Telethon raises critical funds for ‘Summer Music Days’ in Dalton, Georgia

2019 “Summer Music Days” students perform in Dalton, Georgia

Telethon raises critical funds for ‘Summer Music Days’ in Dalton, Georgia

By: Brad Rowland

After a hiatus in 2020, The Salvation Army of Dalton, Georgia is relaunching “Summer Music Days,” a day camp program that provides music and arts instruction, as well as fellowship, to local youth. Though there are some operational changes in 2021, the unofficial kickoff transpired on Thursday, Apr. 29 with the Billie Little Youth Services Telethon, raising approximately $45,000 to fund the day camp.

Each year, The Salvation Army partners with WDNN Channel 10 in Dalton on a telethon fundraiser, aptly named for Billie Little, the Advisory Board member that launched the initiative and still chairs the committee. The telethon, which airs live and covers a two-hour span, allows individuals and families to call and donate funds that go directly to “Summer Music Days,” all while The Salvation Army’s board members are also making targeted asks both to previous and potential donors.

“Our advisory board did an amazing job,” said Captain Arnaldo Pena, corps officer. “They recruited people, called people, sent letters, and Billie Little has been doing this work for a long, long time. We want to thank them for all of their work.”

The phones are answered by board members and volunteers on the air, with a full-fledged production that also doubles as a fantastic showcase for the Army’s local work. Because “Summer Music Days” is funded through donations to ensure no cost to attendees and their families, the telethon is critical to the camp’s success.

“I thought it went very well,” Captain Pena said of the telethon. “It was a great success and we’re excited about the impact the telethon and the money raised will have.”

Though “Summer Music Days” was operating over a single six-week period for approximately 50 children in previous years, the 2021 edition will feature two separate installments in three-week increments. That will allow for 30 children to attend at a time, ultimately resulting in increased attendance when compared to 2019, and youth, staff and volunteers will follow appropriate health and safety protocols.

The day camp will begin on Monday, June 7, operating five days per week for children ages 7-12.

The camp is so important to the children in our community,” said Patricia Thompson, business manager. “The telethon is huge in allowing us to raise the money needed to ensure that it is free for children and families, and that is of utmost importance in making it all happen.”

Source: southernspiritonline.org

The Salvation Army’s Strawberry Field partners in international ‘Song for Kindness’ contest

The Salvation Army’s Strawberry Field partners in international ‘Song for Kindness’ contest

By: Laura Taylor

When one thinks of Strawberry Field, John Lennon or The Beatles, it is music that comes to mind. For many that is what they also first associate with The Salvation Army. The team at the Strawberry Field Salvation Army center is therefore delighted to join a unique collaboration in the search for the next international ‘Song for Kindness’, alongside global charity tuff.earth, Liverpool City Council, The Cavern Club and Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

The Liverpool Song for Kindness song contest aims to raise spirits during the dark days of the pandemic, while offering musicians an exciting opportunity to gain international exposure and with a fantastic prize for the winner. Following the example of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, released 50 years ago, the contest is searching for a song of hope and optimism.

Lennon fans will know that one of the first things that attracted the young John to the gardens at Strawberry Field in Liverpool, north-western England, was the opportunity to listen to a Salvation Army band playing at the home’s annual summer fête. Years later, John went on to co-write ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ with Paul McCartney, having been so inspired by the place close to his home that he called ‘paradise’.

Music has always been an important part of the life and work of The Salvation Army and its many centers and churches around the world. In the 1960s, John Lennon and the rest of The Beatles would leave the recording studios at Abbey Road shortly before a group of Salvation Army musicians, The Joystrings, arrived to record a session of their own. The trailblazing pop group was among the first to take the good news of the Christian message into the secular music charts and gave all its royalties to help people in need.

Lt. Colonel Peter Dalziel, one of the original members of The Joystrings, recalls the occasion of quite literally following in the footsteps of the Fab Four.

“The Beatles had left the Abbey Road studios the previous night and when we went into the same studio the following morning, we spent some time tidying things up! Although The Joystrings only existed for five years their influence is still being felt 57 years later,” he said. “In fact, Joy Webb’s song ‘A Starry Night,’ which The Joystrings took into the charts in 1964, remains a firm favorite with churches and schools around the world. It’s a great idea to launch a song competition and we look forward to seeing the results.”

