Alaska Salvationists Keep Tradition
by Lt. Beverly Lloyd –
“Revive us, O Lord!” declared more than 200 Alaskan Salvationists as they gathered for their annual Congress, with visiting leaders Colonel Bill Luttrell, chief secretary, and Colonel Gwen Luttrell, territorial secretary for women’s organizations, supported by the Alaska divisional leaders, Majors Terry and Linda Griffin.
Hosting the Congress was the village of Klawock, home to only 792 people, on the Prince of Wales Island. Congress Coordinator Major Dolores Rivitt (R) and Klawock Corps Officer Captain Londa Upshaw provided local leadership. Torrance Brass ensemble, under the leadership of Bandmaster Ivor Bosanko, provided the music.
Each year, Congress provides a touchstone linking delegates with past traditions, present blessing, and future motivation as they worship, fellowship, and renew relationships with God and each other.
Thursday morning, delegates met with the “Soul Purpose” brigade of cadets from the College for Officer Training, under the leadership of Major Charleen Bradley, brigade officer, for knee drill and Bible study. Later, 22 corps were represented in the March of Witness, as a testimony to Klawock of God’s work in the Alaska Division.
The community of Klawock generously provided the first banquet, a sumptuous spread of native Alaskan cuisine. Each night, meals provided opportunity for remembering loved ones promoted to Glory, adopting people into clans, and singing songs in native languages, to perpetuate Alaskan heritage and culture.
Following each night’s banquet were evening meetings, held in the Klawock High School gymnasium. The annual World Services Ingathering focused on the impact of our contributions throughout the world, culminated by an additional gift of $1,000 from the congregation.
Special men’s and women’s rallies were hosted in local churches. “The Measure of a Man,” with speaker Major Terry Griffin, urged the men to measure their lives by God’s standard, not the world’s.
“Brimming with Blessing” began with a lovely time of tea for the women, followed by testimonies of women whose troubles had been turned into blessings. A time of worship and commitment led by Colonel Gwen Luttrell was followed by the presentation of awards for achievement of goals and the final Honorama pins by Major Flo Murray, DWMS.
The League of Mercy luncheon, “On the Threshold,” was under the leadership of Major Nila Fankhauser, DLOMS. An enrollment of new members and recognition of 20 and 30 years of service acknowledged the unique and practical ways LOM carries out its work in Alaska.