Coming to the Congress!
almost everything you really wanted to know about…
Why a Congress?
As the Western Territory begins preparations for the Great Victory Congress next June, new Salvationists may wonder why the Army holds such events. What is the purpose of a territorial Congress? Does it make a difference?
“Indeed it does,” says Captain Kenneth Hodder, who is coordinating the upcoming weekend. “A Congress can and should mean a great deal to the Army as a whole and to the individual Salvationist. That’s why the Congress Planning Committee is working so hard. We want to make sure that the Great Victory Congress will be no exception.”
Although there are always different ways of phrasing it, there are at least three different rationales for a Congress. First, it is a celebration. A Congress reaffirms our unity as a body, reminds us of the place that the Army has within the Church, and reflects the growth of our ministry. “By bringing together Salvationists from different locations and backgrounds,” says Hodder, “we broaden our spiritual horizons. We are confronted with the evidence of God’s work around the territory, and that cannot but give us cause to rejoice.”
Second, a Congress is designed as an opportunity for worship. According to Hodder, “The abundant evidence of his goodness that comes from a Congress prompts us to give him the glory and the praise. This gives the worship opportunities of a Congress a special fervency that not only blesses us, but which blesses the heart of God as well.” This rationale is reflected in the Territorial Commander’s first priority for the Congress, which is that it honor the Lord.
Third, a Congress is a catalyst. “Only the Lord can truly measure the impact of a Congress,” says Hodder. “It provides encouragement to those who feel lonely or burdened in their warfare for Christ, but it can also fire the imagination and put a passion for the lost into the heart of someone who is seeking God’s will.” In other words, the inspiration of that weekend will produce a spiritual harvest for many years to come. “In that sense,” says Hodder, “it is an investment–an investment in our service for Christ.”
The Congress presents a special opportunity to every person who calls the Army their place of worship and service. Have you registered yet?
Congress to Feature Cross-Cultural Dimensions
A recent report has suggested that the 1996 Great Victory Congress will be the most culturally diverse gathering of its kind in the history of the Western Territory. Based upon preliminary figures, at least 11 languages will be spoken and almost 20 percent of the delegates attending the Congress may require translation services.
“The scope of our translation duties is enormous,” says Captain Phil Lum, who chairs the Congress Translation Committee. “We expect to have delegates who, as their first language, speak such languages as Russian, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Pohnpeian, Chuukese, Tagalog, Visayan, Marshallese, and Laotian.”
To meet this challenge, a wide variety of steps are being taken. For example, the Congress Registration Committee is issuing registration forms not only in English, but in Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and Laotian as well. Special arrangements are being made to secure translation equipment, promotional videos will be completed in a variety of languages, and a number of cross-cultural events are being added to the schedule. “We want everyone to feel they are a part of the weekend,” says Captain Donna Ames, who is organizing those activities. “As a result, congregational songs will be translated, and we will do everything possible to bridge whatever cultural or language barriers may exist.”
Congress Information Now Available on the Internet
The Chief Secretary, Colonel Dennis L. Phillips, has announced that, in order to make information about the Congress available to the maximum number of people, all material and registration forms will be placed on the Western Territory’s Congress home page at www.westweb.net/victory Said Phillips: “By taking this step, we hope to get Congress information to those who need it when they need it.”
The home page will include information on hotels, meals, transportation, and Congress events, and visitors will be able to print out an official registration form. More important, however, is that anyone who has a question can send it directly to the Congress office via e-mail at email@example.com “The Congress will involve more people than ever before,” said Phillips, “and that is why direct and immediate communication is so important. We hope that this will help, and we encourage everyone who is on-line to spread the word.”
Youth Promotional Video Sets New Direction
The Great Victory Congress will take the USA Western Territory in many new directions. One example is the promotional video that has been prepared for showing at all Youth Councils and at every corps around the territory. Entitled Jesus is My Rock and Roll, the four-minute video features new music by Ed Pollock, a soldier at the Pasadena Tabernacle in Southern California, and highlights both the area and the Congress itself in an “MTV” style.
