Things …. they are a Changin’

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The officers of the world have been asked to complete a consultation form which identifies points of view relative to a number of recommendations recently submitted by the 23-member International Commission on Officership.Officers have been asked to respond to General John Gowans at International Headquarters no later than May 25, 2000.

Twenty-eight recommendations have been presented by the commission. Officers are asked to agree, disagree, or express no opinion. A majority of the commission members approved each of the 28 recommendations. The report also contains a rationale for each recommendation.

These recommendations, some slightly shortened here due to space, are below:

“We recommend that…

  1. Territories continue to move away from authoritarian models of command and develop consultative models of leadership.
  2. Territories continue to plan for the development of all their spiritual leaders, such planning to include: creating a learning climate, shared evaluation, flexible training, continuing education.
  3. IHQ convene an international leadership development symposium to formulate a strategy for the ongoing training of leaders for a global army.
  4. Territories incorporate ongoing orientation in cross-cultural ministry into their leadership training and working practices in order to develop culturally sensitive models of leadership.
  5. Membership of planning and decision-making bodies reflect a greater mix of generations.
  6. Competent officers be appointed to positions of executive responsibility irrespective of age or years of service.
  7. The development of opportunities [listed in actual consultation] be included in Orders and Regulations for Officers of The Salvation Army. (These refer to study tours, training opportunity, long service leave, pastoral support, consultation in respect to appointments, and more.)
  8. The content of the Officers’ Covenant be consistent worldwide; the covenant be amended to strengthen the concept of lifelong dedication to God, that it be more directly related to the Army’s international mission statement.
  9. The appointment of a broad-based group consisting of officers and legal practitioners to review The Officers’ Undertakings with The Sal-vation Army, addressing: simplification of the document, clarification of its intent, and possibility of including reciprocal obligations of the Army to its officers without jeopardizing its legal position.
  10. Orders and Regulations for Officers of The Salvation Army (O & R’s) be amended to allow an officer to remain in officership after marrying an auxiliary-captain, cadet or accepted candidate.
  11. O & R’s be amended to allow, in exceptional circumstances, and with the recommendation of the officer review board, a married officer to continue in officership when the spouse can no longer remain an officer. The officer review board must ensure that the exceptional circumstances are unrelated to personal gain, personal convenience, or lack of commitment. The recommendations of the officer review board, together with those of the territorial commander, must be forwarded to IHQ for final decision by the Chief of the Staff.
  12. In the matter of the marriage of officers to non-officers, territories be given the option of either: presenting a territorial policy proposal or presenting individual cases to IHQ for consideration by the Chief of the Staff.
  13. Each married officer be paid a separate and equal allowance.
  14. O & R’s requiring officers to obtain HQ permission to become engaged, be replaced, except where cultural norms dictate otherwise, by a requirement to inform.
  15. Territories affirm the ministry of women officers by appointing them to positions commensurate with their gifts and experience.
  16. Territories seek a gender balance in the membership of planning and decision-making bodies.
  17. The affirmation of single officers, with continued consideration being given to provision for their particular needs and equal opportunity for leadership placement.
  18. Territories be allowed to accept and test the concept of open-ended officer service in consultation with IHQ.
  19. Each territory implement a personnel policy that acknowledges the value of and dignity due to an officer who resigns and provides the appropriate pastoral support.
  20. Territories make provision for a termination grant to be given to an officer who resigns.
  21. The present age restrictions in relation to eligibility for officership be revised, the rank of auxiliary-captain be discontinued, and a flexible training program be developed.
  22. Territories review current and develop new models of spiritual leadership (in regard to local leadership).
  23. Territories develop an appointing process which includes consultation with the centers as well as with the officers within the overall requirements of the mission.
  24. The Army recognize the benefits of ‘tent-maker’ ministry (part-time paid employment), and permit such an arrangement at territorial discretion.
  25. There be a review of the officer rank system (two options being: all officers to be commissioned to and retain the rank of captain, the only other rank that of General OR all ranks [except General] to be based on years of service – lieutenant 0-5; captain 5-20; major 20-30; colonel 30 + years).
  26. At territorial discretion, a system of portable pensions or an equivalent system be implemented.
  27. The General establish a small standing commission to offer guidance on theological, policy and procedural matters arising from this report, in relation to ongoing officer service in The Salvation Army.
  28. Each territory establish a broadly-based task force to review the documentation produced by this commission and guide the TC on implementation of its recommendations.

NOTE: Individuals may order a copy of the International Commission on Officership from IHQ. Send a check for $3.50, payable to The Salvation Army, to: Lt. Colonel Margaret Sutherland, Literary Secretary, The Salvation Army, IHQ, 101 Queen Victoria St. London EC4P 4EP, England.

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