By Stan Friedman
SAN DIEGO, CA (February 8, 2013) – Donn Engebretson, who has overseen the past 15 Midwinter Conference events on behalf of the Evangelical Covenant Church, was honored on Thursday for his service as he transitions from his position as the denomination’s executive vice president to the newly created role of director for Global Advancement.
The position will principally focus on advancing support for the Covenant’s global initiatives through both church and donor partnerships, as well as resourcing congregations in stewardship planning.
Catherine Gilliard, chair of Advocates for Covenant Clergy Women, thanked Engebretson for championing the inclusion of women in ministry and making sure they played important roles at Midwinter Conferences and Annual Meetings. She said he had made it possible for women to “feel fully equipped, called and equal colleagues in our Ministerium.”
Tim Johnson, chair of the Covenant Ministerium, noted that Engebretson had served two decades as a local pastor, three years as executive minister of the Department of Ordered Ministry, and in his most recent position since 2001. He also has overseen 12 Annual Meetings and is currently president of the International Federation of Free Evangelical Churches.
“You are all about pursuing Christ’s mission in the world,” Johnson said. “It runs in your veins.”
Johnson presented Engebretson, an avid golfer, with a gift to play at Pebble Beach.
In reply, Engebretson spoke of another kind of gift. “It’s such an enormous gift that in God’s economy he allows people like us to make a contribution,” he said. “I know we don’t really get to choose our passions. God gives them to us. And God has given me a passion for this marvelous community of pastors and staff. And God has given me a passion for the Midwinter Conference, which we all inherited. It was a gift that was given to us in the church. It’s been so much fun. It’s been such a gift.”
Engebretson also was honored during a reception that followed Thursday evening’s worship service.