Proclaimer’s Covenant Service
Covenant Day is among the most solemn in Salvation Army calendars. It is a time set aside when cadets (ministers / pastors in training) are soon to be commissioned and ordained as Salvation Army officers (ministers / pastors), and are called upon to commit to a covenant relationship with God as an officer of The Salvation Army.
The 18 Proclaimers of the Resurrection gathered for a closed service with College staff and some of the Territorial Salvation Army leaders for Canada.
As we gathered to commence our worship service, the mood was quiet, expectant. We all knew our purpose was to “do business with God” and maybe more aptly stated, we realized God would “do business with us” as he spoke into our lives and reminded us of the significance of covenanted relationship. We worshipped God as we sang of His faithfulness, followed with a prayer of blessing and thanksgiving. We were inspired with a personal witness of a covenanted experience 29 years earlier and the emphatic declaration, “I was made for this!” This was followed with more music with congregation singing and a vocal selection titled, “My Life’s Commitment” by Robert and Gwenyth Redhead.
Commissioner Brian Peddle (Territorial leader for The Salvation Army, Canada and Bermuda Territory) spoke a charge on the theme “Confronting Covenant”. He spoke of the character of the covenant-bearer and how loving people must be central to this calling; “relationships”, he charged, “are filtered through covenant and it’s about bringing God to the people and the people to God”. A further challenge on how we relate to each other and “do Army” proved valuable teaching. Jeremiah 7:23 and God’s charge that we hear his voice and obey were expounded on. The need to hold covenant in tension was a key thought as Commissioner Peddle warned how the world will try to pull covenant out of balance. Finally Commissioner Peddle shared some teaching about relevance and trust, which capped his message and fed our minds with much to consider.
This led to the moment for which we had gathered, culminating in the opportunity for the Proclaimers to decide if they would sign the Covenant and embark on the journey of a lifetime, All 18 Proclaimers moved to the table at varying intervals; some after kneeling at an altar to pray; some knelt at their seats. Others simply moved to the table, experiencing the time was now and signed their Covenants in the presence of those gathered to witness their commitment and testimony. As music played to allow time for reflection, prayer and response, staff members could be seen in prayer, supporting the cadets in this significant time.
The service concluded with the hymn of the church “Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee” and proved to be a fitting benediction to a momentous occasion.
(Click here to view the Officer’s Covenant)