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Oct1ThuSeeking transformation from the inside out, for the sake of “others” and for the kingdom. October 1, 2020 by Commissioner Floyd Tidd
After six years in Australia, being home for the autumn season is a major highlight of our return to the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Of all the autumn months, October excites us the most. It includes turkey, trimmings and pumpkin pie, but rest assured we’re not trying to compensate for six missed Thanksgiving dinners in one sitting! Beyond the Thanksgiving table, we have also missed the walks through the kaleidoscopic spread of autumn glow against the backdrop of greying skies. A brisk stroll through the neighbourhood, a walk through the local park or a weekend hike through the countryside once again fills our senses.
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It’s October, and the leaves are changing and falling to the ground. The iced cappuccino on a hot summer day has been replaced by a mug of warmed apple cider or hot chocolate. Instead of gathering at an outdoor campfire, we now sit beside a woodstove following an evening walk. Autumn change is in the air and somehow that seems good, even familiar and expected.
This year has been filled with unexpected change. A global pandemic created a new reality for us all and brought an unsettling change to the landscape in which we live and work. We have all faced unfamiliar and painful situations over the past months, but there have also been opportunities where we have seen some good. Reimagining the workplace, a fresh appreciation of the value of relationships, time recovered by the forced abandoning of hectic schedules, more quiet time spent in prayer and Bible reading, developing new and deeper relationships with family and neighbours, and rediscovering the richness of a family dinner. These are just some of the good things that are emerging these days. Change, even unexpected change, can bring new blessings into our lives.
This autumn, the Canada and Bermuda Territory launched “Mobilize 2.0—Inspired for Mission, Positioned for Growth,” entering an intentional period of transformation for our movement. This transformation will seek to ensure that we are a mobilized Army, equipped with a vision-aligned strategy to deliver the mission we believe God has given The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda for this decade. This transformation will lead to a consistent and shared commitment to understanding where and how we are called to deliver the mission holistically. We will review our current systems and processes to make sure they’re in line with this transformation—but this is not change for the sake of change. This is transformation from the inside out, for the sake of “others” and for the kingdom.
There is an undeniable movement of God’s spirit across The Salvation Army as he raises up a vast army (see Ezekiel 37:10) for a fresh advance of his mission. This transformation season begins with an openness to the Spirit of God, inviting him to inspire and breathe a fresh wind into his Army. It is a season of God-initiated change as it was for the Israelites when God, through the prophet Ezekiel, declared: “I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands” (Ezekiel 36:26-27 The Message).
I invite all Salvationists across the territory to take a walk with me this fall, to enter this season of change and transformation with eyes wide open to see the hand of God touching the canvas of our world, our communities and our lives. Into a world where so many walk in darkness, we walk as those called by Jesus, “to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world” (Matthew 5:14 The Message). And right now, we, as a movement, will confidently declare the message of the transforming power of the gospel.
With confidence and anticipation, we will walk together into this season of transformation. Guided by his word and Spirit, let us walk in love (see Ephesians 5:2), walk by faith (see 2 Corinthians 5:7) and walk with a hope that does not disappoint (see Romans 5:5).
Commissioner Floyd Tidd is the territorial commander of the Canada and Bermuda Territory.
Photo: Smileus/iStock via Getty Images Plus