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New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory - A focus on spiritual renewal

New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory - A focus on spiritual renewal

New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory - A focus on spiritual renewal

24 August 2018

Jason Poutawa (bottom right) heads up the Salvation Army’s work in Moree together with wife Jessica (second from left).

By Simone Worthing

“This is a time of spiritual renewal across NSW and the ACT Division,” says Lieutenant-Colonel Miriam Gluyas, Divisional Commander.

“It’s about every corps and area leadership team throughout the division aligning with the mission, vision and values of Australia One, ensuring that we move forward together in a way that is relevant to the times we live in and to the communities we are building and connecting with.”

Lieut-Colonel Gluyas explains that, in 2017, the divisional leadership team, along with key leaders across NSW and the ACT, together sought God on the direction he wanted the division to take as the previous five divisions amalgamated to become one.

“We sought significant and different ways of doing corps and integrated mission – building community with Christians and non-Christians, sharing life, faith and Jesus,” she says. 

Kids in the Kitchen, Cowra

“In all of our areas, God is talking to us about meeting peoples’ needs and sharing Jesus with them, while creating ‘real community’.

The most significant move forward is how God is impacting communities. “The division is focusing on the National Strategy, and some of the key focus areas are: spiritual renewal, partnering up in our Area Leadership Teams, and living a Jesus culture.

And then, how we might best do integrated mission, with three ways of doing corps – ‘Gathered Worshipping Communities’; a regular gathering that focuses on celebrating Jesus through corporate worship, and preaching/teaching of the Word. It has the primary focus of worship that refreshes and equips us to be ‘sent’ into the community; ‘Communities of Hope’ – a regular gathering, created in response to an ‘identified need’ in the community. They meet to intentionally walk alongside people and meet need in a holistic way; and ‘Community Tables’ – a regular meeting of two to 12 people who gather to have conversations about life, faith and ways to work together to serve others. They can meet in a home, at a coffee shop or anywhere.

“This is a significant journey and is gaining momentum. God has given us the vision, which aligns with that of Australia One, and we believe we are on a real pathway towards growth. We are reimagining what God might want to do in our areas and are planning strategically for that.

We want every single person in The Salvation Army in our division reimagining what the Army could look like. The National Commander reminded us that we are a ‘saved and sent people’.” themes and goals Lieut-Colonel Gluyas emphasises that the division is on a continual journey of alignment with the National Strategy, as it implements its divisional plan. 

Serving coffee to the community in Merrylands

“We are also trying to work out how we strip back things that we’ve just been doing for a long time, that are no longer working, so the Army can advance and not retreat,” she says. “We are looking at how this might look in these different times, but we’re certainly not throwing the baby out with the bathwater!”

The division is also aiming to have everyone in The Salvation Army find their ‘fit’ and be part of the mission – helping people to find Jesus. “We are helping people to do this, training them, helping them find their passion and go out there,” says Lieut-Colonel Gluyas.

“We are focused on engaging with people in our world – our colleagues, our neighbours – to create real community in our world’s epidemic of loneliness, and become a part of it.” The challenges are there – helping keep people focused, and filled with faith and hope; giving people the best practice training in mission; and providing the right support.

“Our prayer is that God will, through us, raise up a generation who believe in the mission of the Army and that the Holy Spirit will be there as we take some risks in this process. We want to set a platform for future generations to win.”

building the kingdom

Moree Corps: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ministry, youth and children, sports ministry.

Tenterfield: Helping the community through hardship and injustice. Communities of Hope and Kingdom Tables. Transformation on the ground.

Singleton Corps: Flourishing youth and children’s ministry in the community.

Eastern Beaches Corps: Reaching the homeless and connecting with the community. Eastern Beach reaches out to the homeless

Ryde Corps: Communities of Hope and Kingdom Table plants.

Merrylands Project: Social Enterprise, Kingdom Tables, reaching people from all nations.

Helensburgh: Organic church, discipling, and community events.

Raymond Terrace: Growing Community Hope Centre, doing life where people are at.

Cowra Corps: Kids in the Kitchen children’s and community ministries. 

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