Retired officers celebrate the ‘wonderful life’

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General Paul Rader (Ret.) and Commissioner Kay Rader were special guests at annual retreat.

By Leslie Peacock, Major











The annual Western Territory Retired Officers Retreat took place at Camp Mt. Crags (Southern California) during spring 2011, sponsored by the Salvation Army West Retired Officers Association (SAR-ROA).

Commissioner Doris Noland developed the theme, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” After the welcome dinner, special guests retired officers General Paul and Commissioner Kay Rader presented an overview of their lives together, “Grace, Grit and a Wonderful Life.”

On Friday, Kay Rader led a Bible study session on “Grace Notes.” The following day, Paul Rader conducted a Lectio Divina—an ancient way of reading, reflecting and praying Scripture based on Colossians 3: 1-15.

During free time, delegates could rest, shop or enjoy the camp. Friday’s optional activities included a tour of the Getty Villa in Malibu. On Saturday, Candace Hansen from Chesterfield Resources answered questions about health benefits.

The Best Friends Trio, a Christian vocal group, performed on Friday evening, and Saturday evening featured an indoor campfire program by Majors Ron and Marilyn Bawden, which reminded everyone of the old campfire songs and skits.

Major Tom Petersen led a songfest on Sunday morning, followed by a memorial service for those officers who had been promoted to Glory since last year’s retreat. Rader gave the message, bringing the weekend to a close.

“Probably the best part of SAW-ROA is the fellowship that takes place in between the amazing events listed on the program,” said one delegate.

Another said, “The SAW-ROA Band led by Major Fred Seiler and the SAW-ROA Chorus under Major Dale Hill blessed all with their inspirational numbers.”

Next year’s retreat will be May 3-6 at Camp Mt. Crags, with guests Colonels Robert and Gwyneth Redhead.


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