Vol 11 No. 10 Ordination Examining Council: Vancouver, BC

 

Dear Friends

We engage every year in a wonderful process known as Ordination Examining Council. Let me draw your attention to a simple explanation of ordination and its process; this piece has been worked on over the years by Wayne Larson, Steve Simala Grant, and Laura Nelson in their roles as Chair of the Council.

Ordination and it’s Processes

One of the most serious aspects of our life together as Baptists in Western Canada is the examination of Candidates for ordination to the gospel ministry. Under Baptist polity, and in keeping with our understanding of the nature of the church, the ordination of a Candidate is the prerogative of the local church, while the official recognition of the Candidate is the prerogative of Canadian Baptist.

From the local church the call for ordination is issued; to the local church the recommendations of the Examining Council are returned; on those recommendations the local church acts. The church convenes the Service of Ordination and on its behalf those who have been previously ordained to the gospel ministry join with members of the local church to lay on hands, with prayer, for the plenitude of the Spirit and His gifts in thus setting apart a man or a woman to a life of ministry in the church.

But, although ordination is at the request, under the auspices, and by the authority of the local church, it is the custom in Baptist churches to request the fellowship of sister churches in this solemn act. To this end, sister churches are invited to send representatives to an Examining Council. Previously ordained ministers take part in the ordination service; and the Regional Minister normally conducts the service so that all may see that the universal church has a share in the solemn act of a local church.

In Canadian Baptists of Western Canada, by mutual agreement of the churches and areas, and at their request, the denomination convenes a central Examining Council each year. This council is composed of representatives elected by the Regional Executives or Advisory Groups, the elected officers of Assembly (President and Vice-Presidents), up to two representatives from a Candidate’s local church, the Executive Minister and the staff ministers (Regional Ministers and the Director of the Graduate Internship Program) who are non-voting members of the Council.

The Co-Chairs and Secretary of the Council are appointed by the Credentials Committee of Canadian Baptists of Western Canada. The Co-Chairs are responsible to ensure that questions are clear, that the Candidate is not harassed, that communication between both Council and Candidate is open, and that the business is conducted in an impartial and orderly manner.

Candidates are invited to the Ordination Examining Council at the request of the local church on the recommendation of the area in which the Candidate serves and by the approval of the Ministerial Credentials Committee when they have satisfied all requirements of the Ministerial Ordination Standards and Procedures (MOS&P).

This has always been a community event. We have representatives from the three regions, staff, and Board. This year’s council has been broken into two; when we get closer to Assembly and the Alberta and Heartland OEC, we will talk about their process. But for now, let me introduce you to the folk that are on the Vancouver / Carey OEC.

O.E.C. Co-Chairpersons: Rev. Laura Nelson and Rev. Ward Cowie

O.E.C. Recording Secretary (non-voting) Ms. Shelby Gregg

CBWC Executive Staff (non-voting members)

Rev. Jeremy Bell, Executive Minister (voting member)

Rev. Dennis Stone, Alberta Regional Minister

Rev. Mark Doerksen, Heartland Regional Minister

Rev. Rob Ogilvie, BCY Regional Minister

 

Graduate Internship Process Coordinator (non-voting)

Rev. Axel Schoeber, Carey Theological College

 

CBWC Table Officers: (voting members)

Rev. Michael Hayes, Vice-President of Finance

 

Elected or Appointed Regional Representatives: (voting members)

Alberta Regional Representatives:

Rev. Patrick Schoenberger, Medicine Hat, AB

Ms. Linda Rochow, Calgary, AB

Rev. Jason Johnson, High River, AB

 

BC/Yukon Regional Representatives:

Ms. Nora Walker, Victoria, BC

Rev. Cal Malena, Prince George, BC

Rev. Greg Anderson, Whitehorse, YK

Rev. Fay Puddicombe, White Rock, BC (Alternate)

 

Heartland Regional Representatives:

Rev. Kayely Rich, Regina, SK

Rev. Mel Konkel, Moosimin, SK

Rev. Paul Stade, Brandon, MB

 

And let me introduce you to the candidates who are presenting themselves before the Council this week:

Ray Smit, Qualicum Beach Community Baptist

Steve Bailey, First Baptist Kelowna

Chris Pollock, Mustard Seed, Victoria

David Lee, Living Hope Fellowship, Burnaby

David Wang, Broadmoor Baptist, Richmond

Winston Pratt, West Point Grey Baptist, Vancouver

Bill Cottrill, First Baptist Church, Port Alberni

 

The task of the OEC is not to rubber stamp what has been decided by a local church or a regional interview committee, but it is to sincerely discern and enquire of the candidate in an ongoing process. Again, let me quote the Ordination Process document from our chairs.

The Task of the Ordination Examining Council is to determine the general suitability of a Candidate both as to his/her beliefs and as to his/her interpersonal abilities for the gospel ministry and to make a free decision regarding approval for ordination, under the leadership of the Spirit. The OEC will, after a vote, make one of the following recommendations for each Candidate:

It commends the Candidate in question to the local church for ordination to the Gospel Ministry;

It recommends to the local church a program of additional study or experience for the Candidate before proceeding with ordination;

It does not recommend that the local church proceed with ordination.

The Co-Chair and/or Secretary of the Council shall report the recommendations to the Assembly (or to the CBWC Board in the year when Assembly is not held), for approval. On approval, the Secretary will advise the local church that Ordination is recommended and that it may proceed to ordain the Candidate in question.

Please keep these explanations in hand, because I shall refer to them next month when we speak of the AB / Heartland process where we will also include a section on steps to ordination before appearing at the OEC.

This week is a very busy week and we ask for your prayers. OEC is followed by the CBWC Board meeting, in preparation for the upcoming Assembly. Please pray for all those who are here this week.

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