I pray that the experiences with the Spirit that people had this past Friday and Sunday in worship services would impact their week this week, and their lives moving forward. I pray that the love, sacrifice and revolution that Jesus modelled and put into motion would be reflected in each of our lives. Imagine a church known for her sacrificial love and revolutionary (courageous, creative, change agents) ways?!
On Good Friday Karlene and I worshiped in a combined service between Shiloh FM and Pinegrove FM. We REMEMBERED the cross with Scripture, music, spoken word, message and communion and we ate afterwards! Shiloh members pulled me aside (several of them) to tell me about miracles that they had received recently: healings. I asked one man why he thought God was responding this way to them and his answer was thoughtful: “I guess that at many churches there are miracles all the time, but we are in the habit here of sharing answers to prayers each week… each week we take time to share how God has answered prayers in our lives.” I think that he is right. Story telling is the best form of evangelism and of strengthening the Body of Christ and even REMBERING His faithfulness (which leads to worship!).
Congregations and Camps — The Never-Ending Struggle (by Gary Walsh)
I knew that Bishop Gerald Bates was a very wise man, but I didn’t know he understood clutch-plates. That’s before we met in the Board Room at Roberts Wesleyan College to wrestle with that never-ending struggle between congregations and colleges. The congregations always ask, “Why doesn’t the College serve us better?” while the college asks, “Why don’t the congregations serve us better?” Bishop Bates, in his quiet way, painted a powerful picture.
First, he listened to his brothers and sisters as they suggested ideas like creating new bylaws or stricter policies that would demand both allegiance and support. Then the Bishop leaned forward, in his friendly and casual manner, to describe the function of a clutch-plate to a rather sophisticated group of governors. I smiled. I think they all owned automatic transmissions serviced by the dealership.
The bishop shared this message — We don’t need to drill holes and install nuts and bolts to secure the partnership. Clutch-plates press against each other and the movement is transferred from the engine to the wheels. It’s about coming together, side-by-side, praying together, walking together to see the Kingdom advanced even from our different locations. Nuts and bolts solve certain other problems but not this one. The churches need to move toward the college, and the college needs to move toward the churches. Send students, welcome speakers, send faculty, attend events, speak positively, call people from both places to pray for the other, and celebrate the partnership. I know that Board Members heard the message because clutch-plate theology was mentioned often following that session.
In my opinion, that clutch-plate theology fits camps and congregations in Canadian Free Methodism today. I get that impression as I listen to my colleagues at our Camping Summits, hosted by Bishop Cliff, at the Ministry Centre each January. Congregations and camps need to walk together.
We can stay apart like competitors for fear of losing ground, or we can come together in our effort to advance the Heavenly Kingdom in our regions. When that happens, influence, encouragement, teaching, momentum and faith will move from one partner to the other because we are pressing together and pressing on, side-by-side.
I long to see our camps become noteworthy Christian resource centres with which any wise pastor would love to identify. Imagine a pastor praying, announcing, attending and influencing the camp. On the other hand, imagine the camp equipping, teaching, connecting, and taking people deeper and deeper into the things of God. I long to hear that returning campers are transformed, encouraged, equipped, and “born from above” so that congregations feel the spiritual impact as the summer season ends and local autumn ministry begins.
Welcome to the partnership – congregations and camps.
2019 REGIONAL GATHERINGS 2019 Regional Gathering Locations and Dates – PDF
Regional Gatherings are all about connecting! Our intention is to see Free Methodist leader and lay people meeting together as a movement for both an “informative” and “formative” gathering. We hope to see you there! https://fmcic.ca/regional-gathering-2019/
Church Health Thursdays – Les Rudiments “Ennuyeux” de la Revitalisation de l’Église: https://fmcic.ca/les-rudiments-ennuyeux-de-la-revitalisation-de-leglise/
News & Stories Blog – West Springs FMC Asylum Seekers Initiatives Group: https://fmcic.ca/west-springs-fmc-asylum-seekers-initiatives-group/
the conneXion – a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out: https://fmcic.ca/3-minute-theology-2-5-knowing-the-bible-inside-out/
New Leaf Network: Learning Party stories – Andrew Benson: https://www.newleafnetwork.ca/podcast/ep-64-learning-party-stories-andrew-benson/
Faith and Finances Website: http://faithandfinances.ca
Pastor Douglas Smith – reinstated as a Ministerial Candidate and appointed as Church Planting Pastor of the Village of St. Williams, Ontario, effective April 16
Ordination and Commissioning Services
FOUNDATIONAL COURSES https://fmcic.ca/foundational-courses/
Register online through the link above
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:
May 31-June 2, 2019 – Peterborough FM Church, Peterborough ON
November 1-3, 2019 – western Canada-location TBA*
Cours sur le Coeur du Méthodisme Libre Canadien
12 au 14 juillet 2019 à Montréal à l’Église Méthodiste Libre de St-Henri
May 31-June 2, 2019 – Weyburn Free Methodist Church, Weyburn, SK
*DATE CHANGE*: October 25-27, 2019 – Ontario-location TBA*
(also available online through FMC-USA: http://fmcusa.org/leadership/courses/)
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:
Western Canada course starts October 7 (deadline to register – October 1)
Oct 7-31 – advance online engagement
Nov 1-2 – two-day in-person class at Lakeview Free Methodist Church, Saskatoon, SK
Personal and Church Stewardship:
5-week online course (FRENCH) – start date – TBA
6-week online course (ENGLISH) – start date – TBA
(*locations are selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early!)
2019 SCHOLARSHIPS https://fmcic.ca/scholarships/
October 15 is the deadline to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for any courses taken during either the summer and/or the fall semesters of 2019. The 2019 application forms and instructions are now available to download from the link above.
October 15 is the deadline to apply for the annual Special Scholarships for courses taken during 2019 – apply online from the link above
CONTINUING EDUCATION UNITS (CEUs) https://fmcic.ca/introduction-to-continuing-education/
Ordained and Commissioned Ministers (except retirees) are to annually report Continuing Education Units (CEUs) acquired during each year. Check the link above for information on CEUs, the report form and a list of examples of many different types of life-long learning that can be applied as CEUs.
Note: For those who attended the fall Minister’s Conferences, add 6 hours of CEU credit when you send in your annual CEU report.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Caistor Centre FMC, Caistor Centre, ON
Church Profiles available
Contact Susan DePlanché in the Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] or 289-228-1225 (deadline to apply in brackets)
Hampton FMC, Saskatoon, SK (May 7, 2019)
Madoc Wesleyan/FMC, Madoc, ON (May 21, 2019)
(If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Susan in the Leadership Development Office [[email protected] or 289-228-1225] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.)
Athens FMC, Athens, ON (Angel Valentin-Transition Pastor)
Crossroads FMC, Salmon Arm, BC
New Horizons Community Church – Sarnia, ON (Kim Henderson-Interim Pastor)
Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Abbs So and Shadow Lau-Interim Co-Pastors)
Smiths Falls FMC, Smiths Falls, ON
Summer Intern – Wawota FM Church
Life Guards – Smoky Trail Native Bible Camp
Children’s Ministry Director – Barrie FM Church
Intern Job Position – Maple Grove Christian Retreat Centre
Youth Pastor – Malvern Methodist