Colonels Suzanne and Melvin Fincham and Heather Rodwell were welcomed by Territorial Headquarters (THQ) and Central Division staff at a pōwhiri and morning tea on 2 November.
Colonel Suzanne Fincham is the new Chief Secretary (second-in-command) of the New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory, while Colonel Melvin Fincham is the new Territorial Secretary for Programme and, from 11 January 2018, Territorial Communications Secretary. Colonel Heather Rodwell is the new Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries. She also continues in her role as Territorial Secretary for Spiritual Life Development.
Territorial Commander Commissioner Andy Westrupp said he had known Colonel Heather Rodwell since they were in youth group together in the 1970s, while the Finchams, who are from the United Kingdom, he had only recently met. Explaining that the territory was made up of a diversity of people and cultures, Commissioner Westrupp emphasised The Salvation Army’s commitment to biculturalism within Aotearoa New Zealand. ‘Our prayer is that as you travel and minister in the name of Jesus Christ, not only will you be able to impart blessings, but you also will be blessed,’ he said.
It was already clear that God was in the hearts of Salvationists of the territory, said Colonel Suzanne Fincham. ‘Melvin and I, and our two children, are adventurers—and I am reminded daily that God is with us wherever we are. It will be a joy to get to know you!’
Colonel Melvin Fincham said it was a privilege to be in New Zealand and that he was thankful for God’s calling on his and Suzanne’s lives. He was passionate about sharing the love of Christ and hoped that ‘with urgency’, people across the territory would share that passion.
Colonel Heather Rodwell spoke of the unexpected joy of returning to serve at THQ. ‘God is the God of the unexpected,’ she said, ‘but he is never the God who fails!’ She planned to grasp all the opportunities for mission that came with her new role.
Major Glenton Waugh, THQ chaplain, prayed that God’s anointing would be on the territory’s newest leaders—that they would please God and bear fruit for the Kingdom of God.