An Opportunity for FM Worship Leaders / Directors AND
FMCiC’s First 2022 Priority Part 3: Prayer-Worship-Evangelism-Discipleship
I was with Smith Falls FM this weekend, another very warm greeting and worshipful experience. The Children’s Director reminded us about “chain reactions”. She explained that our responses, behaviours, choices, attitudes and prayers impact others who are sometimes 2 or more people removed from you! This is how wonderfully important your life is, and how essential a connected, praying, united healthy Church Body is. Thanks Smith Falls!
In this current series, we have discussed the privilege and responsibility we have to tell others about Jesus (“evangelism”). A couple of weeks ago we remembered the basic relational building block of Church: discipleship. Discipleship is how we live Church, it is our culture. Discipleship is both how we allow Church to invest in us, and it is how we are to relate to others. Today, let’s consider “prayer-worship” as our first priority!
Remembering that prayer and worship are much more fluid in the Bible than we generally practice, should impact some of your own personal quiet times with God (I mean, that we have “prayer times”, “worship times”, “personal devotions”, as if these are all very different!). Prayer is more than words. It is fasting, it can be quiet, it can be dancing, it can be prostrating ourselves before God, and it can be music. Music should be a part of prayer, and our singing should be understood as prayer. The nuance between prayer and worship, however, should be mentioned. I asked my favourite Director of Worship & Creative Arts, and the most beautiful one, my wife Karlene for her working definition of worship:
Worship, whether corporate or individual…* is the practice of regularly seeking to bring the complete focus of our being on God. It is the discipline of returning to the true center of our individual and corporate existence as God’s people. The pressures of life and the assaults of the fallen world constantly blur our focus and tend to shift us away from our center in God. Worship is the means by which we recover our focus and return to our center. The quality and consistency of our worship will determine how well we are able to live Christ-centered lives in the world (Robert Mulholland, Invitation to a Journey, p.135).
*We need to fully engage in both individual and corporate worship, in order for the other to be meaningful. I mean that individual worship is grounded and enlivened by corporate worship, and corporate worship can awaken and give context to individual worship. For instance, the Lord’s Prayer begins with a reminder that prayer should also be corporate, “our Father” not “my Father”. In fact, the Bible does not offer two categories of worship – it is always both corporate and individual. The Psalms can be intimately personal but are also meant to be read (or prayed or sung) corporately.
There is much here to consider (because she is beautiful and brilliant), but I draw your attention to the connection between worship, Christ-centered living, and this lived within the context of Church family (“corporate”). Worship must clearly be our first priority in this season. Which brings me back to Karlene. She is wondering if FMCiC worship leaders/directors would like to connect nationally. A worship-leader network of sorts, to mutually encourage, share ideas, and consider how to raise the worship temperature in Canada. If you are interested in hearing more about this contact her directly at [email protected]
Professor Donald Goertz says further that worship becomes “the place where we are formed both privately and corporately.” In short, Goertz recognizes the formative value of worship.
Prayer is also formative, as it forms us personally. Our prayers can also, mysteriously and wonderfully be a part of God forming others (intercession, and healing prayer). Prayer is not just talking with God! Talking with God sounds too one sided! A better working definition of prayer includes: 1. meeting with God. In the Old Testament the place of worship was called the “tent of meeting”. Meeting implies interaction, engagement, and can be formal or very casual; personal or corporate; always reverent, repentant, grateful and humble; and prayer, 2. Is being with Him in His place of governance (Hebrews 4:16).
The National Prayer Team (aka “NPT”) is developing a definition, a vision, for FMCiC becoming a “House of Prayer”. But before I give you their vision for what this should look like, I would like you to take time in the Bible and prayer to answer what this should look like in your local Church and our movement. Would love to hear from you about your ideas, because obviously prayer is our first priority in this season!
The National Prayer Team also has plans to invite every “Prayer Point Person” into a training program (each FM Church is supposed to have appointed a “prayer leader” who will be their representative to the national prayer team). The big idea is that the NPT will help your local Church develop a prayer team, and help you (and therefore FMCiC) become a house of prayer.
Finally, a prayer-Lent challenge has been developed. It will begin with a national service on Ash Wednesday. Details will follow.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
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: https://vimeo.com/
Coffee with Jared: https://vimeo.com/
Mystery Beverage with Marc: https://vimeo.com/
Rev. Dyan Mouland – appointed Lead Pastor at Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK, effective March 15
March 20 at 2:00 pm – Alyson Lauber – Lakeview FMC, Saskatoon, SK
Date and time TBA:
Erika Mills – location TBA
Benjamin Platz – Next Church, Kingston, ON
2022 FMCiC INTERNSHIP PROGRAM https://www.fmcic.ca/intern-prog/
The FMCiC Internship Program exists to build healthy leaders for The Free Methodist Church in Canada and beyond. We invite any local church interested in participating in the FMCiC internship program to review the detailed information on the website (see link above) and apply online.
The deadline to apply for a 2022 FMCiC-sponsored internship is FEBRUARY 28, 2022.
FOUNDATIONAL COURSES http://www.fmcic.ca/
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:
June 3-5, 2022 – location TBA*
November 4-6, 2022, – location TBA*
June 3-5, 2022 – location TBA*
November 4-6, 2022, – location TBA*
- Tyndale University: https://www.tyndale.ca/
- FMC-USA as a 7-week intensive online course with several start dates: http://fmcusa.org/leadership/
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!)
2022 SCHOLARSHIPS http://www.fmcic.ca/scholarships/
LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP PLAN (LSP):
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 are now 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.
CONTINUING EDUCATION UNITS (CEUs) https://www.fmcic.ca/
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.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Thornbury, ON – Blue Mountain Community Church
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] (Feb 15)
Hilton Beach, ON – St. Joseph Island FMC [full-time] (Feb 15)
Saskatoon, SK – Lakeview FMC [full-time] (Feb 22)
Warkworth, ON – Warkworth FMC [full-time] (Mar 1)
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
New Westminster, BC – First FMC
Oshawa, ON – The Corner Church (Free Methodist /Church of the Nazarene) (Rev. Vic Stonehouse-Interim Pastor)
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)