This week I am in Saskatoon. On Sunday I worshiped with the Hampton Church family. You’ll remember that when they designed their building they had their neighbourhood in mind. In fact, it has become a space for community, which is great stewardship but more importantly a wonderful way for a church family to be a positive community presence.
They are planning a dinner theater to celebrate 10 years in that facility. I strongly believe that a Christian theater group could be an excellent element of evangelism in your Ministry Plan, where you lay out strategic evangelism plans. With a free venue, and church family involvement in costumes, props and settings, the nominal price for a ticket could fund a mission project, help with church expenses (which is a mission), or perhaps be a part-time salary for a theatre director or coordinator. The neighbourhood would have family friendly, soul-challenging (on occasion), theatre. It may also be an opportunity to invite a community thespian, or stage-helper who is not yet a believer to join, in order to rub shoulders with Christ-followers.
A good moment to remind us again of the importance of a 3-5 Ministry Plan which should include prayer plans, discipleship strategy (including a good working definition of “discipleship”) and evangelism plans. Our Regional Coaches, the new Senior Director of Church Health, Jervis, or myself would love to help your church family build a Ministry Plan.
On Sunday afternoon, Michael Kluthe, our lead pastor in Spiritwood, was ordained in a lovely outdoor ceremony!
This week I am with our pastors from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, at the Western Ministers’ Conference. Please pray that this would be a meaningful time together with our Father.
A Bishop Transition Update from the BOA
Greetings from the Board of Administration (BOA).
In our last formal communication piece, we indicated that the BOA has initiated our bishop transition process following the guidelines of a revised manual paragraph 860 which has been approved in principle by MEGAP. We then laid out the elements of that bishop selection process.
Since that transition update, we have received considerable feedback on the selection process. Almost all of it expressed dissatisfaction with the Bishop Leadership Task Force (BLTF) recommending one name as candidate for an affirmation vote. In response to those concerns, the BOA has now amended the process as follows:
1) The BLTF will identify 1-3 suitable candidates for bishop, and then publish the candidates’ biography information for at least three weeks prior to the vote, for the prayerful consideration of Conference.
2) An online Conference vote will be held to elect a bishop from among the candidate(s) at least one month prior to General Conference. This will allow time to effect transition logistics between incoming and outgoing bishops before the consecration ceremony at General Conference, and for the incoming bishop to finish in their current ministry context.
The BLTF will be issuing a call for nominations in the coming weeks.
We are pleased to let everyone know our BLTF is now in place and underway. The members are: Rev. Sabrina Jordan (chair), Cherith Alexander (Personnel Team representative and liaison to the BOA), Rev. Nathan Umazekabiri, Rev. Barry Taylor, Rev. Evan Garst, Dan McEwen, and Benita Borrowman. Please uphold them constantly in prayer as they begin this important work for our denomination.
If you have any questions on this, or would like further information, please contact me directly at [email protected] or any other BOA member.
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/
Rev. Terry Gibson – status changed from appointed as Lead Pastor, New Hope Methodist Church, Newmarket, ON to “Retired”, effective August 31, 2024.
October 15 at 4:00 pm ET – Pastor Sabrina Hinds, Kingsview FMC, Etobicoke, ON
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:
6-week course via Zoom – 7:30-9:30 pm (ET) starting Wednesday, October 4
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 (next session start date: Oct. 16)
- 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.
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
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]
None this week
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
Wallaceburg, ON – Charlemont FM Church