Brengle Create-a holiness first
First Brengle Institue for creative Salvationists held in Australia.
For five days in October more than 60 delegates participated in Brengle Create—the first ever Brengle Institute for creative Salvationists—in Sydney, Australia.
Brengle Institutes, named after Salvation Army holiness teacher Samuel Logan Brengle, have long been held in other forms. The purpose of Brengle Create was to awaken the spirit of holiness in the delegates and for them to begin creating new expressions of holiness that would inspire The Salvation Army today.
Writers, songwriters, poets, graphic artists, painters, banner-makers and other gifted delegates traveled from across the Australia Eastern Territory to the conference, along with 10 international delegates representing the New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory, The Philippines Territory, the Indonesia Territory and the Finland and Estonia Territory.
“Out of this very first Brengle Create,” said Australia Eastern Territorial Commander Commissioner Linda Bond, “we are hoping for a plethora of new creative expression that will bless today’s Army with a fresh and passionate desire to live the life of Christlikeness and to pursue the Spirit’s empowerment of our lives and our mission.”
The Brengle Create faculty included some of the world’s leading exponents and teachers of holiness from the Wesleyan perspective, including Dr. Roger Green, head of Biblical and Theological Studies at Gordon College in the U.S., who lectured on “Biblical Holiness.”
Lt. Colonel Janet Munn, international secretary for spiritual life development, brought color and spiritual imagery to the conference through her sacred dance and dramatic Scripture presentations. She also taught on the spiritual disciplines.
Major Peter Farthing, Australia Eastern territorial secretary for spiritual life development, gave the keynote address and Commissioner Bond the closing address. Bond challenged delegates to take everything they had learned, merge it with their creative gifts and produce resources that would help take the Army to a new level of holy living and powerful witness.
World-renowned worship leader and songwriter Darlene Zschech led two sessions. Speaking on the theme “The Holy Spirit and Songwriting,” she revealed how her personal faith journey took her to a deep spiritual place of “wonder in God.” From here, she said, she wrote such songs as “Shout to the Lord” and “The Potter’s Hand.”
Zschech’s second session, this time from the piano, was a high point of Brengle Create. She shared a number of yet-to-be published and unfinished songs, which were created, she said, in “the place of wonder and spiritual surrender” but are now being subjected to the rigor of good songwriting process in order to achieve a powerful final product.
Electives included “Holiness in Humor, Health and Hang-ups,” “Spirit-Inspired Communication,” “The Role of Multimedia in the Church,” and “The Worth-ship of God.”
Major Kerry Haggar, the conference principal and divisional commander of Australia Eastern’s Newcastle and Central NSW Division, said Brengle Create was a “God-inspired event…From the very first session,” she said, “the presence of God’s Spirit in our midst was powerful and transforming. We gave him the space to be the creative Spirit of God, and that’s exactly what happened. Speakers and delegates alike were inspired during these five days together, and we now await the results in creative holiness expression.”