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Tithing: How Does Our Giving Stack Up?

Canadians in Zimbabwe: Short Missions, Long Impact

Creation vs. Evolution: Are They Incompatible?

Salvationist The Voice of the Army 

6 Young Leaders to Watch

Meet the Army of the future

March 2015


Building Blocks of Spiritual Leadership William W. Francis

“In this book I attempt to distill the basic building blocks of leadership in general, and the essential elements of servant leadership as described and mandated in the Bible specifically. By no means is this book exhaustive, nor have I attained mastery over any of the aspects of leadership. To the contrary, I have much more to learn, and much more to become, on the journey to being a consistent spiritual leader. My prayer is that this concise volume will serve as a basis for the reader’s continued study and modeling of biblically centered spiritual leadership.”

William W. Francis

“Commissioner Francis succinctly and artfully captures the spiritually-inspired and pragmatic traits that are so clearly resident in the lives of Salvationist leaders whom I have admired over the years. Leaders of every calling will be challenged by reflecting on these principles.” - Steve Reinemund, Former Dean of Wake Forest School of Business, Retired Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo “I recommend this thoughtful book to all in or preparing for Christian leadership. Bill Francis gives us an accessible, uncomplicated and refreshingly unpretentious volume. Appealing equally to mind and heart, it is eminently suitable for both personal reflection and group discussion.” - General Shaw Clifton, Retired International Leader, The Salvation Army Before Commissioner William W. Francis’ retirement in 2011, he was Territorial Commander for the Canada and Bermuda Territory of The Salvation Army. Previously, he served as International Secretary for the Americas and Caribbean at International Headquarters of The Salvation Army in London. Prior to his London appointment, he was Chief Secretary for the USA Eastern Territory. He received a B.A. from Houghton College in 1966 and a M.Div. degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1969. Francis was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree from Houghton College in 2002. He served as Chairman of The Salvation Army’s International Doctrine Council for seven years and chaired the Army’s five years of annual Conversations with the Vatican. He also served as President of the 2011 High Council and was subsequently nominated for General.

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Inside This Issue Cert no. XXX-XXX-XXXX

March 2015 Volume 10, Number 3 www.salvationist.ca E-mail: salvationist@can.salvationarmy.org

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Departments 3 4 Editorial

The Price of Free Speech by Geoff Moulton

5 Around the Territory 13 Perspectives

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24 Celebrate Community

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4 Enrolments and Recognition, Tributes, Gazette, Calendar

27 Convictions Matter Staying the Course by Major Ray Harris Cert no. XXX-XXX-XXXX

28 Talking Points

Better to Give Reality Check PRODUCT LABELINGby GUIDE FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL by Lt-Colonel Lee Graves Major Juan Burry

16 Letters 17 Leading Edge

All Together Now by Major Mona Moore

22 Cross Culture

29 Ties That Bind

Evolving Faith by Major Kathie Chiu

30 Salvation Stories Off the Beaten Path by Stefanie Collins

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Features 8 Rethinking Youth Ministry

Discipleship is top priority for territorial youth department by Kristin Ostensen

10 Six Young Leaders to Watch

From camping ministry to gang outreach, these youth are transforming the Army’s future by Kristin Ostensen

14 Going the Distance

How two Canadian corps are investing in a small community in Zimbabwe by Max Vincent and John Fagner

18 Intensive Care

When hospital chaplain Major Violet Chaulk faced her own battle with cancer, she had to find a personal place of healing by Kristin Ostensen

20 Wrestling with God

Jacob’s journey from independence to submission by Donald E. Burke

Inside Faith & Friends Role Reversal

When David Akers’ daughter was diagnosed with a tumour, the NFL star’s faith was tested as never before

Business as Usual

When a homeless man camped out on a thrift-store floor, the staff took action

Share Your Faith When you finish reading Faith & Friends, FAITH & frıends pull it out and give it Thrift Store Salvation to someone who needs to hear about NFL Star Christ’s lifeTackles Cancer changing Escape From North Korea power  March 2015

Escape from North Korea

A piano started Michelle Jang’s journey to freedom, faith and the Army

Child Poverty

Canadians made a promise 25 years ago. We need to keep it

faithandfriends.ca

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Inspiration for Living

When David Akers’ daughter was diagnosed with a tumour, his faith was tested as never before

Five-Year-Old’s Extraordinary Gift

As the Boundless 2015 International Congress approaches, The Salvation Army recognizes the wide gap in human and financial resources that exists around the world.

Some Salvationists will be unable to attend unless someone … minds the gap! General André Cox asks individuals, corps, centres, divisions, territories and advisory organizations to raise funds to bring Salvationists to the congress who would not otherwise have this opportunity. To learn how you can help, visit boundless2015.org/ boundless/mind_the_gap. Salvationist • March 2015 • 3


EDITORIAL

The Price of Free Speech

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he world was outraged at the horrific attacks on the cartoonists and editors at the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo. In January, violent extremists gunned down 12 of the publication’s staff for their portrayals of the prophet Muhammad. In reaction, the cry of solidarity went up: “Je suis Charlie.” As a journalist and a Christian, the rallying cry left me feeling conflicted and filled with questions. I mourn the fallen journalists and believe that nothing justifies such an attack, but I also wonder: Just because you can say it, does that mean you should say it? Is free speech an absolute good? Does deliberately thumbing one’s nose at religion perpetuate violence? Pope Francis created a media firestorm when he suggested there are lim-

Salvationist tackles topics that may be considered taboo in some Army circles

Community and Around the Territory through enrolments, awards and congregational news. We’re also not afraid of controversy. Each month, opinion columnists such as Major Juan Burry and Major Kathie Chiu (pages 28-29) push us to consider new ways of looking at things. Salvationist tackles topics that may be considered taboo in some Army circles, but we never do it gratuitously. It’s always intended to further the mission. We may not always be comfortable with criticism, but constructive feedback can open up new horizons and challenge us in our Christian walk. And as far as satire goes, it doesn’t hurt to laugh at ourselves once in a while—provided we properly respect the God who called us into being. No organization is made up of a single voice. Together, we are The Salvation Army. That’s why we are open to hear from you, too, through our letters to the editor, online comments and social media forums. All that we ask is that people air their views respectfully and courteously. Use your intellect, not your bluster. Sharpen your pencils, not your swords.  GEOFF MOULTON Editor-in-Chief

Salvationist

is a monthly publication of The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory André Cox General Commissioner Susan McMillan Territorial Commander Lt-Colonel Jim Champ Secretary for Communications Geoff Moulton Editor-in-Chief Giselle Randall 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 Senior Graphic Designer Brandon Laird Design and Media Specialist 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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its to the freedom of expression—and that anyone who swears at his mother “deserves a punch.” I think his response was tone deaf, but there is a deeper point worth considering. The Apostle Paul put it best: “ ‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’— but not everything is constructive” (1 Corinthians 10:23). The slogan on the cover of Salvationist is “The Voice of the Army.” In fact, the voices in the publication are many. These voices find their expression in the form of testimonies of young leaders (page 10). Other voices include Salvation Army administration, as represented in the territorial commander’s Onward column or this month’s Perspectives by Lt-Colonel Lee Graves (page 13). We love to hear from Salvationists in our ministry units, highlighting them in Celebrate 4 • March 2015 • Salvationist

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AROUND THE TERRITORY

Kettle Campaign Raises $22 Million THANKS TO CONTRIBUTIONS from donors, volunteers and community partners, $22 million was raised during The Salvation Army’s Christmas kettle campaign. Donations to the campaign will remain in the local communities in which they were raised and will help the Army fight poverty. “We are truly touched by the generosity of our neighbours, peers and corporate partners, year after year,” says Commissioner Susan McMillan, territorial commander. “Their continued support allows us to fulfil our mission to help people in need and moves us one step closer to putting an end to poverty through the provision of life-changing services.” As the Army’s largest annual fundraiser, the kettle campaign ensures that people in need will receive basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter. Donations also enable the Army to help people find a way out of poverty through programs such as substance abuse recovery, job and skills training, and educational courses. In addition to the funds collected in the familiar red kettles, The Salvation Army is grateful for the support of corporate sponsors, such as Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life who donated $50,000 to the campaign. Walmart Canada partnered with The Salvation Army for “Walmart Fill the Kettle Day,” during which the company matched contributions made to kettles in its stores up to a maximum donation of $50,000. Other corporate partners included Loblaw Companies Limited, Costco, BC Liquor Stores, LCBO (in Ontario), Canadian Tire, Cadillac Fairview, Metro, Safeway, Save-on-foods, Sobeys and many local retailers and malls.

Salvationist Courtney Pollett lends a helping hand at a Winnipeg Christmas kettle

Heritage Park Temple Highlights Ministry in Winnipeg MORE THAN 150 people attended the Prairie Division’s first Mission Connection open house, held in the newly renovated Shier Hall at Winnipeg’s Heritage Park Temple in November. To demonstrate the broad scope of the Army’s services, 17 ministry units exhibited displays highlighting their areas of ministry, including correctional and justice services, family and educational services, and neighbourhood church ministries.

Kim Park, executive director, Community Venture, and Joyce Kristjannson display Flames of Courage

Winnipeg’s strategic plan, launched in March 2013, calls the Army to “develop healthy and connected congregations.” It was out of this expression that Mission Connection was born. Major Shawn Critch, divisional commander, Prairie Division, greeted those gathered for a short program that featured trumpet player Colin Williams of Heritage Park Temple and drama and mime by teens from various ministry units. As well, a painting entitled Flames of Courage was presented to Joyce Kristjannson, executive director of Winnipeg’s Golden West Centennial Lodge, by Major James Anderson, divisional secretary for business administration, Prairie Division, in recognition of the efforts of the facility’s staff to care for residents during an emergency evacuation and relocation. The artist is a member of the Army’s Community Venture program in Winnipeg, which provides developmental day programming, as well as residential, transportation, outreach and respite services, to adults living with intellectual disabilities. “We’ve had an opportunity to see what great work is happening under the umbrella of The Salvation Army,” said Major Margaret McLeod, area commander, Prairie Division, in her closing remarks. “May the light of Jesus Christ continue to shine within the city of Winnipeg.” Salvationist • March 2015 • 5


AROUND THE TERRITORY

Montreal Citadel Opens New Building MONTREAL CITADEL RECENTLY celebrated the opening of its new corps building on Monk Boulevard following six years in rented facilities. Commissioner Susan McMillan, territorial commander, and Colonels Mark and Sharon Tillsley, chief secretary and territorial secretary for women’s ministries, provided leadership for the weekend events, which included a worship service, the enrolment of soldiers and adherents, an open house, displays of historical photos and Salvation Army activities in Montreal, a concert and international potluck dinner.

Montreal Citadel’s new facilities are officially opened to bring spiritual and practical assistance to its community

Langley Gateway of Hope Celebrates Five Years of Service STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS at the Gateway of Hope in Langley, B.C., were recently joined for lunch by three members of British Columbia’s provincial government: the Honourable Rich Coleman, deputy premier, minister of natural gas development and minister responsible for housing; the Honourable Peter Fassbender, minister of education; and the Honourable Mary Polak, minister of environment, to celebrate five years of service in Langley. The provincial ministers were joined by key community partners and stakeholders, including Envision Financial and Canadian Tire. Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese and City of Langley Mayor Ted Schaffer were also in attendance. “The Gateway of Hope is an example of what can be accomplished when we work together. For the last five years, people in need have found comfort, shelter and access to support services at Gateway,” said Coleman. “I thank The Salvation Army for its efforts and look forward to continuing to support Langley’s housing needs with them.” Fassbender spoke at the luncheon on the beginnings of Gateway and its growth in the Langley community. “We supplied the building, but The Salvation Army put the heart in it,” he said. “I feel so fortunate to be a part of this journey.” “We want to continue to be a welcoming presence in the community, where those who need help can find it,” said Jim Coggles, executive director of the Gateway of Hope, “providing a warm, safe and supportive place is the first step.”

Corner Brook Temple Reaches 90-year Milestone MAJORS LORNE AND Barbara Pritchett, corps officers in Conception Bay South, N.L., were guest leaders for 90th anniversary celebrations at Corner Brook Temple, N.L. Using the theme Celebrating 90 Years of God’s Goodness, weekend events kicked off on Friday evening with a movie for corps and community children, followed by a pizza party hosted by Jim and Sandy Randell for the corps’ teens and university students from Belize who have been attending worship at the corps. In an open discussion time, Major Lorne Pritchett encouraged the young people to remain faithful to Jesus as they face skepticism about the Christian faith in the university environment. On Saturday morning, 60 people participated in a prayer breakfast led by Major Barbara Pritchett. Darren Hancock’s solo, People Need the Lord, and Wendy Woodland’s Trust His Heart, enhanced the prayerful atmosphere. One hundred and twenty attended the Saturday evening coffee house that featured corps and community vocalists and musicians, and a devotional message by Major Lorne Pritchett. In his sermon on Sunday morning, Major Lorne Pritchett used the genealogy of Jesus to show how we are all links in the chain that God uses to accomplish his redemptive work in the world. 6 • March 2015 • Salvationist

A celebration luncheon and historical photo presentation by Bernard Pollett, former corps sergeant-major, brought the weekend to a close.