The team at Strawberry Field, which welcomed the public beyond the famous red gates for the first time in summer 2019, is delighted to be involved as partners in this search. Today, the revitalized center reaches out to local young adults aged 18-25 with learning difficulties or other barriers to employment. The structured Steps to Work program comprises classroom-based life skills learning, specialized sector training and work experience, giving trainees the opportunity to develop their employability and prepare themselves to seek and enter paid employment.

“A lot has changed since The Joystrings’ heyday but music-making and, we hope, kindness are still at the heart of what we do and who we are as a Salvation Army,” said Major Kathy Versfeld, Mission Director of Strawberry Field. “I would therefore challenge gifted and inspirational singer/songwriters across the world to have a go. Enter the Liverpool Song for Kindness competition. Write a song birthed out of the heartache and hope you have experienced during this time of COVID-19, with words and music that will inspire and cause others to renew their faith in human kindness and the promise of better things to come.”

Any genre will be considered for entry to the Liverpool Song for Kindness competition, but the song must be an original piece of work submitted by the songwriter and performed by the songwriter or a nominated artist. To enter, songwriters and musicians can submit their track (video or audio) along with the song name, writer, performer, lyrics and where they are based via the competition’s online portal: sar.my/liverpoolsongcontest

The closing date for entries is 31 July 2021. The top 50 entrants, as selected by the competition judges, will be announced on 14 August 2021. The overall competition winner will be unveiled on Oct. 9, 2021.

For more information, visit www.strawberryfieldliverpool.com

Source: southernspiritonline.org

‘Holz Hall’ rededicated at Camp Walter Johnson

‘Holz Hall’ rededicated at Camp Walter Johnson

By: Major Frank Duracher

The Salvation Army’s Camp Walter Johnson has a newly-rededicated structure designed to enhance the spiritual and character-building programs offered year-round to all ages in the North and South Carolina Division. The rededication ceremony of “Holz Hall” was led by divisional leaders Lt. Colonels Jim & Linda Arrowood and Lt. Colonel Emeline Holz, the widow of Lt. Colonel David Holz.

The service was conducted during this year’s SAROA (Salvation Army Retired Officers Association) Retreat.

“It’s surreal for Linda and me to participate in this honor for Lt. Colonels Holz, as they were our divisional leaders here in the Carolinas when we went to Training, and during our first appointments in this division,” Lt. Colonel Jim observed.

“They have such a legacy, not only in the Carolinas, but across the Southern Territory for their gentle spirit and excellent leadership. They have touched so many lives and it is an honor for us to name this facility ‘Holz Hall.’”

Lt. Colonel Linda Arrowood offered a dedicatory prayer, and Lt. Colonel Emeline Holz was brought forward for the official ribbon-cutting and her comments recalling some of the Holz family history through the decades as well as the service to God and mankind given by her husband and herself.

Although tributes were offered for the Holz Family at large, much of the dedicatory tone was naturally directed toward David, who was Promoted to Glory in January 2017.

“We were divisional leaders for seven years here, and I believe the growth of completed property projects (in North and South Carolina) is unsurpassed,” Lt. Colonel Emeline said.

She also commented on how much her husband loved the outdoors and that he would often come to Camp Walter Johnson for seclusion and prayer when the pressure of his office became quite heavy.

Colonel Emeline then unveiled a lovely, framed portrait of the couple, which will be displayed prominently in the building.

Holz Hall is used as a meeting space for luncheons, small worship gatherings, and camp classes. It is always employed as a café during youth and young adult events.

Divisional leaders assist Lt. Colonel Emeline Holz at the ribbon-cutting of Holz Hall.

Lt. Colonel Emeline Holz unveils a portrait of her and her husband at the conclusion of the rededication of Holz Hall.

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Messengers of Grace Appointments

Messengers of Grace Appointments

On behalf of the Territorial Commander, we are very pleased to announce the following appointments for the Messengers of Grace Session and their spouse/fiancé effective Monday, June 21, 2021.

