The Voice of The Salvation Army in Canada and BermudaView RSS Feed
Nov17TueCongress comes to a close with service of celebration. November 17, 2015 by Pamela Richardson
The familiar words of Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee set the tone for Sunday morning's holiness meeting at the Boundless Bermuda Congress as Salvationists gathered in the grand ballroom of the Hamilton Princess Hotel. Under the leadership of the Army's international leaders, General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox, World President for Women's Ministries, the holiness meeting marked the start of the final day of the four-day celebration.
- Filed Under:
- Territorial News
Following a prayer by Cadet Cathy Esdaille, who had travelled home to Bermuda with her husband, Cadet Alfred Esdaille, and daughter, Kayla, from the College for Officer Training in Winnipeg where they are in their second year of training, the General stepped forward to enrol Anjelina Chandrasekaran as a junior soldier and Karen Hollinsid and Vecal Astwood as senior soldiers. Passing a microphone to Anjelina, General Cox asked her to read aloud from her enrolment certificate the promises she was making as a junior soldier. He said that he has been questioned why The Salvation Army asks children to make such promises as avoiding alcohol, tobacco and non-medicinal drugs. “Because they can,” he responded. “Walk the streets of Hamilton to see why we promise to keep away from things that harm the body.”
As the children made their way to a special junior congress led by Majors Curtis and Cindy Butler, divisional youth secretary and divisional children's ministries secretary, and corps officers at West End Community Church, the congregation joined in a time of praise and worship, singing: “Lord, you are good and your mercy endureth forever.”
Bandmaster Jamel Bean of North Street Citadel prepared hearts and minds to hear the General share from the Word of God by singing They Need You, They Need Me, They Need Christ. Briefly sharing his testimony, Bean reflected on the words of the General from earlier in the congress events: “God's boundlessness depends on our faithfulness.”
In his sermon, General Cox challenged the congregation to examine their personal relationship with Christ. “Have we truly accepted the sacrifice of Jesus? He paid the price on the cross for each one of us, and if we want to be blessed by God and know his presence, then we need to know that we are redeemed and saved.”
Many people responded to the invitation to come forward to the cross-shaped mercy seat to kneel in dedication and recommitment of their lives to the Lord.
Service of Celebration
Salvationists and friends gathered Sunday afternoon for the final meeting of the four-day congress celebration. Commissioner Susan McMillan, territorial commander, greeted the congregation and invited them to join in singing Shine, Jesus Shine, supported by the Bermuda Divisional Band.
The service featured presentations from the junior congress choir and congress chorus, pianist Sheldon Fox II, the congress worship team, men from the Harbour Light treatment centre, and a massed timbrel brigade that included three timbrelists who had participated in a 200-strong timbrel group at the Army's international Boundless congress held last July in London, England.
A highlight of the afternoon was a liturgical dance presentation by dancers wearing white gowns emblazoned with full-length gold crosses. Cadet Alfred Esdaille shared his testimony about the way God is teaching and moulding him through his time at the College for Officer Training.
In her message, Commissioner Silvia Cox shared from Luke 4 and reminded the congregation about what is important to God: that we love him more than anything else and that we love our neighbours as ourselves. “Loving him, serving him also means taking up his cross and following him,” she said. “It's not an easy choice to follow Jesus, but he promised the Holy Spirit to help us with our mission—to go to the lost.”
Again, people responded to the invitation to kneel at the cross in dedication of their lives to Christ.
Boundless Bermuda Congress came to a fitting conclusion as Salvationists joined in a traditional “hallelujah wind-up,” happily marching around the room behind the Salvation Army flag. Major Frank Pittman, divisional commander, led the singing of the founder's song, O Boundless Salvation, and Commissioner Susan McMillan offered a prayer of benediction over all the congress events that had taken place.