., Er in Hardman, a fifth-generation Salvationist, had big dreams from an early age. “My grandparents, Lt-Colonels James and Priya Hardman, were officers who spent time in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,” says Hardman, now 24 years old. “So while everyone wanted to be doctors or race car drivers, my childhood dream was to be like my grandparents.” Hardman’s roots trace back to her great-great-grandfather, Colonel Yesudasen Sanjivi, who began working in the India Southwestern Territory on March 18, 1896. His son, Colonel Donald A. Sanjivi, became the first territorial commander from Kerala and he and his wife, Vimala Miriam, gave birth to Lt-Colonel Priya Hardman. Erin Hardman whet her appetite for seeing the world’s needs after participat12 • March 2014 • Salvationist
A doctor in Iraq prepares a patient for surgery
ing in a mission trip to Haiti with the Ontario Great Lakes Division, and then spending a semester in South Africa through the international studies program at York University in Toronto. After graduating last year with a double major in political science and international studies, she sought further opportunities to change the world. She had a particular interest in the Preemptive Love Coalition (PLC), a non-profit organization founded in 2007 and based in Iraq. PLC saves lives by training local doctors and nurses to perform children’s heart surgeries, a valuable service for the tens of thousands of children in Iraq who are born with heart defects. Hardman inquired about PLC’s summer internship program and was accepted, becoming the organization’s first Canadian intern. Thrilled as she was to participate in the adventure, her
family was less enthused. “They were a little skeptical and worried, but they had gotten used to me travelling to places that weren’t entirely safe,” she says. “I told my mom, ‘Just don’t look at the news and I’ll let you know everything is OK.’ ” Joy and Tragedy For three months, Hardman spent her days performing a variety of tasks such as report writing, internal auditing, improving PLC’s website and raising awareness through public relations and communications. She also had a few opportunities to interact with heart surgery recipients and others who were waiting for surgery. “We visited one of the first girls who received surgery about five years ago,” says Hardman. “She is now 18 and has graduated from school. “It was amazing to hear how she had
Photos: Courtesy of the Preemptive Love Coalition (Cody Fisher/Kendelyn Ouellette)
Saja, 11, before her life-saving heart surgery
progressed. With these types of congenital heart defects, many kids are lucky if they end up living to 15.” Since 2007, PLC has saved more than 700 Iraqi children and provided local doctors with tens of thousands of hours of hands-on training. But they’re not always able to save everyone. “We were invited to see one of PLC’s partner doctors perform a catheterization to check if the heart of a two-week old baby was healthy or not,” she says. “The baby had a heart defect and would normally have had to go overseas for an expensive treatment.” PLC was able to squeeze the child in for surgery, scheduled a few days later. The young mother was overjoyed and very grateful. “I told people back home, ‘Hey! How exciting is this?’ ” recalls Hardman. “But the day of their appointment, the child passed away a few hours before surgery. “That happened in my first week in Iraq,” she says solemnly. “Staff members told us that sometimes there’s the mentality that, ‘Maybe it’s not worth it to do these surgeries when children don’t end up making it and could have had another month with their family,’ ” says Hardman. “But even though it’s not always going to work out the way we want it to, there are other children, like those 700, who had no hope and now have life. “Some of the moments in Iraq were really hard, but it was amazing to see God’s hand in the staff and the way he guided us through it all.” Hardly Sitting Still Now living in Toronto, Hardman continues to work with PLC and is also a campus minister at Ekklesia, a church at York University Glendon College.
Erin Hardman wearing traditional Kurdish clothing called Jilly Kurdi
“Our campus is very international, liberal and not religious at all,” she says. “So first-year students come here and feel completely alone in their faith—we hope to bridge that. “I like that I can continue pursuing my passions for international development and social justice work through PLC and yet also get involved in my passion for ministry, discipleship and youth development through Ekklesia.” She believes her family and The Salvation Army have played a part in honing her desire to help others. “I grew up attending Suncoast Citadel in Goderich, Ont., a small corps that pushed me into leadership roles and gave me opportunities to serve in different
ways,” she says. “Then when I moved to Toronto, Bloor Central encouraged young adults to do something with our faith, get involved in the community and do more than show up to church.” Though Hardman is not entirely sure what the future holds for her, she has seen how Christ’s love can bring reconciliation and restoration to the darkest places of the world and hopes to share that love with those who don’t yet know him. “Working for PLC showed me that we can really change the world,” she says. “It may not look like how we pictured, but it’s fixing a real need and it all goes back to the idea that there’s more to life than just us.”
Erin Hardman was the first Canadian intern with the Preemptive Love Coalition Salvationist • March 2014 • 13
Standing Up for
Christians have a responsibility to speak truth to power, says Tony Campolo
e’s been called a leader of the “Christian left,” but Tony Campolo would likely reject such labels. A respected evangelical speaker, author and Baptist minister, Campolo has a long history of being politically active, speaking out on social issues and acting as a spiritual adviser to former president Bill Clinton. Salvationist’s associate editor, Kristin Ostensen, spoke to Campolo about social justice, gay marriage and the most important political issues facing Christians today. 14 • March 2014 • Salvationist
Why do you think it is important for Christians to be active in the political realm? Because the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. And in the Book of Ephesians we read that he desires to bring all principalities, powers, dominions and thrones into subjection to himself—specifically, through the church. What do you think are the most pressing political issues today? I think the church has tended to overemphasize certain issues to the neglect
of others. For instance, I think the most pressing issue that Jesus raises is our treatment of the poor and the oppressed. As it says in Matthew 25, we are called to reach out to those the world defines as the “least of these” and minister to them with love and care. We have tended to focus almost all of our attention as of late on the issue of gay marriage. I am a conservative on gay marriage, but I think that the church’s preoccupation with this, to the diminishing of its emphasis on the poor, is a mistake. The Salvation Army is not as guilty of this as are other denominations, as it has always seen caring for the poor as crucial to the core of the gospel. And I think that has made The Salvation Army a credible faith group. While secularists, agnostics and atheists look at The Salvation Army with respect, they make accusations that the rest of the church has not responded to the poor as it should. Another issue that I think the church has neglected is that we have ignored the rights of Palestinians in the struggles of the Middle East, and especially the struggles of Palestinian Christians who feel that their Christian brothers and sisters on the other side of the Atlantic don’t even know they exist. This absence of concern has ramifications for our witness to the entire Muslim world. We talk about our hope to win Muslims to Christ, but when they see us ignoring the sufferings of Palestinians—and especially Palestinian Christians—they begin to say that we don’t really love them. There are 17 million Christians in the Arab world—we seem to forget that. The biblical concept of justice requires that we treat the Palestinian Muslims with respect and love, and call for justice on their behalf. As you note, one political issue that is receiving a lot of attention in the United States right now is same-sex marriage. In Canada, same-sex marriage has been legal in all provinces since 2005, but there is still debate over the church’s position on homosexuality. What is your position? I believe that the government should give equal rights to gay and heterosexual couples. You cannot say to people, “I love you, but you can’t have the same rights I enjoy.” I think the issue in Canada, as it is in the United States, is over whether or not to call gay erotic relationships “marriages.” The word “marriage” is the
