Finding Your Prayer Style is Like a Day at the Beach
Congress Delegates Share Their Experiences
No Kidding: When Your Children Drive You Crazy
THE VOICE OF THE ARMY
A Worldwide Army
Boundless Congress unites 15,000 Salvationists at Londonâ€™s O2 arena
Salvationist September 2015 • Volume 10, Number 9
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8 Perspectives Lessons From Turtle Island by Lt-Colonel Jim Champ
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25 Cross Culture 26 People & Places 30 Salvation Stories The View From Mountainview by Alex Stoney
Columns 4 Editorial Look Closer by Geoff Moulton
23 Talking Points Playing Devil’s Advocate by Major Juan Burry
24 Ties That Bind No Kidding! by Major Kathie Chiu
Features 9 Two Languages, One Church A Chinese language program in Burnaby, B.C., preserves the cultural roots of future generations by Brianne Zelinsky
10 Beautiful Chaos A thriving Wednesday-night program at Saskatoon Temple gives children a safe place to grow in faith by Kristin Ostensen
12 Boundless 150 International congress marks 150th anniversary of The Salvation Army
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Read and share it! September 2015
frıends + Inspiration for Living
THEY’VE GOT MAIL:
18 The Whole World Redeeming Six delegates share how the international congress changed them by Captain Tim Andrews, Rebekah Allen, Mark Preece, Andrea Cann, Daniel Schriver and Jonathan Evans
20 A Day at the Beach Exploring the prayer style that fits your personality by Lt-Colonel Ann Braund Cover photo: Brent Forrest
“Special Delivery” Prayers
Architect Nick Zigomanis
The Case of the Missing Motorcycle
THE MAN BEHIND THE
CENTER Angel: Hostage Crisis Hits Big Screen Unlikely
Salvationist September 2015 3
f you’ve noticed something different this month, you’re right! You hold in your hands a newly redesigned copy of Salvationist. We never stand still in the Army. We’re always marching forward. Our founders, William and Catherine Booth, taught us to continually adapt our methods to serve the mission. That’s why we’ve introduced some fresh new design elements and features to give you an even better experience. This is your magazine. After all, it is named after you. We want you to feel invested in the news, profiles and debates that appear in these pages. In May, you responded to a reader survey that told us what you appreciate about Salvationist and what needs work. While you affirmed the overall direction and purpose of the publication, we got the signal that it was time for a fresh design. You even helped pick the first cover. The majority of readers on social media felt the photo of General André Cox saluting best captured the essence of the Boundless congress. Our main goal with the new design is to make the magazine more readable. We enlisted the skills of our designers, Timothy Cheng and Brandon Laird, who found fonts that were crisp, clear and contemporary. We’ve also experimented with the column grids and added more white space—visual tricks to give the Salvationist
is a monthly publication of The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory
eye a “rest.” Lastly, we aimed for more impact with bigger and better photos. As far as content is concerned, we’ve retained all of the good news—divisional, territorial and international—that you are used to seeing in our renamed departments: Frontlines and People & Places. Many readers tell us they turn to these pages first to see who they know and get a sense of what’s happening around the Army world. The beauty of the Army is our denominational ties, even in a vast territory like Canada and Bermuda. Salvationist helps you stay connected. It will always be part of our mission to tell great stories, and so departments like Salvation Stories will continue to be a part of our magazine. We also want to equip and inform Salvationists through series such as Spiritual Life, which will give you tools to act on your faith. One of the things that sets us apart is we don’t shy away from difficult topics. In the survey, one reader urged, “Increase the focus on social issues and discuss how The Salvation Army is changing to meet the social needs of 21stcentury Canadians.” We’re committed to series such as Point Counterpoint and opinion columns that help us grapple with the tough issues facing the church. We believe details matter. Little
Timothy Cheng Senior Graphic Designer Brandon Laird Design and Media Specialist
André Cox General
Ada Leung Circulation Co-ordinator
Commissioner Susan McMillan Territorial Commander
Ken Ramstead, Brianne Zelinsky Contributors
Lt-Colonel Jim Champ Secretary for Communications
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.
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 4 September 2015 Salvationist
touches like the department tags that evoke the star in the Salvation Army flag, or the dingbats (those funny little symbols at the end of articles) that mirror the “S” on the lapels of our uniform. These things are part of our identity—and so is Salvationist magazine. Take a closer look and let us know what you think.
GEOFF MOULTON Editor-in-Chief
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New Centre for Quebec City
he Salvation Army rolled out the red carpet for the opening of its new centre in Quebec City in June. A hundred people attended the inauguration and participated in a guided tour of the new facility and the services it offers. At 22,000 square feet (2,044 square metres), the new Poste de Québec is designed to help more people annually. “The friendly decor will allow people to feel at home,” says Marie-Hélène Piaud, development co-ordinator. “The objective is to create an environment where everyone can feel good. People can also come and have coffee with the team to escape loneliness.” The centre houses a thrift store, community and family services and the Quebec City corps. The building also provides space for administration, public relations and volunteers.
Mjr David Carey, executive director, The Salvation Army Ministries—Quebec City; Natacha Jean, city councillor; and Mjr Brian Venables, DC, Que. Div, officially open the new Salvation Army centre in Quebec City A large crowd gathers for the opening of the centre
Worship Culture Meets Coffee Culture
Photo: Ken Debney
The worship band from Cambridge Citadel provides music at Coffee Culture
he worship band from Cambridge Citadel, Ont., organized an acoustic worship set at a Coffee Culture franchise in May to bring the gospel into a secular environment. As customers paused to listen, the
band of five and their supportive corps members worshipped in-store with songs such as 10,000 Reasons and What a Friend We Have in Jesus. “Our corps officers were there in uniform and some patrons talked to them,
saying that they really enjoyed it,” says Rob Allan, worship team leader. “It was a beautiful night.” While the worship night at Coffee Culture was their first public performance, the team has been hosting coffeehouse events at the corps once a month for the past three years. The corps also hosts three park services each summer. “I think in today’s society it’s hard for a church to minister to the community because many public places won’t allow that,” says Allan. “I’m amazed by Coffee Culture because the management were so open to the idea.” The positive reception from the community and Coffee Culture will allow further opportunities for the band to practise this public ministry in the fall. “Tia, the manager, invited us to come back, saying that we are welcome any time,” says Allan. Salvationist September 2015 5
Kamloops Army Celebrates 100 Years
Hundreds Attend N.L. Junior Youth Councils
his spring, the Newfoundland and Labrador Division hosted eight junior youth councils (JYC) events in eight communities, with more than 700 children and leaders attending. This year, all JYC participants studied the Book of Ephesians under the Lego theme, God’s Master Builders. “Kids learned about how the Master’s builders build each other up,” explains Captain Krista Andrews, divisional youth secretary. “They put names on a prayer wall and made special cards for people at their home corps.” Holding multiple JYC in different communities allows the Army to “reach more kids than we would if we were to centralize it,” says Captain Andrews, because these day programs target community members and connect youth to corps ministry. “The event was advertised on the Labrador City/Wabush community channel and 85 percent of the kids who attended were community kids,” she notes. “Many of our communities and corps are isolated, so for the kids who can’t travel far, this is the divisional event that they get to experience. You get a good sense that we are a part of one body.”
From left, David Hawkes, Cpt Lisa Trickett, Tony Campolo, Cpt Paul Trickett, CO, and Ted Enns gather for the 100th anniversary of Kamloops CC
amloops Community Church, B.C., held a weekend of festivities in June to celebrate 100 years of Army ministry in the community. Among the thousands of corps and community members who participated in the threeday celebration was guest speaker Tony Campolo who delivered sermons, told stories and participated in anniversary events. At the Friday night youth concert held at a local park, a Salvation Army worship band from Langley, B.C., and The Valley Collective, recording artists from Vernon, B.C., led 300 young people in praise and worship. After hearing Campolo preach, three people accepted Christ for the first time and several others recommitted their lives to God. “Six hundred people stopped to listen
to the music,” says Captain Lisa Trickett, corps officer. “We talked to people walking through and invited them to join us for the weekend.” On Saturday, The Salvation Army hosted Kamloops’ first Christian Mission Fest where 19 churches and Christian organizations from the community partnered to hold a barbecue in the park. More than 1,000 community members attended the event. “That means more than 10 percent of the Kamloops community walked through the mission fest,” says Captain Trickett. Campolo also spoke at the morning meeting and evening service on Sunday. “He said something that stuck with me: ‘Will you die with a title, or will you die with a testimony?’ ” says Captain Trickett. “I want to die with a testimony.”
Commissioner Brian Peddle Appointed Chief of the Staff
C Commissioners Rosalie and Brian Peddle 6 September 2015 Salvationist
anadian Commissioners Brian and Rosalie Peddle, former territorial leaders of Canada and Bermuda, have been appointed Chief of the Staff and World Secretary for Women’s Ministries, effective November 1, 2015. “I believe that the Lord’s hand is upon these godly comrades,” says General André Cox, “and that as they once again lay their lives before the one who called and ordained them for ministry, they
will experience a new touch of Holy Spirit power that will enable them for the increased leadership responsibilities to which they are now appointed.” Commissioners Peddle are currently serving as International Secretary for the Americas and Caribbean and Zonal Secretary for Women’s Ministries, Americas and Caribbean Z one. Commissioner Brian Peddle will be the 26th Chief of the Staff, and only the second to have been born in Canada.
