CliffsNotes – December 3, 2019

My neighbour just gave me $35. Apparently, he watched a guy pull into my driveway to turn around and in the process of pulling out, this guy ran over my green compost bin and broke it. My neighbour said that the guy did know that he had broken it, but drove away anyway. My wonderful neighbour decided to follow him and confront him for me! He is one of the many great neighbours that we have: they often beat me to shoveling my own driveway, they cared when dad passed away, when we meet each other on the street we end up chatting for long periods of time, they have done kind things for my kids… it is great to be a part of a neighbourhood like this.

This past summer we had them all over for concert with some friends of ours. Our friends, Shane & Emily, do backyard concerts. They do covers and some originals (look up “Arbour Season” on social media to hear them).  They did a very nice job of making everyone feel at home. It was another good neighbourhood moment. In our last home, we hosted, with our neighbours (who also were a part of our church family) a Canada Day party. Karlene collected money from neighbours to buy fireworks, we put up a big sheet and showed a movie in the park. We played games and ate (everyone seemed to pitch in). They became good friends of ours…

Board / leadership question (ask each other): What creative, neighbourhood connecting activities or events will you host this year? Note: it does not need to be a big event to be meaningful – having people over for a meal or dessert is a lost art, and most certainly a significant [ministry] opportunity. Remember that our neighbours are not our ‘projects’ but are friends to be loved.

This past weekend Karlene and I enjoyed being with the Uxbridge FM church family. The weather was nasty but it was warm and friendly inside. Pastor Blake and Anelyse spoke lovingly of their church family. It was good to hear about the love, freedom, support and honesty that they experience. Pastors thrive in safe and loving churches. I remember fondly the patience, support, honesty, love and generosity that Karlene and I experienced in our first appointments as a young pastoral family. I made big and small mistakes and I was never made to feel like a failure. I know that at times I did not “exceed expectations” yet I don’t remember feeling like I couldn’t keep trying. Come to think of it, those two first appointments for a young pastor, involved a congregation that did a whole lot of Scriptural “bearing with” me, which is all about grace.

I am hesitant to write the word “honesty” because I have met people who pride themselves as “straight-shooters”, “I calls them as I sees them” type, honest, but they are light on love, support, grace, generosity, kindness… The type of honesty that is healthiest is the type that is nurtured in a healthy board or leadership team. It is invited and earned. It is in the context of a loving friendship.

Congregations, do you want to help your pastors thrive (young or not-young pastors included): grace, love, support, freedom to fail, honesty, patience, generosity and of course much prayer. I feel grateful to my church families that gave me these! I am grateful to all of you who are creating this kind of environment for your pastors, leaders, boards, and congregations.


Church Health Thursdays – Are You a Light in The World?:
News & Stories Blog – Tell Your Stories:
the conneXion – a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out:
New Leaf Network: The 2019 New Leaf Advent Reader – Jared Siebert:


Rev. Seth Freeman and Pastor Jessica Isaak appointed as Co-Lead Pastors at Hampton FMC, Saskatoon, SK, effective February 1, 2020

Eyebrow Free Methodist Church, Eyebrow, SK now in transition


Rev. Todd Stelmach (Kingston, ON) – ordination service on February 2nd at 4 pm at Rustle Free Methodist Church, Kingston


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 – Ontario location TBA*
November 6-8, 2020 –  Western Canada location TBA*

Wesleyan Theology:

June 5-7, 2020 – location TBA*
November 6-8, 2020 –   location TBA*

(also available online through FMC-USA:

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:
Ontario course date and location TBA*

Personal and Church Stewardship:
5-week online course (FRENCH) – start date – TBA
6-week online course (ENGLISH) – 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.)



(Note:  The Leadership Scholarship Plan and Special Scholarships are now closed for 2019.)

February 15 is the deadline to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for any courses taken during the winter semester of 2020. The 2020 application forms and instructions  will soon be 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.



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. 


Athens FMC, Athens, ON
Crossroads FMC, Salmon Arm, BC

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)
Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, ON (December 3)
Lakeland Community Church, Spiritwood, SK (December 10)


Preparing Profiles

(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.)

Campbellford FMC, Campbellford, ON
Cedar Street Community Church, Simcoe, ON
Eyebrow FMC, Eyebrow, SK
First FM Church, New Westminster, BC
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON
Smiths Falls FMC, Smiths Falls, ON (Rev. Aaron Birtch – Transition Pastor)

Executive Director – Wesley Acres Christian Retreat Centre
Executive Director – Arlington Beach Camp and Conference Centre
Youth Pastor – Malvern Methodist