It’s been called National for years but of course it’s not a national program, it’s a territorial program, so rightly so it is the territorial music school. Not that the name matters really – what matters is that young people come to this event and find a safe place to explore their talent, their music interests, their friendships and their faith. At least that’s my hope for them.
I think anything less would be disappointing. Here’s a small taste from Saturday evening of the quality and involvement of our young people.
Next week will mark one year since we came to our new positions. Friends tell me they weren’t surprised but I was…seriously, I started this journey of Salvation Army officership thinking I would be a corps officer. We launched from CFOT to a small corps in rural Ontario and while life outside the big city was a bit of mystery to me (why do gas stations close at 6 pm on Saturday?) it was delightful to see the corps grow and new people come to faith.
A second corps took us back to the big city and I missed the small town!
Then on to DHQ and five years in youth work where camp life was my greatest delight! I wouldn’t want to do it now (it’s a young man’s sport) but it was great while it lasted.
Two more corps where I fell further in love with leading worship, setting strategic direction and exploring how as a community we might share the Gospel creatively with our neighbours.
Two more DHQ appointments, one as AC and one as DC and then to THQ. I remember getting an email from a friend welcoming me, tongue in cheek, to the tower of power. That was five years ago and I’ve had three appointments. So with this anniversary approaching, I’ve been reflecting on what I have learned.
Life on the seventh floor has been about learning, listening and leading. The view from here is different too – when I would look at decisions from my small place somewhere on the field the right decision for The Army seemed obvious! Why are we doing this I would quip. But making decisions isn’t so simple and it isn’t so simple. There are many things to be considered and when you don’t have all the information it’s hard to understand.
I’ve also learned that my partners in ministry are wonderful people with pure motives and a deep desire to do what is best. They are fun to work with, having great backgrounds and work tirelessly. There is a sense of responsibility that cannot be denied and while it is not burdensome, it does stay with us as we attempt to make the best decisions we can for now and for the future.
So a year later I sense that this is a good fit for me but really, one day, I hope to be a corps officer again. Let’s see what happens!
This morning’s chapel was focused on how we help others – it highlighted the communication of William Booth who in his final days sent a communication to be read to a Congress meeting – it simply read “others”.
Our very talented Simon put together a wonderful montage of photos, at my request, to the music of The Beatles’ HELP. I’m not sure who else liked it, though I’ve heard a few people today humming it in the hallways, but I thought it was a catchy idea. Of course we couldn’t leave off Psalm 121 “where does my help come from? It comes from the maker of heaven and earth”.
Speaking of heaven, I’ve been listening to a number of You Tube videos featuring N.T. Wright. What a tremendous scholar and I’ve been very taken by his teaching on heaven and hell. I will be reading more of his books this year.