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Rally inspires seniors to 'dare to be different'

Rally inspires seniors to 'dare to be different'

Rally inspires seniors to 'dare to be different'

16 March 2018

More than 300 Salvos attended the Seniors Rally at Brimbank Corps in early March.

By Faye Michelson

“There’s no retirement age in God’s kingdom” was the message of this month’s Victoria Seniors Rally and “Now is the Time” conference.

Territorial community care and senior ministry officer, Jennifer Cloke, said more than 300 Salvos attended the rally at Brimbank Corps to hear the call to “dare to be different”.

“In many churches – not just The Salvation Army – older people can feel forgotten because there is such a focus on youth,” Jennifer said.

“Of course, churches must do that, but we also need to think about how we can capitalise on seniors’skills, resources and time because God hasn’t finished with us yet. We aimed to inspire seniors to be a vital part of The Salvation Army today.”

A highlight of the event was the presentation of the Isabel Gale Memorial Award to Graeme Jacobs, of Maryborough Corps, for his outstanding contribution to seniors’ministries.

Rally keynote speaker Amy Hanson, US author of Baby Boomers and Beyond: Tapping the Ministry Talents and Passions of Adults over 50, also spoke at the “Now is the Time”conference later in the week (7-9 March).

The Salvation Army partnered with other churches to host the inter-denominational conference, which aimed to challenge the ageist culture within church settings and to inspire the use of the untapped potential of people aged 45-plus.

Graham Agnew, Church of Christ minister, leadership trainer and author of Hope in 60 Seconds, spoke on “Seniors, Drivers of Change”, and several workshops were held on topics including the “Intergenerational Church”, “Pushing Back Against Ageism”and “The Ageing Paul”.

The three-day event was organised by The Better Together Team, made up of representatives from most major denominations and several para-church organisations in Australia and New Zealand. The team, formed after the Salvos’ 2017 Territorial Seniors Rally and Conference, aims to resource churches, share ideas, provide training and equip older adults to follow God’s purpose in their later lives.

“The baby boomers have driven change,” Jennifer said. “This is the first generation where university education was available for all, it’s the generation that protested against the Vietnam War and segregation, lobbied for the environment, became entrepreneurs and did things differently from their parents. These events were very much a call to our seniors to be counter-cultural and to dare to be different.”

Comments

  1. It’s true that baby boomers were part of great change. Why didn’t it happen in the Salvation Army? The cultural revolution in the 60s was huge but no such revolution happened in the army. In many corps it’s as if the Beatles never existed. Be super great if these senior folk did create some change..

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