Cliffs Notes: February 13, 2024

Civil War?

I recently read a book entitled, “How Civil Wars Start”. It was troubling. The researcher outlines the key elements present and/or necessary to unsettle a nation and create internal violent strife. The research is based on all the data we have about civil wars throughout history. The author argued that most of these elements are currently in play in the USA. She writes, “Where is the United States today? We are a factionalized country on the edge of anocracy that is quickly approaching the open insurgency stage which means we are closer to civil war than any of us would like to believe”. However, she has chosen not to move away from her beloved country, and does not believe that civil war is necessarily inevitable. She believes that civil war can be avoided and offers what she hopes can happen. This is not a Christian book.

Canada is not currently hitting these dubious markers, but most acknowledge that we are in a state of polarization.

As I read the book I was keenly aware of the opportunity and responsibility the Church has to shine in this season of unrest. We are called to be a People of Peace (Ephesians 4:1-6 for instance), where the God of Peace (Jehovah Shalom), created a Covenant of Peace, which He made accessible to us through Jesus the Prince of Peace, Who preached a Gospel of Peace. But the Church fights.

Don’t hear me wrong: robust debate, disagreement, even heated argument that moves towards peace is expected, reasonable and even, to some degree necessary in Church, or any healthy relationship. But there is a significant difference between People of Peace debating, disagreeing or arguing, than when people argue out of fear, ignorance, hurt and pride.

The big problem with these 4 monsters is that we have a hard time seeing them in us: fear, ignorance, hurt and pride. We sure see them in others! The question is how do we identify them in ourselves? What do you have in place to examine yourself? Some suggestions to consider:

  1. Define biblical “peace” – a great Bible study!
  2. Define each of the terms: fear, ignorance, hurt and pride. Scripture has much to say about each one;
  3. If you have are questioning if any or all of these are present in your current conflict, then rest assured, the answer is absolutely! Therefore, acknowledge their presence and name them out loud, “I was hurt that you left me out”, or “regarding ignorance, forgive me, I didn’t have all the information before I sent that text.”
  4. Find trusted friends to explore the possibilities of these in your current situation. Ask a question like, “regarding ignorance, is it possible that I don’t have enough information? What’s the most peace-oriented manner to find this information?”
  5. Pray with friends through the list before re-engaging in the conflict. Resolve that your posture will be one of PEACE.

On Sunday I enjoyed being with the Barrie FM Church family. Rather than rows of chairs they had round tables set up because after the service they had a pancake, bacon and fruit meal. Something else remarkable, was the 4 different people, who in 4 different moments, made a point of telling me how much they love and appreciate their pastor! The pastor is not the Church, but it is a special thing, when the shepherd ministers from a deep place with God, loves their congregation and serves them by being very present in their lives.

Tuesdays: Cliff’s Notes
4th Thursday of each month: Church Health Thursday

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Rev. Linda Dixon – changed status from “In Transition” to “Retired”, effective
February 20

Rev. Barry Smith – changed status from “Released for Service Beyond the Denomination- VP-Student Services & Registrar-Tyndale, Toronto, ON” to “Retired”, effective June 30
Rev. Mike Hogeboom – revised status from “Retired” to “In Transition” effective May 31

Rev. Phillip Sabine (Ordained Minister-Church of the Nazarene) – appointed as Lead Pastor at Charlemont Free Methodist Church, Wallaceburg, ON, effective February 1 
Pastor Monique Ransom – reinstated as a Ministerial Candidate and appointed as Associate Pastor, Queensway Free Methodist Church, Niagara Falls, ON, effective
January 1

February 18, 2024 at 3:00 pm ET – Pastor Josiah Piett, Grapeview Free Methodist Church, St. Catharines, ON

April 14, 2024 at 2:00 pm ET – Pastor Yves Anthonuel, Eglise Evangelique des Mille-Iles, Laval, QC  

2024 WESLEY CONFERENCE – The Living Word: Transformative Encounters with Scripture
Tyndale University in Toronto is hosting this year’s “pre-conference” event on April 24, the day before General Conference begins.

Rev. Dr. Jessica LaGrone, Dean of the Chapel at Asbury Theological Seminary is the keynote speaker. Dr LaGrone will give two talks centred around the theme “The Living Word: Transformative Encounters with Scripture.”

There will also be breakout sessions on a range of practical and theological issues, including preaching, parenting, prayer, grief, the problem of evil, and animal ethics. Free Methodist presenters include David Schuchardt, Joy McEwen, and Steve Tungate (FMCUSA).

The Lorne Park Foundation is offering to pay the registration for up to fifty Free Methodists (lay or ordained) to attend the conference in person.

​If you would like one of these free spots, please register here by March 31 (do not register through the Tyndale website or Eventbrite page):

​You can find out more about the event here:

Attendance at this pre-conference is worth 6 hours of required Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for Ordained and Commissioned Ministers.

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 7-9, 2024 – location TBA*

Wesleyan Theology:
November 8-10, 2024 – location TBA*

Also available:

    • Self-paced, up to 8 months to complete
    • 16-week intensive version, select Instructor Vaughan
  • Central Christian College online, 6 weeks, asynchronous  deadline to apply: Sept 15/24 (course runs Sept 30-Nov 10/24) and Jan 1/25 (course runs Jan 6-Feb 16/25)
  • 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*

Personal 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!)



[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.

February 15 is the next deadline to apply for LSP for any courses taken during the winter semester of 2024. The 2024 application forms and instructions are available to download from the link above.  Please use the application forms marked “rev 2024.”

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 2024 calendar year – apply online anytime from the link above.  Special Scholarships are awarded in late November/early December each year.

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.

Send a report online anytime you have hours to submit for CEUs:

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.



Brampton, ON – Bramalea FM Church
Brantford, ON – The Open Door Church

Sombra, ON – Zion FM Church

Church Profiles Available
To review the church profiles that are available, please contact Lorilee Bishop in the Church Health Office at [email protected] – [deadline to apply in brackets]

Marmora, ON – Marmora FM Church (Part-Time) [February 13]
Seeley’s Bay, ON – Pine Grove Community Church (Full-Time) [February 13]
Nepean ON – Arlington Woods FMC (Full-Time) [February 27]

Preparing Profiles
Once these church profiles become available, they will be listed above as “Church Profiles available” .

Belleville, ON – Belleville Centennial FM Church (Rev. Rodney Peterson retiring Aug 31/24)
Campbellford, ON – Campbellford FM Church (Rev. Leonard Bruce – Interim Pastor)
Cloyne, ON – Pineview FM Church
Dryden, ON – Dryden FM Church
Frankford, ON – Frankford Community Church
Godfrey, ON – Cole Lake FM Church
Kingston, ON – Kingscourt FM Church

Mississauga, ON – Grace FM Church (Rev. Steve Cylka – Interim Pastor)
Newmarket, ON – New Hope Methodist Church (Rev. Terry Gibson retiring Aug 31/24)
Orillia, ON – Church on the Hill (Pastor Velma Shewfelt – Interim Pastor)

Richmond Hill, ON – Richmond Hill FM Church (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Tillsonburg, ON – Open Arms Church


Part-time Worship Leader – New Hope Methodist Church

Tearfund Canada – Summer Internship Opportunities