‘God’s Promise’ is theme of South’s upcoming online worship services
By: Brad Rowland
Church buildings remain closed in many parts of the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving many searching for outlets to express themselves through worship. To that end, virtual worship gatherings are emerging in popularity and, beginning on Sunday, May 17, The Salvation Army’s Southern Territory will launch a four-week series of online services aimed at uniting around the overarching theme of “God’s Promise.”
Many corps within the Southern Territory are producing weekly services in similar form, or even visiting virtually on multiple occasions throughout the week. With that in mind, the territory-wide services are not meant as a replacement, but rather a complement to what is already in existence, as well as an option for corps that may desire to utilize the territorial offering as a centerpiece of their online worship.
“We’ve been so pleased and blessed by the dozens of corps across the territory who have prepared online services for their soldiers and communities,” said Lt. Colonel Eddie Hobgood, territorial program secretary. “We have tried to watch as many of them on Sunday as we could.”
“There were some requests that came to territorial leadership asking if we would consider planning and executing several territorial online services, especially for corps who could not do their own. We thought this was an excellent idea, and Major Anne Westmoreland volunteered to head this up for us.”
Each weekly installment of the series will be available for download on Ministry Toolkit, allowing officers and staff to share them as they see fit across the Southeast. In addition, a streaming “premiere” event will take place each Sunday morning on the Southern Territory’s YouTube channel, with the video then archived for future viewing.
Corps and divisions are encouraged to share the gatherings, which will feature music, arts and other worship elements, on their social media channels. This will allow soldiers across the territory to come together in corporate worship, even if not necessarily digesting the service itself at the exact same time.
The first edition of the series, arriving on May 17, centers on “The Promise of Joy,” with Lieutenant James Harvin, corps officer of the Chattanooga, Tennessee, 614 Corps, as the featured speaker. From there, “The Promise of Prayer” is scheduled for May 24, with Joy Lee, soldier of the Landmark, Virginia, Corps, set to speak.
May 31 is Pentecost Sunday, with Major Wilma Mason, executive administrative assistant to the territorial secretary for personnel, speaking on “The Promise of Power.” Finally, June 7 will focus on “The Promise of Hope,” with Commissioner Barbara Howell, territorial president of women’s ministries, as the speaker to conclude the series.
“We’re excited to use officers and soldiers from across the territory to lead us in worship over these coming weeks,” said Lt. Colonel Hobgood. “These services aren’t meant to replace what any corps is doing, but to unite the territory and perhaps even give some of our officers and soldiers who have been doing these services week after week a little break and a chance to worship and have their own spirits fed.”
“We pray these services will bring us all a little closer together.”