real problem. I believe that marriage is a sacred institution. The government should not be determining who can and cannot enter in a sacred relationship; it’s the church that should define what sacred relationships are. Therefore, marriage belongs in the church and the government has the responsibility of affirming the legal rights of couples. Having said that, you mentioned earlier that you take a “conservative” approach to the issue. Yes. Personally, I have a difficult time at trying to harmonize gay marriage with my understanding of the teachings of Scripture. But as a Baptist, I believe in soul liberty. In other words, I believe that my interpretation of Scripture is my interpretation of Scripture and should not be taken as authoritative. I understand that your wife, Peggy, disagrees with you on this—she supports monogamous, same-sex relationships and believes they should be recognized by the church. How do you approach this difference of opinion? We manage it in two ways. First, we keep the conversation going. Second— and this is important for all discussions that we have, not only with each other in our marriage but with each other in the church—we say, “This is where I stand but I could be wrong.” If both parties in such a debate do not acknowledge that they could be wrong, they’ll gain nothing from the conversation. Each will be trying to impose his or her views on the other and there will be no listening or learning. There’s only one thing I’m sure of, as Paul writes, this one thing I know: Christ and him crucified. I’m willing to enter into discussion on almost everything else. Though homosexuality is a “hot topic” among Christians, you have mentioned on numerous occasions that you believe this to be a “secondary” theological issue for the church. It certainly is in the Bible, isn’t it? When Jesus never speaks to the issue directly, you would have to say this was not on his “hit list” of sins. Judgmental religious people, on the other hand, were right up there at the top of what he condemns. There are thousands of verses of Scripture that call upon Christians to be concerned about the poor and oppressed. If one takes the weight of
Scripture—namely, how much more space is given to caring for the poor than is given to the issue of gay marriage—one would have to say that the weight is not on gay marriage. What would you say are some primary theological issues for the church at this time? I think that the church needs to speak more strongly against violence. Gandhi once said that everybody knows what Jesus said about violence except for Christians. There’s truth to that, isn’t there? Because as I travel around the Christian community—especially in evangelical circles in the United States— many Christians have no problem with the doctrine of capital punishment, even though Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful.” And on the issue of war, I think the Bible is clear in the New Testament. Moses taught “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, makes it clear that there’s a higher morality than the morality taught by Moses. Jesus says, “I give you a new commandment,” and that means that we overcome evil with good. When Jesus said, “Love your enemies,” I don’t think it’s stretching the point to say he probably meant we shouldn’t kill them. You’re one of the founders of the Red Letter Christians movement (redletterchristians.org). What is this movement all about? I spend a great deal of time on university campuses speaking to students and the comment that I hear over and over again is a simple one: “We think that Jesus is wonderful, but we don’t think the church is wonderful. And if the church lived out what Jesus taught, we would have to give the church serious consideration.” They look at the church, which spends most of its money on itself, and they’re saying, this does not adhere to a Jesus who said, “If you want to be my disciple, sell everything that you have, give it to the poor, take up the cross and follow me.” In winning the university students that I meet into a loving relationship with Jesus, I figure that the place to start is with Jesus. The evangelical community has paid great attention to the teachings of the Apostle Paul, and this is important because, interestingly, you cannot find the doctrine of justification by faith in the Gospels. Those of us who believe
that we are saved by grace through faith have to go to Paul to support our beliefs. On the other hand, if you want to learn about the kingdom that God wants to establish here on earth and the lifestyle that is prescribed for those who want to become citizens of that kingdom, you have to go to the Gospels. The goal of the Red Letter Christians movement is to establish balance between justification by faith and the lifestyle of Jesus. Both are essential if we are to be Christians. We have to have orthodoxy—right beliefs. We also have to have orthopraxis—right practice. It’s not enough to just believe the right things. We must be committed to doing the right things, as Jesus prescribed. How do you think Salvationists and other Christians can promote social justice in the political realm? I think that the way in which you promote social justice is to take the Bible seriously. If we take the teachings of Jesus at face value, we will respond to the needs of the poor in every way we possibly can. We will also respond to issues like capital punishment and war. We’ll stand up against those forces that oppress women and diminish their dignity. And even if we do not support gay marriage, we will stand up against the dehumanization of gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual people. We will not allow the world to diminish them as human beings and make them into what I have heard some people call “abominations.” Those who say that they are abominations fail to face the fact that each of them is so precious that if any one of them had been the only person that ever lived, Jesus would have come into the world and given his life just for that person, so great is his love for each of them. How can Christians be politically active without forcing their views on others? We must speak truth to power, but we ourselves should never use power to impose our views on others. When the church becomes a political power, then it has ceased to be what God wants it to be. God is neither a member of the Conservative Party nor the Liberal Party; he’s neither a Democrat nor a Republican. He stands above all political parties and he calls his followers to speak to all parties the justice values of Scripture. Salvationist • March 2014 • 15
Resilience and Recovery
In the aftermath of the devastating typhoon that recently hit the Philippines, The Salvation Army offers comfort and assistance
Photos: Paul Stevens/CMDA
BY MAJOR DEAN PALLANT
Dr. David Stevens, CEO of CMDA, assesses a young patient
On December 17, 2013, typhoon Haiyan smashed into the Philippines. The death toll is estimated at between 6,000 and 15,000 people, and the U.N. estimates four million people have been displaced and 14 million lives affected. Major Dean Pallant, under secretary for program resources and international health services co-ordinator at IHQ, was immediately dispatched to the area.
s my plane descended into Tacloban, the region’s vulnerability to the sea was obvious. Communities washed away, kilometre upon kilometre of destroyed houses, roofs ripped off, millions of palm trees upended or stripped to stumps—the sheer scale of the destruction was overwhelming. 16 • March 2014 • Salvationist
Members of The Salvation Army were among the affected but they were also some of the first to respond. Personnel from Cebu and Manila got to Tacloban as soon as they could to support the Army corps there, as its members started to serve their community with whatever they had. The Salvation Army’s immediate response focused on food and water for the survivors. Thousands of people were airlifted out of Tacloban, and The Salvation Army helped at the airport with food, water and pastoral care. It was exhausting work—both emotionally and physically—in searing heat and stifling humidity. Getting supplies to the affected area was extremely difficult and ware-
house facilities were hard to find, but The Salvation Army linked up with the Mormons and UPS—an unexpected but highly effective partnership—to move, store and distribute needed material. Global Partnership Partnership was a key piece of the response. Colonels Wayne and Robyn Maxwell, territorial leaders in the Philippines, visited Tacloban with Commissioner Gillian Downer, international secretary for South Pacific and East Asia, soon after the typhoon hit to give support and encouragement. The worldwide Salvation Army came together to pray and give financial support to the recovery effort, and thousands around the globe gave money to the Army.
