Officers’ Councils 2014 | Cadet Michelle Cale
With “God …our only e-mail that we’re going to deal with today”, officers from across the Canada and Bermuda Territory gathered to celebrate God as central to our living, worship and calling. Our voices rose, as all officers for the first time in thirty years together declared, “Almighty God, in you alone is our delight.”
Moving in worship, the words and music of ‘Jesus, what a beautiful name’ led into a suspended calm hush, as individual cries of the names of God broke out across the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Standing offered opportunity to share in singing out our statement of faith, with the reverberating sounds of ‘I believe in God the Father’ to the accompaniment of The Salvation Army Mississauga Temple band.
Acknowledging our greatest need may be for affirmation, small groups offered prayer for the ministries of each other. All around heads bowed, tears flowed, hugs and encouraging hands on shoulders were offered – precious time to hand back to God our concerns, to each other, to care.
With the Territorial Commander Commissioner Brian Peddle and Chief Secretary Colonel Mark Tillsley warmly welcomed, Commissioner Peddle offered acknowledgement of special guests, General Bram Tillsley (father to Colonel Mark Tillsley) and General Linda Bond, Commissioners Kerr and Luttrell. As covenanted people, from “West to East…Bermuda to the North” here was opportunity for all leadership to gather for “refreshment, replenishment and renewal.”
When General Andre Cox, International Leader of The Salvation Army, was introduced by Commissioner Peddle, he rose to speak to the privilege of “awesome calling” urging us not to lose sight of God’s great grace. Commissioner Sylvia Cox, World President of Women’s Ministries, greeted officers in both English and French, reinforcing through scripture that we must carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:1-10).
Lieutenant-Colonel Sandra Rice, Secretary for Personnel, with witness of all gathered, called the Honour Roll, the names of officers Promoted to Glory in the previous year. These were mentioned in remembrance for their dedication and Kingdom service.
With song ‘Speak Oh Lord’ and prayer offered, the message to follow from the General touched hearts. Call and challenge, Officers were urged to lift eyes to see victory – victory in the face of a world where burnout, expectations and materialism are so prevalent. On integrity, encouragement to “walk securely” (Proverbs 10:9), on sin, our confession, offered (Matt 15:18). Hearts were stirred as the mercy seat opened, and all around small groups formed for prayers of rededication.
Truly Officers Councils proved to be a time of refreshment, replenishment and renewal – summed in the words of the General that we are blessed indeed, because “the One we signed the Covenant with is faithful.”