I arrived safely in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Saturday evening after a busy but very fruitful time in Accra, Ghana. The reason for my visit to Accra was to teach in the Pastors’ Conference, chair MEGaP interviews and preside over the Mission District Annual Meeting. It was a very full schedule, but very gratifying.
In order to preserve and redirect financial resources to ministry, the Ghanaian pastors and delegates decided to move their meetings from a hotel to the Kwabenya FMC. Food was cooked by the church people and they slept at night on mats in the church and classrooms (and some slept sitting in chairs while I talked! J)
I was glad to have a team from the Barrie FMC (Greg Ford, Jenn Wagar and Jane Roach) with me. BFMC has a partnership relationship with the FMC in Ghana and so they were there to see what the Lord is doing and to ask Him how they can continue to effectively partner with what He is doing (as well as Greg doing the annual audit of the financial records).
I taught on the theme of “The Inner Life of a Leader – a Study of Moses’ Leadership”. Jenn taught later in the day on “Serving Leadership”. You can see pictures of discussion groups huddled together during the sessions as well as mealtimes outside under the canopy.
MEGaP interviews were also conducted outside under the canopy. We met with 21 different candidates – 5 were recommended to the Annual Meeting for ordination, 6 for ministerial candidacy and others were encouraged to continue tracking.
During the Annual Meeting, we heard encouraging reports – as a national church they grew by 24% in membership in 2016, sent out 8 new Church Planters and started 10 new Church Plants. Superintendent Ahmed Kenneth Quarshie was unanimously re-elected for a three-year term – a sign of the excellent leadership that he and the BOA are giving.
On the final day, we assembled for the ordinations. It was a very moving time as pastors gathered around to lay hands on those who were being set apart for ministry. All of the ordinands wore clerical collars and part of the ceremony is to insert the tab after they had been ordained and to be presented with a cross. Following the ordination, the new ordinands served Holy Communion – a symbol of their commitment to servanthood. We closed the event with everyone joining hands and taking a covenant that they would “make every effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Pictures of what I’m talking about are in the Photo Gallery this week.
I had something funny happen during my departure from Accra. I left directly for the airport from the ordination service and still wore my suit and bishop’s purple clerical collar. As I came in, several airline staff members recognized me as a bishop and moved me right up the line (I modestly protested for about two seconds) to get my boarding passes. I got through security, changed into travel clothes and was waiting in the boarding area, reading a book. It was a big plane and so when they called for us to board there was instantly a line of over 100 people. I decided to just sit and wait for things to start to move. All of a sudden the whole crowd turned around and was gesturing to me saying: “Come! Come!
The crowd parted like the Red Sea and as I was walking through them I asked: “What’s going on? Why are they calling for me?” Several passengers waved me on saying: “Yes, they are saying please bring the old man up here and let him go first!” When I got to the gate, the same airline staff member was there and said: “Come! Come! Reverend. We don’t want you to have to wait or to hurry.” (I turned 65 yesterday and it seems that being a senior has its benefits!)
The LifePlan Study Team meets this week (Tuesday – Thursday). Please keep them in your prayers as a deliberate and make plans for the future of the FMCiC.
Have a great week walking with the Lord Jesus!
The deadline for Annual Reports was February 18, 2017. If you have not already done so, please follow the links provided and complete the report.
English link: http://www.formsite.com/reports/form141/index.html?1406294972546
French link: http://www.formsite.com/reports/form144/index.html?1420832672433
• The Little Big Picture Blog: World Relief 101: https://fmcic.ca/world-relief-101/
• Church Health Blog: Your Struggling Church Can Turn Around Today- But Greatness Takes Time: https://fmcic.ca/your-struggling-church-can-turn-around-today-but-greatness-takes-time/New
• the conneXion – a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out: http://www.fmcic.ca/3-minute-theology-2-5-knowing-the-bible-inside-out/
• Dan Sheffield’s Blog: The Saint’s First Wife Said: http://sheffield.typepad.com New
• Jared Siebert Podcast: A Standing Still Moment: http://www.newleafnetwork.ca/podcast/ep31-standing-still-moment/
• Faith and Finances Website: http://faithandfinances.ca
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FMCIC
•The National Ministry Centre Team video: http://www.fmcic.ca/portfolio-item/the-national-ministry-centre-team-who-we-are-what-we-do/
• LifePlan Study Team Files
2017 GENERAL CONFERENCE
Remain in Me… and you will bear much fruit!