“In addition to sending out promotional material and videos in different languages,” said Hodder, “we knew that we had to target young adults and teenagers with information about next June. Ed’s music, and the energy of this video, will do just that.”
Jesus is My Rock and Roll was featured on the recent audiocassette series, Hear the Word!, and clearly points to Jesus Christ as the source of meaning in life. Said Hodder, “We wanted young people to know that a relationship with Christ is the most exciting thing in the world. If they want to know him better, or if they are searching for a way in which they can serve him, the Congress will be a great place to be.”
Promotional videotapes will be sent to all corps beginning in the latter part of October, and more information can be obtained by calling the Congress office.
Lord, Bless the Congress
The Territorial Commander is pleased to announce the appointment of Lt. Colonels Herbert and Donna Wiseman (R) as Prayer Coordinators for the 1997 Victory Congress. This is the first of their messages to the territory.
What do we mean by “bless”?
How do we want the Lord to “bless” the Congress?
What do we mean when we want the speakers “blessed”?
What do we expect when we ask the Lord to “bless” us?
How will we know if God does or doesn’t “bless” it all?
Our prayers need specifics. Paul prayed for the Ephesians with specifics in Chapter 3:16-19:
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Now that’s specific! And how about Psalm 51:10-“Create in me a pure heart, O, God.”
That’s specific, too!
So what should we pray for the Congress? That the work of the Holy Spirit will be done. Jesus told us what that work was in John 16:13-14: “……..He will guide you into all truth……..He will bring Glory to me.” Pray that the Holy Spirit will work in the lives and the preparations of the organizers, the speakers, and especially in you so that Jesus will be glorified.
When we begin to pray, God will work! So share your victories with us today!
“With God we will gain the victory.” Psalm 60:12
We want your prayer support for the Victory Congress. If you’d like to be a part of this territory-wide effort, write the Wisemans at 24511 North State Street, #196, Hemet, CA 92543.
Preliminary Congress ScheduleListed below are just a few of the events and activities planned for the Great Victory Congress in Long Beach, Calif. on the weekend of June 6-8, 1997. More information will follow.
FRIDAY, JUNE 6
- Victory University–Workshops led by prominent Salvationists on important issues
- Exhibit Hall opens
- Junior Singing Company competition
- Commencement Exercises for the Messengers of God’s Love
- Great Victory Rally–Featuring the enrollment of 2,400 new Senior and Junior soldiers
- Late Night Cafe–a special gathering for young adults and youth
SATURDAY, JUNE 7
- Adherents’ and Life Service Breakfasts
- Men’s Rally
- Women’s Celebration
- Family Fair
- Hallelujah Youth Rally
- Review of the Troops/Outdoor concert
- Congress Musical–presented by the College for Officer Training
- Hispanic Rally
- Late Night Cafe
SUNDAY, JUNE 8
- Cross-Cultural Breakfasts
- Commissioning and Ordination of new lieutenants
- Celebration of Service–featuring retirement and public farewell of Commissioners Peter and Grace Chang
- Service of Appointment
- Late Night Cafe
MONDAY, JUNE 9
- Officers’ Councils
- Day at Disneyland
Registration and Child Care InformationSign up soon to obtain a 20% Discount!
Registration for the Great Victory Congress couldn’t be easier. Forms can be obtained through your corps officer or divisional headquarters in English, Spanish, Korean, Laotian, and Chinese. Alternatively, forms can be printed directly from our Internet web site at www.westweb.net/victory. All forms and checks should be sent to the Divisional Registration Coordinator for processing. Soon after, you’ll receive confirmation from Territorial Headquarters that your registration is complete!
REGISTRATION FEES ARE:
- Adult (ages 13 and older) $50.00
Special Earlybird Rate (by 1/31/97) $40.00;
- Child (ages 7 through 12) $30.00
Special Earlybird Rate (by 1/31/97) $20.00
- Infant to age 6; Friday through Sunday
- One child $50.00
- Each additional child $20.00
- MondayOfficers Only$20.00 (Infant to age 16)
Get your registration form today!