Colonel Edward Hill, chief secretary, led the congregation in singing How Great Is Our God, before prayers of dedication were offered in three of the languages spoken in Army ministries across the division: Spanish by Captain Angelica Hernandez, Korean by Captain Aejin Jeong and English by Marcus Venables.
Lt-Colonel Sandra Rice, divisional commander, greeted the Tidds and spoke about their service as soldiers, corps officers and divisional leaders in the Ontario Central-East Division. “You are not strangers to this division,” she said. “We call you colleagues, friends, and now our leaders.”
In her response, Commissioner Tracey Tidd expressed their excitement at returning to their home territory and solicited the prayers of Salvationists as they take up the mantle of leadership. “We are listening with anticipation for all that God has for us,” she said. “We want to seek to understand, together, what he has planned for this next chapter in the Canada and Bermuda Territory.”
Livestreamed across the territory and beyond, the service was supported musically by the Canadian Staff Songsters (CSS) under the leadership of Major Len Ballantine, the Canadian Staff Band (CSB) under the leadership of John Lam and the NEON Worship Team under the leadership of Simon Gough. Each group contributed significantly to the worship experience of the congregation, especially the performance of Chapin Hartford and Sarah Hart’s Better Than a Hallelujah by the CSS, the CSB’s rendition of William Broughton’s In His Joyful Service and NEON’s leading of the congregation in Ben Fielding and Brooke Ligertwood’s What a Beautiful Name.
In his message, Commissioner Floyd Tidd shared from Joshua 3. Just as the Israelites were instructed to focus on the Ark of the Covenant—God’s dwelling place amongst his people—and to follow it where they had never been before, the territorial commander encouraged Salvationists to do likewise. “Focus on the movement of God and be prepared to follow him,” he said. “We, as an Army, stand on the brink of a new chapter in which we are required to go to places we have never been before, in ways we have never done before.” Commissioner Tidd reminded those gathered of the importance of consecrating their lives fully to the Lord, of surrendering to his Holy Spirit.
“We are the only Army that wins when we surrender,” he said. “And if we’re not winning, is there not enough surrender happening? Offer yourselves as holy sacrifices. Represent him, not the world. Resemble him, not the world.”
People responded to Commissioner Tidd’s invitation to kneel at the mercy seat in surrender of their lives to God’s service.
The evening concluded with the congregation singing Greater Things and Commissioner Tracey Tidd pronouncing the benediction.
Photos: Mark Yan