By now many of you have heard about the FMCiC’s restructuring plans. Click here for the “Restructuring Rationale”, and then click here for the video I prepared for pastors and delegates last week.
The short version is that we can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results. The Church in Canada is not in a healthy place. We, you and I, are entrusted with a small part of the larger Church, the FMCiC. There are immediate needs that require our full attention: churches that will close in the next 5 years, boards that are hurting, churches that are stuck, pastors that are ill-equipped for this new season, and tired. We have diminishing attendance, membership, and volunteerism. We have very few people responding to a call into full time pastoral ministry, chaplaincy, international missions, or into new local missional ventures. We are called to thrive.
I have been meeting with our delegates by zoom, calls, and a few in person for the past year and a half. I have heard your questions and concerns. I meet with boards across Canada and hear themes and needs. Furthermore, when I began this role, we combined two roles into one: Leadership Development and Church Health. At the time I committed to Marc that when this was no longer sustainable or a reasonable ask for one person, that we could tease the roles apart. It so happens that leadership development and church health are the major themes, needs, concerns that you have, and it is time to create two jobs in order to be responsive to our current state and our future.
The new National Leadership Team will include: Bishop, Senior Director of Administrative Services (vacant as Mark is retiring), Senior Director of Leadership Development (Marc), and Senior Director of Church Health & Planting. Jared was asked to prayerfully consider if he had a vision for this role, and has graciously declined. He will end his faithful ministry with the FMCiC December 31, 2022.
I am very aware that there are questions about all this! Despite the rationale document and video, some still are asking for the “real story”. The best that I can do is to tell you that this is the truth and ask you to pray.
I lie awake at night wondering prayerfully (in my less sanctified moments, “worrying” – because worry always cancels prayer & vice versa) what needs to shift or change. I brought my idea to trusted leaders and then to the Board of Administration to help shape and discern. One of the BOA’s practices is to have in camera sessions each time we meet (Bishop leaves the room) so that they can process ideas, catch their breath together, make sure that rationale and motivations are good and right regarding all initiatives and conversations. This all happened. We also have a Personnel Team that helps with staffing and team issues or building. They are a part of the go-forward. We have designed the Personnel Team to report directly to the BOA so that there is full transparency, in all staffing matters good and bad. Again, all this has been working since it was instituted 5 years ago. I mention all this in order to reassure you that there are several good levels of accountability and many Godly eyes involved.
Mark, our Director of Admin Services is retiring for all the right reasons, and we are both grateful for him and excited for his next season – he will be missed. He will continue in his current role until summer next year.
Marc, our Director of Leadership Development and Church Health (he will continue with the current role until we hire the new person, and then will move into the Senior Director of Leadership Development role) is taking a sabbatical that was actually due him during COVID. It is not a medical leave, and is a leave that his team members and I have been encouraging him to take! You can read his blog here.
Jared was invited to consider the new role, but declined. We are grateful for his investment into FMCiC. He has stretched us, challenged us, set up a healthy church planting support team including coaches, and he has loved us. I remember meeting him for the first time at a Ministers’ Conference at Wesley Acres. He was the church planter at the Next. He had a long leather coat and army boots, and he reminded me of the cool Matrix characters (one of my favourite movies). He has continued to remind us that the FMCiC has so much potential to be unique within Christendom. I am personally grateful for his ongoing reminder. He will be missed.
We are now left with an opportunity to build a new National Leadership Team with a timely necessary focus. Please pray that God makes clear to the individuals who need to step up and to those of us hiring, who He would like to be in these positions.
I am inviting all of our churches to dedicate the first week of 2023 to focussed prayer and fasting for the FMCiC family.
On behalf of Sandy and the Crozier family, they would like you to know how much they appreciate the messages of care they have been receiving from all of you. Even though they are unable to respond to each message individually, please know that they are all being read and are greatly treasured. Below you will find the live stream link for Rusty’s funeral on Wednesday.
Celebration of Life for Rusty Crozier – November 30th, 2022 – YouTube
Rev. Leonard Bruce – appointed as Interim Pastor, Campbellford FM Church, Campbellford, ON, effective January 1, 2023
Rev. Cathleen Getchell – Pastor at Kingscourt FM Church, Kingston, ON – in transition, effective January 17, 2023
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 2-4, 2023 – location TBA*
June 2-4, 2023 – location TBA*
- Tyndale University – “John Wesley’s Theology: Renewing the Heart, Renewing the Church” https://www.tyndale.ca/syllabi/winter/2023/theo-0629
- Offered January 13 – April 10, 2023 in hybrid format: Two Fridays of “live” class (in-person or online) on January 27 and March 17, plus online lectures and discussions.
- Available for seminary or undergraduate credit
- For more info contact James Pedlar ([email protected])
- FMC-USA https://leadership.fmcusa.org/education/courses
- as a 7-week intensive online course: Wesleyan Theology [#74W] Dr. Robert Vaughan – start date: (2023 start dates to be posted soon)
- as a correspondence course (8 months to complete): Wesleyan Theology (#74C), Dr. Allen Wachter
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]:
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 2023. The 2023 application forms and instructions will soon be 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.
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
New Westminster, BC – First FMC
Salmon Arm BC – Lakeside Community Church
Sarnia, ON – New Horizons Community Church
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)
None available this week
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 (Gary Denniss – Interim Pastor)
Brampton, ON – Bramalea FMC
Campbellford, ON – Campbellford FMC (Rev. Leonard Bruce – Interim Pastor, effective Jan 1/23)
Cloyne, ON – Pineview
Cloyne, ON – Pineview FMC
Dunnville, ON – Dunnville FMC (Rev. Neale Robb – Interim Pastor)
Frankford, ON – Frankford Community Church
Kingston, ON – Kingscourt Free Methodist Church
Kingston, ON – Polson Park FMC
Madoc, ON – Madoc Free Methodist/Wesleyan Church
Marmora, ON – Marmora FMC
Richmond Hill, ON – Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Sault Ste Marie, ON – Sault Ste Marie FMC
Seeley’s Bay, ON – Pine Grove
Tillsonburg, ON – Open Arms Church