Conception Bay South Embraces Digital Outreach
he Salvation Army in Conception Bay South, N.L., is taking new steps to spread the gospel online. The corps now live-broadcasts all of its Sunday-morning services online through its website, www.salvationarmyincbs.com. “These are exciting times,” says Maurice Collins , information technology sergeant. “Not only is the corps ministering to people inside its walls, but we are reaching people globally.” People from countries such as Israel, Brazil, Jamaica, China, Germany, Norway, Sweden, India, Portugal and Taiwan have tuned into the livestream on a Sunday morning. The corps has been putting video recordings of its Sunday meetings
Salvation Army Expands into Slovakia
T Conception Bay South’s Sunday meetings can be watched online via livestream
online since October 2011, but since the beginning of 2015, it has expanded its online presence through social media and seen notable growth. The average number of views per week has grown from 200 to almost 1,000. During the past year, the corps’ videos have been viewed
nearly 50,000 times. “Our local congregation is now global with an average of almost 700 people per service and is growing on a weekly basis,” says Collins. “We are hearing from people all over the world of how God is blessing them through the ministry of our corps.”
he work of The Salvation Army officially commences in Slovakia on September 1, making it the 127th country in which the Army has a recognized legal presence. The Salvation Army was registered as a Civic Association in Slovakia in August 2014, and its work began to develop under the supervision of The Netherlands and Czech Republic Territory, with emphasis on ministry within the Roma community and a learning program to integrate three existing church congregations into a Salvation Army structure. Eleven soldiers have been enrolled already, and all three outposts have recruits undergoing preparation to be enrolled during the official opening weekend on September 5-6. Four candidates have been accepted for officer training. The work in Slovakia will be led by Captains Vitaly and Inna Chiriac, officers from the Eastern Europe Territory, with oversight from The Netherlands, and the name of the territory will be changed to The Netherlands, Czech Republic and Slovakia Territory.
Salvation Army Opens Green Space
he green space next to the Barbara Mitchell Family Resource Centre (BMFRC) in Winnipeg has been transformed into a park for residents of the community to enjoy. A grand-opening ceremony was held in May and attended by local Member of the Legislative Assembly Nancy Allan, who brought greetings on behalf of the government of Manitoba. “The Barbara Mitchell Family Resource Centre is one of my favourite places in my riding,” she said. “I love it because of the incredible support that it gives to the community.” A prayer of blessing was offered over the space by Major Margaret McLeod, area commander, Prairie Division, after which then-Cadet Yves Bolduc led a parade of neighbourhood children waving colourful streamers around the park area to officially open the space.
Nancy Allan and Mjr Corinne Cameron welcome locals to the opening of a new park next to the Army’s Barbara Mitchell Family Resource Centre
The green space is a welcome addition for local families, many of whom cannot afford to put their children into organized sports. “There was a vision, for a long time, to create a free space for families and
communities to join together, and simply enjoy being outside,” says Major Corinne Cameron, former executive director of the BMFRC. “This is the gift we have been able to give through the ministry of our green space.” Salvationist September 2015 7
PERSPECTIVES I heard how church leadership decreed that European explorers were a superior race to the uneducated hunters and farmers of Turtle Island. They declared the “doctrine of discovery,” giving “divine right” to the invaders to take over the lands and subjugate its “backward” peoples. All of their actions were rationalized as God’s will. Before the Europeans arrived, Turtle Island was occupied by millions of people, divided into hundreds of different nations. They lived off the land, relying on hunting, fishing and wellhoned agricultural skills. The spirituality of the people was Why First Nations history matters characterized by their stewardship of the earth and their ability to live together in peace and harmony. Mother Earth, when to all Canadians given her due, would yield more than enough bounty for her BY LT-COLONEL JIM CHAMP peoples. But then the foreigners came from across the sea. Their lack of survival skills gave them little choice but to befriend the Indigenous peoples. They bartered what goods they had and, in return, received a hand of friendship. As the number of Europeans increased, treaties between them and the First Nations were drawn up. First Nations entered into these agreements in good faith, believing there were more than enough resources for everyone to live together. Little did they know they were about to be betrayed. Standing on the blanket became increasingly uncomfortable. Stories of disease and deception washed over us like waves of the sea. One by one, the blankets began to shrink as the facilitator folded them up. Some disappeared altogether. The shrinking space upon which we stood represented the diminishing land available to Indigenous peoples as “Indian” reserves were established. Small pox, guns and residential schools were the weapons of choice to eliminate the Aboriginal culture. Tears welled up. Many were told to leave the The “blanket exercise,” an experiential learning tool, traces the history of the relationship island. They represented the tens of thousands between Indigenous peoples and European settlers in Canada of children who were physically and sexually abused at the hands of the church and the government. The exact numbers are still being elcome to Turtle Island!” Our guide greeted tallied, but it is believed that somewhere between 5,000 and us with a smile, but her eyes spoke of grief and 7,000 First Nations children died in the schools. Thousands sadness lurking below the surface. I was about of others would never return to their families. to be introduced to a part of my country’s history that I was For many Canadians, the story of Turtle Island and our never taught in school. I was not alone. First Nations is largely unknown. Some ask what this has to do We were taken back to a time before Canada was a counwith us today. The fact is it has everything to do with us. The try. Approximately 40 of us, young and old, stood shoeless on legacy of our past still reverberates. The search for truth and brightly coloured blankets, carefully embroidered with various reconciliation continues. The story is not just a First Nations place names and spread out on the floor to identify regions of story. It is a Canadian story. It is a story that needs to be told the New World in the early part of the 19th century. and taught in our schools and its lessons never forgotten by The blanket exercise is an experiential learning tool that all Canadians. explores the 500-year relationship between Indigenous and Salvationists are called to be champions for justice. We non-Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island (a name for North believe in dignity for all people. Truth and reconciliation are America used by some First Nations). embedded in the Army’s doctrinal statements. I realize now As I stood on one of several blankets on a rainy afternoon that the welcome to Turtle Island included a warning that this past June in Ottawa, I watched and listened as the story truth can be painful and the path to reconciliation difficult. of our First Nations unfolded. The exercise was part of the The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has concluded closing events of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, its six-year inquiry, but the journey toward healing for all which was established to acknowledge the impact of the Indian Canadians continues. Residential School system through public hearings from coast to coast to coast. Lt-Colonel Jim Champ is the secretary for communications.
Lessons From Turtle Island
8 September 2015 Salvationist
A Chinese language program in Burnaby, B.C., preserves the cultural roots of future generations BY BRIANNE ZELINSKY
urnaby, B.C., is one of the largest multicultural hubs in Canada, with more than half of its population classified as immigrants. Since the majority of this population were born in China, Metrotown Citadel has been hosting Mandarin language lessons to meet the needs of their community. This program acts as an alternative to the standard English conversation program that many Salvation Army corps provide for culturally diverse communities. Captain Diane Cross, corps officer, believes that Chinese lessons have facilitated community building. “Our world is so multicultural. Anything that we can do to contribute to the education of our children and the future leaders within our church and community is supported by our corps,” says Captain Cross. “Parents feel like their children are losing their cultural identity, so the program addresses the needs of the Chinese community and assists them in keeping their culture relevant for their children.” Since the establishment of the pro-
gram, more than 50 students aged five to 11 have been consistently showing up to church an hour early to attend class before the Sunday-morning meeting. Parents of these students spearhead the program by volunteering as Chinese teachers, facilitating language exercises that teach written and spoken phonics using workbooks ordered from China. “By attracting the children to church, we can have conversations with the parents and introduce community members to Jesus. It’s win-win,” says Captain Cross. Lucy Ma, a member of Metrotown Citadel and parent volunteer with the program, has been teaching Grade 1 Mandarin for three years. Ma enjoys the written and spoken components of learning and teaching Mandarin to young people. “I wish to see all Chinese children know how to speak, read and write in their Chinese language in Canada,” says Ma. “I’ve learned that patience is needed when teaching them.” Just as the teachers have put in the effort to teach, students are expected to complete homework assignments, which are graded during the following week’s class. A graduation ceremony is held during a Sunday-morning service in June to celebrate their achievements. For eight-year-old Claire Shi, attending Chinese lessons has given her the opportunity to learn her native language in a way that connects her to her
peers and church. “My favourite part of the class is when my teacher plays games with us by using Mandarin words, and I love the Sunday Bible study,” smiles Shi. Shi has been attending classes since she was six, expanding her knowledge of the Mandarin language while still immersed in an English public-school curriculum. “Since my first language is Mandarin, when I get older I can remember my language and culture better,” says Shi. “I have learned new difficult words, I can do some reading in Mandarin and I can write in full sentences.” Like Shi, many students and parents have been connected to other corps ministries, such as Sunday school and the kettle campaign, through the program. “Many of these families are led by single moms providing for their children while the dads work at home in China,” explains Captain Cross. “The family dynamic of those in the program is a huge cultural shift from what many of the people in the Chinese community are accustomed to, but our corps community is a family and a place where people can belong. “Both my husband and I are huge advocates for anything that promotes wellness and wholeness for the families in our community,” concludes Captain Cross. “This ministry rests at the core of The Salvation Army’s mission and it meets a basic human need.” Salvationist September 2015 9
A thriving Wednesday-night program at Saskatoon Temple gives children a safe place to grow in faith BY KRISTIN OSTENSEN
A Purpose-Driven Program The evening begins with a free supper, followed by free time and then a Bible lesson. When the program began, it was designed as a Bible study for children who weren’t making it to the service on Sunday mornings. Around 30 children came to the program each week, which included band and timbrel practice. But over time, the program’s demographic changed, due in large part to the corps’ thriving van ministry, and the program has changed with it. Today, two vans are used to transport more than 20 children and Sawatzky is hoping to get a third van this year. “We have more and more kids that we drive here,” she says, “which means we’ve got more kids who aren’t churched 10 September 2015 Salvationist
Debra Prosofsky drives children such as Danny Morin and Darcy Baker to the program
coming, so some of the activities we used to do don’t work anymore.” About 75 percent of the children who attend are from the community, rather than the corps. The van ministry is headed up by Debra Prosofsky and her husband, who have been driving kids to the Wednesdaynight program since it began. Many of the children she picks up come from the inner-city Riversdale area, where the couple used to live before they became the site managers at the Army’s Beaver Creek Camp. Raised in The Salvation Army, Prosofsky understands the long-term value of the Wednesday-night program. “I took my own venture away from
the church and came back, so I know the importance of planting that seed,” she says. “To me, it’s worth it to pick them up and get them here so that they get that experience—a relationship with people who care and a chance to learn about God.” Fun and Flexibility The meal at the beginning of the program is a big draw for many children. “It’s amazing!” says eight-year-old Leah Watt, whose favourite part of the meal is dessert. She attends the program with her four-year-old sister, Ali. “A lot of us take having a family supper for granted,” says Prosofsky. “But
Photos: Kristin Ostensen
alk into Saskatoon Temple on a Wednesday night and you might have trouble figuring out exactly what is going on. Full of ice cream and energy, young boys play floor hockey in the gym, while other boys and girls play word games on a chalkboard in a classroom down the hall. Upstairs in the church foyer, a tattooed teacher shows two girls how to make paper airplanes with bright orange paper, three pre-teens chat and text on couches nearby, and kids wander between activities, talking and laughing as they make their way around the building. “Beautiful chaos” is how program co-ordinator Vienna Sawatzky describes it—but that’s not a bad thing. In fact, the program’s inherent flexibility is one of its greatest strengths. Now running for 10 years, the program continues to evolve and grow, with 80 children attending each week.
