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Vision Rallies Reveal Realities

Salvationists Review Survey
Results; Plan Future Strategy

Vision

VISIONING–(l-r) Captain Terry Camesy, Lt. Colonels Olin and Dianne Hogan, and Commissioner David Edwards review Visioning materials during the recent Visioning Rally held at the Phoenix South Mountain Corps.


by Captain Terry Camsey – 

I guess you really had to be there to capture the sense of excitement when those Vision boxes were distributed. They are the piece de resistance of the Divisional Visioning Rallies–tangible evidence of the Territorial Commander’s commitment to provide a practical envisioning tool.

Nevertheless, the basic pattern of each event has been consistent, and included both territorial and divisional overviews of the results of the recent territorial survey together with exploration of the implications for corps thinking of future ministry; the Territorial Commander’s insightful paper on “The Salvation Army–Who We Are!”–examining the mission statement of the Army under the topics: What makes us who we are? Why are we an Army? What do we value most? and Why are these things important?; an overview of the visioning process–how input from all corners of the territory will be collected, consolidated and correlated into an over-arching territorial vision; Opening up the Box–examination of each tool, including some designed specifically for this territory by our consultants J. David Schmidt and Associates; time for small group discussion and feedback; and an opportunity to covenant support for the vision.

“We have begun the Visioning process,” said Commissioner David Edwards, territorial commander. “Visioning rallies have been held in five divisions so far. I have led two, in the Northwest and Southwest Divisions. I came away from both events feeling very encouraged at the positive response that has greeted this approach to visioning. Other rallies have been held in Southern California, Intermountain and Alaska. Both the Chief and the Secretary for Program who were responsible for the leadership in these instance felt as I did.
“The attendances were quite good. In all five instances, there was a good spirit among those who were privileged to participate. People seem excited about the prospects of this venture. I am more convinced now that the process has started that we are doing the right thing. I believe that the real value of this exercise is in the process itself. When people get together to pray and believe God for direction, God will answer. This Army, God’s Army, will grow and be more effective in ministry in the years ahead.”

–Commissioner David Edwards

In the Northwest Division, two consecutive Visioning conferences were held: the first for corps officers in council, the second for Divisional Laymen and Officers Council (DIVLOC) members. It was at these initial, ground-breaking conferences that receptivity to the tool box became apparent. We had, you see, to share the corps boxes, first, with corps officers; then to collect them back so that DIVLOC members could also enjoy the discovery process as the boxes were unpacked piece by piece. When it came to collecting them from the officers, a number did not wish to part with them…even temporarily…to DIVLOC members from their own corps!

DIVLOC members were the same, in some instances holding them tightly and close to their chests as if they’d never let them go. I guess they liked them! So, we are off to a good start, and it was inspirational to sit in those settings watching the Spirit kindle the flame, first of interest, then of passion.

“So what,” I hear you, in my imagination, asking, “is this funnel vision stuff?” Well, I’ll tell you this. It is the very antithesis of “tunnel vision,” and is the title I use for my interpretation of the “funnel” metaphor suggested for the visioning process by our consultant. I don’t want to pursue that too much more for fear of giving away too much before I have completed my quota of Visioning rallies.

And then there are the jelly belly candies. You’ll have to ask your corps officer about that when he’s been to the rally.

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