The Salvation Army in Australia is in the
midst of an historic journey. Since 1880 the Army has been active in this
country, doing all it can to see God’s Kingdom come and his will be done here
on earth as it is in heaven. For much of that time, for functional and
practical reasons, there have been two territories; Australia Southern and
Australia Eastern. Earlier this year it was announced that this would change.
The two would become one. As at 1 June the Australia One project was launched
and work was begun on joining the two territories together into one unified
structure. This move excites me. Not just for the
practical reasons, but for theological ones as well. This has the potential to
be a symbol of unity to the rest of the Army and, indeed, the world. A symbol
of how two different things can come together to form something new and,
through that new thing, reform society. This can be a symbol of the
incarnation; that moment in time and space when the divine and human were
It was pointed out to me recently that there are fewer and fewer musicians in The Salvation Army than 15 - 20 years ago. It's a complicated scenario, but I would like to suggest one contributing factor to this. I suggest that this is the collateral damage of the Worship Wars. I don't need to describe to you what happened during the 90s in particular when whatever was "old" was considered "bad" and so abandoned for the "new and relevant" worship and mission tools. Part of what has been lost, or is being lost in the vast majority of corps is brass bands. Now, I don't want to open up old wounds, nor "take sides" in a dead debate from last century. That's not my agenda here. I just want to highlight what we lost when we abandoned banding on a large scale in The Army.
It's been 10 years since the disastrous events of my honeymoon and in that time I've told this story plenty of times, but have never actually sat down to write it out. I thought that since it's now 10 years since my diagnosis I would take the time to write out what happened to my wife and I on what was supposed to be a celebration of our new marriage...
So here goes...
Megan and I were married on the 18th March, 2000 having been together since 1994. Megan was 15 when we started going out at The Salvation Army's Music Camp and I was 17. We've been together ever since. The weather on that mid-March Saturday was a scorching 35 degrees. The men in the bridal party had been out playing golf the day before and we all got sunburnt. So I was feeling a little tired as a result, and so the night before the wedding I had gone to bed early. I remember my sister-in-law, Kate, had made the boys lunch - lasagne... yum! But strangely, I didn't eat it all. Anyone who knows me…