WORLD WATCH The Salvation Army and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA) partnered together for the first time to provide medical care to people affected by the typhoon. Dr. David Stevens, CEO of CMDA, led the first team and partnered with Dr. Mirriam Cepe, a Filipino Salvationist medical doctor, who co-ordinated the Salvation Army health response. Doctors, nurses, officers and corps members worked together to serve those affected. In its first three weeks of operation, the team saw 1,495 patients, immunized 942 children and started a dental program that operated for a number of weeks. A total of 2,669 hygiene kits were also distributed. Dr. Stevens, reflecting on the partnership, wrote: “It has and will continue to touch many lives one on one, meeting each individual at their point of medical need but more importantly sharing with them the love and compassion of Christ. The local Salvation Army officers working with us did the same as they provided counsel and prayed with patients.” The World Health Organization (WHO) and Samaritan’s Purse have also partnered with the Army. Samaritan’s Purse provided thousands of hygiene kits that Salvation Army teams distributed with health education, while WHO supplied vaccines for the immunization program. The Road to Recovery Another characteristic of the response to the typhoon is resilience. The people of the Philippines are experienced in coping with natural disasters but their
Waiting to see a doctor at a mobile clinic
resilience in response to this major catastrophe was amazing. For example, after a fitful night with little sleep, I heard the sound of banging. I looked out the window to see a man repairing his roof. He was not waiting for help but getting on with it at the crack of dawn. Fishermen told me they were already back on the killer sea, catching fish each morning despite some of their boats being destroyed. Electricians climbed recently erected poles, trying to restore power. A school teacher proudly showed me her school, open just three weeks after the deadly storm, despite a collapsed classroom and trees strewn around the playground. Market traders were back on the roadside with tables of fresh vegetables and fruit. Nevertheless, the road to recovery will be long and hard. Understandably, there are deep emotional scars. I attended Sunday worship at the Salvation Army corps in Tacloban. The corps officer
Some parts of Leyte Island were completely devastated by the typhoon
Dr. Steve Euler conducts an assessment
Dr. Nader Tadros treats a young patient
encouraged his little flock to thank God and share prayer requests. The emotions were raw: “Thank you, God, I am alive.” “Please help me with fears in the night.” “Thank you for those who have come to help us.” “Help my spiritual life to deepen through this.” The Salvation Army is committed to partner with the people of Tacloban and other affected communities across the Philippines for years to come. One of its strengths is that it is not a foreign NGO—The Salvation Army has been serving the people of the Philippines since the 1930s. Typhoon Haiyan will never be forgotten by the millions of people whose lives were changed forever by a storm that lasted less than eight hours, but the partnerships between The Salvation Army, other agencies and local communities will ensure that recovery will come and lives will be rebuilt. This article first appeared in All the World magazine. Salvationist • March 2014 • 17
Reasons People Don’t Go to Church
Addressing the common barriers that keep people from connecting with faith communities
Reason 1: The perception of Christians is one of judgment and negativity One young woman once said to me, “I don’t like working in the café on a Sunday, because that’s the day the Christians come in.” What was the issue? The Christians constantly complained, 18 • March 2014 • Salvationist
Photo: © foto.com/Robert Yoder
century ago, the majority of people in the West went to church. Sunday mor ning would ar r ive, the “Sunday best” clothes would be donned and off the family would trot to church. Times have changed. While obviously many people in developed countries still attend church, the numbers are in decline in the United States, Australia and Europe. In Canada, two-thirds of the population, or 22.1 million people, represented in the 2011 census identify themselves as Christian, but this is only a slight change from the 22.8 million Christians reported in 2001. Conversely, in some African countries, the discussion might rather be “10 reasons why people flock to church!” Before I go further, let me define the meaning of the word “church.” The term is used three times in the New Testament (Greek: ecclesia), and is not referring to a building that people frequent. The church is a group of individuals who gather together (wherever and whenever) to worship God, grow in their faith in Christ and partner with God in mission. When I refer to reasons people don’t go to church, many might think of why people don’t enter a church building on a Sunday morning, but I don’t think the following points are limited to that. With a correct view of the “church,” this article could be entitled, “10 reasons why people do not belong to a faith community.”
BY LIEUTENANT PETER BROOKSHAW
weren’t happy with the food and were generally tough customers. Is this is a valid observation of all Christians? Well, no, but this young woman’s observation of the Christians she saw in her café was valid. They were judgmental and negative. Reason 2: Church is boring For some church communities, this assertion is correct. Though, one could
argue, the church’s purpose is not to entertain. Church style has changed dramatically over the years, and there are many great churches with relevant music, relevant preaching, welcoming community and the like. If people label your church as boring after they’ve visited it, your church has a boredom problem. But if this is the opinion that people have of the church without visiting one, you have a perception
issue. In my part of the world, the idea that the church is an exciting, welcoming place where lives are transformed is hard for people to grasp. Their built-up negative perceptions of the church are difficult to unravel. Reason 3: The church is exclusive I always say the church has an exclusive message, which is available to anyone. There is undoubtedly a tension between a community of inclusivity versus a message of exclusivity. This will never change. Jesus offers salvation for the whole world, yet offers that salvation through himself. What must change is the Christian’s communication of such an exclusive message. Bible bashing simply gives people headaches. Reason 4: Christians are homophobic I believe that Christians, while often taking a conservative approach to homosexuality, have quite often failed to show grace in expressing their differing views to people. The disturbing pictures of fundamentalist Christians holding up vilifying placards don’t do the message of hope found in Christ any favours. Reason 5: They don’t like organized religion The abuse of power by a minority of individuals within the Christian church has led some to disdain organized religion. Christians are flawed people, and have made many grievous errors in the past; from crusades and witch-hunts to more recent child abuse and cover-ups, Christians have a lot to answer for. People also balk at the notion of an institution telling them what to do and not to do: don’t play cards, don’t shop on a Sunday, don’t wear anything that shows your ankles and so on. But Jesus was also against organized religion. He reprimanded the Pharisees for being such sticklers for the law that they didn’t show love. Let’s not fall into the same trap. If our organized religion is just an efficient, accountable means of showing God’s love in action, then there will likely be far fewer people bristling at the institution of the church. Reason 6: Churches are full of hypocrites Yes, the church is full of hypocrites. I am a hypocrite. But with all due respect, you are a hypocrite, too. We all say one thing and do another at times. The great
thing about the gospel message is that a whole bunch of hypocrites can gather together and find purpose, hope and forgiveness through Jesus. Reason 7: The church just wants your money When you go to a church that talks more about its offering than the sermon, this becomes a valid objection. The church, at times, finds itself deeply concerned about its financial situation and thus is constantly challenging people about giving. Leaders in the church would do well to pray more and trust God to provide. I am not saying Christians should not be encouraged to give generously to the local faith community, but that as we pray and respond, God will provide the finances we need. Is it possible that some people who say they don’t go to church “because the church just wants their money” are feeling a level of conviction about the importance they place on their own finances?
In my part of the world, the idea that the church is an exciting, welcoming place where lives are transformed is hard for people to grasp Reason 8: Life is better without religion Many would not hesitate to agree with such a statement. The misunderstanding is that being part of a faith community is not about religion, but rather about a relationship with God and other believers. The word “religion” is loaded with preconceived ideas: rules, regulations, confessionals, traditions, time demands and the like, and one may argue life is better without such things. When I think about my salvation found in Christ, and the opportunity I have to come together regularly with other believers to worship God collectively, I consider my life rich. Reason 9: Christians live on another planet and wear brown sweaters Let’s face it: some churches are like the modern-day Amish who appear to have lost touch with the world around them.
They listen to music no one else listens to, wear clothes no one else buys and use jargon that no one else understands. To be fair, though, many churches are gatherings of normal, everyday people who love God. Some in fact find themselves wrestling with being a missional people in their particular context. So don’t let one brown sweater put people off. By the way, mine is still in the wash. Reason 10: Sin holds people back I finish off this list with the grim reality that sin itself is what holds many back from engaging with a local faith community. The redemptive power of Jesus challenges the personal autonomy of one’s life. The gospel calls for repentance and this can mean a complete shift of the fundamentals of life: where you spend your money, how you interact with others and even what you do with your time. Through nothing but the faith-filled, consistent prayers and the grace-empowered evangelistic ministry of God’s people will we see the hold of sin over people’s lives broken. Grace and truth With this list in mind, I would suggest that we follow Jesus with a life characterized by extravagant grace and tempered with clear truth. This balance is crucial for Salvation Army ministry as we exemplify grace to one another, yet uphold the core tenets of our Christian faith found in our Soldier’s Covenant and doctrinal statements. We must live out Salvationism with passion, holiness, grace and stability. Furthermore, we must inspire change within organizational structures to move us from having a machine mentality to a movement mindset. How great would it be if The Salvation Army was a movement that regularly saw many people drawn toward it because of a culture that exemplified a consistent, passionate, loving and driven desire to fulfil God’s purposes in the world? Lieutenant Peter Brookshaw and his wife, Lieutenant Joanne Brookshaw, are the Craigieburn (Victoria) corps officers in Australia. The corps, known locally as Salvos 3064, has a dream of seeing broken lives made whole in the postal code 3064. Read Peter’s blog at petebrookshaw.com or follow him on Twitter @petebrookshaw. This article originally appeared in On Fire, the Australia Southern Territory’s magazine. Salvationist • March 2014 • 19
Mediation expert Alan Simpson on the good, bad and ugly of church conflict
hen a lively discussion turns into a full-blown argument, do you behave aggressively, stand your ground or shut down? Many people have experienced the pain of unresolved conflicts at home and work. And when they happen at your corps, the ripple effects can be devastating. Brokenness can be found in the lives of once-avid Christfollowers who seem to transform into hard-hearted agnostics overnight. Alan Simpson has seen a lot of conflict in churches. As the director of Christian Mediation Canada, Simpson has taught conflict management skills to congregations of various denominations, including Salvation Army corps, for 11 years. Features editor Melissa Yue Wallace speaks to Simpson to find out what churches can do to resolve conflicts effectively. What have you observed about the way people deal with conflict in churches? There are five responses to conflict: 20 • March 2014 • Salvationist
avoid, accommodate, adjust, assert and assist. We often have a built-in natural tendency toward one. My experience with church and with people in general is we tend to avoid conflict. We avoid it because it feels bad, we’ve seen negative effects in others or we act poorly in conflict, so we don’t know how to properly respond. What I want to do is flip that mentality around and help leaders and churches value conflict and see it as potentially creative, productive and transformative. What practical steps do you recommend to churches to resolve conflicts? First, we have to understand how we think about conflict and why we resist it instead of having a good look at it. How do we separate the personal conflict from the actual issue? How we think about conflict will inform how we act in conflict. In The Peacemaker, Ken Sande mentions four Gs when dealing with conflict. 1. G lorify God. Be willing to
surrender to the Lord’s request in the situation and be willing to be adjusted by his Spirit. 2. G et the log out of your own eye. Ask yourself what it is that has gotten you in this conflict. Is there something that is preventing you from seeing clearly? What is your responsibility and what can you do about it? 3. Gently restore. Go directly to those you have conflict with and go with the attitude of seeking to understand before being understood. 4. Go and be reconciled. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone is best buddies again, but that we’ve resolved our issues. Even if we may not agree, we are able to bless each other and not hold things against each other. How has the nature of conflict changed in congregations over the years? Are people still fighting over the same issues?
