Cliffs Notes – May 3, 2022

Vision Building: Part 2

Vision is a clear mental picture of a preferable, even inspiring future, imparted to us by God. The vision usually takes into account our current gifts, passion, resources and circumstances (though, He is not limited by our current passion, gifts and resources!). God entrusts healthy, prayerful Church families with this kind of vision.

Someone asked me what my vision is for FMCiC. “Healthy churches”, continues to be the short version, because when the local Church is Gospel-healthy then that neighbourhood is eternally impacted. The real question for a denominational executive is, what does healthy Church look like? Last week, Director of Leadership Development & Church Health, Marc McAlister spoke to me about the FMCiC definition of a healthy Church.

How would I describe God’s heart for the Church in Canada? I happen to believe, as I listen to the Spirit, that the kind of Church that Canada needs is a PEOPLE OF PEACE. Not a negative “peace” that says, “I am a nice person, and I do not hurt anyone”, but an active (or “missional”) peace. Jesus-peace is both an encounter with Jesus, Prince of Peace, and it is the Kingdom ethic which we then live into.

Take a moment and read John 19. Jesus’ followers were confused and afraid. Jesus presented Himself, and His presence cast out fear (perfect love does that!). They became overjoyed. Twice He extended to them His peace. The first peace chased away fear, the second peace was related to the mission He had for them!

Now enjoy another Bible moment, and read Ephesians 4:1-7. First note how many times Paul uses the word “one” in the last few verses. Somehow “oneness” is linked to the “bond of peace”. Next underline the line about peace. How are we to enjoy this peace? Take your time in developing Biblical definitions for “humble, gentle, patient and forbearance”. The attitude of the woman or man of peace, is summed up well in this passage. Recently a Christian sociologist was asked what kind of Church does the world need now? His response was simply, “a humble Church”. Amen. Humble, gentle, patient and forbearing, Lord make your children in the FMCiC these things!

Now if Ephesians 4 is the heart condition of the person of peace, what is the activity and responsibilities of a People of Peace?

1.      Love God and love others. We may well be lovers of God, but I assure you we are not necessarily known as a people of love. I have spoken, and heard of Christians yelling, insulting, hurting other Church people because of their politics, views about convoys, masks or vaccinations. Damage has happened within the Church during covid, because we were more about being right than loving – as if these are exclusive!

2.     Make disciples! Not a suggestion, but like Jesus, it is how we are to relate to the world. Discipleship is how we are to relate to our families, friends and co-workers. Discipleship is not a course or project but has as the end-goal, to help people know Jesus more. It is real friendship. During covid we learned that we are not good at discipleship. We learned that we had discipled terribly because we did not know how to conflict well, care well, etc.

3.     Justice and mercy (Micah 6:8). An essential value for the people called Free Methodist is the pursuit of justice and mercy for the poor, marginalized, hurting, and vulnerable. At its inception in 1860, the newly formed denomination articulated its mission as twofold: “to maintain the Bible standard of Christianity and to preach the gospel to the poor.” I’m not sure that has defined us for a very long time.

4.     Reconciliation is absolutely connected to the great commandment and the pursuit of justice and mercy; however, it is deserving of its own spot on the graph. We are called to be “ambassadors of reconciliation”. Recently, I spoke with a 25 year old who had drifted from Church. He told me all his reasons, and all the Church’s shortcomings. I told him about our commitment in the FMCiC to pursue reconciliation with our indigenous brothers and sisters. I told him about steps we have taken together and that our churches are taking (a formal repudiation of the doctrine of discovery, blanket exercises, land acknowledgments in our local churches, etc). I also told him about the Racial Justice and Ethnic Equity Task Force. This information turned out to be a Gospel presentation to this young man – it is what he was looking for: a religion with power to change the world!

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, add 6 hours of CEU credit for each event when you send in your annual CEU report.

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]

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)
Sarnia, ON – New Horizons Community Church (Rev. Mary Lee DeWitt-Transition Pastor)

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Pastor of Children and Their Families – Whitby FMC

Associate Pastor of Youth & Outreach – Trulls Road FMC

Retired Ministers Team Project Coordinator – FMCiC

Retired Ministers Team Consultant RFP – FMCiC

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

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