Commissioning ’03 – Thanksgiving in June!

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by Stephen Bradley, Major – 

Thanksgiving will come a little early this year for Salvationists of the Western Territory, according to Territorial Commander Commissioner Linda Bond. That’s because she believes the Commissioning events, June 13-15, will be a time for Salvationists to celebrate thanksgiving to God for his provision of new frontline officer leaders, to experience “the vibrancy of our evangelical worship,” and to focus on our mission forward.

“I believe it is a significant event for the Army to recognize and affirm the call of God to officership and to thank ‘the Lord of the Harvest’ for providing us with leaders,” she said in a recent interview. “This provision is an indication that our Lord has a future for The Salvation Army…it can make others consider God’s call to service. Our territory, of course, needs committed, competent officers to give leadership in order to take our mission forward.”

She also acknowledged that these annual public events serve both historical and functional purposes. “It is a kind of graduation, a ‘finishing’ exercise, a public recognition that the ‘student,’ or ‘novice,’ is now a full-fledged minister of religion. It provides an opportunity to ask God’s blessing upon him/her and their future service as officers, and for family, friends and the community of believers to encompass them in prayer.”

The weekend’s activities, primarily for Salvationists, will also have interest to non-Salvationists, Commissioner Bond said. “All Salvationists, of course, who are in the area should attend. This is not just an Army get-together event. For Salvationists, this should be like a Thanksgiving service…to honor the Lord who has called and continues to provide us with leaders. Family and friends of officers being commissioned will be there of course, but this is also a great event for non-Salvationists. What an introduction to The Salvation Army! This will be a wonderful weekend and will give a clear understanding that the motivation of Army ministry is in the vibrancy of its evangelical worship, and its deep consecration to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.”

The dynamic territorial commander is certain that God will use these prayer-saturated events to make a difference in the lives of those who attend. She believes these events will have a very specific appeal to Salvationists and friends of the territory:

“For you, I think these events should renew your passion for mission. They should remind you once again of the privilege of being called to officership. For many it could mean a re-connection with the Lord or a first time experience with him. For all of us who approach this weekend with a desire ‘to worship in spirit and in truth,’ we will encounter him and the days following will be injected with his presence. My prayer is that as a result of this year’s commissioning weekend, we will be a mission-focused Army.”

Saturday’s activities will be conducted at 1st Church of the Nazarene, Pasadena facilities. Registration forms, with ticket purchase information, will soon be available through the corps. Once completed, the forms must be returned to the territorial headquarters finance department for processing.

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