"If you want a cuppa tea..." - Salvation Army Canada
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    "If you want a cuppa tea..."

    Retrospective #6 September 11, 2017 Randy C. Hicks

    Growing up in the Salvation Army in small town Newfoundland (not unlike small town anywhere) the “Army” was my life. Sunday and weekday (afternoon and evening) activities took a huge chunk of my time not to mention that I also attended a Salvation Army school from K-11.

    My parents also involved themselves in many of the programs provided for families and or men and or women. Among other things my mom was a member of the “Home League.” The title “Home League” was spoken with reverence in our house. The power of the Home League was known throughout the Corps and even in the community. H.L. members were dedicated and committed; they were faithful supporters and dedicated attendees; the leaders were like the prophetesses spoken of in scripture; the words of the Home League Secretary held sway and travelled far. As kids we avoided making eye contact whenever she entered the room and some of us even held our breath! (I’m not kidding!)

    {All kidding aside, as a young officer, I soon came to realize that were it not for the Home League - its undaunted prayer, pragmatic and leadership support, many corps may not have survived over the years! By the way – in my first appointment as a single officer I was the Home League Secretary!}

    At our corps there was a “grouping” plan which rotated members and program leaders from year to year to different groups. These groups would then undertake to design and execute a teaching and/or worship meeting as assigned by the calendar. Groups would also be responsible for providing tea, coffee, and snack to be enjoyed at the end of the evening. If Group A did the program then Group B might provide the lunch and so on. (“Yes,” I’m a grown man. And “Yes” I know these things!)

    The above cycles of participation were often referred to as “Our Turn” at least in the case of the victuals and “Our Turn” was known to cause occasional grief and upset in many an Army home. Let me explain. At our house when “Our Turn” came around my mom would go to great lengths to prepare some special recipe to impress the ladies who would taste this fare at the next HL meeting.

    Sometimes these dishes were neatly wrapped and/or decorated and sometimes they were simply placed in ordinary day-to-day-use containers in the refrigerator. Sad to say, discernment in these matters was not a gift my dad had been given and as he and my mother had conflicting work schedules, they often were alone when eating lunch at home. Not good.

    Conversation at my house just after supper right before HL:

    Mom (voice rising): “Who ate a chunk of the cake I have in the fridge?”

    Dad (playing dumb): “I guess I did. Why?”

    Mom: (frustration obvious): “It’s our turn! That cake was for tonight! It’s our turn!”

    Dad: “Oh, sorry, I didn’t know.”

    Mom: “What? You didn’t know? You did know! It’s on the calendar! 
    You’re supposed to check the calendar! And besides, you’re a diabetic – you’re not supposed to eat any, never mind a huge chunk!”

    Dad: “But I only had a tiny taste…I gave the rest to the dog!”

    Followed by: …weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth!

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