It was an exciting day on June 18 as people gathered in person at Winnipeg’s Southlands Community Church to witness the ordination and commissioning of nine cadets and six auxiliary-captains in the Messengers of Reconciliation Session. The service allowed Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd, territorial commander and territorial president of women’s ministries, to join with the cadets, their family members, training college staff and divisional leaders in the first public commissioning event to take place since the beginning of the pandemic.
Cadet Jason Brinson, carrying the Messengers of Reconciliation sessional flag, led the cadets and auxiliary-captains to the platform where they each shared what being reconciled to God means to them, including redemption from the past, forgiveness and freedom from sin, and a message of hope, healing and belonging for all people.
Lending musical support to the commissioning service was an ensemble from the Canadian Staff Band (CSB), under the leadership of Bandmaster John Lam. Jennifer Hale, an accepted candidate for officer training, shared about God’s call on her life to full-time ministry.
“It is my privilege to present these cadets and auxiliary-captains to be commissioned and ordained as officers of the Canada and Bermuda Territory,” said Major Andrew Morgan, principal at the College for Officer Training (CFOT), as he introduced them to the territorial commander. “I commend these individuals to you with the firm conviction that they have experienced the wonderful reconciliation work of God in their lives.” Spiritual growth, character formation and Salvationist identification were vital components of the structured program the cadets and auxiliary-captains had experienced during their period of training, he explained.
Cadet Zachary Marshall, Cadet Tamara Randlesome and Aux-Captain Linda Kean presented the Officer’s Covenant. Colonel Evie Diaz, chief secretary, then stood before the Messengers of Reconciliation as they recited the doctrines of The Salvation Army in their Declaration of Faith.
Following Commissioner Tracey Tidd’s challenge to the cadets and auxiliary-captains, each knelt at the mercy seat or stood before the holiness table in dedication of their lives to God in the moments before they were ordained and commissioned.
“We rejoice that God has called you, equipped you and gifted you for sacred service,” said Commissioners Tidd as they addressed each cadet and auxiliary-captain, “and therefore we affirm that you are ordained as a minister of the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and I now commission you as an officer of The Salvation Army with the rank of lieutenant.” Aux-Captains Carlos and Evangelina Galvez were commissioned with the rank of captain. The territorial leaders also shared a portion of Scripture with each new officer that had been chosen for them by the staff from CFOT.
A Message to Share
While the new officers left the auditorium to prepare for the next portion of the service, the congregation viewed a video of the Messengers of Reconciliation sharing what their sessional name means to them. As the CSB ensemble played the iconic Montreal Citadel, the new lieutenants and captains marched to the platform wearing the characteristic red trim of Salvation Army officers to salute the territorial leaders.
Lieutenant Jessica Hoeft spoke on behalf of her sessionmates, pointing out that as Messengers of Reconciliation, they are uniquely poised to lean in to the territory’s vision statement as innovative partners, mobilized to share hope wherever there is hardship, building communities that are just and know the love of Jesus. “We also have a message to share,” she said. “Ours is a message of restored relationship with God, first and foremost, but also of restored relationship with each other, with our neighbours, with ourselves and with creation.”
Following the recognition of appointments of the Messengers of Reconciliation, and field-based tailored training appointments and summer assignments of the Reflectors of Holiness, the territorial commander shared from the Book of Colossians. “This reconciliation that God makes known to us through his Son, Jesus Christ, is not for us alone,” he said. “It is a reconciliation for the whole world.” He reminded the congregation that Jesus is the message we are to proclaim. “Whatever the brokenness, whatever the alienation, whatever the separation, whatever the grief, whatever the war and strife, be that global, be that domestic, our message of reconciliation is the holy one, Jesus.”
Major Corinne Cameron, assistant training principal, led the congregation in the singing of the closing song, We Have Caught the Vision Splendid, before Major Les Marshall, divisional commander in the Prairie Division, closed the service in prayer.
Watch the Commissioning and Ordination Service:
Why don't I see any updates from the Salvation Army here in Newfoundland & Labrador?