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    Heralds of Grace

    Sixteen officers ordained and commissioned in Toronto. June 22, 2015 by Pamela Richardson and Brianne Zelinsky
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    “God has called you, equipped you and gifted you for sacred service,” said Commissioner Susan McMillan, territorial commander, to each of the 16 members of the Heralds of Grace Session as she ordained and commissioned them as officers in The Salvation Army. Bearing witness to these sacred moments were hundreds of people gathered at Toronto's Canada Christian College for the sacred ceremony.

    Weekend events began on Friday with officers' councils, under the theme Boundless Salvation, and continued that evening with a Boundless Praise concert at Canada Christian College, featuring the Canadian Staff Band (CSB), soloist Emily Sears of Woodstock, Ont., the Ontario Central-East Divisional Youth Chorus and the London Citadel Timbrels, Ont.

    Boundless Praise Concert

    The London Citadel Timbrels The London Citadel Timbrels


    The London Citadel Timbrels kicked off the event as they filed down the aisles to Marching Onward, under the leadership of Serena Doars and accompanied by the CSB.

    Emily Sears delivered a powerful vocal performance of He's Always Been Faithful. “The biggest performance I've ever done was in church,” she says. “Singing with the CSB was the coolest thing ever—I just crossed that off my bucket list.”

    The Ontario Central-East Divisional Youth Chorus shared several vocal arrangements with solos from Jeremy Smith, Melissa Simard, Cameron Rawlins, Katie Fuentes, Andrew Dolan and Greg Peterson. The congregation gave a healthy round of applause when choral leader, Cathie Koehnen, extended an impromptu invitation to Cadets Curtis and Erin Metcalf, alumni of the group, to join them on stage.

    Colonel Mark Tillsley, chief secretary, delivered an encouraging devotional thought. “Joy, humour and laughter demonstrate that your relationship with God is not superficial, but rather genuine and real,” he said and prayed that the evening would be “unapologetically joyful.”

    The celebration ended on an encouraging note about Boundless, The Salvation Armys International Congress taking place in July. “We have 1,000 Canadians and Bermudians going to Boundless— 1,000 strong. Make us proud!” Commissioner McMillan cheered. She congratulated the London Citadel Timbrels and the Ontario Central-East Divisional Youth Chorus on being selected as Canadian representatives to perform at International Congress.

    To conclude the evening, Lt-Colonel Junior Hynes, territorial secretary for program services, waved the Boundless flag to a lively rendition of O Boundless Salvation. As Commissioner McMillan waved her Boundless glory flag, the congregation followed suit, sending congress delegates onward to London, England, in boundless praise.

    Ordination and Commissioning

    Cdts Charlene and Keith Barrett kneel in prayer Cdts Charlene and Keith Barrett kneel in prayer


    As the CSB played William Himes' All That I Am, the cadets made their way to the front of the auditorium. Standing with their fellow cadets and sessional flag, they lifted their voices to sing in dedication of their lives to the work of Jesus Christ. In his presentation of the cadets, Major David Allen, CFOT principal, compared them to the Israelites and the early followers of Jesus, as people who are treasured by God and set apart for his service.

    Cadet Michelle Cale presented the Officer's Covenant on behalf of her fellow cadets before Colonel Mark Tillsley, chief secretary, led them through their Declaration of Faith.

    “I ordain you as a minister of the gospel and commission you as an officer of The Salvation Army with the rank of lieutenant,” said Commissioner McMillan to each Herald of Grace as she commissioned them. In her prayer of dedication, she asked that God would anoint them with the Holy Spirit and guide their steps as they move into full-time ministry.

    Newly commissioned Lts Rosalyn and Stephen Toynton salute Commissioner Susan McMillan Newly commissioned Lts Rosalyn and Stephen Toynton salute Commissioner Susan McMillan


    The new lieutenants briefly left the auditorium and then returned wearing the distinctive red trim of commissioned Salvation Army officers amidst cheers and handclapping as the CSB played Montreal Citadel. It was fitting that Lieutenant Yves Bolduc, who entered Winnipeg's College for Officer Training (CFOT) from Montreal Citadel, spoke on behalf of the Heralds of Grace. “I pray that more francophones will stand on this platform,” he said as he testified to God's goodness and shared his assurance that God holds the future in his hands.

    Lt Yves Bolduc speaks on behalf of his session-mates Lt Yves Bolduc speaks on behalf of his session-mates


    In her message, the territorial commander referenced Romans 5:8, reminding those gathered that we are the recipients of unmerited grace, and it is through grace that we are in a relationship with God. “There isn't a Christian that has not been called to be a herald of grace,” she said. “If you live in [Christ], your relationship with other people will be different.”

    In response to an invitation from Commissioner McMillan, men and women made their way to the platform to offer themselves for full-time service as Salvation Army officers.

    Hundreds gather for the ordination and commissioning of the Heralds of Grace Hundreds gather for the ordination and commissioning of the Heralds of Grace


    Worship and Silver Star Recognition

    On Sunday, a capacity crowd met at Toronto's Scarborough Citadel for worship. As a massed band from Scarborough Citadel and Agincourt Community Church, Ont., presented the march Camp Ladore, the Messengers of Light Session entered the auditorium behind their sessional flag, carried by Cadet Keith Hopkins.

    Testifying to God's goodness in his life, Cadet Stefan Reid spoke about the joys he had experienced during his first year at the CFOT, including leading a man to Christ. “This reassured me that this is where I need to be,” he said.

    In recognition of their parents or spiritual mentors, the 16 new officers presented them with a Silver Star pin and certificate as they were welcomed to the Fellowship of the Silver Star by the territorial commander.

    Commissioner McMillan spoke on the theme of “Boundless Love,” challenging the congregation remember that God depends of us to carry out his purposes here on earth. “We have a ministry to the world that has eternal consequences,” she said. In response to her invitation to pray together and share the boundless love of Christ, many knelt at the mercy seat while others joined in circles of prayer throughout the sanctuary.

    Lt-Colonel Junior Hynes prayed that the blessings God had bestowed upon those in attendance would continue into the days ahead.

    VIDEO: Watch the welcome meeting and the ordination and commissioning service here.

    See more photos at instagram.com/salvationistmagazine.

    Comment

    On Thursday, June 25, 2015, Ira Barrow said:

    I am among all Salvationists most blessed! I have been a direct party of 12 commissioning events-- two as a cadet and 10 as a CFOT staff member. Then, while on the editorial staff I reported, or helped to report, another 10 or 12 commissioning events. So when commission was available by "streaming" I made sure I did not miss it. What a wonderful expression of faith and grace portrayed by the cadets!

    What wasn't said made the biggest impact on me. Seeing young people hold back tears of joy and gratefulness to God because they were on the verge of becoming Salvation Army officers gladdened my heart. God bless all officers-- the newly commissioned, the other active officers, and the retired officers.

    On Monday, June 22, 2015, David J Crane said:

    It is wonderful to see men and women commit themselves to the service of the Lord Jesus Christ---nothing brings to my heart a greater joy than this. Little disappointed, because of the lateness of the hour, that there are not more, but I would rather not reflect upon that thought at this moment at the time. Far more important to prayer for God's sustaining grace to rest upon all those who have responded to the Call. I exhort each new Officer---Look after your ---spend much time before God in prayer---Love the lord---serve His people with the very heart of God. Keep your eyes upon Jesus, and keep your focus upon Him. (a former officer)

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