Lieutenants ‘at the starting line’

Heralds of Grace commissioned, ordained

By Karen Gleason – 

Colonel Dave Hudson, Western territorial chief secretary, welcomed guests to the Pasadena (Calif.) Civic Auditorium June 14 for the sacred Commissioning and Ordination of the 40 members of the Heralds of Grace Session.

“This morning we honor the Heralds of Grace in quiet reverence, showing respect for their commitment and thanking God for their dedication,” Hudson said. “There will time for cheers later.”

In her opening prayer, Colonel Sharron Hudson, territorial secretary for women’s ministries, thanked God for his grace and love and asked that he would give his followers the words to share that grace with others.

Led by Session Flagbearer Cadet John Kim, the Heralds of Grace entered the auditorium and took their seats on stage.

“All these individuals are walking miracles of the grace of God about to embark on a lifetime of service as officers in The Salvation Army,” said Major Tim Foley, principal of the College for Officer Training (CFOT) at Crestmont, in his commendation of cadets. “They are now at the starting line…while they will head in different directions, their mission is the same: to win the world for God.”

The cadets signed a covenant last Sunday at Crestmont, when they had their final worship service together.

“During their time in training, we’ve taught them to be imaginative, innovative and inspired in all the work they’re about to do,” Foley said. “It is with great joy I commend to you these 40 cadets of the Heralds of Grace Session.”

The cadets recited their affirmation of faith to Hudson, who accepted their promises.

Before commissioning the cadets as lieutenants, Knaggs reminded guests to “hold the celebration inside,” and invited them to quietly stand when their loved one’s name was called.

“We commission you as an officer in The Salvation Army with the rank of lieutenant. God bless you,” Knaggs said.

Senior officers prayed with each session member after each one accepted his or her commission.

Commissioner Carolyn Knaggs, territorial president of women’s ministries, gave the prayer of dedication: “We are inspired by their dedication as they stand in faith today, trusting your Word.”

Lt. Edgar Azueta gave his testimony, explaining that he didn’t know God until a woman spoke to him about Jesus. After that, he still denied God. Despite that, God continued to seek him out, and when he finally asked God to put him in place where he could experience his presence, he was able to attend a Salvation Army camp.

“We may fall short of his glory but he is still there to lift us up,” Azueta said.

He quoted Titus 2:11: For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people (NIV).

After a time of praise and worship, Knaggs gave his message. For a minute, he was nowhere to be seen. Then he appeared, in an old-fashioned Army uniform, including cap and scarf, bent over, limping forward.

“I am The Salvation Army,” he said. I’m 150 years old—a bit rag tag, or ‘Knagg’ tag.”

He talked about all the Army has done in its 150 years, mentioning that now the Army exists in 126 countries. He considered that perhaps The Salvation Army is really older than 150 years; maybe it really began in the Bible with the story of the Good Samaritan. In Luke 10:37 when Jesus says “Go and do likewise,” maybe he was saying, “Go and start The Salvation Army.”

Knaggs said: “When did The Salvation Army begin? I believe in began in the heart of God.”

At this occasion—this 150th birthday—the Army has made a good start, Knaggs said.

“We’ve got a few more years—are you ready to be The Salvation Army? The Heralds of Grace are ready.”

Knaggs called on everyone present to take the message of grace out into the world, citing Joshua 3:5: “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.

The new lieutenants left the stage, spending time with family and friends in prayer.

Knaggs invited the accepted candidates to the stage, as well as those who have submitted applications and those feeling the call to officership. He led the closing song, “Except I am moved with compassion,” and Major Cindy Foley, CFOT director of special services, closed the service with a choral benediction.

The Western Territory Staff Band led by Neil Smith and the Western Territory Staff Songsters led by Barbara Allen provided music during the service. Erin Riesebieter led the Cadet Chorus in the song, “Use me, Jesus, as you need.”

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