CliffsNotes – May 26, 2020

A gift for our pastors, “Parking Lot” services & a note from Karlene

Our leadership team is actively contacting local leaders across Canada. We’ve heard good stories, and despite the current circumstances, many of our leaders are shining. We find their faithfulness, creativity and adaptability inspiring. However, we’ve also heard that some of our pastors are struggling. Some have said they’re tired because they’re having to learn new skills, pastor in new ways, make staffing/leadership changes, and so much more. It’s a lot all at once.

In response to this, the National Leadership Team is wondering how to express our gratitude and support. Here’s what we’re thinking, we want to offer our pastor’s a gift- a gift of a National Sabbath Week June 22-28 (perhaps a local church-wide week sabbath from all programs and activities?). You can find the details of this initiative by clicking this link: National Sabbath Letter

Some of you are asking about “parking lot services”. On this topic I will defer to your local leadership teams. I saw a picture of one that happened (not FM) this past weekend and they used speakers in the parking lot. Can I say that I’m pretty sure that their neighbours would not have appreciated that! And your neighbours count! Using a radio signal would satisfy your desire to meet and be non-offensive to your neighbour. We can help you figure out how to use a radio signal. My friends, we don’t want to be in the news for the wrong reasons!

Many of you have heard that Karlene and I are moving to Ottawa. I’ve asked her to tell you the story, but just in case you are wondering, nothing is changing at the Ministry Centre: The Ministry Centre is not moving, and I will be there almost as much as I have been (and way more than I have been there in the past two months!).

In March, Pastor Mike (Hogeboom) called Cliff, as Arlington Woods FM was beginning the search for a new Worship Coordinator. As soon as Cliff told me about the position (editor’s note: try as I might she refuses to call me “Bishop Cliff”!), it was all I could think about. After reading the job description, a spark went off inside and ideas started bouncing around in my brain like fireworks (editor’s note: making a joke about things bouncing around in your spouse’s head is not a smart idea). A couple of weeks later, COVID-19 hit. I began to re-evaluate my ideas and pray for God to inspire me about worship during and after this new season of pandemic. What will worship look like, inside and outside our walls? How will the arts capture and express emotions, questions and revelations? Many affirmations kept coming from prayer partners, friends, family and even co-workers about this position and the move.

Here is what you need to know about the move. The Ottawa housing market is still hot with bidding wars and rising prices. The Oshawa market has been slow and hesitant. The home we have purchased went below asking due to seller’s circumstances, our home in Oshawa sold in 24 hours in a bidding war. The Ottawa Real Estate agent told us that she has never experienced anything like this in her entire career – “You have no idea how ‘lucky’ you are!” (We will be going for coffee so I can explain just how “lucky” we are.) The agent in Oshawa called the sale, “Remarkable.” I wake up every day in awe and with gratitude for what has happened. “Oh God, thank you that I get to do this with Arlington Woods! Thank you for a miracle house. Only You could orchestrate events this way. Only You deserve all the glory. Now please, Holy Spirit continue to inspire and guide, Amen.” (editor’s notes: a. best to insert editor’s notes after your spouse has reviewed text; and b. editor loves being on this journey with his best friend – 28 years so far!).



Church Health Thursdays – Thoughts About the “New Normal”:
News & Stories Blog – Lakeview Free Methodist Church’s Blueprint:
the conneXion – a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out:
New Leaf Network: The 2019 New Leaf Advent Reader – :


None at this time



Leonard Bruce – Warkworth, ON – ordination service date TBA

Dani Harris – The Corner Church, Oshawa, ON – ordination service date TBA

Douglas Smith – Fellowship of Joy, St. Williams, ON – ordination service date TBA


Register online through the link above

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 5-6, 2020  – due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this course will be taught live via Zoom with a modified schedule (details will be sent to those who register prior to the course)
November 6-8, 2020 –  location TBA*

Wesleyan Theology:
November 6-8, 2020 –   Ontario location TBA*
(also available online through FMC-USA:

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:
Course starts October 13 (deadline to register – October 5)
Part One: Oct 13-Nov 5 – advance online engagement
Part Two: Nov 6-7 – two-day in-person class – Trulls Road FMC, Courtice, ON

Personal and Church Stewardship: (NOTE:  TUITION WAIVED FOR THIS ONLINE COURSE)
5-week online course (ENGLISH) – start date – June 1, 2020

(Note:  this class is now full.  We are creating a waiting list and if there are enough people, we may consider offering this tuition-free online course again in the early fall.  Please register to put your name on the waiting list.)

(* These course locations are selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early!  Note:  Tuition payment is not required when registering for a course.  Payment is due 10 days before the course begins.)



October 15 is the deadline to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for any courses taken during the summer and/or fall semesters of 2020. The 2020 application forms and instructions are now available to download from the link above.

October 15 is the deadline to apply for the annual Special Scholarships for courses taken during 2020 – apply online from the link above.



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.



Lakeland Community Church, Spiritwood, SK
Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, ON


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)

None at this time


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
Cedar Street Community Church, Simcoe, ON
Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK
First FM Church, New Westminster, BC (Rev. Vern Frudd – Transition Pastor)
New Hope FMC, Bracebridge, ON
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Smiths Falls FMC, Smiths Falls, ON (Rev. Aaron Birtch – Transition Pastor)
Trinity Christian Centre, Dresden, ON
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON (Rev. Vic Stonehouse-Transition Pastor)

Executive Director – Wesley Acres
Ministry Intern – Maple Grove Christian Retreat