Salvationist Podcast

Major Terence Hale, Territorial Youth Secretary

May 22, 2020 Salvationist.ca Season 1 Episode 2
Salvationist Podcast
Major Terence Hale, Territorial Youth Secretary
Chapters
Salvationist Podcast
Major Terence Hale, Territorial Youth Secretary
May 22, 2020 Season 1 Episode 2
Salvationist.ca

Major Terence Hale is the Territorial Youth Secretary for The Salvation Army. He’s an experienced officer with a demonstrated history of working in church leadership and the non-profit industry.

Major Hale speaks about the cancellation of the summer camping season; the May 23 Voit/See Facebook event, which promises to be the largest in the territory’s history; and how Salvationist young people can help others during the pandemic.

Show Notes Transcript

Major Terence Hale is the Territorial Youth Secretary for The Salvation Army. He’s an experienced officer with a demonstrated history of working in church leadership and the non-profit industry.

Major Hale speaks about the cancellation of the summer camping season; the May 23 Voit/See Facebook event, which promises to be the largest in the territory’s history; and how Salvationist young people can help others during the pandemic.

Brandon
Hi! My name is Brandon Laird and you are listening to a Salvationist.ca podcast, stories and news from the Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory. Welcome to the Salvationist COVID-19 response podcast, a series where we talk about how The Salvation Army has responded to the COVID-19 crisis. Today, I have the privilege of talking with Major Terence Hale. Terence is the territorial use secretary for The Salvation Army. He's an experienced officer with a demonstrated history of working in church leadership and the non-profit industry. Pleasure to have you with us today, Terence.

Terence
Thank you, Brandon. It's good to be here.

Brandon
Thanks for coming on the show today, Terence. I'm curious how you're doing with your life these days.

Terence
I don't think quarantine hasn't been treating me too poorly, I don't believe. Our family is doing well, I have two kids, a 12-year-old girl and our son just turned 15 on the 1st of May so he had a quarantine/COVID birthday as they've been saying. But we've been doing well, schooling is going well for them and I've kept up my exercise regimen during quarantine. I've been doing well keeping active and moving about so it hasn't been bad at all. We're looking forward to the longer days and such as summer keeps coming to us, but it's been good--these past few weeks have treated us well for sure.

Brandon
It's good to hear. I have some questions for you today around the Salvation Army and youth across the territory. The first question I have is Salvation Army camps have been cancelled due to safety issues around the COVID-19 pandemic. Can you tell us about that decision--how people are feeling and what the future holds?

Terrence
For sure. Obviously camping is a major ministry of The Salvation Army. As far as our public service goes, it's something we are privileged to be able to engage the public with providing these camping ministries. It's also a rich heritage within our church as well is a part of how we celebrate and disciple our young people, so any decision to postpone a camping season didn't arrive too easily. You know, camping has been happening in the province of Ontario, for example, for over 100 years and across our territory in different formats for decades. This will be the first time in the history of camping within our territory that we will not have a camping season this summer. This difficult decision was dictated by the circumstances around us. As you can appreciate the idea of overnight camping and having children and young people and leaders and adults living and breathing together in close quarters is not very conducive to controlling the spread of virus or disease and it was not very conducive to doing our part to be socially responsible towards flattening the curve of COVID-19. So a decision was made several weeks back that we would not move ahead with the camping ministry as far as overnight camping is concerned, but we also realized that as hard as that was it was the necessary decision. As a Premier recently said—I heard recently one of the briefings that the politicians do—we can't take chances when it comes to our young people. And so while you would hope that by the summer months things would have been different, a decision had to be made to be responsible to move forward and then to be able to ask ourselves what ministry would look like outside of camping ministry for this summer. Many people of course found this decision disappointing and it was disheartening for many who love camping and camps. It's a major part of their their summer ministry for us within The Salvation Army, our most effective ministry when it comes to introducing folks in and having them understand what a relationship with Jesus Christ is all about, so our hearts are heavy to not have had that opportunity, but very recently a group of our DYSs were able to sit down and brainstorm together about what this summer now looks like without a regular overnight camping ministry and how can we take the important things that camping offers, the things that camping brings to our community. It brings safety, a safe environment for young people; it brings an opportunity to build community where that may not be the case; it brings leadership development for our young adults who work at camp; it was also an opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ and as an opportunity to grow people together. We thought, how do we go ahead and still do that even those regular overnight camps won't take place. It was great and sit down and brainstorm how that might happen across the territory. Yes, people are feeling disappointed about losing the camping season, but we are trying to encourage ourselves to think about not what is lost but what is yet possible. We're hoping and praying as we look to the future and the months of the summer ahead of us that even greater things can be accomplished in this very unique season and that we're looking forward to what what lies ahead of us even as we spend one summer without our regular overnight camping administration.