some of the children don’t get that.” When dinner finishes, clean-up is a group effort. Younger kids clear plates and stack chairs, while older ones dismantle the tables and put them away so that the dining area becomes a gym. For the next hour, the children are free
the gym. “It’s fun,” he says. “I was kind of shy at first, but then I got friends.” “We try to see what is and isn’t working,” says Sawatzky. “At the beginning of last year, we found that we were getting more older boys than we had had in a while, so we swapped their free time and Bible study time, which let them have their own gym slot. That made them really happy.” On the other hand, she notes, some of the younger boys were not interested in the gym, and so they gave them a box of K’Nex and their own Lego set. Having a variety of activities not only
difficult times. “When I was younger, after my mom and dad divorced, they helped me get through that one,” she says. “Everyone’s very supportive here.” “I’ve made lots of friends, but I’ve also made friends with some of the adults, too,” says Brooke Sawatzky, 12, “so I’m not shy to go talk to them.” Exploring Faith The strong relationships built between teachers and children help make the lesson time more effective. “I get to know the kids, what they’re interested in, and then I teach based on that,” says Williams. “Last year, I taught ‘gross Bible stories’—such as the hand writing on the wall in the Book of Daniel—because I knew that would keep them interested.” “The teaching time is pretty good because it’s always interesting,” says
Zachary Yousif and Logan Sawatzky play floor hockey during free time
Volunteers Natalie Austin, Nadine Lazenby and Rod Lazenby make delicious meals for the program
Colton Pocok enjoys playing with K’Nex
to move through the various stations in the building and find an activity that is fun for them. “They definitely like that they have that time to play and to hang out,” says Sawatzky. “We try to make it work for each group, asking, ‘What are your needs? What do you want?’ and do that. Then they’re willing to do Bible study.” “I love doing art and stuff, so I’m always at the art table,” says Leah. Jamis Benjamin, seven, spends most of his free time playing floor hockey in
gives the children many opportunities to interact with each other, but also gives them the chance to build relationships with the adults who help run the program. “So it’s not like they show up, spend an hour with one teacher, and go home, and all they’ve seen is that one teacher,” says Graeme Williams, who leads the class for boys in Grades 2-5. “They get to know a lot of the teachers, and that builds a more family-like environment.” That support can be invaluable for children such as Lilea Yousif, 13, who has relied on the teachers and friends she met at the Wednesday program during
Leah. “It’s not like, ‘Ugh, I’m learning the same thing over and over again.’ ” For Lilea, who has been attending the program since she was an infant, the program is a safe place for her to explore her faith. “Now that I’ve gotten older, I question a lot more about the Bible, which one’s the real God, and they’re showing me that our Bible is the real one,” she says. “I’m always asking questions, and they’ll come back and have an answer, so that’s a good help.” “By the end of the night, I feel happy,” concludes Brooke. “Everything is a lot of fun. I look forward to it every week.” Salvationist September 2015 11
“If William Booth came back tonight, he’d still say the same things. In this battlefield, we need soldiers to be mobilized to fight for what is right” —General André Cox
International congress marks 150th anniversary of The Salvation Army
fter years of planning, months of work and surrounded by prayer, The Salvation Army’s 150th anniversary international congress took place July 1-5 at The O2 in London, England, just a short distance from the movement’s East End birthplace. The event, Boundless–The Whole World Redeeming, drew together thousands of Salvationists and friends from the 126 countries in which the Army currently serves. The five-day event was jam-packed with activities for all ages, including seven general sessions, international officers’ councils, a music festival and concerts, seminars, a women’s gathering, the Boundless Film Festival, programs for children and youth, Covenant, a new Army musical written and produced for Boundless, and a grand march down The 12 September 2015 Salvationist
Mall past Buckingham Palace. Welcoming delegates to the congress, General André Cox, international leader of The Salvation Army, wrote: “Boundless … is a great word; it reminds us that our God has no limits—his love is boundless, his grace is boundless, his forgiveness is boundless, his power is boundless!” Session One: A Joyful Army July 1—Congress events kicked off in the first session with a spectacular opening sequence, blending video and live action featuring young people from around the world. The General and Commissioner Silvia Cox, World President of Women’s Ministries, entered the arena to loud applause from the approximately 15,000 delegates in attendance. “God has been faithful to generations of Salvationists
over 150 years,” the General said. “We come with open hearts to hear what God is saying to The Salvation Army in these days.” Representatives from all five Salvation Army zones carried flags from the countries represented at the congress. Each zone delivered a performance showcasing an element of its culture, including the South America West Dance Troupe (Americas and Caribbean) and ballet dancer Shaw Coleman (Europe). Cadet Chris Doborwicz (U.S.A. Southern Territory) shared his journey into the St. Petersburg, Florida, Adult Rehabilitation Center. “I was court ordered and suffering with a severe drug and alcohol addiction. I was broken, suicidal and hopeless,” he said. “I finally came face-to-face with Jesus and I decided to entrust my life to him.”
In his message, the General observed, “If William Booth came back tonight, he’d still say the same things. In this battlefield, we need soldiers to be mobilized to fight for what is right.” Session Two: A Unified Army July 2—The Amsterdam Staff Songsters (The Netherlands and Czech Republic Territory) set the scene for worship and reflection at Thursday morning’s session, the first of two sessions held on Founders’ Day. The songsters’ presentation of Love Can Build a Bridge was a reminder that the Army expresses God’s love in practical ways. “You are building bridges of love in your communities,” said session leader Captain Anne Westmoreland (U.S.A. Southern Territory). “Our ultimate mission is to win people to Jesus Christ— and this is often done through practical service.” The Army’s work in communities with deep needs was highlighted in video reports and testimonials, including Kenya’s sand dam project where,
in 2013, the Army partnered with the community to build a dam that provides safe water for 1,000 people. The Paduan Suara Korps Palu singers (Indonesia Territory), the Hong Kong and Macau Praise Dance Group (Hong Kong and Macau Command), the Hallelujah Quartet (Russia Command) and the Bill Booth Theater Company (U.S.A. Central Territory) contributed to the session. Session Three: A Serving Army July 2—The message from the Founders’ Day evening session was clear—William and Catherine Booth began the Army 150 years ago, but the call to win the world for Christ must be answered by today’s Salvationists. Highlights of the session included the posthumous admitting of General Eva Burrows to the Order of the Founder, The Salvation Army’s highest honour, and a tribute to Catherine Booth as she was recognized as an equal partner in her husband’s work. Earlier in the day, a statue of Catherine Booth was unveiled on Mile End Road in the East End of London.
