Joyful Intercessors sent into the West

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By Christin Thieme –  

Nearly 3,000 Salvationists and friends of the Western Territory welcomed the Territorial Executive Council with territorial leaders Commissioners Kenneth G. and Jolene K. Hodder and international leaders General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox to the stage of the Terrace Theater June 4 for the Mobilize 2017 Service of Appointments.

Photos by Ron Bawden

Following an introduction to this year’s Service Corps teams and Long Service Order recipients, the now second-year Messengers of the Gospel took to the stage before the newly commissioned Joyful Intercessors marched in, each draped in a red session sash.

A Massed Signing Company led by Jacqui Larsson sang “The Great Downpour” by Len Ballantine before Chief Secretary Colonel Douglas Riley led attendees in singing “I’ll Stand for Christ,” accompanied by the Western Territory Staff Band, led by Territorial Music Director BM Neil Smith. The Territorial Creative Arts Ensemble presented Scripture through a piece entitled, “Send Me.”

Kenneth G. Hodder announced the Western Territory’s World Services and Self Denial gift of over $8.1 million.

The General responded with thanks and a challenge to continue to “be extravagant in your giving because God has done so much for us.”

In a surprise presentation, Hodder called to the stage Envoy Joseph Moore, long-serving Salvationist at the Bell Shelter in Southern California. The General admitted Moore into the Order of the Founder, The Salvation Army’s highest award for a non-officer.

“As I travel around the world, I am blessed to meet people like you who have had a calling and I want to pay tribute to you for the faithful ministry you have given over so many years,” Cox said. “I believe that your faithful service would have commended itself to our Founder…You are proof of God’s power to change lives and to use people for redemptive purposes.”

In his call to action and charge to new officers, Kenneth G. Hodder noted many examples of the flaws of biblical heroes.

“If we have heard anything this weekend, it has been that each of us must respond to need. We cannot allow ourselves to sit back,” he said. “Every single one of us has a part to play. If you don’t feel that you have the skills or the ability or the time or the expertise to do something to build up the kingdom of God, well then you haven’t been listening and don’t know your Scripture.

“No one is exempt,” he said. “You can mobilize for Christ all on your own and you can make a difference for Christ all on your own.”

Jolene K. Hodder led the congregation in singing “Tell Them in the East” before Lt. Leah Fowler spoke on behalf of her session about the many lists she has seen during two years at the College for Officer Training.

“However, it is those things that weren’t on our lists that have impacted many of us the most, and we have learned that God’s will is greater than any list we may create, and there is immense joy in trusting in his sovereignty,” Fowler said. “As intercessors, we are called to stand in the gap, and by God’s strength, direct others to see his love and his goodness, and to know his exceedingly abundant joy in their own lives. For two years we have practiced this together, and now we are ready to take it to our new homes.”

Yet, she said, each member of the session also needs encouragers and mentors. “We will need intercessors—people of faith willing to pray and guide us along this new journey,” Fowler said. “This we ask of you. We are excited for what God is and will do throughout this territory, and we are wholly trusting in him for our strength.”

The Territorial Staff Band offered “The Ambassadors” by Peter Graham before the Hodders presented the 50 Joyful Intercessors with their first appointments as Salvation Army officers.

Both sessions of cadets sang “Joyful Intercessors” by Darren Shaw, followed by words of thanks from the Hodders and a congregational song, “I Believe We Shall Win.”

Program Secretary Lt. Colonel Lee Lescano offered a final prayer and led the closing choral benediction.

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