Saturday, December 20, 2008

More problems with WBTA Policy Chair's c.v.

BCL points out some problems with the profile of WBTA policy chair, Sheldon Johnston, which claims that Johnston filed a complaint against the Forces over his rejection for its champlaincy program.

top copy
The problem? Johnston didn't win the case, as he claims. It was dismissed because he consistently disregarded its deadlines and seems to have lost interest in the case (read the details in the tribunal ruling). Nor does he seem to be correct in his claim that the case paved the way for others: there was already a Muslim chaplain appointed before the Tribunal had dealt with his case (CBC story here). Johnston's complaint did attract some attention, it was profiled in a lengthy feature in Christian Weekly (a copy is archived behind the thumb-nail to the right, and here), but it seems that no one in the military or the church community or the press regarded his complaint was valid. One thing is clear Johnston was not rejected because he was a Pentacostal, as he claimed — there were (as the Christian Weekly story makes clear) other Pentacostal chaplains in the Forces. Rather, it seems that he was rejected because he was underqualified and openings were few.
    Update. Rev. Johnston points out a National Post article on his complaint that he regards as fairer to himself which I've dug up and archived here for your reading pleasure.
There are, in any case, other oddities in his profile. Here is a snippit:
As you can see, the profile claims that after earning his Th.M. Johnston served as a minister of Grace Presbyterian Church in Castlegar in 2003-4.

The published proceedings of the 2004 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (pdf here, p. 585), however, reports the dissolution of Grace congregation in Castlegar on Nov. 14, 2003, and the proceedings of 2003 (pdf here, p. 668) report the Grace pastorage as 'vacant'. Both proceedings include a lengthy address list of all the denomination's professional church workers. In neither is a Sheldon Johnston listed.

Now, I'm sure there's an innocent explanation for this. But at the very least this speaks to a carelessness on the part of Rev. Johnston, something that is not a good thing in a policy chair.

Update.  Rev. Johnston's profile has been removed.  Here is what it looks like at 1 pm on Saturday, Dec. 20:

Presumably a new version will eventually appear here.


swjohnston said...

Yes, there is an explanation.
I never posted any information about myself online, so I am as interested as you are about correct information appearing online.

To answer your website, I served in Castegar from March 2002 to August 2003 as a contracted COGIC minister, not as a PCC minister. My contract ended when the church was dissolved.

With respect to the Christian Week article, I prefer the National Post article of April 2004? "Minister Battles Military Over Faith", which gives a much more balanced perspective including an interview with B'Nai Brith regarding the treatment of minorities in the military. CW simply allowed military brass to comment on what they perceived my complaint to be but did not allow me any response. It was classic yellow journalism.

There were at the time 3 regular force pentecostals, but only from one denomination. The other 5 major pentecostals were not, and I understand, continue to be unrepresented.

Evangelicals were and continue to be underrepresented, and there is no real representation on the ICCMC for minority faiths.

As for whether I won, my CV states that I won my case before the CHRC which I did. Policy changes were made allowing Mr. Demeray induction which I claim to be a result of my work. If you have proof to the contrary I would be interested to hear it.

In the meantime, please be careful about your inuendo.


buckets said...

My apologies if there seems to be innuendo. Anything you think requires rephrasing? (I will add a link to the National post if I can find it.)

As for Grace Presbyterian. Thanks for the correction. The dates, then, are 2002-3, not 2003-4 (as the first version of your cv stated)?

swjohnston said...

I will ask Mr. Crutcher to post the article next week on my profile.

I appreciate your research. I was completely caught off guard but I will make sure accurate information is published in the future.

The point of my complaint was to support the rights of all minorities which I did to the best of my abilities regardless of the final outcome. My personal circumstances did not allow me to pursue a CHRT conclusion, but I may continue to pursue another complaint against the ICCMC in the future.

buckets said...

I've found the NP story and copied it with a link.

Sorry to press you on this, but when were you a ThM student at VST? Your profile says that you graduated in 2003, but you've just said that you were pastoring in Castlegar 2002-3.

bigcitylib said...

Mr. Johnston, in case you miss the comment back at my sight, you cannot be said to have WON a Human Rights case until you have had a tribunal decision go your way. To say you WON your case because it was referred to the Tribunal is extremely misleading. You may claim to have won a MORAL victory, but that is a different thing.

bigcitylib said...

Having read the National Post article I see what you are getting at, Mr. Johnston, and in fact I think what you were up to is quite commendable. Nevertheless, the way you have put it in your CV is misleading.

swjohnston said...

At the CHRT mediation hearing the CF representatives acknowledged the merit of my grievances and identified the lengths they went to in correcting them. I felt the case was resolved at that stage. There were and are unresolved elements, but having twins with autism prevented my further involvement. I think terming my case a "moral victory" is quite correct.

To answer your above question, my last studies at VST were taken via distance ed.

buckets said...

… my last studies at VST were taken via distance ed. I didn't know they did that. Or by 'distance ed.' do you mean that you finished up your thesis (or was it a project?) while 'away'? (Most wouldn't describe that as 'distance ed.')