A drama set outside the Blind Beggar pub in London on July 2, 1865, depicted a young William Booth declaring: “Salvation!” when asked to “have a word.” General Cox strode onto the stage and asked: “What better day than today to renew our commitment to salvation and the fight?” A medley of old-time Army songs and a presentation by the London Citadel Timbrels (Canada and Bermuda Territory) led to thoughts on music by the General. “Music is something that touches the soul,” he said as he launched the new Song Book of The Salvation Army. “We are and always have been a singing Army. William Booth instructed his Army to sing so as to make the whole world hear.” In his message, Commissioner William Cochrane, international secretary to the Chief of the Staff, challenged the congregation to give their all to God. “The world needs to see us,” he said. “We need to stop being invisible, by wearing a uniform of some kind—but most of all by the extent in which people see Jesus
THE PRESENT I N N O V AT I N G FOR THE FUTURE
“God is pouring out his Spirit on old and young so the whole world will witness the light of Jesus Christ” —Captain Marion Platt
2 1. General André Cox salutes thousands of Salvationists from the stage of The O2; 2. The Seoul Samulnori Players (Korea Tty) offer a percussion presentation; 3. The Angola National Band (Angola Command) takes part in the international music festival
Salvationist September 2015 13
1. Los Angeles Korean Fan Dancers (U.S.A. Western Tty); 2. Erica Brown and other members of the London Citadel Timbrels line up for the march down The Mall; 3. African delegates gather in The O2 arena; 4. Representing the Canada and Bermuda Tty in the march down The Mall are, from left, Mjr Genevera Vincent, Estee Lau, Mjr Shari Russell, Commissioner Susan McMillan, Mjr Eddie Vincent, Lt-Cols Ann and Jamie Braund, and Colonels Mark and Sharon Tillsley; 5. A member of the Te Ope Whakaora kapa haka dance group; 6. Cathie Koehnen leads the Ont. CE Divisional Youth Chorus; 7. A scene from Covenant, a musical written and produced for congress celebrations; 8. The Army’s international leaders share a moment with a Queen’s Guard outside Buckingham Palace 3
Christ in our words, deeds and actions.” Commissioner Silvia Cox closed the session by offering praise through prayer in French, thanking God for all he is doing. Session Four: A Caring Army July 3—Under the theme A Caring Army, the fourth session highlighted the compassion with which The Salvation Army serves humanity. Individuals engaged in caring service and modern largescale efforts to enact change, such as the #UpForSchool campaign that calls on world leaders to ensure every child attends primary school, were featured. “The Salvation Army has credibility when we speak the gospel illuminated by the ministry experience of people in communities, corps and centres around the world,” said Lt-Colonel Dean Pallant, director of the International Social Justice Commission. More than six million people have signed the #UpForSchool petition that will be pre14 September 2015 Salvationist
sented to world leaders at the United Nations this month. The Army has facilitated more than 67,000 of those signatures. Cadet Surpiono Da Conceao Lopez (Indonesia Territory) shared how the caring ministry of the Army changed his life. At 11 years of age, his family placed him in an enemy convoy truck, which led him to a refugee camp in Indonesia and then an Army boy’s home. He accepted Christ there, and met his family again 10 years later, sharing Christ with them. “When I see the faithfulness of God in my life, it makes me confident of God’s faithfulness for the future,” he said. “We want to be known as a caring Army,” said Commissioner E. Jane Paone (Switzerland, Austria and Hungary Territory) in her message. “Each day, at a local level, and at an individual level, we are to show Christ’s love.” A number of groups gave musical presentations, including the transMission worship band (U.S.A. Southern
Territory), the New York Staff Band (U.S.A. Eastern Territory) and the Te Ope Whakaora kapa haka dance group (New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory). Session Five: An All-Embracing Army July 3—Captains Nokuthula and Themba Mahlobo (Southern Africa Territory) gave leadership to the fifth session which highlighted The Salvation Army’s cultural diversity. “Tonight we are going to take you on a journey around the Salvation Army world,” Captain Nokuthula said. Performances sampled the 126 nations where the Army is at work, including the Ontario Central-East Divisional Youth Chorus (Canada and Bermuda Territory), Pasadena Tabernacle Songsters (U.S.A. Western Territory), Vasa Gospel Choir (Sweden and Latvia Territory) and Waverley Temple Timbrels (Australia Southern Territory).
Major David Vandebeulque (France and Belgium Territory) spoke about receiving the call to help others through The Salvation Army and recited the passage, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). “We have received this marching order to reach the whole world!” he said. “We must learn to know all cultures which exist in our communities in order to communicate the gospel in a relevant way. We must not value one culture and ignore another. The powerful message that we can give the world is to live in community with all cultures united.” Session Six: A Youthful Army July 4—“In 1844, at the age of 15, William Booth gave his heart to God. We’re here tonight—thousands of us—because one young man, one teenager just like me, gave his heart to God.” This statement by 15-year-old
Salvationist Sean Voeller (U.S.A. Central Territory), who accepted God at the age of five, marked the beginning of the sixth session. “We are the testimony of what God can do when one person says ‘Yes!’ to him.” Testimonies reflecting different youth perspectives were shared, including four generations of one family, beginning with Commissioner William H. Roberts (via video); his son, Chief of the Staff Commissioner William A. Roberts; his grandson, Bill Roberts; and greatgrandson, Noah Roberts. Each person spoke about how the Army influenced them in their youth and their future. Speaker Captain Marion Platt (U.S.A. Southern Territory) challenged delegates to arise and shine. “The light of Jesus shines even in the darkness. Vibrant youth are our solution to the darkness of our time,” Captain Platt said. “God is pouring out his Spirit on old and young so the whole world will witness the light of Jesus Christ.”
General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox gave their testimonies. “Young people are extremely precious,” the General said. “I don’t believe they are the future of the Army—they are the Army of today.” He challenged those who did not have existing development programs for youth to fix that in a year. “I pray they won’t just be here for the fun and laughter, but that they will truly open their hearts to God so that the future of The Salvation Army will be brighter.” Rebecca Barton, alongside her grandparents, the General and Commissioner Salvationist September 2015 15
“What has this celebration been all about? What is going to change? What is God calling you to do?” —General André Cox
Cox, concluded with a benediction. “God, thank you for always being there for us,” she said. “Help us to live each day for you. Help us to grow up to be the people you want us to be.” Session Seven: An Army of Integrity July 5—There was a buzz of anticipation as Salvationists packed into The O2 arena for the seventh—and final—session of Boundless 2015. Contributions by the International Staff Band, International Staff Songsters and Mannssambandet (Norway, Iceland and The Færoes Territory) prepared the way for worship with an emphasis on the Holy Spirit. The screens displayed an international Army at prayer, and the sound of prayer continued as three delegates prayed in their respective languages before the Chief of the Staff drew the prayers together and asked God to “help us to listen” and “help us to respond.” In a spirit of worship, Vasa Gospel Choir sang with energy and sincerity Great Is the Lord. Ayoung Lee (Italy and 16 September 2015 Salvationist
Greece Command) then started to sing the great hymn Holy, Holy, Holy and was joined by a virtual choir of Salvationists from around the world whose individual images—supplied online—appeared on the screens. The virtual choir was swelled by the capacity congregation in the arena to create a great paean. Congressgoers were left in no doubt about the great universal company of Salvationists who were also praising God with them at that time. Two Salvationists, William Flinn (U. S.A. Western Territor y) and Divisional Envoy Iris Jones (United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland), were admitted to the Order of the Founder by General Cox for their outstanding and sacrificial service to God’s kingdom through The Salvation Army. The Bill Booth Theater Company focused on the subject of integrity in their sketch Hold It Up to the Light. Using the example of a cracked pot being presented as perfect, the question was asked: “If your life and heart were held up to the light, would there be cracks?” The
sketch concluded with the thought that God flows through the broken places to others. A multimedia display depicted the General’s dream for the Army, on which the main congress sessions were based. People were asked to consider what they needed to do to make the ideas of the dream a reality. “What has this celebration been all about?” asked the General, and “What is going to change? What is God calling you to do?” He said the dream will only become a reality when lives are transformed by the Holy Spirit and that holiness is the visible sign of salvation. “We must be totally committed and dedicated to the task assigned to us,” he said. “If we’re convinced of our call, we will live lives fully surrendered to God. Our worship needs to be more than speaking or listening to God. It must be about total surrender. We need a sense of urgency in a world where there is so much injustice and need.” The Chief of the Staff reminded listeners of the General’s call to action and
1. Commissioner Silvia Cox visits the children’s program; 2. A statue of Catherine Booth is unveiled in the East End of London; 3. Confetti adds to the excitement of the congress finale; 4. Charlie Green (U.K. Tty with the Republic of Ireland) ministers in song
asked: “What is God saying to you right now?” Many people engaged in prayerful moments of commitment, some moving forward to kneel at the cross-shaped mercy seat. The finale focused on God’s kingdom with They Shall Come from the East, They Shall Come from the West. Participants were clad in white versions of international clothes as, with special effects and circus-style acrobatics, the general sessions of Boundless 2015 were brought to a spectacular conclusion. March Down the Mall July 5—More than 2,500 participants marched from Horse Guards Parade down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace to take the salute from General André Cox, Commissioner Silvia Cox, Commissioner William Roberts and Commissioner Nancy Roberts, World Secretary for Women’s Ministries. From there they headed to Constitution Hill, with the international leaders also marching from the event. The streets were lined with an additional 10,000
Salvationists, friends and members of the public cheering on the celebration. The 45-minute march was led off by an International Headquarters contingent and featured seven bands, timbrelists, soldiers, adherent members and congress staff and volunteers. “In 1865, The Salvation Army was born on the streets of London,” the General said. “It is entirely appropriate, then, that we should return to those streets to conclude our 150th anniversary celebrations. “The march marks the end of the anniversary celebrations but it is also a start,” the General concluded, “a launching point as members of God’s Army return to their homes and neighbourhoods across the world, ready to continue serving God and mankind.” With reports from Erica Andrews, Christin Davis, Vivian Gatica, Major Jane Kimberley, Jared McKiernan, Kevin Sims and Major Christina Tyson. Photos by Major Mark Brown, John Docter, Brent Forrest, Bruce Redman and Tim Schaal. For more information and to watch video
Boundless Online The tremendous power of the web and social media was harnessed by the international communications team to bring those who could not attend in touch with the celebrations from around the world. In addition to the 126 countries represented in London, online participants added a further 31 countries to that tally. From Cyprus to Kazakhstan and Somalia to Saudi Arabia, tens of thousands of people swelled the numbers, keen to follow events in London every step of the way. The boundless2015.org website attracted more than half a million page views, with a quarter of a million heading straight for the live blog. More than 50,000 viewers watched the opening celebration live or via the “watch again” feature.
