By Major Frank Duracher
Southern Spirit staff
ffective prayer is a serious matter
to a group of soldiers in Morehead City, N.C., led by Captains Mark and Sherry
Czanderna. The soldiers there call their ministry "the corps by the
shore." They put feet on their prayers by extending themselves far beyond
the corps walls - into neighborhoods and even the beaches of this seaside
The corps itself is not old, having been in existence for
less than 10 years. But numerical growth has been steady lately, more than
tripling in size in the last few years.
that to prayer, and lots of it," said Captain Mark Czanderna. "We
literally want to draw people into our fellowship, because folks have an innate
need for communing with God. People want to pray for others, and they want
others to pray for them as well."
Prayer requests are
constantly brought to everyone's attention in corps programs throughout the
week. From Corps Cadet classes to Home League meetings, the first order of
business is to update everyone on prayer concerns, followed by corporate and
individual prayer for each item.
Some groups devote
themselves for prayer time throughout the week, and when weather permits they
meet at a nearby ocean pier.
"We don't mind being
visible when we pray. In fact we want to be a witness to as many as possible.
The pier and beach are popular gathering places for locals and tourists, and
often we are joined by otherwise total strangers," Czanderna said.
When they are not praying while meeting at the pier, the group has
a Bible study using the "Easter to Easter" material.
"We also have a group called the ‘Acts Fellowship,'
meeting in soldiers' homes and inviting others in their neighborhoods to
join. A devotional period starts the meeting off, but a major portion is
devoted to prayer concerns. That has proven to be as important as the Bible
study itself," he said.
Czanderna added that Acts
Fellowship is intended to be an outreach ministry, open to anyone. Some of the
neighbors have even accepted invitations to attend services at the corps.
"We've found that for some people it can be uncomfortable
to go to a Bible study, as such - but most people are always open to share a
prayer request," he said.
One important component to
the corps family's prayer life is the Sunday morning practice of a special
season of prayer led by Joan Casey, whom Czanderna describes as "someone
who really knows how to pray."
Casey is the women's
ministries secretary and a Sunday school teacher for children. She cooks for
advisory board meetings and corps events. But her favorite role is
"encourager and prayer advocate" for her Salvation Army family. She
and her husband, CSM Harold Casey, are walking testimonies to the effectiveness
of fervent prayer (see related story). The Caseys also head a prayer chain
within the corps family, when an emergency requiring prayer arises that cannot
wait until Sunday.
She stays informed about prayer needs
throughout the week and reports these to the congregation before prayer is
offered for each request. Casey also opens the floor for testimonies to be
given for answered prayer.
YPSM Amy Jenkins keeps the
importance of prayer always before her youth groups. Her ministry to the
children and young adults of the corps is keeping the group intact and
attracting other youth into the fellowship.
prayer is vital to the growth of our corps," Captain Sherry Czanderna
said. "It is the keeping power that binds us
"We pray for people," she said. "When new
people visit, hopefully they see that we are not ‘playing church' but
are sincere about our beliefs and conviction that they should come to know
Christ as Savior and Lord."
ROOTS-South narrows the gap in fight against
By Brooke Turbyfill
Southern Spirit staff
t seemed wherever you went at
ROOTS-South 2007, delegates were talking about how to fight for people who are
impoverished and oppressed. This year's theme, "Dance upon
Injustice," was taken to new depths Jan. 12-15, 2007, when over 300
delegates at Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in Talladega, Ala., were
repeatedly asked to go beyond just dancing upon injustice, but to stand
alongside it and know its name.
Knowing the name of
injustice, said Friday night's speaker Aaron White, means referring to
impoverished as "poor people" rather than "the poor." His
aim along with other speakers - Majors Richard and Janet Munn and Commissioner
Max Feener - was to bring home the reality of suffering that many people endure
on a daily basis.
White contrasted the billions of dollars
that are spent annually in North America trying to fight the disease of obesity
with an illustration about witnessing poverty. He shared the story of his
friend in Mozambique who watched children on the side of the road eating dirt.
But even that story can seem far away to us, White inferred. "Instead of
saying, ‘I want to fight this oppression or that oppression,'"
he encouraged, "we need to say, ‘I want to fight that oppression in
Continuing to personalize the message to
dance upon injustice, Major Janet Munn led delegates in a recitation Saturday
morning of "While Women Weep." She applied Booth's declaration by
saying, "It's not right for me to live selfishly, to do what I want -
because I was bought for a price. Use your will to yield yourself deeply. I
While warriors were stirred in corporate
venues, 20 different seminars provided warfare strategies in the fight against
injustice. Bob and Vickie Poff informed delegates about the benefits of buying
fair trade products, and Major Mike Hawley, New Orleans, La., area commander,
challenged delegates to pray with faith. The Teen Venue used a contemporary
drama, "Jesus Walk," to urge teens toward total surrender. Graham
Kendrick and TransMission led worship, and a 24/7 prayer room encouraged
delegates to seek the Lord.
Special guest Aaron White
summarized the thread that bound the weekend's seminars and venues
together. "There is no worship without justice. There is no witness
without justice. There is no prayer without justice," he said.
For photos of ROOTS-South 2007, see pages