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EDITORIAL

S

Armed and Dangerous?

ince its earliest days, The Salvation Army has been a social justice movement. Our Founders put their radical faith to the test with a series of social protests: • In 1891, William Booth took on match manufacturers by renovating a derelict factory, paying people a fair wage and instituting safety measures to prevent phossy jaw, a disease that led to terrible infections for workers. • Catherine Booth fought for women’s right to preach the gospel, a rare phenomenon in a world where women had few civil rights. • The Salvation Army aligned itself with journalist William Thomas Stead, who “purchased” a girl to expose the horrors of child prostitution, and advocated to have the age of consent in England raised from 13 to 16. Social justice is more than just offering charity and good works, as Commissioner Campbell Roberts points out in the start of our new series “Live Justly” (page 18). It’s speaking out against systems and powers that continue to oppress and marginalize people, and it’s a fundamental part of living out the gospel. Elsewhere in this issue, Lt-Colonel Wendy Swan talks about protest theology and how we shouldn’t let a preoccupation

Salvationist

is a monthly publication of The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory André Cox General Commissioner Susan McMillan Territorial Commander Lt-Colonel Jim Champ Secretary for Communications Geoff Moulton Editor-in-Chief and Literary Secretary Giselle Randall Features Editor (416-467-3185) Pamela Richardson News Editor, Copy Editor and Production Co-ordinator (416-422-6112) Kristin Ostensen Associate Editor and Staff Writer 4  June 2018  Salvationist

with being “respectable” diminish our prophetic voice to society (page 20). Also on the social justice front, housing support worker Dion Oxford helps us understand the importance of accessibility for persons with disabilities, and calls us to treat everyone with dignity (page 22). What else does social justice mean for us today? It means standing up to racism, advocating for people living in poverty, promoting restorative justice for the incarcerated and supporting the #MeToo movement and climate justice. God is calling us to this work. Of course, we must not come across as though we have all the answers. When we tend toward triumphalism, we alienate the very people we are trying to reach. But we do have enough experience and expertise in our appointed positions— be it social services, public relations or government affairs—to “speak truth to power.” Doing so effectively requires a co-ordinated approach as well as wisdom and discernment. For that, we must be armed with the truth of Christ and his salvation. It’s this good news that the newly commissioned Messengers of the Gospel aim to share with the communities where they have been appointed. Read about their passion and purpose on page 10. We’ve heard William Booth’s “I’ll

Timothy Cheng Senior Graphic Designer Brandon Laird Design and Media Specialist Ada Leung Circulation Co-ordinator Ken Ramstead Contributor Agreement No. 40064794, ISSN 1718-5769. Member, The Canadian Church Press. All Scripture references from the Holy Bible, New International Version (NIV) © 2011. All articles are copyright The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory and can be reprinted only with written permission.

Fight” speech so many times it’s almost become a cliché. But read it again through the lens of social justice and you’ll see the radical power of his vision: “While women weep as they do now, I’ll fight. While little children go hungry, as they do now, I’ll fight. While men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight. While there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight—I’ll fight to the very end.” GEOFF MOULTON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

On a personal note, the editorial department would like to thank Lt-Colonel Jim Champ for his leadership over the past 10 years, first as editor-in-chief and then as secretary for communications. We wish him well in retirement.

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Mission

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Profile for The Salvation Army

Salvationist June 2018  

The Salvation Army exists to share the love of Jesus Christ, meet human needs and be a transforming influence in the communities of our worl...

Salvationist June 2018  

The Salvation Army exists to share the love of Jesus Christ, meet human needs and be a transforming influence in the communities of our worl...