Mjrs Lorne and Barbara Pritchett cut the cake marking Corner Brook Temple’s 90th anniversary. Supporting them are Mjrs Max and Doreen Sturge, COs


AROUND THE TERRITORY

Student Nurses Gain Experience at Saint John CFS THE SALVATION ARMY’S community and family services in Saint John, N.B., was awarded a Regional Wellness Grant from the Department of Healthy and Inclusive Communities to run a life-skills program for its clients. At approximately the same time that the funding was received, the Army was scheduled to host three nursing students from the University of New Brunswick (UNB) for a 10-week period as part of its ongoing relationship with UNB’s nursing department. The two ventures were combined and the Get in the K.N.O.W. (Knowledge Nurturing Overall Wellness) life-skills program was created. Topics for the sessions included medication practices and flu shots, social skills, hygiene and relaxation tips. Each session featured a professional presenter, such as a pharmacist, hairdresser or public health nurse, as well as activities and healthy snacks. The program was well attended by clients, some of whom had never before attended Army programs.

Participants in a new life-skills program at Saint John CFS learn the importance of taking medication on time

Hearing Clearly in Halifax FOR THOSE BATTLING poverty, securing the necessities of food, clothing and shelter, can force other concerns, such as a hearing problem, to the back burner. A certified hearing instrument specialist and owner of Provincial Hearing H a l i f a x , C o l e Cole Crouse (right) confers with a client during Crouse donated his a hearing assessment at the Centre of Hope time at the Halifax Centre of Hope to perform nearly 20 hearing assessments. If hearing devices were recommended, he interviewed each patient to see if they qualified for assistance under a number of existing programs, such as workers compensation or social assistance. If they did not qualify, Crouse had donated and refurbished hearing devices available. For Crouse, helping people in need of hearing assistance is a good thing. “I’m here to help as many people as I can,” he says. “We want to find if there’s a system in place to help them, and if not, we want to be that support for them.” Hearing devices vary in price, but Crouse says $1,000 to $3,000 per ear is a fair estimate. Paul Clarke was one of the men who signed up for an assessment. He knew he had some hearing impairment, and was quick to thank Crouse for his time. “There are a lot of people walking around who have a hearing problem and don’t even realize it,” he said. “It’s good that he came here to donate his services and help people like me.”

The General and Pope Francis Meet at the Vatican immediately met. The Pope reciprocated, praying for the General in his leadership of The Salvation Army. The two leaders then spent a few moments in private conversation.

Photo: © L’Osservatore Romano

THE FIRST-EVER PRIVATE meeting between a Salvation Army General and a Pope took place recently in the Vatican, where the grandeur of the surroundings greatly contrasted the informal warmth of the interaction between the world leaders of the Army and the Roman Catholic Church. The meeting was the culmination of conversations held between Army and Vatican representatives from 2007 to 2012 that resulted in the publishing of a new book, Conversations with the Catholic Church, copies of which were presented to the Pope along with The Salvation Army Year Book 2015. Pope Francis warmly greeted General André Cox and his party, including Commissioner Silvia Cox, World President of Women’s Ministries, and listened attentively as the General brought greetings which highlighted the many things that unite Catholics and Salvationists. In his remarks, the Pope said the Army’s work enabled “Christ’s light to shine in the darkest recesses of [people’s] lives.” He concluded his message by asking to be remembered in prayer, a request the General

General André Cox and Pope Francis share together at their historic meeting Salvationist • March 2015 • 7


Photo: Timothy Cheng

8 • March 2015 • Salvationist


Rethinking Youth Ministry

Discipleship is top priority for territorial youth department BY KRISTIN OSTENSEN, STAFF WRITER

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group of young adults meets at the corps for Bible study, followed by games at a nearby park. A Ready to Serve class spends a Sunday afternoon bringing smiles to residents at a long-term care facility. A vulnerable child at a fresh air camp learns that Jesus loves him. The many expressions of youth ministry across Canada and Bermuda are as diverse as the territory itself. Yet they all have a common goal. “We want kids to develop a faith that’s Christ-centred and others-focused,” says Kevin Slous, territorial director of discipleship. “We don’t want to just develop a social club—kids can get that anywhere,” he adds. “So what is unique about what they can get when they come into our ministries? The fact that our mandate is to make disciples of them. Everything should be working toward that end.” Putting the focus on discipleship is top priority for Kevin and his wife, Sheryl Slous, children and youth consultant. Their creative approach to youth ministry is contributing to a new vision for the territory. Focus on Innovation Kevin and Sheryl have more than 30 years in full-time youth ministry combined, but they’ve been active in leadership since their teens, when they served as young people’s sergeant-majors at their respective corps. Before joining the youth department at territorial headquarters in June 2014, Kevin and Sheryl spent two years at the Army’s Salvation Factory in the U.S.A. Eastern Territory. Unique in the Army world, Salvation Factory is an “imaginarium” where staff focus on innovation, developing new and creative ways to further the mission of The Salvation Army.

“The process was research, develop and design, then create resources and training,” Kevin explains. “This means, before we start churning stuff out, we take the time to understand why we’re doing it.” Kevin and Sheryl believe the development process that was used at Salvation Factory will be of great benefit to the work they now do in Canada and Bermuda. “You learn to think creatively and innovatively, and not just settle for the first idea,” Sheryl says. “It’s asking, what are all the possible ways we could tackle this lesson or this principle that we need to instill in our young people? And then asking, of these ideas, what are the best ways?” “It helps distill ideas from good to better to best,” Kevin adds. reCalibrate Applying this process to youth and children’s ministry has meant rethinking the way the Army does discipleship. “In the past, I think our default was to say that discipleship is curriculum, whether it’s a Bible study, Sunday school, corps cadets or Ready to Serve,” says Kevin. “We need those pieces but discipleship is so much more than curriculum, and when we limit our discipleship focus to that, we create a compartmentalized faith.” “Everything we do is part of the discipleship journey, and that journey starts at a child’s earliest exposure to the gospel,” adds Sheryl. “It’s a long process so our strategy needs to be long.” With the Slouses, the youth department at territorial headquarters has developed reCalibrate, a list of 14 priority areas for the territory. These priorities include identifying essential and irreducible minimums in healthy Salvationist

ministry to children and youth, reinvesting in ministry to families, using emerging technology to enhance mission, re-emphasizing junior and senior soldiership, and assessing current curriculum and developing new materials as needed. At this time, the Slouses are working on a number of projects, including materials for junior and senior youth councils, Ready to Serve, tools and training to equip youth and children’s workers, as well as enhancing the Army’s ministry online. But a main focus is creating a filter through which all youth ministries can evaluate the work they are doing. “That filter tool is important in recalibrating us because we have to know what we are recalibrating to,” says Sheryl. “There’s a lot going on in the Army for young people, which is a real strength,” she continues. “Our department is looking at all of it and trying to bring everyone in youth ministry together, onto one page. We realize that everybody’s ministry unit is going to look different, depending on where you are, who your kids are. But the essentials—the nonnegotiable, irreducible minimums of a healthy youth ministry—have to be the same no matter where you go.” As they help re-envision the Army’s youth ministry, Kevin and Sheryl are encouraged by the faith and commitment they are already seeing in children, youth and those ministering to them across the territory. “I believe youth want to live out their faith and make a difference in the world,” says Sheryl. “They’re moved to action and that’s a real strength. We need to work on helping them get that into all areas of their lives, so those passions are not just reserved for church or camp or youth councils, but would invade their whole lives.” Salvationist • March 2015 • 9


Six Young Leaders to Watch From camping ministry to gang outreach, these youth are transforming the Army’s future

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BY KRISTIN OSTENSEN, STAFF WRITER

all it youthful enthusiasm. Aged 12 to 21, these six young people have already made mission their priority, taking on leadership roles in ministries from Sunday school to music camp to floor hockey. With a passion to serve God by serving others, they show that faithfulness to God’s calling begins at any age.

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eing part of a corps in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Winnipeg has given Jordan Young an outlook on life that few of his peers have. In Winnipeg’s north end, where Jordan’s father, Lieutenant Mark Young, is the corps officer at Weetamah, gangs are a major problem, with many young Aboriginal men being drawn into a life of violence and crime. “Seeing the hurt and understanding why people are in those situations really drives me to help make a change,” Jordan says. “Seeing what I have and that I could give something, I want to help them and make their lives better.” Over the years, Jordan has been involved with many different ministries at the corps, and he drums every week at the church’s Sunday meeting, but his passion is their weekly floor hockey program for at-risk youth. “Building relationships with them, as well as helping them out and making sure they’re safe—it means something to me,” he says. “If someone is hurt, or not going down the right path, I really want to reach out to them.” He credits his father with helping him understand the call to make a difference in the lives of others. “My dad didn’t hold anything back,” Jordan says. “He brought me down to the inner city from day one, showed me what I had compared to others and that really impacted me. “Sometimes kids are held back and they don’t understand poverty—they don’t get to see what’s actually happening,” he continues. “Seeing what’s happening helped me understand more and I wanted to do more.”

Jordan Young

Age: 18 Home Corps: Weetamah, Winnipeg

10 • March 2015 • Salvationist

Bethany Derksen

Age: 12 Home Corps: Lethbridge Community Church, Alta.

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ethany Derksen may be young, but she’s already making her mark at the Salvation Army corps in Lethbridge, Alta. On Sunday mornings, she can be found downstairs, in the church basement, where she helps teach the Sunday school class for children aged 2-3. “I love helping the younger kids because usually we play games and do fun stuff,” she says. “My youth leader, Katri Dean, encourages me to help with that. She’s always willing to let me help with the younger kids and learn how to work with them.” Bethany also helps with the corps’ Tuesday night KidzOwn program, where she assists with dinner, setup and lessons.

“I love helping the younger kids” Outside the corps, she is involved with Pathfinders where she gets credit for the volunteering she does with the Army. “We have certain badges that we need to do community service time for,” she explains, “and helping out at The Salvation Army with things like Toys for Tots counts toward that.” Aside from her work with younger children, Bethany is also beginning to take on a speaking role at the corps. “Once in a while we have youth Sundays where the youth lead the service and I’ve done the offering,” she says. “During our Christmas concert I read the welcome and announcements.” Trying out new kinds of ministry at the corps was intimidating for Bethany at first, but she says she’s becoming more confident the more she engages. “When I was little I didn’t like talking or singing in front of people, but I find I’m more willing to do stuff in front of people now and I’m getting better at it,” she says. “It’s a little scary, but I enjoy it.”


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hen Caitlyn Gillingham finished high school last June, she knew she wanted to spend a year developing a closer relationship with God. So when she heard about the Army’s Revolution Hawaii (RevHI) program, a year-long discipleship program in Honolulu, she found the place she needed to be. “Going into this program, I was motivated to get spiritually disciplined,” she explains. “I want to be prepared for wherever I’m going next.”

“At territorial congress, I dedicated my life to The Salvation Army” At RevHI, Caitlyn spends her mornings reading and praying, and her afternoons at a shelter for homeless women in downtown Honolulu. “It’s a lot of community work and working with the poor,” she says. Before going to Hawaii, Caitlyn was involved with many ministries at Yellowknife Corps, where her parents are the corps officers. She has worked at Pine Lake Camp in the Alberta and Northern Territories Division for the

Taylor Burton

Age: 21 Home Corps: Sydney Community Church, N.S.

