(Above) Messengers of the Kingdom and training college staff share a moment together (Photos: Winnipeg—Cdt Amy Patrick; Toronto—Alexandria Gerard)
“We rejoice that God has called you, equipped you and gifted you for sacred service,” declared Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd, territorial commander and territorial president of women’s ministries, as they ordained and commissioned the Messengers of the Kingdom Session on June 20. With travel and social-gathering restrictions in place due to COVID-19, the livestreamed event took place across two time zones and two provinces.
As the cadets and training college staff gathered at the College for Officer Training (CFOT) in Winnipeg, Commissioners Tidd and Colonels Edward and Shelley Hill, chief secretary and territorial secretary for women’s ministries, joined them online from territorial headquarters in Toronto.
The sacred service began with Colonel Edward Hill expressing words of welcome to those gathered in Winnipeg as well as the many people watching the proceedings from across the territory and around the world. “In spite of our physical separation, we are brought together by our shared commitment to God’s mission,” he said.
Following the call to worship by Major Darlene Morgan, director of spiritual life formation at CFOT, and the reading of Luke 9:1-6 by Colonel Shelley Hill, Major Andrew Morgan, training principal, commended the cadets to the territorial commander. “I ask Salvationists to join me in praying that [they] will be used mightily so that the kingdom of God will be fully realized on earth as it is in heaven,” he said.
Cadets Susan Roffel, Andrew Sweet and Danielle Feltham recited the Officer’s Covenant that had been signed by each cadet in anticipation of their commissioning. The Messengers of the Kingdom then presented the doctrines of The Salvation Army in their Affirmation of Faith.
Focusing on Ephesians 3, Commissioner Floyd Tidd shared his prayers of expectation for the cadets, that they would embrace the dimensions of God’s kingdom, experience its full power and live to the glory of God. “Invite the Spirit to do a continuing work in your life, to conform you into the likeness of Christ and to give you a fresh power to live in a way that glorifies him,” he said.
Commissioners Tidd stood together to ordain each cadet as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ and commission them as an officer with the rank of lieutenant. Later in the service, the first appointments of the new officers were recognized.
As a video presentation featuring the children of the Messengers of the Kingdom entertained those gathered in person and online, the new officers left the room to return moments later in uniforms bearing the red epaulettes with one star that identify them as lieutenants in The Salvation Army.
Speaking on behalf of her session-mates, Lieutenant April Keeping highlighted their outstanding character and commitment to mission and ministry, especially in light of the pandemic. “We are facing unprecedented and quickly developing realities which are difficult to predict and manage,” she said. “We have seen that in our own commissioning, but I know it is not a coincidence that we are commissioned today as Messengers of the Kingdom. We carry with us the message of the presence of God’s kingdom here on earth during these uncertain times.”
Following recognition of the parents and spiritual mentors of the new officers who were admitted to the Fellowship of the Silver Star, Commissioners Tidd acknowledged the summer assignments of the Messengers of Grace Session as well as five cadets who will enter field-based training appointments in their second year of study.
Major Elizabeth Nelson, assistant training principal, brought the service to a close and prayed God’s blessing on the new officers as they embark on a life of ministry.
View the entire commissioning and ordination service here.
View more photos here.