16 May 2024

Commissioning preview: Are you called?

Major Jo Moir

A group photo of the Defenders of Justice

Major Jo Moir looks ahead to the Commissioning of the Defenders of Justice at Together 2024.

On Sunday 14 July at the ICC Wales in Newport, the Defenders of Justice session will be commissioned and ordained. This Commissioning at Together 2024 will be historic: it will be the first to take place outside England.

The impact of this moment of commitment will inspire everyone witnessing it, and also challenge them to explore how they are called by God. The Candidates Unit have been a creative, visible presence at Together for the past two years.

‘We value the opportunity to be present, to share resources and to support those who have been inspired, challenged and encouraged to explore what God is saying to them,’ says Territorial Candidates Director Major Mark Sawyer. 

‘We have tried lots of creative ways to connect with people: resource stands, a Candidates Reception and simply walking around the venue meeting people to start a conversation about calling.’

No one yet has run away when they’ve seen Mark approaching – in fact, nearly all the conversations begin with people approaching him.

‘People are open and positive and respond to the invitation to talk,’ enthuses Mark. ‘My approach hasn’t changed since I became an officer. I am as passionate about spiritual leadership as I was when I began this journey. However, my wife, Major Andrea Sawyer, and I being territorial candidates directors often leads to a natural dialogue about faith, ministry and vocation.’

Because Together includes Commissioning, as well as mission resourcing and exposure to the ministry of the Army across the territory, it is
a weekend when people are perhaps more attuned to calling and vocation.

‘I sense that our openness to the Spirit of God is particularly heightened at events like Together,’ says Mark. ‘We are gathered for worship and teaching, inspired by God’s work through corps and centres and we witness the commitment of the territory’s newest lieutenants. It is a wonderful place and space for hearts to be stirred.

‘Commissioning might naturally raise the question: “Is this something I am called to?” For some people, asking that question might lead them to an awareness that they are right where they are supposed to be within God’s plan. For others, the experience might start a process of exploring vocation and spiritual leadership.’

If you want to talk to someone from the Candidates Unit, they will be present at Together 2024 in the engagement space and will take part in Saturday afternoon’s Community Café Church, as well as Sunday afternoon’s celebration session. 

If you are watching Sunday’s Commissioning and celebration meetings via livestream, you can talk to your corps leader or email the Candidates Unit at vocation@salvationarmy.org.uk.

‘Pray that throughout our territory, future spiritual leadership will be high on the agenda divisionally and locally,’ adds Mark. ‘Pray for officers, who are the role models for this wonderful vocation, and pray that others are inspired to explore God’s calling on their lives and have the courage to take the first steps towards officership, territorial envoyship and spiritual leadership.’

  • The Commissioning of the Defenders of Justice and the afternoon's celebration will be available to stream live at youtube.com/salvationarmyvideo on Sunday 14 July at 10.30am and 3pm.

Written by

A photo of Jo Moir.

Major Jo Moir

Territorial Communications Officer, THQ

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Together 2024

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A weekend of worship and celebration for everyone linked to The Salvation Army.

Major Jo Moir introduces the theme of Together 2024.

Where is God leading you?

Here to serve and support all those in the territory who are exploring God's calling.