Major Alec addressed the meeting on 19 January and said that if we are to be ‘adding to the beauty’ with our commitment we need to see the big picture to understand where we fit in. Commitment Sunday is not about doing more but it is about giving the best of ourselves to God, which might mean doing less. He said that our Corps consists of a sacrificial people who give generously of time and talents. He thanked us for all we bring to the Corps. During the forthcoming year we want, in our Sunday afternoon meetings, to hear from all the groups who are active during the week as to how God is blessing those activities.
Alec spoke about the leadership system of the Corps and the change from what has been in place: The Commanding Officers, (COs) the Pastoral Care Council (PCC) and the Corps Council. He emphasised the need for the Corps to be able to function with stability and continuity when the COs move on – at some time in the future. To reflect this, the structure now is that the COs are still at the head and the PCC remains actively involved but the Mission Forum has been formed to help the Corps run better. Adrian Horwood has been appointed as chairman with Tim Scott as the assistant. The CO’s will work to the Mission Forum as in a chief executive role.
Major Andrea reported on three activities which are going on during the week which are being developed:
– Family work. The toddlers groups. ‘Mainly Music’ is now classed as a ‘worship-based’ activity. Several mums have asked for a separate group to discuss questions of faith. Practical support is continuing with planned parenting courses.
– Children and Youth work. YPSM Tracy and her teams are continuing their teachings and recently all children in Sunday School have received a ‘Hands On’ bible which they will use each week for their activities. Ruth and the Youff group are working well and involving some young people who do not come to our usual meetings.
– Community: Reactive work is being done for those who fall through the net. The Salvation Army Face2Face project is for potentially excluded people. Under this comes work with the Foodbank, the Monday lunch for the needy, the Roma church outreach, Employment Plus service to help people fill in forms on the computer and plans are being formed to provide meals for needy children in holidays when their school meals are not available. The aim is to help socially excluded people and to try and redress the balance by putting some support in place.