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Messengers of the Gospel commissioned as officers

Messengers of the Gospel commissioned as officers

Messengers of the Gospel commissioned as officers

26 November 2017

The new officers of The Salvation Army in Australia are commissioned at Sydney Congress Hall. Photo: Carolyn Hide 

By NATIONAL EDITORIAL

Sixteen new officers of The Salvation Army have been ordained and commissioned at Sydney Congress Hall on 25 November.

Members of the Messengers of the Gospel session (2016-17), the new lieutenants are the first group to be commissioned under the new national territory.

Although they entered their two-year training under separate territory structures – Australia Eastern and Australia Southern territories, with training colleges in Sydney and Melbourne – they have been brought together for the one history-making ordination and commissioning.

It is the first time since Australia split into two territories in 1921 that a combined commissioning was held.

Fifteen of the new officers were cadets. Joel Soper was a territorial envoy.

The ordination and commissioning ceremony has been led by national leaders Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd.

The new officers and their appointments are:

Jodie and Gavin Jones (Kalgoorlie/Boulder, Western Australia), Cameron and Maryanne Lovering, (Forbes/Parkes, NSW), Jacqueline and Matthew Gluyas (Maroubra, NSW), Ben and Jamie Anderson (Benalla, Victoria), Guo Xian Wu and Rong Fu (Burwood, NSW), Joel Soper (with Major Yolande Soper, Tenterfield, NSW), Paul and Rachel Anastasiou (Westlakes, NSW), Chelsea Wilson (with Lieut Darrell Wilson, (Rockingham, Western Australia), and Heather and Peter Stamp (Portland, Victoria).

Ben Anderson represented all cadets in a sessional speech. He referred to the dramatic impact transition to one national territory and a joint commissioning had meant for cadets in training.

“It was certainly not on the radar at all for the seven Messengers of the Gospel who were welcomed (for training) in Melbourne in February 2016 that we would be commissioned as a session of 16 in Sydney,” he said.

Despite the diversity of the group, he said, they shared two crucial bonds. The first was a training experience that equipped them to be better followers of Christ. The second was a name – Messengers of the Gospel – that compelled them to share the good news of God’s grace and faithfulness.

In a testimony, Rachel Mina-Anastasiou told how as a young girl growing up in a village in Greece, she knew she wanted to serve God, maybe as a missionary.

“Here I am (in Sydney), far away from my homeland, a girl who trusted God with her life and calling, and now I am living the exciting life that God had already prepared for me,” she said.

A special message from The Salvation Army’s Italy and Greece Command was read to Rachel and Paul by Commissioner Floyd Tidd.

In his message to the new officers, Commissioner Tidd centred on Isaiah 61: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor ...”

Messengers of the Gospel session, he said, had been anointed for the same role to a world desperate for good news, but suspicious of it.

It was their responsibility, he said, to take the good news of Jesus Christ to everyone, as Isaiah had done.

“But it’s not just for the 16 on the platform,” he said. “The anointing is for all of us.”

Earlier, the cadets of the Messengers of the Gospel had officially graduated at a special lunch that also included the Fellowship of the Silver Star presentation.

Major Gregory Morgan, Training Principal of the National School for Officer Training, oversaw the graduation ceremony, during which each of the cadets received their Certificate of Salvation Army Officer Training.

In a poignant moment during the lunch, the tradition of the cadets presenting their parents/mentors with a silver star, honouring the role these people have played in their lives, was also observed.

Two of the cadets, Heather Stamp and Rong Fu, gave their testimonies. Describing herself as an extrovert, Heather made a special point of acknowledging the influence of family and close friends on her journey to officership.

Rong, meantime, talked about the life-transforming experience of officer training.

“I have been challenged physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually,” she said. “I have also seen the scriptures come alive in so many ways, learning about the truth God has revealed in both the Old and the New testaments.

“My time at the college has been the most vital and stretching time of my life so far. I’ve learnt so much, and I’ve made mistakes … but the trials and challenges I’ve faced are like sandpaper: God has used them to get rid of my rough edges so that the good things he has put in me can be developed and demonstrated.

"Praise God for his faithfulness and love.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Comments

  1. Carmen Fradel (Lovering)
    Carmen Fradel (Lovering)

    Such an amazing miracle filled day and such a joy to see my son Cameron and his wife Maryanne graduate. Thankyou Lord for all answered prayer. Praise God as He is soooo Good.

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