5 April 2011
We Are Here To Serve - IHQ Welcome To General Linda Bond
Released 5 April 2011
THERE was an authentic sense of joy and warm comradeship at The
Salvation Army's International Headquarters (IHQ) in London, UK, when the
Army's new world leader, General Linda Bond, was welcomed on Monday 4 April.
This holy joy was evident right from the effervescent
opening, led by Commissioner Sue Swanson (World President of Women's
Ministries), to the thoughtful benediction by Commissioner William Cochrane
(International Secretary to the Chief of the Staff). It came through the
prayers, the Scripture reading (Psalm 134), the welcome talks, the music and
through General Bond's words.
In her first message as world leader
the General positively emphasised the blessing of God, living totally for
Jesus, thankfulness, the importance of serving others, Christian accountability
regarding behaviour, wise use of authority and the value of teamwork.
As she spoke to IHQ officers, staff and invited guests, Canadian-born General
Bond revealed that her mother was English and 'when I was previously appointed
to IHQ in 1995 as under-secretary for personnel it felt like coming home. It is
no different now.'
The General said she counts it a blessing to
serve God at IHQ. 'In fact, everyone who serves at IHQ is blessed because we
have the mission of serving the world. Everyone here makes a difference to the
worldwide Salvation Army.
'It is vital that we serve
the world with gratitude and attitude. We need to be grateful and thankful to
God for his blessings. We also need to serve with a caring attitude because it
is the love of God that compels us.'
Regarding her new position
General Bond said she holds it with respect and dignity but she holds it
lightly because 'the power the Lord has given me as General is delegated
authority. It is a power for people - not power over people.
for Jesus and all the praise, power and glory belong to him.'
Earlier in the meeting Commissioner Barry C. Swanson, the Chief of the Staff,
presented the General with the framed Certificate of Election that had been
signed by all members of the 2011 High Council that elected General Bond.
Commissioner Swanson said that the High Council is an exercise in law
and grace. 'There are many legal requirements regarding the election of the
General but, more importantly, God's grace is at work in all members of the
High Council, especially in the life of the one elected.'
words of welcome on behalf of IHQ officer staff Captain Emerald Urbien
(International Auditor) said that General Bond comes at a time of turmoil for
the world. 'People are confused and hurting, souls are lost - the need is
great. However, we know God is still in control.' She drew parallels from the
Old Testament book of Esther and stated that General Bond has been elected 'for
such a time as this'.
Captain Urbien assured the General that she
had the support of IHQ officers in moving the Army forward.
Read (Researcher IHQ Programme Resources) welcomed the General on behalf of IHQ
employees and stated: 'There is already a heartfelt respect and love for you'.
In researching his talk Mark asked a friend at one of the General's previous
appointments to describe her, the response was: 'A woman who sincerely and
deeply loves Jesus'.
'General, at IHQ we have a shared mission to
serve Jesus that transcends roles. We will all do our part to support and serve
you,' Mark added.
Other participants in the meeting were
Commissioner Gillian Bosh (Americas and Caribbean Zonal Secretary for Women's
Ministries) who prayed, Major Lorraine Hart (Private Secretary to the General)
who read from the Scripture, an IHQ vocal group that sang 'At Thy Command' and
an ensemble from the International Staff Band that played 'Mighty to Save'.
Retired General John Larsson, Commissioners Freda Larsson and Gisèle
Gowans and United Kingdom with the Republic of Ireland territorial leaders
Commissioners John and Betty Matear were among the invited guests for this
Prior to the welcome meeting the General had been greeted
by all the IHQ-based Commissioners at the entrance to her office, having been
accompanied into IHQ from Queen Victoria Street by the Chief of the Staff and
Commissioner Sue Swanson.
Report by Lieut-Colonel Laurie