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Australian delegates reflect on High Council experience

Australian delegates reflect on High Council experience

Australian delegates reflect on High Council experience

28 May 2018

The six Australian delegates to the 2018 High Council (from left): Colonels Rodney and Wendy Walters, Colonels Julie and Kelvin Alley, and Commissioners Jennifer and Peter Walker.

By Lauren Martin

As delegates of the 2018 High Council begin returning to their territories, Others Online spoke with the six Australian officers about their experience during the election of the 21st General of The Salvation Army.

Colonels Rodney and Wendy Walters, Territorial Commanders of Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar Territory, never thought that a “girl from Wollongong and a boy from Bundamba” would be part of any High Council, yet last week they found themselves doing just that.

“We found this to be a very moving, solemn and spiritual experience,” they said. “Much prayer and reflection upon God’s word helped us through the times of consideration and decision. We believe General-elect, Brian Peddle, is God’s anointed leader ‘for such a time as this’.”

Fellow Aussies and leaders of the Indonesia Territory, Commissioners Peter and Jennifer Walker, also feel confident in the future of The Salvation Army under General-elect Brian Peddle.

“Together with Commissioner Rosalie Peddle they have had extensive international experience and have spent the past few years at the heart of the Army in International Headquarters,” Commissioners Walker told others.org.au after the High Council.

“They are very warm and personable leaders, whose love for people is evident. They are fully aware of all the issues that face the international Army today, and we believe that with our new leaders the Army is well positioned to advance in the future.”

All of the Australians say the experience of the 2018 High Council is one they will never forget.

“The devotional sessions under the leadership of Commissioner Mark Tillsley were very special times for us, along with the overwhelming experience of sharing with 108 leaders representing every part of the global Salvation Army together in one place,” said Commissioner Jennifer Walker.

“Especially we will recall singing together the song They shall come from the East, they shall come from the West at the public welcome meeting last Sunday in London.”

Colonels Kelvin and Julie Alley, leaders of The Salvation Army in Papua New Guinea, say they were overwhelmed by the sense of unity among Salvation Army leaders from around the world, despite cultural and other differences.

“The ultimate point of unity was when the entire body of leaders rose in applause and affirmation to receive the newly elected leader of The Salvation Army, just before the doors of the chamber were opened to reveal the new General-elect to the awaiting Army world,” Colonel Kelvin Alley said.

Colonel Kelvin Alley also said he kept a personal journal throughout the High Council and reflected on the process of the election and what a spiritual experience it was for all involved.

“It is a tremendously challenging moment and enormous privilege when the moment comes to write down the name of the leader you are nominating for General,” he said. “One by one we were asked to move forward, receive a ballot paper, and make our way to a private booth to make our first vote on our choice of General. This comes after much prayer, thought, and even travail, because you really want what God wants.”

All six Australian delegates say they are committed to covering General-elect Brian Peddle and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle in prayer for what lies ahead, governing the worldwide Salvation Army.

“We serve in a holy movement that God is using to bring hope and Salvation to so many people in such wonderful, colourful cultures,” said Colonel Julie Alley. “The Salvation Army is a blessed movement created by God’s own hand.”

The national leaders for Australia, Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd were also delegates on the High Council. Commissioner Floyd Tidd was nominated for General but chose not to accept. To read more about the Tidd’s experiences at the High Council click here


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