"Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever" (2 Chronicles 20: 21) was the verse on the card distributed by MSS members to members of the congregation at Morwell Corps on the first Sunday in May. But the mission of the MSS is more than just leading in worship; it also uses its message to challenge and inspire.
Holy Spirit, You Are Welcome Here set the tone for morning worship. However, it soon became apparent that something fishy was happening! Arthur Drummond's children's story highlighted that successful fishing requires patience; in the same way, becoming God's special person is a lifetime task.
This was followed by Mel Kaus presenting the reading from John 21, where Jesus instructed the disciples, after a night's unsuccessful fishing, to cast the nets on the other side of the boat. David Summerton followed the reading with sharing his testimony, and then the MSS presented a group of songs which challenged the congregation to be persistent when facing difficult times.
Paul Hamilton's expertise with the fly-fishing rod, and Craig Minty's skill with the surf-fishing rod, were used by Executive Officer Major Pam Marshall to introduce the significance of the reading, that obedience to God brings blessings. However, this requires humility (we do not always know the answers) and, as the previous songs reminded us, God's resources continue long after ours are exhausted.
The Morwell Corps Band, augmented by some MSS players, assisted with worship, which concluded with Rutter's benediction.
The Morwell Corps served a hearty lunch, and there was time for informal fellowship before Corps Officer, Lieut Ashley Proctor, welcomed all to the PSA.
The music presented covered a wide range of styles, and included Today is the Day, Come Unto Me, Yes, Jesus Loves Me, Christ in the Garden, Nothin' Gonna Stumble My Feet, and Alleluia.
Major Pam used the bracket We are Marching, Shine on Us and Taking a Stand to challenge the congregation to be aware of parochialism, and to embrace the challenge of General Booth's "I'll Fight!" speech.
She referred to the words of Leo Buscaglia, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around”, and linked these to the words in Matthew 25, to caution the listeners against underestimating the power of "small" actions. Further, the power of the cross helps us in "taking a stand".
The MSS timbrellists and barbershop quartette also contributed to the afternoon, and the most recent member, Murray May, shared his testimony.
It is a privilege for the MSS members to share with Corps throughout the territory, and to encourage those who are the face of the Salvos in their communities.