coverage of Boundless 2015, visit Boundless2015. org. For additional photos, visit flickr.com/ photos/boundless2015. To read Boundless Today, the daily newsletter for the international congress, go to issuu.com/salvationarmyihq. Salvationist September 2015 17
The Whole World Redeeming Six delegates share how the international congress changed them
Captain Tim Andrews Divisional Youth Secretary, Newfoundland and Labrador Division For me, Boundless was an affirmation of the global and multicultural nature of The Salvation Army. The vast display of uniformed Salvationists was a sight to behold, demonstrating camaraderie and fellowship among us that transcended our individual cultures. With 15,000 Salvationists gathered for worship, the atmosphere in the arena was electrifying. The media presentations and musical performances were outstanding, but the Holy Spirit was the true source of this power. His presence was felt in every session. A particularly powerful moment for me came during the fourth session, A Caring Army, as I watched a dramatic presentation about God’s ability to free us from the bondage of sin through the power of the cross. Since attending congress, the word “boundless” has taken on a whole new meaning for me. I now associate it not just with the founder’s song, but also with the nature of God. God’s grace, Jesus’ love and the Spirit’s power are boundless. Rebekah Allen Mississauga Temple Community Church, Ont. On the second night of the Army’s Boundless congress in London, England, I was participating in a late-night concert as a member of the Ontario Central-East Divisional Youth Chorus. The Angola National Band was playing an uplifting, dance-worthy song that filled the room, and as I looked out, every person in that room was smiling, dancing and glorifying God. At that moment, I was reminded of Revelation 7:9, which says that people from every tribe and nation will stand before the throne of God. I left Boundless with the reminder that I live in a small corner of the vast and beautiful world God created—a world with a multitude of languages, 18 September 2015 Salvationist
Cpt Tim Andrews shares a moment with two members of the Te Ope Whakaora kapa haka dance group
cultures and people. Yet we all worship the same God. The challenge I am left with is how am I going to spread the unconditional love of God in my small corner of the world? How am I going to be a shining light in the dark places and carry out what William Booth began,
Mark Preece with William Himes, then bandmaster of the Chicago Staff Band
reaching those in need? I hope the joy I experienced as the Angolans filled the platform with song and dance will be the joy that fills my life. Mark Preece Haven of Hope Ministries, Regina During the first session, I was overwhelmed being in The O2 arena, packed with Salvationists singing O Boundless Salvation! Throughout the week, it was incredible to see the sense of community among the thousands of Salvationists who had come from all around the world. I appreciated the differing styles of traditional music and dance during the sessions and the personal testimonies of Salvationists from various countries. Being a third-generation bandsman and the bandmaster at Haven of Hope, I enjoyed the different staff bands that contributed to the worship. It was encouraging to see that the Salvation Army brass movement is not a thing of the past, but rather a valuable tool that helps people grow closer to
Andrea Cann with Commissioner Silvia Cox, World President of Women’s Ministries
God. We can nurture our musical heritage while also looking into the future. Boundless was not merely a celebration of the past 150 years, but a jumpstart for the next 150. Andrea Cann North Street Citadel, Hamilton, Bermuda From the first meeting to the last, the challenge was issued—that Boundless would not be an emotional event, but a Spirit-filled revolution that emanates and resonates well beyond the days of the congress. It was a battle cry to live truly boundless in obedience to God and with a heart for humankind that is reminiscent—but not vainly repetitious—of our founders’ vision. I was forced to reflect on the sincerity of my witness and to consider the authenticity of my walk with Christ. It was, and still is, difficult to see where I fall short, despite my good intentions. I need Jesus daily. His grace amazes me in ways that force me to my knees, knowing that everything I lack is found in him. At Boundless, General Cox left me with many questions to ponder: Am I willing to allow my heart—my life—to be impacted and transformed by the working of the Holy Spirit? Am I willing to allow God to unleash the full embodiment of boundless salvation so that I am genuinely his joyfully obedient servant? May God’s boundless love reign throughout his church. Daniel Schriver Fredericton Community Church What an amazing time Boundless was! Five days packed with music, dance and fellowship with Salvationists from
around the world—and I would have gladly stayed for more. I had the opportunity to see brass bands, songsters, choirs, timbrel brigades, dance groups and artists from all corners of the earth. But that was only part of the purpose of the congress, which was a celebration of The Salvation Army’s past, present and future. I enjoyed learning about the birth of the Army and its successes and struggles as it grew out of East London. But what stood out to me was how congress was a rallying cry for us as soldiers of God. Using the testimonies of others, as well as his own, General Cox drove home the need for all of us to return home rejuvenated and prepared to continue fighting to win the world for Christ. James 2:17 says, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” Our founders did not sit still, being content with their faith alone, and it is essential that, as Salvationists, we do not content ourselves with our own salvation.
Take the Boundless Challenge Did you attend the Boundless congress? Here are some ways to keep the spirit of Boundless alive and spread its message. • Write down the things you learned at Boundless, while they are fresh in your mind, so you can return to them later • Share a personal testimony during a service about your experience at Boundless • Watch the main sessions again online (boundless2015.org/ boundless/video) and share the videos with others, at a church service or on social media • Have a Boundless Sunday that features testimonies, reports and video clips from various sessions • Hold meetings to pray for the international Army • Connect with one or more delegates from another country and then exchange updates and prayer requests on a regular basis • Add your own Boundless testimony at salvationist.ca/ boundless-reflections
Daniel Schriver poses with a statue of William Booth in the East End of London
Jonathan Evans 614 Corps, Vancouver At Boundless, I was reminded that we are called to be a sacrificial Army with an eternal perspective. As General Cox shared, “Real security can only be found in God. This security comes from surrendering to God’s call and empowerment in your life.” This was reinforced with testimonies demonstrating the sacrifices and risks Salvationists take to serve God by fighting for souls. Testimonies from the Army’s youth highlighted the importance of discipling young people and having them contribute to our corps.
The General’s sharpest words were for corps that do not focus on youth: “If you come from a corps that has no program to share the love of Jesus with young people and grow them as leaders in your corps, shame on you!” Though these words may be offensive to some, they are true. The life of the Army depends on passing the knowledge and power of Christ from generation to generation. The most encouraging aspect of congress for me was the many international expressions of the Army. The O2 arena reminded me of the words from General Gowans’ song: “They shall come from the east, they shall come from the west, and sit down in the kingdom of God.” Indeed, the whole congress was a reflection of how God’s boundless love is redeeming the world. Salvationist September 2015 19
A Day at the Beach Exploring the prayer style that fits your personality
once visited a retreat centre where the meals were eaten in silence. The guests assembled silently, chose their food from the buffet silently and sat together to eat silently. Some found the silence relaxing, even refreshing. Others quickly gathered outside the dining room doors as soon as the meal was over, eager to break the silence with boisterous talk. How we communicate with each other reflects our personalities. Extroverts are energized by talk, activity and people. Introverts, although they can enjoy crowds, are energized by time alone. 20 September 2015 Salvationist
Extroverts never seem stuck for words; they talk in order to clarify what they are thinking and feeling. Introverts prefer to internally process their thoughts before speaking them. How we communicate with each other is also connected to how we communicate with God—how we pray. Ruth Fowke begins her book, Personality and Prayer: Finding and Extending the Prayer Style that Suits your Personality, with a quote from Abbot John Chapman: “Pray as you can, don’t try to pray as you can’t.” This clumsy sentence offers liberating advice. Prayer is not “one size fits all.”
