Commissioner Floyd Tidd:

When we first arrived back in the Canada and Bermuda Territory from our time as leaders in Australia four years ago, in the first chapel, I talked about my Rubik’s Cube, and the lessons of life and leadership that I’ve learned from it. I want to use it as a focus for us this morning, slightly different than the initial message from four years ago.

There are some principles in solving the Rubik’s Cube puzzle that apply to our lives and ministry, and that we’ve applied to our leadership. The first is that centre block on every side of the cube never moves. In fact, it cannot move. Regardless of the fact that there many different colours on one side, if I ignore the centre colours, I will never solve the cube.

Stay Centred

When everything else in my life is uncertain, there is one certainty in our lives. The centre never changes. That centre, Jesus Christ, has been the premise upon which we have built our lives. It’s the focus of how we have sought to lead, recognizing that we are to be centred in Christ.

In Philippians 1, Paul writes, “I thank my God, every time I remember you, and all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel.” We are not just partners. But we’re partners in the gospel, the gospel that never changes.

We’ve centred ourselves upon that gospel that says God has made a way for all of us to be reconciled to him. And that does not change. From the very beginning of time, God has sought to ensure that there would be a way for us to be in relationship with him. And so, we centre ourselves on the one who does not change and his mission in our world.

We’re not just partners in The Salvation Army. We’re partners in the gospel, and the gospel is good news. We live in a world that is desperate to know that there is good news. Our Salvation Army mission statement says that we are committed to sharing the love of Jesus, meeting human needs and being a transforming influence in the communities of our world.

There is one significant word in that mission statement that we must not lose: “AND.” We share the love of Jesus AND we meet human needs. That’s what makes The Salvation Army what it is: a mission that declares that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. And we are here to serve and support.

I have watched over the course of these last four years as our territory has mobilized quickly in the midst of COVID and pivoted to meet human needs. I’ve watched as we have rallied vehicles and people to move into an area where wildfires were edging into the city and remote areas. While everybody else was leaving town, our trucks and our people were moving in to serve alongside the first responders and firefighters.

I’ve watched as we have packed thousands of backpacks for kids heading back to school and connected with principals to provide food packs and breakfast supplies for students who may not have enough food to start their day of learning.

I’ve watched as we have made and remade thousands of beds, with clean, fresh linens for those without a roof or a blanket of their own.

That’s part of our mission. That’s part of why we exist. But our mission is also to share the love of Jesus.

When Jesus came across a large crowd that wanted to hear his teaching, Scripture says, “He looked upon them with compassion, for they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them.”

The Gospel account says that after Jesus taught for a while there was the reminder from his disciples that the people were hungry, they needed to be fed. And so, he fed the 5,000. Can I say, let us not become so fatigued in our compassion for people in their need, that we have no energy left for sharing Jesus.

I don’t want to give another bag of groceries to someone who doesn’t know that there is a banquet table set for them in heaven and that they’re invited to share at that table. I don’t want to put a blanket around or prepare a bed for one more person who does not know that Jesus said in my Father’s house, there are many rooms, and there’s one there for them. I don’t want another child to have a backpack full of learning supplies who doesn’t know that there are lessons from the great teacher that can guide their lives.

We must stay centred and hold these two pieces together well as we share the love of Jesus, meet human needs and be a transforming influence in our communities. This is the gospel that we are partners in. Let’s be sure that we are giving our very best energies and focus to both elements of our mission.

Stay Connected

Secondly, every time I move one block on the Rubik’s Cube at least 11 others move and are affected. And so, the second principle in our lives and ministry is that every move we make has a profound effect on others. Don’t diminish or miss the significance of even the smallest gesture. In one of her interviews, Mother Teresa talked about doing small things well, with great love and with great compassion.

I stand amazed when I look at the number of people across Canada and Bermuda who are touched on an annual basis by The Salvation Army. We’re a fairly small force, between our officers, soldiers, employees and volunteers, in light of 40 million people. But the impact happens one little move at a time. Don’t underestimate that one little move.

Over and over, the Gospel accounts and New Testament letters urge us to love one another, bear one another’s burdens, encourage one another, pray for one another. It is a “one another” reality being partners in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. So don’t miss that opportunity. Don’t underestimate the impact that God makes through your offering. Remember, it was just five little fish and a couple of loaves of bread that Jesus blessed and use to feed more than 5,000.

