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Bond, Bells begin with prayer

MAJOR CAROL SEILER prays for new territorial leaders (l-r) Lt. Colonel Debora Bell, Lt. Colonel Donald Bell and Commis-sioner Linda Bond during their welcome at Territorial Headquarters.
photo: Brian Bearchell


BY SUE SCHUMANN WARNER – 

Officers and employees at THQ extended a warm Western welcome recently to new territorial leaders Commissioner Linda Bond, territorial commander, and Lt. Colonels Don and Debora Bell, chief secretary and territorial secretary for women’s organizations respectively.

With festive red, yellow and blue balloons filling the chapel, and an enthusiastic crowd gathered for the occasion, Major Linda Markiewicz, pastoral care secretary, led the event.

In her welcome to the new leadership team, Markiewicz presented each with a special gift bag filled with “necessities” (such as coupons to Starbucks, and bright yellow beach sandals) for their stay at THQ.

Representing employees and officers, Fulton Hawk, youth department, and Major Allie Niles, legal secretary, creatively and sincerely gave special welcomes to each.

In response, the new leaders spoke of their own personal spiritual and professional journeys, and their desire to provide strong spiritual and managerial leadership.

“I am looking forward to the many miracles God will do through us together,” said Lt. Colonel Debora Bell, who spoke of her own passion for prayer.

Lt. Colonel Don Bell humorously revealed episodes from his last appointment at THQ as a lieutenant, 20 years ago, and then read from Romans 12:1-3, stating “Our role at territorial headquarters is to be servants. We want to model that.”

Commissioner Linda Bond, who is the first woman to be appointed territorial commander in the USA, spoke of her roots in Cape Breton, off the coast of Nova Scotia, and her love of the ocean.

She affirmed her belief that, “Even though General John Gowans made the phone call, this appointment is from the hand of the Lord.” Her flight from Canada to Los Angeles gave her time, she said, to read through the Orders and Regulations for territorial commanders. “I take my responsibilities very seriously,” she said. “I’m responsible to the General to accomplish The Salvation Army’s mission, and to provide visionary and practical leadership.”

She spoke of having a strong sense of servant leadership, and what it means to have power: “Power means to exhibit the love of Jesus Christ.”

While she expressed her responsibility to learn the West’s character and culture, to see what new needs are on the horizon for the 21st century, and to keep the world view of the Army before this territory, her first and foremost role, she said, “is to provide spiritual leadership. To do that effectively, I need a deep spiritual experience and a life of deep faith. I want to be transparently honest with you, to be fair and Christ-like.” In conclusion, she promised “I will meet with the Lord every day before I meet with you.”

Major Paul Seiler challenged the new leaders from God’s word, from Paul’s letter to Timothy (I Timothy 6:20).

Special music was provided by Major Eileen Hoogstad, John Docter and Martin Hunt.

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