THE Chief of the Staff (Commissioner André Cox) and Commissioner Silvia Cox (World President of Women's Ministries) travelled to Oslo, Norway, for their first official visit since taking up their new appointments. They went to the Norway, Iceland and The Færoes Territory to conduct the installation of the new territorial leaders, Commissioners Dick and Vibeke Krommenhoek.
A large congregation gathered in Oslo Temple to greet the new international and territorial leaders, who entered the platform accompanied by music from the territorial band.
The Chief of Staff introduced the Krommenhoeks as being 'gifted with passion and multiple talents'. He encouraged Salvationists in Norway, Iceland and The Færoes to pray that God will anoint the new leaders with wisdom, strength and courage.
He also challenged the congregation that, in a time of transition and change, the Army of God needs dedicated people so it can continue to be a vivid Army on bended knees, with clean hearts, open minds, outstretched hands and raised heads.
After the installation ceremony, one representative from each of the three countries comprising the territory entered the platform to the music of the respective national anthem, each following his or her own flag and dressed in national costume. The new leaders were shown glimpses of the multifaceted ministry of the Army and the beauty of the three countries. Prayers were offered on behalf of the leaders in Færoese, Icelandic and Norwegian.
In her response, Commissioner Vibeke Krommenhoek (Territorial President of Women's Ministries) focused on the fact that The Salvation Army ministers to all people. She spoke about the vision of Salvation Army Founder William Booth and said that the Army's mission is still to work and minister with two 'heavens' in mind – one here in time, and one in eternity.
Territorial Commander Commissioner Dick Krommenhoek spoke about the Army's mission being 'all about Jesus'. He told the congregation: 'Outward renewal is important to keep up with the changes in society, but can never replace the need for a continuous inward renewal.'
As a united act of commitment, the commissioner had the whole congregation read:
May God bless us with crying hearts for the millions who live without knowing his love, that we may bring the world to Jesus.
May God bless us with a deep uneasiness over our shortcomings, our unlikeness to Jesus, that we may allow the Holy Spirit to radically transform our lives.
May God bless us with sleepless nights over the evil and suffering in this world, that we may fight for goodness and justice.
May God bless us with sufficient naivety to believe that he can yet use The Salvation Army for the upbuilding of his Kingdom, trusting that he is 'able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us'.
Major Jostein Nielsen
Secretary for Communication
Norway, Iceland and The Færoes