CliffsNotes – May 25, 2021

A Free Methodist Podcast & Prayer Part 3

Let me begin by mentioning our New Heights FM podcast series called “Re”. I was especially appreciative of a candid, fresh and wise interview with Amy Caswell-Bratton – I recommend it to you. Thanks, New Heights and Amy!

This is part 3 in our series on prayer – specifically, what is prayer? It is essential for us to have a good and growing working definition of prayer, after all, the clearer it is the more we can lean into it! Last week, I explained that prayer is communing with God, who is already and always eager to be with you. Communion requires a full engagement of your body, heart and mind in your pursuit of God. It is more than words, but sometimes includes words. It is an amazing thing that we are invited to commune (abide, be) with God!

Prayer, however, is more than communion. It is also a movement. I like how Richard Foster describes it as a movement inward, upward and outward. It is inward because this is what we do: deal with what I am feeling or dealing with first. It is me talking, repenting, complaining, begging sometimes, about what is most pressing in my life. Inward prayer is like the child who hurts their finger and runs screaming to their parent for help. The parent doesn’t need to say much, except to hug and remind the child that they are safe now. Then when the child runs out of screams, tears and words, they can then become aware of the parent. The child can be quieted in the parent’s love.

Upward prayer is us using up all our words in prayer, not saying “amen”, but staying in the moment as we realize that we are in our Father’s embrace. We become more and more aware of Him, and this is the stuff of worship – gratefulness, adoration. When we stay in that upward prayer long enough we begin to pray out of His love, and heart. We begin to pray outwardly. We pray for others.

Seeing prayer as communion and a movement (inward, upward, and outward) helps me to pray:

I necessarily begin with inward prayer, pouring my soul out to God: Lord, I ache, I am angry, I am tired but the exploitation of children all over the world, kidnapping of girls in west Africa, human trafficking here at home, child poverty, refugees, and slavery and more.  I am wanting these evil people punished, I feel hate Lord (I mean I have to do something with these feelings and my sin issues – repentance begins in the inward journey)…

Father, I have no more words, thank You for sitting with me in this, thank You for forgiving me  (here I have moved upward in my thoughts, and feelings). Thank you for waiting for me to stop doing all the talking, and waiting for me to listen. Thank You for your goodness, and truth. Thank You that one day You will make all things right. Thank You for the Church in Afghanistan – Jesus please help Your Church to shine there (quite naturally, my heart turns outward).

Lord provide for the Church to come alongside this situation. Is there something we can do Lord to help? Show Your Church how to shine in this crisis.

Or maybe I choose to use no words at all as I pray upward and outward. Maybe I just sit with God, who is already in the moment with me.

This is the kind of Church that Canada needs. Next week “prayer without ceasing”.


What’s Happening at GC 2021
May 24-29

There are a number of pre-conference events happening each week leading up to General Conference on June 5-6. To access these live events in Whova:

  1. Sign into Whova
  2. Select Agendafrom the Menu (found on the left side of the page)
  3. Find the date/event
  4. Select View Sessionto join the event

You can also access these events by clicking the Zoom links provided below.

The following live events are happening this week:

May 25th 7pm EDT Ending Poverty Together

Have you ever been in this situation? A commercial shows you an image of a starving child in Africa and petitions that only you can help. Or someone living in homelessness approaches you on the sidewalk and asks for money. Or you suspect your neighbour is going into debt because of job loss during this COVID-19 pandemic.

What do I do? Can I really make a difference?

Together with Food for the Hungry we invite you to join with others to explore the big questions about poverty and discuss tangible solutions


May 19th 12pm EDT Live with Marc McAlister

May 26th 12pm EDT Lunch with Jared Siebert

May 29th 7pm EDT Q&A with NLT


New GC 2021 Video Tutorials

Details About GC 2021 Worship Service

GC 2021 Break the Ice

Explore the Community and Exhibitors in Whova

Navigating Whova Drop-In Sessions

Discover all that Whova has to offer. If you need help creating your profile, adding an event to your agenda, viewing a session or you just want some company as you explore Whova, we’ve got you covered. Every Monday and Tuesday throughout the month of May, Alison and I will be available to help you with all things Whova!

Click here to join Tuesday May 25 at 9pm EDT:


The NLT is encouraging all pastors, delegates, and leaders to register for New Leaf’s Transforming Polarized Conversations. This 4-week learning experience, in partnership with conflict, change and leadership specialist Dr. Betty Pries will offer a practical and engaging learning experience, offering tools and practices for transforming polarized conversations.

