Bishop’s Notes – July 13, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

Two articles that Bishop David Roller wrote in his June 2009 newsletter got my attention recently.  With his permission, I’m sending them as I think that he’s expressing some sentiments well.


Something strange and wonderful happened in the Free Methodist Church in the USA in the 1990s.  We moved from a denominational phase of our existence (FMC 2.0), where we defined ourselves by how we were different from other Christians, to the new challenges (FMC 3.0) of reaching the dominant American culture, a culture that doesn’t accept as “givens” either the Bible or the church.

Free Methodist Church three point oh really throws us back into the urgency of the Free Methodist founders, but with our ears tuned to our secular neighbors and co-workers.  We have seen that just lining-up our arguments for God isn’t doing it.  We have seen that just living exemplary lives isn’t doing it.  We have seen that just having good music in our churches isn’t doing it.  It’s not about smarter, it’s not about purer, it’s not about zippier.  And yet God and His immutable love still stand.  God’s plan to save the world is still THE plan.

FMC 3.0 is about talking again.  Just like Jesus did, by talking about salt and light and oxen and weeds and fruit to an agrarian people.  We must again learn to tell the story of God’s mighty acts and our own personal stories of transformation, rather than compiling evidence and argument.

But it’s also about expecting to lead people to Jesus.  Stop expecting to be rejected.  Tell them a good story about a good God and ask them to take a step toward Him.  No formulas, no arguments.  Just Jesus.

And we are the heirs of our founders’ courage.  We are charged with reaching our generation, especially those not like us, with the news of Jesus.


Something that’s always bugged me about the FMC is we don’t have a clear origins story.  “Origins story” is the telling of the passion that ignited a movement.  But whenever I’ve told the story of how Free Methodism began, people’s eyes have glazed-over, rather than blazed-over.

I’d start with “There were really 4 reasons for the birth of the FMC…”  Then I’d talk about freedom of the Spirit, freedom of the slaves, free pews and …I can’t remember the 4th, it’s probably the most important.  Probably something about secret societies, which would inevitably segue the conversation in other directions.

Really, the origin story of the Free Methodist Church is “Not too far away and not too long ago a group of radical Christians chose to whole-heartedly follow Jesus rather than maintain their security in the hypocrisy of the established church.  They gave up everything else to guard the integrity and intensity of their desire to please God with their lives.  This integrity and intensity ignited a movement and the church flung out missionaries across the American frontier, quickly planting churches as they went.  We are the children of fruitful radicals.”

Now that’s an origins story!

There are several announcements this week.  Belinda Leibel and Matt Larson have been appointed to Northview CC in Regina, SK, and Cornerstone Community Church, Almonte, ON
is looking for a Youth/Associate Pastor.  Vennachar FMC has gone into transition.


Bishop Keith

P.S.  Remember.  If you are wondering about something related to the FMCIC and its ministry, please send your question to ministrycentre{at}fmc-canada{dot}org

Have a look at Dan Sheffield’s blog:

– Matthew Larson – Community Development Pastor at Northview Community Church, Regina, SK, effective July 10, 2009
– Belinda Leibel – Associate Pastor (Pastor of Connections) at Northview Community Church, Regina, SK, effective July 10, 2009.

– Normand Doucette – Mountain View FMC, Clarenceville, Quebec on August 16, 2009 at 4 pm.
– Barbara Peterson – New Horizons FMC, Sarnia, ON on September 13, 2009, 4 pm.


Westdale Park, Napanee, ON (Carl Bull, Intentional Interim until Sept 9, 2009)
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON

Profiles available / Director of Personnel receiving resumes
Lakeside Community Church, Salmon Arm, BC (Sheldon Carlson, Interim) DoP receiving resumes until July 27, 2009
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON (Glenn Dixon, Intentional Interim until September 30, 2009)  DoP receiving resumes until August 10, 2009

Preparing Profile
Asbury FMC, Perth, ON
Avonlea FMC, Avonlea, SK
Bramalea FMC, Brampton, ON
Charlemont FMC, Wallaceburg, ON
Eastern Koinonia, Toronto, ON
Ecclesiax, Ottawa, ON (Cameron Montgomery, Interim)
St Joseph Island Free Methodist Church, Hilton Beach, ON
Vennachar FMC, Vennachar, ON
Wawota FMC, Wawota, SK

Functioning with approved local arrangements
Campbell’s Bay FMC, Campbell’s Bay, QC
Enterprise FMC, Enterprise, ON
Mainstreet Community Church, Kelowna, BC
Marmora FMC, Marmora, ON
Mississippi FMC, Mississippi, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English Churches, Richmond Hill, ON
Roblin FMC, Roblin, MB
Surrey FMC, Surrey, BC
The FreeWay, Oshawa, ON
Wyevale FMC, Wyevale, ON
Yarker FMC, Yarker, ON

Ousman Ali
Linda Dixon
Harold Fox
Tom Gurnick
Larry Hart
Dale Hawley
John Kurish
Steve Lougheed
Doug McLeod

Don Oldford
Jim Peetoom
Kevin Tompkins

Youth/Associate Pastor – Cornerstone Community Church, Almonte, ON
– Kindergarten-Grade 5 Program Director – Lakeview Church, Saskatoon
Children’s Ministry Administrative Assistant – Lakeview Church, Saskatoon
Arlington Beach Camp and Conference Centre – Executive Director

September 29-October 1 – FCJ Centre, Calgary
October 20-22 – Wesley Acres

Please note: The Bishop’s Notes are sent out at the beginning of every week and include a full passages section (listing appointments, ordinations, churches and pastors in transition, employment opportunities and pulpit supply information). As some of this information is personal and sensitive it has been omitted from the website.

Please contact the Ministry Centre for more information.