Pilgrimage 2016: Engaging for Growth, Memory Reel
Midland Division's Corps Sergeant Major Retreat
By John David Baker
The Corps Sergeant Majors and potential Corps Sergeant Majors of eight Midland Division corps recently arrived at Camp Mihaska for a Friday and Saturday retreat. The guest was Lt Colonel Dan Sjögren. The report for the event is here. The purpose and theme was Leadership with Excellence. Major Dick Justvig has been a faithful advocate for Corps Sergeant Majors. The group meets four times a year and the retreat was a bonus thanks to the Divisional Commander. Use it if you can.
Lt Colonel Daniel Sjögren has a peace that surpasses most I’ve known. His four session living testimony of leadership and holiness was soothing to the soul. We started the weekend on Friday night with the theme Leadership with Excellence. Colonel Sjogren did not use a bunch of “do’s and don’ts” but challenged us to pull away from the world’s ways of leadership and into a calling for and from God. His experiential stories lullabied us into a sweet spirit of purpose and we could all sense the Holy Spirit’s presence. Colonel let the Spirit enter the room gently with his obedience and passion to let the Spirit do what the Spirit does.
I met great people, those who are genuinely doing God’s will. For instance, Judy from the St Louis Maplewood corps and Kathy from Alton, Illinois. These are two special ladies who take an interest in others and shine God’s love. I was won over in an instant by Majors Dick and Mary Justvig. They are so down to earth and loving and unlike many I’ve met. I didn’t recognize them as officers until late in the weekend. It’s easy to drop ones guard when in the presence of these two special people. CSM Benny from St Louis Euclid corps taught me the art of finding a less claustrophobic sleeping environment by removing the top bunk. He aided the worship by chiming in with his harmonica during singing. My wife, Michelle, was fascinated by his talent. Majors Phil and Gail Aho were present to show their care and appreciation. They also provided entertaining worship through Major Phil’s talent at the keyboard and Gail’s witty and practical leadership lessons utilizing cup, paper and balloons.
Major Mary Justvig started our Saturday morning with devotions. It was beautifully done and challenged us to cleanliness, commitment to do God’s will, and to have the will to communicate and share the goodness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She stirred enthusiasm in us all. We shared in worship singing the song that included “others would see the wounds of Jesus in our testimonies and message”.
On Saturday afternoon we divided up into two groups. Dan Hall, who has been a Corps Sergeant Major at Granite City corps since 1975 and his wife Angie, encouraged the existing Corps Sergeant Majors while Majors Dick and Mary worked with my wife and I along with the humble and excellent soldier, JW from Columbia, Missouri.
I had seen Colonel Dan’s leadership presentation once before nearly two years ago at Gateway corps, but this one seemed much more personal because of the small group setting the whole experience was so uplifting; I rose at 1:30 am Sunday morning to write about it. This past weekend was all for God’s glory and a life-changing experience I’ll never forget. The theme of reconciliation is what we took home from Major Gail and the leadership qualities for doing so were eloquently conveyed by the Colonel.
EUCLID CORPS AND EAST SAINT LOUIS CORPS Jr. Soldiers
A Junior Soldier is not just a church member, they represent a commitment into a lifestyle and servanthood which embraces all of the mission and faith of the Army. It’s a big step and it says a lot about how committed a person is to see growth and change in their neighboods in various communities around them. Captains Karen and Patrick Holness from Euclid Corps and Lt. AJ Zachery from East Saint Louis Corps are committed to seeing transformation in their communities through their Jr. Soldiers. It is their hope that their Corps' Junior Soldiers are equipped to be today's leaders.
MATTOON CORPS GOES "FROZEN" for Youth Outreach and Impact
The Midland Division wants to highlight the corps officers, Lieutenant Daniel and Lieutenant Claudia, and the Mattoon corps staff! They wanted to hold an outreach event that would target 0-10 year olds and their parents so they decided to create a Frozen Winter Wonderland theme! The Mattoon Corps teens worked on a skit titled UnFrozen to show the love that Anna had for Elsa, so much so that she would sacrifice herself for her. The event attracted 277 people. A little over 40 children came to accepted Jesus for the first time!
Lieutenant Daniel shares: "Following the play we talked about how Jesus sacrificed Himself for all of us. We, along with the characters from the play, invited the children to come up to the stage and accept Jesus for the first time... There was music and dancing and food that the Women's auxiliary put together. We had someone from the arts council in Mattoon make our stage back drop. People from the community donated lights and items so we could keep cost down. Much of the material in the photos were made by the Mattoon team. We did a free raffle which allowed us to capture all the information of every person who attended. We mailed out thank you letters and invitations to attend our church services."
Photos taken by Mike Sneddon
Jefferson City Corps officers, Lieutenant Rachel and Lieutenant Chris, and Shelter Director, Tyreka Brandon, Go Live on the Linda McAnany show
Our Jefferson City Corps officers, Lieutenants Rachel and Chris, and Shelter Director, Tyreka Brandon, share their love for Jefferson City and the impact The Salvation Army has on the community. Watch the video to hear more about the challenges that come with their positions and their God given desire to adequately provide the right services and care for everyone in Jefferson City.
We are proud of you and what you do, Lieutenants and Tyreka, for doing the most good and inspiring others to do the most good in your community!