Thursday May 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th @ 1:30pm EDT. 

To register:

French translation will be available for this webinar. If you would like the Zoom link and instructions on how to access the French audio, please email [email protected].


Session 4 May 27th: Building Blocks of Communication Thursday May 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th @ 1:30pm EDT. 

Congregational harmony depends on our ability to engage in healthy disagreement with one another. This Learning Centre session considers the building blocks of communication, how these building blocks show up at church meetings, in the parking lot, and at potluck dinners. Together, we will explore how to use the building blocks of communication to enhance understanding and disagree better with one another, strengthening congregational harmony.


Marc McAlister’s May 19th Message

IET – Indigenous – Doctrine of Discovery:

GC Community and Exhibitors:

GC 2021 Break the Ice:

Details About GC 2021 Worship Service


Tuesdays: Cliff’s Notes
2nd Tuesday of each month: What’s Got You Thinking?
3rd Wednesday of each month: Get the Scoop with Lisa and Alison
4th Thursday of each month: Church Health Thursday
Message from Bishop Cliff:
Coffee with Jared:
Mystery Beverage with Marc:


None this week


Wilder Boutin – date and time TBA – Centre Biblique Louange a L’Eternel, Montreal, QC
Leonard Bruce –    date, time and location TBA
Kathleen Casement – September 12, 2021 at 2:00 pm – Verona FMC, Verona, ON
Blake Found – date and time TBA –  Uxbridge FMC, Uxbridge, ON
Jessica Isaak – date and time TBA – Hampton FMC, Saskatoon, SK
Tyler Lane – date and time TBA – Trulls Rd FMC, Courtice, ON
Erika Mills – July 25, 2021, time TBA – Blue Mountain Community Church, Thornbury, ON
Benjamin Platz – Date and Time TBA – Next Church, Kingston, ON
Douglas Smith – August 1, 2021 at 1:00 pm, Fellowship of Joy, St. Williams, ON


Alyson Lauber – Date and time TBA – Lakeview FMC, Saskatoon, SK
Nathaniel Prakash – Date and time TBA – Surrey FMC, Surrey, BC


Register online through the link above (Tuition payment is not required when registering for a course.  Payment is due 10 days before the course begins.)

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:
Nov 5-7, 2021 – location TBA*

Wesleyan Theology:
Nov 5-7, 2021 – location TBA*

Also available:

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:
Date and location TBA*

Personal and Church Stewardship:

5-week online course – Start Date TBA

(* These course locations are selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early! )




The Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) provides financial assistance to candidates who are studying to meet the educational requirements for credentialed ministry, or for members of conference pursuing continuing education.

October 15 is the deadline to apply for LSP for any courses taken during the summer/or fall semesters of 2021.  The 2021 application forms and instructions  are now available to download from the link above.  Please use the application forms marked “rev 2021.”


The Special Scholarships provide financial assistance to those who are members of a Free Methodist church pursuing post-secondary education to grow in their Christian faith, to those who are pursuing credentialed ministry, and to members of conference pursuing continuing education.

October 15 is the deadline to apply for the annual Special Scholarships for courses taken during the 2021 calendar year – apply online anytime from the link above.  Special Scholarships are awarded in late November/early December each year.


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 or the spring Regional Gatherings, add 6 hours of CEU credit for each event when you send in your annual CEU report.



Cedar Street Community Church, Simcoe, ON
Dunnville FMC, Dunnville, ON [Interim Pastor-Neale Robb]


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)

New Hope FMC, Bracebridge, ON (June 1)
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON (June 1)

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 (Rev. Jurgen Rausch-Transition Pastor)
Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK
Harrowsmith FMC, Harrowsmith, ON
First FM Church, New Westminster, BC
Frankford Community Church, Frankford, ON
Lakeland Community Church, Spiritwood, SK
New Horizons Community Church, Sarnia, ON (Rev. Mary Lee DeWitt-Transition Pastor)
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Trinity Christian Centre, Dresden, ON (Rev. Alan Adams – Interim Pastor)
Warkworth FMC, Warkworth, ON

Kids Pastor – Lakview Church
Camp Director –  Harbour Ridge Camp
Summer Research Student – Bramalea FM Church