Brandon
I just heard from my wife who's a school teacher that the Premier has cancelled the rest of the school year in Ontario, so it seems like everyone is taking the precautions quite seriously and it's really encouraging to hear that you guys are trying to innovate and use this time to continue ministry in a new way.

Terence
Yeah, as we said in these circumstances and I believe if you're listening to this series, the podcast, and maybe listening to how The Salvation Army is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, I would hope that part of that is innovation realizing that while roadblocks may come, doors may close, it is not a message saying we can't do our ministry, it is just showing us and forcing us to grow and adapt and innovate and that these are not closed doors they are just opportunities to do ministry in different ways, and in some circumstances be even more effective. And so, that is our hope for camping ministry. That as we do things a little different this summer that we'll be even more effective in our ministries.

Brandon
Thanks for that. Another thing that has been postponed is the VOIT/SEE territorial youth congress that was going to be in Montreal. A virtual meeting is set up to take place May 23rd on your Facebook page. What can young people expect?

Terrence
Yeah, it was disappointing to have to postpone VOIT/SEE, the territorial youth congress, but when we began to dream about that territorial youth congress, we had this idea that the young people that attended when they left they would leave with a dynamic vision for themselves and The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda. And so, this event taking place on May 23rd, an online gathering of youth and young adults from across the territory to celebrate the date, the original date of the congress, and to bring people together in these days of social distancing, we have that same goal that even in this shorter gathering that people would be encouraged from the idea that God is doing new things. We kept that verse that is our theme verse for the congress, Isaiah 43, where God says, "Behold I am doing a new thing." And so, our hope is that young people that attend will have that spark within their lives, to see afresh what God is doing in these days of pandemic response, in these days of social change, in these days of anticipating a new normal. What does it mean for me as a young Salvationist in this territory, what does God have for me, what does ministry look like for me? So we're praying that people will leave that event with a renewed vision and a dynamic vision of God's plan for The Salvation Army in these days and God's plan for them. To help accomplish that we've tried to bring all the different dynamic little elements of what would have been the VOIT/SEE Congress in Montreal into this 90-minute event so it's a bit of a challenge, but we're excited to have three of our worship leaders that would have originally been a part of our event in Montreal, to have Neon our territorial worship band and the Blue East worship group from Newfoundland and also Jude St. Aime who is a worship leader who works with The Salvation Army in the USA Central Territory, they'll be joining us. In addition, it is great to have Danielle Strickland as one of our speakers, as well as Major Rock Marcoux and our own territorial commander, Commissioner Floyd Tidd, will be bringing the Word of God to us in different segments. So young people can expect to have great worship, great teaching from the Word, some challenging teaching from the Word, some time of prayer and testimony, and also a bit of fun and games. So we've got some exciting things planned as well some great giveaways and surprises. So we're looking forward to a great time of worship of teaching and learning and challenge together on that May 23rd.

Brandon
It sounds like you're still making it quite interesting and engaging for the people across the territory.

Terence
We're doing our best. We're looking forward to it, we're hoping maybe that this may be one of the largest online gatherings of Salvationist young people in our territory. We're hoping that a lot of people are going to be connecting and this is an event of a certain level that we've never done before so we're trusting God to make it as impactful as possible.

Brandon
Speaking about young people, what are some ways young people can still be active in The Salvation Army during this time where there are so many restrictions?

