This May, Salvationists will gather for one of the biggest youth events our territory has ever seen. Hundreds of young people from across Canada and Bermuda will descend on Montreal for a four-day Territorial Youth Congress (TYC), the first time an event like this has happened in 40 years.

“It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our young people,” says Major Terence Hale, territorial youth secretary. “We wanted to have a TYC so that they could come together to celebrate and learn what it means to be Christians in today’s world.”

The congress has taken the theme “VOIT/SEE,” reflecting its fully bilingual approach (“voit” means “see” in French). As Major Hale explains, the theme comes from Isaiah 43:19: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

“We want to challenge our young people to change their perspective,” he says. “The TYC is an opportunity for God to speak to us, and we hope that people will see that he is doing a new thing—in our personal relationships with God and in The Salvation Army.”

Major Hale emphasizes that the congress will not just be about learning information—it will also have a practical component. “Throughout the event, delegates will have ample opportunity to engage in mission in downtown Montreal and the surrounding areas,” he says. “And each afternoon, we will set up an open-air stage beside the congress venue where we’ll have live entertainment and evangelism outreach.”

For those who are not able to make it to the TYC in person, all the main sessions will be livestreamed, with online hosts offering exclusive, interactive content during the services. “We want viewers to feel that they’re immersed in the congress experience, even if they’re somewhere else in the territory,” Major Hale says.

As the event draws near, Major Hale is asking everyone in Canada and Bermuda to pray for the youth who will be attending or watching remotely. “We hope that this congress will be a kickstarter for even greater things in the Quebec Division and across the territory.”

Registration for the TYC and individual workshops is now open at For detailed information about the TYC, including speakers, accommodation and schedule, click here.

Ahead of the Territorial Youth Congress, we asked young people from across Canada and Bermuda …

ElizabethElizabeth, Montreal Citadel, Que. Div
1. What do you love about The Salvation Army?

There’s so much to love: the history, the music, the opportunities to meet people from across the territory and around the world. But my favourite thing about the Army is our ministerial roots in outreach work, helping others in order to build God’s kingdom.
—Elizabeth, Montreal Citadel, Que. Div

The family-like atmosphere.
—Matthew, Oshawa Temple, Ont. CE Div

The Salvation Army is an international, interconnected organization that takes faith from a “Sunday-only” theological belief to an everyday practical application of love.
—Caleb, Khi—A Community Church of The Salvation Army, Milton, Ont. GL Div

How they encourage the young people to follow God.
—Oliver, Ottawa (Gatineau), Ont. CE Div

I love that it is open and does not discriminate. Every corps I go to, I feel welcomed.
—Emma, Thunder Bay CC, Ont. GL Div

JorgeJorge, Église de Lumière d’espoir, Montreal, Que. Div
2. Where do you see God working in the Army?

Everywhere, in every action in our communities.
—Jorge, Église de Lumière d’espoir, Montreal, Que. Div

Outreach and love shown to others through ministries such as camp, Partners in Mission, food banks and family services.
—Brandon, Richmond Hill CC, Ont. CE Div

I see God’s work in The Salvation Army through changed lives, personal testimonies and the power the title carries in the public. As an employee, it makes me proud of what I represent and who I’m representing to others: Jesus Christ and his love.
—Julia, Halifax Citadel CC, Maritime Div

Youth ministries specifically camp.
—Micaela, Meadowlands Corps, Hamilton, Ont. GL Div

In missions across the world.
—Laura, North York Temple, Ont. CE Div

MaudeMaude, Église de Lumière d’espoir, Montreal, Que. Div
3. If you were the General, what’s the first thing you would do?

I come from a remote part of Quebec where The Salvation Army does not have a presence, so I’d like to see churches opened in such regions.
—Maude, Église de Lumière d’espoir, Montreal, Que. Div

I would put out an international call to The Salvation Army to engage with youth in their communities. Many churches are falling into the trap of only being interesting to seniors, which is good, but we need to be more focused on engaging our youth because if we do not have youth in our congregations right now, we won’t in five, 10 or 15 years.
—Kelsey, Westville Corps, N.S., Maritime Div

Redesign the uniform to be modern.
—Caleb, Khi—A Community Church of The Salvation Army, Milton, Ont. GL Div

I would encourage young people to help in the church.
—Gabriela, Ottawa Citadel, Ont. CE Div

YaoYao, Église Communautaire Nouveaux départs de l’Armée du Salut, Montreal, Que. Div
4. What would you like to see happen at the Territorial Youth Congress?

I’d like to witness God’s work in the lives of all the young people. I’d like to see him reveal himself to each and every one of us, and touch our hearts for our spiritual enlightenment.
—Yao, Église Communautaire Nouveaux départs de l’Armée du Salut, Montreal, Que. Div

I’d like to see our youth being inspired to become leaders in their churches.
—Madeleine, Mississauga Temple CC, Ont. CE Div

Lives changed by the grace of God.
—Matthew, Agincourt CC, Toronto, Ont. CE Div

Preaching on God’s call on our lives.
—Sarah-Ève, Église Communautaire Nouveaux départs de l’Armée du Salut, Montreal, Que. Div

Spending time with people from all over Canada and Bermuda.
—Sarah, Oshawa Temple, Ont. CE Div

AllisonAllison, Montreal Citadel, Que. Div
5. What does being a Christian mean to you?

To have a relationship with your Father in heaven and to speak to others about the truth.
—Allison, Montreal Citadel, Que. Div

It means the world to me.
—Courtney, Oshawa Temple, Ont. CE Div

It’s being a light in a dark tunnel and showing others how God has changed my life.
—Kelsey, Westville Corps, N.S., Maritime Div

To be an instrument of God.
—Dameins-Grace, Église Communautaire Nouveaux départs de l’Armée du Salut, Montreal, Que. Div

It means showing the love of God to the people of the world.
—Cassidy, Mississauga Temple CC, Ont. CE Div

Photos: Arnau Cunties Farràs


On Friday, January 10, 2020, Concerned said:

I am very pleased to hear about this upcoming Territorial Youth Congress in Montreal

Forty five years later I still have nothing but the fondest memories of God's blessing and leading of the 1975 North American Youth Congress in Toronto. It was my privilege to be a delegate at it, and there is more than one ( likely retired or close to it ) officer today that can confirm that weekend as the moment their commitment to life time service to God through the Army was sealed. I will never forget the lined mercy seat at Massey Hall, with many of the members of the Canadian Staff Band on their knees praying with our young people.

Times change; the Army has changed. The bonnets and high collared tunics still somewhat in evidence during that Congress are gone. Today's youth face challenges we could only imagine back in those times. More than ever as our congregations sadly continue to shrink there is an urgent need to do everything possible to retain, fellowship and disciple our youth.

I have no doubt that God will bless this Congress as he did the one in 1975!


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