The General and Commissioner Silvia Cox Lead Whole-Life Focused Central East Divisional Congress, UK
LED by General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox (World President of Women's Ministries), more than 450 Salvationists and friends from across the Central East Division of the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland met for a weekend congress focusing on whole-life worship and whole-life discipleship. The congress, under the theme ‘All’, commenced on Saturday with teaching streams on whole-life discipleship, whole-life prayer, men’s ministry, Godly Play and Messy Church.
In the evening celebration the General challenged the congregation to whole-of-life commitment. 'Something is radically different in our lives,' he said, 'something marks us out as being other, different from the world ... The measure of our devotion to God is that ... our very lives live out this restored relationship with God.' The General quoted Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s words ‘Salvation is free, but discipleship will cost you your life’ and then led the congregation in a time of response. Many people went forward for prayer.
During the evening, Territorial Commander Commissioner Lyndon Buckingham conducted the installation of Major Martin Hill as the new divisional commander. Kettering Citadel Band and Leicester South Songsters provided music support.
On Sunday, four meetings each had a distinct focus on whole-life worship and discipleship.
The first meeting considered relationship with Jesus. Songster Leader Sue Blyth (Peterborough Citadel) gave a powerful testimony, speaking of her work as a head teacher and how living out her discipleship had helped her to cultivate a culture in school that had helped make it officially the 'happiest school in England'.
In the second meeting the General reminded delegates that ‘the measure of our devotion is seen in the giving of our all ... in the depth of our discipleship; the way in which we truly follow Jesus’.
The third meeting was led by territorial leaders Commissioners Lyndon and Bronwyn Buckingham. The territorial commander enthusiastically reminded the congregation that ‘the Lord Jesus invites us to be salt and light, to bring out the flavour and the colour of God in the places where we live and where we dwell'.
The congress concluded with a final celebration, with worship led by the divisional gospel chorus and a call from Commissioner Cox to be ‘a mobilised Army’. Young people who had attended children’s meetings testified and then helped lead the congregation in singing ‘The Way it’s Gonna Be’, and a challenge was given to delegates to think about how they would engage in worship and discipleship 'this time tomorrow’.
- Photos from the congress can be downloaded from the IHQ Flickr stream: sar.my/gencte