CliffsNotes – May 11, 2021

How Should We Pray for Afghanistan

A girl’s school in Afghanistan was bombed last week and 85 people died. Another 147 are injured.

How should we pray?

  • I have strong and hateful feelings towards the bombers and their beliefs
  • I ache for the parents of each child: the crushing loss, perhaps guilt at sending them to school?
  • Will this scare other families from sending their daughters to school?
  • I am deeply grieved for the survivors who will live in fear, hate, confusion, besides the painful experience of recovering from their physical injuries
  • How can your Church help Father?
  • What can I do?

I pray that FMCiC would step fully into our responsibility and privilege of praying. I visited a small non-FM church sometime ago and it was in a lovely small-town building. Very kind people greeted me. During the service, a church leader prayed for people who were sick, they prayed for their budget, they prayed a blessing on Canada, and mentioned, in the same prayer “COVID victims all over the world”. It was a lovely little church praying to a lovely little God. There was no urgency in how the whole Church family engaged in the prayers. There was no specific sense of the heart of God in the crisis; rather, it was big general reminders to God about situations happening here and abroad. No expectations.

Over the next few weeks I’d like to challenge our prayer life again as a movement. I’d like us to pray with expectation, fully embracing our responsibility and privilege to be a people of prayer. Prayer replaces worry (and vice versa). Prayer leads to your loved ones coming to know Jesus. Prayer should be raw, intimate and brave. Prayer does not always require words, but does require a heart right with God and others. So, let’s start this short series with just one question: what is your definition of prayer?

Thursdays Polarized Conversations:

I also want to take a moment to invite you to join us on Thursday again for the second installment of Betty Pries’ excellent teaching on helping us move in conflict from entrenchment to engagement, in “Polarized Conversations”. Last week she walked us through the “Change Curve”. Leaders, these are essential teachings – we need to be experts in this!

I am not saying this lightly: I believe that we, followers of Jesus, need to be skilled practitioners in loving grace-filled conversations. Like Jesus. I believe that we need to be trained in this. I took a class in mediation from Betty Pries, through the University of Waterloo. She is a gifted teacher, and a fellow follower of Christ. These one hour events on Thursdays for the next 3 weeks will be an important investment of time.

It would not be hard to start a brush fire in Canada these days! Stand up in a socially distanced group of people and say a politician’s name, or your view of vaccines, or your view of masks! Just say the acronym LGBT+ and wait for the response. Church, we have to do better. We need to be able to be Christlike and be with those different than us. We need to be expert listeners, humble learners, and prepared to introduce others to Jesus. I believe that this New Leaf event on Thursdays will help us.

Thank you to Lorne Park Foundation for generously sponsoring this event.


What’s Happening at GC 2021
May 10-15 

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 Agenda from the Menu (found on the left side of the page)
  3. Find the date/event
  4. Select View Session to 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 12th 12pm EDT Lunch with Bishop Cliff

May 13th 8pm EDT Let’s Talk Money
A workshop exploring why communication is important to build unity with God, your spouse and family and your community. Presented by More Than Enough Financial.

May 13th 8:30pm EDT Time for a Financial Date
A workshop focused on how to have a financial date night. Presented by More Than Enough Financial.

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 Monday May 10, 17, 24 or 31 at 12pm EDT:

Click here to join Tuesday 11, 18, 25 or June 1 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 2 May 13th: Transforming Polarized Thinking
Transforming polarized thinking is challenging – especially when we miss the wisdom polarized perspectives are longing to reveal. This Learning Centre conversation considers the dynamics of polarities, and the risks of either-or thinking, while proposing a strategy (and a spirituality) for transforming deeply entrenched differences, and embracing the power and possibility of both-and thinking.


Bishop Cliff talks about participating in New Leaf’s Transforming Polarized Conversations: 



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:


  • Kathleen Casement – Lead Pastor at Verona FMC, Verona, ON – approved as an Ordained Minister, effective May 5
  • Martin (Lanny) Heinlen – approved as a Ministerial Candidate and appointed as Assistant Pastor at Polson Park FMC, Kingston, ON, effective May 5
  • Tyler Lane – Associate Pastor at Trull Road FMC, Courtice, ON – approved as an Ordained Minister, effective May 5
  • Milton Solomon – Associate Pastor (Tamil congregation) at Armadale FMC, Scarborough, ON – approved to transfer into the FMCiC as an Ordained Minister, effective May 5


Wilder Boutin – date and time TBA – Centre Biblique Louange a L’Eternel, Montreal, QC
Leonard Bruce –    date, time and location TBA
Kathleen Casement – date and time TBA – 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