The Canadian Staff Songsters (CSS) made their official debut last Sunday at a dedication service held at Jackson's Point Conference Centre, Ont. In the presence of family, friends and the territorial executive council, the newly formed group offered up songs of praise and committed themselves to musical ministry.

The service began with words of welcome from Colonel Mark Tillsley, chief secretary, who shared that while many people had recommended the formation of this group over the years, the timing was now right.

After words of prayer, the CSS opened with Make His Praise Glorious. Lt-Colonel Wendy Waters, executive officer of the CSS, then introduced each staff songster individually. The CSS come from a broad range of corps, including South Windsor, Simcoe, Bracebridge, Brantford, Ont., and Toronto's Bloor Central, among others. The CSS then sang another set of songs, a highlight of which was I Love You, Lord, with soprano soloist Karen Gross.

Commissioner Susan McMillan, territorial commander, then invited each staff songster to kneel at the mercy seat and sign their covenant, demonstrating that they are seeking the Lord's blessing on their ministry. Commissioner McMillan then officially installed Major Len Ballantine as leader of the CSS and presented him with his commission. This is the second staff songster section that Major Ballantine has led.

The staff songsters kneel at the mercy seat and sign their covenants The staff songsters kneel at the mercy seat and sign their covenants

As the evening concluded, the staff songsters and the congregation joined in singing O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing.

“These are exciting days for our territory as we focus on returning to a singing Army, and the CSS will play a key role in helping us get our congregations singing again,” says Craig Lewis, territorial secretary for music and gospel arts, who was one of the driving forces behind the launch of the CSS.

The first public performance of the CSS will take place on December 10 at Christmas with The Salvation Army at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.

The staff songsters and territorial leaders The staff songsters and territorial leaders


On Saturday, April 1, 2017, Jan Corley said:

I am looking forward to the staff songsters this weekend at my corps- Peterborough. Concert tonight.

On Friday, March 3, 2017, Lorna Rogers Simard said:

So good to see the formation of the CSS. As a SL for many years at Montreal Citadel, it is wonderful to see many of you with Montreal Citadel connection still singing. Will look forward when you come to Ottawa.

On Wednesday, December 28, 2016, Cpt Milfred W.A. Harper fire chap said:

My congratulations to the newly formed Canadian staff songsters. where do you folks practice. as it would be a long drive for me. GOD BLESS

On Friday, November 25, 2016, Jean macdonald said:

I've been enrolled as a soldier 5 months ago and praise the Lord for being on the journey with me iam from scotland

On Friday, November 25, 2016, Jacqui Proctor said:

Congratulations! I was simply thrilled to read about the Inauguration of the Canadian Staff Songsters. I just know that whatever you give out personally will be returned abundantly with many blessings. You are making history. Enjoy the journey.

Your memories are only just beginning. Much love to each one of you. God bless you all.
Jacqui Proctor

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