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aylor Burton’s love for camping ministry goes back to a pivotal summer evening at the Maritime Division’s Scotian Glen Camp almost 10 years ago. “On the last night of music camp, they gave an altar call,” he remembers. “I knew that I needed something more and that week, through the Bible teaching and worship times, I came to understand what that was—a personal relationship with Jesus. “Ever since that first camping experience, camp has been very important to me—especially Scotian Glen,” he adds. “It’s become my passion.” Taylor has worked at Scotian Glen in the kitchen and as a counsellor, and for the past two summers has been Bible director. “I look forward to it every year,” he says, “because it’s the chance to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to a

Caitlyn Gillingham

Age: 18 Home Corps: Yellowknife

past three summers, taught Sunday school, played with the worship team and worked at the soup kitchen at the Army’s Bailey House. “One of my passions is working with people in poverty,” she says. “I’ve seen a lot in Canada, from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to Yellowknife, where so much of the population suffers from alcoholism. But I don’t want to be oblivious to the poverty of third-world countries because I know that’s monumental compared to what we have here.” When Caitlyn finishes her year at RevHI, she hopes to go to university to complete a degree in social work. But ultimately, she feels that she is called to full-time ministry. “I spent a few years running away from it, as any officers’ kid might do, but at territorial congress last summer, I just knew that was where I was supposed to be,” she says. “I dedicated my life to The Salvation Army.”

bunch of kids who may not have heard it before, or may not have given it a chance before. I see camping ministry as extremely important because I know the effect it’s had on my life and many other kids’ lives as well.” When Taylor isn’t at camp, he can be found at Sydney Community Church where he leads worship on Sundays and co-leads the youth group with his wife. “Our divisional youth leaders, Captains Morgan and Lisa Hillier, have been really good to my wife and me, helping us grow by giving us opportunities to be leaders,” he says. “And they’ve helped me grow by talking to me, not dismissing me as a younger person, but being interested

“Young people have a desire for Christ, for deeper things; you just have to lead them to it” and involved in what I’m doing.” As Taylor and his wife consider where God may be leading them, in terms of future ministry, they are grateful for the support of leaders and Salvationists in their division: “They take young people seriously and understand that young people have a desire for Christ, for deeper things; you just have to lead them to it.”

Salvationist • March 2015 • 11


Andrea Melissa Fernandez Fajardo Age: 19 Home Corps: Montreal Citadel

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hen Andrea Fajardo and her family moved to Canada from Honduras four years ago, they faced many challenges adjusting to a new country, new culture and new language. When their first winter came, they found themselves in need of warm clothing. “We were told that The Salvation Army was an organization that helped people—we didn’t know it was a church,” Andrea recalls. “When we picked up the clothes, we were invited to church and we’ve been attending Montreal Citadel since.” Andrea became a senior soldier last year and is currently involved with teaching Sunday school, participating in the corps’ Spanish Bible study and co-leading the youth group.

“For me, being a youth group leader is being part of something big” “When I lived in Honduras, I was in a Christian school, and my teachers were always teaching us about our impact in this world, and how we were to do what God’s Son says and serve people,” she notes, “and when I moved to Canada, I came with that mindset.” Andrea and two other young adults from the corps started the youth group last fall to fill a need in their community. “For me, being a youth group leader is being part of something big,” she says, “because teenagers are in this stage where they don’t know what they believe in or what they should do, so being part of this makes me feel like I’m doing something for God.” While Andrea is dedicated to children’s and youth ministry, she says her greatest passion is to help people living in poverty. “I would like to go to another country—maybe back to Honduras—where people have a lot of needs and I want to help those people,” Andrea says. “I want to give them a chance to see life from another perspective and I want them to know God loves them.” 12 • March 2015 • Salvationist

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s a 12-year-old cornet player, Zach Marshall came to Conception Bay South Corps expecting to join the junior band and sharpen his skills. But sitting in church on Good Friday almost five years ago, he found himself making a life-changing commitment to Christ. “Listening to the corps officer as he gave a sermon about the three men on the crosses, I felt like there was something more than just going to church to be in the band,” he remembers. Kneeling in front of the cross that day, Zach gave his life to God. Today, he’s an active member of the corps, taking an “anywhere that I’m needed” approach to ministry. As well as being involved with banding, youth group, young peoples’ corps and community care ministries, Zach served at Scotian Glen Camp in the Maritime Division last summer and is a member of the candidates’ fellowship. “I first felt a calling to ministry about two years ago

“I know some people say that the Army is cutting back, but I don’t think that at all. I think that we’re on the brink of what’s to come” after I spent the summer helping out at camps,” he shares. “Officership is the ultimate goal—that’s what I want to do and I feel that’s what I need to do.” As he pursues this goal and gains experience in leadership, Zach says he is spurred on by the encouragement he receives from the corps. “It’s a great place to get your feet wet in ministry because there are so many opportunities to be in different types of ministry,” he says. “And it’s easy to get involved because the congregation is so welcoming and supportive.” For Zach, being in ministry is about getting out into the community and meeting people where they are at. “I know some people say that the Army is cutting back, but I don’t think that at all,” he says. “I think that we’re on the brink of what’s to come. Whether I’m pursuing officership or just being active in the corps as I am now, I want to do my humble part.”

Zach Marshall

Age: 16 Home Corps: Conception Bay South, N.L.


PERSPECTIVES

Better to Give

Is it time for a generosity pulse-check?

Photo: © iStock.com/Burgeon

BY LT-COLONEL LEE GRAVES

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ccording to a recent survey by the Fraser Institute, “Canadian generosity is in decline with just 22.3 percent of tax filers giving to charity.” Should we not find this statistic disturbing? The annual survey of charitable giving notes that the Canadian practice of donating to charitable causes has been falling since 2005, with both the number of people giving and the amount they give in decline. What about those of us who belong to the church? Where do we fit within the scope of this statistic? Is it time for the church to take a generosity pulse-check? When Jesus saw a poor widow put two small coins in the temple collection box, he was moved by her generosity. We find his reflection in Mark 12:41-44. Canada was founded upon the principles of giving and serving. The early pioneers were sustained by a shared spirit of co-operation and generosity. The Salvation Army’s predominant gifts have been described as giving and serving. God raised up the Army to bring practical expression to the faith we have in Jesus and to live it out every day. The call of our General is to pursue the cause of Christ and the care of others.

In 2013, the total contribution in cartridge giving was $27 million. That comes out to $470 per person As Salvationists, we are to go into the world of the hurting, broken, lonely, dispossessed and lost, reaching them in love by all means. I still vividly recall the first time I was compelled to compassionately care for another. I was nine, perhaps 10 years of age. It was winter. My school was on the edge of town. There was a little pond that froze over every winter. We skated every recess and lunch hour. I loved skating and I was good at it. I played hockey every Saturday at the community arena. Taking to this little patch of ice was easy for me and it was fun. But there was one boy who just leaned against an old fence post and

watched as we skated. Everyone knew he came from a family of little means. I knew he had probably never owned a pair of skates or known the fun of skating. It troubled me that he didn’t have the same opportunity I did. After some time thinking about it, I made up my mind to give him my skates and help him to learn to skate. That little act of giving and helping changed something inside of me, something significant enough to make me want to keep giving skates away— metaphorically speaking. Truly, the acts of giving and serving bring purpose and meaning, aligning us with the call of Christ to his church. He calls me, as part of the church, to share what I have with those who have less. That is why Jesus was so moved with the widow’s gift. She shared from what she could scarcely afford and gave much. The others shared from their wealth and gave little. Scripture reminds us that the Lord loves a cheerful giver (see 2 Corinthians 9:7). A desire to share our time, talent and resources is an outcome of our relationship with him. As Jesus looked on and was moved by the offering of the widow, who gave much, the Lord smiled upon her. Is he moved by my giving and my service? One of the ways we contribute to the needs of others is by tithing through our church offering. As of March 31, 2013, the total contribution in cartridge giving for the budgeted year was $27 million. With 18,000 soldiers and 39,000 adherents, that comes out to $470 per person. If you divide that number by 52 weeks, the average weekly financial contribution is $9. Factor in contributions from those on our friendship register, and the number is even lower. What is it that compels us to open our wallets and give? What is it that compels us to serve? Our giving and service is a direct witness to the work the Lord is doing in our lives. The opportunity of the church is to lead by example, modelling a giving attitude and the joy of serving others. By doing so, we might be able to influence a trend that paints a less-generous picture of concern for others. Could someone please take my generosity pulse? What is your “pair of skates”? What do you have to give? Lt-Colonel Lee Graves is the Canada and Bermuda Territory’s secretary for business administration. Salvationist • March 2015 • 13


Going the Distance How two Canadian corps are investing in a small community in Zimbabwe

Tshelanyemba is a small village in rural Zimbabwe, located about 160 kilometres south of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city. It’s a poor region, often suffering from severe drought. Salvationists from Cariboo Hill Temple in Burnaby, B.C., and St. John’s Temple, N.L., have travelled to Tshelanyemba on short-term mission trips for many years, coming alongside the community to give and receive. Here are their stories.

Like Coming Home

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BY MAX VINCENT, CARIBOO HILL TEMPLE

Photo: Timothy Braund

participated in a mission trip to Tshelanyemba for the first time in 2000. Right from the start, it claimed a piece of my heart. I was hooked. In 2004, I returned with another team to help build a roof. We also provided funds for six children to attend school. This was the beginning of the Silokwethemba Project (which means “we have hope”) to support orphans and vulnerable children. School fees put education out of reach for many children

in Zimbabwe. Since 2004, the project has made it possible for 6,400 children to go to school. We have now supported some students all the way through school, seen them go on to post-secondary education or training and obtain meaningful employment to help support their families. One of these students is Banelenkosi Moyo, who was entering his final year of high school at the height of the economic crisis in Zimbabwe in 2007. “My mum didn’t have money to pay for my tuition fees. That’s when the Silokwethemba Project came to my rescue,” he told us. He went on to teacher’s college, and now teaches at Tshelanyemba High School. One day, as we were visiting a school to pay fees, the children came out to greet us. We could see them shivering in the cold morning air and noticed that many of them were not wearing shoes. They often walk long distances to get to school, so we decided then and there to provide shoes for all the primary school children we support. Since then, we have distributed 600 pairs of shoes each year. What started out as a fun way to celebrate the 2010 World Cup in South Africa—our own mini soccer tournament— has grown into one of our main programs. In the past four years, hundreds of children have participated in our soccer camps and we have established four annual tournaments in

“The children of Zimbabwe live soccer,” says Max Vincent. “We are very happy to contribute to the community in this way” 14 • March 2015 • Salvationist


Photo: Timothy Braund

In 2014, the mission team led a music festival. “It was a powerful, Spirit-filled weekend,” says team member Anne Ivany

Photo: Max Vincent

“It was also exciting to see many of the young people displaying leadership skills. We hope that by modelling and teaching various aspects of a music festival—vocal instruction, band and music theory, crafts and games—local leaders will take on the challenge to develop the program further.” The Silokwethemba Project has become a focus for mission at Cariboo Hill Temple. It has brought the needs of the global community into our lives here in Canada. For me, not a day goes by that my mind doesn’t wander to Tshelanyemba. You can’t help but be affected on all levels when you live among such amazing people. They aren’t sad because of their situations. They work hard, love their children and are very welcoming of guests. They live a life of faith, depending on God for tomorrow’s meals and all their needs. Every time I come to Tshelanyemba, it’s like coming home. Each year, the Silokwethemba Project pays school fees for more than 650 students at 35 schools. They also provide each child with shoes

the region. We work in collaboration with local coaches and community clubs so they can continue to develop and run these programs. Although soccer has typically been a boy’s domain in Zimbabwe, there were girls who wanted to play and develop their skills. We are pleased that with some encouragement, there are now girls’ teams, with hope of a girls’ league in the near future. Last year, our mission team was larger than usual and so we were also able to plan a weekend music festival, attended by more than 60 Salvation Army youth and leaders, representing four corps. Anne Ivany, one of our team members, reflected on it later: “It was a powerful, Spirit-filled weekend. The enthusiasm of the young people was evident and infectious as they worshipped and praised Jesus with their singing, instruments and dancing.

Zimbabwe Dirt Under Our Nails

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BY JOHN FAGNER, ST. JOHN’S TEMPLE

n Tshelanyemba, the Salvation Army hospital plays a major role in the community. It serves more than 40,000 people over a 40-kilometre radius, providing maternal health care, HIV testing and treatment, X-ray and lab services, and a nursing school. It also offers a grain mill, welding shop, bicycle repair shop, hair salon and carpentry school. St. John’s Temple’s connection to the hospital can be traced directly to one of our own: Major (Dr.) Dawn Howse, now retired, was the sole doctor there for 20 years until her return to Newfoundland and Labrador in 2008. Salvationist • March 2015 • 15


the troubles and trials of my everyday life. It allows me to witness firsthand the power of the Spirit when we are involved in God’s work. I feel connected to a greater purpose and that somehow obstacles will be overcome and all things will work for good. It would be a huge mistake to think that the people of Tshelanyemba are the only ones who benefit from our projects. We experience a way of life and a people that views the gospel as good news. Despite the hardships encountered daily, they have hope.

