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Monday, January 30, 2006


The submerged tenth

For those of you who haven't heard (and who actually care), the Salvation Army has elected its next General. The General is the International leader of the Salvation Army. Our next General will be Shaw Clifton, he takes over on the 1st of April (ironic perhaps??) He is currently the Territorial Commander for the United Kingdom Territory.
He has written a number of Salvo books, most famous is probably "Who are these Salvationists?" which is basically a Salvo Ecclessiology (who we are as a 'church', or our theology of church).

Last night Melissa and I went over to Moreland for the Divisional Meeting. In the meeting was a farewell to Debbie Messenger, who has been the DYS (person who looks after all the young people in our Division) for the past 2 years.

During the meeting I picked up on the phrase "the submerged tenth", which is a phrase of William Booth (the founder of the Salvos).
Cast your mind back to 1890s England.
An explorer had just returned from Africa and published a book called "In Darkest Africa", where he journalled his experience of travelling through the African jungle and all the horrors and backwardness (as he saw it) of the African savages.

William Booth, ever into Pop culture, decided to seize upon the interest from this book and used a play on it as the title for the book that he and others had been working on.
Hence the book "In Darkest England".

"In Darkest England ... and a way out" was Booth's manifesto of how through the Salvation Army, England could be pulled from the mire it found itself in at the end of the 19th century.

But I digress.

In the book, Booth coined the term "the submerged tenth" to refer to the ten percent of English society that lived at the bottom of the socio-economic pile. They were the forgotten people. Today we would call them societies most marginalised.

So hearing just those three words caused me to reflect upon my own ministry here.
I am called to serve in the Salvation Army, it is something I am passionate about. I believe the Salvation Army is called to work with the 'submerged tenth' as Booth called them.

However I also realise I live and work in a leafy fairly middle class suburb.
I don't live or work in Dandenong, West Heildelberg or Footscray, where perhaps the economically marginalised are easier to see.

So hearing that phrase has got me to think once again about who am I focussed at.
I am confident that I am aiming to reach out to marginalised young people in my community. I wish to connect with socially isolated young people, who are definitely the 'submerged tenth' of our school system.

This year I will need to further evaluate the effectiveness of this ministry.
How can I best serve the 'submerged tenth' of this community?
How can I have open eyes and an open heart to find them and to care for them?
How can I encourage and equip others to also seek out the 'submerged tenth' that are around them?

Well, answering those questions and working towards fulfilling those answers will be more than enough to keep me busy for the next twelve months won't they.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Back into it

Well, I am back after beach mission.
We had a great time on the beach, chatting to people and living life.
It was a great opportunity to hang out with a bunch of people who are committed to God and to the people around them.
We had some great chats, both amongst ourselves and with those around us. (sweatshops in Bangladesh anyone?)

The challenge now comes in converting the lifestyle of beach mission, living in community and sharing life with those around you, into my 'rest of the year' lifestyle.
The challenge is to live my life intentionally.

I am really enjoying the book "Spiritual Disciplines", it is a great challenge, but also a helpful resource. It gives examples of how to practice each of the disciplines, which is quite helpful for people who have never tried these things before. I didn't get it finished at beach mission (it is not something you can rush through) but I am keeping at it.

On Monday I went to my first pre-season training for my new football career. The team seems really nice, and they encouraged me lots, even though I was pretty ordinary. It is back to the park to practice my ball skills for the rest of the week before our next training run on monday.

Our mixed netball also starts next monday, so I am going to be very tired by the end of monday night.

Hopefully all my blog readers haven't dropped off over January.
Please come back, I don't want to have to beg.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Time for an update

Hi all,

gee Christmas eve was the last time I posted.
Sorry. Been a bit slack.

First things first.
Victory drew with Perth.
We should have won. Pity about that. At least it was an entertaining game.

Now Archie Thompson is probably going to be heading to Holland to ply his trade with PSV Eindhoven.
Hopefully he only goes for a loan stint.

I am currently preparing for Beach mission.
I will be on beach mission for 2 weeks starting on Saturday, so sorry there won't be any updates on the blog. Unless I finally work out the email settings on my phone.
I think you have to have a three email account to email with three.

One last thing.
Kerry Packer passed on.
For anyone who doesn't know Kerry Packer was one of Australia's richest people and he owned PBL, the company that owns channel 9.

I am annoyed to see in the news that the Prime Minister has come out and said that he is going to get a state funeral (or memorial) early this year.
So what, Kerry Packer gets a state funeral because he has lots of money?
Gee that irritates me.
What about a state funeral for the St. John's volunteer who died helping in the Bushfire affected area in NSW yesterday (or the day before)?
Not happy John.

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