25 June 2013 You are here:


Children at Ireland Division Congress create scratch pictures showing the changes Jesus can make to their lives

    "Do not move an ancient boundary marker that your ancestors set in place."

WHERE this verse in Proverbs (22:28; paraphrased) is specifically speaking about not cheating your neighbour in regard to the extent of your respective properties - and there is a whole spectrum of issues that it could and should apply to in the context of our present situation in terms of social justice, social action and social relief – I’d like to take it out of context to underline the importance of tradition, of corporate values, of heritage, of the foundation upon which we build.

IN our quest to remain relevant in a changing world, to seek to be able to tell “the old, old story” in a fresh and new way so that it is intelligible and, therefore, credible to our context, we always face the danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water, of getting rid of our soul - the essence of our being, our “DNA” - as we seek to rid ourselves of irrelevance.

                       "Do not move an ancient boundary marker..."!

YES - let us shed our Army of the traditionalism which bogs us down and keeps us in a rut, stifling our creativity; let us cast off the “dead faith of the living”, that keeps us stolidly following paths our system and structure have carved out for us; let us bury the “going through the motions” kind of being and doing church; let us grieve if we must, but, grieving, move on to live in the release which awaits on the other side of the grave. I welcome such innovation! I encourage such innovation! I want such innovation, because I want the Army to hold its place in the world as it relevantly, dynamically and effectively is the Church in our time.

More artwork created by children at Ireland Division Congress

BUT - in ensuring that we are Fit for Mission, that we are relevant and dynamic and effective - let us also ensure that we do not move the ancient boundary markers that our ancestors set in place: the “living faith of the dead” which both informs and inspires us, indeed, it identifies us. Let us carry into our version of being Army the very things that shaped and spread this movement, this Church. The Church is what it is, so, let’s not move the boundary markers set by our ancestors – allow it to be what it is by ridding ourselves of that which is not essential, not essence, and holding to our hearts that which is. It’s surprising just how much scope that actually gives us to be the Church in our world in a relevant, dynamic and effective manner!