Bishop’s Notes – February 28, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

The first and most important thing that I have to say today is that I really appreciate the prayer support that I received over the last 17 days.  Last week, I told you how things went in Ghana.  It was really a time of blessing, but to be honest, I left Ghana to go to Sri Lanka with a lot of apprehension that I had to keep giving over to the Lord Jesus.  It was wonderful to feel the strengthening spiritual energy that came as a result of your intercessions.

I arrived in Sri Lanka on Saturday evening and the next morning, Alan Retzman and I travelled 2.5 hours south of Colombo to a growing church that meets in a house on the edge of a tea plantation.  You’ll see from the pictures that the place was packed.  Afterwards, we enjoyed a wonderful meal prepared by the pastor who has worked as a professional chef.

On Sunday evening, we visited a church plant in the heart of Colombo (the capital city of several million people).  It is being planted right next door to a large Hindu temple.

Then the work began – Monday: a day of training network leaders, Tuesday: meetings with the FMC lawyer and the BOA and a meeting that went into the late evening with the pastors and delegates, Wednesday: 2 teaching sessions along with being a supportive presence in other sessions by the Superintendent and a pastor and a Q&A session that went late into the evening, followed by a short BOA meeting, Thursday: presided over the Mission District Annual Meeting in the morning and the BOA in the afternoon, Friday and Saturday: one-to-one meetings, long hours of drafting legal material for the lawyer and revisions to FMC-SL Manual, then another meeting with the lawyer with several hours of follow-up.  (Progress was slow in the meetings because everything that I said had to be translated into both the Tamil and Sinhala languages.  When discussing complex issues, one has to really concentrate so as to not lose one’s train of thought.)

But, it was all worth it!!  The Lord was so present in the meetings and discussions and I witnessed firsthand the unifying work of the Holy Spirit.  Thank you for praying.  There are pictures in the Photo Gallery this week.

So it seems that we have had our attention drawn to Sarah Bessey and several are wondering out loud why she would be invited to be a speaker at the Pre-Conference Event entitled “In the Company of Women” and to be the keynote speaker on Friday night.  The LifePlan Study Team has identified that the FMCiC has to come to grips with the fact that doing ministry in Canada is becoming increasingly complex because of how Canada’s cultural landscape is changing.  The influence of a new generation called the “The Millennials” is beginning to be felt.  For some, the issue of Women in Leadership needs additional attention.

So, the Planning Committee identified Sarah Bessey as a Resource Person.  She is a thoughtful evangelical.  She is a “millennial” (and writes and thinks like a “millennial”) and she is a woman that is particularly concerned about the role of women as leaders.

The reaction (pro and con) of several to an article that she posted at the following link highlights the need for the FMCiC to understand the worldview of “millennials”.  I have taken the liberty to try to provide some “translation” footnotes to an article that she posted entitled: “I’m an evangelical Christian and I think same-sex marriage should be legal”, I think that if she had added the subtitle (The Essential Importance of Love as Serious Jesus-followers), it would help some of us move past some “trigger “words and understand what I think she is saying to us in her article about how we can navigate life in today’s Canada.

There are no new announcements this week.  We still need to receive Annual Reports from 50 churches.

Have a great week walking with Jesus as Lord!


Bishop Keith


Annual Reports
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: 
French link:

• The Little Big Picture Blog: World Relief 101:
Church Health Blog: $1.25 is Amazing Generosity? :
• the conneXion – a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out:
• Dan Sheffield’s Blog: Things Fall Apart: New
• Jared Siebert Podcast: A Standing Still Moment:
• Faith and Finances Website:
• Facebook:
•The National Ministry Centre Team video:
LifePlan Study Team Files

Remain in Me… and you will bear much fruit!

Sri Lanka Church Visit
Columbo Church Plant Visit
Sri Lank Mission District Meeting
Life Plan Meeting



The next deadline is October 15, 2017 to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for the summer and fall semesters of 2017. More information is available at this link:

Heart of Canadian Free Methodism:
June 2-4, 2017 at West Springs Free Methodist Church, Calgary, AB
Nov 3-5, 2017 in Ontario*

Wesleyan Theology:
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:

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: 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

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])
Warkworth FMC, Warkworth, ON – Personnel Office receiving resumes until March 28

Preparing Profiles
(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
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)


William Crozier
Kim Henderson
Woo Sung Shim
Derek Spink

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