30 Jun From the National Commander
This weekend, Salvos will observe Founders’ Day in various ways and to various degrees. On Sunday, Tracey and I will share in a soldiers enrolment at a Corps. In the afternoon, we will participate in a Founders’ Day celebration at Melbourne 614, including the launch of a new book, “Partnering with God – Being a Missional Salvationist” written by Major Lyn Edge and Major Gregory Morgan. Following the afternoon event at 614, we will attend an evening forum with John Cleary. The forum considers the foundations for the future, providing an ideal way to round out Founders’ Day for us.
I am convinced that Founders’ Day is not so much about our past, rather it must be about our future as a movement. William and Catherine Booth looked to the future, recognising the past and seeing God’s hand upon the past as a foundation for the future of the movement.
In the days of Australia One, we are indeed focussed on the future – and positioning The Salvation Army to be used by God in the coming decades. The time in which we live out the mission is different in so many ways to that of the founding era. The foundational theology, principles and practice of the past are worth careful and celebrative consideration. But our past has positioned us for the present, and so we must in the present live fully all that God has gifted and called us to be and do. We do so with a view beyond the present, to the future where God is leading us.
From the foundations of our past through to our present, we affirm again that The Salvation Army is a Christian movement committed to sharing the love of Jesus. We share the love of Jesus by caring for people, creating faith pathways, building healthy communities and working for justice. We are about improving the future. We are prepared to disturb the present. Wherever there is hardship and injustice, Salvos will live, love and fight alongside others, transforming Australia one life at a time with the love of Jesus.
This weekend we will observe Founders’ Day with a view to the future God has in mind for The Salvation Army in Australia and around the world; this Army he has raised up for his mission. Let this be a weekend in which we commit time to reflection and prayer, giving thanks not only for the past but for the future plans God has for the Army and surrender ourselves to that plan and purpose.