This past weekend, Karlene and I worshiped in beautiful Quebec City, at L’Eglise Methodiste Libre L’Esperance. We were celebrating that a church plant was now a full society! For 3 hours we worshiped, some danced in worship, we prayed, told their story as a church family, young people wore traditional Burundian/Rwandan outfits and sang a Bible story for us, we opened God’s Word and celebrated God’s faithfulness! We welcomed Pastor Stanislas’ transfer of credentials from the Anglican Church. And of course, there was a feast afterwards! Thank you Pastor Sanambe, Pastor Edwin and Pastor Stanislas and your families for your sacrificial, faithful ministry! If we were together, in person, and I told you about this wonderful event, I would end by declaring, “Hallelujah!” and you would respond in declaration, affirmation and in unity, “HALLELUJAH!” If you were enthusiastic or convincing in your response, I would say it again, “Hallelujah”, and you would respond with greater resolve and joy, “HALLELUJAH!”
I was wondering how you are praying for world issues privately and corporately? I remember, as a pastor once listening to one of my board members lead the church family in prayer during a service. He prayed for a missionary we supported, he prayed for Canada generally, and then prayed for several people in our church family who were not well. It was a good prayer, but I remember feeling that it was a small prayer. It was not really inviting me to grapple prayerfully with the news about war, or the feelings I had about friends who were sick. We did not have time to process quietly, but instead we ended with “Amen” and then enjoyed a lively children’s moment. It was a standard, good, small, “let’s get on in the service” prayer.
Yesterday I watched scenes being lived out in Israel-Palestine. I remembered dear friends in Ukraine who live rather close to the Russian border. I remembered the terrible things going on right now in the Sudan. A few weeks ago, I met a missionary in a “closed” country (“closed” to mission work, and if officials knew about missionary work, their very lives would be in danger, we are therefore unable to publish the name of the country), and this missionary told me of regular threats, beatings, imprisonment and kidnapping that Christians experience. You and I could list other crisis and issues which weigh on us. My question is how should we pray privately and together?
Do we simply make a list and daily read off the list to God? Do we simply mention it on Sundays or should we explain our political stands in prayer (recently, one dear saint prayed about a political leader, and made it clear what she thought of this leader)? Should we tell God what to do in our prayers, or if we were God what we would do in this situation? Do we need to use words at all? What’s appropriate for a Sunday morning?
To our Prayer Point Persons or Prayer Leaders in each local church: initiate this very conversation. Bring it to your pastor and leaders and ask them to prayerfully talk about this. Our churches are free to define their approach to Sunday morning based on culture/neighbourhood context, which means that your Sunday prayer time will probably we different than mine. But this also means that there have to be intentional spaces and times built into our regular church family diet, where we move beyond “small” prayer!
In your private time, you have to build into your regular life rhythm times to move beyond simply listing concerns, and have time to process with the Spirit feelings about wars, and heartbreak for brothers and sisters who are being persecuted, and time to listen to anything that He might want you to do in these situations. You have to build into your life rhythm times of prayer-better-than-words (fasting, kneeling, quiet, etc.), times with a trusted friend to pray, and listening prayer.
Churches should have the same.
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None this week
January 27, 2024 at 2:00 pm ET – Pastor Misa Mochinaga, Wesley Chapel Japanese Free Methodist Church, Scarborough, ON
April 14, 2024 at 2:00 pm ET – Pastor Yves Anthonuel, Eglise Evangelique des Mille-Iles, Laval, QC
Date and time TBA – Pastor Josiah Piett, House of Freedom Free Methodist Church Plant, Niagara Falls, 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 7-9, 2024 – location TBA*
June 7-9, 2024 – location TBA*
- Tyndale University – https://www.tyndale.ca/seminary/wesley-studies/courses
- Free Methodist Church-USA Anytime on Pathwright (multiple instructor choices)
- Self-paced, up to 8 months to complete
- 16-week intensive version, select Instructor Vaughan
- Central Christian College online, 6 weeks, asynchronous – deadline to apply: Jan 1 (course runs Jan 9 to Feb 19)
- 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.
February 15 is the next deadline to apply for LSP for any courses taken during the winter semester of 2024. The 2024 application forms and instructions will be available later this year to download from the link above. Please use the application forms marked “rev 2024.”
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 2024 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
Mississauga, ON – Grace Methodist Church
Church Profiles Available
To review the church profiles that are available, please go to our website at this link: church profiles or contact Davika Dotson in the Leadership Development Office – [email protected] [deadline to apply in brackets]
Brampton, ON – Bramalea FM Church (part-time) [December 5]
Brantford, ON – The Open Door Church (full-time) [November 28]
Wallaceburg, ON – Charlemont FM Church (part-time) [November 14]
Salmon Arm, BC – Lakeside Community Church (part-time/full-time) [November 14]
Sombra, ON – Zion FM Church (full-time) [November 28]
Once these church profiles become available, they will be listed above as “Church Profiles available” and also on our website at this link: church profiles
Belleville, ON – Belleville Centennial FM Church (Rev. Rodney Peterson retiring Aug 31/24)
Campbellford, ON – Campbellford FM Church (Rev. Leonard Bruce – Interim Pastor)
Cloyne, ON – Pineview FM Church
Dryden, ON – Dryden 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)
Nepean, ON – Arlington Woods FM Church (Rev. Mike Hogeboom retiring May 31/24)
Newmarket, ON – New Hope Methodist Church (Rev. Terry Gibson retiring Aug 31/24)
Orillia, ON – Church on the Hill (Pastor Velma Shewfelt – Interim Pastor)
Richmond Hill, ON – Richmond Hill FM Church (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Seeley’s Bay, ON – Pine Grove Community Church
Tillsonburg, ON – Open Arms Church