The current issues that I deal with in congregations have a lot to do with decision-making processes. It’s more about “who gets to make the decision in the church,” and a lot of that has to do with history. Fifty years ago, 89 percent of people, no matter what congregation they were in, would have an understanding of how decisions were made. Nowadays, you might have 20 to 30 percent of people who have an understanding of the denomination they’re in while others have come from different denominations, no denomination or don’t value a denomination background. So they come in and are confused because maybe what they’re used to is a congregational model and now it’s a leader model and their expectations are the same. It creates unnecessary conflict and is based on who gets to make decisions. In a corps, because there are commanders, corps officers and soldiers, it’s very “military-style” in its decisionmaking. It’s much more directive and congregations may struggle if they don’t understand that it’s how decisions are made. It’s a current tension in the church. This doesn’t mean corps leaders have to change their decision-making style or process, but it does mean they have to be good listeners. They have to communicate well and manage conflict well so that they’re reducing negative conflict for congregation members. They have to be clear on their expectations of how decisions are made. People want to be included in those decisions and corps leaders need to be able to find a way for them to be heard and be included, without necessarily giving up their authority to make a decision. That’s been a major shift in the last 10 years. From your visits with other congregations, have you seen a leadership style that has worked to reduce conflict? Any governing structure or decisionmaking model can work. The key is, “Do we have healthy leaders working the system?” I’ve seen leader-led, topdown congregations that are beautiful and people are happy because their leadership is the immune system of the organization. If the leadership is secure, they communicate, listen well and are as inclusive as possible. If the leadership is not secure, they don’t know how to manage conflict, they have emotional
issues and—what is often true in The Salvation Army—they’re overworked. Those things contribute to ill health in leadership and result in negative conflict within the congregation. What happens when congregations don’t resolve their conflicts? Since we have a culture of avoidance of conflict, people leave because churches aren’t dealing with their stuff. Pastors are burning out and a lot of that has to do with the expectations that are placed on them. It creates a great cost for the church and for the cause of Christ because the church isn’t seen as a place that deals transparently, inclusively or carefully with conflict. Rather than trying to understand what the conflict’s about and trying to create processes for people to have those conversations in safe environments, we treat people harshly and judgmentally. Are there Scripture verses that you draw on when teaching conflict resolution? Absolutely! The whole passage in Ephesians 4 is about how we should talk with each other. We should not have unwholesome talk, we should build each other up and not hold grudges, but forgive each other as Christ has forgiven us. Another would be Romans 12:18: “If it is possible … live at peace with everyone.” The goal isn’t so much about reconciliation as the ultimate goal of peace, which brings wholeness, completeness and connectedness. It’s not the absence of conflict, but how we manage conflict in our midst. If I’m honest with myself, I have to reveal my thoughts to another and I have to be willing to listen to someone else, even though they’re different from me. Matthew 18:15-17 is about the steps to take if your brother or sister sins against you, to go to them individually, then take someone else as a witness, then tell it to the church. Unless we’re able to define what the “sin” is, it is not helpful to use that passage. So often, churches use that passage inappropriately for dealing with conflict. It’s like using a sledgehammer on a mosquito. It’s too much for non-sin conflict. So can you be in conflict and not be in sin? I would say yes. Conflict is more neutral than negative and how we behave in conflict will make it either destructive or non-destructive and has a tendency to move toward sin depending on how we behave.
Are there any cases in which conflict can’t be resolved? I’m thankful for Romans 12:18, which says, “If it is possible.” That means, sometimes it’s not possible. It might be the wrong time or an unwillingness to deal with pride. If it’s the wrong time, the way to deal with conflict is through prayer. Present yourself to God and say, “God, what work do you want to do in me?” Inquire of the Scriptures and say, “What do I apply here? Do I need to go to this person and try again? Is it a church discipline issue that needs to be looked after?” A biblical example of an unresolved conflict would be in Acts 15:36-41, when Paul and Barnabas had an argument over whether to bring John, also called Mark, with them on a mission trip. They were at opposite ends and decided to go their separate ways. That’s an option as well for unresolved conflict. The key is, we may not be able to resolve the issue, but can we keep our hearts in check with each other before God and leave the issue for now? Describe a healthy congregation. A healthy congregation would start with leadership having the capacity to communicate and manage change and conflict well. Then it would be a congregation that has a culture of conflict awareness and biblical peacemaking training such that, when there are issues between brothers and sisters, they’re able to resolve most of it themselves. On a personal level, they have to check their assumptions, seek to understand and think the best of each other rather than the worst. Then leadership can provide an opportunity for the congregation to have a voice. What would you say to someone experiencing conflict? Conflict isn’t sin; we choose to sin in conflict. Take courage and pursue conflict. Don’t be shy and don’t allow the troll underneath the bridge to sound louder than he is—bring it out into the open and into the light. Create a safe environment for having those difficult conversations and trust that God is in the midst of it and he will, by his Spirit, give you the confidence and help that you need. For a resource kit available to pastors and church leaders at no cost, e-mail Alan Simpson at email@example.com. Salvationist • March 2014 • 21
Photo: © iStockphoto.com/luchschen
Not for Sale The voices calling for legalized prostitution are growing. Here’s why we cannot let it happen BY MAJOR DANIELLE STRICKLAND
22 • March 2014 • Salvationist
omen like being prostituted.” That was the message suggested by the person I was speaking to, and it took me by surprise. In all my years of helping women survive and recover from the sex trade, I have never met a woman who chose or enjoyed selling herself. Far from it. The women I met—my friends—told me story after story of abuse, exploitation and longterm suffering. All of them wanted out but didn’t know how to escape. And I didn’t know how to help them, either. Prostitution is an oppression that’s been around a long time. And the complex realities of the women who face its evil are intense. Physical, emotional, spiritual and sexual abuses are the makings of a prison. Even when the prison door is open, it is extremely difficult for women to step out to freedom. I talked to a woman who spent 25 years in various forms of sexual exploitation. She said it “killed her soul.” That’s a deep wound. Why would people suggest that women who are caught in such an abusive and damaging trap actually like it? Why would women go on the news and say they enjoy selling their bodies when the statistics concerning prostitution are so glaringly different? In a study of 854 people currently or recently involved in prostitution from nine different countries including Canada, 63 percent had been raped; 89 percent wanted to escape, but did not have other options for survival; and 68 percent met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder. Hardly a strong case, statistically, for liberation. What would motivate a society to suggest that the buying and selling of women’s bodies is an acceptable practice, even though we know how damaging
this is to our society, relationships and personhood? These questions are worth thinking through. Last December, the Supreme Court struck down Canada’s prostitution laws. Canada has one year to decide and establish a new legal framework for how it is going to deal with women caught in prostitution. It is important for Canadians to be informed of possible options, so here’s a breakdown: 1) Legalize Prostitution Some think introducing a legalized framework for people caught in the trap of buying and selling human beings will make things “better” for them. But by “better,” they don’t mean it will be good, just that they will be “safer.” Proponents of this theory suggest that legalizing indoor prostitution is safer because women can call the police for assistance and panic buttons in brothel rooms will reduce the risk of violence. It’s a theory. But that’s where it ends. Every country that has chosen to legalize the sex industry has suffered from an increase in illegal prostitution, and human trafficking has flourished.