Alabama, Louisiana & Mississippi Division

Lieutenant Tim Morrison — Corps Officer – Lake Charles, LA

Cadet Roslyn L. Rogers — Corps Officer – Lake Charles, LA

Arkansas & Oklahoma Division

Cadet Bobby McFarland — Corps Officer – Chickasha, OK

Cadet Crystal McFarland — Corps Officer – Chickasha, OK

Cadet Risa Robinson — Assistant Corps Officer – Fayetteville, AR

Florida Division

Cadet Erika Lugo — Corps Officer – Sanford, FL

Cadet Omar A. Lugo — Corps Officer – Sanford, FL

Cadet Denzell L. McClain — Corps Officer – West Palm Beach, FL

Cadet Erika D. McClain — Corps Officer – West Palm Beach, FL

Kentucky & Tennessee Division

Cadet Brittney J. Donegan — Corps Officer – Paducah, KY

Cadet David W. Donegan — Corps Officer – Paducah, KY

Captain Alyssa A. Irvin — Corps Officer – Owensboro, KY

Cadet Judah Irvin — Corps Officer – Owensboro, KY

Cadet Melissa J. Melching — Corps Officer – Sevierville, TN

North & South Carolina Division

Cadet Gessica S. Pierre — Corps Officer – Burlington, NC

Cadet Jimmy Pierre — Corps Officer – Burlington, NC

Potomac Division

Cadet Antonio J. Hodges — Corps Officer – Danville, VA

Cadet Shawnte R. Hodges — Corps Officer – Danville, VA

Texas Division

Cadet Cristina Drozdovschi — Corps Officer – McKinney, TX

Cadet Amanda K. Johns — Corps Officer – Dallas (Irving), TX

Cadet Cody C. Johns — Corps Officer – Dallas (Irving), TX

Please be in prayer for these Cadets as they prepare their hearts and minds for their first appointment and the responsibilities that will come with it and their spouse/fiancé as they prepare their hearts and minds for these new responsibilities.

Source: southernspiritonline.org

‘It must’ve been God’: Carla’s story from New York to New Orleans

‘It must’ve been God‘: Carla’s story from New York to New Orleans

By: Karyn Lewis

Carla turned to The Salvation Army New Orleans Command in 2020 after being evicted from her Miami apartment. She lost her job due to a periodic reduction in force and was living on a fixed income. In one particular month, Carla was just $1.43 short on her rent. As a result, she was evicted and decided to leave Miami to return to New Orleans, a place she’d lived many years ago.

“That’s how you become homeless in the first place,” Carla said. “You just don’t have enough money for your basic needs. At least there’s a place like The Salvation Army where people can go. At the end of the day, you have a roof over your head, and you have a meal.”

Carla didn’t qualify for Medicaid after losing her job despite having diabetes. She entered The Salvation Army as a low-income senior. Many seniors are left in similar situations don’t know where to turn.

Thankfully, Carla turned to The Salvation Army.

“It must’ve been God because I didn’t choose any other place,” she said. “I immediately turned to The Salvation Army. Looking back, it was the best decision I could’ve made.”

Carla worked as an artist in New York, doing restoration and embellishment for Mark West Gallery for over 20 years. After settling into her new life of living in a shelter, she walked out on faith and began working with a social worker to find employment.

Carla came across a flier on the receptionist’s desk concerning a virtual job fair. She applied to a position with Volunteers of America, where she’d assist with packing lunches for school-aged kids during Covid-19 school shutdowns. She got the job and prepared meals for children until the position ended once schools reopened for the fall semester.

Thankfully, an opening for a new cook at The Salvation Army New Orleans Command opened.

Carla enjoys baking pastries, so she applied for the job and was offered the position and will work with The Salvation Army until she retires next year.

“I worked in the art industry for 22 years and somehow ended up a cook at The Salvation Army,” Carla said with a smile. “I don’t question things, and I don’t believe anything is by coincidence.”

“The Volunteers of America job ended up preparing me for my current position as a cook with The Salvation Army,” said Carla. “Isn’t it funny how things work out?”

