THE International Leaders Virtual Conversations (ILVC) – an online gathering that, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is being held in place of The Salvation Army’s 2020 International Conference of Leaders – has reconvened following the Christmas season.
On Monday 11 January, leaders from around the world gathered to share in prayer forums under the guidance of General Brian Peddle and the Chief of the Staff (Commissioner Lyndon Buckingham). This was a beautiful way to recommence the ILVC journey together with a spirit of unity and love as prayers were offered for the mission of The Salvation Army and for the world. As a result of the impact of time zones, leaders gathered at three different times.
During the week commencing 18 January, leaders met virtually in discussion groups to consider further the topic of Gender Equity, with specific questions to reflect on and discuss regarding international responsibilities and territorial prerogatives. The responses were collated and brought forward as recommendations for further dialogue and presentation.
Last week (beginning 25 January) three forums were held under the leadership of the General and the Chief of the Staff. These each commenced with an update from the Chief regarding various aspects of international service. Opportunity was then given for presentation to the General of the Affirmations Around a Theology of Leadership and recommendations regarding gender equity and appointments. These recommendations were formulated from feedback provided by the leaders from their group discussions held in November. The General gave a positive response to the recommendations and further work will now be undertaken to bring these to fruition – a journey which will take some time to achieve.
This week leaders will consider a presentation and papers on the topic of Human Sexuality, in preparation for further discussion groups. These will be held during the weeks commencing 8 and 22 February, during which the leaders will be giving attention to further specific questions.
The virtual International Leaders Conversations will continue until mid-March. Prayer support continues to be sought for all international and territorial leaders as they engage in these significant conversations.
Report by Lieut-Colonel Jennifer Groves
Private Secretary to the Chief of the Staff