Approximately 4,000 Salvationists will gather June 9-11, 2017, for the Forward Together Congress with General André and Commissioner Silvia Cox. Here’s a preview of what’s in store:
General André and Commissioner Silvia Cox
You’ll want to hear first-hand what’s on the hearts of our worldwide leaders, General André and Commissioner Silvia Cox. Having visited our territory in 2014, they endeared themselves to Centralites with solid biblical messages and a bold vision for our Army but also with their down-to-earth, approachable style.
During the Saturday morning meeting celebrating 20 New Corps and the World Services/Self-Denial Ingathering, General André Cox will conduct the official retirement ceremony of our territorial leaders Commissioners Paul R. and Carol Seiler. Having served in the Central Territory for the last 11 years, they’ve led us in moving the mission forward with great strides. This meeting is open to the public and doesn’t require pre-registration. Everyone is invited to attend.
Run for the World
Lace up your shoes and join the 5K Run for the World on Saturday morning! It’s estimated that up to 400 Salvationists will participate in this effort that raises funds for World Services/Self-Denial. Come power up with breakfast carbs, enjoy music and get your day started with a walk or run along the Prairie Stone Nature Trail and still be done in time for the morning meeting. Watch the commissioning website for details and be sure to pre-register.
Trek on over to Trade
A trek over to Central Territorial Headquarters to visit Trade Central will be worth your while. You’ll find lots of resources for personal spiritual growth and every facet of Salvation Army operations. Try on the newest uniform shirts, blouses and active wear, try out musical instruments in the Chicago Staff Band studio or thumb through the new Salvation Army Song Book with New Testament. Join the Territorial Historical Museum to participate in fun history “make and take” family projects then visit museum exhibits showcasing The Salvation Army’s ministry in the Central Territory, with a special feature exhibit about the Army’s work in World War I. Up to 30 exhibitors will complement Trade’s offerings. Within walking distance of the Sears Centre, Trade Central will be open Friday, 8:15 a.m.-7:00 p.m. (exhibits open at 1:00 p.m.) and Saturday, noon-7:00 p.m. (same exhibit hours). Preceding Congress, Trade will have extended hours on Thursday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
A highlight of the Congress is sure to be British singing sensation Salvationist Charlie Green, who will be featured throughout the event. Many of you will remember his amazing performance at the International Boundless Congress in London. Charlie came to the world’s attention in 2008 at the young age of 10 on the popular TV show, “Britian’s Got Talent,” which garnered him more than 4.5 million hits on YouTube. Since then he’s performed all over the world. In 2014 he recorded his first Salvation Army CD, I will sing praise, and this past Christmas he sang in the Army’s Christmas Carol Concert at prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London.
20 New Corps Initiative
Saturday morning’s meeting will be more dynamic than ever as we celebrate the progress of the 20 New Corps initiative with General André and Commissioner Silvia Cox. You’ll be amazed at how your sacrificial giving and creative fundraisers are making an impact in the 12 territories and regions where corps are being built or renovated all to the glory of God.
Territorial Youth Councils/Rally with the General
Youth will unite for a Territorial Youth Councils during the Forward Together Congress. On Saturday afternoon at the Sears Centre General André and Commissioner Silvia Cox will lead a rally designed especially to celebrate our youth and leaders. Afterglows on Friday and Saturday nights will offer fun, food and fellowship.
This year’s Commissioning and Ordination Service and Service of Appointments will have a new look, in part due to the meetings being held in a new venue but also because our international leaders will be with us for this wonderful occasion. With a diverse session of cadets, you’ll notice the meetings incorporating a strong multicultural focus. Also, look for a little variation in the Parade of Session Flags this year. Be sure and note the times of the Sunday meetings as they have changed. The Commissioning and Ordination Service will begin at 9:00 a.m., with the Service of Appointments right on its heels at 11:30 a.m. Everyone should be headed home by 1:00 p.m.!
Picnic, Concerts and Activities on the Green
The Village Green, a park space between the Sears Centre and Territorial Headquarters will be the gathering place Saturday afternoon. Food, music and ministry groups from around the territory and enriching activities for every age will create a fair-like atmosphere of joyful fellowship. Those who attend the public Saturday morning meeting will be provided lunch vouchers to pick up a hot meal from a food vendor on the Green. Food and snacks for purchase will be available from local vendors. During the early afternoon, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and greet our international and territorial leaders. Activities will conclude at 4:30 p.m., with ample time to grab dinner at a near-by restaurant with the gift card provided every registered delegate!
Inspiring music and drama
Come ready to be blessed time and again by the territory’s premier performing groups throughout the weekend, including the Chicago Staff Band (CSB), Bill Booth Theater Company (BBTC), The Singing Company and the newest groups the Territorial Youth Band and Chorus.
The world-renowned CSB will anchor the Congress. Led by Bandmaster Harold Burgmayer, this 33-member brass band represents the best of Salvation Army music ministry with pieces that entertain and inspire.
Other special music will be provided by the Eastern Michigan Divisional Band which consists of bandsmen and women from corps with outstanding musical heritages like Flint Citadel, Port Huron, Dearborn Heights and Royal Oak. The Royal Oak Corps Songsters, one of the premier songster brigades in the territory, also will be on duty, as well as the United Singing Company comprised of more than 200 youth, ages 7-16, from every division.
