Spot-fires, Our Third Regional Gathering and Echo Lake
Have you heard the phrase “spot-fires”? I heard author and founder of 24-7 Prayer International, Peter Greig, use the phrase about prayer events occurring all over the world – one of which is the recent Asbury Prayer event. Peter was explaining in an interview that Asbury is one of many that he knew of! He spoke specifically of locations in Peru, Lebanon and Australia as others.
Here is a link to an interview with the Asbury chapel speaker – he called his own message a “stinker”. I think that it is brilliant that “spot-fires” are not a result of a charismatic messenger. This Asbury event is being described as Spirit-driven, with “humble leaders”, in a season when they are in short supply – in fact can you name one leader of the event? The chapel ended, worship kept going on gently in the background, and beautifully, students who had left the assembly had an unusual desire to return to pray! The worship and prayer, Peter described as “gentle” in a season when the reputation of the church is a little more “judgemental” or even militant. In all the interviews I have listened to or read, the event started in repentance, out of deep hunger for God, and has been parked in simply being in His presence. Perfect and Amen.
The event I read about in Australia was a worship event, which turned into a few hours of a large group being quiet before the Lord.
I am not suggesting that you set a time next Thursday night for a spot-fire – “Spot-fire Thursday”! I am not suggesting that you have your best worship team lined up and a fiery message on repentance. What I am suggesting is that we pray. Show up, Church, and be together. Worship out loud with music and in quiet. Read Scripture together and selah. The motivation: hungering and thirsting for God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I find myself excited about the prayer that I am hearing about (and have experienced with you) in FMCiC: the daily 30 minutes nationally we zoom together since January; 3 new weekly intercessor groups who pray for us nationally (if you have the desire to pray weekly for FMCiC then contact Linda at [email protected]; the very tender prayer services in Flinton, Verona, Harrowsmith; the story I heard from Pastor Andrew about a very meaningful YOUTH prayer service; the recent Intergenerational initiative…
And here is the bottom line: whatever we do is empty if it is not Spirit-filled, and our motivation has to be that the people of God hunger and thirst – I mean, we either believe that God wants to move in Canada or we don’t believe that! If we believe then we become pray-ers.
This weekend I was in beautiful British Columbia. I love driving through the mountains. Our Regional Gathering was held in Kamloops, which of course means that though this is a central location, most of the churches have to drive hours to attend. Once again, a wonderful spirit, excellent hosts (thank you Kamloops!), and significant interactions. Loved being together.
On Sunday I was with the New Heights Church family in Mission BC. I think that it is worth mentioning again that they are a church family with tremendous vision for their community. They created a foundation that owns the building and the church rents from the foundation (I hope I have that right!). They run community programs, and a popular café which are community hubs, connection places. Their primary focus is discipleship. Loved being with the New Height family as they warmly greeted me and have a loving family atmosphere. Thanks New Heights!
One last mention for our Ontario and Quebec churches – watch here for an invitation from Echo Youth Camp (a Free Methodist Church in Canada camp).
Reminder that the Thunder Bay Regional Gathering will take place on Saturday, May 6 at Thunder Bay FMC. The deadline to register for this gathering is next Wednesday, April 26. Please make sure you register if you haven’t already done so.
None this week
FOUNDATIONAL COURSES http://www.fmcic.ca/foundational-courses/
Register online through the link above (Tuition payment is not required when registering for a course. Payment is due 10 days before the course begins.)
Lay Ministers tracking for credentialed ministry and those transferring ordination credentials into the FMCIC need to take the following two courses for full credit – and if possible, the Heart course first and then Wesleyan Theology.
Heart of Canadian Free Methodism:
June 2-4, 2023 – Uxbridge FMC, Uxbridge, ON
November 3-5, 2023 – location TBA*
- Tyndale University – https://www.tyndale.ca/seminary/wesley-studies
- Free Methodist Church-USA NEW! Anytime on Pathwright (multiple instructor choices)
- Self-paced, up to 8 months to complete
- 16-week intensive version, select Instructor Vaughan (session start dates: May 1, June 26, Aug. 21, Oct. 16)
- Central Christian College online, 6 weeks, asynchronous – deadline to apply: Sept 18 (start dates Oct 2 and Nov 12)
- Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan University
Ministerial Candidates tracking for Commissioned or Ordained Minister are required to take the following two courses for full credit. Those who are already commissioned or ordained are required to either audit these two courses for 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) each or take the two courses and complete the assignments for 3 CEUs each.
