17 September 2014

THE installation of the new territorial commander for the Canada and Bermuda Territory, Commissioner Susan McMillan, was conducted by the Chief of the Staff (Commissioner William Roberts) at a meeting in Elim Chapel in Winnipeg, Manitoba, that also included the welcome to the cadets of the Messengers of Light Session.

The Chief charged Commissioner McMillan with the sacred duties of leading the territory, upholding Salvation Army doctrines and caring for the souls of Salvationists. Commissioner Nancy Roberts (World Secretary for Women's Ministries) prayed as Commissioner McMillan knelt in consecration.

The new cadets of the Messengers of Light Session (2014-2016) marched into the church to the sounds of Heritage Park Temple Band. They will study at the College for Officer Training in Winnipeg for the next two years – alongside the Heralds of Grace (2013-2015) – before being commissioned as Salvation Army officers.

Training Principal Major David Allen commended the new session to the congregation and introduced the sessional song, 'Then the Light', composed by Major Leonard Ballantine. In her remarks, the new territorial commander urged the cadets: 'Open your minds to the Word of God, open your hearts to the people who need you, and you will discover that God will be with you every step of the way. There is a wonderful adventure ahead of you in The Salvation Army.'

Preaching on the 'servant psalm' of Isaiah 42, Commissioner McMillan exhorted: 'We were saved by God to be agents of transformation. He has called us to "live right and live well" – to bring his light into the world.' Many people responded by kneeling at the mercy seat, signalling their desire to be used by God.

Other weekend events included a Saturday morning tour of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg by the Chief of the Staff, Commissioner Nancy Roberts, Commissioner McMillan and staff from the Prairie Division and territorial headquarters. On Saturday evening, the College for Officer Training hosted a reception for the international visitors where, in her Bible thoughts, Commissioner Nancy Roberts gave a reminder that God was King David's 'shield and strength in times of stress and distress'.  

On Sunday morning in the Booth University College chapel, family and friends of the Messengers of Light gathered to worship, singing: 'Lord, let your light shine on us'. Cadet Alex MacDonald shared how God had called him early and often to a life of ministry, but that it was only in 'God's perfect timing' that he finally entered training. Cadet Kam Robinson testified that Jesus helped her overcome a difficult past of shame and rejection. 'I felt like a messy ball of yarn,' she said, 'but Jesus is cleaning me up, taking out the knots and making something beautiful of my life.' A vocal solo, 'I'm in His Hands', was offered by Cadet Erin Metcalf. 

In his Bible message, the Chief of the Staff recounted the story of the rich, young ruler, noting that being a disciple of Jesus involves a radical obedience and sacrifice that is impossible without the Holy Spirit's help. 'Only those who say "no" to all human claims can say "yes" to God,' he said. 'Following Jesus is its own reward. We receive not what we deserve, but something much better – his grace and mercy.'

The welcome and installation meetings were followed by a three-day leaders summit in Winnipeg, where territorial and divisional staff met to discuss strategic direction for the territory.

Report by Geoff Moulton
Editor-in-Chief, Canada and Bermuda Territory

Tags: Americas and Caribbean