15 Jul | 2012
The last full day of the 2012 International Conference of Leaders began with Bible study and prayer groups centred on 'One Army - in hope'. In addition to thanking God for the 'hope of glory' that comes through relationship with Christ, other perspectives - such as ministering to those who, throughout the world, feel they have no prospect of hope - earthed discussions in the challenging realities of life.
After considering key ingredients needed for people to have hope for the future, Commissioner James Condon presented a challenging paper on 'The Marginalized'. He spoke with skill, and passion, using up-to-date illustrations of how the Army is currently serving marginalized people in imaginative and effective ways. The commissioner also highlighted areas in which he felt the Army could be more pro-active. The subsequent plenary session revealed further challenge and confirmation of cutting-edge ministry. There was a call for 'the Army world' to engage in facilitating global strategy to help provide a voice for the voiceless.
The concluding presentation came from Commissioner Vinece Chigariro on 'Integrated Mission', which she described as a 'hallmark' of the One Army. 'Ministering to the whole person is our core business', she said, prior to analysing integrated mission in various contexts. 'In order to prosper, we need to be together', she added. Returning to the subject of hope, the commissioner described it as a beacon of our faith, especially when facing difficult situations and challenges. Speaking with authority to her peers, she emphasized, 'It is the leader's responsibility to provide hope.'
The following plenary session provided the General opportunity to outline and affirm key beliefs that are integral to a strong, all-embracing and united Army.
As if to give practical response to the day's proceedings, all leaders were given up-to-date information on the Officers' Support Endowment Fund and invited, by the Chief of the Staff, to ensure their own contribution.
Commissioner Robert Street
International Secretary for Europe