Culture and the Missional Church:
Date and location TBA*
5-week online course – Start Date TBA
(* These course locations are selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early!)
LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP PLAN (LSP) [APPLY TWICE PER YEAR]:
[PLEASE NOTE: The FMCiC preference for LSP is for students to attend one of the approved schools on this list. However, if you decide to apply to a non-approved school, you must first send a request to the Credentialing Coordinator to determine whether the committee will approve funding for you to study at a non-approved school. Along with your request, please include a written explanation as to why you are choosing to study at a non-approved institution. It is strongly recommended that you do this before paying tuition, and well in advance of the LSP deadline. The Credentialing Coordinator, along with the LSP committee, will consider each request individually and according to LSP policy.]
The Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) provides financial assistance to candidates who are studying to meet the educational requirements for credentialed ministry, or for members of conference pursuing continuing education.
October 15 is the next deadline to apply for LSP for any courses taken during the spring, summer and/or fall semesters of 2023. The 2023 application forms and instructions are now available to download from the link above. Please use the application forms marked “rev 2023.”
SPECIAL SCHOLARSHIPS [APPLY ONCE PER YEAR]:
The Special Scholarships provide financial assistance to those who are members of a Free Methodist church pursuing post-secondary education to grow in their Christian faith, to those who are pursuing credentialed ministry, and to members of conference pursuing continuing education.
October 15 is the deadline to apply for the annual Special Scholarships for courses taken during the 2023 calendar year – apply online anytime from the link above. Special Scholarships are awarded in late November/early December each year.
CONTINUING EDUCATION UNITS (CEU’S) https://www.fmcic.ca/introduction-to-continuing-education/
Ordained and Commissioned Ministers (except retirees) are to annually report hours acquired during each year for Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Check the link above for information on CEUs, and a list of examples of many different types of life-long learning that can be applied as CEUs.
You can now send a report online anytime you have hours to submit for CEUs. Here is the link: https://fmcic.wufoo.com/forms/continuing-education-unit-ceu-report-form/
Note: For those who attend the fall Minister’s Conferences or the spring Regional Gatherings, attendance is now taken at these events so 6 hours of CEU credit for each event will automatically be recorded.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Bracebridge, ON – New Hope FM Church
Kingston, ON – Polson Park FM Church
Madoc, ON – Madoc Free Methodist/Wesleyan Church
Salmon Arm, BC – Lakeside Community Church
Sarnia, ON – New Horizons Community Church
Sault Ste Marie, ON – Hillside FM Church
Thornbury, ON – Blue Mountain Community Church
Church Profiles Available
Contact Davika Dotson in the Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] (deadline to apply in brackets)
Brampton, ON – Bramalea FM Church (part-time) [April 18]
Hilton Beach, ON – St. Joseph Island FM Church (full-time) [May 23]
If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Davika in the Leadership Development Office [see above] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.
Brantford, ON – The Open Door Church (Rev. Greg Pulham – retiring Apr 30)
Campbellford, ON – Campbellford FM Church (Rev. Leonard Bruce – Interim Pastor)
Cloyne, ON – Pineview FM Church
Dunnville, ON – Dunnville FM Church (Rev. Neale Robb – Interim Pastor)
Frankford, ON – Frankford Community Church
Godfrey, ON – Cole Lake FM Church
Kingston, ON – Kingscourt FM Church
Marmora, ON – Marmora FM Church (Pastor Keith Deyo – Interim Pastor)
Mississauga, ON – Grace Methodist Church
Orillia, ON – Church on the Hill (Pastor Velma Shewfelt – Interim Pastor)
Richmond Hill, ON – Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Seeley’s Bay, ON – Pine Grove Community Church
Tillsonburg, ON – Open Arms Church
Wallaceburg, ON – Charlemont FM Church
Warkworth, ON – Warkworth FM Church