CliffsNotes – October 26, 2021

Greetings from the ‘Land of Living Skies’

I have loved being in Saskatchewan! It\’s been too long! Over the past 6 days: I visited with most of our pastors; I presided over the Rev. Jessica Isaak\’s ordination (a gifted leader); spoke and had lunch with Lakeview people; was greatly entertained by fun-loving pastor\’s kids; was very encouraged by all the good reports despite a bad covid season. Thank you Saskatchewan!

When I became Bishop I quickly discovered a need to have better connection and support for the great cloud of FM ministers who have come before us. Retired ministers and spouses. BOA agreed and we created a team to honour, help support, and to connect FMCIC with retired ministers. Here is an interview with the team leader:

Retired Ministers’ Team interview

Bishop Cliff: Linda you have agreed to lead this new team for retired ministers. Tell us what the mandate of the new team is.
Linda: First let me say thanks to you, Bishop Cliff and the BoA for envisioning a Retired Ministers’ (RM) Team. The RM Team has been tasked by the BoA to provide support and care; and to liaise with and mobilize our retired ministers. That’s a broad brush and the entire Team appreciates FMCiC leadership for thinking in these terms. That breadth of scope gives the RM Team space to listen to what our retirees and their spouses are saying to us regarding their interests and their priorities.

Bishop Cliff: Why do you feel this is an important team?
Linda: The opportunity to work with a Team that contributes to the well-being of pastors, missionaries and their spouses seems to me an incredibly worthy undertaking. That’s clearly what FMCiC leadership envision for the RM Team.
I’ve also had a growing personal conviction based on my experience of the many male and female FMCiC pastors I’ve known over the years: Pastors and pastoral couples work hard- very hard and they care deeply. Add to that both language and cultural components for our missionaries… and one gets a glimpse of life in ministry. While the work is incredibly fulfilling, it could never, ever be described as easy! That being said, as our ministers’ transition from working years into retirement years, I think it is important for us, in turn, to serve them- the very ones who have dedicated their lives to loving Jesus by serving others. You, yourself made the comment, Bishop Cliff, that this [Team] is long overdue. I thank you for that.
On another note, I also see caring for retired ministers and their spouses as a component of our faith. The Apostle Paul said, “Give honour to whom honour is due (Romans 13:7).” Honour is certainly due to faithful ministers of the Gospel.

Bishop Cliff: Where has your team begun? What are the first few steps that your team is taking?    
Linda: After introducing ourselves and getting organized in our initial meeting this past May, we agreed that our first priority is to listen. We want to hear what FMCiC retirees, their spouses, and those eligible to retire in the near future are saying to us. We decided that our starting point would be a national survey. But that’s just the start.  The survey we’ve prepared will be sent in November of this year to those who qualify. It’s completely confidential. (Reader please note: If you have not received a copy of the survey by mid-November please contact me personally* and I will ensure that you get a copy so you can give us your thoughts, opinions and experiences- both email and Canada Post hard copies are available).
After people have had the opportunity to respond, the RM Team will study the survey results. Our intention is then to have interested participants engage in a focus group for deeper engagement on the survey points identified as being important to retirees. This input will then be reflected as priorities in the RM mandate and will be the content of a Three Year Strategic Plan.  The Retired Ministers Team is also planning face-to-face conversations with retirees in the summer of 2022 if circumstances permit.
All that to say, there’s a good deal of work to do and this Team is certainly up to it! Comprised of Lorraine Buffam, Vic Stonehouse, Debbie Hogeboom and Colleen Zavrel (with Grant Sigsworth as Recording secretary, Ex Officio) each member is eminently capable, extremely experienced and wholeheartedly committed to serving FMCiC retirees. I’ve said it before: The Retired Ministers’ Team is the “Gold Standard of Teams” and we’re expecting to achieve great things over the next three years.


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:

Rev. Alyson Lauber – Associate Pastor, Lakeview Free Methodist Church, Saskatoon, SK – approved for ordination

November 7 at 2:30 pm – Leonard Bruce – Peterborough FMC, Peterborough, ON
November 21 at 3:00 pm – Wilder Boutin – Église Vie d’Espoir, 35, av. Marien, Montréal-Est, QC

Date and time TBA:
Alyson Lauber – Lakeview Free Methodist Church, Saskatoon, SK
Erika Mills – location TBA
Benjamin Platz – Next Church, Kingston, ON

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:
2022 date and location TBA*

Wesleyan Theology:
2022 date and 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:
2022 Date and location TBA*

Personal and Church Stewardship: 
5-week online course – 2022 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.

February 15 is the deadline to apply for LSP for any courses taken during the winter semester of 2022.  The 2022 application forms and instructions will soon be available to download from the link above.  Please use the application forms marked “rev 2022.”

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 2022 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.



Prince Albert, SK – Cornerstone FMC

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)

Harrowsmith, ON – Harrowsmith FMC [full-time] (Nov 2)
Saskatoon, SK – Lakeview FMC [full-time] (Nov 30)
Thornbury, ON – Blue Mountain Community Church [full-time] (Nov 16)
Warkworth, ON – Warkworth FMC [full-time] (Nov 16)

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, ON – Campbellford FMC, (Rev. Jurgen Rausch-Transition Pastor)
Cloyne, ON – Pineview FMC
Frankford, ON – Frankford Community Church
Hamilton, ON – Rymal Road Community Church
Hilton Beach, ON – St. Joseph Island FMC (Rev. David Griggs-Interim Pastor)
New Westminster, BC – First FMC
Oshawa, ON – The Corner Church (Free Methodist / Church of the Nazarene)
Richmond Hill, ON – Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Sarnia, ON – New Horizons Community Church (Rev. Mary Lee DeWitt-Transition Pastor)