3 comments Written on July 21st, 2015     
Filed under: Testimonies and Stories

Brian Wiele is Lead Pastor at River Ridge Covenant Church in Olympia, Washington, and serves as Chair of the Commission for Biblical Gender Equality for the Evangelical Covenant Church, which exists to equip the church to articulate the truth about Biblical equality regarding gender; and to advocate for women in ministry and leadership in all possible venues within the church. He recently spent time at CHIC (Covenant High In Christ) a youth conference of the ECC which takes place every three years.


I had every intention of sleeping on my flight to CHIC. I’m not a fan of flying before 6AM, but I felt it was best to accompany with the nine people attending from our church. My primary reason for participating in CHIC, however, was not to serve as one of their chaperones. Representing the Covenant’s Commission on Biblical Gender Equality, I was praying that God would direct me into meaningful encounters with students and leaders who sensed that God was calling them into vocational service.

Little did I sense that the first person would be on that flight.  Sitting in the row with me was a teenage girl heading to CHIC with her church from Redmond, Washington. A delightful young woman reading a very interesting book, she and I engaged in mostly small talk. I learned later, however, that on the next flight, she asked her youth pastor’s wife (Ali Hormann) about me.  She was thrilled to learn that there would be opportunities at CHIC to explore ministry, as she is sensing God’s call on her life.

Cathy KaminskiThis was just the first of several opportunities that surfaced during the week. The rest centered around the little table in The Hub where I sat each afternoon.  Admittedly, I was “luring” some to speak to me with the promise of a $15 I-tunes card.  Students were encouraged to write about why they love having a woman pastor or youth pastor, with the plan of giving out three cards on the last day. One of the winners, Pastor Kathy Kaminski of Trinity Covenant in Cincinnati, is pictured with some of her students. The other winners were Julie Portillo of Faith Covenant in Manistee, Michigan and Dawn Burnett of Celebration Covenant in Omaha, Nebraska.

My pre-CHIC Instagram tutorial paid off also.  On Wednesday afternoon, two young women came looking for me – one contemplating ministry and the other missions.  What a delight to encourage them and pray for them, to give them a newly reprinted copy of “Called & Gifted”, and to introduce them to representatives of North Park Seminary and Covenant World Mission.

What’s the point of a recap of CBGE’s week at CHIC2015? The week’s theme was SHIFT; 5800 people participated, every one of them encouraged to shift their life priorities, their perspectives, and their relationships with God and others. My hope is that multiple students will look back to this week and sense that a big shift took place for them, including many young women who heard God’s call to serve him wherever He might lead them.

One of the most powerful images imbedded on my mind – and a good way to sum up the week – was hearing a choir of thousands the popular chorus “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”. Please pray that these words from the song would represent the ongoing prayer for many, and that they might be led to serve God faithfully in the work of His kingdom!

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

3 comments “The CBGE at CHIC”

It was so encouraging to see the booth at CHiC, the pictures of young women excited to celebrate the call on their lives, and the encouragement for women pastors.  Thank you for being a part of this. 

Jo Ann

Report This Comment

Who is the author of Called and Gifted? I think I might be interested in reading this.

Report This Comment

Hi Carol Simmons — “Called & Gifted” was written by Sharon Cairns Mann as part of the Commission’s early work of education in this area. You can find a free downloadable copy on line at .  It’s a wonderful resource. 

Report This Comment

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog