Each September, a new session of cadets commences training to be Salvation Army officers. Most of these cadets will spend the next 22 months at the College for Officer Training (CFOT) in Winnipeg. On Sunday, September 18, the Proclaimers of the Resurrection Session were officially welcomed as first-year cadets under the leadership of Commissioners Brian and Rosalie Peddle, territorial leaders.
In the morning, cadets, family members, CFOT staff and divisional and territorial leaders gathered at the College for Officer Training for a family worship service. The theme throughout the morning was God’s greatness and faithfulness. The CFOT worship team guided hearts and minds into the presence of the Holy Spirit as declarations of faith were made through the singing of I Stand Amazed in the Presence of Jesus the Nazarene and How Great is Our God.
Cadet David Hickman gave his testimony proclaiming God’s presence in his life from a very young age. Succumbing to temptations of culture, Hickman’s relationship with God had lessened. “But God had a plan,” he said. Mission trips to Africa allowed him to become acquainted once again with God’s plan and desire for his life, which led him to pursue Salvation Army officership. Following the testimony, the congregation was blessed through the ministry of Cadet Darryl Burry, with his vocal solo, Word of God Speak.
Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, Territorial President of Women’s Ministries, expounded on God’s Word. Referencing Isaiah 41:8-10, 42:5-9, 43:18-19, she reminded each listener that God has called each person by name into holy and righteous living, and in so doing, believers should expect God to do a new thing in the lives of those he has called.
In the afternoon, a public welcome and worship service for the Proclaimers of the Resurrection was held at Southlands Community Church. Flags of Canada, Bermuda and the CFOT were marched in as the Heritage Park Temple Band played a rousing march. As the excitement mounted, Commissioners Brian and Rosalie Peddle, Colonels Floyd and Tracey Tidd, and Majors Eric and Donna Bond entered the sanctuary. Then Cadet Dusty Sauder, flag bearer of the Proclaimers of the Resurrection Session, together with his wife, Laurie, and their children, led the other cadets to the platform.
Major Eric Bond, training principal, greeted the hundreds in attendance who had come to witness the public welcome. Major Wayne Bungay, divisional commander, Prairie Division, offered a prayer of thanksgiving for the many people who had impacted the lives of the cadets. A time of worship followed, with musicians from CFOT leading the congregation in singing My Redeemer Lives, Hosanna and Your Name.
Colonel Floyd Tidd, chief secretary, introduced Commissioners Brian and Rosalie Peddle, territorial leaders. He said that it was God’s plan that the Peddles returned to Canada after serving in New Zealand and the United Kingdom “for such a time as this.”
After Major Bond presented the cadets to the territorial commander, Commissioner Brian Peddle dedicated the sessional flag. Turning to face the cadets directly, Commissioner Peddle encouraged the cadets in their calling to officership, stating that they are unified under the sessional flag. “The flag is a symbol of victory,” he said, quoting Catherine Booth, co-founder of The Salvation Army. The cadets were challenged to be faithful to God and the victory he has had in their lives. Then Commissioner Rosalie Peddle offered a prayer of dedication over the cadets.
The cadets then sang their sessional song, Lift Him Up, an upbeat selection written by Canadian composer Major Len Ballantine which celebrates the Resurrection.
In his message, Commissioner Brian Peddle challenged those present to kneel before the throne of God and give him sovereignty over their lives. “I am a proclaimer of the Resurrection,” he said. Then, turning to face both the cadets and the congregation, he said, “You are proclaimers of the Resurrection.” The commissioner indicated that through this process, leaders will emerge who will want to lead others into an encounter with the risen Lord. Referencing Philippians 3:10, he also stated that being proclaimers of the Resurrection involves celebrating the fact that Christ is the answer for the world.
In her prelude to the closing song, On We March With the Blood and the Fire, Colonel Tracey Tidd reinforced the commissioner’s words, saying, “The Lord’s command is to go into all the world and preach the gospel unto all. In so doing, we will all be proclaimers of the Resurrection.” Lt-Colonel Sandra Rice, secretary for personnel, pronounced the final benediction.
Major Margaret McLeod is the director of academic studies at the College for Officer Training, Winnipeg.