This year’s “Witnesses for Christ” session of cadets will experience a memorable Commissioning Weekend, June 12–14. The theme for the gathering, and the whole of 2009 in the territory, will be the “Perfect Love” of God the Father. The Scripture verse for the occasion is Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” which emphasizes God’s true love for us and the trust we can place in Him.
The event’s theme will provide a touchpoint for Commissioners Lawrence R. and Nancy A. Moretz, territorial leaders, as well as Commissioners Dirk and Vibeke Krommenhoek, Finland and Estonia territorial leaders, special guests. As the leaders share their own heartfelt and passionate love for God, they hope to infuse Salvationists with vision and purpose. They’ll also encourage the cadets as they are ordained, commissioned, and given their first appointments as Salvation Army officers.
Celebrating ‘a rich heritage’
On June 14, the Sunday morning and afternoon events will take place in Manhattan at Centennial Memorial Temple (CMT) on 14th Street in New York City. Using the temple ensures cost savings on both venue and equipment. CMT itself seats 1,600, and an overflow room in the adjacent Railton Hall will accommodate 300 more, so the event may be ticketed.
A return to the historic New York City landmark, which has seen the commissioning of many sessions of cadets, also provides a strong connection to the Army’s rich heritage. Many active officers commissioned here will no doubt be taken back to their own moment of commitment and service to God and the Army.
New York City will offer its usual challenges regarding parking and meal accommodations, of course, but these concerns should pale in the glow of an intimate worship atmosphere enhanced by state–of–the–art sound, lighting, and staging.
For Commissioning day, staff and cadets of the School for Officer Training (SFOT) will be on hand, as well as the New York Staff Band (Bandmaster Ronald Waiksnoris), the Eastern Territorial Songsters (Bill Rollins, director), and the Territorial Arts Ministry Team (Carol Jaudes, TAM director).
A weekend of ‘perfect love’…
A Concert of Prayer will kick off the weekend on Friday morning, June 12, in the Eastern Territorial Conference Center in West Nyack, N.Y. A Long Service Luncheon at noon (location to be determined) will be followed by the commencement of the “Witnesses for Christ” Session at 2:30 p.m. at SFOT. The Fellowship of the Silver Star dinner, also at the school, will begin at 5:00.
On Saturday, June 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Territorial Star Search Display will be held at the Sheraton Meadowlands, which many corps officers say is a favorite locale. A praise gathering will follow at 4:30 in the hotel ballroom, which accommodates 3,500 people.
On Sunday, June 14, the culmination of the weekend, the Ordination and Commissioning Service will begin at 9:30 a.m. The highly anticipated Appointment Service, starting at 2:30 p.m., will conclude the historic Commissioning Weekend.