What is your prayer style? See the chart on the following page for ways to go deeper in prayer, based on your personality (Courtesy: Lyndall Bywater)
We are all different and what fits for one may not fit for another. As an introvert, I need to enter my prayer space, close the door behind me and quietly read Scripture. I meditate on written prayers or songs in the song book. I do not close the door to keep the world out, but to intentionally give God the whole of my attention. Unfortunately, most writing and teaching on the subject of prayer has been done by introverts, leading some
Illustrations: © Depositphotos.com/m.ekzarkho
BY LT-COLONEL ANN BRAUND
• P rayer = being • S cripture: Luke 10:38-42—Mary and Martha •C hurch Father: St. Augustine—the concept of interiority •M yers-Briggs/Kiersey personality profile: NF/ the idealist
• P rayer = experience • S cripture: Luke 9:28-36—the Transfiguration •C hurch Father: St. Francis of Assisi— connection to the natural world •M yers-Briggs/Kiersey personality profile: SP/ the artisan
Characteristics •R estful: prayer is primarily about being in God’s presence and knowing him more deeply •R eflective: prayer is absorbing the goodness of God rather than accomplishing a task
Characteristics •C oncrete: prayer is primarily about finding God in the world around you and experiencing his Spirit through your senses •C reative: prayer is engaging through practical tasks or imaginative activities
Helps • S pace: shut the world out; go to your inner world • F ocus: use symbols that draw you toward God •R elationship: get to know each member of the Trinity • F low: pray wherever your thoughts take you
Helps • F reedom: multi-sensory, colourful and varied •O ut there: start with a walk or coffee with a friend •A ction: pray while making or doing something • S ignposts: attach prayer to the everyday things and routines in your life
Hindrances •B eing rushed or crowded out • S tarting by praying for other people •U nresolved emotions—anger, pain, etc. • L ists and details; tasks with a specific goal Challenges •R ead the Bible in a year • S et targets: pray for five people a day • Journal your journey • P ray with others
Hindrances • Repetition and tight structure •B eing shut away in silence •T oo many words, too much thinking • L ong time spent on one topic or type of prayer Challenges • Stillness, silence, solitude •R ead the Bible and make resolutions to act on it • F ind a rhythm to praying for others • P ray about world issues
Ice-cream Seller (Carer)
• P rayer = discovery • S cripture: John 3:1-16—Nicodemus •C hurch Father: Thomas Aquinas—the practice of scholastic prayer •M yers-Briggs/Kiersey personality profile: NT/ the rationalist
• P rayer = caring • S cripture: Mark 2:1-5—the friends on the roof •C hurch Father: Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits—predictability and order •M yers-Briggs/Kiersey personality profile: SJ/ the guardian
Characteristics • F ocused: prayer is tackling a complex issue or strategizing toward a goal • F orensic: prayer is about gaining wisdom and a deeper understanding of God’s being and ways
Characteristics • P eople-oriented: prayer is primarily about caring for others and compassionately bringing them before God • Productive: prayer is about getting a kingdom job done, making specific requests to God and seeing answers
Helps • P ray big: bring your strategies and debates into your prayer time •D econstruct: ruthlessly unpack Scripture •D oubt: allow your questions to surface in your prayer •K now: pursue knowledge of what can be known, i.e. God’s character
Helps • S pecific: use structure, lists, prayer diaries, etc. • Informed: read about things that need prayer • P artnership: study the Bible to understand your place in God’s work • F actual: look for stories of God at work in the now
Hindrances • “ Closed-ended” things, i.e. Bible notes •C ertainties—pressure to believe •U nbelief, thinking there’s nothing you can believe •K eeping your doubts to yourself
Hindrances • P rayer with no clear aim or leading • P raying about abstract concepts or big visions/dreams • P raying for yourself, looking inward •T rying to “feel” God’s presence
Challenges •B e still, handing over your worries to God •A sk others to tell you their stories of God • P ray for five people each day •G o for a prayer walk
Challenges •M ake space for God to speak back to you • S tudy a Bible book you usually avoid • P ray with others • P ray for yourself Salvationist September 2015 21
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to think this is the “right” way to pray— alone, without interruptions. But there are many different ways to pray. No one way is more right than another. Prayer that fits the extroverted personality may involve activity—walking the dog, gardening or driving the car. Ruth Haley Barton, author of numerous books on the spiritual life, does her evening prayer of examen while enjoying an end-of-day walk. Theologian and author Richard Foster prays while shooting baskets. “Prayer is about finding the most suitable rhythm to enable one to develop a meaningful, vibrant relationship with the living God,” writes Fowke. “God has chosen to make us all different from one another. Each of us must find the prayer pattern that is most suited to foster the development of our relationship with the Creator God.” This was the focus of the officers’ retreat, Ontario Great Lakes Division, in 2011. Lyndall Bywater, who was The Salvation Army’s prayer co-ordinator in the United Kingdom, used a creative comparison to teach lessons on prayer and personality. She suggested that we can know what prayer style works best for us based on what we choose to do at
the beach. Some are sunbathers, some are ice-cream sellers, some are surfers and some are snorkelers. • Sunbathers lie down on a blanket and bask in the sun. Prayer is about being restful and reflective, absorbing the goodness of God. This personality needs time and space to enter into and enjoy God’s presence. • Surfers are the ones organizing play and activity. Sitting around is too boring. Prayer for this personality is about finding God in the world around them and experiencing his Spirit through their senses. • Ice-cream sellers work. They are the ones who organize the food. For these people, prayer is about caring and doing. They have prayer lists and journals filled with needs and names from around the world. • Snorkelers dive down deep. They want to examine what is below the surface. For these people, prayer is about going deeper to discover the mysteries of God and the truth of his Word. When I learned that my personality was paired with Ignatian spirituality, I set out to learn more about St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, to
see if I would truly resonate with his methods of prayer. I discovered prayer resources on the Jesuit website Sacred Space (www.sacredspace.ie) and started listening to prayers from www.prayas-you-go.org. After reading about an Ignatian prayer retreat in the book Other Voices by Major Christine Faragher, I signed up for an online retreat through Creighton University. This 30-week, self-guided retreat offers prayer exercises that have helped me pay attention to the movements of God in my life. John Calvin wrote, “There is no deep knowing of God without a deep knowing of self and no deep knowing of self without a deep knowing of God.” Augustine prayed, “Grant Lord, that I may know myself that I may know thee.” Knowing your personality, who God made you to be, is a path to knowing God. As you discover what prayer style best matches your personality, your relationship with God will be enriched. Watch for a new series on the spiritual life, starting next month. Lt-Colonel Ann Braund is the territorial secretary for spiritual life development and the chaplain at Toronto’s Broadview Village.
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Playing Devil’s Advocate Is there another way to think about sin?
n many of the cartoons I watched as a kid, there was a common plot device. A little angel and a little devil would appear on a character’s shoulders and whisper advice. The devil represented temptation while the angel embodied the character’s conscience. It reinforced the concept that I could simply choose between good and evil. But as I got older and began attending church, I heard preachers say that we are born sinful. I accepted that I wasn’t perfect, but “sinful at birth” (Psalm 51:5)? What kind of deal was that? To be a Christian, I had to accept my predisposition toward sin—that even if I didn’t do anything wrong, I was guilty before God. For many people who reject Christianity, this is not a minor issue. Being told they need to be saved from sin they had no part in, to avoid God’s wrath, is not easy to swallow. What kind of deity would sanction that? For many, it reeks of totalitarianism, causing them to question the Christian faith. While this explanation of sin and salvation is oversimplified, it is the message that comes through when we don’t have a robust explanation of the origins of immorality. The debate about “original sin” goes back hundreds
of years. Perhaps the most significant historical debate took place between Pelagius and Augustine. Pelagius believed that God gave us free will and that we are morally accountable to him for the choices we make. Augustine, on the other hand, taught that we are incapable of choosing well because of our original sin. Historically, the church has upheld Augustine’s position, even if it has accommodated the Pelagian view in practice. But while the debate about sin’s origins is an ancient one, it remains, as our Handbook of Doctrine says, “a live, contemporary issue. It is not only a topic for scholarly debate but a vital matter for every individual.” How is this issue important for Christians today? One example is the racial tension and violence bubbling over in the United States. Are people born racist? Where do hatred and division come from? You have likely heard social activists declare that children are born innocent, that hatred is something we learn. Parents
know that’s not exactly true. Toddlers can be very selfcentred—everything is theirs, no matter how much their playmates howl. Empathy and compassion must be learned. This discussion is important because neither approach gets it completely right. Regarding racism, does it make sense to simply tell people they are wrong? To listen to the good angel on their shoulder? Or that becoming a Christian will deal with their depravity and they will automatically become more loving and kind? I’m not saying those points are false. But in a world becoming accustomed to sound bites on social media, these quick answers do not satisfy such large and complex questions. We need a more nuanced response to the issue of sin in our society. It is naive to think there are no mitigating factors at work when we do something wrong. Certainly there is evidence of selfcentredness in all of us, and yet, there is also a glimmer of goodness. Often what keeps us from doing and being good
are emotional, psychological and biochemical factors that we may not even be aware of. I can tell someone that using drugs is sinful, but it likely won’t stop the abuse. They may give their lives over to God, as many have done, and still struggle with the “sin” until the day they die. I need to ask not only what is wrong with them, but what happened in their lives. I’m not making excuses for people. We are responsible for our actions. I have little sympathy for a domestic abuser who defends his behaviour by saying he was also the victim of abuse. But if the church really wants to stop sin—to see genuine societal change—we need to change our focus and use a different way of speaking. We need to focus less on blaming and more on trying to figure out why people do what they do. This type of approach has been used with success at many different levels, from elementary schools to correctional facilities. Ultimately, we need to help each other see ourselves clearly. We need to foster a capacity to relate to each other well. That will help save this world from the sin we are in. Major Juan Burry is the executive director of Rotary Hospice House in Richmond, B.C.