Photo: Angus Fleming

While home to visit her family in 2005, we asked Major Howse if there was a practical project a team from our corps could tackle at the hospital. She quickly outlined the need for housing for graduating nurses. In 2007, a team travelled to Tshelanyemba and, with the help of local expertise, constructed a three-unit apartment building, While the additional housing helped, it was clear the needs at the hospital were great and we had to try to return. There are many worthy projects closer to home and less expensive to undertake, but the staff at the hospital had become our friends. We had Zimbabwe dirt under our nails. In 2009, a team constructed three additional apartment units and installed a phone system linking the hospital, nursing school, residences and other buildings. In 2008 and 2011, we shipped containers filled with medical supplies, plumbing materials, a large generator, bicycles, tools and other items. In 2012, we upgraded the hospital’s water supply system and nurses on our team assisted hospital staff. In 2014, we continued to work on the water system, helped fence a garden plot and oversaw the drilling of an artesian well. Securing funding for these projects has become a yearround activity. While it often appears that we will fall short of our financial goals, we always manage to find what we need. In We Take Care of Our Own, Bruce Springsteen sings: “Where’s the work that sets my hands, my soul free?” My involvement in international mission work liberates me from

A team from St. John’s Temple helps fence a garden plot that will provide food for the hospital

LETTERS

A Challenge

Open to Question

Thank you for the open communication in an Army publication regarding the Army’s relationship with the LGBT+ community (“Open to Question,” January). It feels like even discussing this issue is viewed as heresy by some; however, I believe our theology can and should evolve as long C as it is sensitive to the Spirit of God. This should be an open discussion so that everyone from commissioner to adherent can have a voice. I recommend two things: All of our discussions should be tempered with love, and we should listen to each other and not simply shout at each other. Remember this is not a black and white issue. Love God. Love others. If we can do this, then I see no reason why we can’t have this discussion. Captain Timothy McPherson Social Issues Committee examines Army’s relationship with LGBT+ community

Photo: © iStock.com/Rawpixel

BY KRISTIN OSTENSEN, STAFF WRITER

an a person who is openly gay become a senior soldier? What should an officer do if she is asked to conduct a baby dedication for a same-sex couple? Questions such as these are likely to spark debate in any Salvation Army congregation. And that’s why the Canada and Bermuda Territory’s Social Issues Committee (SIC) has embarked on a year-long project to study the Army’s relationship with the LGBT+ community. “I think it’s a discussion that’s long overdue—it’s not a distant or abstract thing anymore,” says Aimee Patterson,

Christian ethics consultant at the Army’s Ethics Centre in Winnipeg and staff support person for the SIC. “We are looking into various perspectives on Scripture and theology. But what drives this conversation are living, breathing relationships, and how certain people have been shamed, neglected and excluded.”

A Place for Discussion The SIC was formed in 1968 and is a sub-committee of The Salvation Army’s Ethics Centre Board. The SIC exists to identify, study and respond to moral and social issues affecting the lives of people

in Canada and Bermuda and requiring action on the part of The Salvation Army. The SIC operates in an advisory capacity, studying an issue and developing recommendations for Army leadership. “We don’t just create position statements,” explains Estee Lau, chair of the SIC. “Usually it’s at the request of the territorial leaders. If they see that we need to explore a certain issue, they ask the SIC to work on that.” Any position statements that are drafted and approved by the territorial Cabinet must go to International Headquarters for approval before they can be adopted.

18 • January 2015 • Salvationist

I was glad to see honest and open discussion regarding this issue. It’s a complex subject with no easy answers. Given that the Army is worldwide, with many cultural differences and feelings on this matter, change will come gradually and slowly. Love must rule all conversations. An open mind is needed. Education and awareness are key. The Salvation Army is composed of thousands of soldiers and officers, gay and straight. Inclusion in the family of God and the ministry of the Army should not be limited or ignored based on sexuality or gender. Reaching out to the LGBT+ community with the gospel is paramount to the church’s survival and evolution. Lawrence Grey 16 • March 2015 • Salvationist

TALKING POINTS

Beyond Belief I’m writing in response to Major Juan Burry’s article, “Beyond Belief,” in the I January issue. I affirm that Christians should always be willing to evaluate our opinions and beliefs, but I am concerned that his argument appeals to the authority of journalists and surrounding culture. Yes, we must listen to our pundits and accept challenges to be theologically rigorous, but never should the reference point be our surrounding culture. Scripture explicitly warns Christians not to submit to the world’s standards. As Salvationists, we covenant to “make the values of the kingdom of God and not the values of the world the standard for my life.” To be open to progressive revelation, we must first have a sound foundation in epistemology, followed by sound exegesis and a thorough cultural hermeneutic. Only then can we welcome conversations on beliefs and practices. Human reason and culture apart from God’s revelation are limited. God’s truth, interpreted throughout history in the experience of the church and reliant on God’s Spirit, is where we arrive safely under God’s counsel. I would suggest a step back in this discussion, to begin with our first doctrine and ask how Scripture is authoritative and sufficient. How are we to interpret it and how do we apply it to our lives? Then we can discuss how this interpretation is expressed to our surrounding culture. Jonathan Evans Are we willing to change our minds? BY MAJOR JUAN BURRY

Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.—Blaise Pascal

t seems like an oxymoron to speak of religion as initiating evil. Most of us live peaceably and do our best to help our neighbours. But are we sometimes guilty of acts of injustice due to misguided religious beliefs? Increasingly I notice that religion is coming under scrutiny in our society. People are questioning whether civilization would be better off if religion vanished or, at the very least, they think that religions need substantial modification. This topic came into view in early October during an episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, with author Sam Harris as the guest. The discussion turned toward Islam and whether or not it was acceptable to critique Islamic beliefs, particularly beliefs that were inconsistent with western values of dignity and respect. Harris and Maher, both atheists, argued that it should be acceptable to criticize aspects of the Islamic faith (or any faith for that matter) and that such critique should not be understood as hatred or bigotry toward Muslims. Others on the panel thought their comments were “racist” and “gross.” Harris argued that his opinions were not spurred by contempt for the people who believe, but rather for the beliefs themselves. He referred to Islam as the “motherlode of bad ideas.” Immediately, social media was aflame with opinions both for and against Harris. Harris’ remarks raised an important question: Are people of faith open to encountering criticism of their beliefs? It’s not uncommon to hear some of Christianity’s mouthpieces raise the warning flags of “intolerance” and “persecution” the moment someone outside of the church calls us out on some of our less-sophisticated beliefs. Can we withstand such external evaluations and receive constructive criticism? Even more importantly, do we have the courage to critique ourselves? While it’s easy for me to offer Muslims ideas about how to advance their belief system, any real change, if it is needed, will only happen through reform efforts from within the Muslim community. Likewise, real change within Christianity, if it is needed, can best be achieved through the efforts of its own adherents. Undoubtedly, there will be people who scoff at any suggestion that change is needed, especially if the suggestion comes from someone outside of the faith. Christians are some of the toughest people to convince that they don’t have everything right—doctrinally or pragmatically. The Protestant church grew up (and into) the belief that absolute knowledge could be obtained. And why not? We worship the source of all truth and live according to a book that is believed to be the very words of that source. We assume that absolute truth is accessible and knowable. Therefore, how could anyone suggest that we may be wrong? We are followers of “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

Illustration: © iStock.com/akindo

Open Discussion

We forget, however, that while God may be perfect, humanity isn’t. And if humanity isn’t perfect, it follows that our theology isn’t either. While God’s nature is absolute, it doesn’t mean that our version of Christianity is as well. Consider the example of women in ministry and leadership. Ever since Catherine Booth stood to “say a word” at Gateshead chapel in 1860, women have been preachers and leaders in The Salvation Army. However, a large number of Christian denominations believe our position on this is in error. They point to a number of Bible verses that speak about “female submission” and “male headship” and say the case is closed. In this regard, The Salvation Army’s position is more in line with the societal norms of gender equality, while other denominations could be seen as lagging behind. It’s not that The Salvation Army acquiesced to cultural values in this matter; it just so happens that our views coincide with those of our culture and maybe even influenced them. From our vantage point, we might think that other denominations are in error. However, on other important issues, we may be the laggards, while other churches and our culture have surpassed us. Can you think of what some of those issues may be? Is this a time for religious people, including Salvationists, to open our minds and be willing to evaluate some of our opinions and beliefs? The Holy Spirit is at work in the entire world, not just our own little piece of it. Perhaps we can see him working through the lives of those we might not expect. We may even find ourselves representing Christ better as a result. Major Juan Burry is the executive director of Rotary Hospice House in Richmond, B.C.

30 • January 2015 • Salvationist

For Jonathan’s full letter and Major Juan Burry’s response, visit salvationist.ca.


LEADING EDGE

All Together Now

Photo: © iStock.com/franckreporter

How fair process helps everyone pull in the same direction

This series of leadership articles, offered by the Territorial Training and Education Council (TTEC), focuses on individuals who reflect The Salvation Army’s commitment to models of leadership that are collaborative, support innovation and achieve accountability. For this article, Major Mona Moore, leadership development secretary, spoke with Karen Livick, executive director of community services in Calgary, about her experience with fair process.

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few years ago, Karen Livick, executive director of community services in Calgary, led her team through the process of opening a new family resource centre. “It was a big step for us,” she says. “It meant moving four programs to a new location, new clients and new services.” It also meant a new business structure was needed, which would affect the four program managers. But instead of imposing a new structure and way of doing things, Livick engaged the managers in the decision-making process. “I probably could have outlined what I thought we should do nine months earlier, but I wanted to take the time to listen to everybody’s input and intentionally involve them in the process,” she says. “I prompted and suggested, but then they built on it. In the end, the

structure wasn’t like any one specific manager recommended, but it made sense overall. Everyone bought into it.” As a result, they were able to expand programs and services and build a community. “If I had just walked in the room and said, ‘You’re going to do it this way,’ that never would have happened,” Livick says. In leadership circles, this approach is known as fair process. It’s based on the idea that people care about decisions, but they care even more about the process used to make the decisions. They may disagree with a manager’s choice, but they will accept and commit to it if they feel heard and valued. This process builds trust and leads to active co-operation. Fair process has three elements: engagement, explanation and expectation clarity. Engagement Engagement means involving people in the decisions that affect them. Livick met with the four program managers over many months, who brought forward ideas from their teams and made recommendations about staffing and reporting. She also met with the managers individually, so they could voice any concerns privately. “It was a challenge to slow down and work through the ideas, but

I wanted to make sure they knew their opinions mattered,” she says. It’s important to note that fair process is not the same as consensus, where everyone is in agreement, or democracy, where ideas are voted on. While all ideas are considered, only those with merit are pursued. “Everyone has a voice in the discussions, but ultimately I made the final decision,” she says. “It might not be exactly as they would have wanted, but it was accepted and supported as we implemented our program expansions.” Explanation The second step in fair process is to explain the decision. “We’re a large organization. We worked to make sure we were communicating down, as well as up, about why we were doing things,” Livick says. “I don’t have a magic solution. We’ve done the normal things—a newsletter, staff meetings.” Explaining the thought process behind a decision helps people understand it was made impartially, in the best interest of the organization, and builds trust around future decisions. “I found that I gained support as a leader, so my later decisions were accepted even when I couldn’t always slow down and get input. They trusted me.” Expectation Once a decision has been made and explained, the third step is to clearly outline new expectations. “I was very clear about my expectations of the new model right from the beginning. I expected programs to integrate, for client services to change from A to B, but how we were going to do that is what we worked out,” Livick says. The benefits of fair process are clear. “In my experience, it has built engagement and commitment among my staff at all levels. People have a lot more ownership. They’re coming up with ideas.” At their recent Christmas party for clients, staff transformed the family resource centre into Bethlehem. “You should have seen the decorations,” says Livick. “When people came in, they had their picture taken as if they were going to a census. The gym was made into a marketplace with different activities at each stall. We had costumes and live animals. “The staff put in so much time over the previous month, staying after business hours to get things ready. That wouldn’t have happened a few years ago.” Salvationist • March 2015 • 17


Intensive Care

When hospital chaplain Major Violet Chaulk faced her own battle with cancer, she had to find a personal place of healing

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BY KRISTIN OSTENSEN, STAFF WRITER

Living Life When she was first commissioned, Major Chaulk, who is now social-services coordinator, as well as central health chaplain, in Grand Falls-Windsor, N.L., never imagined she would go into hospital chaplaincy. “I told my divisional commander, ‘I don’t like hospital smells and I hate needles,’ ” she laughs. “But something in my being said, this is the place I need to go.” Born and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador, Major Chaulk had her first full-time chaplaincy appointment in Toronto, but was transferred to St. John’s, N.L., in 1990. As it turned out, she came home at just the right time. “Dolly worked in the hospital and she knew something wasn’t right, so she booked an appointment with a spe18 • March 2015 • Salvationist

