What’s Julie Been Up To?
In June, we enjoyed 3 weeks with our family back in Sydney, and it was just lovely to meet our newest grandson (who we haven’t been able to meet ‘in person’ before). We spent lots of fun times with our grandchildren, plus catching up with our children and my elderly mum.
It was very special, and helped us relax and put things into perspective, just being ‘mum and dad’, and we came back with our ‘family tank’ filled up.
Recent SPPU research has shown that women in Aotearoa are most affected by poverty – and this is reflected in the women coming to us for help with food and housing. That’s just one reason why our new pilot scheme in Auckland and Northland is aimed at ensuring our resources are steered towards the frontline of our mission.
The pilot model is driven by a desire for better connections with each other, more strategic use of our people and resources, and a support structure that allows more local decision-making. This is about building on what God is already doing in the Army, and strengthening He Waka Eke Noa—our ‘one waka’ culture.
Under the new pilot, there will be a lot more collaboration between our services and leaders, who will meet regularly. It’s an opportunity for our people to come together, bring all our gifts and experiences to the table, celebrate what we do well, build relationships, support each other and strengthen our waka—so we can fulfil the mission God has given us in Aotearoa.
A collaborative approach is something the Gender Equity Committee recognises as a traditionally ‘feminine’leadership style, that has many merits beyond more traditional hierarchical leadership, which often leads to silos. So I’m really excited that we are female leaders, working in ways to impact women in our community!
Mark and I are also excited to be spending 10 days visiting Fiji over July, visiting every corps and centre there. I hope we can encourage people—but I know it will really encourags me. It’s inspiring to see the bigger picture of what God is doing, and our people haven shown so much faithfulness, commitment and courage over a difficult 2 years.
I always love visiting our corps and centres throughout our Territory, and I see great things happening—people finding hope in Jesus, a place to belong in The Salvation Army, and a way through really rough times.