CliffsNotes – September 8, 2020

Retreat, Rest, Sabbath, Vacation, Selah, Breathe, Refuge…

At the beginning of the summer I wrote about sabbath. It seems right to end the summer with a review and challenge to sabbath in non-summer seasons too. Did you know that in order to properly sabbath, you need to step into a rhythm or routine, or create a habit, where you organize your time around sabbath? It is not Biblical to randomly sabbath, or not sabbath at all. It is not Biblical to not organize your day and week around the 4th commandment. I confess however, that I am guilty of sometimes sabbathing daily, and sometimes fully sabbathing  weekly, usually when I feel that I have time!

Forgive me Father for not fully engaging in Your gift of sabbath.

What are some elements of sabbath in the Bible:

  • In the creation story and then in practice, sabbath was sunset to sunset one day per week (imagine if we began to prepare ourselves Saturday night for worship and refreshment times on Sunday?!);
  • The 4th commandment (take a moment to read it in Exodus 20) is clear that sabbath pertains to our relationship to God, and others. The 4th commandment is a bridge from commandments 1-3 which focus on our relationship with God, and commandments 5-10 which focus on our relationships with others. Commandment 4 is about both;
  • In Ezekiel sabbath is a “sign” of our covenant, so that others see our lifestyle and want it too (20:12 for instance)!
  • Sabbath is also daily: daily God “stopped”. He evaluated (“it is good” implies that He asked Himself, “Is it good?”); He imagined and planned His next day (we do not believe creation is random, do we?!); and then the Bible says that He rested. This was God’s daily routine or discipline, which He hardwired into us and into creation. Beautifully God modeled it;
  • God would later add festivals to the annual calendar which would be community building, sabbath-in-nature, worship and remembering opportunities.

Why am I mentioning this all now? I feel the need to encourage you to fully receive God’s gift of sabbath, in order to proudly wear His jersey (as a sign of the covenant). Some suggestions:

  1. Ask if your church life reflects sabbath? Do our programs encourage healthy sabbath or not? Do we teach AND equip sabbathing in our church life?
  2. Do you sabbath?
  3. FM leaders, if you are in your 6th year or more at your current church or posting, are you planning a sabbatical as per our FMCIC policy? Have you considered using one of our retreat opportunities (GEM Lake, Westport, and Wesley Acres)? Contact Terry & Cindy Gibson for more information. BTW, thank you Gibson for loving pastors this way, so as to administer these sites!

There is also this link to a directory of retreat centers, and houses available to Christian leaders ;

  1. Do you organize your day, week and year around sabbath principles?

In last week’s Cliff’s Notes I welcomed you to the new country (Link to last week’s notes: One of the evangelistic gifts we can offer the new country is sabbath…



Church Health Thursdays – The Act of Noticing:
News & Stories Blog – St. Joseph Island’s FMC Building Reopens –
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 – :
Get The Scoop Video: 







Prayer Summit | Part 2
Helplessness & Hopefulness – Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020 (7:00-8:45 pm)
Click here to register: 

Pastor Retreats

Here’s some exciting news! The directory of Pastor Retreat Locations is now being maintained by the Education & Clergy Department of The Wesleyan Church. 

This site about 10 years ago as a collection of free and low-cost retreats and vacations for pastors. Over the years, these pages have been used by tens of thousands of visitors seeking a respite from pastoral ministry.
The site now contains more than 200 facilities in 38 U.S. states and 9 other countries.


None at this time


Leonard Bruce – October 25, 2020 at 11:00 am, Warkworth FM Church, Warkworth, ON

Douglas Smith – October 18, 2020 at 2:00 pm, Fellowship of Joy, St. Williams, ON


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:
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) – October 5, 2020

(* 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.



None at this time


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)

Cedar Street Community Church, Simcoe, ON (Sept 29)


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
Dunnville FMC, Dunnville, ON
First FM Church, New Westminster, BC (Rev. Vern Frudd – Transition Pastor)
Lakeland Community Church, Spiritwood, SK
New Hope FMC, Bracebridge, ON
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Trinity Christian Centre, Dresden, ON
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON (Rev. Vic Stonehouse-Transition Pastor)


Angelic Treasures Christian Daycare Newmarket – SUPERVISOR
Associate Pastor:  Youth, Young Adults & Social Media – Barrie Free Methodist Church
Office Administrator – Westdale Park FM Church