The next deadline was February 15, 2017 to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for the winter semester of 2017 . More information is available at this link: http://www.fmcic.ca/scholarships/
Heart of Canadian Free Methodism:
June 2-4, 2017 at West Springs Free Methodist Church, Calgary, AB
Nov 3-5, 2017 in Ontario*
June 2-4, 2017 at Holt Free Methodist Church, Mount Albert, ON
Nov 3-5, 2017 in western Canada*
(also available online through FMC-USA: http://fmcusa.org/leadership/courses/)
Personal and Church Stewardship
6-week online course – start date TBA
Culture and the Missional Church:
August 25-27 – Ontario*
(*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: http://www.fmcic.ca/foundational-courses/ and now includes PayPal or credit card payment options. Those tracking for credentialed ministry should take the Heart course first and then Wesleyan Theology if possible.
Ordination and Commissioning Services Schedule
Beverly Kay – Ordination Service – March 11, 2017 at 11:00 am, Wawota FM Church, SK
Patty Perry – Ordination Service – March 12, 2017 at 3:30 pm, First Free Methodist Church, Moose Jaw, SK
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Polson Park FMC, Kingston, ON
Smiths Falls FMC, Smiths Falls, ON
Church Profiles available
(Contact Susan DePlanche at the Personnel office to request a church profile – [email protected])
(If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Susan at the Director of Personnel office [[email protected]] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.)
Blue Mountain Community Church, Thornbury, ON
Caistor Centre FMC, Caistor Centre, ON (Mary Lee DeWitt-Transition Pastor)
Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK (Dyan Mouland – Transition Pastor)
Dryden FMC, Dryden, ON (Doug Wightman – retiring May 31/17)
Eglise Chrétienne Méthodiste Libre de Le Gardeur, QC
Frankford Community FMC, Frankford, ON (Bruce Kellar – Transition Pastor)
Harrowsmith FMC, Harrowsmith, ON (Carl Bull – Transition Pastor)
Mewassin FMC, Duffield, AB (Trevor Swanson – Transition Pastor)
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON
Ryde Centennial FMC, Gravenhurst, ON (Sterling Cooper – retiring July 30/17)
Tabernacle de la Grace, Montreal QC
Trulls Road FMC, Courtice, ON (Brian Bell – retiring June 30/17)
Saeronam Community Church, Mississauga, ON
Warkworth FMC, Warkworth, ON (David Atton – retiring July 31/17)
Wesley Chapel Japanese FM Church, Toronto, ON
Westdale Park FMC, Napanee, ON (Vic Stonehouse – Transition Pastor)
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON (Cliff Fletcher – Bishop-elect)
Functioning with approved local arrangements
Avonlea FMC, Avonlea SK
Campbell’s Bay FMC, Campbell’s Bay, QC (Orville White)
Church On The Hill, Orillia ON (Ousman Ali)
Cordova Mines FM Fellowship, Cordova Mines, ON
Enterprise FMC, Enterprise, ON
Killarney FMC, Killarney, MB (Raymond Riglin)
Markham FMC, ON (K.K. Leung)
Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, ON (Marty Misener)
Richmond Hill Chinese & English Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (K.K. Leung)
Roblin FMC, Roblin, MB (Heath Butler)
Surrey FMC, Surrey BC (Nathaniel Prakash)
theStory, Sarnia, ON
Timmins FMC, Timmins, ON (Lewis Byer)
Vennachar FMC, Vennachar, ON (Laurie Lemke)
Verona FMC, Verona, ON (Kathy Casement)
Wyevale FMC, Wyevale, ON
Yarker FMC, Yarker, ON (Ken Babcock)
PASTORS IN TRANSITION
Woo Sung Shim
Director of Maintenance – Arlington Beach Camp
Associate Youth Pastor – Northview Community Church
Director of Children’s Ministry – Trulls Road FM Church
Associate Pastor – Barrie FM Church
Family Ministries Pastor – Chapel Ridge FM Church