Photo: Kristin Ostensen

fter several months of testing, the results were unmistakable: Major Violet Chaulk had breast cancer. A hospital chaplain for more than 25 years, Major Chaulk was no stranger to the disease— and yet her own diagnosis shook her deeply. “I thought, How many people have I walked through this with? I’m the one who has seen many of them die,” she recalls. At first, her doctor believed she only had pre-cancerous cells, but a biopsy confirmed the worst. “As much as I could prepare, I was the most shocked person on the planet.” Leaving the doctor’s office, Major Chaulk stumbled to her car, fighting back tears as she thought of her sister, Dolly, who had died from cancer years before. How will my family handle the news? she wondered. For years, Major Chaulk had counselled others through health crises. Now, she felt God asking her, “Are you willing to trust me with your health?” “I said, ‘My health? I trust you with my life,’ ” she says. “That never left me.” Mjr Violet Chaulk, pictured here at her “prayer spot” in Grand Falls-Windsor, N.L., has been a hospital chaplain for more than 25 years

cialist.” Major Chaulk waited outside at the hospital while Dolly got the results. “When I walked around the corner, I saw the tears and thought, Oh gosh, because my sister was very stoic.” Dolly’s cancer was everywhere—even her bones and brain. “It was the first time I had ever seen her cry,” Major Chaulk recalls. “But then she said, ‘Come on,’ and when I asked her where we were going, she said, ‘Shopping! I’ve got to get Christmas gifts for all of my family.’ “That was her—her philosophy was ‘I live until I die.’ ” For the next two years, Major Chaulk did her best to help Dolly live her

life. “I took her anywhere and everywhere she wanted to go. I saw more of Newfoundland in two years than I did growing up,” she smiles. When Dolly passed away, a sense of calm was with Major Chaulk and her family in that hospital room. “To be with somebody while they’re taking their last breath is a great privilege because you feel like you’ve seen them through a journey.” Unexpected Healing Being with Dolly as she faced death taught Major Chaulk more than she could ever learn in classes about endof-life care, and it helped her better


understand the needs of the patients she would encounter throughout her ministry. It was during her appointment in Winnipeg at the general hospital that she met Bill, a man with advanced cancer. “I told him who I was, and asked if there was anything I could do for him,” she says. “I can be someone who’s here when you’re bored. I can be someone who gets you a coffee. And I’m someone who would like to hear your story,” Major Chaulk told him. “I’m not very religious,” he replied. “It’s OK, I don’t mind that at all.” As Major Chaulk got to know him, she found out that he had a three-yearold daughter and a pregnant wife. “Bill and I used to tell stories and joke,” she recalls. “And then one day he said to me, ‘Vi, my biggest regret is I will not see this baby.’ And that haunted me.” Major Chaulk went down to the ultrasound department and explained the situation. Then she went to Bill’s wife and told her what she had in mind. “They did the ultrasound and Bill saw the baby,” she says. “When I came back to his room a couple of hours later, the man was beaming.” “What happened to you?” Major Chaulk asked. “Look,” he said as he pulled up the ultrasound film. “She’s got my nose.” “Healing is not always getting better,” Major Chaulk explains. “Healing can be, ‘I feel good at this moment because this happened,’ ‘I’m not so afraid’ or ‘I’m more at peace now because of this experience.’ “That day, this man experienced healing.” Practical Faith After her appointment in St. John’s, Major Chaulk went to Halifax where she ministered in a children’s hospital. “Most of my work was with babies, and that probably was the most difficult experience,” she says, “because when babies die, it never seems fair.” While there, Major Chaulk’s faith was seriously tested after a family she was supporting lost one of their twins. “That little boy had 10 surgeries in 10 months,” she says. “The family called me in before every surgery and I prayed with him. “When he died after his last surgery, I was so broken-hearted. When I walked into the room to be with the family, his mother was rocking him, and she would

not leave the hospital until she put him in my arms. I held him and rocked him as they walked away. They looked at me and I looked at them, and then they left.” Overcome with anger, Major Chaulk found herself at a crossroads in her faith. “I went into the chapel and exploded at God—I let him have every bit,” she says. “And when I finished, I sat in a chair, and this voice spoke to my heart: ‘Violet, my ways are not your ways.’ “I said, ‘God, you’re right. I don’t understand your ways, but you put me here to represent you and show your compassion to people. And I’ll do the best that I can.’ It was a real moment of surrender for me. I said, ‘I will love these people and support them, but when I get to heaven, I really want this to make sense.’ ”

Major Chaulk had counselled others through health crises. Now, she felt God asking her, “Are you willing to trust me?” While in Halifax, Major Chaulk started a support group at the hospital for people who had lost a baby. At Christmastime, she got gold-plated booties with stones that represented the birthdate of each child, and put the ornaments on a tree. “I told the parents, ‘Christmas will be rough for you, so let’s do something to celebrate your child,’ ” Major Chaulk says. “To me, faith has to be practical,” she adds. “I used to tell people that if you want a sermon, go to church, but if you want someone who really cares about you and has a great love for God, I’m your person.” Mirror Image Though Major Chaulk was diagnosed with cancer, she was fortunate that the disease was well contained. Still, given her condition and family history, a double mastectomy was her best option.

The surgery was a success, but when the bandages came off, Major Chaulk was afraid to look. A part of her was missing. “When I looked in the mirror, I felt ugly,” she remembers. But after she closed her shirt, she had an epiphany. “I realized that God brought me through this, and that every experience I’ve had in life has prepared me for something else.” Ten minutes later, she looked in the mirror again. “Just like that, I switched,” she recalls. “I said, ‘I don’t feel ugly at all. I feel alive. I’m going to enjoy my life and support other people. And I will not be afraid to look at myself because this is who I am. My breasts will not define me.’ ” Since then, Major Chaulk has had many opportunities to meet and minister to people with cancer. “The minute they find out that I had a mastectomy, we have common ground,” she says. “I may not have had chemo, but I know what it means to be afraid. I know what it is to struggle in faith, and I know what it is to embrace my beliefs. I know not to just believe in God when the weather is good.” Being Present Even after years in hospitals, and her own experience with cancer, Major Chaulk still considers health chaplaincy her niche. “I’ve never become hardened and I’ve never stopped caring,” she says. “Every hospital has a story and every place I’ve ever worked enriched my life.” One of the most important lessons she learned came early, at her first chaplaincy appointment in Toronto. “I was visiting a man who did not like having tea in a Styrofoam cup. He wanted a mug,” she says. “I couldn’t make his pain better, but I could buy him a mug. And the greatest moments we had were me sitting on the bed, with him and his cup of tea. “Every now and then, he would take my hand and squeeze it. That’s when I realized that being present with people is far more important than giving advice.” She encourages family and friends to journey with those facing serious illness, to pay attention to their needs and help them make the most of their time. “And to people who are going through it themselves: live. Don’t let any illness define you,” she adds. “Your life is not over until it’s over.” Salvationist • March 2015 • 19


Wrestling with

God

Jacob’s journey from independence to submission

F

BY DONALD E. BURKE

A Complex Character Jacob was a fully fleshed, complex human being—perhaps the first such character portrayed in the Bible. He was a schemer ready to take advantage of anyone in his way and yet also a victim of his father-in-law, Laban. Jacob wrestled 20 • March 2015 • Salvationist

Image: Wikimedia Commons

rom the very beginning of his story, Jacob wrestled with others. The Bible recounts that he tussled with his twin brother, Esau, while still in their mother’s womb. That in utero conflict foreshadowed most of his relationships. Driven by ambition, he alienated himself from those closest to him. But the Jacob we encounter at the end of Genesis, near the end of his life, is different from the Jacob of earlier chapters. He is a changed man. The dreams of his youth had been tempered by the reality of life. His ambition and assertiveness had been transformed into utter reliance upon his sons, especially Joseph. Rather than rushing forward to make things happen, as was so characteristic of his early years, he had learned the discipline of waiting. The dynamic of his life had changed in fundamental ways. Perhaps he was simply more mature, the result of his many years. Perhaps the realization that he had passed on the tormented family relationships of his early life to his children gave him pause. Perhaps his two dramatic encounters with God—one at Bethel (see Genesis 28) and one at the Jabbok (see Genesis 32)—had a deeper impact upon him than one might first imagine. Regardless of what led to the change, the change itself is remarkable. Jacob learned to submit to God. Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, Gustave Doré (1832-1883)

with almost everyone he met—and especially with God. Overarching all of Jacob’s life was God’s pronouncement, before they were born, that Jacob would be the master of his older brother (see Genesis 25:23). In

his final years, his life was a quilt woven together from the interplay between his own rebelliousness and God’s repeated blessing. We see hints of the inscrutable purposes and determination of God to make something of this family on the


one hand, and the willfulness and selfreliance of a lively human partner on the other. What role did Jacob’s character play in the man he became? Was his life simply a result of the divine oracle that announced his destiny to rule over his brother? Or was it a product of his own propensity to manipulate people and circumstances for his own purposes? It’s not easy to answer these questions— either in Jacob’s story or our own. On one level, our lives, like Jacob’s, are the product of our decisions and sometimes the decisions of those around us. A lifetime is comprised of small, daily choices and occasional momentous ones. Our decisions make a difference as they ripple forward into our future. Change one and the whole story of our lives might read differently. What if Jacob hadn’t purchased Esau’s birthright? What if he hadn’t stolen a blessing from Isaac? What if he hadn’t fled for his life when he learned of Esau’s plan to kill him? What if he had been a little less devious and a little more honest? And the list could go on. But Genesis teaches that we are not simply the product of our own decisions. We are not entirely independent, free agents—no matter what our culture says. Jacob’s story reveals another dynamic at work—the promise and divine purpose of God. Jacob often rebelled against this other dynamic. He wanted to seize and master his destiny, acting as though everything depended upon him. He lived under the delusion of autonomy until he wrestled with God (see Genesis 32:22-32). In that nighttime encounter, his freedom bumped up against the purposes of another, one he could not manipulate. Jacob had to learn that the key to a life lived in full is submission to God. That lesson was not learned in one night;

it took him a lifetime. There is no doubt that submission was hard for Jacob. It did not come naturally. He was by his very nature grasping, but over his lifetime he learned to release his grip and receive rather than take. It is in this context—the overarching plan of God’s purposes and promises— that we come to understand submission. Submission is an idea that runs counter to the spirit of our time. The delusion of our day is that we can live without constraints upon our decisions, free to choose whatever serves our purposes and achieves our goals. Along this path, other people become significant only to the extent that they promote or hinder our purposes, pawns to be played when they are helpful and discarded when they are not. At the altar of autonomy, obedience is viewed as a refusal to be responsible for our own lives, a denial of our fundamental human dignity. But Jacob’s story teaches us a different lesson. A Long Obedience Many years ago, Eugene Peterson wrote a book called A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. It’s an outstanding title. It reminds us that submission to another (or obedience) is not a onetime event. It is an act of trust that is renewed every day. It is a long obedience; in our impatient world, anything long is a challenge. But it is also obedience along a trajectory, a path, on a journey, in the same direction. The destination may not be of our choosing. That’s why it’s obedience. But with our decision to submit or not submit, we navigate our way through life. In Jacob’s case, he left behind a trail of broken relationships. His attempts at reconciliation, such as those with his estranged brother, Esau, simply patched over deep wounds. Jacob passed on this fraternal alienation to his sons by show-

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ing favouritism to Joseph. It was only after years of separation and trials that reconciliation came to this strife-torn family. Near the end of Genesis, Joseph’s brothers were deeply concerned about what he would do to them after their father died. Was their reconciliation with Joseph real, or was it just a front that would dissolve away at Jacob’s death? Would Joseph then take his revenge on them? This anxiety threatened to destroy the recently established reconciliation between Joseph and his brothers. Joseph, having learned of this concern, addressed his brothers to reassure them. “Do not worry about the past and what you have done; you meant it for evil [to harm me] but God intended it for good” (see Genesis 50:19-21). There it is. In that short sentence, Joseph summed up the dynamic of not only his life, but the life of his father— and indeed, the dynamic at work in the world of human experience as we know it. Jacob frequently lived without regard for others and especially without regard for the God of his ancestors; he assumed he could make decisions that would stick. He thought he held all of the cards at the table. What Joseph expressed, and what Jacob had to learn, was that there is another who holds some of the cards, whose purposes trump even the most ambitious plans. Jacob—and then his son, Joseph—came to realize that obedience to another is simply letting God play his cards and discerning when to lay down our cards in submission. It is this interaction that permits us to weave together lives of substance, purpose and joy. This realization is a lifetransforming experience for us, just as it was for Jacob. Dr. Donald E. Burke is the president of Booth University College.

