‘Heralds of Grace’ appointed throughout West
New lieutenants receive their first assignment for service in The Salvation Army.
By Christin Davis –
With a Salvation Army flag in hand, more than 2,000 people welcomed the Western Territorial Executive Council, including territorial leaders Commissioners James and Carolyn Knaggs, to the Pasadena (Calif.) Civic Center auditorium stage June 14 for the always-energetic service of appointments.
Following an introduction to this year’s Service Corps teams and the procession of past session flags, the now second-year cadets took to the stage before the newly commissioned Heralds of Grace marched in, draped in a red session sash.
With the session seated, Carolyn Knaggs orchestrated a group photo onstage before leading attendees in singing “Be glad in the Lord,” accompanied by the Western Territory Staff Band, led by Neil Smith. After a prayer by Lt. Colonel Edward Hill, territorial program secretary, the Western Territory Staff Songsters sang, led by Barbara Allen.
Lt. Kelsey Pearce spoke on behalf of his session about the privilege of being a herald.
“A herald was an officially appointed position by sovereign heads of state to go and speak on behalf of their king and their queen,” said Lt. Kelsey Pearce as the session representative speaker. “Think about that for a moment: a herald could speak on behalf of their king.
“I don’t think there could be any more fitting a parallel for the 40 new lieutenants on this stage today,” he said. “We recognize the undeserved privilege that begins today. We understand the license of being officially appointed as heralds to give the message of grace found in Titus 2:11. Here Paul tells Titus, ‘For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.’
“This is our message. This is our proclamation. Salvation is for everyone,” Pearce said. “I am confident that our session will turn its name into an identity on the field.”
The session responded with its song, aptly titled “Heralds of Grace” by John and Janet Martin, accompanied by the second-year Messengers of Light Session.
This year, Lt. Colonel Judy Smith, divisional commander of the Cascade Division, gave the charge to the new lieutenants just months ahead of her own retirement this Sept. 1.
“May I submit to you that your success as a Salvation Army officer…will be determined by the grace that you share with the world,” she said. “People will want to know, did you change your world?…Did you share love and grace with your community? Did you serve people with the love of Christ?…
“These are going to be the marks of your leadership, your life’s work, this will be the evidence of your ‘Blood and Fire’ officership,” Smith said. “So I ask you: Are you ready to accept your first appointment? Are you ready to go forth with what the Lord wants you to do? Because we need you, Heralds of Grace.”
She charged the lieutenants with encouragement from her own experience and leadership as an officer, ranging from the urge to “be open to the possibilities and opportunities” to reassurance “that you are not alone.”
“You have the message of grace within you, as a session and as individuals, so share it freely and joyfully!” Smith declared.
The Knaggses then appointed the 40 lieutenants to locations throughout the Western Territory.
“He’s all powerful; he’s all knowing. The miracle is that he chooses to trust us, and so we express our gratitude to him today,” James Knaggs said, acknowledging the many events throughout the weekend. “We are a great Salvation Army, and I thank God for every one of you.”
Both sessions of cadets sang “To God be the Glory,” followed by a congregational song, “We are witnesses for Jesus,” and a choral benediction led by Personnel Secretary Lt. Colonel Doug O’Brien.