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Jan6FriSalvation Army officer delegates explore personal holiness and mission at Brengle Institute. January 6, 2012 by Major Mona Moore
Since its earliest days, The Salvation Army has been known as a holiness Movement. Blessed with such great holiness teachers as Catherine Booth, Commissioner Samuel Logan Brengle and Commissioner Edward Read, Salvationists throughout the years have striven to understand and live out the tenets of the Army's 10th doctrine:
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We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Each year, a group of officer delegates are appointed to attend the Brengle Institute, a week-long event held at Jackson's Point Conference Centre (JPCC), Ont. Named in honour of Samuel Logan Brengle, the institute provides them with an opportunity to examine their personal holiness and mission as they re-explore the holiness doctrine.
In October, officers gathered from across the territory to refocus their attention from the busyness of their appointments to reflect on what it means to live a wholly sanctified life. “There will be time for you to find places of personal encounter as you seek once again to listen to the voice of the Holy One who speaks in the silence of your innermost being,” said Commissioner Brian Peddle, territorial commander, in his welcome to the delegates.
The first full day of the institute was set aside for spiritual life development under the direction of Major David Ivany, spiritual director and THQ pastoral services officer. Following a morning of corporate worship, the practice of prayerfully reflecting on Scripture (lectio divina) and instruction on solitude and other practices, the delegates were invited to spend four hours in silence simply being attentive to God's voice. While challenging for some, testimonies later in the day revealed how God had spoken to them. For some, it was a word from Scripture or an author's insight. Others heard God's voice in nature. “I have a greater desire to be more like Jesus,” says an officer delegate. “Through personal reflection God has revealed areas of my life that are unlike him, and has given me strength to surrender and give him control.”
Delegates benefited from the teaching of a faculty that included General Bramwell Tillsley (Rtd), who presented on the person and work of the Holy Spirit, Major Kevin Metcalf (the doctrine of holiness), Major Jamie Braund (holiness in corporate worship—preaching and music) and Major Curtis Butler (practical holiness). Major Lynn Armstrong, director, pastoral services, was available throughout the week to lend support. “I greatly appreciated the spirit and attitude of the leaders and teachers,” says one officer delegate, showing the impact of the faculty's efforts. “Respect, a warm welcome, sound teaching and sensitivity to others would describe the week for me. It gave me new information and confirmed old commitments.”
Traditionally, Brengle has included testimonies of God's work in one's life. In the safety of small groups, delegates shared how God's grace had been experienced personally. “Moments of grace were awesome,” reports one officer delegate, “real, truly human. Excellent experience, practical and safe.”
The THQ leadership development team recognizes the privilege of sharing with delegates as they open themselves up to God's Holy Spirit at Brengle. Our prayer is that God's timing was right for each delegate so that they left with the personal assurance of the following four statements:
I am the beloved child of God the Father,
I am the beloved friend of God the Son,
I am the beloved temple of God the Holy Spirit,
I am enfolded in the Three-in-One.
Major Mona Moore is the leadership development secretary for the Canada and Bermuda Territory.