Using drama to drive home spiritual truths, the BBTC might move you to tears sometimes and at others times have you laughing out loud. For more than 13 years they’ve been delighting audiences with their quick wit and clever programming.
With well-known songwriter Phil Laeger, the territorial praise band The Singing Company will lead delegates in lifting their voices in heartfelt praise with contemporary, original and Salvation Army Song Book favorites.
Representing some of the most talented young musicians in the territory, The Territorial Youth Band and Chorus, which debuted in 2014, will demonstrate why the future of music in the territory shines bright!
General André Cox was born in 1954 whilst his Salvation Army officer parents were serving in Zimbabwe. The fact that the General was born in Africa to an English father and Swiss mother makes him feel very much at home when working in different cultural settings.
Following his marriage to Silvia Volet, they entered the International Training College in London, England, and were commissioned as Salvation Army officers in 1979 returning to serve in corps appointments in Switzerland. From there, with three small daughters, Myriam, Esther and Sarah, they were appointed to the Zimbabwe Territory. Whilst in Harare, Captain André Cox held various headquarters appointments including that of Public Relations Secretary and Finance Secretary.
Returning to Switzerland the Coxes were appointed to the Switzerland, Austria and Hungary Territorial Headquarters and during their eight years of service in Bern, Major André Cox was appointed as the Secretary for Communications and then as the Secretary for Business Administration. This was a key time in his personal development due to the heightened exposure to many aspects of Salvation Army management and administration. Over the years has grown an increasing belief that the handling of the business matters relating to The Salvation Army needs to be conducted to the highest ethical and management standards as a true reflection of sound biblical stewardship.
Subsequent territorial leadership in Finland and Estonia, Southern Africa and the United Kingdom with the Republic of Ireland have deepened General André’s belief that:
‘Although it is not by our works that we are saved, what we have received and believe must translate into our everyday lives. We cannot escape the reality and the inseparable link between belief and behaviour. The two must go hand in hand if our Christian witness is to be authentic and meaningful. If it is true that we belong to God, that we are building for his Kingdom for eternity by sharing the truth of the gospel then it must also be reflected in our daily living.’
From his appointment as Chief of the Staff, he was elected the 20th General of The Salvation Army on August 3, 2013. General Cox shares his ministry with his wife, Commissioner Silvia Cox, who is the World President of Women’s Ministries.
Along with his wife, the General has a strong sense of family. They are very proud of their daughters with their respective husbands and also their grandchildren, Rebecca, Lily, Leona, Wendy, Kevin and Kiana.
Commissioners Paul R. and Carol Seiler became USA Central territorial leaders on May 1, 2010. Immediately preceding this appointment they served as Chief Secretary and as Secretary for Women’s Ministries and Territorial Coordinator for Strategic Mission Planning, respectively, in the Central Territory which is comprised of 11 Midwestern states.
Paul’s childhood and upbringing as the son of career corps officers convinced him of the importance of frontline ministry. He met Carol while attending the Hollywood Tabernacle, CA, Corps. They were married and entered the Western Territory’s School for Officer Training in Los Angeles, CA. Commissioned in 1981, they were appointed as Leeward, HI, Corps Officers.
In 2000, after 13 years in finance and management, Paul was appointed as Divisional Commander for the Cascade Division (Oregon and most of Idaho). Two years later he became Secretary for Personnel for the Western Territory, during which time he served on the National Personnel Commission and was instrumental in moving the Army forward with innovative changes. In 2004 Paul was appointed as Divisional Commander of the Southern California Division, one of the most diverse expressions of Salvation Army service, sharing the gospel each Sunday in six languages.
Paul has a bachelor’s of science degree in management and a master’s degree in business administration.
Carol is a native Canadian with dual citizenship. She worked as a public health nurse in Canada and at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and the Neuro-Psychiatric Institute at UCLA before becoming an officer. She has a master’s degree in nursing with a Family Nurse Practitioner certification, which she still utilizes in volunteer work.
As Divisional League of Mercy Secretary in Los Angeles, she was instrumental in developing the first AIDS shelter program, Bethesda House. In 1994 she was appointed Social Services Secretary for the Southern California Division and later held this position in the Northwest and Cascade divisions. In 2002 she was appointed as Assistant Chief Secretary for Strategic Planning for the Western Territory and in 2004 as Divisional Strategic Initiatives Coordinator for the Southern California Division. As Central Territorial Coordinator for Strategic Mission Planning, she’s been involved in Kroc Center development.
The Seilers have two married daughters, who with their husbands are committed Christians, and six grandchildren. Carol and Paul enjoy walking, jogging, and biking together.
Know before you go for taxi service: 1. DO NOT TAKE A CITY CAB TO THE SUBURBS. They are the first lane at each airport arrival. Your fare easily could be double what a suburban cab fare would be. 2. Have all your luggage before calling to order your suburban taxi. You can pre-order a cab before you arrive, but you still need to call your cab company AFTER you have all your luggage. Courtesy phones available at baggage claim also. 3. Proceed to the suburban taxi pick-up area - middle area curb next to the middle (2nd) lane. Do not wait for your cab right outside the exit doors. Again, this area is for city cab pick-ups only. 4. Look for your cab number that was given to you from your cab company after picking up your luggage. Be patient, due to terminal traffic, you may need to wait 10-15 minutes before your cab arrives.
Subject to change
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