Salvationist September 2015 23
Image: © iStock.com/Artzone
BY MAJOR JUAN BURRY
TIES THAT BIND
No Kidding! What to do when your child’s behaviour drives you crazy
ave you ever heard the standup comedian Russell Peters? I laughed so hard during this routine, when he recalled a time he was disrespectful to his father: Dad: Somebody gonna get a hurt real bad. Russell: Don’t do it—I’ll phone Children’s Aid! Dad: You’ll do what? Russell: I’ll phone Children’s Aid. Dad: Is that right? Ohhh. Let me get you the phone, tough guy. Russell: What are you doing? If I phone Children’s Aid, you’ll get in trouble! Dad: I might get into a little bit of trouble, but I know it’s going to take them 23 minutes to get here. In that time, somebody gonna get a hurt real bad! Why did I laugh so hard? Because it brought back memories of a similar interaction with my daughter when she was 11. I was so flabbergasted by her insolence that I told her if she didn’t stop talking to me like that, I would slap her face. It wasn’t a real threat; I stopped spanking my children when they were small because I didn’t want to be like my mom, who hit me with a belt when she was really angry. My daughter, in all her wisdom, said the same thing as Russell Peters: “I’ll call social services and they’ll arrest you for child abuse!” I told her to go ahead and call—not only would they arrest me, they’d put all of our children in foster care and they would be separated from us, and each other, for a long, long time. She was shocked into silence. I’m not particularly proud of that conversation with my daughter. I could have handled it differently, but I let my emotions get the better of me. All joking aside, hitting our children out of anger and frustration is called abuse. Some people still believe in corporal punishment. However, more and 24 September 2015 Salvationist
Raising a child is one of the hardest things to do in life. They don’t come with a manual more evidence is piling up that this type of parenting causes long-term damage to a child’s self-worth and often causes depression later in life. Just this past June, I heard about a father who punished his daughter for “getting messed up” by cutting off her hair and posting the video on social media. She was bullied at school about it. Not long after that public shaming, she jumped off a bridge and died from her injuries. So what’s a parent to do when your child is disrespectful, uses foul language or disregards every rule or boundary you
set? It may be that something has been simmering for a while and has finally come to the surface. At this point, it’s time for a neutral third party or family counsellor to become involved to help you get to the bottom of what is going on. Raising a child is one of the hardest things to do in life. They don’t come with a manual! To get a driver’s licence, you need to study and pass a test. But anyone can have a child, whether they know how to parent or not. Most of us learned what to do—or what not to do—from our own parents. Three of our children were born before we entered training college. The two youngest were born after we became officers. Somewhere in-between, my parenting style drastically changed. I feel privileged to have a second chance. When I was younger, I wanted to be a perfect parent and have perfectly behaved children. I was much stricter and set tight boundaries. It amazes me that my three older children grew up to be so wonderful; it’s likely in spite of me, rather than because of me. With my two younger children, I decided it didn’t matter if nasal mucous reached their lips and they used their sleeve to wipe their noses. I didn’t worry about being perfect and was much more relaxed. I let them fail. I let them participate in making decisions about their lives. They aren’t perfect and neither am I, but we do our best. The best advice I ever received and put into practice? I pray for them every day. I try my best to live for God and serve others. I let them know God loves them just t he way they are and I don’t worry as much anymore. I trust God to keep them in his care and be with them always. Major Kathie Chiu is the corps officer at Richmond Community Church, B.C
Photo: © iStock.com/Slphotography
BY MAJOR KATHIE CHIU
Digital Detox The Joy of Missing Out helps readers find balance in a wired world REVIEW BY GISELLE RANDALL
o you check your smartphone compulsively? Have you ever looked something up on the Internet, only to find yourself on a different web page 20 minutes later, sucked into a vortex of infinite information? This happens to me more often than I care to admit, so I was eager to read The Joy of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World by Christina Crook. In 2012, Crook disabled the data on her smartphone, turned off her e-mail and said goodbye to the Internet for 31 days. She chronicled her
fast from technology by writing a letter to a friend every day, who then posted it on a blog—a project that became
the foundation for this book. Her aim isn’t to reject technology, but to raise questions that can help us take a mindful approach. The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 explores global shifts in how we communicate, and outlines the good and bad about the Internet. Although it has unleashed the power of collaboration, the Internet also has the potential to reshape not just what we do, but who we are—the way we see the world, the way we spend our time and especially the way we relate to others. Crook argues that we have embraced technological progress without stopping to consider the consequences, so Part 2 emphasizes the value of taking a break from the digital world to evaluate our priorities. Part 3 explores how to set limits that will put people before technology. The Joy of Missing Out
raises profound theological questions about the impact of technology on our lives. What purpose is it serving? Is it connecting you in ways that enrich your life and the lives of others? Do you act more because of what you learn online? What future are we choosing through our daily actions—are we merely consuming or are we reflecting the creativity of God? Throughout the book, Crook provides chaptersp e c i f ic ch a l lenge s to help readers reflect on the material and apply it to their own lives. She also offer practical suggestions for how to go about a digital detox. “When we deprive ourselves of our digital technologies with the intention of making room for quiet reflection and stillness, we help develop selfdiscipline and fortitude,” she writes, “fostering a greater openness to God or whatever is sacred.”
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PEOPLE & PLACES
CAMBRIDGE, ONT.—After months of fundraising, 10 cornets and three horns were presented to the Cambridge Citadel Young People’s Band on junior soldier Sunday. Toward the end of the meeting, the junior soldiers were invited to sign their commitment cards at the mercy seat as members of the corps came forward to pray with them. Celebrating the new instruments are, front, from left, Lauryn Caron, Ava
LONDON, ONT.—Erica and Jeff Vincent dedicate their daughter, Anna-Lynne Lucy, back to the Lord at London Citadel. With them are proud grandparents Mjrs Wanda and Morris Vincent, DDWM and DC, Ont. GL Div, who officiated at the ceremony, and aunt Stephanie Vincent.
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26 September 2015 Salvationist
Caron, Laura Baker, Ella Caron and Lucas Baker. Middle, from left, Mackenzie Quinlan, Kyle Caron, Miles Lavender-Rogers, Holly Caron, Torrance Paulitzki and Patrick Quinlan. Back, from left, YPSM Gloria Freake; Cpt Heather Samuel, CO; Lynn Baker and Steve Baker, learner instructors; Brian Haskell, young people’s band leader; Cpt Nicholas Samuel, CO; and Cpt Jennifer Hale, DYS, Ont. GL Div.
THOMPSON, MAN.—Three senior soldiers have joined the ranks of Thompson Corps. From left, Roy Bladen, ministry director; Catherine Walters, Beverlee Lane and Delores Danard, senior soldiers; Rose Bladen, ministry director; and Mjr Margaret McLeod, AC, Prairie Div.
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PEOPLE & PLACES
CONCEPTION BAY SOUTH, N.L.—Mjrs Lorne and Barbara Pritchett, COs; Ethan Holloway, junior soldier; Maizie Bishop, senior soldier; and Mjr Bruce Shirran, AC, N.L. Div, commemorate the 107th anniversary of Conception Bay South Corps.
EDMONTON—Congratulations to Tim Robins, Brooklyn Alexander, Megan Bursey, Owen Bates and Anna Heintzman on their enrolment as junior soldiers at Edmonton Temple. Sharing in the moment are, back, from left, Mjrs Donald and Donna Bladen, COs; Wendy MacWilliams, youth director; and Cpt Jennifer Robins, then DYS, Alta. & N.T. Div. OTTAWA—Following a threeyear term as president of the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC), Lt-Col Jim Champ, territorial secretary for communications, greets the Rev Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan of the Anglican Church of Canada at her induction as the new CCC president. The event took place at St. Paul’s University. ST. ANTHONY, N.L.— Bruce Pilgrim receives a certificate of appreciation from his corps officer, Mjr Dinzel Baggs, marking 50 years of faithful service as the commissioned bass drummer at St. Anthony Corps.
Following 44 years of service as officers, Lt-Colonels Junior and Verna Hynes retire September 1 from their final appointments as territorial secretary for program services, and assistant territorial secretary for women’s ministries and territorial Silver Star secretary. Junior and Verna (nee Downton) entered the College for Officer Training (CFOT) in the Lightbringers Session (1970-72) and married in 1973. Together they ministered as corps officers in Lower Island Cove and at St. John’s Temple, N.L., and in Harrow, England, and served on the staff at the CFOT in St. John’s, where Junior was the field training officer. Throughout the years, they held a variety of appointments in five divisions across the territory, in Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and the Prairies, with Junior serving as divisional youth secretary and divisional secretary for program, and Verna as divisional guide director, community care ministries secretary, retired officers, volunteers and divisional secretary for women’s ministries. They were divisional leaders in Newfoundland and Labrador West and the Prairies. The Hyneses were appointed to territorial headquarters three times, including the appointments from which they retire. Junior also served as the candidates’ secretary and territorial youth secretary, and Verna served as the candidates’ fellowship co-ordinator and research assistant. It has been their continuous delight and sense of fulfilment to proclaim and teach God’s Word throughout their officership. Among their favourite verses of Scripture are Philippians 1:6 and Proverbs 3:5-6. In retirement, they will continue to carry out their covenant as they find opportunities to minister and serve. Majors Malcolm and Faith Cameron retire following 35 years of service as Salvation Army officers. Together they served in corps, social services connected to their ministry units, First Nations ministry, corrections and divisional headquarters appointments. Serving God and the people he placed in their path are seen by Malcolm and Faith as precious gifts, and they are grateful for the many opportunities over the years. Hallmarks of their ministry include participating in Aboriginal work in northern British Columbia, which challenged them to experience cross-cultural service. In correctional work, they were amazed at the opportunities to minister to people who were at a crossroads in their lives. “It was challenging to work for Jesus here,” they say. While ministering in appointments at the divisional level, the Camerons learned the importance of administration to supporting program and ministry unit initiatives, and the value of touching lives through camping ministries. For Malcolm and Faith, corps ministry was, and will continue to be, fundamental in reaching people for Christ. “God has used our appointments to help us grow in our knowledge and trust in him,” they say. “Whatever the future holds, God is in control.”
Salvationist September 2015 27
PEOPLE & PLACES
LONDON, ONT.—Members of advisory boards from London, Windsor, Hamilton and Sudbury, Ont. GL Div, gathered for a day of networking and education. The 25 attendees heard from a
number of speakers, including Mjr Morris Vincent, DC; Lt-Col Jim Champ, territorial secretary for communications; Mjr Les Marshall, TSPRD; Joanne Tilley, social services consultant; and Fred Galloway
of F. J. Galloway Associates Inc. Chairs of each board reported on their activities over the past year, including the successes and challenges faced by the Army in their regions.
