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  • Jun1Mon

    Hometown Proud

    Lt-Colonel Sandra Rice returns to her roots in Newfoundland and Labrador. June 1, 2020
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    (Above) "I am honoured to be given the opportunity to return to these communities to serve and live out my calling," says Lt-Colonel Sandra Rice, corps officer.

    After nearly 40 years as a Salvation Army officer, and six years as the divisional commander of the Ontario Central-East Division, you will soon be returning to Newfoundland and Labrador as a corps officer at Robert’s Arm–Pilley’s Island Corps. What are your thoughts about this new assignment?

    Lt-Colonel Sandra Rice: This is an opportunity to return to that which is foundational to me as an officer. I have always had an inescapable calling to be a corps officer. I have gained valuable experience and am incredibly grateful for any influence I have been able to make as a divisional youth secretary, training college officer, training principal, secretary for personnel and divisional commander. Nevertheless, as I approach my 40th anniversary as an officer, I look back on my appointments as a corps officer as those which have given me the greatest satisfaction.

    To be a corps officer truly identifies me with Jesus who came into the world to seek and save those who were lost. Of course, I can’t save anyone, but I can faithfully point people to the Saviour. As a corps officer, I have the privilege to ensure these same people are discipled and moved toward a mature faith. As a corps officer, I am given access to people’s lives and homes and have the privilege of journeying with them in their joy and in their pain. As a corps officer, I am uniquely and directly positioned to offer a wonderful message of hope, to help people better embrace this present life to the full and equip them for the life yet to come. As a corps officer, I not only get to pastor a congregation of people, but I can participate in the life of a community, and in this case communities, helping meet individual needs while sharing the transforming message of the gospel.

    How have your years in executive leadership prepared you for this new appointment?

    I believe the events and experiences of every appointment provide opportunities to grow, learn and mature. During these past years, I have been able to participate in broader discussions focusing on The Salvation Army’s mission in a changing and diverse culture. I have been part of a team of people who have wrestled with complex issues, addressing mission advancement, assessing relevance, stewarding financial and personnel resources and developing strategy.

    The discussions in which I have been involved and the decisions made—for good and ill—have broadened my perspective, added insight and, hopefully, provided wisdom and experience that will assist in ministry at the local level.

    In my role as divisional commander, I have learned so much from leaders in the field, and never more so than from those serving in corps appointments. Space does not allow me to elaborate, but those lessons, perhaps as much as anything else, have prepared me for my new appointment. I believe The Salvation Army can add focus on the significance of the corps officer, assessing the challenges and celebrating successes and ministry. That is a topic for another day, but please, come back and talk to me in six months, and I may be able to provide a more detailed perspective as one who is living the experience.

    I understand you are going to an appointment with which you have some familiarity. Tell us about that.

    Though I have been an officer for nearly 40 years, I have been out of corps leadership for the last 20 years. Not only that, but I have been away from my home province, Newfoundland and Labrador, for 36 years. Who could have imagined that my heart and mind would be so focused on serving in and ministering to the very communities that shaped and influenced me in my earlier years?

    I lived in Pilley’s Island for the earlier years of my life, then moved five kilometres away to Robert’s Arm. These are small communities, but it was here and at this corps where I spent the bulk of my formative years. Following university, I returned to Robert’s Arm as a high school teacher. It was from this corps and community that I entered the College for Officer Training in 1978. I am honoured to be given the opportunity to return to these communities to serve and live out my calling and covenant, signed 40 years ago.

    I am aware of the responsibility, and to some extent the challenges, but I am humbled by the beautiful privilege that comes with a corps officer appointment. I just want to do my best to live up to that and to those entrusted to me, and honour God in so doing.


