This past week I loved being with new lead pastors, at the New Pastors’ Orientation event at the Ministry Center. I found myself grateful to God for leading each one of these pastors to our FMCiC family. We are blessed!
On the weekend the Study Commission on Doctrine convened for our annual in person meeting. We had a packed agenda, and I have to tell you, this SCOD team came to play! We accomplished everything on our list, with prayerful and careful work. Several times, a SCOD member would remind us again that these are not merely doctrinal issues, but each item impacts real people – people we love, or will have the opportunity to love one day. Jesus would not have us tease apart doctrine and compassion, or truth and love.
I was with our Tillsonburg FM church family on Sunday morning. This church family is asking important questions about their future, as they are prayerfully navigating transition. And of course, we feasted after service! Please pray for God’s clear leading in Tillsonburg. In fact, why not right now take a moment before reading any further to pray for them.
Finally, on Sunday afternoon I was at Kingsview FM, where we ordained Sabrina Hinds. The Reverend Sabrina is not only a fully ordained pastor now, but this week she left her secular job, to become the full-time associate at Kingsview. Thank you Sabrina for following Jesus wherever He will lead you!
In the past 6.5 years I have consistently asked our churches to do 3 things:
Appoint a prayer leader, and have that prayer leader connect with the National Prayer Team;
Develop a 3-5 Year Ministry Plan (call it a strategic plan, or vision, or mission or whatever you would like) which includes, at least, the 3 following elements:
a) A prayer plan: how your church will grow in prayer;
b) A working definition of discipleship, and a corresponding discipleship strategy;
c) And even though evangelism is a part of discipleship, I suggested that we tease evangelism out of discipleship, in order to be intentional about developing a plan to tell others about Jesus;
Get to the full CORE amount (which is a tithe, 10%).
I have suggested, appealed, and recommended many other things, but these are consistently the elements that our churches have been challenged to do. I happen to believe, based on what I see in your churches, that when our churches live into these bullet points, they are a fruit-bearing church family!
When a church does not have a prayer leader connected to the National Prayer Team, we all lose, because we are without you! You lose because prayer is also something to be trained in, challenged to learn more about. When you do not participate in the national prayer initiatives, we are somehow less…
When a church is not giving to CORE the full amount (or does not have a faith-filled 3-year plan to move towards the full amount) then, again we all lose, because we are less able to do together all that He has for us. Less able to subsidize bi-vocational pastors who want to come to events but can’t afford the days off, less able to mobilize our churches into intercultural engagement opportunities, less able to fund full internships to potential pastors, less able to afford a new national children or youth ministry coach, less able to fully fund a dynamic prayer ministry, less able to afford more [necessary] hours for Regional Coaches… We are somehow less…
But when one of our churches develops a discipleship definition and strategy, they begin to bear fruit. They are able to plant two new churches, like Pastor Dan has seen happen in Calgary, or they develop a carefully, interconnected caring, loving, thriving network of groups and friendships as they are experiencing in Mission, BC with Pastor Greg, or they creatively explore the richness of a “distributed church” model like Uxbridge and Brantford churches are doing with Pastor Blake.
Now, if you are not a leader, these are still 3 essential pursuits: 1. The development of a growing prayer life which includes inviting others to help you mature in your prayer life; 2. A personal vision plan which includes how you are discipled and how you will disciple others, plus, asking how you will use your gifts to introduce others to Jesus; and 3. Tithing (I personally believe that it is an essential step of obedience which helps you practice trust and faith – it’s a way to develop your faith-muscle!).
Thank you for prayerfully pursuing these “3 things”!
October 2023 Events
Do you know someone who would like to receive CliffsNotes? They can now sign up through the website at: https://www.fmcic.ca/cliffsnotes-signup/
Pastor Pierre-Andre Jean-Charles (Retired Commissioned Minister), Riviere des Prairies, QC – died on October 7 [see obituary at this link: M . R. PIERRE ANDRÉ JEAN CHARLES [1945-2023] – Magnus Poirier]
Rev. Keith Taylor (Retired Ordained Minister), Oshawa, ON – died on October 11 [see obituary at this link: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/courtice-on/keith-taylor-11494545]
April 14, 2024 at 2:00 pm ET – Pastor Yves Anthonuel, Eglise Evangelique des Mille-Iles, Laval, QC
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*
November 3-5 – Holt Free Methodist Church, Mount Albert, ON
- 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
Brampton, ON – Bramalea FM Church
Madoc, ON – Madoc Free Methodist/Wesleyan Church
Mississauga, ON – Grace Methodist Church
Salmon Arm, BC – Lakeside Community 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]
Wallaceburg, ON – Charlemont FM Church (part-time) [November 14]
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
Brantford, ON – The Open Door Church
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
Sombra, ON – Zion FM Church
Tillsonburg, ON – Open Arms Church