At a cosy gathering in the trainees’ dining room at the training centre, Commissioners Bob and Janet Street introduced the training programme of “One Army” to members of the corps.
The commissioners have wide experience of The Salvation Army, having seen the work at first hand in over 50 countries and with a number of senior appointments at International Headquarters. Indeed, in the 2011 Commissioner Bob was short-listed for the position of General, an appointment which went to Linda Bond. General Bond was concerned as The Salvation Army encompasses so many countries and cultures, that it should not lose its sense of identity and one-ness. She launched the One Army concept (see details of her vision, together with the launch video, here: http://fitformission.salvationarmy.org.uk/one-army-one-mission-one-message).
The General then asked Commissioner Bob to communicate this to the whole Army world. This he did by producing some excellent material in printed and video form.
The communications material breaks the One Army vision into smaller pieces. There are 13 books with DVDs which are available to Salvationists everywhere in the world and feature people from various lands and cultures.
With everything now in place it is time for corps to seize the opportunity to benefit from this work. Very fortunately, Commissioner and Mrs. Street do not live too far away from Hadleigh to grace with their presence.
The session at Hadleigh started the presentation series with the introduction book (incidentally, the contents of the books are paraphrased in each volume for a youth audience). The topics covered in the introduction are:
- One life to live for each individual
- The life of William Booth
- The life of Jesus
- The life of the Church
- One Army
The first four topics were illustrated by videos from the accompanying DVD followed by small group discussions. The fifth was personalised with pictures and stories of the Streets’ own worldwide ministry.
The One Army videos include ‘vox pops’ where people around the world were asked questions pertaining to the session being addressed and gave their responses to questions like ‘What is The Salvation Army?’ The respondents included Salvation Army soldiers and officers, but also other people inside and outside of the Christian faith.
An important message throughout the morning is that we all have different gifts and skills and we can help each other: each bringing their own valuable contribution the Army and Church Universal.
The corps intends to continue with this teaching, and participation is highly encouraged.
The books to accompany this series are available free of charge from the corps. You can also get involved by visiting the One Army website at www.salvationarmy.org/onearmy where you will find online versions of the books and videos and also a new blog, launched this week. You can also engage via Twitter by following @TSAOneArmy and/or using the hashtag #onearmy, or on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/tsaonearmy.