Due to the COVID-19 Virus, Arts + Music Festival, Commissioning 2020 has been cancelled

Commissioning 2020

June 12-14, 2020
The Miller High Life Theatre
500 West Kilbourn Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53203

Commissioning Schedule

View the commissioning schedule to preview the full list of meetings, events, worship, celebrations, and more!

Please be advised, schedule is subject to change

Trade Central

Trade Central and the Museum Exhibits will be located in the Hilton Milwaukee City Center Hotel, Crystal Ballroom on the 5th Floor.

Come and grab a cup of Coffee at our Coffee Station and a Donut in the Museum for National Donut Day as you make your way through the Store and the Exhibits.


Friday, June 7
1:00pm – 6:00pm
10:00pm – 11:00pm

Saturday, June 8
1:00pm – 5:00pm

Hospitality Room

Stop by the Hospitality Room, which will be located in the Hilton Milwaukee City Center Hotel, Empire Ballroom, right off the Main Lobby.

A great location for continued Fellowship, Conversation and Prayer

Friday, June 7
2:00pm – 6:00pm
10:00pm – 12:00am

Saturday, June 8
1:00pm – 5:00pm
10:00pm – 12:00am

This summer the Central Territory will celebrate the Live Music in Worship in Every Corps by 2020 (LM2020) initiative with a Music and Arts Festival, June 11-14, 2020. The event will showcase success stories from each division, feature many of the territory’s best music and arts groups, honor those engaged in providing worship in their corps and adult rehabilitation centers, and encourage a commitment to expand the training of local leaders to sustain live music in worship.

Since 2011 the territory has engaged members of our worshipping communities in music and arts, emphasizing the quality of Sunday morning worship matters in every corps, adult rehabilitation center and Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, recognizing not only the difference it makes for individuals but entire congregations.

The Music and Arts Festival will be filled with opportunities for worship, fellowship and learning. You won’t want to miss interactive gatherings like The Gospel Experience, a form of Jesus Theater ministry engaging the entire audience, or Worship Circles, an uninterrupted time of praise and prayer open to instrumentalists and worshippers. Other concurrent programs will feature corps musicians, artists and dancers and an opportunity to see and hear the winners of the online Territorial Solo Competition.

Among the amazing vocal groups featured during the weekend will be the newly formed Central Territorial Staff Songsters. In addition, a United Chorus composed of Salvationists from across the territory will take center stage. The chorus is open to anyone in the territory; look for three opportunities to rehearse its items with the International Staff Songsters as they tour the territory in April. The festival itinerary also will include a United Kroc Youth Choir.

Both the keynote Friday evening and the Saturday evening sessions will celebrate LM2020 success stories and ensembles from across the Midwest. The Saturday morning session will feature youthful music and artists, including the Territorial Youth Band, Territorial Youth Chorus and the Territorial Worship Collective.

The Chicago Staff Band, the Bill Booth Theater Company and The Singing Company will contribute
throughout the weekend. There also will be a few surprise “flash” events mingled around the five united meetings that you won’t want to miss!

The weekend will culminate with a Sunday morning family worship experience which will include the
Commissioning and Ordination of the Messengers of the Kingdom session of cadets. The festival will conclude that afternoon with a Sending Out meeting that will include charges to music and arts local leaders and the territory’s Summer Mission Teams and the appointments of the new lieutenants.

The Worship Circle
By Josh Turner

The idea of a Worship Circle emanates from worship leader, teacher, and blogger Dan Wilt. The idea is to find a room that has rich acoustics and set up in a small circle, with concentric rings radiating from the one in the center. Having organized a packet of music, get as many people playing and singing in that space as possible. Worship Circles create multigenerational community of believers where young learn from old, where one voice can encourage another to sing, where
people feel safe, comfortable, and where all are able to participate freely in worship.

As I have been exploring the use of Worship Circles, I have felt convicted about what is, and is not happening in our Sunday worship services. First is that many worship team leaders and members struggle with the difference between a music performer and a worship leader. Second, many congregations are just not singing. I have read countless “how to” articles on
getting my congregation to sing with “best practices” for worship leaders and teams. These articles often talk about turning down the sound system, choosing keys that are singable for the congregation, making sure the drummer isn’t playing too loud, or suggesting to the electric guitar player that the entire song shouldn’t be a solo praise offering. With the advent of streaming services and other on-demand options in our society, many approach Church as another way to be entertained. This
ntertainment mentality promotes the struggle between music performer and worship leader. Out of these convictions, I felt moved to lead a worship circle. To break away from words on screen,
cool stage lighting, set design, and fog machines and bring it back to a homey, living room feel for worship.

