Spring Gathering, Sri Lanka and Ukraine
This past Saturday pastors and delegates gathered, some were in person in their regions (networks) and others virtually. This is Regional Gathering Season, a season for churches to connect regionally with National Leadership Team members. I have only Bishop-ed through two in-person Regional Gathering Seasons, as nasty COVID demanded virtual events for the past 3 years. In the in-person years, I very much valued the opportunity to be with the Church nationally, staying in homes, eating with you, hearing about our Church, and of course praying together. I am grateful for the ability we have to meet virtually, but I look forward to being together next year! Since I am not able to be in-person with our delegates, I have opened up my calendar to them, so that they can pick a convenient time for us to connect by zoom or phone. I hope to have met with each delegate by the end of June in order to hear about their local church family, answer any FMCiC questions they may have, and pray together. In churches where there is more than one delegate, the delegates have all joined the zoom, or the delegates assigned one delegate the job of connecting with me.
Your delegates will bring a report to you about the Spring Gathering event but I will outline some game-day highlights.
- Technology is not always our friend – but you are a gracious people and we managed to get through session one which ended in a corporate lament about the past two years of COVID. Lament is a significant Biblical means for a church family to acknowledge, and process hurt;
- We asked two more questions in two subsequent sessions: “Tell us about something good that has happened in your church family during COVID”, and then, “What are you dreaming about as a church family in this next season?”
- People of Peace are HUMBLE, GENTLE, PATIENT, and FOREBEARING (Ephesians 4). People of Peace, which is exactly who we need to be in Canada right now are Great Commandment People, Great Commission People, and Justice & Mercy People.
- The past 2 Cliff’s Notes have been videos outlining again the work of the LGBTQ2S+ Task Force, and included the invitation to the April 30th event (which we highlighted again at the Spring Gathering). All FM’ers are welcome for this discussion time. It is a virtual event, watch for details. Remember like our normal study commissions, FMCiC’s regular method of operating is to take 3 years in between General Conferences to do good, prayerful, careful work. This usually includes healthy discussion, survey and research. “Christian Conference” is a Methodist value after all.
Prayer for Sri Lanka
- Protestations have begun all over the country, not just in Colombo (the capitol),
- Curfew has been lifted, but stores are not open,
- Power outage and phone communications are down,
- Specially pray for our country and we don’t know how long this protest will take. We don’t know who is next leader for our nation,
- All the people are suffering without essential needs,
- Protection for FMC pastors and families. We need God’s peace in our land.
We continue to invite you to contribute to Ukrainian Relief work through the Bishop’s Relief Fund. In order to donate, give to your local church and designate the funds to Ukraine Bishop’s Relief. Your church forwards FMCiC these funds, and 100% of these funds make their way to FM missionaries and churches in the Ukraine, Romania, Poland and Hungary for food, shelter, medical needs, etc. We have raised between $15,000-20,000 so far.
EFC Small Church Study
At the end of February, Pastors of churches of 150 or less were invited to participate in a study conducted by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, seeking to gain the perspective of such churches on the opportunities and challenges that come with small church ministry. If you are the Pastor of a small church, and you would like to participate in this study but have not as yet had a chance to, you now have up until Friday, April 8th to do so. You can access the study here.
Dunnville Free Methodist Church, Dunnville, ON – in transition
June 12 at 2:00 pm – Erika Mills – Blue Mountain FMC, Thornbury, ON
June 26 at 2:00 pm – Benjamin Platz – Next Church, Kingston, ON
There are still some sponsored registrations available –
deadline is Friday, April 8!!
Tyndale University’s annual Wesley Studies Symposium on April 26: “Sisters in the Spirit: Women in the Holiness and Pentecostal Traditions”: https://www.tyndale.ca/seminary/wesley-studies/annual-symposium
The Lorne Park Foundation (https://lornepark.org/) has generously offered to sponsor 25 in-person and 25 online registrations for this event. This offer is open to both clergy and laypersons on a first-come basis only until April 8. If you are interested, notify Susan DePlanché at [email protected] as soon as possible and no later than April 8 to be put on the list. If you register through Susan, do not register through the Tyndale link. Be sure to indicate whether you are interested in the in-person or online version. This event is worth 6 hours toward Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
FOUNDATIONAL COURSES http://www.fmcic.ca/
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 3-5, 2022 – Trulls Road FMC, Courtice, ON
November 4-6, 2022, – location TBA*
November 4-6, 2022, – location TBA*
- Tyndale University: https://www.tyndale.ca/
- FMC-USA as a 7-week intensive online course: http://fmcusa.org/leadership/
courses/ Wesleyan Theology [#74W] Dr. Robert Vaughan – start dates: Apr 19, June 7, Jul 26, Sep 13, Nov 1
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*
Personal and Church Stewardship:
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!)
2022 SCHOLARSHIPS http://www.fmcic.ca/scholarships/
LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP PLAN (LSP):
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 deadline to apply for LSP for any courses taken during the summer and/or fall semesters of 2022. The 2022 application forms and instructions are now available to download from the link above. Please use the application forms marked “rev 2022.”
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 2022 calendar year – apply online anytime from the link above. Special Scholarships are awarded in late November/early December each year.
CONTINUING EDUCATION UNITS (CEUs) https://www.fmcic.ca/
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, add 6 hours of CEU credit for each event when you send in your annual CEU report.
For those who took courses and/or did in-depth research and learning about how to make the changes required during the pandemic (ie how to live-stream services), add the number of those hours to your annual CEU report.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Hilton Beach, ON – St. Joseph Island FMC
Oshawa, ON – The Corner Church (Free Methodist / Church of the Nazarene)
Saskatoon, SK – Lakeview FMC
Thornbury, ON – Blue Mountain Community Church
Warkworth, ON – Warkworth FMC
Church Profiles available
Contact Davika Dotson in the Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] (deadline to apply in brackets)
None this week
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.
Campbellford, ON – Campbellford FMC, (Rev. Jurgen Rausch-Transition Pastor)
Cloyne, ON – Pineview FMC
Dunnville, ON – Dunnville FMC
Frankford, ON – Frankford Community Church
Hamilton, ON – Rymal Road Community Church
Harrowsmith, ON – Harrowsmith FMC (Pastor Keith Deyo-Interim Pastor)
New Westminster, BC – First FMC
Richmond Hill, ON – Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Sarnia, ON – New Horizons Community Church (Rev. Mary Lee DeWitt-Transition Pastor)