OFFICERS CONVENE FOR COUNCILS
Friday, June 21, 2013
The air was filled with happy conversation, as is the case whenever officers gather for a ‘council’ session. Acquaintances and friendships were renewed and the air was buzzing with ‘catching up’ and laughter. Not only that, Officers Councils is an inspirational event that stirs leaders in life and ministry.
The service convened on cue as approximately 400 officers focused their attention on the clearly articulated theme, “O the wonder of it all”. The strength of their voices filled the room with songs of praise to Jesus as King and the love of God for his people.
The newest leaders to the Canada and Bermuda Territory, Colonels Mark and Sharon Tillsley, were introduced by Commissioner Brian Peddle, Territorial Leader for the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Colonel Mark Tillsley, Chief Secretary and Colonel Sharon Tillsley, Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries for the Canada and Bermuda Territory, were greeted with warm applause. Colonels Tillsley engaged those gathered with an interactive and playful recollection of Canadian heritage for Colonel Mark and their excitement of having met with so many Canadians since arriving on June 1. Linked with this reminisce was the warmth of Colonel Sharon’s personal greetings and interest in the officers’ families, stating her commitment to having already begun to pray for their families.
A significant aspect of Officers’ Councils is a respectful remembering of colleagues who were Promoted to Glory (an affectionate Salvation Army term used in reference to the death of a Salvationist) since the previous Councils. Each colleague is named and their service recognized. Officers stand in silence to pay respects and to prayerfully remember those dealing with their loss.
From that point in the service, opportunity was given for several officers to share reflections on the theme of being amazed at the wonder of God. Their sharing was quite insightful, contemplative and inspiring.
Commissioner Brian Peddle gave an inspiring message on the theme of “The Wonder of it All”, after which several officers knelt for prayer.
The concluding songs were a powerful benediction to a moving worship experience. God’s presence was evident as voices raised the worshipful phrases of “Fairest Lord Jesus” and “Great is thy faithfulness”. The concluding worship was certainly suited with the words of the song, “What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms”, for there was much fellowship, much joy and much leaning.
God be praised!