Stay Committed

There’s one more lesson. I can complete one side of the Rubik’s Cube and it looks complete if people can’t see the other five sides. In reality, however, I cannot complete the Rubik’s Cube unless I am prepared to disturb that perfect side and lose the game that I already have. I have to disturb that win that I’ve already worked so hard for in order to get a second side and then the third, fourth, fifth and final side. I have to be willing to give up the win that I have rather than bask in it.

Our territory has been prepared over these last four years, prompted in some ways because of COVID realities, to not sit on our laurels, not just sit back and relax, not just look at the good old days, but rather prepared to disturb the present. Catherine Booth said, “There is no improving the future without disturbing the present.” We need to be willing to give up the win that we already have, and to be a little uncomfortable. Jesus came to bring comfort to the comfortless. But he also made the comfortable uncomfortable.

Over these last four years, we have been willing to allow our comfort zone to be disturbed, that God might do an even greater work within us. We say thank you, not only on behalf of Tracey and I and the leadership team here, but on behalf of people all across the territory whose lives have been impacted by The Salvation Army because of your willingness to say, “We can do this better, we can work it differently, we will step into that uncomfortable space.”

Let me encourage you to stay committed to the cause. It’s a cause worth dying for, or at least Jesus thought it was. And when you find a cause worth dying for, you find a cause worth living for. It changes life completely. Jesus said, if anyone wants to follow me, they must be prepared to deny themselves, give up their own agenda, and take up their cross and follow me, follow my agenda.

There’s a challenge before us each day to choose Christ or to choose my own comfort. Following Jesus does mean sacrifice; it means putting the cause of Christ before our own personal comfort.

We commend Commissioners Lee and Debbie Graves and Colonels John and Lani Chamness to you as leaders we’ve come to love and appreciate even in four short weeks. We know their desire that Jesus Christ will be glorified and that his mission will be fulfilled through The Salvation Army. And in that you will find great joy.

In conclusion, stay centred on Christ, stay connected to each other and stay committed to the cause. It has been our joy, our privilege over these last four years to serve as territorial leaders and to be partners in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with each and every one of you. May God continue to bless you. God is good. And he will be good through you. And we look forward to seeing you in the days that lie ahead. God bless.

Commissioner Tracey Tidd:

This is a significant moment for us. As a territory, we pause in the midst of transition and give thanks to God for all that he has done and declare his faithfulness. I find it strange standing here this morning, and saying farewell, because we thought we would stay until the end of our officership two and a half years from now. But here we are in this next chapter of our journey.

I read these Scripture verses as we enter into a new chapter of our lives and ministry, transitioning from our appointments as territorial leaders, not to retirement, but taking some time out for ourselves as we navigate through Floyd’s treatment and determine the next steps for us.

Philippians 1:3-11 includes the verse that I claimed as my guiding verse in training college 39 years ago: “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Floyd and I adopted that passage together as a family, being “partners in the gospel of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.”

The work God began in me started as a young child attending Sunday school. Later, as a teenager, I became aware of his ongoing love and work in my life and surrendered to him. I chose to allow him to lead the way forward for my life.

There have been many transitions over the years, some unexpected chapters in my own life, as an officer and personally, but as I look back, I have seen God’s hand at work in those transitions. And so today, in the midst of another transition, in the midst of another new chapter, an unexpected chapter in our lives, I’m already seeing God at work.

And so, this week we say, farewell. Not goodbye. As a partner in the gospel all across the territory of Canada and Bermuda, we can say farewell, praying that you will do well, that you will “fare well” and be aware of God at work within you accomplishing more than you could ever ask or imagine.

This next chapter has God’s fingerprints all over it. And so, we step boldly into the coming days confident that God is working it all out according to his good and perfect plan for our lives. Whatever this current chapter in your life includes, or next chapter you see on the horizon, let me encourage you to trust God to do what only he can do for all the tomorrows and the years to come. God bless you.


On Sunday, September 17, 2023, Melvin Moss said:

I knew Floyd and his entire family well over 40 years when i worked in the Mines in Sudbury Ontario.I faithfully attended the Salvation Army on Lorne Street.My Prayer is that God has his Hand upon Floyd.There is no Sickness or Decease that God cannot Heal. Keep your Trust in God.Jesus never Fails.Blessings to YE'ALL.

On Thursday, September 7, 2023, Ossie and Cathy Tidd said:

Our thoughts are with you in this next stage of your lives.

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