What would motivate a society to suggest that the buying and selling of women’s bodies is an acceptable practice? The Trafficking in Persons Report (June 2007) notes: “Prostitution and related activities—including pimping and patronizing or maintaining brothels—encourages the growth of modernday slavery by providing a facade behind which traffickers for sexual exploitation operate. Where prostitution is tolerated, there is a greater demand for human trafficking victims and nearly always an increase in the number of women and children trafficked into commercial sex slavery.” In Amsterdam, which has the most famous “red light district” in the world, the mayor recently asked the UN for some help with their fast-growing human trafficking problem. Instead of creating a legal framework that protects
victims from exploitation, Amsterdam ended up creating a modern ghetto of poor, exploited women. Australia is often cited as another liberation hot spot as brothels have now been legalized in every state—in some for almost 17 years. I worked as a chaplain to many brothels and established a chaplaincy network that visits dozens of brothels every week in different cities around Australia. We learned a lot by getting to know the women who work in brothels. One thing we recognized was the link between legalized prostitution and human trafficking. 2) Criminalize Prostitution The proponents of legalization suggest that this is the only other alternative. It’s certainly the model with which we are most familiar. Rather than see women as victims of sexual exploitation, many countries around the world prosecute the women who are prostituted on our streets. Such was the case with the recent Canadian law struck down by the Supreme Court. Rather than offer women a way out of a terrible and abusive reality, the law suggested that it was their fault. Sex workers were often charged with the crime of solicitation and fined or jailed. This punishment only further victimized women. Many of the women I worked with were unable to access social housing or schooling because of a solicitation charge on their record. Others faced huge fines that forced them to work in the illegal trade even longer to try and get out from under the burden of this kind of legislation. This is a flawed understanding of prostitution as well. Catherine Booth, who founded The Salvation Army with her husband, William, shared her thoughts on this topic 150 years ago. “Prostitutes were not so much sinning as were sinned against,” she said. Perhaps as she heard stories and journeyed with women, she understood the complexity of the oppressive nature of the sex industry. 3) A Three-Pronged Approach So, if legalization and criminalization are not options, what can we do? Twelve years ago, Sweden faced this exact question. When they studied the root causes of prostitution, they concluded that prostitution is essentially a form of violence against women. That perspective changed everything. Suddenly, the country understood that Salvationist • March 2014 • 23
they could no longer tolerate a practice that was violence disguised as entertainment. Before we go on, think about domestic violence in Canada. Twenty-five years ago, we considered domestic violence to be a “private” issue. We thought that women who liked to live with an abusive husband were making their own choices and it was none of our business. But something shifted. As we understood more of the realities of violence and oppression, we realized that it was not OK for women to be beaten and oppressed. We decided not to tolerate violence against women. We decided that it was everyone’s responsibility. We decided to open shelters and programs to support women who wanted to leave abusive situations. We decided that women didn’t have to testify against their abusers before they could be charged with a crime. We decided to teach our children that violence is not an acceptable practice and we educated people about these decisions. This is exactly what Sweden did with prostitution. They decided to treat the women who were caught in the grip of prostitution as victims of a crime. They also decided to treat the men who pimped them or paid for their services as perpetrators of that crime. And then they did something essential to change the minds of the nation—they offered ways out of prostitution to the women who had no options. This included retraining, counselling, medical and housing support, and educating the public (especially children). If you were to ask a young adult male in Sweden what he thinks about prostitution today, he’d be disgusted at the idea. To summarize the three-pronged approach: 1) Decriminalize the women; 2) Criminalize the buyers; 3) Offer exit programs and provision for victims.
When the Swedes changed their laws around prostitution, their official government website read: “We want the world to know that in Sweden, women and children are NOT FOR SALE.” Wow. Could we envision a country where prostitution would no longer be necessary, viable or profitable? Wouldn’t it be nice to announce to the world that we lived in a country that protected its most vulnerable members? The good news about this approach is that it’s working. After 10 years of adapting the new laws, Sweden launched a study to test its new framework. As other countries’ prostitution rates continued to soar higher, Sweden’s kept decreasing. The mindset of the nation had changed. And even more fascinating was the conversation that Interpol overheard in secret phone taps of human traffickers who suggested avoiding Sweden as it was too much trouble. If women and children are not for sale, human sex trafficking will not gain a foothold. Next Steps So Canadians have many choices. They can legalize the sex industry in Canada and pretend that women are choosing to sell themselves into degrading and permanently damaging situations. They can criminalize women again—toughen up on crime and victimize those who are already caught in an oppressive cycle. Or they could join the tide of empowerment and freedom for women everywhere. They could embrace the Nordic model and announce to the world that, in Canada, women and children are not for sale. Will this work overnight? Of course not. The social nightmare that is prostitution in Canada has taken years to create and it will take years of persistent action to reverse its effects. But it will
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• Increase your own awareness. Read more about the Nordic model at prostitutionresearch.com/topic/ swedish-law-on-prostitution. • Get involved. Find out how you can support Army programs that help prostitutes get off the streets. • Pray. Ask the Lord for freedom to reign in Canada. • Use your voice. Contact your local government representatives to tell them your thoughts. Write them a note so they can hear from Canadians about what they want for the future. • Host a film night. Red Light Green Light is a new documentary on this issue. Visit redlightgreenlightfilm. com. be worth it. Take the example of politician William Wilberforce who devoted much of his life to the abolition of the British slave trade. At the time, every nation thought slavery was the only thing that made sense. Even those who didn’t really like the idea still thought that it was impossible to change. Wilberforce’s great work was that he changed their minds and his efforts led to the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833. Wilberforce enabled people to envision a world where slavery didn’t exist. This is our time to envision a world where women and children don’t have to sell themselves into sexual slavery in order to survive. We can be part of changing and challenging this oppression. Let’s live the dream. Major Danielle Strickland is the corps officer at Edmonton Crossroads Community Church.
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Listening to God’s Voice
Singer-songwriter Claudia Davison discusses her new album and how The Salvation Army shaped her musically
I don’t know anyone who has heard God speak in an audible voice, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t speak—he does. There are many ways God speaks to us. Of course, “speaking” is a metaphor for God communicating his will and affections for us. So, to extend that metaphor, God’s speaking is barely audible—right at the edges of our liminal threshold. To me, that means listening isn’t passive but we play a role in actively listening to God’s voice. Often we must quiet our own frenzied lives to synchronize with God’s purposes. What messages do you want to get across through the songs on this album? These songs are an expression of my spiritual journey from a naive acceptance of Christ’s love, to the enjoyment of God’s blessings, to knowing God’s presence during difficult seasons. I’m also pondering some of the deeper questions as I navigate what it means to be a Christian in an increasingly secular world. How would you describe your style? It is a blend of pop, rock and jazz. You can hear my past in my songs: the poetry, the Italian language, the love of stories, and the deep respect for and significance of the Bible in my life.