Carla feels that she sometimes serves as a therapist to those who enter her kitchen. She ensures that everyone has a relaxing experience during their meals. Residents often linger to tell her about jobs that they’ve found or what’s going on in their lives. She also gets to interact with children who are staying at the shelter during meal times.

“I understand the people come through the line because I’ve lived with them,” Carla said. “Not only am I a kitchen assistant, but I’m also a therapist. My job is to make dinner a pleasant experience for these people. They have to live outside all day in harsh conditions. I try to relay that if you’re still standing at the end of the day, you’re good. You’re stronger than the average person because you’ve learned how to survive under harsher conditions. It’s the truth. The Salvation Army bolsters you if you’re smart enough to see it. Sometimes you have to look outside of yourself.”

“There was one little girl who wanted an extra piece of cake at dinner, but I wasn’t able to give her one. Sometimes there’s enough food for seconds, and sometimes there isn’t. I saw the disappointment on her face and told her that I’d be sure to give her an extra slice the next day. She’d forgotten by dinner the next night, so I reminded her, and her face lit up so bright! It was adorable. I hope that if I do things now to touch these children who are in the shelter, maybe 10-15 years from now, they’ll remember and be kind to others. That’s how life works.”

Carla says the most influential part of her short journey of living at The Salvation Army were her interactions with Majors Ernest and Debbie Hull, who were corps officers in New Orleans when she arrived and now serve as corps officers in Amarillo, Texas.

“The greatest thing I got out of The Salvation Army was Major Debra Hull,” Carla said. “Major Debbie had a brand of discipline that I grew up with, and I give her all the credit for my sanity while living in the shelter. I just love her. Majors Hull both told me not to worry. They would find me help, and everything would be okay. That’s what kept me going. Those two are incredible people.”

Carla and Majors Hull both share New York as their hometown and bonded over their shared culture.

“Both Major Debra Hull and I love Carla,” Major Ernest Hull said. “She’s a wonderful person. We’re so proud of the effort she put in while in the shelter. She did everything she needed to do for her success. We were in COVID-19 isolation lock-down with her for 54 days in the shelter, so we became close. Carla became like a sister to us.”

A corps social worker reached out to Carla one day and told her that it was time to start working on an exit plan. Carla asked her to help look for a new home because she wasn’t familiar with New Orleans well enough to understand the best neighborhoods for her to live in.

“New Orleans is providential and backward to me! I don’t understand it, but that’s part of its charm. The people don’t move fast; everything is fluid,” Carla said.

She found an apartment within a day and began the process of moving in.

“I love the city,” she said. “I’ve been here before. I worked for Blain Kern in the ’90s. I left and went back home to New York for a while, but I’m back now. I live near the French Quarter. Everything is within walking distance. It’s so convenient. I like being near the river. The Mississippi River and I have an amicable relationship.”

Although she has returned to living independently, Carla enjoys returning to the shelter daily to positively contribute to people’s lives as a cook who can share a message of perseverance.

“You can lose your mind. You can literally lose your mind when you are homeless,” said Carla. “I went from living in an apartment by myself for 15 years to living in a dorm room with 32 women who have all kinds of problems. I don’t get ruffled by a lot of things. I’m a New Yorker. I’m a progressive thinker. I see where people in the shelters are dealing with a lot. Multiple personality disorder, drug addiction, women who have dealt with abuse, or have dealt with the death of a child. I can see these people struggling to overcome their past. You see how some of them are so strong.”

“It’s important for everyone to know that you can make a situation as good or as bad as you want,” Carla said. “I’m happy to be able to spread a message of faith and strength to the people of The Salvation Army.”

(Shared from the blog of The Salvation Army Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi Division.)

Source: southernspiritonline.org

To Battle We Go: Having One Form

To Battle We Go: Having One Form

By: Dr. Steve Kellner

One of the most difficult things for a trainee to comprehend when joining the military is the obsession with wearing the uniform, and wearing it correctly. Even for those who dress smartly as civilians – I was not among them – the adjustment can be jarring.

