10 November 2016

THE Chief of the Staff (Commissioner Brian Peddle) and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle (World Secretary for Women’s Ministries) encouraged delegates to the United Kingdom with the Republic of Ireland territorial congress, held at Harrogate International Centre, to be daring in mission. The commissioners know the territory well, having been chief secretary and territorial secretary for women's ministries in the UK between 2009 and 2011.

On Saturday evening, Territorial Commander Commissioner Clive Adams acknowledged the musicians who had taken part in fringe events during the afternoon, some of whom also featured in the main meetings. Music was also provided throughout the event by the International Staff Band and International Staff Songsters. Making reference to the weekend's theme, Prepare to Dare, the territorial commander described the congress as a time to prepare. He urged delegates – and people from around the territory and in 38 other countries who watched the live stream – to dare to go where others dare not go.

The programme was interspersed with video clips of Salvation Army work in the territory, including a thriving JAM (Jesus and Me) club for children at Wick, Messy Church for families at Wellingborough, testimony from a resident at Tŷ Gobaith Lifehouse, Cardiff, and the Kids Alive Band from Belfast Citadel. Forty members of the band, which has attracted 60 children mostly of Zimbabwean or Chinese families living near the corps (church) building, participated in the meeting, playing ‘Are You Washed?’. The sight of so many young people playing with sincerity and determination was deeply moving, and the congregation responded with a sustained standing ovation.

In an engaging message, the Chief of the Staff made reference to Salvationists who 50 years ago dropped everything to go and help following a tragedy in the Welsh mining village of Aberfan. He challenged everyone to dare to belong to God unconditionally and to dare to show his love and grace to a needy world. The mission of God in the world must, he said, remain the one thing that would prompt Salvationists to drop everything and take action.

On Sunday morning, the congregation remembered UK officers serving around the world with a focus on Bangladesh, Zambia, Australia, Brazil and Poland. The territorial commander spoke about the continuing Fit for Mission process in the territory, urging Salvationists and friends to embrace the Kingdom of God to understand mission, exercise Kingdom values, move out of comfortable conditions and take up the Cross and follow Jesus.

The Chief reinforced this message in his Bible thoughts, saying: ‘Get out of the barracks and claim new Kingdom ground ... the battle’s not yours, it’s the Lord’s.’ At the conclusion of the meeting many people went forward to the mercy seat.

Chief Secretary Colonel David Hinton led opening worship for the final meeting in which various aspects of ministry were highlighted, including anti-trafficking and sports. Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, in the Bible message, focused on the Great Commission, reminding delegates: ‘You were made for mission’ and urged them to prepare to engage as people of obedient faith, embracing holy living and values as they are empowered by Holy Spirit power and courage. She concluded by calling for a declaration to respond: 'Count me in Lord, I must do your mission.'

The territorial commander concluded with a challenge: ‘There comes a time when preparation must stop ... get up, get out and do what God has called you to do.’

Report by Major Jane Kimberley

Tags: Europe, Events