Terence
I think that's a very interesting question because I think the answer to that has morphed over time. If you were to have asked me this eight, nine weeks ago my direct answer would have been how do you take this disturbance in your life and allow that to be God's voice speaking to you. I hope that these times have driven us and our young people to realize: Can I spend more time in prayer. Can I listen more closely to God's voice? God doesn't bring disturbance or allow disturbance into our life and bring us through seasons of change without some end goal. And so, I think one of the main things I would still challenge young people to ask when they think about, how do I remain active and what does it look like in these days within The Salvation Army is, have you asked the question to God: What is it that you wanted to tell me?What is it God that you want to speak into my life in these days? Because nothing is wasted in the economy of God. It's so amazing! That even the darkest times of our lives and the challenges we face, even in the darkness of something like a global pandemic in so many lives being lost and so many things being changed, and things being missed and separation, God does not waste those things--he has something to teach us. So I would begin by challenging you to seek God's face, to be in prayer and say, you know what God, what is it that you want to be teaching me in these days? But has the pandemic responses progressed and as our time of social distancing we've gotten used to this normal of being set up like we are, I believe that's beginning to shift and change as well as more and more opportunities are available to us to what it looks like to serve in these days. So I think a few things in this day as we, hopefully we're moving towards the latter stages of some of our isolation, is that we begin to ask the question of where does God want me to serve? I would challenge young people to be in prayer in these days and to be saying, how do you want me to reach out? How do I reach out now to my friends, my social networks, the people I was going to school with, the people I was on teams with or different groups with that we have been able to see? Maybe as a young person I know the love of Jesus Christ and I have that joy in my life, but we know there's so many that you're connected with that each of us are connected with that don't. Maybe God is saying in these days we need you to speak out and reach out and bring that hope and that peace that you have to others. And so, there's this very broad-ranging sort of ways. You can be praying, you can be serving, you can be reaching out, you can be evangelizing, you can be talking to your friends, you can be extending your social network to leverage it in for Kingdom growth. And there's also the very practical things as restrictions begin to ease now, there's these opportunities for everyone to be able to volunteer within the social distancing regulations and health regulations to volunteer, to serve. Maybe you can be checking with your corps officer and saying, hey you know is there something that you need done? Do you need help managing some of the technical pieces if that's your thing or social media pieces of your church's ministry? Can I help with the food bank? Can I help deliver or sort packages? Are there ways that I can be a practical support to you? And I think also there's a great way for young people in these days is that you can be writing out, reaching out, reach out to your corps officer. Reach out to your local officers and people in leadership in your church and encourage them and tell them that you're praying for them. And I think the final thing I just like to leave you with is to be praying in these days and to be challenged and say, OK God, what is the next step? What does it look like now for me to step into this new reality of ministry and to pray that God will give you generous eyes to see what God has planned for the days ahead. Though we don't know exactly how things are going to look, we do know that there is going to be a great opportunity for continued ministry and we need young people across the territory who are just seeking God's face and saying, what is my place and where do you want me to step into? So I think if you call your corps officer he or she's going to give you plenty of practical things you can do and serve, and ways you can serve, but I think In addition to that there's many deep spiritual exercises and practices you can be doing in these days, to be praying for others, reaching out to others and positioning yourself to step into greater ministry in the days ahead.

Brandon
Those are really good, encouraging words. Do you have any examples or have you heard of young people serving others during this pandemic?

If we take the bracket of youth and young adults that we kind of focus on serving across the territory, of course I could give you the examples of we have Salvationist young people who are health-care professionals. I've had the privilege of talking to a few of those these past few weeks are serving as registered nurses or respiratory therapists and they're still young people in their mid-20s and they're just living a sacrificial life and serving in that way and that's wonderful to see. And there's other young people who are front-line responders who are serving in other aspects. I know of young people in their early 20s who are working in grocery stores. And I think that's an amazing thing because I've heard from these people that you know there's just not a lot of people who want to work in grocery stores right now right, you know the front-line service provision people. It's great to see young people—maybe because they don't have children, they don't have family connections and they're a bit more secure in their health—are willing to go out and serve in those ways. And so, there's countless stories of young people across the territory that are really serving on the front line and doing that work and we celebrate them. And we also have stories and accounts of young people and teenagers and those pieces; I know there's a young girl in Mississauga who has been doing online babysitting for people literally across the country and around the world. She and another young person through Zoom do child care for parents when they're working at home to reach out and to be present, and to give the parents a few moments either to take care of things at home, or if they have some work things, and they entertain the children and engage with them. And there's great stories of even children and young adults and teenagers who were delivering packages to people's doors, or around Easter time there were a lot of door drops happening, just wishing people a Happy Easter. So, there's been wonderful stories arising across our territory of young people of all ages who have been asking, really listening to the Spirit and saying, how can I share the love of Jesus, either through how I work, or what I say or what I do? And God has been blessing that and it's been a fruitful time for that type of service.

Brandon
That's so good to hear. Thank you, Terence for taking time out of your day to give an update and share some insights on what's going on. These are unusual times and it's encouraging to hear how The Salvation Army is working to engage children, youth and young adults in their neighbourhoods. And that's all the time we have for today. Thanks for listening to the Salvationist COVID-19 Response Podcast. For new episodes be sure to visit Salvationist.ca/podcast. For more Army news visit Salvationist.ca. And if you would like to get the news delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for the weekly e-mail newsletter at Salvationist.ca/newsletter.