On Sunday, September 20, the Canada and Bermuda Territory welcomed the Joyful Intercessors Session (2015-2017) to the College for Officer Training (CFOT) at a lively service held at Elim Chapel in Winnipeg. The congregation stood to greet the 19 new cadets, plus two auxiliary-captains, with warm smiles and hand clapping as they entered the chapel behind their sessional flag, while the Heritage Park Temple Band filled the air with celebratory music. Along with the Messengers of Light Session (2014-2016), these cadets will study at CFOT for the next two years to be commissioned as Salvation Army officers in June 2017.

Commissioner Susan McMillan shares a message Commissioner Susan McMillan shares a message

Major David Allen, training principal, greeted the Joyful Intercessors with a football in hand, highlighting a significant event happening in Winnipeg in November, the 103rd annual Grey Cup. He compared the cadets' arrival at CFOT to the common play of a “hand-off” in a football game: the cadets, in their local corps settings, have been “called, cultivated and identified,” said Major Allen, administered by the secretary for candidates and now “handed off” to CFOT for further equipping for service. After Major Allen's welcome, the Joyful Intercessors presented their sessional song, reminding all in attendance that “the joy of the Lord is our strength.”

In her sermon, Commissioner Susan McMillan, territorial commander, drew attention to the second part of the cadets' sessional name—“intercessors”—emphasizing the importance of interceding and advocating for others. Commissioner McMillan challenged the cadets and congregation, saying, “We need to be ready to inconvenience ourselves,” that “the mission will be uncomfortable, difficult” and we should “pray more fervently, more often.” Opportunity was given for people to personally reflect and respond, and several knelt at the front of the chapel and were supported by those who came to pray with them.

Major Brenda Allen, director of spiritual formation at the CFOT, invited the congregation to participate in intercessory prayer for the Joyful Intercessors. Baskets were distributed throughout the congregation with prayer cards that included pictures of the cadets. With all cadets standing, the congregation joined in singing a prayer over them, Father, Hear the Prayer We Offer. Territorial and divisional leaders, along with CFOT staff and the Messengers of Light, formed a prayer covering with their hands extended over the Joyful Intercessors. While prayers were offered audibly and silently, hearts were moved by the presence and power of God.

The Joyful Intercessors Session The Joyful Intercessors Session

On Sunday morning, the Joyful Intercessors and Messengers of Light, along with their families, CFOT staff and territorial leaders, gathered in the chapel of Booth University College for a family worship service. Commissioner Susan McMillan, supported by Colonels Mark and Sharon Tillsley, chief secretary and territorial secretary for women's ministries, welcomed the new cadets.

The service provided opportunity for both rejoicing and reflection, as those gathered sang Joy in The Salvation Army, as well as What Can I Do and Take My Life and Let It Be/I Am Yours. Speaking from Matthew 13:44-52, Commissioner McMillan encouraged the Joyful Intercessors to embrace “the joy of serving.”

Watch the welcome meeting at http://livestream.com/aventpro/cfotcadetwelcome.

Read testimonies from the Joyful Intercessors and two auxiliary-captains.

See more photos from the welcome meeting on our Facebook page.

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