Regional Gathering number 6 was in Thunder Bay. As we flew in, we saw snow on the ground! There was still ice on lakes as I drove north to speak in Dryden on Sunday morning – I also saw two moose!
Your brothers and sisters in that area have a tradition of meeting the night before the Saturday Regional Gathering event, to simply connect. It was such a good time to be in person and visit and eat too many desserts. Saturday was once again a good time of connecting, getting updated about task forces and initiatives, discussion and prayer. On Sunday I enjoyed reconnecting with my friends in Dryden. We enjoyed a tender prayer service together. I was supposed to stay for the luncheon but realized Sunday morning that I had not factored into my 4-hour drive to the airport the time change – did you know that Ontario had two time zones?
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada released a study on Christian Parenting in Canada (you can find the study by going to the EFC website). One line in the introduction surprised me: “Seventy-three percent of surveyed parents believe that it is essential to offer their children religious choice without any pressure…”. This significant percentage represents a shift in Christian parenting. It has left me asking about the implications of this shift: what does this shift mean? What are the pros and cons of such a belief and approach? We clearly have to ask important questions because our children have been moving away from Church for many years. How are we to disciple parents and children in this new season?
Just a reminder that we have a task force in place to help us navigate these types of important questions: The Intergenerational Ministry Task Force.
Save the date: Israel FMCiC Pilgrimage April 28-May 7, 2024
Imagine reading the Sermon on the Mount on the hills above Lake Galilee or sharing communion among the ancient trees in the Garden of Gethsemane. Join us for a 9-day Holy Land pilgrimage where the Bible will come alive to you in a new way! This introductory tour will cover the major Christian and Jewish historical sites and give you unique opportunities to worship and engage the scriptures in the very places where they occurred. Departure from Toronto is being planned directly following the FMCiC General Conference on April 28th, 2024. Prices and a detailed itinerary will be available shortly.
Finally, see the attached press release for the recent Wesleyan Symposium.
UPCOMING REGIONAL GATHERING REGISTRATION DEADLINES:
BARRIE FMC REGIONAL GATHERING – being held on Wednesday, May 24 – deadline to register is May 14
ST. JOSEPH’S ISLAND FMC REGIONAL GATHERING – being held on Saturday, May 27 – deadline to register is May 17
Pastor Luke Anderson – reinstated as a Ministerial Candidate and appointed as Lead Pastor at New Horizons Community Church, Sarnia, ON, effective August 1.
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:
*NEW* Ontario course starts TONIGHT – Tuesday, May 9 with three online evening sessions on Zoom (May 9, 16 and 23 at 7 pm), plus two days in-person June 3-4 at Uxbridge FMC, Uxbridge, ON Registration open until 3:00 pm EDT today! https://fmcic.wufoo.com/forms/foundational-courses-online-registration/
July 14-16 – West Springs FMC, Calgary, AB
November 3-5, 2023 – location TBA*
- Tyndale University – https://www.tyndale.ca/seminary/wesley-studies
- Free Methodist Church-USA NEW! Anytime on Pathwright (multiple instructor choices)
- 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*
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!)
LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP PLAN (LSP) [APPLY TWICE PER YEAR]:
[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.”
SPECIAL SCHOLARSHIPS [APPLY ONCE PER YEAR]:
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.
CONTINUING EDUCATION UNITS (CEU’S) 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.
Send a report online anytime you have hours to submit for CEUs: 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.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Bracebridge, ON – New Hope FM Church
Brampton, ON – Bramalea FM Church
Kingston, ON – Polson Park FM Church
Madoc, ON – Madoc Free Methodist/Wesleyan Church
Sault Ste Marie, ON – Hillside FM Church
Thornbury, ON – Blue Mountain Community Church
Church Profiles Available
Contact Davika Dotson in the Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] (deadline to apply in brackets)
Hilton Beach, ON – St. Joseph Island FM Church (full-time) [May 23]
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 (Rev. Neale Robb – Interim Pastor)
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
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