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Contact (416) 422-6119; circulation@can.salvationarmy.org or visit salvationist.ca/subscribe to order Salvationist • March 2015 • 21


CROSS CULTURE

In Her Place

Hidden Treasure explores role of women officers in The Salvation Army REVIEW BY MAJOR (DR.) BEVERLEY SMITH

H

idden Treasure, a new compilation of women officers’ stories edited by Major Leanne Ruthven, is long overdue. Seeing women officers as hidden treasure waiting to be discovered within The Salvation Army, Major Ruthven ably brings together contributions from a variety of women around the world. The book includes a chapter from the Canada and Bermuda Territor y’s Major Brenda Murray, who is currently serving in the United Kingdom. No matter what c apabilit ie s t hey have, women officers—particularly m a r r i e d wo m e n officers—have been in a virtual blind spot for too long in The Salvation Army. The stories that are shared in Hidden Treasure could be told in any of the 126 countries where the Army operates. They reflect small things that demean and distress married women officers, such as hearing that “decisions were made about me, but communication was never directed to me.” They also reflect large oversights in the way appointments are planned and carried out. The value of Hidden Treasure is twofold. First, it articulates the significant underutilization of officers, and provides an opportunity to air some of the hurts and disappointments incurred, sometimes unknowingly, at the hands of others. Examples of this may include when a congregation only recognizes male officers as persons of authority, or when the system preferentially recognizes the male spouse as the one whose gifts are worthy of being developed. Second, Hidden Treasure offers role models and examples, showing that the Army’s “hidden treasure” syndrome can be overcome, and that part of the responsibility lies with the married women officers themselves. It is an uphill battle that many have solved by leaving officership or, even worse, by checking out while still in ministry. There are other ways, and Major Ruthven’s book testifies to this. Hidden Treasure is a good start. It needs to be expanded into a larger work of some kind, which addresses the delicate interplay between cultural norms, male egos, employee-officer 22 • March 2015 • Salvationist

relations and factors such as the variety of giftings, the temporary nature of many officer appointments and the transient nature of child-rearing responsibilities. Cultural norms can be challenged. As one Indian officer states in the book, “My burden is to bring Indian officer women out of the cultural chains they face.” But The Salvation Army has its own chains. She notes, “Married women were viewed largely as supportive accessories to their husbands.” Unfortunately, this may not only be a statement about the past. Overall, the book cries out for married women officers to be seen as people who are respected and valued—an ideal for all Salvation Army personnel. Only discerning and godly members of our organization can accomplish this, but the book will go a long way to making all Salvationists aware of the shortfalls that currently exist. Major (Dr.) Beverley Smith is a physician at The Salvation Army’s Toronto Grace Health Centre.

Burning Questions

DVD Miniseries Over decades of speaking engagements, debates and forums on university campuses, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) staff have fielded countless questions on matters of faith. In a new six-part series, Burning Questions, Dr. Andy Bannister, RZIM’s Canadian director, explores six challenging questions that people are asking about faith. These include: Is there a God? If so, why is there evil and suffering? Has science eliminated religion? There are thousands of different religions: which one is true? Can we take the Bible seriously, or is it just a myth? And, who was Jesus of Nazareth and does it matter? Burning Questions is a tool to generate respectful, thoughtful dialogue on key faith questions, engaging both skeptics and seekers. Rather than providing pat answers, in the documentary series, Dr. Bannister interviews credible global experts from a wide range of backgrounds on these important questions.

The Red Tent

Directed by Roger Young Adapted from the bestselling book of the same name, The Red Tent (now on DVD) tells the story of Dinah (Rebecca Ferguson), daughter of Leah (Minnie Driver) and Jacob (Iain Glen), from the Book of Genesis. A minor character in the Bible, Dinah is defiled by a prince of Schechem, who becomes her husband after paying a high price for his bride. Angry that their sister has been treated this way, Dinah’s brothers take revenge on the prince and his men, killing them and their servants. In The Red Tent, which expands Dinah’s story with some fictional elements, Dinah loves the prince and is horrified by her brothers’ actions. She escapes to Egypt where she gives birth to a son and is eventually reunited with her brother, Joseph (Will Tudor). The Red Tent is a dramatic story of female strength and bonding.


CROSS CULTURE

IN REVIEW The Unbelievable Gospel

Say something worth believing by Jonathan K. Dodson “Many people find the gospel of Jesus Christ simply unbelievable. Contrary to what you might think, t here a re m a ny good reasons for their unbelief.” In The Unbelievable Gospel, Jonathan K. Dodson takes an unflinching look at the difficulties surrounding evangelism in the 21st century. He pinpoints the reasons why many people don’t share their faith today and offers a way forward. Moving away from the “hard-sell” approach, Dodson shows readers how to utilize the rich gospel metaphors found in Scripture and how to communicate a gospel worth believing—one that speaks to the heartfelt needs of diverse individuals. Dodson connects the gospel to the real issues people face each day by speaking to both the head and the heart. Filled with stories that reveal the long road of relational evangelism and guidance on how to listen to others well, The Unbelievable Gospel is a helpful resource that includes study questions for training and group discussion.

Own Your Life

Living with deep intention, bold faith and generous love by Sally Clarkson “Wh at w ill be the legacy of your life?” Th at i s t he opening question of Sally Cl a rk son’s new book, Own Your Life. It might be a difficult question to answer, but it’s one that led Clarkson to “own” her life. “Owning my life,” she writes, “means taking responsibility for my own behaviour, decisions and attitudes so I may become all God created me to be and leave a legacy that points others to him.” Writing for women, Clarkson encourages her readers to explore what it means to live meaningfully, follow God and bring order to their lives. With Own Your Life, Clarkson shows women how they can map their life’s purpose, and offers practical suggestions for adopting attitudes and actions that can deepen their faith.

A Year of Living Prayerfully

How a curious traveller met the Pope, walked on coals, danced with rabbis and revived his prayer life by Jared Brock While filming a documentary about sex trafficking, Jared and Michelle Brock felt a deep need for prayer in their personal lives. In an effor t to learn more about prayer, the couple travelled the globe, exploring the great Judeo-Christian prayer traditions in mountains and monasteries, in Christian communities and cathedrals, standing up and lying down, every hour and around the clock. In A Year of Living Prayerfully, Jared Brock takes readers on a 60,000-kilometre trip around the world, from Hamilton, Ont., to places as varied as Israel, Korea and Europe. While the book has a lighthearted feel, Brock’s reflections on his journey are based on a sincere desire to deepen his prayer life. The book concludes with an invitation for readers to join him on this journey.

IN THE NEWS

Rescue Operation

Words of Life

New reality TV show gives pastor eight minutes to help escorts leave sex trade

Despite illness, Nova Scotia woman translates Bible into Mi’kmaq

Leaving the sex trade may become a reality for some escorts with the help of a new television show. A&E is producing a show, with the working title 8 Minutes, about a cop-turnedpastor named Kevin Brown, who will surprise escorts in hotel rooms and offer to rescue them from a life of prostitution. Each time, Brown has eight minutes to make his case. “Brown told his congregation that for 20 years he’s had to arrest these women when what he’s really wanted to do is help them,” Tom Forman, executive producer, told Entertainment Weekly. “It launched a drive within his church to run these undercover operations. We read that and thought somebody should put a camera on this.” Brown’s success rate is about 50-50. But if the attempt is unsuccessful, Brown still leaves a phone number and tells the woman that help is always available.

Even facing ill health, Helen Sylliboy is determined to keep translating the Bible into her native language, Mi’kmaq. The 64-year-old from Cape Breton, N.S., is blind in one eye and must undergo kidney dialysis three times a week because of diabetes. She’s also confined to a wheelchair due to arthritis. But that doesn’t stop her from spending 10 hours a day on her computer translating. “I want to be able to meet my creator and tell him I did my share of promoting my language and my prayers and my spirituality with others,” Sylliboy told CBC News. Sylliboy is currently translating sections of the Bible that appear in the Catholic Church’s Sunday lectionary. Some sections of the Old Testament have never been translated into Mi’kmaq before. All of Sylliboy’s translations are available for free online. Sylliboy told CBC News that she will keep working on her translations until diabetes or old age stops her. Salvationist • March 2015 • 23


CELEBRATE COMMUNITY

Photo: John Pettifer

ENROLMENTS AND RECOGNITION

YELLOWKNIFE—Congratulations to Yellowknife Corps’ nine new junior soldiers! Showing off their smiles and certificates are, front, from left, Alyssa Mantla, Miranda Mantla, Cole Martin, Anna Stewart, Shelby Martin, Sadie Martin, Claire Forsey, Christiana Dumbuya and Jeremiah Gillingham. Supporting them are, back, from left, Bryon Best, holding the flag; Cpt Ian Gillingham, CO; Hannah Gillingham, junior soldier assistant; Cpt Ruth Gillingham, CO and junior soldier teacher; and Pamela Murray, junior soldier assistant.

WINGHAM, ONT.—Six adherents are welcomed at Wingham Corps by Mjrs Archie and Marie Simmonds, COs. Proudly displaying their certificates are, from left, DJ and Stacey Morrison with Ryan and Haylie, Paul and Teresa Edwards with Jenna and Raechel, Wendy Ritchie and Julie VanCamp.

TORONTO—From left, James Moulton, Elizabeth Smith and Hilary Cameron take a stand for Christ as they are enrolled as junior soldiers at North Toronto CC. With them is Albert Miguel, holding the flag. 24 • March 2015 • Salvationist

PENTICTON, B.C.—As part of its Christmas ministry, the Penticton CCM group donates a poinsettia to each of the five nursing homes in which regular ministry is conducted. On behalf of the residents of the Village by the Station, Karen Nicol, care aide, receives a poinsettia from Mjr Dale Sobool, CO, Penticton CC.

GUELPH, ONT.—The children of Guelph Citadel’s Sunday school collected 69 coats in support of the Army’s community and family services in Guelph. A friendly challenge between the various classes to bring in the most items was won by the preschoolers, aged 2-3, who brought in 18 coats. Front, from left, Debra Caine; MacKay Pearson; Jennifer Pearson; Felicity Hann; Courtney Pinson; Mjr Claudette Pilgrim, CO; Tammy Bellingham, infant and children ministries co-ordinator. Back, from left, Jackie McLelland and Mjr Chris Pilgrim, CO.

TORONTO—The ranks are reinforced at Toronto Harbour Light CC as Wendel Gregwah is enrolled as a senior soldier and Anthony Wootten is commissioned as the corps sergeant-major. From left, Mjr Ray Braddock, chaplain; Wendel Gregwah; Anthony Wootten; and Lynda Davis, prayer co-ordinator, holding the flag.


CELEBRATE COMMUNITY TORONTO— There is much to celebrate as two senior soldiers are enrolled and an adherent is welcomed at North Toronto CC. Sharing a moment together are, from left, Malou Rosales, Desmond Choi, senior soldiers; and Diana Choi, adherent.

Oshawa Temple Honours Scout Leaders OSHAWA, ONT.—Started in 1910 among Oshawa’s founding scouting units, The Salvation Army’s 10th Oshawa scouting units have extinguished their final campfires. Beginning with a scout troop and growing to include two beaver colonies, the Army in Oshawa maintained a strong presence in the scouting world. Scouts attended various jamborees, including one in 1981 and another in 1983 under the leadership of George Reid and Bill Boyce. In 2002 and 2007, scouts travelled to England under the leadership of Jim Price to participate in Salvation Army jamborees. The significant contribution of the scouting unit leaders was publicly acknowledged during a Sunday worship service. From left, Col Lindsay Rowe, CO; Bill Boyce; Pam Gutcher; Teaghan Gutcher; Gary Lodge; and Byron Penney.

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Luke 21:1-4

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on ons to Kailey Loveless ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—Congratulati Program at St. of the Junior Action her recent completion Majors Terry and Celebrating with her John’s West Corps. youth director; officers; Laura Rowsell, Roxann Feltham, corps secretary, then divisional youth Captain Julia Butler-Tarnue, Newfoundland and Labrador Division; and Hillary Coombs, acting junior soldier sergeant.

Just for Kids wants to wish YOU a Happy Birthday! Join our birthday club and get a message on your special day. Just fill in the coupon below and mail it to Just for Kids, 2 Overlea Blvd., Toronto, ON, Canada M4H 1P4. Or you can e-mail justforkids@can.salvationa rmy.org

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Just Do It!

