ORDINATION AND COMMISSIONING – an evening of celebration
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Excitement and humidity filled the air as CFOT cadets and staff travelled to Commissioning on June 22. It was with much anticipation that this day finally arrived. After answering the call of God, 22 months of intensive training, and much prayer, 18 cadets and five Auxiliary Captains stood before family and friends to declare their passion, loyalty and calling to the mission of The Salvation Army through Officership.
With solemn hearts, the Proclaimers of the Resurrection (the Sessional name of the cadets) and Auxiliary Captains entered the sanctuary and joined with the Disciples of the Cross to sing the Sessional Song, “Lift Him Up”. Under the direction of the composer Major Len Ballantine, the cadets expressed, with excitement and passion, their desire to declare the glory of Jesus. Continuing in this very same desire Cadet David Hickman, Cadet Peck-Ee Wong, and Auxiliary Captain Ronald Farr recited the Officer’s Covenant, while the Scripture reading was shared in six languages. Colonel Mark Tillsley led the cadets in their declaration of faith, allowing them to publicly express their commitment and knowledge of the doctrines of The Salvation Army.
As second year cadets and Auxiliary Captains took time to kneel and focus on God, congregation members stood in support of those on the verge of their ordination and commissioning. Standing before Commissioner Brian Peddle, the cadets promised to love and serve God supremely all of their days while caring for the poor, and making the salvation of souls their priority. After their Ordination, Commissioner Rosalie Peddle offered chosen Scriptures provided by the Training College staff.
The congregation joyfully recalled the words of Alfred Henry Ackley as the newly ordained officers left the stage to quickly change their attire. “He Lives! He Lives!” reverberated through the auditorium as some 900 enthusiastic Salvationists and friends waited for the return of the newest Lieutenants and Captains.
With new Lieutenants and Captains switching trim from blue to red, the Bill Booth Theatre company performed their last skit for the evening, “New Uses for the Song Book”. Laughter filled the air as song book titles were used for newlywed conversation, ice cream wishes, and out-of-tune singers. Those smiles continued as the Canadian Staff Band played the march-in for the world’s newest officers.
The Cadet Worship team led the congregation in two songs which perfectly proclaimed the resurrection- My Redeemer Lives and Mighty to Save, while Lieutenant Justin Gleadell spoke with wisdom and passion as he represented his Session. Although he offered a troubling statistic that “We [the Proclaimers] are going into a world where 6.4 billion have not heard the gospel message” no one was left discouraged or troubled, rather through his speech people were inspired to meet the challenge and stand up where others have not.
With passion, Commissioner Brian Peddle challenged the congregation to follow God’s lead in their life. Candidates and those contemplating a life of full-time ministry were asked to stand in the power of God, acknowledging publicly the call of God on their lives. With much support and prayers from people in the congregation, the platform was lined with those who wanted Christ to take all their passion and skills and use them to better the mission of God through the Army. Major Shona Pike, Candidates’ Secretary, offered a prayer for the candidates, stressing that God has great plans for those who stay in His will. This night of celebration offered hope for the future of the Army. God is still calling people into full-time ministry as Salvation Army officers.
As the evening came to an end we were encouraged, along with the Proclaimers of the Resurrection, to “Proclaim the resurrection story of the One who died, yet lives. Proclaim the God who is and was and will forever be. Sing of the Saviour! Lift HIM up!”
Together as a Territory, let us not only offer our congratulations and countless prayers for the newest officers in Canada and Bermuda, but let us stand together and give evidence of Paul’s words to the Church in Acts, “With great power the Apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And the grace was so powerfully at work in them all.”
Cadet Crystal Porter, Disciples of the Cross Session