Cliffs Notes: May 30, 2023

This past weekend the Regional Gathering was held on St. Joes’ Island, which is also the largest maple syrup producer in Ontario! The “delegate of the week” award belongs to our delegate from Timmins who drove over 7 hours to attend! Wow. Our Sudbury delegation also drove quite a distance to be with us. Thank you, Timmins and Sudbury, and of course those of you who came from the area. Thank you, St. Joes for hosting. It really is being good to be in person! I appreciate that pastors and delegates are required to attend, but I also appreciate how precious our time is, and Regional Gatherers have given up their Saturdays (and, for some, Wednesdays) in order to attend. Thank you. All the feedback that we have received from our Gatherers has been very positive.
“June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada, a time to recognize the rich history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis” (from government of Canada website). See the short video introduction here. Why does the FMCiC pay attention to Black History Month and National Indigenous History Month? Someone said to me, “We are a church, we do church stuff, and this isn’t church stuff!” Isn’t it?!
What is church stuff, if it doesn’t include learning about each other, caring about where we all come from, celebrating our stories? Doesn’t “church stuff” include peace and love?! Peace and love are all about relationship, and relationship requires celebrating, caring and learning.
Romans 12:15 describes this very thing, in fact read the whole chapter. I believe that followers of Jesus have to be LEARNERS. Specifically, and most importantly, learners of the Word of God, then people and ourselves. When I said “I do” to Karlene, that included a commitment to listen and learn with her, about her, and about us for the rest of our lives. Missionaries and pastors are life-long learners. They are committed to learning about the culture and context they are called into. You are called to be a learner as a disciple of Jesus.
One possible meaning of the Greek word which we translate “disciple”, is apprentice (a learner). An essential element of discipleship is therefore, learning. Now for the record, my objection with those who use the Greek word as apprentice for “disciple”, is that the ultimate journey of an apprentice is away from the master, so for me, “disciple” better captures the ongoing journey with the Master.
Learning has never been so hard as it is now. You Tube has become a place of higher learning for so many. The saying that “we are all entitled to our own opinions but not to our own facts” is no longer true for us – today, we are always arguing about whose facts are legitimate or more accurately, TRUSTWORTHY.
And this is the rub! TRUST is very important in Christian LEARNING. Take some time and discuss this idea: the importance today of trust in church family learning.
I am leaving you with 3 thoughts to mull over:

  1. As a follower of Jesus (“apprentice”), am I committed to learning, starting with God, then people, ourselves?
  2. Trust is one of the most important elements of learning as a follower of Jesus. Who do I trust? Who do I not trust? What does trust mean to me?
  3. How do I develop trustworthy relations? Do those I trust most know that I trust them? Do they know that they can speak truth into my life?

On Sunday, I loved being with the Sault Ste. Marie Church family. This church family has been in transition for sometime now, yet they have been growing. I enjoyed a very warm welcome from old and new friends, an engaging worship time, and a tender prayer time. So good to be with you Soo!
Finally, to all of our artists and creatives, you are invited to a 1-day event called “Why we create”, sponsored by “Renew Arts & Theology”. The event is being held in Ottawa on July 8. Click here for the website, or see the poster below.



ARLINGTON BEACH CAMP REGIONAL GATHERING (SK) – being held on Saturday, June 10 – deadline to register is THURSDAY, JUNE 1

ARLINGTON WOODS FMC REGIONAL GATHERING (ON) – being held on Wednesday, June 14 – deadline to register is JUNE 4

Rev. Mike Hogeboom – Lead Pastor, Arlington Woods FM Church, Nepean, ON – transition to retirement, effective May 31, 2024
Pastor Jeffrey Webb – employed as Lead Pastor at Blue Mountain Community Church, Thornbury, ON, effective June 11.

None scheduled

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:
Date and location TBA*

Wesleyan Theology:
November 3-5, 2023 – location TBA*

Also available:

    • Self-paced, up to 8 months to complete
    • 16-week intensive version, select Instructor Vaughan (session start dates: June 26, Aug. 21, Oct. 16)
  • Central Christian College online, 6 weeks, asynchronous  deadline to apply: Sept 18 (start dates Oct 2 and Nov 12)
  • 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.

October 15 is the next deadline to apply for LSP for any courses taken during the spring, summer and/or fall semesters of 2023. The 2023 application forms and instructions are now available to download from the link above.  Please use the application forms marked “rev 2023.”

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 2023 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.


Bracebridge, ON – New Hope FM Church
Brampton, ON – Bramalea FM Church
Hilton Beach, ON – St. Joseph Island FM Church
Kingston, ON – Polson Park FM Church
Madoc, ON – Madoc Free Methodist/Wesleyan Church
Sault Ste Marie, ON – Hillside FM Church

Church Profiles Available
Contact Davika Dotson in the Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] (deadline to apply in brackets)

None this week

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.

Brantford, ON – The Open Door Church
Campbellford, ON – Campbellford FM Church (Rev. Leonard Bruce – Interim Pastor)
Cloyne, ON – Pineview FM Church
Dunnville, ON – Dunnville FM Church
Frankford, ON – Frankford Community Church
Godfrey, ON – Cole Lake FM Church
Kingston, ON – Kingscourt FM Church

Marmora, ON – Marmora FM Church (Pastor Keith Deyo – Interim Pastor) 

Mississauga, ON – Grace Methodist Church
Nepean, ON – Arlington Woods FM Church (Rev. Mike Hogeboom retiring May 31/24) 
Orillia, ON – Church on the Hill (Pastor Velma Shewfelt – Interim Pastor)

Richmond Hill, ON – Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Salmon Arm, BC – Lakeside Community Church
Seeley’s Bay, ON – Pine Grove Community Church

Tillsonburg, ON – Open Arms Church
Wallaceburg, ON – Charlemont FM Church
Warkworth, ON – Warkworth FM Church


Youth Ministry Director – Trulls Road FMC

Associate Pastor of Worship Ministry – Northview Community Church