GAZETTE INTERNATIONAL Appointments: Oct 1—Lt-Cols Alistair/Marieke Venter, TC/TPWM, Sri Lanka Tty, with rank of col; Lt-Col Priscilla Nanlabi, OC, Bangladesh Cmd; Cpt Elizabeth Nelson, general secretary, Bangladesh Cmd, with rank of mjr; Cpt Nipu Anusree Baroi, CPWM, Bangladesh Cmd; Cpt Julia Price, CSWM, Russia Cmd, with rank of mjr TERRITORIAL Appointments: Mjr Sharon Hayward, chaplain, Toronto Grace Health Centre; Mjr Marie Hollett, professional practice leader, spiritual and religious care, Toronto Grace Health Centre Promoted to captain: Lt Nicholas Samuel Long service: 25 years—Mjrs Darlene Colbourne, Shawn/Brenda Critch, Karen Feltham, Rosena Halvorsen, Deborah Higdon, Dana Reid, Cathyann Simms, Valerie Wheeler; 30 years—Mjrs Grayling/Jacqueline Crites, Merrilee Evenden, Norman/Lois Garcia, Sandra Langer, Beulah LeBlanc, Glenda Roode, Gail Winsor; 35 years—Mjrs Donna Anstey, Edward Barrow, William/Donna Barthau, Douglas Binner, Raymond/Caroline Braddock, Wade Budgell, Malcolm/Faith Cameron, Sharon Giles, Wilfred Harbin, Wendy Johnstone, Lt-Cols Larry/Velma Martin, Mjrs Mona Moore, Judy Regamey, Lt-Col Sandra Rice; 40 years—Lt-Col Jim Champ, Mjrs David/ Edith Dean, Calvin/Loretta Fudge, Bonnie Patey, Thomas Tuppenney; 45 years—Mjr Robert Speakman Retirements: Mjrs Malcolm/Faith Cameron, George/Margaret Evans, Cpt Ronald/Aux-Cpt Linda Farr, Mjrs Susanne Fisher, Robert/Ruby Froude, Geoffrey/Linda Groves, William/Trixie Kean, Bonnie Patey, Kenneth/ Catherine Ritson, Shirley Roberts Promoted to glory: Mjr Loretta Hicks, from Corner Brook, N.L., Jun 12; Mrs. Brg Ruth Hagglund, from Morrisburg, Ont., Jun 16; Mjr Elsie McEwan, from Regina, Jun 26; Mjr Gladys Boone, from St. Catharines, Ont., Jun 28; Brg Sigvard Hägglund, from Calgary, Jul 6; Mjr Fay Duke, from Kitchener, Ont., Jul 7; Mrs. Brg Gwen Hickman, from Toronto, Jul 7
CALENDAR Commissioner Susan McMillan: Sep 5 final program, National Music Camp, Scarborough Citadel, Toronto; Sep 17 board meeting, Toronto Grace Health Centre, Toronto; Sep 19-20 cadets’ welcome weekend, CFOT, Winnipeg; Sep 25-30 Victoria Citadel and visit to Vancouver, B.C. Div Colonels Mark and Sharon Tillsley: Sep 11-13 men’s camp, Twin Ponds Camp, Gander, N.L. (Colonel Mark Tillsley only); Sep 18-19 board of trustees, Booth University College, Winnipeg; Sep 19-20 cadets’ welcome weekend, CFOT, Winnipeg General Bramwell Tillsley (Rtd): Sep 26-27 St. Thomas, Ont. 28 September 2015 Salvationist
ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—Abigail Cole, Andrew Bowers, Miriam Hynes and Beth Howse are the newest senior soldiers at St. John’s Temple. Supporting them are, from left, RS Arlene Riche; Mjrs Rene and Wanda Loveless, COs; Lt-Cols Jean and Douglas Hefford, DDWM and DC, N.L. Div; and Lorraine Pope, youth director.
With General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox International Leaders of The Salvation Army
Supported by Commissioner Susan McMillan Territorial Commander
Colonels Mark and Sharon Tillsley Chief Secretary and Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries
Majors Frank and Rita Pittman Divisional Commander and Divisional Director of Women’s Ministries Bermuda Division
Event schedule and links to Bermuda accommodations are available at salvationarmy.ca/bermuda
PEOPLE & PLACES
Accepted for Training Joyful Intercessors Session (2015-2017) College for Officer Training, Winnipeg Rob Henson Sunshine Coast Community Church Gibsons, British Columbia Division I sensed God’s call soon after I surrendered my life to him, but it did not come to fruition for quite some time. Together with my wife, Jen, I moved to Milton, Ont., to assist at Khi—A Community Church of The Salvation Army. This was an amazing experience as we witnessed people come to a saving relationship with Jesus. We returned to British Columbia and it was at the divisional camp, Camp Sunrise, where I had four encounters with God’s people, each speaking to me about officership. Jen also felt God’s call, and I look forward to what he has in store for my family. Jen Henson Sunshine Coast Community Church Gibsons, British Columbia Division Officership means devoting my life to sharing the gospel and helping people grow in their love relationship with the Trinity, all while being a full-time, Spirit-filled disciple myself. That’s a tall order, and I feel pretty weak, but I thank God for his words in 2 Corinthians 12:9, which read: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Dave McFadden Niagara Orchard Community Church Niagara Falls, Ontario Great Lakes Division There was a time in my life when the Bible was a rather dry read, but while attending a Christian leadership school in New Zealand a few years ago, I began to see the Bible as a rich tapestry of wisdom and the breath of God. He has called me to full-time ministry, and I pray that my studies at the CFOT will help me to continue my spiritual development and build up my skills for ministering to others. Renée McFadden Niagara Orchard Community Church Niagara Falls, Ontario Great Lakes Division I heard God’s call in my late teens, but I wasn’t ready for officership. As I attended university, began a teaching career, got married and had two sons, life took over. I thought we could do ministry in the midst of it all, but finding life’s balance was elusive. That’s when I heard the Holy Spirit whisper again, “What’s worth spending your life on?” My husband, Dave, and I attended an officership information weekend and discovered that officership was still possible for us, so we have answered the call.
TRIBUTES DEER LAKE, N.L.—Ruth Janes was born in 1936 in Botwood, N.L., and grew up attending the United Church. She met and married Harold Janes in 1956, and together they moved to Wabush, N.L., in 1961 with their young family. They attended Labrador City-Wabush Corps where Ruth was a member of the home league and served as the cradle roll sergeant. After retirement, Harold and Ruth relocated to Deer Lake where they attended The Salvation Army and participated in the Golden Years Fellowship group. Ruth was promoted to glory following a short illness and is lovingly remembered by her husband, Harold; daughters Major Sharon Rowsell, Lynn Tulk and Juanita Collier; sons Leslie, David and Chris; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; her brother, sisters and in-laws; nephews and nieces. DEER LAKE, N.L.—Gladys Loretta Hancock (nee Howell) was born in Norris Point, N.L., in 1941. She was involved at the Deer Lake Corps as a brownie leader, prayer-chain co-ordinator and member of the home league and community care ministries. Gladys loved spending time at her cabin and enjoying God’s handiwork in the outdoors. She will be sadly missed by her husband, Alex; children Roy (Donna), Patsy (Michael) Wood, Phoebe Hancock (Dan Morrissey), Dwayne (Lisa) and Wendy Hancock (Jamie Dumais); grandchildren Melissa, Brent, Krista, Michael, Jessie, Kayla, Derek, Kyle, Selina, Alex Jr., Reese and Chase; great-grandchildren Karrisa and Aliyah; siblings Bob (Julia) Howell, Rendall (Elisa) Howell and Steward (Alfreda) Howell; and sister-in-law, Ula Howell.
WE WILL no t BE sIL nt
Isaiah 42:22 (NIV )
Annual Day of prayer for
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For resources visit salvationist.ca/human-trafficking Salvationist September 2015 29
The View From Mountainview
Saying “yes” to Salvation Army summer camp changed my life forever BY ALEX STONEY
y spiritual journey has been a roller-coaster, a mountain trek and a scenic route, all rolled into one interesting but unfinished journey. I’m from Kispiox, a small First Nations village near Hazelton in northern British Columbia. It’s so small, we only recently got high-speed Internet. I grew up in a Christian home and was primarily raised by my mother and older twin sisters. I was a quiet child (until you got to know me), so it was hard for me to make friends. We attended the local Salvation Army corps in Gitanmaax and I reluctantly went to church nearly every Sunday as a child and early teenager; my mother made sure of that, God bless her. But I never really connected with the service. After graduating from high school, I followed my sisters to university in Prince George, B.C. They also tried to drag me to church, with varying degrees of success. The corps in Prince George is fantastic, but I still found it hard to make friends. I started partying and it wasn’t long before I fell into alcohol abuse on a regular basis. I thought I was having fun, but I always felt unfulfilled. 30 September 2015 Salvationist
After barely scraping through my first year, I found myself back home with nothing to do. Then one day, out of the blue, I received a call from one of my sisters’ friends, who happened to be the director at a nearby Salvation Army camp. They were in need of a male camp counsellor and had thought of me—based solely on the reputation of my sisters. At the time, it was not in my nature to say yes to such a position, but for some reason I did. Right after I got off the phone, I thought, What just happened? What am I getting myself into? But that “yes” changed my life forever. Camp Mountainview was where I learned that I love to laugh and learn with children and youth. Camp Mountainview was where I first experienced the full weight and depth of God’s grace and love. I was crushed by that weight. It was revealed to me by a true servant of God in the form of forgiveness and a loving embrace. Working at camp that summer also introduced me to a Christian community that I could grow with and learn from. Nine years later, we live all over Canada, but we share a friendship that time and distance have so far failed to end. Life after my first summer at camp wasn’t a walk in the park. I missed talking to my friends so much that I forgot it was God who put us together in the first place, and it was God who I needed to connect with again.
From left, Alannah Pike, Erica Azak, Damian Azak, Alex Stoney, Jamie-lee Wesley and Zachary Hoeft at Camp Mountainview
After my third summer at camp, I moved to Saskatoon with my camp friends. Though it wasn’t in God’s plan for me to stay long, I witnessed how my friends stayed faithful in the “real world,” despite its temptations. This helped me in my own struggles. It was at this point I really started to follow the path God has for me. Soon a f ter t hat, I moved to Lethbridge, Alta., with my now-wife, Adrienne, to be close to her family. In Lethbridge, I found another Christian community unlike any I had experienced before. I was so welcomed that it felt like home. It wasn’t long before I became an official member of the family. My spiritual journey is far from over, but today I believe I am where God has called me to be. I completed a bachelor’s degree in education and am now the children and youth ministry co-ordinator for the Upper Skeena Circuit (my home community), where I hope to build up strong leaders and followers of Christ. I’m also the program director at Camp Mountainview. We have been blessed with amazing staff and it’s my goal for us to help build Christ-centred friendships that provide the kind of community that sustained me. I thank Jesus every day for the blessings and responsibilities he’s chosen for me.
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