Everyone is Welcome as the Chief of the Staff Leads Denmark and Greenland Territorial Congress
WHEN the Denmark and Greenland Territory gathered for its congress in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, the doors and windows of Temple Hall were left wide open. This was partly due to an extraordinary heatwave but also in accordance with the congress theme: Go Into God’s Presence – Go Out and be Present. A good deal of the programme took place outside, with marches, concerts and events in central Copenhagen. The Salvation Army made its distinctive mark on the street scenes, sharing joy and faith with others.
An open invitation
A presentation of brass music, song and dance at a central square and a well-attended concert at Copenhagen Cathedral were advertised as being open to all - not just a closed party for the saved. This approach was emphasised by the visiting leaders, General-Elect Commissioner Brian Peddle (Chief of the Staff) and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle (World Secretary for Women’s Ministries). Both contributed strong, Spirit-filled Bible messages.
The Chief told the congregation at the commissioning meeting that mission is about being sent out into the world. It is not a choice, he said, it is a command to follow. He cautioned his listeners that the world does not necessarily wait for us with open arms, but it needs the love of God. Later, the three new lieutenants received their first appointments.
The need to share God's love in word and deed was a common thread through the congress. Inspiring preaching and worship were supported by drama and even stand-up comedy.
Prize-winning comedian Melvin Kakooza told the audience on Saturday evening that he always prays before going on stage, which means, he explained, that he has had the privilege to pray for other comedians as well. Melvin, whose parents are Salvation Army officers, says his goal is to spread joy with a focus on what unites, not that which divides.
The Salvation Army in Denmark and Greenland stands on the verge of a leadership change, so the closing meeting was also a farewell for the present territorial commander, Colonel Hannelise Tvedt. After four years as leader of The Salvation Army in her country of birth, she will take over in August as Territorial Commander of The Netherlands, Czech Republic and Slovakia Territory.
In her final message, Colonel Tvedt gave examples of how ‘coincidental’ meetings with people have turned into deep conversations and spontaneous prayers in the midst of everyday life, at places like street corners or in a cafe. She encouraged other Salvationists and friends to practise this type of ‘everyday Christianity’ outside of their corps (church) halls. This, she explained, is the reason why we call ourselves a ‘Salvation Army’. Our main purpose is to provide salvation to others.
In this and every other meeting at the congress, the mercy seat was lined with seekers responding to the call to share the gospel with others.
The congress concluded outdoors, with the serving of coffee and cake. It was a good way to launch a party to which everyone was invited!
Report by Major Levi Giversen
- Photos from the visit can be downloaded from the IHQ Flickr stream: sar.my/cosden18