The Voice of The Salvation Army in Canada and BermudaView RSS Feed
Jul3FriThe second day of Boundless commemorates Founders' Day with a statue unveiling of Catherine Booth and the celebration of a "Unified Army." July 3, 2015
- Filed Under:
- International News
Second Session of Boundless Celebrates "A Unified Army"
Thursday morning's second session of Boundless 2015, "A Unified Army," was a moving reminder that the Army expresses God's love in practical ways – such as through emergency response, a hospital, a children's home, by the digging of a village well, in the ministry of a rehabilitation centre.
The Amsterdam Staff Songsters set the scene for worship and reflection with Love Can Build a Bridge. They later combined with Phil Laeger and transMission for Be a Hero, calling Salvationists to live for others in a hurting world.
"I have seen first-hand the results of bridges of love being built across the world," said session leader Captain Anne Westmoreland. She thanked those who gave time, treasure and talents to serve in partnership with God. "You are building bridges of love in your communities. Our ultimate mission is to win people to Jesus Christ – and this is often done through practical service."
The colourful Paduan Suara Korps Palu singers from Indonesia proved serving God isn't gloomy, with a contagiously joyful presentation of O, Sifuni Mungo ["All Men, All Creatures, Everybody, Praise the Lord!"]. The Hong Kong and Macau Praise Dancers reflected this same spirit, as did the talented Hallelujah Quartet from Russia, which sang about defeating doubts with the power of faith.
Bill Booth Theater Group explored the concept of bridge-building, noting the strength that comes from partnership.
Throughout the session, The Salvation Army's work in communities with deep needs was highlighted in video reports and testimonials.
The O2 audience heard about the Sand Dam Project in Kenya where, in 2013, The Salvation Army worked in partnership with the community to build a dam that provides enough safe water for 1,000 people who previously travelled a long and dangerous path to collect often unhealthy water. Even children walked these long distances, instead of going to school.
Captain Moses Njagi said the local corps wanted to show their community "in a practical way, that God loves them and cares about the things that they care about – even water." The Sand Dam Project has strengthened the local Tawa Corps, which has grown by more than 30 senior soldiers and 50 junior soldiers.
The Tekokatu Clinic in Paraguay, which began in 1998, educates young women about healthy pregnancies and the importance of childhood vaccinations. This has led to significantly higher maternal survival rates for mothers and fewer childbirth complications for babies. The clinic is now also providing education to combat domestic violence. Outcomes include women choosing to further their education, starting their own businesses and growing in self-esteem.
Major Gladys Barrios reported, "God has raised Clinic Tekokatu as a bridge of hope and love that offers physical and spiritual health to the community in the name of Jesus."
Other stories of changed communities took the audience to a street hospital for drug users in Norway, where people were assured they were worthy of love even if others turned from them in fear or disgust; to a Salvation Army children's home in Kandhamal, India, where – in 2008 – children were hidden in the jungle to escape anti-Christian violence before finding safety in a refugee camp; and to Qingquan Village in China's Sichuan Province where, after a devastating magnitude eight earthquake in 2008, The Salvation Army partnered with residents to build two reservoirs to collect water in an area with dry soil.
Captain Diana MacDonald, Territorial Secretary for Personnel in Pakistan and with wide Salvation Army healthcare experience, reflected on Jesus' contact with the Samaritan woman at the well, noting he treated her with respect and built a bridge across a cultural divide.
"Building a bridge can be difficult, but not impossible," she said.
She recalled her own patience in reaching out to a grieving woman whose five-year-old son was killed in an earthquake on his first day in school. "I started building a bridge of loving care with her. After five months, I saw a smile on her face and I prayed with her."
The captain challenged the congregation: "Are we building bridges of peace, love, care and reconciliation – without discrimination – wherever we are? The world has a deep spiritual need, so let's show the compassionate face of Jesus Christ wherever we go."
To see the full second session of Boundless, "A Unified Army," watch below:
Former General Eva Burrows Awarded Order of the Founder
The message from the Founders' Day evening session of Boundless 2015 was clear – William and Catherine Booth began The Salvation Army exactly 150 years ago, but the call to win the world for Christ must be answered by today's Salvationists.
Highlights of the evening included the posthumous admitting of former General Eva Burrows to the Order of the Founder, The Salvation Army's highest honour, and the launching of the new song book.
The program began with a drama showing a group of missioners outside the Blind Beggar public house in east London on 2 July 1865. When they asked a young William Booth to "have a word," his reply was clear and loud: SALVATION!
General André Cox strode onto the stage and asked, "What better day than today to renew our commitment to salvation and the fight?"
Tribute was paid to Catherine Booth, who was recognized as equal partner in her husband's work. Never commissioned, the congregation heard, she never held a rank – except for Mother of The Salvation Army.
The recognition of one remarkable woman led to the honouring of another, with the admittance to the Order of the Founder of former General Eva Burrows, who was promoted to Glory earlier this year. A video from General Eva's thanksgiving service showed her at her passionate best, declaring, "I never wanted to live my way, I always wanted to live [God's] way."
Presenting the award to Australia Southern Territorial Commander Commissioner Floyd Tidd, on behalf of General Eva's family, the General said that the life and service of Eva Burrows "would have recommended itself to our Founder. She inspired countless people around the world."