The new uniforms I was issued in the first days of basic training had dozens of barely visible sewing threads coming out of the seams that I didn’t notice at first. Our drill sergeants, however, saw them quite clearly, referring to them as “ropes”, as in “what is that rope doing on your uniform, trainee?” We soon learned to burn off these threads with a Bic lighter to avoid their wrath.

We spent hours learning to properly wear our uniforms, where to place insignia, how to wear our various caps, and most famously perhaps, how to polish brass and shine boots and shoes. After a few weeks, we got the hang of it, but we did more pushups for uniform violations than for any other reason.

Why does the military care so much about uniforms? First, the uniform sets apart its members from the public at large. They are members of a specialized force who have volunteered to serve, giving up some of their constitutional rights, and even sacrificing their lives if necessary.

Second, the uniform represents unity, the literal “having one form” so important in enabling a unit to accomplish its mission. Looking the same – uniform, haircut, posture, even facial expression – is a big step toward being of the same mind, and being equally dedicated to the unit and the mission no matter personal differences.

Finally, uniforms are designed for a specific job or mission, and not just for show. Camouflage uniforms provide cover and concealment by blending in with the surroundings. Sailors wear dungarees when they are doing the dirty work of operating and maintaining a ship. There are even “dress” uniforms, suitable for nothing except ceremonies and balls, but surprisingly important to the espirit de corps of the military.

The uniform serves many of the same purposes for The Salvation Army, even though we have a different mission. Like all believers, Salvationists are set apart from non-believers, but we are also set apart somewhat from the majority of our fellow believers because of our unique role within the church universal. We seek the lost wherever they are, and in whatever condition we may find them, and we willingly sacrifice our lives to this mission.

The uniform, along with a few other symbols and distinctives like our flag, our quasi-military structure, and our music, also unifies Salvationists around the world no matter our many differences, because it represents that mission. When we see images of uniformed Salvationists on the front lines anywhere, we feel an instant kinship with them. They are our brothers and sisters in the fight.

Finally, our uniform (in all its many variations) is well designed for the mission. Just the sight of it can bring comfort to those in need, because they know that spiritual and physical help is at hand. If we’re truly on mission we will certainly get some mud on our uniforms (sometimes literally), so we may have to clean up a bit to be ready for our “dress” occasions like the Sunday morning service. But whatever we are doing in uniform, we should wear it smartly, because we are representing not just our Army, but Jesus Christ and His kingdom.

Source: southernspiritonline.org

‘The Chosen’ sets up at The Salvation Army’s Camp Hoblitzelle

‘The Chosen’ sets up at The Salvation Army’s Camp Hoblitzelle

By: Philip Burn

In 2020, a production team was searching for suitable locations to film in and around the Dallas-Fort Worth area and made a chance visit to The Salvation Army’s Hoblitzelle Camp and Conference Center. On a tour around the pastures, creator Dallas Jenkins stopped Casey Bilbrey, director of operations for Camp Hoblitzelle, as they were driving and said, “This is it!” Jenkins fell in love with the location, and they quickly decided the camp landscape and facilities were perfect for their needs for the next several months. ‘The Chosen,’ created by Jenkins and distributed by Angel Studios, has been renting a section of the camp property for filming and production. The show is the highest crowd-funded project of all-time and has been translated into more than 50 languages.

“We are all incredibly proud of ‘The Chosen,’” said Chad Gundersen, producer. “To be able to bring this story to life in this way has in many ways been miraculous. Support for the show has continued to pour in from all over the world since the season one debut, and we can’t wait to release the remaining episode of Season Two later this year. This Sermon on the Mount, shot at Camp Hoblitzelle, is going to be the highlight of the new season and the most incredible retelling of that event in television history.”

Participants in the Sermon on the Mount scene, most of whom were fans and supporters of the show, traveled from around the world to be part of the filming. Each person provided proof of a negative COVID PCR test prior to their arrival to DFW and also received a rapid COVID test the morning of the shoot at the Midlothian ISD Multi-Purpose Stadium, which served as the extras holding area before being transported to Camp Hoblitzelle for filming.

“Between COVID protocols and dressing up 3,000 people, this was by far the most challenging scene I’ve ever attempted,” said Jenkins.

