Sweet anointing of the Holy Spirit in USA Eastern

Chief of the Staff Commissioner Edward Hill and Commissioner Shelley Hill (World Secretary for Women’s Ministries) were the visiting leaders during the commissioning of the Defenders of Justice Session in the USA Eastern Territory in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on 7–9 June 2024.

A lush landscape and brilliant Pennsylvania sky were no match for the exuberance felt by as many as 2,000 Salvationists inside the conference centre at Hershey Lodge. Famed for its chocolate factory, Hershey is nicknamed ‘the sweetest place on earth’.

Indeed, there was a ‘sweet, sweet spirit’ in Hershey’s Great American Hall where the commencement, ordination, commissioning and appointment services took place. Colourful electronic displays and oscillating spotlights decorated the hall and augmented the sensational and inspiring music of the New York Staff Band, Unbound (USA Eastern’s contemporary worship band) and the Eastern Territory Staff Songsters. The sacred dance group MOVE also presented their dynamic worship.


Beyond the major events, reunions and special gatherings also occurred. In particular, territorial leaders Commissioners Ralph and Susan Bukiewicz, Chief of the Staff Commissioner Edward Hill and Commissioner Shelley Hill attended the Fellowship of the Silver Star luncheon. Since 1930, the luncheon has served as a time of deep appreciation for significant life mentors who have offered love, prayers and practical support.

During Friday-night festivities, Taya, the multi-platinum Christian recording artist, led the standing-room-only audience in a time of celebration, worship and heartfelt praise to the Lord Jesus Christ.

On Saturday, the Chief of the Staff spoke to a packed audience of Salvation Army youth. Although the mood was electrifying as the uniformed soldiers eagerly anticipated receiving awards for their Territorial Star Search competition performances in music and arts, he offered them a sobering message about the real meaning of stardom. He encouraged them to search for the ‘bright and morning star’ who is Jesus Christ.


Sunday was highlighted by a powerful message from the Chief of the Staff, who helped usher in a sweet anointing of the Holy Spirit. He spoke about the need for civility in the world, particularly among Christians who become tangled in popular but purposeless verbal battles on social media.

During a general session of commissioning attendees, Commissioner Shelley Hill shared encouraging news about how other areas of the world can experience successful ministry in challenging circumstances. She reminded the audience that generous World Services giving has resulted in life-changing and transformative outcomes throughout the Army world. She and the Chief of the Staff continued to illustrate the scope and the depth of ministries because of the commitment and compassion offered by officers and soldiers across the globe.

Warren L. Maye, editor-in-chief of SAconnects magazine and director of publications




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