“What’s going on in Sri Lanka?”
A court case.
When I started in my new role, there was actually another case but Praise God for some very good meetings we had (myself and the plaintiffs), wherein the dissident pastors withdrew their case and committed to work towards reconciliation – currently there is one court case over property that was launched several years ago. One man was graciously given the opportunity to live on a Free Methodist Church in Sri Lanka (FMSL) property. He abused this privilege and was asked to leave. He now claims that he was given the property by an FM official, and the plaintiff claims to be a pastor. The courts have to sift through legal documents including deeds, resignation letters, affidavits, business transactions, BOA motions and decisions, etc in order to determine legally what is true. Its messy stuff, but the most tragic piece of the story is that both plaintiff (who claims to be a Christian) and defendant (Christian) are fighting it out in a Buddhist court. Both Jesus and then Paul had something to say about believers in court. Former Bishop, Keith Elford has been summoned as a witness and will be on the stand September 11. Vinola (FMCIC Administrative support for our missions department) and I will be there with Keith. Please remember to pray for him as he testifies and for all of us as we travel. Please pray for FMSL: their witness in this Buddhist country, the resources needed to be in court, the morale, the confusion, and obviously a favourable (and speedy) court decision. Pray for the FMSL leadership: Superintendent Jayamani, a very faithful servant of God, Sister Pramila, ICCM Director and also the administrator who is quarterbacking this messy case (as a volunteer!), the BOA and of course our pastors. Our FMSL pastors face persecution and significant financial challenges. Despite these the FMSL is growing. Praise God for these men and women. Inspiring.
“What about Ghana?”
I have regularly scheduled Zoom meetings with the Superintendent (as I do with the Superintendent from Sri Lanka). Superintendent Ahmed is a Godly leader with vision. He told me today that his goal is that each church planter would be given 500 Ghanaian cedi’s per month and a motorbike. Translated, that is approximately $135 / month. Currently on average they live on $30 / month! I asked what kind of lifestyle would the family have with this amount, and he explained that they would be “very happy” with this! Still a sacrifice, but the family would be provided for (school, food, shelter, and gas for motorbike). This is significantly less than the average household income in Ghana. If your church family would like to be a part of supporting Ghana mission, then please contact myself or the Barrie FM church. This year, the Ghana FM is planting 5 more churches in Accra alone. Pray for our pastors in Ghana, and the FM leadership there. Exciting!
“What about Canada?”
I wonder if Ghana or Sri Lanka were writing up a report about us, what adjectives would they use to end the paragraph? What adjectives would we want them to use? Now how do we get there? Seems to me that Sri Lanka and Ghana are “inspiring” and “exciting” because of sacrifice, faithfulness, evangelism, church planting, and effectiveness (and more, but at least these)… Church leaders, please don’t brush past this last paragraph.
Find out more about the Fall Ministers Conference
Church Health Thursdays – 3 Reasons to Stay in a Church That’s Not Cool Enough: https://fmcic.ca/3-reasons-to-stay-in-a-church-thats-not-cool-enough%e2%80%8b/ New
News & Stories Blog – Harrowsmith Free Methodist Church steps up in fight against human trafficking: https://fmcic.ca/harrowsmith-free-methodist-church-steps-up-in-fight-against-human-trafficking/
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 Podcast: Jeff and Jan Steckley – Contemplative practice, second half of life & the art of starting: https://www.newleafnetwork.ca/podcast/ep-53-jeff-and-jan-steckley-contemplative-practice-second-half-of-life-the-art-of-starting/
Faith and Finances Website: http://faithandfinances.ca
Rev. Dr. Brent Russett has been appointed as Lead Pastor at Asbury Free Methodist Church, Perth, ON, effective September 1, 2018.
Ordination and Commissioning Services Schedule
Dave Moriarity, Almonte, Ontario – ordination service on October 28, 2018 at 4:00 pm, Cornerstone Community Church, Almonte, ON
Heart of Canadian Free Methodism:
November 2-4, 2018 in Ontario (location TBA*)
June 7-9, 2019 – location TBA*
(also available online through FMC-USA: http://fmcusa.org/leadership/courses/)
Personal and Church Stewardship
6-week online course – start date TBA
5-week online course (FRENCH) – October 15, 2018
Culture and the Missional Church:
Course starts October 9, 2018
Advance online engagement: Oct 9-Nov 1 / In-class: Nov 2-3 at Barrie FMC, Barrie ON
(deadline to register – October 4)
(*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: https://fmcic.ca/foundational-courses/. Those tracking for credentialed ministry should take the Heart course first and then Wesleyan Theology if possible.
The next deadline is October 15, 2018 to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for courses taken during both the spring/summer and fall semesters of 2018.
October 15 is also the deadline to apply for the annual Special Scholarships.
Here is the link for both types of scholarships: https://fmcic.ca/scholarships/
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Caistor Centre FMC, Caistor Centre, ON
Dryden FMC, Dryden, ON
Madoc Wesleyan/FMC, Madoc, ON
Melfort FMC, Melfort, SK
Odessa FMC, Odessa, ON
West Springs FMC, Calgary, AB
Church Profiles available
Contact Susan DePlanché in the Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] or 289-228-1225 (deadline to apply in brackets)
None available at this time
(If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Susan in 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)
New Horizons Community Church – Sarnia, ON (Kim Henderson-Interim Pastor)
Richmond Hill Chinese & English Churches, Richmond Hill, ON
Weyburn FMC, Weyburn, SK
PASTORS IN TRANSITION