While the gates of Camp Hoblitzelle in the Texas Division temporarily closed for summer camp, overnight, and weekend rental groups, the opportunity to host the production of ‘The Chosen’ has been an exciting and unique opportunity. One which is providing opportunities beyond what we could have ever imagined.

“It has been a God-send to have ‘The Chosen’ production crew here at Camp Hoblitzelle, particularly as other rental groups have been cancelled,” said Bilbrey. “They are filming in an unused area of our property and have constructed temporary buildings where they build, and store set pieces, costumes, and the actor’s trailers. It’s not unusual to have Jesus and the disciples enjoying lunch in the dining room alongside the camp staff!”

One of the most important things about this new partnership is the alignment of our missions. ‘The Chosen’ was created to share the story of Jesus in a new and relevant way as can be seen in many episodes where “Jesus” says to his disciples, “Get used to different!”.  The Salvation Army was started when William Booth wanted to reach people in a new and relevant in the streets of East London and continues today as the organization shares the story of Jesus in our communities.

Production has been completed for Season Two and plans are underway to return to Camp Hoblitzelle for filming later in 2021 with the potential to shoot future seasons, including the construction of a set and sound stage. The production team and The Salvation Army staff are excited about future filming and potential partnership opportunities.

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Mount Vernon volunteer opportunity provides Salvation Army officer with chance for non-traditional ministry

Mount Vernon volunteer opportunity provides Salvation Army officer with chance for non-traditional ministry

By: Brad Rowland

Major Jason Swain, currently serving as the assistant to the editor-in-chief of the War Cry at National Headquarters, will be farewelling in June. Major Swain’s next appointment will be a return to the Southern Territory, serving as the corps officer of the Northeast Kentucky corps in Ashland. While that change comes with traditional excitement and an eagerness to get started, Major Swain will also miss his work and, beyond his duties, he will be vacating an intriguing volunteer post that was rewarding during his time in Virginia.

In Dec. 2018, Major Swain visited Mount Vernon Inn for a Salvation Army officer Christmas party, touring the grounds of George Washington’s estate that describes itself as “the most popular historic site in America.” As a history buff, Major Swain’s interests were piqued by the visit, and he reflected on advice he has both received and given during his time as a Salvation Army officer.

“For my entire officership, I’ve heard in various ways that officers truly need to have activities outside of The Salvation Army,” said Major Swain. “You live and breathe the Army all the time, and you need to find another outlet, a hobby. There are many examples, but I was never quite able to find that outlet until my time at Mount Vernon. Part of that was that I wanted and needed something consistent, and this became a great fit for me and what I was looking for.”

Major Swain joined the extensive volunteer team at Mount Vernon in 2019, spending many weekends and evenings performing various tasks on the grounds. In March 2020, the estate closed due to pandemic concerns, but Mount Vernon reopened in July on a limited basis, with Major Swain returning to volunteer beginning in September.

Though it is certainly different to lend a helping hand at Mount Vernon, he was already familiar with the inner workings of volunteerism, calling on his experience in officership.

“My service as a Salvation Army officer helps me understand volunteers,” Major Swain said. “Being on the other side of the table, as a volunteer myself, is something totally different, and it really helped me to understand even better. Any volunteer wants to be useful, and I really grasp that now in a way that will be helpful moving forward.”

Major Swain spent part of his time at Mount Vernon in Guest Services, helping to guide visitors through the historic area and disseminating key information. In addition, he enjoyed time as a costumed guide to the Interpretive Center, finding it rewarding to interact with people and citing that fellowship as his favorite appeal of volunteering.

“Mount Vernon is a fantastic place to volunteer,” he said. “They really appreciate volunteers, especially the staff. They love the work and camaraderie, and of course the help, that volunteers provide.”

In addition to the community element, Mount Vernon is a place rich in history, which directly appeals to Major Swain’s interests, even when viewed through his previous appointments. He was an instructor of Salvation Army history while serving at the Evangeline Booth College in Atlanta, with a hunger to study and find additional knowledge.

“I love history,” Major Swain said. “If you know anything about me at all, history is kind of my thing. I read history. I study history. Of course I have a calling here, but I have a shelf full of history books, including a great deal of Salvation Army history, and it’s a passion of mine.”

