CliffsNotes – December 5, 2017

On the first Sunday of Advent, Karlene and I worshiped with the Barrie FM Church [for the first time since we left 7.5 years ago]. We both were excited to be back and we left with our hearts full of joy having experienced dynamic worship and loving church family. We came to learn that a few times a year, they set up their sanctuary so that everyone sits around a table for service – 6-8 worshippers around each table. There is something warm and highly relational in the set up. It occurred to me that “table” is an important theological idea worth considering. I mean, Jesus did not sit in rows with sinners, nor was the Last Supper set up with a center aisle, several rows for seating and a designated communion table! Seems to me that this idea of “tables” in worship is deserving of some more sanctified thinking…

This morning I met with my accountability group. For several years I have met monthly with this group of four other leaders. One person is assigned to ask one question at each meeting. This morning’s question was about how I prepare myself / engage personally in Advent. And then we pray with and for each other. These men are a part of the great cloud of friends that Karlene and I have around us who not only support us and pray for us, but who we have invited to speak into our lives – even when we don’t want them to!

I am not naturally a good friend. I can list times and events where I have been a neglectful or lousy brother and friend (my friends and sisters could list them too!). Yet by a grace that amazes me all the time, I have been given the gift of wonderful friends including many brothers in Christ who I trust not just to be nice to me, but to be honest, sometimes painfully so. In fact one day Karlene said that I had more pallbearers than I needed! I wondered out loud why she had been thinking about my pallbearers, but that’s for another CliffsNotes.  I am grateful for these people (not pallbearers) in my life . These people protect me, they help protect my marriage, and they help make me a safer dad, pastor and leader. These are the people that help me sort out crisis, decisions and point out blind spots. I am not risk-free as a result of accountability, but I am making every effort to posture myself to be the best version of Cliff that I can in Christ. My family and you deserve this effort, so I choose accountability.

I am also legislated as a FMCIC minister to have an accountability partner / group that I meet with regularly. I fully embrace this, and I have learned that accountability is only as valuable as I am vulnerable. I have also learned that sometimes I have to help or coach a friend to be a friend to me. My one brother in Christ and I have been this intentional for about 20 years! Another friend is the man who led me to Christ and continues to!

This opportunity does not only belong to pastors. Choosing accountability should be every believer’s resolve. After all, what you require of your pastor, should also be what you require of yourself. It is not legislated by FMCIC that board members, delegates and members of local FM churches have formal accountability partners / groups but it is certainly encouraged for those serious about growing in their faith and leadership. It makes us stronger as a movement. It makes you stronger as a leader because it shores you up with FRIENDS and because it makes you safer.

Accountability is really one part of discipleship which is the Great Commission…


Church Health Survey
For all those who have already completed the Church Health Survey – thank you! If you have not yet done so, please take time to complete the 16 question survey. Just a reminder that at least three people should fill out this survey – Lead Pastor, Board Chair, and Delegate.  If you would like more people (staff or leaders) to participate, that would be great  but we would still like three of you to respond to the survey at this time.
Here is the link to the Church Health Survey



Church Health Thursdays – What To Do When Your Church Hits a Plateau:
News & Stories Blog – Finding The Good Inside the Church – Story of a Not Done: New
the conneXion
– a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out:
New Leaf Podcast: Learning Party Talks – Mark Groleau:
Faith and Finances Website:

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Ordination and Commissioning

  • Laurie Lemke – Vennachar Free Methodist Church, Vennachar, Ontario – December 10, 2017 at 3 pm at Vennachar FM Church


The next deadline is February 15, 2018 to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for the winter semester of 2018.  More information is available at this link:


Heart of Canadian Free Methodism:
June 1-3, 2018 in Western Canada (location TBA*)

Wesleyan Theology:
June 1-3, 2018 in Ontario (location TBA*)
(also available online through FMC-USA:

Personal and Church Stewardship
6-week online course – begins January 29, 2018

Culture and the Missional Church:
Next course date and location TBA*

(*these locations will be selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early!)

Registration is online for all courses at this link: Those tracking for credentialed ministry should take the Heart course first and then Wesleyan Theology if possible.

Harrowsmith FMC, Harrowsmith, ON
Rustle FMC, Kingston, ON
Sault Ste Marie FMC, Sault Ste Marie, ON

Church Profiles available
Contact Susan DePlanché  in the  Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] or 289-228-1225.

Preparing Profiles

(If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Susan at 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)
Asbury FMC, Perth, ON
Caistor Centre FMC, Caistor Centre, ON (Mary Lee DeWitt-Transition Pastor)
Centennial Chapel FMC, Kamloops, BC (Vern Frudd-retiring May 31, 2018)
Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK (Dyan Mouland – Transition Pastor)
Dunnville FMC, Dunnville, ON
Grapeview FMC, St. Catharines, ON (Dan Sheffield – Transition Pastor)
Madoc Free Methodist/ Wesleyan Church
Marmora FMC, Marmora, ON (Adam Kline- Transition Pastor)
Melfort FMC, Melfort, SK
Odessa FMC, Odessa, ON
Tabernacle de la Grace, Montreal QC
Thunder Bay FMC, Thunder Bay, ON (Andre Korstanje retiring July 2018)
Warkworth FMC, Warkworth, ON
West Springs FMC, Calgary, AB
Weyburn FMC, Weyburn, SK

Functioning with approved local arrangements
Avonlea FMC, Avonlea SK
Campbell’s Bay FMC, Campbell’s Bay, QC (Orville White)
Church On The Hill, Orillia ON
Cordova Mines FM Fellowship, Cordova Mines, ON
Dryden FMC, Dryden, ON
Eglise Chrétienne Méthodiste Libre de Le Gardeur, QC (Duplan Auguste Lython)
Enterprise FMC, Enterprise, ON
Killarney FMC, Killarney, MB (Raymond Riglin)
Markham FMC, ON (K.K. Leung)
Richmond Hill Chinese & English Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (K.K. Leung)
Roblin FMC, Roblin, MB (Heath Butler)
Surrey FMC, Surrey BC (Nathaniel Prakash)
theStory, Sarnia, ON
Timmins FMC, Timmins, ON (Lewis Byer)
Wesley Chapel Japanese FM Church, Toronto, ON (Misa Mochinaga)
Wyevale FMC, Wyevale, ON
Yarker FMC, Yarker, ON (Ken Babcock)

Glen Coates
Roxanne Goodyear
David Greene
Kim Henderson
Jason Johnson
Fred Merritt
Jay Mowchenko
Derek Spink
Grant Wolfe
Mary-Elsie Wolfe
Wesley Wood

Associate Pastor – Trulls Road FM Church