As of May 1, Colonel Evie Diaz takes up her new appointment as the chief secretary of the Canada and Bermuda Territory. She most recently served as the chief secretary for The Salvation Army at International Headquarters. In this podcast, shares her personal story, her perspective on leadership and her hopes for the future of the Army.
Geoff Moulton 0:00
Welcome to another episode of Salvationist Podcast. I'm Geoff Moulton, editor-in-chief of Salvationist Magazine. Today we're talking with Colonel Evie Diaz. Colonel Diaz has most recently served as the chief secretary for The Salvation Army international headquarters. And as of May 1, receives a new appointment as the chief secretary of the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Today, she's going to share her personal story, her perspective on leadership, and her hopes for the future of the Army. Welcome, Colonel Diaz.
Colonel Evie Diaz 0:36
Thank you. It's really great to be with you and to speak with you today.
Geoff Moulton 0:40
Colonel, can you tell us about your calling to officership? What inspired you? And what have been the highlights along the way?
Colonel Evie Diaz 0:46
Yeah, sure. Well, I grew up as a child of officers. And for me, that was a really positive experience. And they included me and my siblings in ministry in practical ways, like memories of helping clean the building before Sundays and going along to open airs. And that kind of thing, which again, for me, was a positive experience, not always welcome, but demonstrated to me a really good role model for officership and specifically corps officership. They were corps officers their whole career and I liked to watch how they interacted with people and the impact that they had on the lives of people and also their communities. And perhaps again, didn't appreciate that so much when I was a child. But as I grew older, I really recognize the value in that and wanted to do something similar. There were other people along the way, who had similar influence on me, but it certainly started with my parents.
Geoff Moulton 1:40
And tell us a little bit about your growth as an officer and the different appointments you've had along the way.
Colonel Evie Diaz 1:46
Yeah, I've had quite an interesting and varied officer life, which is good for me. I like a variety. I spent, not enough years, in my opinion, being a corps officer. But I did have some opportunity for that when I was young officer. I've had three opportunities to be on the college for officer training staff in Chicago. And I love that developing leaders is one of my passions. And so I really got to learn there about how to do that, in very practical ways. I also spent some time in the youth department, both as the divisional US Secretary and as the territorial US Secretary. And again, that all linked together with this love for developing people and seeing them grow. I spent some time in Latvia as the training officer there and helped really lead the way to create a Training College in Latvia for Latvian cadets, and officers. I loved that as well. And then spent the last few years before IHQ as a divisional leader in the heartland and Kansas and Western Missouri divisions in the USA Central Territory. So quite varied in my officership.
Geoff Moulton 2:56
wonderful. Yeah. Lots of unique experiences. For sure.
Colonel Evie Diaz 2:59
Geoff Moulton 2:59
Your most recent appointment was as a chief secretary at international headquarters. What was it like to serve there?
Colonel Evie Diaz 3:06
Wonderful. I love living in London. It's a great place to live, not just because it's a great city, but it's a global city. And being in an international headquarters in a global city is a really unique and treasured opportunity. I love working at international headquarters with officers and employees and staff from around the world, right within the building. So within our building, we're global. And then having that global view and connection really daily is such a very precious thing to me. And I love that.
Geoff Moulton 3:44
That's the internationalism of the Army is such a blessing and a gift. Wonderful. What are you looking forward to most when you come to the Canada and Bermuda Territory?
Colonel Evie Diaz 3:55
As much as I love IHQ--and I do--my role, especially is a bit removed from frontline ministry. And I'm looking forward to being in a territory to see how God's working already in Canada and Bermuda on the front lines, joining and supporting that work and seeing a new perspective of how that works through The Salvation Army.
Geoff Moulton 4:18
We're in the midst of change in Canada with Mobilize 2.0. So that comes with a lot of excitement, and a lot of perhaps uncertainty. What is the key to thriving in Christian leadership, especially in a time of immense change?
Colonel Evie Diaz 4:33
As I read that I was thinking particularly about this year. Thriving as a leader has been challenged, I think, for all of us during a pandemic. And I've been able to compare that to transition. I think we've talked a lot about that at IHQ, how what we've been going through this year, even though nobody's moved anywhere yet, still feels like what you do when you're in transition and how to arrive during that time. For me, it's about maintaining connections both personally but as well being connected to people who are who are also engaged in mission, learning from them listening to them. It's really important. My one of my values is team. I'm a team player, if I lead a team, I want to hear from the team, certainly in my role here at IHQ I've been part of the team. To really make those connections with that team, and share together and value each other is really important to me, and helps me to thrive in my leadership.
