International Conference of Leaders gathers in Los Angeles
AT the welcome dinner for delegates to the International Conference of Leaders 2017 – being held in Los Angeles, USA Western Territory – the Chief of the Staff (Commissioner Brian Peddle) brought words of welcome on behalf of General André Cox, and Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder (Territorial Commander, USA Western) delivered words of greeting in each of the main languages represented by the delegates.
In a time of welcome and devotion, Commissioner Rosalie Peddle (World Secretary for Women's Ministries) declared that God's Spirit 'is here' – a thought reiterated in the prayer of Colonel Debbie Horwood (Brazil Territory) who asked that the Lord would speak through his Spirit – a spirit of wisdom and love. If the prayer was that God should speak, the Chief of the Staff's thoughts centred on the question: 'Are you listening?'
Before delivering his keynote address, in which he outlined the main themes of the agenda, the General said he hoped in the coming week that delegates would allow themselves some space to be in the presence of God and to listen to what he is saying to each person.
Although listening was not a stated title for this gathering it ran through everything that was presented. Listening will be essential if the General's hopes for the week are to be realised, namely – as he told delegates – 'that God will grant courage and wisdom leading The Salvation Army forward and working for a future that aligns with God's desire and plans'.