Bethel Church Celebrates Ordination With Alaskan Style

As their love for the Lord grew fervently, some of the new members of the Bethel Church in Alaska pledged themselves to work in the Lord’s service by accepting church offices.

It was unknown to some of them that the offices of deacon and deaconess normally calls for ordination. Because the church wanted this occasion to be extraordinary, it was planned to have the candidates wear kuspuk tops (a hooded overshirt with a large front pocket commonly worn among Alaska Natives). Enthusiastic members got material for the outfits and made them at home to ensure they had enough kuspuks so that all, including Vecous Waite, the Arctic Mission Adventure leader, and his wife, Loretta, would have a traditional garment to wear.

It was a long-awaited occasion for the four officers. On Sabbath, March 24, 2018, during the afternoon session of the annual camp meeting, they were ordained for service. The four officers were called to sit in the front row of the church. Although not all of those who were ordained were Alaska Natives, they felt honored to wear this special outfit.

The event was spiritual, and the room was permeated with joy. Pastors Steve Huey from the North Pacific Union Conference in Ridgefield, Wash., and Steve Everson, representing the Alaska Conference, charged the candidates and explained the roll of the office. This was followed by the prayer of consecration by Huey, Everson and Tobin Dodge, pastor. All elders present joined the pastors in the laying on of hands.

The ordination became the highlight of the camp meeting, which was electrified with heavenly music. The members so enjoyed the quality of music and the joy it brought to the attendees, they asked the guests to stay in Bethel after camp meeting or return soon.    

Featured in: June 2018