THE International College for Officers (ICO) session which begins this week will be a 'special session', focusing on Children and Youth. A special session is a long-standing tradition which occurs at the discretion of the General. Recent special sessions have included a focus on holiness and on social justice.
The ICO brings together Salvation Army officers from around the world to Sydenham, London, to share in fellowship, encouraging a new sense of purpose and motivation while nurturing personal holiness and spiritual leadership. There are four sessions per year, each lasting eight weeks. The session about to start is number 215.
The 26 appointed officer delegates from 19 different countries attending session 215 have interest, aptitude and experience in ministry with children and youth.
One notable feature of a 'special session' is the provision for invited guest teachers to contribute and reside with the session. As such, there will be four specific areas of focus with the following teachers:
Children's Ministries – Major Janet Robson, United kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland;
Teen Ministry – Captain Marion Platt, USA Southern Territory;
Young Adult Ministry – Captains Rowan and Rachel Castle, Australia Southern Territory;
Family Ministry – Captains Enrique and Nancy Azuaje, USA Central Territory.
The theme verse for the session will be 1 Timothy 4:12: 'Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity' (New International Version 1984).
Colonel Richard Munn, ICO Principal, notes: 'The emphasis of these unique weeks together will be our collective role in "setting an example" in the graces of speech, life, love, faith and purity. As such, we anticipate this will be an "exemplary" session.'
Session 215 of the ICO concludes on 3 December 2012.