    On Saturday, August 14, 2021, Jane Ann Thompson. -McCaw said:

    Good day ..,Sandra Don’t know …if you remember ..but you came to my home.. in Belleville with col.Robert Chapman and Alvina for a Christmas evening …then you sent me a letter.. that I still have in my file! I’m a honorary member of advisory board for over 42 years Living now in Peterborough Ontario !Recently been looking Up in my files… photo of me and General Arnold Brown when I I re-enacted the founder William Booth and The general stayed with me over that weekend ! That’s when I came across your letter ! Congratulations on your new calling! all Gods blessing! Hopefully this will happen… Planning to have special…. Service in June 2022 at citadel in this city for a Thanksgiving Queen Elizabeth 11….my first Meeting with local officers in September to confirm ! Would love to hear from you sometime! Keep well. Keep safe Yours in loyality. Jane Ann


    On Tuesday, June 30, 2020, Melvin Moss said:

    Need more Honest Committed Officers like you.God Bless You. You will Prosper in your Appointment. Appointed by God, you can't go wrong. Souls for the Kingdom. AMEN. HALLELUJAH.


    On Saturday, June 6, 2020, Jean Moulton said:

    Sandra, what a privilege to have worked with you on your journey. You are passionate always and have faithfully aimed to support and encourage your teams. The folk to whom you will now minister will be so blessed to hear the 'Word of the Lord' from you in speech and example. Of this I am sure; you will love them. Bless you! Be blessed abundantly!


    On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, Doris Crooks said:

    Congratulations Sandra,I am excited for you to return home and taking up your post as Corps Leadership, you will do great as you follow the Lords leading in your ministry.I will be sure to look you up on my next visit . So excited for the Salvation Army, what a privilege to return home and be what God has called you to be ,a light in the darkness.Bless you


    On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, Ray Harris (Major) said:

    I count it one of the great privileges of my officership to have served with you, Sandra. And we had such fun working together. Look out Roberts Arm!


    On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, Natalia DeBoer said:

    Thank you for all your years of service! Blessings, Natalia.


    On Monday, June 1, 2020, James Mercer said:

    Sandra: Just want to say thank you for your leadership and sharing in Kingdom building during these past 6 years as our DC . Your wisdom, compassion, vision, and Godly leadership has impacted many of us who had the privilege of serving with you. Robert’s Arm ( and the NL division) will be blessed to have you serve them , as you finish up your calling as a Corps Officer . Hope our paths will cross again . May God Bless you.


    On Monday, June 1, 2020, Susan Roffel said:

    Lt-Col. Sandra, I thank you for your encouragement and challenges along the way. You are heading to "God's Country" - His blessings as you return home!


    On Monday, June 1, 2020, Rev. Dr. Ronald Ryan, said:

    Lt-Colonel Rice is returning to an embrace that will support her and serve her well. She, likewise, I am confident, will support and serve "her people" in every sense of the word. I sincerely wish her well.


    On Monday, June 1, 2020, Lisa Baker said:

    I will miss you Sandra! You have been an awesome boss. I appreciate all that you have trusted me with these past 4+ years. I just know that God will continue to bless and keep you in your new appointment! God bless, Lisa


    On Monday, June 1, 2020, Audrey Rowsell said:

    I am so proud of you Sandra and so pleased that you are returning home to minister for such a time as this; God’s perfect timing. Great things are in store for you, the Corps, The Salvation Army, the community and the kingdom of God. I look forward to seeing you again when Covid loosens its grip and we are able to visit. Blessings


    On Monday, June 1, 2020, Colonels Lindsay and Lynette Rowe said:

    How wonderful to know you will be returning to your roots to serve in what, to us, is the greatest of appointments- corps officership! God bless you with His protection, wisdom and power and always remember there is a cup of tea for you at the Rowe’s Nest in Chance Cove! Love and prayers!


    On Monday, June 1, 2020, Marjorie-Anne Wilfong said:

    I would like to thank Lt-Colonel Rice for her humor, caring ways, kindness & her many messages of encouragement. So enjoyed her at women's camps. Never seen a person doing a auction who could make you feel guilty but so happy to give because we were having so much fun. Our loss is a great gain for Robert's Arm. You truly will be missed. Again thank you for answering God's Call. Wishing you All God's Blessings. Marj


    On Monday, June 1, 2020, Gerald Lacey said:

    God bless you Sandra! See you in a month.


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