CliffsNotes – February 25, 2020

We are in a series in preparation for General Conference (have you registered yet?). I hope that as a church family you are participating in the call to pray for General Conference, and discussing resolutions that are being presented. Most of these are not new to you. They have been discussed at Regional Gatherings, in Cliff’s Notes, Mosaic, and here again in this series. Today, Harold Gonyou, the Chair of the Board of Administration describes the BOA’s follow up to last General Conferences resolution about the Pastor’s Cabinet.

Harold, at the last General Conference, BOA was tasked with sorting out The Manual’s description and mandate for the Pastor’s Cabinet. What is the outcome of this?

HAROLD: Our churches have considerable freedom in how their board and ministry teams function as they work towards effectively presenting Christ to their community. In the past most churches had a Pastor’s Cabinet that was met regularly with the pastor for encouragement, prayer support and as a sounding board for issues within the local society. In the last three decades we have seen the operation of local church boards shift more and more to issues of vision and values (policy boards) and away from what might be called ‘management’ issues. These boards work closely with the pastor and as such have often assumed many of the functions of the Cabinet. As a result we have many different combinations of Board and Cabinet responsibilities in our locals. Sometimes these roles have overlapped and may have contributed to conflict within the church. We need to be sure that we are all working together.

At the last General Conference the Study Commission of Doctrine proposed a change to the Manual that prescribed different options for the Pastor’s Cabinet. After discussion, the resolution was referred back to the Board of Administration and SCOD for re-working. In the interim between Conferences the BOA looked at the resolution and sent it to SCOD. SCOD has re-worked the resolution for the upcoming Conference. Click here for resolution.

The new resolution recognizes that for many churches the role of the Cabinet is being served by the Board. In some cases this is the Board as a whole, and in others it is a subcommittee of the board. The resolution affirms that this is a valid, and often preferable, means of supporting the pastor as intended. So the resolution allows a church to choose this form of organization. Some churches and pastors may prefer a separate Cabinet, and the resolution allows the society to choose that option. In which case the pastor would nominate individuals for the Cabinet, and the Board would appoint them.

The resolution also emphasizes that when a separate Pastor’s Cabinet is used, that the division of responsibilities between Board and Cabinet be clear, and that overlap be minimal. Either system, board only or board and cabinet, can work well. It is the responsibility for each local to determine what will work best for itself and to ensure that the society, board, pastor, and, if used, the cabinet work together to further the ministry of the church.

And of course, we now also have Regional and Church Plant Coaches to help churches sort out, negotiate, discuss or implement. The Director of Church Health & Leadership Development, and myself are also at the ready to help…

This weekend Karlene and I worshipped with Chapel Ridge FM in the Ottawa area. See attached photo for the lineup of new people that came into membership! It was a celebration of what God is doing in this wonderful church family. Thank you Chapel Ridge for your continued focus on prayer, church family and community.



Church Health Thursdays – Listen to the Tug on Your Heart:
News & Stories Blog – Arlington Woods 1.5 Years Post Tornado:
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 – :

Chapel Ridge FM Church



None this Week


None Scheduled


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 – at Kingsview Free Methodist Church, Etobicoke, ON
November 6-8, 2020 –  location TBA*

Wesleyan Theology:
November 6-8, 2020 –   Ontario 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) – 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.)



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.



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. 


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)

Lakeland Community Church, Spiritwood, SK (March 24)


Preparing Profiles

(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)

Executive Director – Wesley Acres Christian Retreat Centre
Part Time Youth Pastor –  First FM Church
Ministry Intern – Maple Grove Christian Retreat Centre
Youth Pastor – Malvern Methodist