GENERAL André Cox took centre stage on Saturday morning at the 2014 International Conference of Leaders (ICL), supported by the Chief of the Staff, Commissioner William A. Roberts, as he considered delegate recommendations which followed items discussed at the conference: Adherent Membership, Leadership Development, Lifestyle Issues, Impact Measurement and Accountability.
The conversation and comments were significant and the theme of compassionate care for the mission of the Army was evident.
In reflecting upon his fourth international leaders conference, Commissioner M.C. James (Territorial Commander, India Western Territory) said the conferences he had attended had been ‘a good experience for fellowship, friendship and understanding the internationalism of The Salvation Army’. The commissioner confirmed that the ‘group brainstorming and reflection system is very helpful’ as it stimulates discussion and allows for the sharing of ‘ideas and plans for mission’.
Colonel Hannelise Tvedt (The Netherlands and Czech Republic Territory), attending her first international leaders conference, said: ‘It is indeed a privilege to be part of this group of leaders from all the territories in which The Salvation Army is working.’ The colonel confirmed that ‘there is a strong sense of unity – of belonging together’, and that even when colleagues don’t agree, ‘it happens in a gracious way’.
The 2014 International Conference of Leaders was a week filled with rich conversation and intentional reflection and debate on significant issues facing The Salvation Army in the 21st century. In the final plenary session, the General expressed sincere thanks to the leaders for their time, commitment and dedication in working cooperatively. He told delegates: ‘The journey is ongoing and the conversation will continue’ through forums such as the General’s Consultative Council (GCC), Zonal Conferences and the International Doctrine and Moral and Social Issues Councils.
The 2014 ICL came to an appropriate conclusion as leaders gathered for worship with hearts full of thanksgiving for what was accomplished. The final moments of the meeting witnessed the leaders in prayer as each gladly presented him or herself as ‘a living and holy sacrifice to God’ before concluding with verses from the Founder's song, ‘O Boundless Salvation!’.
Report by Major John P. Murray, MA, APR, CFRE
Communications Secretary and Literary Secretary