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Tributes flow as Condons enter retirement

Tributes flow as Condons enter retirement

Tributes flow as Condons enter retirement

24 May 2016

Commissioners Jan and James Condon enter Sydney Congress Hall for their retirement service. Photo: Shairon Paterson.

By Scott Simpson

Commissioners James and Jan Condon have been praised for their 45-year “partnership” as Salvation Army officers, during their retirement service in Sydney last month. Fellow officers, Salvationists, family and friends travelled from Canada, the United States, Papua New Guinea, and across Australia to officially farewell the Australia Eastern Territory leaders, at Sydney Congress Hall on 14 May.

General Linda Bond (Ret.), who had worked closely with the Condons during her three years as commander of the Australia Eastern Territory, delivered a particularly poignant tribute as she presented them with their retirement certificates. “For many years, I have prayed for you both every day. And I will continue to do so until my dying day. James and Jan, I love you,” she said, her voice at times faltering with emotion. “I love you because we worked together, we laughed together, we had fun together. I love you because I have seen the best in Salvation Army officership in you two. I love you because when the chips were down I had you. I love you because you love Jesus.”

Tributes were also brought by the Condons’ two daughters, Alyson Tong and Sharon Turner, Commissioner Andrew Kalai (PNG Territory), Lieutenant-Colonel Miriam Gluyas (on behalf of officers), Mark Soper (soldiers and youth) and Roger Corbett (Territorial Advisory Board). All made reference to the wonderful team that James and Jan are. There were also video messages from Boscombe Corps in the United Kingdom and from the PNG Territory, two places where the Condons had seen overseas service.

Commissioner Jan Condon acknowledged the presence throughout her officership journey of a faithful, gracious God who is “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8), and made special mention of her passion for women’s ministries. “What potential and talent there is in women that is so often overlooked,” she said. “Women, you are like an army of warriors; strong and resilient, godly and wise, gifted and with great potential. God delights in you. Stay close to him.”

In summing up his 45 years of officership, Commissioner James Condon chose to use a quote from Dutch theologian, Henri Nouwen. “Every day, I get a daily devotional from Nouwen,” he said. “Some weeks ago, I read, ‘When we travel [through life] with the eyes and ears of God who sent us we will see wonderful sights, hear wonderful sounds, meet wonderful people, and then be happy to return home’. That has been my experience, and for that I will ever be grateful to God, and to The Salvation Army, and to all who have shared the journey with me.

“Jan and I would want to leave with you the words of Psalm 115:1, ‘Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be glory, because of your love and faithfulness’.” 

Comments

  1. Commissioner James and Jan, God bless you and keep you in the new phase of your ministry, we look forward to spending more time with you, Love Lee and Mark Stiles

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