Today we are featuring a guest Cliff’s Notes contributor, the new Senior Director of Church Health, Jervis Djokoto.
Free Methodist Family in Canada, thank you so much for your warm welcome, prayers, and well wishes as I have stepped into this role. My wife (Robin), myself, and two little ones (Joseph and Eva) sincerely thank you.
As I begin my new assignment, I am reminded of the wise words of a Pastor who once wrote, “The work of God can only be accomplished by the power of God.” This sentiment is echoed in Proverbs 3:5-6, where we are encouraged to trust God entirely rather than relying on our own understanding. Apostle Paul also emphasizes the importance of relying on the true power of God in 1 Cor 2:1-5, rather than relying on human eloquence or wisdom. I will keep these teachings in mind as I move forward and approach this task with a deep sense of responsibility and holy reverence.
So, though I may have studied renewal theology & Church health-related theological issues for many years, worked with several different Churches and denominations over the years and played a small part in a flourishing Church planting movement (one in Northern Ghana that reported having planted/built 400 Churches in just five years), this is not what I am leaning on.
Church Health is not about what I can achieve or desire but Christ’s agenda. He promised to build His ecclesia, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. Throughout history, the ecumenical Church has also experienced periods of spiritual decline alternating with great awakenings as God graciously breathed new life into His Church. Hence, the Reformation, Methodism, Pietism, Moravian revivals, and contemporary Charismatic renewals are only a few examples of our Father’s dedication to His Church’s health. Ultimately, this movement’s spiritual health, growth and flourishing are the prerogative of the Spirit of God as we all learn to listen closely and cooperate with His operation.
Therefore, as a member of the national leadership team, my privilege is to do my part in supporting pastors and boards within the Network of Churches to intentionally operationalize the Spirit’s eager desire to develop healthy churches. This includes adding healthy, culturally competent planters/starters (leaders, lay/clergy) and projects (societies and projects) to the family of the Free Methodist Church in Canada and beyond. In harmony with each other and with Scripture, proactively and periodically assessing our spiritual health while leaning on the guidance and empowerment of the Spirit, I believe we will be able to embrace the growth and health opportunities God has for us.
So what will my first steps be?
In the coming months, I will work closely with Marc McAlister, Bishop Cliff, other staff and my Church Planting & Church Health coaches (all of whom I am grateful for) to better understand our current situation. Likewise, I would LOVE to meet with all of our Pastors and Delegates, both in-person and online, to connect with you and learn more about your unique circumstances. This will be my summer focus, a “listening tour.” Therefore, please look forward to my email in the coming days with information for us to book a time to meet & chat. My aim is to listen to your thoughts and ideas and discern what God may already be speaking to you. Building on your experience as Pastors and Delegates and what many others have been labouring for and praying for years, I believe we will all be able to see further together all the beautiful things Jesus, our Chief Shepherd, may have for us in the coming years!
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Rev. Kevin Bishop (Located Ordained Minister) – reactivated as an Ordained Minister in the conference and appointed as Lead Pastor at Hillside Free Methodist Church, Sault Ste Marie, ON, effective September 1
Pastor Lorilee Bishop (Ministerial Candidate) – released from appointment at West Springs FMC, Calgary, AB, effective August 18
Date and time TBA – Pastor Sabrina Hinds, Kingsview FMC, Etobicoke, 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:
Date and location TBA*
November 3-5, 2023 – location TBA*
- Tyndale University – https://www.tyndale.ca/seminary/wesley-studies/courses
- Free Methodist Church-USA NEW! Anytime on Pathwright (multiple instructor choices)
- Self-paced, up to 8 months to complete
- 16-week intensive version, select Instructor Vaughan (session start dates: Aug. 21, Oct. 16)
- Central Christian College online, 6 weeks, asynchronous – deadline to apply: Sept 18 (start dates Oct 2 and Nov 12)
- 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
Brampton, ON – Bramalea FM Church
Hilton Beach, ON – St. Joseph Island FM Church
Kingston, ON – Polson Park FM Church
Church Profiles Available
To review the job profiles that are available please go to our website list of job profiles or contact Davika Dotson in the Leadership Development Office – [email protected] (deadline to apply in brackets)
Bracebridge, ON – New Hope FM Church (part-time) [Aug 8]
Madoc, ON – Madoc Free Methodist/Wesleyan Church (full-time) [July 25]
Salmon Arm, BC – Lakeside Community Church (full-time) [July 25]
Once the profiles become available they will be listed on the above list “Church Profiles available” and on our website for you to obtain the list of job profiles
Brantford, ON – The Open Door Church
Campbellford, ON – Campbellford FM Church (Rev. Leonard Bruce – Interim Pastor)
Cloyne, ON – Pineview 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)
Mississauga, ON – Grace Methodist Church
Nepean, ON – Arlington Woods FM Church (Rev. Mike Hogeboom retiring May 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 (Rev. Terry Clyne retiring Aug 31/23)
Tillsonburg, ON – Open Arms Church
Wallaceburg, ON – Charlemont FM Church
NEW Part-Time Family & Youth Ministries Director (30hr/wk) – West Springs Free Methodist Church