SAW-ROA holds annual retreat

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Ninety delegates gathered at the second annual SAW-ROA (Salvation Army West—Retired Officers’ Association) Retreat held at Camp Mt. Crags, Calif.

Throughout the retreat, leaders and guest speakers emphasized the theme, Keeping Spiritually Fit, based on 1 Timothy 4:7-8. During the closing holiness meeting, Commissioner Philip Swyers delivered a powerful message on this scripture.

Setting the tone for Swyers’ message were the retreat band and songsters under the respective leadership of Major Fred Seiler and Colonel George Church. Commissioner Patricia Swyers gave her testimony of her call to officership and Commissioner Doris Noland sang a solo, “Touch Through Me, Holy Spirit.”

Major Oliver Stenvick, SAW-ROA president, spoke at the opening session, prior to Capt. Edward Hill’s visual presentation and talk on the theme. Hill assured the retired officers that “The Salvation Army is in good hands for the future.” Colonel Esther Sather led Bible studies and Noland conducted a session on healthy living.

Commissioner Robert Saunders presented an update on the international Army, including work with tsunami survivors, and led a virtual tour of the new IHQ building. Major Cindy Foley shared the ministry of the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in San Diego.

Good Old Army meetings, led by Colonel Donald Sather and Lt. Colonel Alfred Van Cleef, with Commissioner Bill Luttrell and Colonel Edward Fritz speaking, inspired all. Also participating were Major Kathy Wood, vocalist Don Torgerson, and a male vocal quartet. Lt. Colonel Mervyn Morelock served as the camp chaplain. Major Joyce Stevenson, territorial retired officers’ services director, attended the retreat.

At the annual meeting, Stenvick discussed the Officers’ Support Endowment Fund to assist officers and their dependent children in grant-aided territories with health care, education costs and allowances where the local congregation is unable to support these necessities. The retired officers pledged over $4000 to this cause.

Morelock, SAW-ROA’s nominating chair, announced the officers for the upcoming year: Colonel George Church—president; Commissioner Robert Saunders—first vice-president; Major Carol Pontsler—second vice-president; and Majors Melba Gilden and Frank Brown continuing as secretary and treasurer, respectively.

Next year’s retreat will be held May 4-7, 2006.

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