Photo: Neil Davison
What inspires you to write your songs? Most of my songs have quotations or ideas taken right from Scripture. I sing and write music because I am compelled to share my experiences and to encourage those who are in the darkness of not knowing Christ, or in dark times that even Christians can experience. There is hope and strength available and I want to be the one who lifts the downcast’s head to see the beacon shining from the lighthouse of Christ. Claudia Davison will be touring through the Maritimes this summer, visiting various Salvation Army and non-Army churches. For more information about Davison, visit her website at www.claudiamusica.com. How did you get your start in music? I spent my childhood in Chatham, Ont., where I attended The Salvation Army. We didn’t have any money for private music lessons, but the Army was better than any private lessons. I learned to sing and play the trombone and I went to music camp at Glenhuron every summer. I also learned to play the guitar and piano. As we got older, my sisters and I often sang in church. I owe a lot to my early days in The Salvation Army and the dedicated leaders who invested their time and talents into straggly little kids like me. What is your current connection with the Army? I attend Peterborough Temple, Ont., where I play in the band, sing and write music. I am also an active member of the corps: I teach corps cadet classes, sit on several committees and lead a home Bible study group. You recently released your second album, Barely Audible. What is the significance of this title?
Fountain of Euph
by Robert Miller A varied collection of solos for euphonium with piano, Fountain of Euph includes 16 tracks from Canadian Staff Band alumnus Robert Miller. Among these tracks are new and never-recorded works from Canadian composers Leonard Ballantine, Jeremy Smith and Melody Watson. The album opens with the three-part Sonata for Euphonium by Smith and continues with pieces from Norman Bearcroft, Peter Graham and Richard Strauss, before closing with Ballantine’s expressive Three-Piece Suit. Salvationist • March 2014 • 25
A guide to trusting the Bible and resolving apparent contradictions by Captain Phil Layton Is the Bible just another religious book? Is it actually the Word of God? Captain Phil Layton addresses these and other questions about the Bible in a new book, Bible-Believing Christians. Inspired by conversations with skeptics and Christians who had difficulty reconciling their beliefs with history and science, Captain Layton doesn’t avoid difficult passages as he teaches readers how to explore and probe Scripture. Featuring forewords from General André Cox and Major Amy Reardon, member of the International Doctrine Council, Bible-Believing Christians outlines how the Bible can be trusted, how traditions must be tested, and provides careful instruction and examples of how apparent difficulties can be resolved.
Directed by Brad J. Silverman This new film (now on DVD) follows 18-year-old Grace Trey (AJ Michalka), a talented and charismatic singer who dreams of becoming a star. In the meantime, the only place she’s singing is at her church where her father, Johnny (James Denton), is the worship leader. Before becoming a Christian, Johnny was a pop star who lived the rock ’n’ roll life, until he lost himself in drugs and hard living. Despite her father’s cautionary tale, Grace runs off to Los Angeles with the help of her father’s old manager, Mossy (Kevin Pollak), and begins to taste the stardom she’s always dreamed about. Yet with each rung of the ladder she climbs, Grace feels more and more pressure to compromise her values. Soon, she faces a choice: will she reject her faith or rediscover it?
Called to be Saints
An invitation to Christian maturity by Gordon T. Smith Evangelicals are known for their emphasis on conversion. But what happens after that? What does it mean to be mature in our faith? In Called to Be Saints, Gordon T. Smith explores this question and its implications for our understanding of conversion and our approach to evangelism. Speaking to the broader Christian community, from young to old, this book is a meditation on holiness that encompasses both justification and sanctification, both union with Christ and communion with God. Smith examines how and why Christians are called to become wise people, do good work, love others and be a good steward of their years. Called to Be Saints is a resource for learning what it means to “grow up in every way … into Christ” (see Ephesians 4:15). 26 • March 2014 • Salvationist
IN THE NEWS
Silent Witness Churchgoers believe in sharing faith, but most never do Canadian churchgoers believe they know how to explain their faith in Jesus to other people, but they seldom do it, according to a new survey by LifeWay Research. Researchers interviewed 1,086 New study shows mature Christians are more Canadian lay people likely to share their faith who attend church at least once a month and found that more than half (58 percent) of this group felt comfortable in sharing their faith. But most (78 percent) had not shared that faith with anyone over the past six months. And more than half (59 percent) said they hadn’t invited anyone to church in that same time frame. The survey revealed a disconnect between what churchgoers said about sharing their faith and what they do about it. More than four in 10 churchgoers (43 percent) said they feel a “personal responsibility to share my religious beliefs about Jesus Christ with non-Christians.” But when asked how many times they’d “shared with someone how to become a Christian,” 78 percent said “zero.” Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, said the researchers did find that mature Christians are more likely to share than those who are new to the faith. “Many times we’ve been told new Christians are most active in sharing their faith,” said Stetzer. “In reality, people who have been a Christian longer have higher responses for sharing Christ than newer Christians.”
A New Age of Martyrdom Christian persecution on the rise worldwide Last year, more than 2,000 Christians lost their lives in martyrdom, according to Open Doors, a non-denominational group that supports persecuted Christians worldwide. More than half of these deaths (1,213) occurred in Syria alone. Compared to 2012, the number of reported martyr deaths has nearly doubled, from 1,201 to 2,123. But even that number is conservative. Frans Veerman, head of research for Open Doors, told Reuters that “this is a very minimal count based on what has been reported in the media and we can confirm.” Other estimates suggest the number of deaths may be as high as 8,000. On the whole, North Korea remains the most dangerous country in the world for Christians. Open Doors estimates that between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians live in concentration camps, prisons and prison-like circumstances under the current regime. Following North Korea, the most dangerous countries for Christians are Somalia, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Photo: © Ingimage.com/georgemuresan
ENROLMENTS AND RECOGNITION
ESTEVAN, SASK.—There is much to celebrate as seven junior soldiers, one senior soldier and two adherents are enrolled at Estevan CC. Front, from left, Emma’Lyn Olsen, Nomi Thompson, Zoey Thompson, Jacelyn Neff, Reace Olsen, John Alvento, Lynnea Neff, junior soldiers. Back, from left, Lt June Bobolo, CO; Mjr Deborah Bungay, DDWM and AC, Prairie Div; Terrie Banks, senior soldier; Jennifer Neff, adherent; Ronda Olsen, adherent; George Bennet, holding the flag; Mjr Wayne Bungay, DC, Prairie Div; Lt Brian Bobolo, CO.
GUELPH, ONT.—Deanne Roberts, store manager at the NRO thrift store in Guelph, receives the Community Agency Ack nowle dgement Award from the City of Guelph for her dedication, support, encouragement and personal development of local youth.
ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—While completing a master’s degree in applied science at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Desmond Du was invited to St. John’s Temple and introduced to Christianity. Through participation in worship services and the friendship and hospitality of corps members, Du accepted Christ and has been enrolled as a senior soldier. While visiting from China for their son’s convocation, Du’s parents shared in the enrolment service. From left, Benjamin Riche, holding the flag; Mjrs Rene and Wanda Loveless, COs; Desmond Du; Valerie Barter, campus ministries director and chaplain; Arlene Riche, recruiting sergeant.