The idea of a worship circle for me, builds on what Dan Wilt teaches and it comes from the idea of a choir in a circle. The beauty and community of trust that a circle builds as the choir rehearses and performs together. They are no longer individual voices singing the same song, but rather the blend from around the room to radiate as one voice of praise, the Body of Christ, the Church. The circle has no hierarchy. Thereby, there is no stage to separate the performer from the spectator, and it becomes not about entertainment. By physically turning our bodies and changing our point of view, we are able to break down the performance-based barriers of music making as entertainment. We are able to freely focus, and together, organically worship the Audience of One.

In a Worship Circle, the arrangement or the structure of a song does not restrict us, as we intermingle read scripture and have time for personal and corporate prayer. If the Worship Circle feels led to sing the verse, chorus, or bridge again, or if we come to a point where silence abounds, we embrace these moments. In a Worship Circle, we see people all around us with voices and instruments filling up the space between us. As we come together, we are a multigenerational body
of believers corporately proclaiming that He is Creator, Awesome, Great, Worthy, Above All Others, and that we will build our lives on His truth. The truth that this is His world and we are His people, that he has conquered the grave, that He is faithful, compassionate, and pardons us from our sins and griefs that He bears. This is why we worship Him, for who He is and the battle he has already won on our behalf.

In this past year, I had the privilege to lead worship circles from 20 people to over 300. I am discovering that often a worship circle can have greater impact on a smaller congregation. I encourage our corps and centers to try a Worship Circle and allow our transformative God to move in our congregations and communities.


All of the Central Territory’s summer camps are successfully using Jesus Theater. This dramatic art form relies on movement, music and the spoken word in effectively presenting the Gospel to hundreds of young people across our territory each summer. Fresh, innovative ways of presenting Jesus Theater beyond camp are emerging, allowing for a wider audience. There will be multiple opportunities to take in one such expression by attending The Gospel Experience at our June Music and Arts Festival.

The Gospel Experience is an interactive worship experience that focuses a group of people on a meditation of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, with personal application to their lives through salvation, healing, deliverance and sanctification.

This experience involves the participation of attendees in basic actions designed to position people to worship Jesus with their bodies, minds, wills, and emotions. It is a unique worship experience, as it requires creative participation that can position people to encounter God in new ways.

A director facilitates the experience serving as a worship leader in coordinating the music, prompts on the screen, and participation of the audience. The room is generally cleared of chairs, with a large cross at the center that serves as the focal point for the experience. A handful of people are prepped for specific roles (such as musicians), but most of the roles are introduced at the time of the experience without a rehearsal ahead of time.

People encounter the love of Jesus in significant ways. The interactive meditation on Jesus is like a red carpet for the powerful work of the Holy Spirit to penetrate hearts and lives. As a result of The Gospel Experience, people have been saved, re-committed their lives to Christ, received a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit, and testified of healing and freedom experienced.

The Gospel Experience is an invitation to come face to face with the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and discover what Jesus wants to do in our lives today.

Are you a Rising Star? Then do not miss the opportunity to be part of Rising Stars Festival 2020!
This territorial video solo festival will allow our “rising stars” to come into the spotlight, with the territorial winners invited to perform live at the June Music and Arts Festival, as part of the Central Territory’s Live Music 2020 Celebration.

Soloists may participate in any of six areas, according to their current M.A.P. Level:

  •  BRASS – Levels One through Four
  • VOICE – Levels One through Four
  • PIANO – Levels One through Four
  • GUITAR – Levels One through Four
  • PERCUSSION – Levels One through Four
  • UKELELE – Level One

Look for details and a listing of the required solo for each category and level, posted at SAMusicCentral.org. Video solo submissions are due in the Territorial Music Department by April 15, 2020, with results revealed by May 1. Outstanding soloists will be selected to perform at the June 2020 Music and Arts Festival in Milwaukee.

All ten Central Territory divisions are aware of the possibilities for the video territorial solo festival – we are calling Rising Stars! Use of the video format allows involvement from all stretches of our territory. Participation in Rising Stars encourages the personal development of our youth musicians beyond weekly ensemble rehearsals. The Rising Stars Solo Festival looks to motivate our youthful musicians to work toward doing their best in developing their talents to glorify God, and ultimately, bringing a message and blessing in Sunday morning worship and outreach. To make this happen, corps leaders and officers will expand opportunities for our young musicians to share their talents throughout the year at their corps.