The Just for Kids monthly challenge Donate clothes to a Salvation Army thrift store

Shadow Match

Did you get new clothes for Christmas? Now is the perfect time to organize a clothing drive and donate your gently used clothing to a thrift store. Remember, every time you donate, you are helping:

Can you help the Snowman find his shadow?

• People who need clothes but can’t afford to buy them new

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• The Salvation Army to provide services to people in your area • The environment—thrift stores are a form of recycling!

Enter the Just Do It! contest

02-01/10/15

Just for Kids is published weekly by The Salvation Army, Canada and Bermuda, 2 Overlea Blvd, Toronto, ON, M4H 1P4. Phone: (416) 422-6134; fax: (416) 422-6120; e-mail: justforkids@can.salvationarmy. org. André Cox, General; Commissioner Susan McMillan, territorial commander; Geoff Moulton, editor-in-chief; Kristin Ostensen, editor; Timothy Cheng, designer. International Headquarters, 101 Queen Victoria Street, London, England, EC4P 4EP. Subscription for one year, Canada $12 (includes GST/HST); USA $15; foreign $17. Agreement No 40064794. All Scripture references from the Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version, unless otherwise stated. ISSN ?????

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WHAT’S NEW WITH YOU? Share the exciting things happening in your part of the territory. Send us your news and photos highlighting the many ways The Salvation Army is living out its mission.

B.C. Thrift Stores Receive Tremendous Community Support RICHMOND, B.C.—British Columbia’s Fairchild Media has successfully completed the 11th Winter Warmup Clothing Drive in support of the Army’s National Recycling Operations (NRO) thrift stores on the province’s mainland. Using its mediums of radio, television, newspaper and print magazine, Fairchild Media advertises and promotes donations for Army thrift stores, particularly reaching out to the Chinese community. From midNovember until the end of December, 42,685 kg of clothing—roughly equal to three trailer loads of product—was received at the thrift stores and various Fairchild Media locations. Gary Allan, NRO’s West Region district manager, is shown with Thoa Nguyen, operations manager of EM Pacific, and Seme Ho, director of promotions for Fairchild Media.

 Set your digital camera at the highest quality/size setting. Photos taken with a camera phone are typically not suitable for printing in the magazine.  Make sure the pictures are in focus and not too dark.  Send the original photo file as an attachment to your e-mail (in TIFF, Photoshop EPS or JPEG format; a resolution of 300 dpi preferred).  Ensure that the people in the photo are aware that their picture may be used in print and/or online. Photo release forms are available.  Identify all persons shown in the photo, including their position or responsibility in your ministry.  When more than one event takes place (i.e. junior soldier enrolment during corps anniversary celebrations), gather everyone together in one photo. Be creative and add some originality to your photos.  E-mail salvationist@can.salvationarmy.org today! Salvationist • March 2015 • 25


CELEBRATE COMMUNITY

TRIBUTES TORONTO—Hazel Harney (nee Ottaway) was born in London, England, in 1922. A life-long Salvationist at Toronto’s Wychwood Corps (North York Temple), she served in many capacities, endearing herself to everyone. Hazel was a community care ministries member, cradle roll sergeant, home league secretary, Sunday school teacher and songster. Until weeks prior to her death, she hosted and taught a seniors’ Bible study in her home. Hospitality was one of her gifts and her home was an open door to all. Hazel had an unshakeable faith in God and devoted her life to his service. Hazel is lovingly remembered by her children Georgina (Hugh), Barry, Margaret (Bob), Terry (Cathi); grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews; and sister, Major Elsie (Don) Goodridge. TORONTO—Mrs. Colonel Edna Maud Moulton (nee Butt) was born in Horwood, N.L., in 1916, to Salvation Army officers. At 17, Edna became a teacher and soon after a school principal. She was commissioned in 1939 in the Dauntless Evangelists Session and began a rewarding career as an officer. Married to Arthur George Moulton later that year, they served in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Manitoba and Ontario. Edna lived a busy life, fulfilling her duties as an officer and raising their five children, Bob, Frank, Marilyn, David and Janet. She took pride in her family who all contributed to the lives of others, as officers, a nurse and a teacher. Known for her honesty and excellent work ethic, Edna retired in 1976 and shared many happy years in Brampton, Ont., with Arthur until his promotion to glory in 1988. Moving to Toronto, Edna pursued interests in reading, playing Scrabble, doing crossword puzzles and caring for her grandchildren. In her final years, Edna resided at the Meighen Retirement Residence and then Meighen Manor, where the care she received contributed to her peace and happiness. She is greatly missed by her family, including nine grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren. GAMBO, N.L.—Susanna Goulding was peacefully promoted to glory from Lakeside Home, Gander, N.L., in her 98th year. She was born in Fair Island, N.L., to Moses and Anne (Lane) Pickett. Susie met and married David Goulding, with whom she shared 50 enjoyable years in Gambo, N.L., until his promotion to glory in 1989. Susie had a profound commitment to God and her church, The Salvation Army. With little formal education, she gave herself to faithful service to the Gambo Corps through Sunday school, home league and wherever she was able to assist. Three times she was a recipient of the Order of the Silver Star in recognition of her three Salvation Army officer sons, Joseph, David and John. Susie is survived by eight of her 11 children, Lionel (Shirley), Mary (Earl), Margaret (Bill), Marie (James), Florence (Rocky), John (Donna), Noah (Gladys), Devon (Kathy); daughters-in-law Eva, Frances; 27 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren. VICTORIA—Major Albert Ferris was promoted to glory from The Lodge at Broadmead surrounded by his family. Born in Toronto to Irish immigrant parents, as a teenager, Albert worked to support his widowed mother and sister. In 1940, he enlisted in the Canadian Army and married the love of his life, Doreen Spicer, with whom he attended Riverdale Corps, where they were in the band and songsters. Albert drifted away from the Lord during his war service, but recommitted his life to Christ in 1957. Albert and Doreen were accepted as envoys in 1961 and ministered in Harbour Light centres and corps across Canada. Together they served in correctional services in Vancouver and Victoria, where they retired. Albert’s passion to save souls and his outgoing personality enabled him to witness to others. In spite of health issues, he enjoyed an active retirement, playing in the Victoria Senior Ensemble until his wife’s health deteriorated. Following Doreen’s promotion to glory, Albert relocated to an assisted-living complex where he was known for his sense of humour, concern for others and reliance on God’s strength. Albert is lovingly remembered by his daughter, Sharon; son, Wesley (Jin Yan); corps friends; and community. 26 • March 2015 • Salvationist

PICTOU, N.S.—Major Kenneth G. Crews was born in 1937 to Salvationists George and Susanna (Paul) Crews, and accepted Christ at a young age. He became active in Halifax North Corps where he served as a Sunday school teacher, helped with cubs and scouts, and assisted wherever he was needed. Kenneth entered the Pioneer Session in 1958 in obedience to God’s call to officership. In 1961, he married Jeanette Anstey. Together they served in various corps appointments in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario. The last 15 years of his officership were spent in community and family services, in two different appointments in Alberta and then in Toronto, Saskatoon and Halifax. Kenneth retired from community and family services in Halifax and lived in Pictou, N.S., and became a soldier of the Westville Corps. He was a caring and compassionate officer. Kenneth fought a valiant battle with Parkinson’s disease for 14 years while keeping a cheerful attitude and never complaining about his illness. He maintained a strong witness and was known for his powerful prayers. Kenneth had a quick wit which will be missed by all who knew him. He is lovingly remembered by his wife, Jeanette; daughter, Captain Miriam Leslie; sons Kenny, Kevin, Tim; and nine grandchildren.

GAZETTE

TERRITORIAL Appointments Mjr Joy Angel, executive director, Hamilton Grace Haven, Ont. GL Div; Mjr Elaine Bridger, AC and DSWM, Alta. & N.T. Div; Mjr Carolyn Hale, executive director, Edmonton CFS, Alta. & N.T. Div; Cpt Krista Andrews, DYS, N.L. Div*; Cpt Jennifer Hale, DYS, Ont. GL Div*; Cpt Lisa Hillier, DYS, Maritime Div*; Cpt Lisa Macpherson, DYS, B.C. Div*; Cpt Rachel Sheils, DYS, Que. Div*; Cpt Lesley Simms, DYS, Prairie Div*; Cpt Jennifer Robins, DYS, Alta. & N.T. Div* (*designation change) Long service—30 years Mjr Mildred Jennings, Mjr Barbara Pritchett Retirement Mjr Larry Jennings; Mjr Shane Gruer-Caulfield Promoted to glory Mjr Albert Ferris, from Victoria, Dec 12; Cpt Maureen Townson, from Lethbridge, Alta., Dec 17; Mjr Frederick Mills, from Napanee, Ont., Dec 19; Mrs Brg Mildred Butler, from Toronto, Dec 28; Mrs Col Edna Moulton, from Toronto, Jan 1; Mjr Ruth Phelan, from Vancouver, Jan 4; Mrs Aux-Cpt Gladys Osmond, from Springdale, N.L., Jan 14

CALENDAR

Commissioner Susan McMillan Mar 1 worship service, 2nd Year Institute, JPCC; Mar 5-8 commissioning, San Jose, Costa Rica, Latin America North Tty; Mar 9-12 Partners in Mission trip, Nicaragua, Latin America North Tty; Mar 15-16 CFOT, Winnipeg; Mar 22-23 Holiness Institute for Officers, JPCC; Mar 24 denominational leaders’ breakfast and Wesley Studies Symposium, Tyndale University College and Seminary, Toronto Colonels Mark and Sharon Tillsley Mar 1-3 divisional review, Maritime Div; Mar 27-29 Cape Breton Celebration Weekend, Maritime Div General Bramwell Tillsley (Rtd) Mar 17-23 Holiness Institute for Officers, JPCC; Mar 28-29 St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Brockville, Ont. Canadian Staff Band Mar 7-8 Oshawa Temple, Ont.

Guidelines for Tributes Tributes should be received within two months of the promotion to glory and include: community where the person resided; conversion to Christ; corps involvement; Christian ministry; survivors. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. High-resolution digital photos or clear, original photos are acceptable (original photos will be returned). E-mail: salvationist@can.salvationarmy.org.


CONVICTIONS MATTER fundamentals, he eventually learns to understand key signatures and read the music of Colonel Robert Redhead or Mozart. Understanding develops as we obey instructions; we learn as we do. Retired theology professor Charles Wood has expressed it this way: “Obedience is not a substitute for knowledge…. It is simply a way to knowledge.” It was as Peter and the other disciples followed Christ in obedience that they gradually came to understand who he was and the salvation he offered. And yet there are occasions when we do understand but draw back at the implications. In his own critical moment of facing the consequences of obedience, Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives: “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42 NRSV). Then he turned to face his betrayer and his opponents knowing full well what awaited him. He took the next step. When General John Larsson (Rtd) was a young officer, he went through a dark moment himself. As he recounts in his book, Saying YES to LIFE, it was the late 1960s, and his work on the musical, Take-Over Bid, was demanding much of his time, in addition to the responsibilities of being a corps officer. Just as the musical reached its production point, Larsson went through what he has called a “desert experience.” In contrast to his spiritual yearnings, he found himself in a “dark tunnel.” He sought wise counselling. In his words, “It was by the grace of God … that I still obeyed. I simply went on.” There are times when obedience simply means to take the next step. Christian faith is obedient faith. Obedience is our response to God’s grace, not its polar opposite. Together they constitute the dynamic of salvation.

Staying the Course

How our ninth doctrine encourages obedient faith

Photo: © iStock.com/Biletskiy_Evgeniy

BY MAJOR RAY HARRIS

I

what characterized the life of Jesus, we may think of compassion and grace. Without detracting from their importance, it may surprise us to realize that the New Testament also views his obedient responses as paramount. Jesus’ first spoken words in the Gospel of Luke are those of a precocious 12-year-old to his parents: “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49 NRSV). Must. Obedience. When creating his majestic hymn on the mind of Christ, the Apostle Paul focuses attention on the fact that Jesus “became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8 NRSV). This has led some New Testament scholars, such as Richard Longenecker, to argue that Christ’s obedient faith stands as a “foundational conviction” for the early church. How, then, can we hear the words of this core conviction so that they function as intended? First, we might think of occasions when we are reluctant to follow somebody’s directions for us because we don’t understand them. When I teach a young person to play a brass instrument, I ask them to do something they don’t understand. The budding musician knows nothing of the physics of sound (and I know just as little!) but he is willing to follow my instructions and do what I say. By practising the The Salvation Army has been shaped by its core convictions,

called doctrines. But what difference do they make to the life of

Salvationists in the 21st century? This book explores the relevance and contribution of these historic doctrines for the present age. It argues that each doctrine has something vital to contribute to the Army’s

understanding and practice of holiness. These convictions matter!