Warmth in Whitby WHITBY, ONT.—When six-year-old Davis got a new coat this winter, he wondered what happens to people who don’t have enough money to go to the store and pick one out, as he did. Upon learning from his mother that they simply get cold, the Grade 1 student from Brooklin Village Public School had an idea. “We could ask everyone we know to give us all the coats they don’t wear anymore and give them to people who do not have one,” he explained. Thanks to his efforts, 63 coats and some food items were collected and delivered to the Army’s community and family services in Whitby. Davis received a Salvation Army pin as a thank you for his hard work, which he wears proudly on his coat.
Photo: John Pettifer
PENTIC TON, B.C .— From left, Catherine Goldsmith, marketing co-ordinator from Valley First Credit Union, and Dan Albas, MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla, B.C., prepare one of the nearly 800 food hampers provided this past Christmas season through the Army’s food bank in Penticton.
STONEY CREEK, ONT.—Glen Reynolds, 85, has been playing in Salvation Army bands since the age of seven and is recognized at Winterberry Heights Church for his lifelong commitment to music ministry. Throughout the years, Reynolds has encouraged many in their faith journey and musical ability, and while no longer able to play an instrument due to ill health, he maintains a melody of praise in his heart for the Lord. From left, Robert Taylor, bandmaster; Glen Reynolds; Mjrs Paul and Kelly Rideout, COs.
Six-year-old Davis is making a difference in his community
Salvationist • March 2014 • 27
TRIBUTES HAMILTON, ONT.—Mrs. Major Mary Park (nee Byres) was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1932. The beloved wife of Richard for 62 years, Mary served as a Salvation Army officer for more than 50 years in Canada and South Africa, and made many friendships throughout the years. Her musical abilities were used by God in the various churches to which she ministered with her husband, and her loving-kindness will be remembered by all that she knew. Mary was the loving mother of Lynda (Dan), Richard (Mim), Gordon (Cathy), Beverly (Steve), Brian (Susan), Michael; grandmother of 17; great-grandmother of 12. She is also remembered by sisters Wilma and Sylvia; many nieces and nephews in Aberdeen. TORONTO—Major Robert (Bob) Gilbert was born in Corner Brook, N.L., in 1948. His early years were spent growing up as a member of Corner Brook Temple where he was involved in all aspects of youth ministries. In 1970, he moved to Ontario where he became a member of Toronto’s Cedarbrae Corps. It was from Cedarbrae Corps that he and his wife, Sophie, with daughters Nicole and Meredith, entered the College for Officer Training in 1983 as Guardians of the Truth. Commissioned in 1985, their first appointment was as corps officers in Sackville, N.S. During Bob’s 25 years of officership, he had corps appointments in four other provinces, as well as in Freeport, Grand Bahama. Appointments as sectional officer at the training college in Toronto and to the Jackson’s Point Conference Centre in Ontario completed his officership. In 2010, due to ill health, Bob took early retirement so that he could spend quality time with family, especially his grandchildren Noah, Abby and Averie. Bob will be forever remembered by his family and friends, and all whose lives he touched. SOUTH DILDO, N.L.—Elma Lorraine Reid was born in Hopeall, N.L., in 1936, and was promoted to glory in her 77th year. Elma was a faithful soldier of the Lord and the Trinity Bay South Corps. She served in several local officer and leadership positions, including songsters, community care ministries, corps cadets, women’s ministries, singing company and Girl Guides. Elma was a member of the Order of the Silver Star representing her contribution to the Lord and to The Salvation Army of five children who are Salvation Army officers. She was a woman of deep faith who knew the Scriptures well and reflected that knowledge in her daily living. Elma is and will always be lovingly remembered by her devoted husband of 58 years, Charles; children Fred (Diane), Vera (Clarence), Major Shirley (Wycliffe), Eric (Lela), Terry (Betty Lou), Major Robert (Dana), Audrey (Greg), Major Janice (Peter), Cadet Laurie (Devin), Captain Bradley (Jennifer); 20 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; a large number of extended family and friends. PENTICTON, B.C.—Born in Allan, Sask., in 1914, George William Roper grew up in small farming communities in Saskatchewan, Ontario and British Columbia. Moving to Rossland, B.C., he worked at the Cominco Smelter and Refinery, began attending The Salvation Army and met his future wife, Gertie Fitch. George joined the Canadian military in 1939 as a gunner and was one of the first Canadians to land on British soil during the Second World War. He transferred to the Provost Corps (military police) as a motorcycle dispatch rider. After serving five years and sustaining back injuries, George returned home and was reunited with Gertie in Vancouver, eventually settling in Kelowna, B.C., where they raised four children. A faithful Salvation Army soldier, he served as bandsman, flag bearer, corps council member, usher and community care ministries worker. A member of the Royal Canadian Legion for 50 years, he participated in Remembrance Day ceremonies. Retired in Penticton, he volunteered for community and charity events. George is remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, greatgrandfather and trusted friend. He is greatly missed by children Beverley, Major Marg (Joe), Donald (Janice), Mary (Thomas); 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. 28 • March 2014 • Salvationist
DEER LAKE, N.L.—Fannie Elizabeth Whalen (nee Young) was born in 1916 in Bonne Bay, N.L., the eldest of 13 children. She grew up in Millertown, N.L., but moved to Deer Lake in the 1940s, where she became a soldier at Deer Lake Corps. Fannie was an active member of the corps, serving as a Sunday school teacher, songster, home league member and corps cadet guardian. She loved to prepare for and teach Bible study class and held many Bible study sessions in her home. As friends recalled her, many spoke of how she had encouraged them and the positive influence she had on their lives. Fannie was married to the late William Whalen and is greatly missed by her children Angela (Brian), Beulah (Jim), Melvin (Juliet), Thelma (Ross), Allister (Hazel), Ruby (Edward); nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; two sisters; two brothers; a large extended family. CALGARY—Muriel Joan Gavel (nee Rowsell) was born in Grand Falls, N.L., where she was dedicated to God in The Salvation Army and grew up attending Grand Falls Citadel. After the death of her father, the family moved to Saskatoon and later to Calgary. Joan continued to be active in the corps, taking her place in the songsters and teaching Sunday school. Joan will be remembered for her kindness. She had many passions, especially for needy children. Her influence will continue to be felt in the lives she touched. Joan is missed by her sister, Audrey; brother, Terry; nieces, nephews and their families.
