This past weekend I was with our Roblin Church family. As they consider what their surrounding community is dealing with in this season (i.e. fear, conflict, anxiety, addictions, etc.), they have embarked on a weekly study to help equip them to become healing agents (or “people of peace”) in their community. As they near the end of their study, Pastor Heath will let us know about the resource they have used, and will tell us about next steps that they will be taking. Thank you Roblin for being committed to a contextual ministry response (and of course the warm welcome and good food!).
You may be aware that recently Canada’s Defence Advisory Panel on Systemic Racism and Discrimination released a report containing a recommendation to not use chaplains of Abrahamic religions due to certain values/positions that some elements in those religions may espouse that are not aligned with Defence values (my thanks to my dear friend and FM’s own “government watchdog”, Grant Sigsworth, in helping me compile this information).
I am sending you this, NOT to make you upset with our government, BUT to make you aware, and prayerful about the mission-field we call Canada. In fact, the panel’s findings are not without merit, we, therefore, need to pay attention to how and to whom, society automatically associates us with, and how the prevailing culture labels us. Missionaries are students of their culture.
I understand how blurry the lines are sometimes between our rights as Canadians, and our responsibilities as citizens of the Kingdom. It is up to us, Church, to remind each other that we are first of all citizens of the Kingdom. There is a widening gap between government (culture) and the Kingdom of God, for example, in the spheres of policy, law, education and entertainment. In response, we must become more resolved in prayer and more committed to a contextual ministry response.
Below, two executives of CARDUS, the faith-based think tank, thoughtfully discuss conclusions of the Panel (I appreciate the work of both Cardus and especially, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, in helping the Church in Canada, pay attention, and respond appropriately to current issues).
- Proposed Assault on Canada’s Religious Freedom – A report recommending Canada’s government remove Abrahamic faiths from the military chaplaincy is “one of the most egregious examples of anti-religious sentiment I have ever seen in Canada,” writes Brian Dijkema for The Line.
- Religious Bigotry Not the Answer – Ray Pennings wrote an op-ed for The Hub about the ongoing controversy related to the report released by the Defence Advisory Panel about who can serve as a chaplain for Canada’s Armed Forces.
In addition, Michael van Pelt, the Pres/CEO of CARDUS, wrote to Defense Minister Anita Anand — see www.cardus.ca/policy-brief/memo-redefining-chaplaincy — to speak strongly against the chaplaincy recommendation of the Panel. He also recommended that Anand “firmly and publicly reject the discriminatory sections of the report’s Recommendation 6″.
I’m not aware that Minister Anand replied to CARDUS or has acted on CARDUS’ recommendation. The Panel’s full report is at www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/news/2022/04/ministers-advisory-panel-on-systemic-racism-and-discrimination-final-report.html
Are you familiar with the Intergenerational Ministry Task Force?
The purpose of this task force is to investigate the current understanding of this ethos as it is being experienced at the local church level throughout the Free Methodist Church in Canada, before continuing to recommend next steps in resourcing congregations to embrace the role of the whole church family in empowering children, youth, and young adults for mission. The task force seeks to both evaluate present practices and envision what a greater emphasis on age-inclusivity could mean for the future of our movement.
The task force has recently created a Facebook page. They hope it will be a place where conversations around intergenerational ministry can take place and ideas and resources can be exchanged.
Please LIKE their page to join in the conversation:
Pastor Liisa Farrugia (Commissioned Minister)– released from appointment as Assistant
Pastor at The Open Door, Brantford, ON, effective May 24
Pastor Elizabeth Down (Commissioned Minister) – released from appointment as Associate Pastor at Sault Ste Free Methodist Church, Sault Ste Marie, ON, effective May 24
New Hope Free Methodist Church, Bracebridge, ON – in transition, effective June 30, 2022.
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/
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*
November 4-6, 2022, – location TBA*
- Tyndale University: https://www.tyndale.ca/
- FMC-USA as a 7-week intensive online course: http://fmcusa.org/leadership/
courses/ Wesleyan Theology [#74W] Dr. Robert Vaughan – start dates: Apr 19, June 7, Jul 26, Sep 13, Nov 1
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.”
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/
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.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
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]
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.
Bracebridge, ON – New Hope FMC
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)