Geoff Moulton 5:33
Well, we've had a difficult season with COVID connections and team has taken on a different meaning and a different way of connecting through technology and other methods. Where have you seen the Salvation Army stepping up to serve and COVID, because our mission is more vital than ever?
Colonel Evie Diaz 5:51
I'm really proud of the Salvation Army. It's exciting, I get to read the reports every every week from the COVID working group here at IHQ about how we're supporting projects and how the Army such as Canada is supporting projects around the world. Some of them are very simple, like providing a hand-washing system for a grade school. So the kids can be COVID safe when they go to school. The reports that we hear from many places around the world about our non-discriminatory policies, how we are reaching out to people, perhaps we've never had a chance to reach before, because we don't care who they are, or how they live in order to provide the services. And that while we've always known that, I think it's a hallmark of this time, and our service during these days,
Geoff Moulton 6:42
For sure, and then Canada in particular, we're one of the most diverse countries in the world. So an emphasis on equity, diversity, and inclusion has become really important and the way we operate and the way we serve people here in this territory. So Iappreciate that from from an international perspective, too. As a leader, how have you tended to your own soul and your walk with the Lord?
Colonel Evie Diaz 7:09
I think there are a few ways. I'm mostly a social person. So certainly that affects my relationship with the Lord. And I love to be in corporate worship, I love to connect with friends, and pray with them and share concerns and talk about the Bible, talk about life. And all of that feeds into my own soul care. I'm not very good when I'm isolated. So that's been particularly important for me to do that during these days. However, during COVID, I've also found that the Lord has really spoken to me through my daily walk, and we have several parks around my house. And so I've really begun a deeper appreciation for God as Creator. And that's been a real blessing and a way to tend to my soul during these days.
Geoff Moulton 7:56
So important, isn't it to know how we're wired and how we connect to God? Right? Because each of us is different. And so what encouragement would you offer to other ministry leaders in The Salvation Army?
Colonel Evie Diaz 8:11
Yeah, that's a really important question. And I think it's especially important and has come to light during COVID, that we need to be connected to each other for support, certainly, but also to be challenged, and to be sure that we're being accountable and on the right track. Because when we isolate, we can just make up our own answers. And so this connection to others is really important. The other thing for me is it's important not to always be thinking inward, but to look out at God's world and the community and to be aware of why I'm doing what I'm doing, and who are the people who God's calling me to serve. What really are their needs. So having an outward look, as well as taking care of myself inwardly. Both of those things are important to us as leaders.
Geoff Moulton 9:08
For sure, and Mobilize, the first iteration, our slogan was upward, outward, onward. And there was some logic in in the ordering of that, in that we're to connect with God first in order to connect with others in order to move the mission forward.
Colonel Evie Diaz 9:26
So yeah, that's great.
Geoff Moulton 9:28
Yeah, I appreciate that reflection. My last question, what brings you hope, as you look to the future of The Salvation Army?
Colonel Evie Diaz 9:35
I see the most hope right on the front line. I mean, I've been now involved in army leadership in a senior leadership kind of way for a few years and always am inspired when I see a corps officer, an employee, a soldier, a volunteer, who's right on the front lines, just seeing people's needs and jumping in and doing something. That's still happening, no matter what else is happening in the world. It's still happening that God is using people right in their communities on the front line to reach others, either practically or with a prayer, a word of encouragement. And as long as that's still happening, then I have hope for The Salvation Army. So I'm grateful that he's still using us.
Geoff Moulton 10:23
Great and Mobilize 2.0 the slogan is inspired for mission, positioned for growth. And so, I think that applies to what you're saying about frontline ministry, in terms of what drives us is our faith in God and our love for other people. And we express that in many different ways on the front line. So it is a blessing to be part of The Salvation Army. We're thankful for what you'll bring to the leadership role, we pray for you as you transition to your new appointment, and we look forward to working with you.
Colonel Evie Diaz 10:57
Thank you. Thanks for the prayers and looking forward to joining you there.
Geoff Moulton 11:06
That's it for today's Salvationist 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 our weekly email newsletter at salvationist.ca/newsletter.