01 February 2015

150 days to go cake

WITH just 150 days to go until The Salvation Army's 150th anniversary, Salvationists and friends around the world are counting down to the landmark anniversary congress Boundless – The Whole World Redeeming. The 1–5 July event will be the most diverse international gathering in the Army's history, with delegates expected to converge on The O2 in east London from all 126 countries in which the church and charity ministers.

Official programme

Boundless 2015 is a celebration of what God is doing in and through The Salvation Army. It will commemorate the rich heritage of the movement that was founded by William and Catherine Booth in London's East End in 1865 - just a short distance from the congress venue. And, crucially, the congress will innovate for the future, spurring Salvationists on to even greater things in the power of the Holy Spirit. Throughout the five days, the cultural diversity of The Salvation Army will be reflected in song, dance and film. Under the leadership of General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox (World President of Women's Ministries), the seven main sessions will include challenging Bible teaching and inspirational times of prayer, worship, celebration and fellowship.

Ticket sales have been brisk, with some of the main sessions now completely sold out. The few remaining tickets are on sale via the boundless2015.org website, but anyone intending to book is encouraged to act quickly to avoid disappointment.

A unique collaboration between The Salvation Army's International Headquarters Communications team, USA Western Territory's SAVN.tv and USA Southern Territory's Salvation Army Today will ensure that people unable to attend the congress in person will still be able to count themselves as Boundless delegates through extensive online coverage. Each of the main teaching and worship sessions will be broadcast live, with additional reporting throughout the day and pre- and post-event programming. Delegates are encouraged to share their own experiences, photos and videos throughout the congress using the hashtag #Boundless2015 across social media.

 
  Boundless team members Louise and Peter take part in a live #AskBoundless web chat for prospective volunteers

To date, more than 200 people have signed up to join the team of Boundless Volunteers who will be essential to the smooth running of the congress. Roles include greeter, host, translator and a number of back-of-house functions. Applications to join the team close today – last-minute submissions can be accepted online. The Boundless Volunteers will be the public face of The Salvation Army at venues across London. Thousands of members of the public visiting the iconic O2 will be invited to visit the Boundless Experience, which includes an exhibition charting the history of The Salvation Army. At the Whitechapel Idea Store and Tower Hamlets Local History Library, local corps officer (minister) Captain Nick Coke is staging a series of exhibitions, talks and archive film screenings about the development of The Salvation Army in the very place where it all began.

Other public events are in the planning stages, including a high-profile march of Christian witness down The Mall – in front of Buckingham Palace – which has this week been confirmed as the culmination of the 150th anniversary congress celebrations at 3.30 pm on Sunday 5 July. It is expected that crowds of people will line the ceremonial route along one of London's most historic and recognisable locations as Salvationists and Army bands from around the world march in unity.

As the countdown to the international congress proceeds, Boundless – The Whole World Praying also continues. Tomorrow, Salvationists in Denmark hand the 24-7 prayer baton over to their Scandinavian neighbours in Norway, Iceland and the Færoes. Meanwhile, Boundless – The Whole World Reading enters its second month this week with a live web chat on Thursday 5 February to consolidate the readings from the gospel of Matthew.

Report by IHQ Communications
International Headquarters

Tags: 150th anniversary, Events