Ask An Officer: September 2021Ask an officer anything. An officer in The Salvation Army is an ordained minister of Christian faith.
Why is community important?
When we have a sense of community, we can feel we are part of something bigger than ourselves. Community unites (1 Corinthians 12:27). We are one body that is made up of many parts. In this vein, our community should be one where we find connection with others, where we get support, where we give support, where we have fellowship, reinforce our shared values and where we can use the gifts that God have given us. At the center, our community should share a focus—a common goal—but its beauty is in the differences we bring to it. I know that if I do “community” right, I have learned and grown (Proverbs 27:17). Just as God’s Word points out in 1 Corinthians 12, I know where I am weak, another may be strong, where God has gifted me, I am to use it to give Him the glory. In a world that wants us to use our differences—our communities—to pigeonhole and divide us, we must lean on God’s Word. Keep in mind that community does not have to be a large collection of individuals, sometimes it starts with just two or three gathered in His name (Matthew 18:20).
By Major Christine Harris Dallas, TX
When I grieve, it sometimes feels like God is far away. Where is He amidst trauma?
In times of trauma or grief, we tend to withdraw inwardly for self-protection, to create a safe space to process. We feel numb and in shock. God may feel so very distant, but I have found Him: He is my anchor as I float through the stages of grief. He walks with me through the Valley of death as I mourn. He never leaves my side, never sleeps, never slumbers. Though my pain may try to lead me away from Him, God waits patiently. He is in the ring waiting for me to wrestle with Him: He doesn’t run away from my anger, my despair, my brokenness or my silent treatments. He remains unmovable and totally committed to me. He is strong and He’ll let me lean hard on Him. Suddenly, slowly, I find myself opening up to Him once again and I sense Him at work; He is putting me back together. I’ll carry some marks of those wounds and traces of the trauma forever but, if I let Him, He’ll draw me closer to Him than I have ever been before.
By Captain Jessica Welch Torre Pellice, Italy
How can I find community on my college campus?
It depends on what the school offers! Look for clubs, organizations or campus events that you can volunteer at. As we grow and mature (emotionally and spiritually), we must understand that these changes may mean asking yourself what you are looking for and what you are needing for development right now. Is the community that you want to find for fellowship or support in an area you need or a passion of yours?
By Major Christine Harris Dallas, Texas
Editor’s Note: For an easy introduction, check out “The Road Back to You” by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile.
The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church.
An officer in The Salvation Army is an ordained minister of Christian faith. They dedicate their lives, skills and service completely to God. Submit your question to an officer at peermag.org/contribute