“According to Your steadfast love refresh me and give me life, so that I may keep and obey the testimony of Your mouth.” Psalm 119:88 (AMP)
I read this today. I stopped and parked at “according to Your steadfast love refresh me and give me life”. By “parking” of course I mean meditating, which Scripturally means “chewing”. I savoured the taste of these words this morning. I prayed that they would be more than words, but somehow food into my soul. I find myself quite hungering these days, for refreshment, and for life. I am praying that you would park (meditate) here too, in order to fully savour and then digest this passage… Seriously, stop for a few minutes and meditate on these words.
Did you stop? If yes read on…
A couple of weeks ago I introduced you to Joel Martin, the National Prayer Director of Youth for Christ. He is a member of our Madoc church family. Today I’d like you to meet Sarah Jackson, a full-time prayer missionary in our nation’s capital. How strategic that God has raised up a full-time prayer missionary in Ottawa! How exciting that such a job even exists! Sarah is a member of our Chapel Ridge church family (incidentally, her Pastor Luke is recovering – remember he was diagnosed with COVID – please continue to pray for he and his family).
ME: Thanks for agreeing to speak into the FMCIC. First, what is your current ministry role in Ottawa?
SARAH: I’m a prayer missionary – similar to a traditional missionary, except called to raise prayer in a region, making way for God’s transformative work. Pray Ottawa seeks to help, in any way we can, to raise the level of prayer so that we would have a prayer-saturated, fruitful city.
ME: Tell us a little about your faith journey, and specifically how did you end up in this role?
SARAH: I’ve had a lot of help to discern God’s direction in this adventure. In 2013, I answered “yes” to an invitation from God to leave my former job (in consultation with mature people, who knew me and prayed with me about it). Later that year, friends led me to talk with the leaders at Love Ottawa. The latter had been asking God for someone who could develop the prayer aspects of their work. I joined their team in 2014. My faith in God to grow me (faster, please!) as a disciple able to lead like Jesus, to provide for me financially, and to use my weaknesses as something good (really?) has been tested!
ME: Sarah, what are some of the initiatives that you are responsible for, and what are some of your dreams?
SARAH: I’m a member of several, overlapping teams serving the citywide effort together. When I began leading Pray Ottawa, I asked God who he was calling onto this team to help raise the level of prayer in the city. We are now six members (from six denominations) who each bring their talents, discernment, and love.
“City on our Knees” is a week of prayer for our city every January. We put out the call, and people design their own events to be part of it. There are joint prayer meetings in various places throughout that week, linked by a theme, website, map, and calendar. People get involved in their workplaces as well as their churches. It’s small but growing.
To encourage prayer coordinators, we invite them to meet, encourage and pray for each other a few times throughout the year. You see their joy when leaders first discover that they are not alone. While many of us know theoretically that we are part of the larger body of Christ, there is a fire that lights when we gather around a table, share our triumphs and challenges, and pray together for a fruitful Church and city. There are some other initiatives as well.
I dream of — more conversations where people have heard God’s love for them in their time alone with him; training becoming available in how and why to pray; God restoring the prayer lives of people who are discouraged about it or feel ashamed of it.
ME: Is there anything that you would like to speak into the Church in Canada?
SARAH: Citywide, collaborative (interdenominational) church impact is dependent on healthy, strong denominations. I am deeply grateful for the FMCIC’s health and heritage. May we take good care of our denomination’s prayer life, for without it we cannot bear fruit.
“If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:7-8.
ME: Thank you Sarah for being obedient and faithful to this call.
One final note: as I read Sarah’s job description and her dreams, it occurred to me that our churches could be prayer-mobilizers and people who inspire and collaborate in our own towns. Maybe all of our churches won’t have children or youth programs, but they can be inspired by Sarah and do what she does… Sarah, as a full-time missionary is responsible to raise her support. If you would like to hear more about her work please contact her at [email protected]
Just a reminder of the National Check In that is taking place on Saturday, May 2, 2020 at 12 pm EDT. All members of conference (ordained ministers and delegates) are expected to attend.
Here is the information to connect to the call:
Meeting ID: 874 5360 2780
Church Health Thursdays – You Can Do This Church: https://fmcic.ca/you-can-do-this-church/
News & Stories Blog – PAN Pals: https://fmcic.ca/pan-pals/
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: The 2019 New Leaf Advent Reader – : https://www.newleafnetwindork.ca/podcast/
FM VIDEOS: https://fmcic.ca/category/fm-video-blog/
None at this time
ORDINATION AND COMMISSIONING SERVICES
Leonard Bruce – Warkworth, ON – ordination service date TBA
Dani Harris – The Corner Church, Oshawa, ON – ordination service date TBA
Douglas Smith – Fellowship of Joy, St. Williams, ON – ordination service date TBA
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:
June 5-7, 2020 – due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this course will be taught live via Zoom (details will be sent to those who register prior to the course)
November 6-8, 2020 – location TBA*
November 6-8, 2020 – 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:
Course starts October 13 (deadline to register – October 5)
Part One: Oct 13-Nov 5 – advance online engagement
Part Two: Nov 6-7 – two-day in-person class – Trulls Road FMC, Courtice, ON
Personal and Church Stewardship: (NOTE: TUITION WAIVED FOR THIS ONLINE COURSE-FRENCH AND ENGLISH)
5-week online course (FRENCH) – start date – April 27, 2020
5-week online course (ENGLISH) – start date – June 1, 2020
(* These course locations are selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early! Note: Tuition payment is not required when registering for a course. Payment is due 10 days before the course begins.)
2020 SCHOLARSHIPS https://fmcic.ca/scholarships/
October 15 is the deadline to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for any courses taken during the summer and/or fall semesters of 2020. The 2020 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 2020 – 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 attend the fall Minister’s Conferences, add 6 hours of CEU credit when you send in your annual CEU report.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Lakeland Community Church, Spiritwood, SK
Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, ON
Church Profiles available
Contact Davika Dotson in the Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] or 416-240-7845 (deadline to apply in brackets)
None at this time
(If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Davika in the Leadership Development Office [see above] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.)
Campbellford FMC, Campbellford, ON
Cedar Street Community Church, Simcoe, ON
Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK
First FM Church, New Westminster, BC (Rev. Vern Frudd – Transition Pastor)
New Hope FMC, Bracebridge, ON
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Smiths Falls FMC, Smiths Falls, ON (Rev. Aaron Birtch – Transition Pastor)
Trinity Christian Centre, Dresden, ON
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON (Rev. Vic Stonehouse-Transition Pastor)