07 Jul From the National Commander
I will long remember this Founder’s Day event as we embark on the second year of the Australia One journey. The room was full and dynamic, whilst during a celebration service in the Temple at 69 Bourke Street, home of 614, the new book “Partnering with God – Being a Missional Salvationist” by Major Lyn Edge and Major Gregory Morgan was launched. I am convinced this book is a must read for anyone considering Salvation Army soldiership, and every soldier (including officers) reviewing their covenant.
Following the meeting in the Temple, nearly 150 people crammed into the café downstairs for refreshments and to listen to the Salvos Big Band playing selections from their new album, Testify. In the open forum and Q&A period with National Leadership hosted by John Cleary, who recently retired as one of Australia’s leading commentators on religious affairs on ABC Radio, we had the opportunity to listen to comments and respond to questions about Australia One, and the future of The Salvation Army.
After a series of questions and comments, to which our responses sought to give greater clarity and understanding regarding Australia One, there came a poignant question that gave perfect perspective to everyone in the room including leadership. “Australia One – Sounds good but so what? What difference is all of that going to make to us on the streets?”
I was quickly taken to a conversation 10 months ago following one of the ‘Town Hall’ meetings at a THQ outlining to staff and officers the early steps of Australia One. In that presentation, we spoke of the 6 ‘Why’s’ of Australia One – the reasons for Australia One. Following the presentation, a Salvo employee had come over to chat with me. He told me – “I get it… it’s not about me. It’s not even about The Salvation Army. It is about the people we serve.”
From across a table where we all shared a meal, music and conversation together in the basement café we were all reminded that Australia One must position all of us so that wherever there is hardship or injustice, we as Salvos live, love and fight alongside others transforming Australia one life at a time with the love of Jesus.