“Winding Roads, A Wonderful Gift Opportunity and…A Reminder”
This past weekend I visited with The Next Church in Kingston. This is a creative, art-ful Church family. For instance, last time that I visited they had a giant cocoon broken open as a butterfly was preparing to fly! I believe that it was made of paper mache? It hung outside for Easter and when I saw it, it was hanging in a corner of their sanctuary. I believe that it is very important that art is a part of worship and the telling of the Jesus story.
I loved that they took time after their first set of worship songs to stop and ask if anyone had questions about words, or themes used in the songs. Hands shot up (not just kids’) asking what in the world is a “potentate”?!
Josh, one of the leaders explained and then discussed the big idea in another song they sang, about how God makes winding roads straight and mountains flat for our journey. One girl put up her hand and reflected, “so God makes the road straight, no turns, and no hills, or mountains? That sounds boring!” What a brilliant thought!
Josh did a wonderful job of explaining the metaphor, but we all agreed that winding roads, bumpy trails, mountains and hills are the stuff of a beautiful hike and adventure. These are also, metaphorically speaking, essential to spiritual growth. C.S. Lewis does a superb job of reminding us of this in his Chronicles of Narnia. Aslan (the Jesus character) gives young people adventures, not because Aslan could not accomplish these feats, like save the Prince, get the apple, defeat the witch, BUT that those who accomplished these feats grew! They learned, matured, became the heroes and royalty that they were created to be. Their adventures were dangerous and quite uncomfortable. They were tired, hungry on occasion, lost, sad, hurt, and a couple had their skin torn…but all of these events happened, allowing the very good thing to occur in their lives!
Lewis tells the Jesus-story this way, because this is how the Bible tells it! Ask Abraham, Moses, David, any one of the prophets, Joseph, Mary, or Paul about their God-adventures! Somehow windy long roads, mountains, dangers, prisons, narrow escapes and the like, are essential to becoming all that God has called us to become.
Thanks Next for the good reminder, warm welcome, and the pointy Bishop hat that the kids made me in Sunday school because “a bishop should have a pointy hat!” Thank you also for the good food!
Mark Peterkins is a member of our Chapel Ridge FM Church family, and is Executive Director of One Way Ministries. He created a very short video (click here) for you. This is a wonderful gift opportunity. You can also simply go to the website “plusnothing.com”.
CHRISTMAS SERVICES REMINDERS: Churches who will be live streaming their Christmas services will be providing us with their links, so that those without an in-person service to attend can tune in. Once we have that information, it will be sent out.
*Important* – If you are a church that will be live streaming your service, please send that information to my assistant, Monique Alexander ([email protected]), as soon as possible so that we can share it with everyone.
Lastly, I would also like to remind you that my office will be preparing a January 1 service that will be available for churches to use on New Year’s Day. That service will be accessible by the end of next week (Dec 16).
Rev. Jared Siebert – released from appointment as National Director of Church Planting and in transition, effective December 31
Rev. Greg Pulham – released from appointment as Lead Pastor at The Open Door Church, Brantford ,ON and transitioning to retirement, effective April 30, 2023
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 – location TBA*
June 2-4, 2023 – location TBA*
- Tyndale University – “John Wesley’s Theology: Renewing the Heart, Renewing the Church” https://www.tyndale.ca/syllabi/winter/2023/theo-0629
- Offered January 13 – April 10, 2023 in hybrid format: Two Fridays of “live” class (in-person or online) on January 27 and March 17, plus online lectures and discussions.
- Available for seminary or undergraduate credit
- For more info contact James Pedlar ([email protected])
- FMC-USA https://leadership.fmcusa.org/education/courses
- as a 7-week intensive online course: Wesleyan Theology [#74W] Dr. Robert Vaughan – start date: (2023 start dates to be posted soon)
- as a correspondence course (8 months to complete): Wesleyan Theology (#74C), Dr. Allen Wachter
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]:
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.
February 15 is the next deadline to apply for LSP for any courses taken during the winter semester of 2023. The 2023 application forms and instructions will soon be 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.
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
New Westminster, BC – First 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)
Kingston, ON – Polson Park FMC (full time) [January 31]
Madoc, ON – Madoc Free Methodist/Wesleyan Church (full time) [January 31]
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.
Bracebridge, ON – New Hope FMC (Gary Denniss – Interim Pastor)
Brampton, ON – Bramalea FMC
Brantford, ON – The Open Door Church
Campbellford, ON – Campbellford FMC (Rev. Leonard Bruce – Interim Pastor, effective Jan 1/23)
Cloyne, ON – Pineview FMC
Dunnville, ON – Dunnville FMC (Rev. Neale Robb – Interim Pastor)
Frankford, ON – Frankford Community Church
Kingston, ON – Kingscourt Free Methodist Church
Marmora, ON – Marmora FMC
Richmond Hill, ON – Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Salmon Arm BC – Lakeside Community Church
Sarnia, ON – New Horizons Community Church
Sault Ste Marie, ON – Sault Ste Marie FMC
Seeley’s Bay, ON – Pine Grove
Tillsonburg, ON – Open Arms Church