by Robert Docter –
In a fitting display of affirmation and commitment, the Believers Session of cadets concluded their residency and training at Crestmont College, received commissions as Salvation Army captains, accepted appointments to the field and marched into history during a “celebration of ministry” Saturday evening at the First Church of the Nazarene in Pasadena.
Commissioner Linda Bond, who officiated at these events, said in her charge to the cadets during the ordination and commissioning service: I commend you for the many excellent choices you have made in your lives—the choice to be a “believer” in the richest sense of that word—the choice to align yourself with Christ and abide by his will for your life—the choice to be part of this great, world-wide movement that is The Salvation Army—and certainly not the least, the choice to become officers in this Army that seeks richer consecration of itself, commitment to the cause of Christ, and an Army that cares for others.
I ask you now to surrender some of your choices to that Army. You have already learned to subordinate some of them in your style of dress, and you wear those uniforms well. Later today, you will be told where your will serve. When you get there, you will receive some direction on what to do—even how to do it.
Your attitude, however, still presents itself fully available to you as a choice. You will shape that in the hidden recesses of your mind, in the deep chambers of your heart. Be bold and courageous—committed and consistent—and most of all, willing.
In a change from prior practice, territorial Commissioning events were consolidated to a Friday and Saturday schedule. Crestmont provided the venue for commencement activities on Friday at which the Believers received degrees and top scholars were recognized. The parents of cadets,or those who had served as their spiritual mentors, were honored and admitted into the Order of the Silver Star at a special luncheon following commencement.
Saturday programs moved to the First Church of the Nazarene in Pasadena, and included a morning of musical competition among Singing Company winners from earlier divisional competitions. Con-currently, individuals had the opportunity to choose from a range of valuable workshop topics.
The afternoon service included the sacred moments of ordination and consecration of each individual cadet as they as-sumed the mantle of servant leader responsible for ministry to “others.” Following these sacred moments, Bond commissioned the Believers to the rank of Captain and welcomed them into the fellowship of Salvation Army officership.
The evening celebration in-cluded honoring officers who had completed varying levels of long service, announcing the winner of the Territorial Singing Company competition, and honoring three individuals and one couple as Trailblazers of the Year. The evening climaxed with the Believers receiving their first appointments to the field. These appointments are listed on pages six and seven.
The Cadets’ Choir presented their session song, appropriately titled Believers with words by Lt. Col. Diane O’Brien and music by Captain Steve Smith. The San Diego Divisional Band, directed by Bandmaster Neil Smith provided additional music during the entire weekend.