“In articulating and reflecting on the core convictions that guide the work of The Salvation Army and hold its communal life together,

Ray Harris has achieved that elusive but essential balance between accessibility and depth. He has put the doctrines of the Army in

conversation with the Salvationist understanding of holiness for the purpose of engaging the future.”

—The Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, General Secretary, The Canadian Council of Churches

“Doctrines are not monuments to the past, but living testimonies to

Major Ray Harris is a retired Salvation Army officer. He lives in Winnipeg where he obeys the instructions when baking banana-cranberry loaves. CONVICTIONS MATTER

the present and hopeful signs of the future. Ray Harris adeptly looks at the formation of our doctrines [and] speaks about those doctrines with clarity and purpose [using] a wide range of sources, which

will enrich the doctrinal conversation of the Army with the broader theological world.”

—Dr. Roger J. Green, Professor and Chair of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries, Terrelle B. Crum Chair of Humanities, Gordon College, Wenham, Massachusetts

ISBN: 978-0-88857-508-1

Ray Harris is a Salvation Army officer in the Canada and Bermuda Territory. He and his wife, Cathie, have served across Canada in various congregational, college and administrative appointments. In the course of his officership, Ray received the Doctor of Ministry degree from Regis College, Toronto School of Theology, with an emphasis on curriculum design in theological education. He lives in Winnipeg where he enjoys family, baking muffins, singing Charles Wesley hymns and running in a prairie winter. Canada and Bermuda Territory

9 780888 575081

RELIGION / The Salvation Army / Church & Doctrine

cover_final_newblue.indd 1

The Function of Salvation Army Doctrines RAY HARRIS

f any word raises red flags, it’s obedience. Doesn’t it simply confirm the view that Christian faith is mainly a matter of keeping rules, of obeying without question? And yet The Salvation Army’s ninth doctrine firmly insists: We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ. What seems problematic at first glance may well be significant for our practice of faith today. But we need to unpack this idea. Let’s acknowledge first that unquestioning obedience is dangerous. A boss demanding such obedience can create a culture of fear, as some CBC employees discovered over the past few years. A marriage is on rocky ground when one of the partners demands obedience. But this is not the kind of obedience that characterizes Christian faith. Also, a demand for obedience may not be the best way to accomplish something. When it’s time for our six-yearold grandson to leave the house, I say: “Dylan, put on your boots and coat. It’s time to go.” Nothing happens. My wife, Cathie, turns to him and says: “Dylan, let’s play a game. I’m going to count to 10. See if you can get your boots on before I reach that number.” Guess who gets the job done? What, then, does obedience have to do with faith? When we think of

RAY HARRIS FOREWORD JOHN LARSSON

2014-04-08 8:54 AM

Convictions Matter, Major Ray Harris’ book, is available at store.salvationarmy. ca, 416-422-6100, orderdesk@can. salvationarmy.org. For the e-book, visit amazon.ca. Salvationist • March 2015 • 27


TALKING POINTS

Reality Check

Do we airbrush our image?

Photo: © iStock.com/Massonstock

BY MAJOR JUAN BURRY

M

uch has been made in recent years of the widespread use of photo-editing software to alter and enhance digital images. Such software programs can help photographers retouch photos so that accidental intrusions or unnatural elements, such as “red-eye,” can be removed. These techniques are used by advertising agencies, celebrity websites and popular magazines. This software has been used to such extremes that many images we see in the media today have been manipulated to look vastly different from the original. Several large clothing companies have come under fire recently for digitally altering images of models in their advertising campaigns, creating misleading and offensive notions of what a “normal” woman who wears their clothes looks like. The message sent—especially to young women—when images are altered like this is not difficult to understand. It has the potential for emotional harm and leads to unhealthy habits among the targets of this kind of advertising. The Christian community needs to counteract this negative messaging by emphasizing the importance of love and 28 • March 2015 • Salvationist

The Salvation Army needs to ask if and when we are not being completely honest acceptance. As a parent of two teenagers, this issue hits home for me. I don’t ever want them to think they are not good enough or need to measure up to anyone else’s standards. But as I reflect on this “Photoshopping” trend, something else troubles me almost as much as the negative messages about body image being spread. Like most other people, I don’t like being misled. Too much deceitfulness assaults our senses on a daily basis. I am not alone in this aversion. In 2013, Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) released the results of a nationwide survey about consumer viewpoints and attitudes toward advertising. The study showed that while we understand advertising is meant to coax and influence, we expect advertisers to operate in an honest manner. Survey respondents were more troubled

by advertising they found misleading (85 percent) than that which was personally offensive (15 percent) by a significant margin. I wonder if those percentages would be the same if the respondents were all Christians. Are 17 out of 20 Christians more upset by deceptive advertising than by unpleasant things, such as explicit sexuality or vulgarity? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to create a hierarchy of indecency. One sin may be as bad as the next. But it seems to me that often, in the church, we protest flagrant improprieties more swiftly and forcefully than insidious ones. We may object vehemently to a profanity from a fellow believer, but how do we feel when that person lies? Or when they don’t speak the whole truth? Ephesians 4:25 says, “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body.” The Bible appeals to our sense of family and devotion to discourage us from being anything less than truthful. The Salvation Army is known to be a compassionate organization, but are we always open, honest and transparent? The writer of Ephesians makes the argument that compassion and truthfulness are inextricably linked. How can we say we are compassionate if we are not truthful? We can ask ourselves some key questions to test if we are exhibiting integrity: •• Did I neglect to tell the truth to someone today? •• Did I promise to do something for someone knowing that I probably wouldn’t follow through? •• Did I mislead someone by agreeing to do something in a time frame that wasn’t realistic? If we answer yes to any of these questions, we might also ask why we didn’t consider the impact our behaviour would have on others. As an organization with a large public profile, The Salvation Army—corporately and individually—also needs to ask if and when we are not being completely honest. Have we airbrushed some of the pictures we have painted for the public? Do we crop out things that might make the picture less than ideal? Have we considered the kind of impact that will have on us and others? Major Juan Burry is the executive director of Rotary Hospice House in Richmond, B.C.


TIES THAT BIND

Evolving Faith

Learning to accept uncertainty in the creation versus evolution debate

Illustration: © iStock.com/quisp65

BY MAJOR KATHIE CHIU

T

he year: 1991. The place: College for Officer Training, Toronto. The event: creation versus evolution debate in theology class. The people: theology professor—a young-earth creationist; cadets in the Followers of Jesus Session. Although I was completely intimidated, this event had a profound impact on my faith journey. As a high school student, math and science were not my favourite subjects. Chemistry formulas, algebra and dissecting frogs gave me headaches and nausea. I enjoyed English literature, got lost in ancient history and philosophy, and excelled in the musical arts. When told I didn’t need to take any more math and science classes, I jumped for joy and walked out of the guidance counsellor’s office smiling all the way home. The professor paired us up and asked us to choose sides for the debate. My classmate had no interest in presenting a case for evolution. He believed in a literal six-day creation. I hesitantly took on the opposing view. My theology teacher was positively glowing at the prospect of me finding out evolution was for the birds. He directed me to our education officer, a progressive creationist, who was equally pleased I was going to study a favourite topic of his and gave me several books to read.

Eventually, I became comfortable with not knowing. Strangely enough, this didn’t destroy my faith. Instead, it was strengthened I took the pile of books back to my campus apartment and began to read about carbon dating and paleontology. It was fascinating. It seemed there was quite a bit of scientific evidence supporting the view of an old earth, one that has evolved over time. I also began to learn a new way of studying the creation accounts in the Old Testament. I discovered there were two—Genesis 1 and 2 differed slightly, mixing up the order of creation. I hadn’t really noticed this before. What if there were other inconsistencies? There were, and each time I came across one I applied the same principles

of study. At the same time, I remembered, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NRSV). After presenting the evidence for evolution to my class that day in 1991, the teacher challenged me: “So, after all that study, what do you believe now?” I was afraid he’d ask me that, so I had prepared an answer, the only one I could give. “Well, since neither is a proven theory, I guess you could say both views take a leap of faith.” I sat on the fence, because the new ideas I was encountering were overwhelming. But researching that presentation made me realize that science has stories to tell about the world we live in. It gave me a new thirst to learn about medical discoveries, climate science, quantum mechanics and string theory (which boggle my mind). And over the years, each of my children in turn has asked me about evolution, prompting me to keep studying and learning. I don’t have a difficult time explaining how I feel about both now. Eventually, I became comfortable with not knowing, with uncertainty. Strangely enough, this didn’t destroy my faith. Instead, it was strengthened. How can you have faith when everything has been proven? What became important to me were the lessons I could learn from each story, always interpreting them through the lens of Jesus. Some people might call me progressive. I’m not uncomfortable with that label, although I prefer to say I’m open to learn—as long as God and his plan for our world are included. I guess I’m also raising progressive children, given the way my children often challenged teachers in their Christian school classes. I still hate math, but science is no longer an enemy—just don’t ask me to dissect a frog! We value respectful discussion on this subject. Join us on salvationist.ca to continue the debate. Major Kathie Chiu grew up in The Salvation Army and has been an officer for 22 years. She has five children, including two teenaged boys still living at home, and eight grandchildren. She is the corps officer at Richmond Community Church, B.C. Salvationist • March 2015 • 29


SALVATION STORIES

Off the Beaten Path

I had my education all mapped out, but God had other plans BY STEFANIE COLLINS

Stefanie Collins visits the Grand Canyon

W

hen I was a kid, I was on fire for God. I loved going to Sunday school and church. But after facing various trials, my faith started to waver and was almost lost completely. As a teenager, I still went to church, but I let the words go right over my head. I felt empty inside, like something was always wrong, and that I needed to fight my battles alone. At university, I started asking a friend a lot of questions about his mission work. I thought doing something to make a difference might make me happier. But instead of a mission trip, he suggested I work at The Salvation Army’s Camp Newport in Huntsville, Ont. Looking back, I am so glad I followed his advice. My first summer at camp was lifechanging. I met so many people who loved God and lived for him. They had so much hope in their lives. I watched and learned from them and soon began to have hope myself. I started to believe that God really could help people and that his presence changed people’s lives. I read the Bible often and yearned to learn more from his Word. Many things changed in my life after that summer, but it was still a few years before God’s love finally became real to me. When I looked at my new friends from camp, I saw beauty, people who were worthy of God’s love. When I looked at myself, I saw someone who had 30 • March 2015 • Salvationist

done too much to be forgiven, someone too far gone to deserve his love. At church one Sunday, the Scripture reading was Philippians 3:12: “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own” (RSV). I realized that God wasn’t asking me to be perfect and it didn’t matter if I was stained or dirty, because he had called me to be his own. I fell to my knees and told God I finally understood his love didn’t have anything to do with my worthiness, but was all about his grace. Since then, I have been striving to understand God’s plan for me. This has not always been a clear or easy task. In my final year of university, I struggled to know what to do next. I felt God leading me to social work and applied for a master’s program. Last summer, I got to put my education into action as the community and family ministries worker at Bracebridge Community Church, Ont. Sometimes the work was difficult. I saw a lot of hurt and pain that was heartbreaking. But, in the midst of it all, I felt God’s presence. I saw him in every face that walked through the door of the food bank, in every interaction. God was all around us. For the first time in my life, I felt like a vessel that God was using. As the summer came to an end, I

had a sense of sadness when I thought about returning to school for the second year of my master’s degree. Something just didn’t feel right about the policybased specialization and placement I had chosen. I tried to ignore the feeling, to push through it, but it kept getting stronger as classes got underway. After praying and reflecting, I realized the summer had given me a taste of where God was calling me. When I admitted to myself that I had been following my plan—what I thought was admirable—instead of God’s plan, it was like a burden was lifted off me. The next day, I went to school and switched my specialization, my practicum and all of my classes to mental health and health social work. I could feel God gently nudging me and saying that everything would be OK, because he was directing my path and had already gone before me. The strangest thing is I didn’t feel scared. I felt comforted. I would love to say I now know what I’m supposed to do for God, but I can’t. I took a big step and now I’m waiting for God to show me where to go next. Although it was difficult to make this change, I can tell you that it was 100 percent worth it, because I know that God is leading me. To quote a song that has been on my heart lately: “I don’t know what your plan is, but I know it is good.”


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