Still, there is an application well beyond history and fellowship, with Major Swain also citing the chance to serve in ministry, fulfilling his calling even while not explicably working within The Salvation Army’s structure.

“A big appeal for me is that it’s not just doing something outside of the Army,” Major Swain said. “While it’s been great to have a hobby and a positive experience overall, it’s also an opportunity to witness. People find out what I do. Many of the volunteers are retirees, but of course I am an active officer, and that gives me a wide-open door to share what I do and what I’m called by. That leads to other conversations, with those I work with knowing who I am and who I belong to, and I can be a light to people.”

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Q&A with Lt. Colonel Eddie Hobgood and Captain Rob Dolby

Q&A with Lt. Colonel Eddie Hobgood and Captain Rob Dolby

Innovation is at the forefront across the USA Southern Territory, highlighted by the territory’s first-ever Innovation Forum held in mid-March. That gathering, which emanated from the creativity necessary for The Salvation Army to navigate a global pandemic, showcased future-facing concepts for mission and ministry from each division across the Southeast.

With that as the backdrop, the Southern Territory is distributing MASH units, aiming to supplement ministry on the go in a new, resourceful way.

“Our people have gotten outside of the four walls, and we’ve been the Army that we’ve always been intended to be in ways that we haven’t been in a lot of years,” said Lt. Colonel Eddie Hobgood, territorial secretary for program. “The community has seen us in ways that they haven’t seen us, in a lot of cases, in years and they’ve really rallied around us and supported us and allowed us to do mission in ways that we haven’t done in a long time. We are positioned, because of COVID, in a lot of our communities to go to the next level.”

The Mobile Army Support Hubs (MASH) allow The Salvation Army to meet people where they are, with an emphasis on versatility and the ability to mold ministry to any community.

“We like to say it’s taking soup, soap and salvation and innovating it onto three wheels,” said Captain Rob Dolby, territorial mission specialist. “In its simplest form, it’s a delivery tricycle, and people often ask ‘What do you put inside?’ and our answer is whatever you need to preach the gospel. As these units are being deployed across the territory, we’re already seeing units that are taking them out and accomplishing the mission through mobile evangelism, youth programming. We can take Sunday School, VBS, and take it right to the park, especially in times that we live in.”

“We’ve even seen a unit partner with local government and support services, where you’re seeing soldiers, employees and local law enforcement set up little coffee shops at certain locations where folks experiencing homeless can get immediate support, right into shelter, provided with food, spiritual care and support and, of course, people are hearing about Jesus.”

For more information, please see the video below.

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Registration opens for Commissioning Weekend 2021

Registration opens for Commissioning Weekend 2021

By: Brad Rowland

Commissioning Weekend 2021 arrives on June 4-6, with Salvationists from across the USA Southern Territory gathering at the Atlanta Temple Corps. This year’s event features the commissioning and ordination of the Messengers of Grace session of cadets, as well as the Reconciling Grace Forum taking place throughout the weekend.

Captains Nesan and Cheryl Kistan are special guests for the forum, and they are appointed to National Headquarters. Captain Nesan is the chair of the National Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Commission addressing racial bias and tensions facing Salvation Army officers and soldiers in the United States.

The opening session is at 9:30 am ET on Friday, June 4 with the commencement of the Messengers of Grace session. Following an invitation-only Silver Star Luncheon, the opening general session of the Reconciliation Grace Forum will begin at 7:00 pm ET, with the theme of “Reconciliation with God.”

On Saturday, attendees will take part in outreach to the community, beginning in the early morning hours and visiting local neighborhoods across Atlanta. In addition, Saturday morning’s general session takes place at 9:00 am ET, following the theme of “Reconciliation with Others.”

Reconciliation stories will be featured in Saturday evening’s general session, titled “This Is Us.” That is followed by Sunday morning’s ordination and commissioning service for the Messengers of Grace session.

Atlanta Temple Corps will host the general sessions, and each session will be streamed via the official USA Southern Territory YouTube channel.

Click here for more information. To register for Commissioning 2021, visit https://events.sauss.net.

Source: southernspiritonline.org