CAPTAINS MICHAEL AND Nancy Halverson and children Amanda, Justin and Brandon (born May 23) receive their first appointment from Commissioner David Edwards.
Accompanied by flags and fanfare, members of the Crossbearers Session marched proudly into the Long Beach Terrace Theater as cadets and emerged that afternoon as newly appointed captains, ready to assume their first assignments as Salvation Army officers.
Encouraged and admonished by General Gowans in his address, they prepared to offer themselves in service as living sacrifices. “God is calling, ‘I implore you–come be my living sacrifice’,” Gowans stated.
Prior to Gowans commissioning and ordaining the session, Commissioner David Edwards reminded them “People must always be your priority. Spend time with your people.” He described their task as to plant seedlings, water them, and help them grow and produce fruit for the kingdom.
Lt. Colonel Douglas O’Brien, Crestmont College principal and president, presented the new captains, followed by a moving rendition of the Crossbearer’s session song, with words and music by Lt. Colonel Diane O’Brien and Ivor Bosanko.
A double surprise was in store for Lt. Colonels Mervyn and Shirley Morelock, as they were awarded the Trailblazer of the Year Award by Commissioner Edwards and then, “For their unceasing years of service to God and The Salvation Army, and for their love and commitment to others through the Call to prayer ministry,” Gowans awarded them the Army’s Certificate in Recognition of Exceptional Service.
Also recognized for their service to Salvation Army ministry were Major John and Mrs. Connie Cross, who were awarded the Trailblazer of the Year Award. The Crosses have sent more than 70 shipments of clothing to Moldova and the Ukraine, weighing over 120 tons.
Honoring Commissioners David and Doreen Edwards’ years of dedicated service–including the Caribbean Territory, USA Eastern Territory, International Headquarters, and the USA Western Territory–a lively and engaging video portraying their life and ministry as Salvation Army officers was shown to the audience prior to the General presenting them with their retirement certificates.
Crossbearers defend Kingdom values
Lt. Colonel Douglas O’Brien gave this address during Sunday afternoon’s Commissioning service.
Two thousand years ago, crosses were thrown up like stakes in a picket fence to guard the values of the Roman Empire. Crossbearers were paraded through back streets and dirty alleys as enemies of the Empire.
Christ–the preeminent Crossbearer–forever changed our perceptions of the cross and the reputation of its crossbearers. While only one person could share Christ’s cross in his passion–a North African pilgrim, Simon of Cyrene–Christ shared his expectation that every disciple worthy of him would hereafter be crossbearers as well.
Crossbearers would now be recognized by their spirit of self-denial and their desire to follow him each day for the rest of their lives.
“If anyone would come after me,” Jesus said, “he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23-24)
Crossbearers like these would form a new and lively picket line in defense of Kingdom values.
Today, in response to Christ’s call to follow him, I am pleased to recommend the captains commissioned today who have manifested the virtues of Christ’s crossbearers and who are now ready to be sent to their appointments.