Our Meetings today were led by Tony McClure , Territorial Envoy
Theme: The miracle of indwelling love
Following the announcements by CSM Tim Scott , which included mention of all those from the Corps who took part in the Cancer research ” Shine night walk” ( nine Ladies from the Corps plus two friends ) , Tony started the meeting asking us to take a moment to Calm our minds .
Our Introductory Bible verse was : John 3:16
Our first song of the morning was Song: 255 I’m set apart for Jesus to the Tune: 225 My soul is now united.
The Singing Company sang for us the song ” Able to Save” , and they did so beautifully
Following the Singing Company, the Congregation sang Song: 25 Gods love to me is wonderful to the Tune: 130 Gods love to me
Tony Introduced his YP Talk: Its what you do with it, which was about Gods Love
A Large present had been prepared , and it was to be Given to Isabella, Tony asked if a present that you could not ever open was any use , and obviously it isn’t . Isabella was asked to Open the present, and within the Large box were two smaller presents , and when asked which one Isabella wanted she chose the smaller of the two (it turned out to be Mascara , which is not much use to Isabella, but Tony Passed it to Isabella’s Mother ). The second Present was some sweets , much more useful to a young girl . The point being made that a Gift you are given , is not much good if left unopened . If the Gift is completely wrong for you , it is not much use either – Gods gift of his love is a perfect gift for us
Our next song was Song: 807 Jesus loves me! This I know to the Tune: 267 Yes, Jesus loves me. The Songster message of the morning was the song ” Carry the Light ”
The Bible reading Tony gave us was : 1 John 4:9-12
which was followed by the singing of Song 199 – Such love, pure as the whitest snow to tune : 845 – Such love , after each verse prayers were said for those that suffered brutality in this country & abroad, and for the members of the Salvation Army who work against Human Trafficking & Slavery. Tony told us that these things are happening in our local area and that we should be aware of that .
Tony’s Message : The miracle of indwelling love.
Tony explained that he loves old films, Black & White ones especially . These films were made long before Computerized special effects , and special photo techniques, and relied more on implying what was happening & suggestion of what was happening just off screen. The Morals of the audience were looked after by the Hayes Code , a set of moral standards protecting public decency . These days we live in a world where Love is a major driving factor in society , and being loved gives us security & comfort.
You might hear people saying ” if you Loved me you would do what I want” or on Remembrance Sunday people may say ” I love my Country” . If you are only ever seeing other people in Loving relationships it can be difficult in Romans 5:8 we read – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Tony said we can accept the Gift but it may atrophy, and he explained that he found things quite tough this summer, he knew God loved him, but he forgot to accept the gift.
We were asked ” what do you do with the gift you have from God ”
Tony Concluded with the observation that the most overlooked people in society are apparently shop checkout staff. Tony always makes a point of talking to the staff and asking for Gods Blessing on them as he leaves ..It is no more complicated than that , and we are all capable of showing Gods love this way
Our final song of the morning was Song: 169 – Here is love vast as the ocean to Tune: 396 Here is love
The afternoon meeting was in the form of a Songs of Praise led by Territorial Envoy Tony McClure. The songs had been chosen by members of the Pastoral Care Council. The lively march ‘Etibokoko Youth’ by the band started off the meeting followed by the song (SA 869) ‘I’ve found the pearl of greatest price’ chosen by YPSM (Young People’s Sergeant Major) Tracy Wood. Songster Leader Carolynn Woodman, after an opening prayer, gave several reasons why she had chosen the song ‘I stand amazed in the presence’ (SA 466) which had become her favourite after singing it at every International Staff Songster Saturday evening festival when she was a member of that group.
The Songsters’ contribution, ‘Cantar’, was what Carolynn called ‘a cross-over song’ in that it has no specific religious content but is good to sing and includes ‘Alleluia’ several times. The song is sung in Spanish. The bible reading was Psalm 84 read by TE Tony.
The Corps Sergeant Major (CSM) Tim Scott had chosen SA 986 ‘Valiant soldier marching to the fray’ for no particular reason other than he liked it. The Bandmaster’s choice for the band was the hymn tune arrangement ‘Amazing grace’ which, he pointed out was an American tune with a Scottish influence. TE Tony expanded further on the theme of God’s love and said that we needed to accept and work with this gift of love that God gives to us in whatever way it may lead. We have a place near God’s altar as does the sparrow (Psalm 84:2). Corps Treasurer Andy Smith chose the final song, SA 509, ‘O boundless Salvation’. TE Tony pronounced the Benediction.
Thanks to Jean Jones for the evening report