[This week’s ‘Cliffs Notes’ was authored by Steven Braun]
“…there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne… Rev 7:9
Bishop Cliff has asked me to write an update for you this week since I am just returning from the Free Methodist World Conference. This gathering was held in Kigali, Rwanda this last week. I was pleased to write this update as the week was a meaningful one.
I have to say my first inclination was to compare the conference to other business conferences I have attended in the past. I can tell you that technology conferences do not make a point of praying for each speaker and the work they do.
The theme for the gathering was “Partners in the Gospel to Multiply the Harvest”. In addition to updates from each of the 19 General Conferences, several bishops (and others) were asked to speak on this theme. The topic that caught my ear was on Biblical Interdependence. It was written by the Asia Area Manager, Dr. Eric Spangler. He suggested that we can be better together. Eric used the Trinity as a model for interdependence and that we all sit at the same table. I saw this in many ways during the week as bishops and delegates met between sessions or at meals and compared notes about activities / strategies in each country.
There were two events that were not just informative but which moved my spirit:
1. We visited the Rwandan Genocide Memorial to learn more about the killings which took place in 1994. Canadians have a connection to those events as General Romeo Dallaire served as Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda at that time. While these tragic events are important to remember, what struck me was the grace-filled – and Spirit-led – response of the Rwandan people. A government representative who addressed the conference said “We chose to live”. I also spoke to a Rwandan who was 7 years old at the time who said the country collectively decided to move forward and that young kids today do not have to think of such divisions.
2. Bishop Cliff was invited to speak at a rural church near Kigali on Sunday morning. We were guests of Dr. Benjamin, who planted the Nyamata church in the Bugesera District. There is a wonderful connection to the Canadian church as the pastor’s son Benny worships at our Arlington Woods church. Our visit on Sunday was a wonderful blessing to end our trip. There were several choirs during the service and an impressive young man who led worship and also translated to and from Kinyarwanda – depending on who was speaking. It felt like we hugged everyone in the congregation and took pictures with them. We also heard Benjamin’s plans for building a school on the property. While the extra land is unused, they are growing beans for the nearby families to share.
Bishop Daniel Abe from Brazil leads the Japanese conference in his country. His address was based on the disciples fishing in Luke 5 – specifically around verse 7: “So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them.” Simon didn’t wave to strangers – these were people that he knew. The Bishop reminded us that partnerships start before the work; that relationships have to exist before the job is shared. The meetings were rich in being able to see those friendships form based on Jesus Christ and our shared identity as Free Methodists.
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1
West Springs Church
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 Tyler McAlister (Ministerial Candidate) – released from appointment as Assistant Pastor at Caistor Centre FM Church, Caistor Centre, ON and appointed as Lead Pastor at Madoc Wesleyan/FM Church, Madoc, ON, effective November 29.
Rev. Rodney Peterson (Ordained Minister) – Lead Pastor at Belleville Centennial Church, Belleville, ON – transition to “Retired”, effective August 31, 2024
Pastor Misa Mochinaga (Ministerial Candidate) – Lead Pastor at Wesley Chapel Japanese FMC, Scarborough, ON – approved for ordination, effective October 25
Pastor Josiah Piett (Ministerial Candidate) – Co-Church Planter Pastor at House of Freedom FM Church Plant, Niagara Falls, ON – approved for ordination, effective October 25
Rev. Dr. Robert Munshaw (Ordained Minister) – issued a Certificate of Standing to transfer his ordination credential to the Free Methodist Church-USA – Gateway Conference, Greenville, IL, effective October 23
April 14, 2024 at 2:00 pm ET – Pastor Yves Anthonuel, Eglise Evangelique des Mille-Iles, Laval, QC
Date and time TBA – Pastor Misa Mochinaga, Wesley Chapel Japanese Free Methodist Church, Scarborough, ON
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*
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
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