Good News!

Fellowship of the Silver Star honors parents

The cadets of the Disciples of the Cross session make it to Commissioning Weekend as a result of much support, prayer, guidance, and mentoring from parents and other influential people in their lives.

On Friday evening at the Hershey Lodge, the cadets honored them at the Fellowship of the Silver Star Dinner.

The Fellowship, which was begun in 1930 by General Evangeline Booth, includes parents and designated spiritual parents and mentors who have helped shape the lives of the cadets.

During the dinner, three preselected cadets publicly acknowledged their parents, while other cadets honored their parents at individual tables by reading heartfelt testimonies to them.

Commissioner E. Sue Swanson and Colonel G. Lorraine Bamford then presented Silver Star certificates to each parent.

Cadet Justin Barter said that his mom, Major Judy Barter, was a “mother” to everyone in the corps and showed them “the same love God has for His children.”

“Mom, I know what compassion looks like because of you,” Barter said.

Cadet Allison Ward talked about her mother, Linda, overcoming several health issues.

“You’ve shown me God is still in the miracle business,” Ward said. “The joy you have in the midst of trial is unbelievable.”

Cadet Janelle Lewis honored her mother, Perdetha Watson, who she said represented “strength, sacrifice, courage, and service to others.”

Lewis said her mother, a detective with the Philadelphia Police Department, taught her to dream big and to be a leader.

“It’s because of her example that all of my siblings serve the Lord,” Lewis said. “It’s because of you that I serve others today.”

Commissioner Jolene Hodder, who leads the Kenya West Territory along with Commissioner Kenneth Hodder, delivered a devotional thought, quoting several verses about stars from Psalms.

Hodder said her daughter and husband used to lie in the backyard on a blanket and look up at the stars. In rural Kenya, the stars are very visible at night.

“The sky is literally full of tiny points of light,” she said.

Her daughter is grown now, but she says Commissioner Kenneth Hodder still goes out and lets his iPhone tell him the names of the stars.

“I, too, agree the stars are beautiful and amazing, but it’s even more amazing to think that God our creator set all those stars in place,” she said. “He cares for the billions of stars in the galaxy, yet He cares for each one of us.

“The God of the universe not only knows the cadets in this room today, but He has singled these stars out to stand for Him—to shine brightly for Him, to lead others to serve Him. What an amazing privilege that is. Cadets, we are very proud of you.”

Hodder also quoted Daniel 12:3, “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”

“Parents, today we honor you,” Hodder said. “So let your light shine and give praise to the One who has made tonight possible, the creator and Lord of all. May God bless all of the stars this evening.”

by Robert Mitchell

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