Oct27TueSeventy-five delegates gather online to explore God's possible call. October 27, 2020 By Major Jennifer Hale
The Officership Information Weekend is an annual event that is significant for the Canada and Bermuda Territory. Each year, delegates from across the territory gather to explore, discern and respond to a possible call from God to Salvation Army officership. The weekend is important in that, each year, individuals leave the event feeling affirmed in the call and inspired to take the next steps in their journeys toward officer training.
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This year was no different. With the global pandemic still hovering over us, we couldn’t gather at the College for Officer Training (CFOT) in Winnipeg. As a result, the territory hosted its first virtual information weekend at the beginning of October. Seventy-five delegates gathered on an online conferencing platform to engage with one another, hear good preaching and teaching, learn more about what officership means, and explore life at CFOT.
Colonel Edward Hill, chief secretary, began the weekend by speaking to the delegates in the keynote session, asking them if they needed a wake-up call. He used the text from 2 Chronicles 7:14 to challenge everyone present to be humble, broken, submissive people of prayer and passionate in their pursuit of God.
On Saturday, delegates began the day by hearing from Major Andrew Morgan, CFOT principal, as he shared his vision for a CFOT culture marked by honesty, integrity, transparency and accountability. Delegates were inspired and encouraged to care for their character as they learned about the overarching principles of 22 months of officer training. The afternoon took the form of breakout sessions, which included “Exploring the Global Mission of The Salvation Army,” “Adventures in Officership,” “Understanding the Call,” “Go for Souls!,” and the delegates in the accepting track spent the afternoon with CFOT cadets, learning how to best prepare themselves for training and to receive more in-depth details about the training program.
Saturday evening featured a virtual tour of CFOT and a cadet and officer panel, including Commissioner Floyd Tidd, territorial commander. Again, delegates were inspired as the participants on the panel shared the stories of their lived experiences as officers. Commissioner Tidd wrapped up the evening by sharing Mobilize 2.0 with the delegates and encouraging them to get engaged in the territorial study “Together in Mission” on Wednesday evenings.
The weekend concluded on Sunday morning with a holiness meeting where Commissioner Tidd thanked the delegates for attending the event and asked them four questions based on the experience of Abraham: Where am I going? When am I going? How is this possible? and Why, God? Commissioner Tidd reminded the delegates that even when there aren’t answers, God gave Abraham an indication of the response that he required as a man of faith. The right response is always to trust and obey.
In addition to all of the preaching, teaching and worship experiences, delegates were given an opportunity to interact with one another by gathering in divisional groups in a virtual greeting room to unpack what God was saying to them throughout the weekend, and to share in some fun together with Captain Joshua Downer, divisional youth secretary, British Columbia Division.
Overall, we continue to have a spirit of expectancy as God continues to call people into his service. While there are people without the hope of Jesus, the mission of The Salvation Army will be relevant. The invitation to all Salvationists is to consider how they can use their lives to have the greatest kingdom impact and to also consider if Salvation Army officership is the required response.
Major Jennifer Hale is the secretary for candidates in the Canada and Bermuda Territory.