TERRITORIAL Appointments Mjrs Colin/Maureen Bain, Barrie, Ont. CE Div; Mjr Donna Barthau, sponsorship co-ordinator, world missions department, THQ; Mjr William Barthau, assistant social services secretary, social services department, THQ; Mjr Renée Clarke, chaplain, Hamilton Booth Centre, Ont. GL Div; Mjr Barbara Dalrymple, Warehouse Mission, Toronto, Ont. CE Div; Cpt Ronald/Aux-Cpt Linda Farr, Harbour Light CC, Toronto Harbour Light Ministries, with oversight of Warehouse Mission, Toronto, Ont. CE Div; Lt Monika Gillard, community ministries officer, Dartmouth CC, Maritime Div (designation change); Cpts Ben/Isobel Lippers, Williams Lake, B.C. Div; Mjr Loriann Metcalf, administrative assistant, music and gospel arts department, THQ; Cpt Stephen McNeilly, special assignment, DHQ, Que. Div; Mjr Brian Slous, community and family services, Vancouver, special projects officer and assistant divisional emergency and disaster services director, B.C. Div Retirements Mjrs Richard/Judith Gilbert, last appointments: executive director/ corps officer and chaplain, The Salvation Army Gateway of Hope, Langley South, B.C. Div Promoted to glory Mrs Lt-Col Catherine Halsey, Surrey, B.C., Dec 9; Mrs Mjr Nancy Carr, London, Ont., Dec 12; Lt-Col Lorraine Moore, Calgary, Jan 6; Lt-Col Douglas Kerr, Sutton, Ont., Jan 15; Mjr Tanya Payette, Calgary, Jan 18; Mjr Florence Curzon, Kitchener, Ont., Jan 21
Commissioners Brian and Rosalie Peddle Feb 28-Mar 2 130th anniversary, Cambridge Citadel, Ont.; Mar 6-18 Partners in Mission visit to Zimbabwe Tty; Mar 22-24 CFOT, Winnipeg; Mar 25 Wesley Studies Symposium and Leaders’ Breakfast, Tyndale University College and Seminary, Toronto Colonels Mark and Sharon Tillsley Mar 2-4 divisional review, Alta. & N.T. Div; Mar 7-10 visit to B.C. Div; Mar 16 Business Leaders’ Conference, THQ*; Mar 22-25 divisional review, Que. Div; Mar 23 Montreal Citadel; Mar 29-30 anniversary weekend, Guelph, Ont. *Colonel Mark Tillsley only Canadian Staff Band Mar 1-2 Cedarbrae CC, Toronto
You Are What You (Don’t) Eat Fasting helps us let go of our attachments and cravings Photo: © iStockphoto.com/olegkalina
BY MAJOR DAVID IVANY
he new year is traditionally a time when health clubs pitch their services, hoping to capitalize on the consciences of those who sat idle or overindulged during the holiday season. You usually won’t find elite athletes in that target group. Being able to resist temptations such as unhealthy fare and second helpings is easy when they focus on their goals, recognizing that self-denial is a key to maximizing performance. Self-denial and fasting are not positive concepts. They are subjects guaranteed to stifle conversation at any gathering. Even theologian Richard Foster, when researching fasting, had difficulty finding recent literature on the subject. While the excessive practices of self-mortification and flagellation, as seen in the Middle Ages, have repulsed many, we seem to have gone to the other extreme—totally disregarding a subject on which Jesus taught and which is a part of most religions. To fast is to let go of an appetite in order to seek God on matters of deep concern for others, ourselves and the world. A fast is the self-denial of normal necessities in order to intentionally attend to God in prayer. Bringing attachments and cravings to the surface opens a place for prayer. This physical awareness of emptiness is a reminder to turn to Jesus who alone can satisfy. This process is not meant to discourage, but to help us recognize we need
God and that he is inviting us to himself. It provides opportunity for solidarity with brothers and sisters around the world who do not have the resources with which we are blessed. In the Old Testament, fasting was prominent during times of national mourning and repentance, when people needed strength or mercy to persevere, and when they wanted a word from the Lord. Jesus practised fasting at the outset of his ministry in the desert. While not strict with his disciples about fasting, he did speak of certain healings requiring prayer and fasting. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus encouraged his disciples by telling them how to fast. He didn’t want them to make a show of it, but to fast secretly. God would notice this and it would deepen their relationship with God, which was the goal. Fasting was not about earning points with God or obligating him in any way. In the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, it was not the Pharisee who fasted twice a week and tithed who was commended, but the tax collector who humbly pleaded for mercy (see Luke 18:9-14). While we usually associate fasting with food and drink, such as giving up chocolate or coffee, we could also consider limiting our media consumption, such as TV, music, computer games, Facebook and texting. We could also think of habits or comforts and the
things we take for granted—elevators, reading, sports and shopping. Changing our routine makes us uncomfortable, but it can help us to see in new ways and get us out of spiritual ruts. However, in the area of physical fasting, great care needs to be taken. The idea of fasting is not to make us ill or ill-tempered. It is to create awareness of our own need and to create space for God. Everyone is unique and needs to consider what is best for themselves. It is wise to share with a trusted friend or spiritual companion when considering fasting. Ultimately, spiritual disciplines are about opening ourselves to God’s best for us. They are not about an “outside job,” but an inner transformation. In Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster writes: “Our world is hungry for genuinely changed people—everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing themselves. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people. Let us be among those who believe that the inner transformation of our lives is a goal worthy of our best effort.” “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23 ESV). Major David Ivany is a certified spiritual director who serves with the pastoral services team at Canada and Bermuda’s territorial headquarters. He and his wife are the corps officers at Regent Park’s Corps 614 in Toronto.
Time to Reflect
• When you feel empty or restless, what do you do to try to fill the emptiness? What does this tell you about your heart? • When has self-denial brought you something good? • Do you operate from an entitlement mentality? Do you feel the world owes you something? How can you wean yourself from this way of thinking? • Make two lists: one of needs, the other of wants. Ask God to show you where to fast from some of your wants. Offer to God the time you would have spent desiring your wants. Salvationist • March 2014 • 29
TIES THAT BIND
The Provocative Pope Expect to lose popularity points when speaking out against inequality
omeone has been causing a stir around the world. A high-profile but simple man demonstrating sincere principles has caught everyone off guard. Pope Francis has been the darling of the media for a while now, even making Time magazine’s Person of the Year and the cover of Rolling Stone. He’s been hailed as a great example of simple living and humility, non-judgment and acceptance, and love and care for those most vulnerable. I like what he has to say and it resonates with my spirit, as I’m sure it does with many Salvationists who have made it their life’s work to help the poor. However, not too long ago, he upset many people with his first Apostolic Exhortation entitled “The Joy of the Gospel.” By stepping into the world of politics and the economy, the Pope’s message created a stir. Some wrote articles about why the Pope is wrong about capitalism and many business leaders and conservatives railed against socialism and its many failures. Just what exactly did he say? He said no to an economy of exclusion, no to idolizing money, no to a financial system that rules rather than serves. He spoke against greed and unfettered capitalism—a system that has no checks and balances and fails the world’s most vulnerable. Many of us who work with 30 • March 2014 • Salvationist
people at risk will resonate with the Pope’s words: “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” How dare he enter the temple and overturn the tables! He is interpreting the words of Jesus and the heart of the gospel, spelling out how we should live. It’s a message to more than a billion Catholics around the world, calling them back to the greatest commandments— to love God and to love our neighbour as ourselves. In Canada today, we have a problem. There is a growing gap between the rich and the poor. The highest paid make exponentially more than the ever-shrinking middle class. More than one in seven Canadian children live in poverty. At 13.3 percent, Canada’s child poverty rate ranks 15 out of 17 among peer countries. Those with the lowest rates include Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden with less than seven percent. The child poverty rate is not declining in Canada. We had the highest jump in child poverty between the mid1990s and the mid-2000s. So far, other than hand-wringing by non-profits and advocates, nothing is being done to address the issue. Among Canadian provinces, British Columbia has the highest rate at 18.6 percent, while
Photo: © AbacaPress/The Canadian Press
BY MAJOR KATHIE CHIU
Pope Francis visits the Serafico Institute for people with disabilities in Assisi, Italy
Alberta and Prince Edward Island have the lowest at 9.4 percent. This is a huge concern for everyone. Children who live in persistent poverty are at high risk for health problems, developmental delays and behavioural disorders. As followers of Jesus, what are we to do about this? There are a lot of things we can do from praying for our governments to coming up with solutions to lending a hand and helping others. As we each consider how to make a difference, we need to pray for wisdom and guidance. Sitting around the dinner table with our two youngest boys, I point to the words of Pope Francis and answer their questions about what it means to be a Christian. As teenagers, they’re trying to find their place in this world. “Listen to the words of Jesus,” I tell them. “Live out the greatest commandment and stand up for those
most vulnerable.” Following Jesus isn’t about a set of rules and regulations. It’s not about how we dress, how often we go to church or showing how perfect we are. It’s about a life of grace and mercy. It’s a life of service to others—a life of giving, not taking. If we do speak up, we can expect the same treatment from people that Pope Francis endured, even from other Christians. Many of us today struggle with the temptation of greed and excess. I’m thankful the Pope has spoken out on this issue because he’s brought attention to the inequalities that exist in our communities and our world. “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed” (Proverbs 19:17 ESV). Major Kathie Chiu is the executive director of Victoria’s Addictions and Rehabilitation Centre.
Salvationist • March 2014 • 31
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