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General calls Salvation Army to action at welcome meeting

General calls Salvation Army to action at welcome meeting

General calls Salvation Army to action at welcome meeting

26 September 2018

General Brian Peddle and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle are welcomed by the congregation and thousands viewing the service online.

By Kevin Sims

General Brian Peddle set out a clear but challenging vision for The Salvation Army at his welcome meeting at William Booth College in London on Sunday.

He called on the congregation of more than 400 people – and in excess of 10,000 viewers watching the live stream – to “be The Salvation Army that God needs us to be in this 21st century”.

In a meeting that included many thought-provoking moments, perhaps the most moving was when the General and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, World President of Women’s Ministries, made their way from the platform to kneel at the mercy seat.

The General's welcome meeting on Sunday.

The General encouraged everyone present to join in committing themselves to God’s service by kneeling at the place of prayer or standing where they were. Quietly, the members of the congregation did just that.

The Chief of the Staff, Commissioner Lyndon Buckingham, acknowledged the presence of previous international leaders, along with territorial leaders who had gathered for the upcoming General’s Consultative Council, and welcomed the people from many countries watching online.

“We are united around the globe because of our love of Jesus,” he said.

In her prayer, Commissioner Bronwyn Buckingham, World Secretary for Women’s Ministries, spoke about the Day of Prayer for Victims of Human Trafficking that was being marked by the international Salvation Army.

The General spoke briefly about the “keen sense of privilege” he felt to be asked to be the 21st General of The Salvation Army. He recalled that one person had told him the Army was “in good hands,” explaining that he answered straight away: “As long as it’s in God’s hands.”

A time of music led by the William Booth College Worship Team was followed by a video showing prayers by Salvation Army young people from around the world, praying for the new General and for the Army’s worldwide mission.


Dedication and welcome



A time of dedication was led by Commissioner John Matear, who, addressing the Peddles, assured them of the support of a great crowd of witnesses. He told the General: “We, your people, need you to be led by God before you lead your people.”

The Regent Hall band plays at the welcome meeting.

Commissioner Betty Matear dedicated the new leadership team to God in prayer, calling on him to bless each person.

Offering a welcome on behalf of Salvation Army soldiers around the world, Dr. Marjory Kerr (President of The Salvation Army’s Booth University, Canada) recognised that while some soldiers lived and worshipped freely, there were others for whom “every day is a challenge”.

Commissioner Rosalie Peddle responded to the words of welcome. She began with a public thanks for the huge number of cards and emails she and the General had received since his election.

Referring to her role as World President of Women’s Ministries – or “The Salvation Army’s mother” as she has been called – the commissioner spoke of the huge challenges faced by women and girls around the world.

She vowed to “future-proof” The Salvation Army’s women’s ministries work, ensuring it was “relevant, ready and resourceful”.

She also spoke with great affection about her and the General’s support from and love for their family, so it was appropriate that her words were followed by a song, He Leadeth Me, presented by their daughters, Captain Krista Andrews and Stephanie Forystek.


Bible message



The General began his Bible message by asserting his certainty that God’s blessing is on The Salvation Army. He added to his two beliefs: that the world needs The Salvation Army and that the world deserves a Spirit-filled Salvation Army.

General Peddle calls The Salvation Army to action.

He presented his call to The Salvation Army – a call to mission. Using the themes “Be Ready, Be Engaged and Take Responsibility”, he told the congregation, “God is calling us to be ready for his mission ... Engaged right where he has placed us or where he is calling us”.

He had nine calls for the worldwide Salvation Army – starting with calls to prayer and holiness, and a call to be battle-ready.

Calling people to serve, he explained: “We are not a reserve Army!” He called people to worship, to invite people to Jesus and to be confident in the gospel.

The final three calls were to take responsibility. The General called The Salvation Army to raise and nurture the next generation. “Nurtured, not abused,” he added, before giving the final calls – a call to costly compassion and a call to inclusion.

Reaching his conclusion, the General stated: “I hear the simple call to ‘do something’.” But he said that it isn’t enough for the General to do this alone. “This will take a whole army,” he said. “Imagine that – we have one!”

The meeting finished with the rousing singing of Storm the Forts of Darkness before attendees made their way out to share refreshments and a time of fellowship with the international leaders.


 

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