Pandemic Preparedness, General Conference & A Musical Idea
Is it our responsibility as a Church to be prepared for a pandemic? Your local church is committed to “accept responsibility for their community.” This is a community threat which is both a medical issue and a mental health issue. There is fear of the physical consequences of contracting the COVID-19 virus and the economic consequences, for instance the jobs that are being lost, and the plummeting oil prices. What will it mean to retirement centres and permission to visit loved ones? Will it impact our schools? In Italy, major precautions are in place. Italians will even face severe legal ramifications for anyone caught not adhering to the emergency restrictions, including prison. I am not being an alarmist. I am inviting you to minister into a community that is dealing with real and perceive fears.
I am simply asking that your leadership teams create a plan related to COVID-19 that is more than “what should we do Sundays?” The areas that you should discuss should include:
- What should we do Sundays
- Focused prayer for church family and community (here and beyond)
- Do we need to wear masks when we pray with each other in close proximity
- Sanitizer available everywhere
- Staff / volunteers regularly cleaning washrooms during gatherings
- Water dispensers cleaned, fountains closed
- What about “greeting time”?
- What will you do for communion?
- Sunday school: toys, doors, extra volunteers
- Can we broadcast our service if there is an order for churches not to meet Sundays?
- Community collaboration: are there agencies that we should contact to find out if they need our help:
- Shelters, drop-ins looking for supplies and help
- Government agencies
- Are there communiques that we can help to get out to the public
- Can we be a part of the teaching / information / communication that needs to get out there?
- Is there something that the churches in my community could do together? Can our church rally the Church?
Trulls Road, my home church, has begun to take measures. I was fist-pumped this morning from old and young! As bringers-of-peace, we can accept responsibility by helping our community move through this outbreak with a sense of hope, without fear and experiencing this from Jesus-people.
|The General Conference Committee is meeting this week. Please make sure that you have excellent cancellation insurance on your flights, however, our plan is to continue forward with the General Conference as scheduled. We will follow any government travel advisory statements that will be issued regarding COVID-19. Please continue to pray!|
Last night Trulls Road held an original music night. Musicians from Trulls performed their original pieces – there were songs, a piano piece and a dance. Pastor Jon made it clear that this was not a talent show or Canadian Idol. It was worship and it was artists using their gifts to minister to us with music and dance. It was beautiful. Last week in Weyburn, apparently the worship leader Louanne, led us in a song that God had given her. It made me wonder if one of you with special-computer-magical-powers could set up a site for all of our FM’ers to post their worship music, or Christian music. This site would be a way to connect us, to encourage us to lean into our art gifts, to help us worship in a Canadian FM voice. My encouragement would be that when you are ministered to, blessed by, or even us a song in a Sunday service that you contact the artist and let them know about it. Contact me if you have such powers!
Church Health Thursdays – Talk With, Not About: https://fmcic.ca/talk-with-not-about/
News & Stories Blog – Arlington Woods 1.5 Years Post Tornado: https://fmcic.ca/arlington-woods-update/
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.newleafnetwork.ca/podcast/
None this Week
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:
June 5-7, 2020 – at Kingsview Free Methodist Church, Etobicoke, ON
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 – Ontario 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.)
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
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)
(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)