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It’s bright and early, or at least early enough, on Monday morning. It has been an exhausting weekend, but it’s been so worth while. I now sit facing my computer trying to capture the very essence of this year’s Commissioning Weekend for readers who couldn’t be there.
Before this weekend, I had no prior involvement in the Commissioning Weekend planning. I came in on this event relatively late in the game as I attended rehearsals on Thursday afternoon to get a sneak peak at the weekend’s performances for the Southern Spirit’s Twitter followers. Even so, four themes immediately jumped out at me, and as themes often do, they tied the entire Weekend’s events together in my mind.
The first theme I must mention is the most obvious as it is in the very session name (Prayer Warriors) of the cadets who were commissioned this Sunday, Prayer. This past weekend saw some of the most creative prayer presentations in the history of Commissioning, at least in my opinion.
The opening prayer for Session one, The World to Christ We Bring…With fervent Prayer, was a presentation of the Lord’s Prayer that Jude Gotrich organized with the Lawrenceville Corps. (watch now) This presentation was particularly moving because it was straight from the heart. Several participants prayed what was on their heart in their native tongue, ranging from Korean to Danish, an affect that was echoed on Sunday morning as the multilingual cadets presented their Prayer of the Nations.
Another intriguing prayer presentation this weekend was during Session two, The World to Christ We Bring…With Joyful Song. The opening prayer for this session was led by Major Elwood Delany as he prayed alongside his daughter, Major Patricia Bledsoe, granddaughter, then Cadet Andrea Hoover, and great-granddaughter, Savannah Hoover. It was truly an intergenerational prayer, and the coolest thing about it was that it took place from one of the auditorium’s Opera Boxes. Having attended many Commissioning Weekends from the time I was a small child, I thought the staging of this prayer was inventive because it had never been done before. Just when I thought I had seen it all…
Upstairs at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, Commissioning attendees found the Lord’s Prayer Experience. This was a modified version of a prayer room that was designed by Laura Boutchyard. The Lord’s Prayer Experience was set up like a gallery, and went through the Lord’s Prayer word-by-word to really dissect the meaning and to offer space for meditation. First year cadets were on duty during session breaks to offer prayer counseling at the Lord’s Prayer Experience. (watch now)
Prior to this weekend, a devotional book was compiled from e-mails that Commissioner Max Feener sent out to all officers. It was named Prayer and offered outside of the Lord’s Prayer Experience. The book is full of wonderful devotionals about what it is to pray, and how to pray. This devotional book is available in PDF format on the Ministry Toolkit (download now)
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