Cliffs Notes: March 5, 2024

Solutions for Non-Thriving – Read to the End…

Seven years ago, I challenged us to prayerfully pursue a sanctified imagination. I am confident, that like me, you assumed that this would lead to wonderful things. Perhaps we imagined thriving congregations, with many converts, positive community presence, and great financial blessing! We did not imagine a society raw, angry and polarized. Somehow, “sanctified imagination” was a pleasant thought, and was the stuff of pleasant times. I didn’t know that we would need a sanctified imagination in very difficult times. But God is faithful.

Now, to be honest, we the Church in Canada certainly experienced distraction from our mission in the past few years. We have fought, passive aggressively, virtually, publicly and privately. Sometimes its been guerilla warfare, with cheap-shots fired safely not in person, at a distance, in blogs, or social media. The Church has not shined, but I am hoping we have learned!

There have been brilliant moments when we used our sanctified imaginations to find ways to meet in shut downs, do evangelism, disciple, and worship. The FMCiC has leaned into prayer, and some of you have jumped into this significant prayer movement – I mean, we have had a national zoom prayer time every day (except Sundays) for over a year! At least 3 national intercessory teams have sprung up from this, and a couple of months ago 200 of us met on Sunday evening to recommit to praying as a movement. Thank you churches who have been leaning into this. We have heard wonderful stories about healing, conversion and more, which have to be directly related to the national prayer initiative. This is God sanctifying a movement, by compelling us to pray together. Who are we if we are not praying together?

I continue to pray for us, a sanctified imagination. I am little wiser now, understanding that the future may not involve pleasant realities, but the Church is still called to dream God’s dreams. We must be thirsting for Holy Spirit to pour through us, sanctifying our imaginations:

  • Guiding us by giving us some foresight of where prevailing culture might go next;
  • preparing us for how we must join Jesus in His mission in Canada and beyond;
  • compelling us to pursue oneness or unity;
  • filling our thinking with creative and new ideas for effective ministry; and
  • blessing us with the provision, strength, resources and giftedness to do what He calls us to do.

Imagination is the “faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts; it is the ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful” (Oxford Dictionary). To be “sanctified”, as you know is the process and state of being set apart by God. It involves Him cleaning, cleansing, tearing down and of course building you into a new woman or man of God, beautiful, empowered, gifted, confident, humble and loving (and more!). Sanctification leaves no rock unturned in you! Therefore, your imagination is also sanctified. God begins to form in you new ideas, images or concepts for your own growth and the furtherance of His Kingdom. These are not fanciful dreams or whimsical thoughts, but concrete Kingdom opportunities!

I worshiped with our Frankford, ON Church family on Sunday. When I arrived already many of them were there sitting in a large circle in the foyer. They were having coffee, laughing and enjoying each other. There was something very ‘church family’ about it! Frankford FM is asking what many of us are asking, “what does it look like to move forward in this new season?” Please allow me to remind us all: we are connected to one another so we have each other to ask, and pray through this question. You have a Senior Director of Church Health who is eager to meet, Jervis has a heart for renewal (has written a couple of books about it!), has tools in his tool belt, and most importantly will help you listen to what the Spirit is saying to your Church family.

To our churches who are feeling stuck or worse, you have FM churches around you, poised to help you! There are creative solutions like live streaming, shared VBS, shared interns, digital discipleship cohorts… I will help make those connections if you would like?!


Prayer for Haiti: A prayer report is circulating that Haitian gangs executed a violent and coordinated attack on Haitian prisons. The report states that 1000’s of convicted prisons escaped. Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Haiti and for peace.

Tuesdays: Cliff’s Notes
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
Nepean ON – Arlington Woods 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]

Newmarket, ON – New Hope Methodist Church (Full-Time) [April 2]

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)
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


Associate Pastor of Connections – Chapel Ridge FMC

Part-time Worship Leader – New Hope Methodist Church

Tearfund Canada – Summer Internship Opportunities