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MASIC to engage with Salvationists on 'hot topics' in their local communities

MASIC to engage with Salvationists on 'hot topics' in their local communities

MASIC to engage with Salvationists on 'hot topics' in their local communities

14 September 2018

The MASIC team at the recent Thought Matters conference. Not photographed are members Chris Congoo, Major Sandra Crowden and Desley Hargreaves.

By Simone Worthing

The Salvation Army Australia’s Moral and Social Issues Council (MASIC) is working on new and innovative ways to come alongside people, provide resources and engage with Salvationists grappling with some “hot topics” in their local communities.

“Corps officers are highly engaged in their local missional contexts and that’s where MASIC is best suited to be – in communities, work places and churches, learning about the moral and social issues impacting local people and how MASIC can assist them in their mission,” said Amanda Merrett, MASIC Vice Chair, and Assistant to the Social Justice Secretary based in Melbourne.

“We are still focusing on our positional statements, discussion papers and guidelines, but the days of being cloistered away in high-level meetings and legislating faith are gone and we are looking at new and fresh ways to engage with Salvos around some hot topics.

“We don’t want to tell people what to believe, but rather how to engage with thinking through different issues. We want to provide Salvation Army distinctives, frameworks, theology and practice, so people can come to their own conclusions.”

MASIC, chaired by Lieutenant-Colonel Donna Evans, National Head of Officer Personnel, met at the recent Thought Matters conference on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, to discuss how the council might practically work with Salvation Army corps and expressions in terms of the specific issues people need to hear about, and hearing in return about the issues present in different Army areas.

“Part of this meeting was reflecting on stewardship – the theme of the conference was Sustaining Abundant Life,” Amanda explained. “What does this mean in different contexts and how can we be more effective stewards.

“We also spent time brainstorming about what our priorities are into the future and how do we work with them. It was exciting to think about what is possible.”

Members of MASIC and the Tri-Territorial Theology Forum.

For the first time, MASIC met briefly with the Tri-Territorial Theology Forum made up of representatives from the Australia Eastern and Southern Territories, and the New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory.

“We discussed how we might work together more, and more effectively, in encouraging Salvationists to be active and present in, and thinking about, the world around them, as well as the theological and ethical frameworks around our work going forward.”

Amanda explained that, although there is diverse representation on MASIC from both corps and social backgrounds, the members don’t represent the entire Salvation Army and so it’s critical to get feedback from around the nation.

Plans are in progress for ways to make this possible in the future.

MASIC has recently welcomed some new members: Mackenzie Anderson, The Salvation Army Sydney Congress Hall; Kate Baudinette, The Salvation Army Reservoir; Chris Congoo, Territorial Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Engagement Coordinator; Jason Davies-Kildea, Victorian Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit; and Manikya Mera, Intercultural Ministries.


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