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Delegates encouraged to ‘dream big’

Delegates encouraged to ‘dream big’

Delegates encouraged to ‘dream big’

13 March 2019

Older Salvationists were encouraged to continue to imagine their participation in God’s plans and purposes at a recent Seniors Rally in Melbourne.

By Jessica Morris

Almost 500 Salvationists and members of local churches and the general public gathered for the first Salvation Army Seniors Rally under the banner of the Australia Territory.

‘Imagine the Possibilities’ was the theme of the day of ministry and fellowship at Melbourne’s Crossway Centre, which encouraged delegates to ‘dream big’ and consider how they can personally and corporately fulfil their God-given calling.

“It’s all about imagining the possibilities in people, and in The Salvation Army,” said Major Jennie Cloke, Senior Ministry leader in the former Southern Territory for 14 years. “The ‘Imagine’ theme comes from Joel 2:28, ‘Old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions’, and Psalm 92:14, that says, ‘They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green’.

“This is our 13th rally and we have seniors aged 45-plus from around the country and the church attending.”

Major Cloke opened the rally with an Acknowledgement of Country, and welcomed and endorsed Captain Mavis Salt, the Australia Territory’s new Adult and Seniors Secretary.

Lionel Wood sang ‘A New World (Picture a World)’ before Captain Salt cast vision in the first rally, encouraging delegates to broaden their perspective for their role in God’s kingdom.

“Imagine the possibilities for a nation and the world if an army of spiritually inspired, successfully ageing elders entered the fray, grounded in the Gospel?” she said. “Will we be a part of a new and growing wave of elders empowered and dedicated more completely to God-given recreated visions and purposes?”

The event was live-streamed to many corps throughout Australia and New Zealand, which was particularly appreciated by many people who were unable to attend the rally because of bushfires sweeping Victoria at the time.

Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd, territorial leaders, were guests during the afternoon session, where Commisioner Floyd spoke on Ephesians 3:14-31, encouraging delegates to imagine what their communities and families would look like if they were obedient to God’s call in the second stage of life.

Corps officers were supplied with additional resources to continue teaching on their return home, ensuring more senior members of their congregations would be supported in their call to mission.

The Isabel Gale Memorial Award was presented to Lieutenant-Colonel Rusty Adams, recognising his many years of ministry as someone who has gone above and beyond to grow the Kingdom of God in seniors. Members of the Inala and Waverley corps were present, as well as members of his family who had travelled interstate for the special event.

An expo was also held throughout the day, engaging delegates in ministry resources and Salvo-specific departments, including the Heritage Museum and Salvo Publishing.

While the event featured throwbacks to Salvation Army heritage, including the Red Shield band and a performance by the 1960s Salvation Army pop group The Joy Strings, the 2019 rally isn’t about what is ‘old,’ but rather what can be new in the delegates’ lives.

“The interesting thing is that we’ve been functioning in the seniors ministry as one territory for over five years,” says Major Cloke.

“We’ve had delegates from around the country for the last two territorial and two divisional rallys. So I think our ministry is important in that it doesn’t matter where you live, what corps, small or big, seniors can be engaged in the mission and valued for their experience, expertise, availability and desire to see a better world.”



  1. Maree Armstrong
    Maree Armstrong

    Would love to see the recording of the live stream.

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