COMMISSIONING – Believers get a great send-off

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Leeward singing company ‘threepeats’; workshops instruct on six priorities


BelieversSoldiers and friends of the Believers in three separate venues enjoyed an array of programming for children and adults, which crescendoed in the sacred moments of ordination and commissioning of the Believers.

Children’s Singing Companies from throughout the territory dazzled judges and audiences; a series of workshops focused on Territorial Commander Commissioner Linda Bond’s six priorities; Latino congregations rallied together and swelled the seams of the Los Angeles Central Corps; and the thrill of completion and achievement spread throughout the First Church of the Nazarene, Pasadena, as 38 new Salvation Army officers saluted their commissioner and marched out into unknown territories of service to others.

It all started with a song under a cloudy sky on the edge of the windswept Pacific at Crestmont College.

We are believers in His saving love;
We are believers in His cleansing power;
We are believers in His victory;
We are believers.

Singing to a calypso rhythm, the Believers Session of cadets began the events of the 2003 Commissioning weekend. During the commencement at the beautiful Crestmont College campus, the cadets received their Associate of Arts in Ministries degrees and those of highest academic standing were recognized.

In addition, four students in the Leadership, Education and Discipleship school (LEADS) received completion certificates and eight auxiliary captains received certificates indicating they have completed the officer-training course. Session speaker, Cadet Kelly Nolan, acknowledged that on campuses throughout the nation representative speakers were echoing his sentiment that the graduating class of which they are a part would go out and “make an impact on the world.” The difference between his statement and so many other such statements, Nolan recognized, lies in the fact that the Believers go out to impact the world not on their own, but in the strength of Jesus.

In her Commencement address, Commissioner Linda Bond stated that becoming a believer must involve a life change. “If your life is not changed by what you learn, you only receive a piece of paper—you are not really educated.”

The Commissioning and Ordination service held Saturday afternoon was a solemn and holy occasion. The heartfelt testimony of Cadet Julius Murphy, and the Sierra del Mar Divisional Band’s stirring “In Perfect Peace,” set the tone for the ordination. As the cadets knelt one by one in prayer before the red, yellow and blue of The Salvation Army flag, Bond recognized their obedience and ordination by God and commissioned each individually, leaving each of the thirty-eight Believers with a verse of Scripture chosen specifically for them.

At the evening’s Celebration of Ministry, Long Service awards were presented and the congregation was delighted by the music of a territorial united singing company. Dramatic presentations, and special music by the L.A. Harbor Light Choir and the Southern California Divisional Latino Songsters delighted the listeners. The new captains of the Believers session received appointments ranging from Juneau, Alaska to Chula Vista, Calif. (near the Mexico border).

Once again Bond presented a challenge to the Believers. “Life is two percent circumstance and 98% attitude,” she said. Although she enumerated several choices that would no longer be available to these newest officers, one choice remains with them—one’s attitude. Bond encouraged the Believers on the platform, as well as the believers in the congregation, to choose an attitude of humility when one might want to be haughty; an attitude of gentleness when one might want to be tough; an attitude of patience when one might want to be hasty; and the attitude of a peacemaker, when one might want to be quarrelsome—in other words, to choose the attitude of Christ.

—Captain Brenda Mikesell contributed
significantly to this story.

Bill and Gwen Luttrell conclude honorable service

Bill and Gwen Luttrell conclude honorable service

by Ray Moulton, Lt

Latino Rally packs LA Central Corps

Latino Rally packs LA Central Corps

by Lourdes Griffith, Captain –  Latinos from throughout the West—1,085

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