A medley of old-time Salvation Army songs led by the Chief of the Staff (Commissioner William A. Roberts) and a slick presentation by London Citadel Timbrels led to thoughts on music by the General.
"Music is something that touches the soul," he said, launching the new Song Book of the Salvation Army. "Music can lift and inspire."
He paid tribute to the work that had gone into the new tune and song books, saying, "We are and always have been a singing Army. William Booth instructed his Army to sing so as to make the whole world hear."
Pasadena Tabernacle Youth Chorus took the General's words to heart with the gospel-style Right Time, Right Place.
While Ayoung Lee sang Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb? the image of a stained-glass window appeared at back of stage, showing Salvationists counselling a seeker around a drum. As the song ended the window came to life, with each of the characters stepping forward to read a Scripture passage referring to blood or fire.
A united call to "Send this Fire on Me" was taken up in the congregational song This Fire, led by transMission. Giant screens at the front and more around the side filled the auditorium with bright, flickering flames until it seemed as if fire really had descended on every person present!
After the Bible reading by Commissioner Nancy Roberts (World Secretary for Women's Ministries), Pasadena Songsters presented its own tribute to William Booth, Boundless, a lively new arrangement of the Founder's Song, O Boundless Salvation!
Commissioner William Cochrane (International Secretary to the Chief of the Staff) gave a thoughtful and personal Bible message.
He spoke of being moved at the unveiling of a new statue of Catherine Booth in east London earlier in the day, suggesting that her addition alongside her husband gave a message that "your gender is of no consequence."
He added, "Gender, race, intellectual capacity, your physical strength doesn't matter. Nothing but the grace of God in your life."
He challenged the congregation members to give their all to God for him to use. "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 Christ in our words, deeds and actions."
Four soldiers read the Lord's Prayer, the first in English, then joined by one speaking in Korean, then one in Spanish, and one in French Creole until a cacophony of prayer filled the auditorium. The four languages were also used to add emphasis to a reading of the Founder's "I'll Fight!" speech.
The giant screens then showed people from many nations declaring, "I am The Salvation Army" before the General reappeared onstage to add his voice, "I am The Salvation Army – and I'll fight to the very end." Pointing to the crowd, he added the challenge, "And you? And you? Will you fight to the end?"
With the backdrop of a giant "blood-and-fire"-emblem star, Commissioner Silvia Cox, world president of women's ministries, closed the session by offering praise through prayer in passionate French, thanking God again and again for all he is doing.
To see the full third session of Boundless, "A Serving Army," watch below:
Salvation Army Leaders Unveil Catherine Booth Statue on Founders' Day
Leaders of The Salvation Army from across the world met on Mile End Road in the East End of London on July 2, 2015 to commemorate Founders' Day and unveil a statue of the Army Mother, Catherine Booth, next to one of William Booth erected in 1979.
"This is a special day as we recognize the remarkable contributions Catherine Booth had in shaping The Salvation Army to be what it is today," said General André Cox in welcoming attendees, Army officers, local religious leaders, city workers and Booth family members alike.
Known for her partnership in beginning the ministry that would become The Salvation Army 150 years ago, Catherine Booth is heralded today for advocating for women's equal rights to preach.
The statue, a depiction of Catherine in bonnet, hand extended and clutching a Bible to her chest, was funded by women of The Salvation Army in the United States of America (USA).
"One of the things that attracted me to the Army at age 11 was that both of the [male and female] officers were ordained and spoke at the corps," said Commissioner Debora Bell, USA Southern Territorial President of Women's Ministries. "I felt a calling to be a woman preacher. Because of what Catherine did, I can do what I do."
Down the road, past the Blind Beggar public house where William held street meetings, a tent meeting at Vallance Gardens, a disused Quaker burial ground, recreated the earliest form of Army ministry with songs, testimonies and a message by the Chief of the Staff (Commissioner William Roberts).
"We can celebrate what is happening today in the East End," said Major Nick Coke, corps officer of the nearby Stepney Corps, which he and Major Kerry Coke started 12 years ago. "The Founder said he found his destiny in the East End and I've felt a little of that, too."
Ashley Green, a cadet in the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland from Stepney Corps, said the Cokes embody Booth's vision for the Army's mission, particularly for building relationships with the community that is largely Muslim today.
"I want to be an officer who is intentional about getting to know people, too," Green said. "Here it's a religious difference, but in some places it might be age or something else. I want to be willing to reinvent what needs to be done to reach people."
For Colonel Ted Horwood, Territorial Commander, Tanzania, the commemorative event marked an opportunity to look forward.
"The Salvation Army is well positioned today in what God is doing in society," he said. 'For me, this is not so much about looking back but is a chance to look with great expectation at what God has in store in the next 150 years."
The session can be watched online (along with the pre- and post- show produced by SAVN.TV) at www.boundless2015.org. Boundless 2015 social media sites – Twitter (@Boundless2015), Instagram (Boundless_2015) and Facebook (Boundless 2015) – continue to be flooded with the latest news and views from delegates and Salvationists and friends from around the world, using the hashtag #Boundless2015. Visit Salvationist.ca's Facebook page daily for the “Best of Boundless.”
Read the third edition of the congress daily newspaper, Boundless Today, here: