There is archived video footage of the three plenary sessions that was webcast during the September Territorial Social Services Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. It is available for viewing here.
We’re happy to present you with Southern Spirit TV Episode 11, from Southern Spirit Online. This month, Lindsey traveled to the Worship Arts Retreat in Florida and recaps the weekend. Major Lisa Davis also shares the top news from around the territory. Field Reporter Chris Priest also brings a report from the two new Kroc Centers which opened in Biloxi, MS and Greenville, SC.
Also, feel free to view “Partners” the latest Ministry Toolkit episode.
London, England – Under the theme Life Together in Jesus Christ, Empowered by the Holy Spirit almost 300 denominational and ecumenical leaders from more than 60 countries convened in Manado, Indonesia, for the Second Global Gathering of the Global Christian Forum (GCF).
The GCF uniquely brings together all the great streams of modern Christian faith: Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and many contemplative communities. Leaders from the World Council of Churches, the World Evangelical Alliance and the Pentecostal World Fellowship also joined the proceedings.
The purpose of the GCF is ‘to create an open space wherein representatives from a broad range of Christian churches and inter-church organizations, which confess the triune God and Jesus Christ as perfect in his divinity and humanity, can gather to foster mutual respect, to explore and address together common challenges’. All GCF gatherings include ‘shared stories’ in which delegates can relate in small and large group settings the work of the Holy Spirit individually and within a community of faith.
The Salvation Army has been an active contributor to the GCF since its inception 12 years ago and was represented at this gathering by Lieut-Colonel Richard Munn (Secretary for International Ecumenical Relations) and Major Sasmoko Hertjahjo (Indonesia Territory).
The gathering assessed and reported the recent significant demographic shifts in world Christianity. It is apparent that the center of gravity of the church is shifting away from the old heartland of Europe to the global south. Pentecostalism continues to grow and is affecting many of the churches belonging to the historic traditions. New, non-denominational forms are emerging.
Representatives from many diverse denominations and traditions participated. Contributions ranged from a report on the growth of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church in Albania to a history of Catholic charismatic renewal.
Future long-range guidelines for the GCF were established, including the summary acclamation that ‘while the fact that Christian churches are divided causes no small amount of pain and struggle, we do not doubt it is the will of God in Christ that we be one’.
For more information on the Global Christian Forum go to www.globalchristianforum.org.
Report by Lieut-Colonel Richard Munn
Dallas, Texas (October 18, 2011)— Local Salvation Army staff and volunteers in Bastrop, Texas, continue to serve residents who are battling to recover from the devastating wildfires that tore through the area a little more than a month ago.
The Salvation Army first opened the doors of its Central Texas Wildfire Relief Center, located in Austin, on Friday, September 16. After four days unloading and sorting donated items received through the KXAN/Walmart “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” campaign the distribution center was made available to wildfire survivors. However, it quickly became clear that those most in need of assistance were unable to make the trip to Austin so the decision was made to deliver the emergency supplies directly to the people in Bastrop. Beginning Thursday, September 22, a truck loaded with food, water, toiletries, and cleaning supplies was staged in the parking lot of the Walmart in Bastrop, where items were available for collection.
In addition to donated items, volunteers from The Salvation Army Bastrop Service Unit have distributed more than $100,000 in Walmart gift cards to wildfire survivors who lost, or sustained damage to their homes, or suffered power outages. Families who have not yet registered with The Salvation Army for help, and have a FEMA number, will qualify to receive assistance. Generous grants to the disaster relief from The Meadows Foundation and Walmart have enabled The Salvation Army to provide this practical help to the people most affected in Bastrop. The remaining items from the “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” campaign are now being delivered to local agencies and churches who have established long-term distribution programs in the community.
Doris Kershaw, a Salvation Army volunteer in Bastrop said, “The first day of the gift card distribution we had 40 people in line by the time we were ready to begin at 9:00 AM. The line never got any smaller until we eventually ran out of applications at 1:30 PM.” She continued, “The need is incredible. Many of the people we see have lost everything. The community has really come together despite this tragedy and many of those lucky enough to still have their homes, have taken in families who have been left homeless by the wildfires.”
The Salvation Army was well represented at the Bastrop State Park media event, October 13, where County Judge Ron MacDonald and Senator Kirk Watson expressed their gratitude and admiration for the service being delivered. Staff and volunteers plan to provide similar assistance in Smithville on October 29, another community in Bastrop County affected by the wildfire. Additionally, Bastrop Salvation Army Service Unit Chairman Jim Kershaw hopes to have sufficient funds available to help volunteer firefighters, police and other emergency responders who served so tirelessly, despite the fact that many of them had also lost their homes.
Financial contributions to the Central Texas Wildfire Relief can be made by:
· MAIL to The Salvation Army, PO Box 36607, Dallas TX 75235
· PHONE at 1-800-SAL-ARMY
· ONLINE at www.salvationarmytexas.org