Ordination day (Salvation Army style)

This Sunday, June 3, is the day in the Salvation Army Southern Territory to commission it’s newest ministers. These people, single, couples, young, older, of varied backgrounds and races have completed two years in the School for Officer’s Training in Atlanta. The culmination of this we call commissioning and it’s where they will receive their ordination in The Salvation Army. It is a sacred occasion not only for them, but their families and others who have made the same covenant with God.

Brother carrying his session flag
My brother and sister-in-law’s commissioning in 1989

I can imagine their excitement mixed with anxiety. Excitement to get “out there” and live their calling and the anxiety of getting out their and living their calling. I hope their is much fear mixed with the excitement. The healthy fear that keeps us coming before God and continually looking for his guidance. The fear that reminds us we can only go forward in His strength.

Father-in-law’s Officer Training yearbook picture
Mother-in-law’s yearbook photo (she was still single at the time)
Daddy’s yearbook page, he’s 2nd from the top on the left

They will kneel and sign this covenant before hundreds of witnesses. The document says, directly under the heading: “Called by God”. His purpose has been shown to them and they have  they are answering.

The last line says, “done in the strength of my Lord and Savior…” Yes, it is the only way any of us can fulfill God’s call on our life.

Mom’s session and covenant she signed which is a little different than today’s
Mom’s official photo

I have sat restless and uninterested in more than one of these events. Our presence was one of requirement and not desire. The pomp and “stuff” doesn’t interest me. But when it comes to this time, when I see them kneel to sign this sacred agreement between them and God, He reminds me of his purpose. He reminds me it is more than an agreement between us and The Salvation Army but it is always first our pledge to God. Always to Him who has called us in this direction.

The red trim signifying their ordination as “officers”, ministers in The Salvation Army

There is a time for celebration too and the best time is hearing families cheer for their sons and daughters. I love that about God that he’s also a god that likes a party. A big, full out, loud, hand-clapping, shouting-out kind of party. The God of creation celebrates his own.

More about Debby Hudson

Where do you find grace? Inside the church walls? Around the dinner table with your family? For years, grace was not much more than the prayer we said before meals or a biblical concept. Then I met a group of men who had, as we say, reached bottom. They welcomed me to Graceland. They showing me grace can be found in the darkest of places. I'm still searching and learning. I hope you'll want to come along.

0 thoughts on “Ordination day (Salvation Army style)

  1. katharinetrauger

    Oooh, I kow this is a solemn occasion, but all I could think of was I could tell where your granddaughters (and you, for that matter) got their beauty. Your mom could have been a movie star! Except for God picking her out for higher things. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this. I love when you open the door a bit and let us look down the halls of history in the SA. Thanks.

    Reply

    1. Debby

      Oh, sweet Katharine. I’m thankful mom answered God’s call and a legacy of service. I do enjoy sharing the SA history but want to try to keep it interesting so I’ll keep trying. Thank you.

      Reply

  2. Heidi

    Debby–Very interesting to see the family history and the formality of induction. I hope your weekend was wonderful and refreshing.

    Reply

    1. Debby

      Thanks Heidi. It’s been mostly a men’s conference this year (with exception of the Commissioning itself) but that gave me time to catch up with good friends who live in the area. Getting better at “making it work”.

      Reply

  3. judikruis

    My nephew James was ordained as Deacon and next year as Priest. The Knights of Columbus stood sentry and the cathedral was beautiful. The hymns…so perfect as they commit themselves to His service and truth. A great weekend of celebrations!

    Reply

    1. Debby

      Were you able to be at the ceremony for your nephew, Jude? I know it must have been very special. Yes, a great weekend of celebrations. May the spirit of them never end!

      Reply

      1. judikruis

        Yes – the ceremony was beautiful. photos on https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.367774746619633.85547.126567910740319&type=1
        Deacon James VanderLaan is my sisters middle – he has an older sister and younger brother.

        Reply

  4. Jennifer

    While I loved this post and the heart behind it, my primary thought was, “Debby posted a picture from 1989, which was a really . . . interesting year for fashion.” 🙂

    I’m so glad you know me and know I mean that with love!

    Reply

    1. Debby

      😀 Jen, it was indeed. I’m thankful my hairstyle was fairly normal and I wasn’t sporting the “Farrah” bangs (you’re too young to know that one) And that I wasn’t wearing a hat 😉 Of course I wasn’t in uniform in those days. Personal choice and all. I’m quite sure we get each other.

      Reply

  5. Debbie

    That’s quite a heritage, Debby!
    It’s beautiful to see the call passed on from generation to generation by God, rather than via genes or human expectations.
    Always first to Him! 😀

    Reply

    1. Debby

      Yes, Debbie, his is the only call we should answer, the only certain voice to follow.

      Reply

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