Cliffs Notes: February 20, 2024

Your Listening Diet

Allow me to direct this to Christian leaders, though it is an important question for all followers of Jesus: what is your listening diet? What is the nature or character of what you allow to pour into you? There is One who wants very much to “pour” into you, so how does what you are listening to, compare, or compliment Him and His work in you? TV, podcasts, radio shows, audible books and music?

Years ago, I ran an experiment, with checks and accountability in place. I had loved ones and my accountability partner monitoring the experiment (it was pretty informal, and more an exercise than an experiment). I listened only to non-Christian music and words in my car, workouts and TV for a few weeks (I don’t remember how long). I then did the same with only Christian. The outcomes were significant. For instance, when I was on the non-Christian listening diet, I felt anxious, and I am not generally an anxious person. I felt dull in my Friendship with Jesus. Conversely, the Christian listening diet moved me into a much better place!

I chose the word “diet” because like most everything else in life, what you ingest must have a healthy balance. You wouldn’t be healthy with a protein-only diet the rest of your life, nor would you conclude that protein is bad because a protein-only diet is not healthy.

My point is simple, leaders: what is your listening diet? I am suggesting that you should have a relatively high or heavy diet of Christian in your listening diet. I understand your freedom in Christ, and that God can speak through anything (literature, speakers, genres of music – well, not sure about country 😊). I understand, and I have these in my diet (well, maybe not a lot country music), but if I can only “eat” one thing on my car ride, or “digest” one thing as I work, or relax, then I choose healthiest!

One more question: what is the healthiest Christian listening diet? What worship music? What podcasts? What books or authors? What You-Tube (not sure there is much healthy on You-Tube!)? The most trustworthy diets all introduce themselves by describing the community of experts and research which have helped develop the diet. Furthermore, it is most likely that you choose a diet because a trusted friend recommended it. Likewise, Church family, small group, network or whoever else you are surrounded by as a member of the Body, should be welcomed to help you develop a healthy listening diet. For starters, consider the following:

  • Ask trusted Godly friends about their listening diet. I am always asking Jesus-followers, who I see the Spirit moving in and through, about their current listening diet (i.e. “what you are reading?” “What do you listen to when you are on a long drive?”)
  • Test all your diet against Scripture;
  • Ask Godly friends and loved ones to poke their heads in on your diet. Ask them if they see any deficiencies or places for improvement. If you are the one being asked, take this seriously, be honest, and pray as you respond.

In a season when we are not always sure of who is trustworthy, what is true, with much heaviness and anxiety, it is essential that our listening diets are what they should be.

This past Sunday, Karlene and I were with our Grace Mississauga FM Church family. They lost access to the public school that they were meeting in pre-COVID, and prayerfully scrambled to find a new rental location. It’s been a bumpy ride, but this is a very warm and loving congregation. I loved praying with them, in fact, we spent a significant time in the service in prayer over each other. Thanks Grace for your prayers!

Josiah Piett Ordination Service
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4th Thursday of each month: Church Health Thursday

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None this week

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*
(click here for other options to take this course)

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!)

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.

[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 (click here for details).

October 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).  
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

Marmora, ON – Marmora FM Church
Seeley’s Bay, ON – Pine Grove Community 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]

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