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Living, loving and fighting

Living, loving and fighting

Living, loving and fighting

12 September 2017

Being a "Salvo" is defined by our commitment to live, live and fight for others and alongside them - Mt Isa is just one of many communities of "Salvos" across Australia seeking to be just that.

By Ben Ward

“Wherever there is hardship or injustice, Salvos will live, love and fight alongside others to transform Australia one life at a time with the love of Jesus” - National Vision Statement

Our last Australia One article, in the August issue of others, looked at the first line of our National Vision Statement – “Wherever there is hardship or injustice”.

We explored what it meant to truly seek out hardship or injustice, and the way that this line calls us to go and seek out the places where hardship or injustice exist and, as experts in our community, fight for justice and bring the Kingdom of God to Earth.

After exploring where it is we need to focus our attention, the second line of the Vision unites us as Salvos as we promise to live, love and fight.

There is a fascinating section of the salvationarmy.org.au website that explores the history and heritage of The Salvation Army in Australia.

On a page titled “A Century of Care” you can explore a 100-year history of The Salvation Army in Australia that begins with “The Birth of our Nation”. The article then takes us through this history, decade by decade, under the headings: Soldiers of the Cross; Men, Money & Markets; Hard Times; The World at War; The Boom Years; New Challenges; A Decade of Disaster; Boom and Bust; Legacies of Change; and Preparing for our Future.

Each decade is marked by a theme unique to that time, yet there is one constant throughout each of them – we as Salvos are living, loving and fighting.

Wherever you look through these chapters of Australian history, you can see Salvos living among everyday people, sharing the love of Jesus with them, and fighting for them.

But who are “Salvos”? Is a Salvo a Salvation Army officer, a chaplain or a soldier? Is a Salvo a member of our congregations, somebody who volunteers at an outreach centre or an employee working at Territorial Headquarters, in our divisions or at one of our centres?

The answer is simple – we are all Salvos. One need only look to our rich history and the wide variety of settings across our country where you might find the iconic “Red Shield” to realise that the definition of a Salvo is as vast and wide as is our great country itself.

Some Salvos wear a uniform, some have an official rank, some volunteer once a week at the local Salvos Stores, and some might not have particular role or “job to do” but just know they belong here with us, as one of us.

The “Century of Care” web page finishes with a look towards our future, and this is perhaps the most exciting chapter of The Salvation Army’s history in Australia – the chapter that hasn’t been written yet.

As the vision for our future unfolds, it’s clear that wherever you look, there will be Salvos, seeking out hardship and injustice, and living, loving and fighting.

Ben Ward is the Communications Manager for the Australia One Program Office. 

Comments

  1. We might all be known by the Australian public as "salvos" but I am a Salvationist and an Officer of The Salvation Army. The Red Shield is the sign of Hope and Help for all and the Crest is the sign of what our, members of The Salvation Army, beliefs are based on. It is a pity, that within Australia we have allowed the "watering down " of who we were raised by God to be - The Salvation Army.

  2. Brilliant, passionate, concise and spot on! Thank you.
    As a UK 'Salvo' I know that radical hospitality is our battle cry - so radical that anyone can be included in our mission to make the world all as God would have it be. At my own SA where I happen to be a plain clothes soldier and part of the leadership team we've tried to work hard on removing the barriers setup from the 1950s onwards. For too long too many have worried about still keeping the 'others' out; through outdated rules about clothing, musical ability, sexual orientation, singleness or devaluing more fluid forms of membership. This article again helps to break down the historical dualism of identifying as SA in a certain way for the home crowd on a Sunday more than supporting each other to live this radical hospitality in our 24-7 pursuit of God and His shalom for our neighbourhoods. True mission is about welcoming all and the best way into relationships I've ever known is asking 'can we work together?' Some of our brothers and sisters should prayerfully consider the 10,000s of people who have left because of our barriers more than worrying about protecting the museum... Keep the passion and sharp communication going!

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