Cliffs Notes – May 17, 2022

We have to do things differently… But how?!!

I was with our Asbury Church family in beautiful Perth, Ontario. Good things going on in Perth FM! Two of the thriving ministries are to Keenagers (what they call their senior adults) and youth. Shannon, their youth leader, explained that she has discovered that youth want to be heard, and belong, “they need to know that they are loved”. She has over 80 youth on her active participant list! Currently they are using Youth Alpha. Thanks Asbury!

Two weekends ago, I was with our Bramalea Church family as they celebrated their 40th anniversary. I was grateful for the engaging worship time, and warmth that was extended to me, and clearly to each other! Pastor Dennis gave me a tour of the new daycare being run by the YMCA. The Church had approached the city to ask about need and opportunity, and they were directed to the YMCA. This is a 5 year contract that involved shared renovation costs. It has become a “very good relationship”. I asked Dennis, who also happens to be one of our Regional Coaches, about next steps.

ME:  You mentioned a young leadership team and “6-week projects” to me as we spoke about this new season. Let’s start with the “6-week projects”, could you explain what this is and why you came to this idea?”

DENNIS: The vision was birthed out of our current church climate. People of all ages are less committed to church services and events. As a result, it’s harder to recruit volunteers for church ministries. In addition, pastors and church staff are experiencing high rates of burnout and leaving churches to work outside the church and young people are not choosing ministry as a vocation. In our context, everyone on the team is multi-vocational, so this also played a part in the reasoning for experimenting with these ideas.

        In this current climate, we understood that trying to gather people is more complicated than in the past, so we decided to stop focusing on gathering people but trying to engage them instead. The metric at BFMC is no longer measuring how many people show up on a Sunday but how many people we’re engaging with inside and outside the church walls.
        The 6-week ministry project idea is about asking people within and outside the church to commit up to six weeks to be part of a small group to learn a new skill, to participate in helping the community, in helping with an event, for a bible study, or prayer group. No ministry project (we’re working on the name) will extend past the six weeks, and there is no obligation beyond the six weeks. For example, our goal is not about a youth group meeting weekly. It’s about several up to six weeks of engagements exploring relevant topics. This will be the same for all the other ministries in the church too.
        We also learned from experience that more people are willing to volunteer for a project or cause because of a reasonable start and end date, so with the six-week project idea, people know they’re not committing for life in a church ministry.   The reason we use six weeks is that a while ago, an article spoke about how people are only willing to commit up to six weeks, and after the sixth week, people were no longer interested in sticking around.
           
ME: You have a dynamic young team around you (worship, tech and communication) – it was really good to meet them and experience their enthusiasm! These are not necessarily the usual church hires – I mean we usually hire youth pastors, admin, children and worship, and often in that order. What is your vision and corresponding hiring policy?

DENNIS: If the goal is all about engagement, we had to rethink team dynamics. We set up what we refer to as a Community Leadership Team. Each person on the team brings expertise to the group, and as a group, we all have a role to play in every ministry in the church. For example, we are all responsible and play a role in youth, children, media, and admin. Instead of hiring a youth pastor, we have four.  And the language we use within this team is, “we don’t give people tasks; we give them responsibilities.” This philosophy allows these young leaders and our volunteers the freedom to use their skills, gifts, and God-given dreams to help shape the church’s future.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN

Tuesdays: Cliff’s Notes
2nd Tuesday of each month: What’s Got You Thinking?
4th Thursday of each month: Church Health Thursday
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
History of the Free Methodist Church in Canada video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QKbI1xqJ7g
https://vimeo.com/694065642

New Website Tour Video:
https://vimeo.com/702077871

ANNOUNCEMENTS
None this week

ORDINATION SERVICES
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

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 3-5, 2022 – Trulls Road FMC, Courtice, ON
November 4-6, 2022, – location TBA*

Wesleyan Theology:
November 4-6, 2022, – location TBA*

Also available:

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.”


SPECIAL SCHOLARSHIPS:
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/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.

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CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Interviewing

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)

Hamilton, ON – Rymal Road Community Church (full-time) [May 31]
Harrowsmith, ON – Harrowsmith FMC (full-time) [May 31]
New Westminster, BC – First FMC (full-time) [May 31]
Sarnia, ON – New Horizons Community Church [June 21]

Preparing Profiles
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
Richmond Hill, ON – Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Pastor of Children and Their Families – Whitby FMC

Associate Pastor of Youth & Outreach – Trulls Road FMC

Church Administrator – UNA Church

Tearfund has a number of current openings for interns and students.  You can access their list of available positions here.

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