by Donald Bell, Lt. Colonel
Last month, I shared the highlights of reports from around the territory in making the field a priority, promoting holistic ministry, and making ministry to youth a priority. I am pleased to share more highlights of the Holy Spirit’s working on the Territory’s vision through our established strategic priorities.
Casting a Global Vision: The Bridgebuilders Session of cadets took up a love offering of $1,000 for their fellow session in Liberia. The IHQ Helping Hands Video—“Living Water” (developing wells in Tanzania) was distributed to all commands as a result of the Work/Study Visit to Tanzania. A packet of program helps was produced to complement the video presentation. Organizational steps have been implemented to prepare for our transition from the “Heart Connection” incentive into the Partners in Mission scheme. A new prayer meeting has been established at Crestmont College for the purpose of praying for revival at Crestmont and throughout the Army world. The Burbank, Calif., Hispanic ministry started a literacy program (focus group) with two women and their daughters. One family is learning English, and the other is learning to read and write for the first time.
The Cross-Cultural Committee met with the appointment board to discuss leadership styles in different cultures, and how we can better educate and train officers from minority ethnic groups to be leaders in our territory. The Crestmont Multi-Cultural office is continuing to give instruction in inter-cultural studies and diversity training to first- and second-year cadets. A Multi-Cultural “Round Table” was held this spring; guest speakers were: Captain Tom Mui, representing the Chinese culture; Captain Robert Marshall, representing the African-American culture; and Captains John Lee and Envoy Raul Guerrero representing the Hispanic culture. Each of the speakers shared particular aspects of their culture—how the culture communicates, family and work values, customs, ethics, the role of women, worship, how to be accepted in the community.
The Territorial Multi-Cultural Committee met in March to discuss action steps for publishing a Spanish version of New Frontier (the first edition of Nuevas Fronteras was published recently); increasing our support for current ethnic leaders by identifying language-specific training resources; being intentional in training and empowering ethnic leaders to assume full responsibility for community leadership; and increasing the number of ethnic leaders in divisional and territorial headquarters. Overseas Children’s Sponsorship donations for the first quarter amounted to $25,409; we have 12 new sponsors.
Identifying, Training and Developing Leaders: Five new TEAM seminars were released. The major seminar, “Foundations of the Faith,” revisits The Salvation Army doctrines and Arminian theology in a systematic look at what we believe. The sessions can be used in seminar formats, soldiership classes, Sunday school curriculum, and mid-week Bible studies. A group of seven at the San Francisco, Calif., ARC just completed a three-month adherents’ class with the Citadel corps officer. There are three weekly Bible studies for women beneficiaries and six for men.
“Now Serving” was the theme for the annual Life Service Conference held at Crestmont College. One hundred and seven delegates joined in the weekend events, which all focused on ministry. The ARCC sent 21 delegates; many are looking for the opportunity to serve Christ through the Army. A non-Salvation Army resource, “Focusing Worship,” created by Church-Smart was distributed for use in the divisions. This eight-session seminar/training manual walks a leadership team through what worship is, forming a worship committee, creating a worship experience, including the arts in worship, and using worship as outreach. We have released another edition of the Adventure Corps Resource Guide and commenced work on a new achievement points system.
The Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges conducted a strong and successful review of the total Crestmont College program of educational and spiritual development. Crestmont has attained “applicant” status with this association and has been given permission and encouragement to proceed to the next of three steps to accreditation.
Directing Resources to Mission: Crestmont College held the annual Dinner Theater Show, raising approximately $30,000 for World Services. Cadets wrote and directed the show, which was attended by approximately 800 people over four settings. The Silvercrest Management Department was developed to centralize the property management functions for the 33 Salvation Army sponsored, HUD-related senior housing communities located throughout the Western Territory. At the South Valley, Colo., Corps there is a wonderful ministry to the 40 women who attend their various groups. The common denominator is sharing Christ’s love and caring about others. Under the leadership of Lt. Colonel Kurt Burger, a territorial economic task force has been formed to evaluate the most effective way to direct our limited resources to mission. The task force is made up of leading advisory board members, officers and soldiers from around the territory. At the same time Major Bruce Jones is leading a budget task force at THQ. It is no longer possible to simply plan departmental budgets in line with cost-of-living increases. Employees and officers alike are looking at the most effective use of our funds.
I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your efforts in realizing the vision of being Biblically authentic in motive and mission, a relevant and vibrant expression of Christianity, culturally diverse in methods and ministry, and compassionately active in serving humanity.