Bridgebuilders sent out

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by Sue Schumann Warner – 

THE BRIDGEBUILDERS SESSION, the Preparers of the Way Session, guests, and members of TEC gather on stage as Commissioner Linda Bond (center) prepares to announce the Bridgebuilders’ first appointments.

Blue skies and soft breezes greeted Salvationists, family members, and guests who gathered on the lawn at Crestmont College to witness Commencement services for the Bridgebuilders Session of cadets—bringing to a conclusion two years of studies for a session that was welcomed to training by one general—General Eva Burrows (Ret.) and commissioned by another—General John Larsson.

As Lt. Colonel Raymond Peacock, president/principal of Crestmont College, welcomed the crowd, he noted that 27 AA degrees would be awarded, to 24 cadets and three officers. Commissioner Linda Bond greeted those present, and noted the enormous response from Salvationists throughout the West—with “crowds greater than imagined”— to General John Larsson and Commissioner Freda Larsson’s visit. She then read Philippians 3:7-14.

In introducing the Army’s international leaders, National Commander Commissioner W. Todd Bassett stated that Larsson was commander in chief of more than one million soldiers around the world.

Larsson directed his address primarily at the Bridgebuilders, commenting, “Commencement is a very American idea, and a beautiful choice of words. This is a bridge building weekend—all that lies behind, is behind; this weekend is a bridge to the future.”

He chose three truths of life, which he called “three habitual attitudes of the highly effective officer,” to pass on to the Bridgebuilders, First, he said, give thanks to God for everything. “This sets the tone for officership, and lifts us out of ourselves, towards God.” Next, he said, encourage one another. He commented he had observed Americans have a wonderful national habit of affirming one another. To the Bridge-builders, he said, “Encourage those you will minister to.” Finally, he said: Press on! “Commencement is not the end, it’s a stepping stone—right throughout life, and the call is to press on.”

Majors Stephen Smith and Donna Jackson supported Bond as she presented degrees and certificates.

Cadet David Leonard was session speaker, and Lt. Colonel Carolyn Peacock gave the closing prayer.

The Torrance Band, under the leadership of B/M Kevin Larsson, provided the music; the session song, “Bridgebuilders” (Lt. Colonel Diane O’Brien and Major Stephen Smith), was sung by the Crestmont Chorus.

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