Here we are at the beginning of Holy Week and this annual opportunity to focus our thoughts and emotions on the realities that form the heart of our faith–Jesus’ death and resurrection. If He did not die, we are hopeless without a redeemer, and if He did not rise, our preaching is in vain. But He did die, and we know through that self-giving how profound God’s love is for us. And He did rise, and we have a gospel of victorious hope!
Last week was filled with a whole variety of rich experiences for me. On Tuesday, I attended the second annual Wesley Studies Symposium at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, hosted by Dr. Howard Snyder, Tyndale’s Chair of Wesley Studies Scholar. Six papers were delivered during the day, and four of them were by Free Methodist scholars: “The Story of Christian Perfection” (Amy Caswell); “Be Thorough, But Be in Haste” (Bob Munshaw); “A Theology for Reaching the City” (Howard Olver); “Wesley and the Environment: A Sacramental View” (Matthew McEwen). The Lord is indeed blessing our movement with some very promising scholars!
On Saturday, it was the Regional Gathering at Wesley Chapel. It was great to see everyone there and to listen in on the stories of what God is doing in the churches even while people realistically deal with ministry challenges. Several congregational leaders talked about how the LifePlan is helping their congregations to understand their communities and to form strategies for engaging with the community. It was wonderful to see the diversity of age, gender and race, and especially encouraging to have opportunities to interact with the new generation of young lay and ministerial leaders.
Speaking of new young leaders, we want to offer our congratulations to Dale Harris and Peter Goodyear who have been approved by the Board of Administration. With this step in their ministerial tracking accomplished, both men have been appointed by MEGaP as pastors of the churches where they are currently serving: Dale Harris (Ministerial Candidate) appointed at The FreeWay, Oshawa, ON, and Peter Goodyear (transfer in from the Church of the Nazarene), appointed at Open House in Stratford, Ontario. In the Wesley Chapel Regional Gathering photos you’ll see a picture of Dale receiving his Ministerial Candidate certificate.
On Sunday morning, we were blessed to be at Pineview FMC in Cloyne, Ontario, where Thomas Eng, another promising Ministerial Candidate, is pastoring the congregation with his wife, Amy-Beth. This was a good place to worship on Palm Sunday, as one could sense the joy and optimism of the congregation.
In the afternoon, it was great to join in with the celebration of the Butternut Creek FMC in Kingston, as they dedicated to the Lord their recently purchased property (two buildings). There were some very moving moments as founders of this church plant (Roy Hawkins, Ken Roth, Richard and Eunice Hamilton) told the story of its beginnings; as people who are presently experiencing profound spiritual change in their lives shared their testimonies about the wonderful things that God is doing; and as Pastor Bob Boutilier gave a closing challenge on keeping focused on the mission of God to reach the community!
I could sense the joy of all of the Kingston churches as they celebrated this moment with Butternut Creek congregation. The original vision was to see a congregation planted across the river on the east side of Kingston, but that has not materialized. What intrigued me was to hear leaders of this congregation wondering out loud if that’s what is next for them as a congregation now that they are becoming established.
There are pics from each of these events in the Photo Gallery this week.
I would also like to ask those who have not yet sent in Annual Reports (there are 18 of you) to please try to get to this sometime this week.
All of you have a busy week ahead with Holy Week services and celebrations. I trust that in the midst of all of these opportunities, you will have rich encounters with the Holy Spirit yourself and that this will be a memorable Easter season for you too.
P.S. Remember. If you are wondering about something related to the FMCIC and its ministry, please send your question to [email protected].
Have a look at Dan Sheffield’s blog: http://sheffield.typepad.com
Wesley Studies Symposium-Tyndale Seminary – March 23, 2010
Wesley Chapel Regional Gathering – March 27
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON – March 28
Butternut Creek, Kingston – Building Dedication – March 28
– Dale Harris as Pastor at The FreeWay, Oshawa, ON, effective March 26, 2010
– Peter Goodyear as Pastor at Open House church plant in Stratford, ON, effective March 26, 2010
Chad Vankoughnett – May 2, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. at First FM Church, Moose Jaw, SK.
ANNUAL REPORT – Due now! Please file your report through our website—www.fmc-canada.org—you will find it on the top banner of the home page, or at this link: http://www.formsite.com/reports/form70742026/index.html
Network Leader Evaluation – all who attend Network meetings regularly should file (The Lead Pastor’s evaluation will be included with the Annual Report; all others can file through this link.) http://www.formsite.com/reports/form775276147/index.html
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
St Joseph Island Free Methodist Church, Hilton Beach, ON
Surrey FMC, Surrey, BC
Wawota FMC, Wawota, SK
Profiles available / Director of Personnel receiving resumes
Asbury FMC, Perth, ON (Alan Adams, Interim)
Avonlea FMC, Avonlea, SK
Barrie FMC, Barrie, ON
Bramalea FMC, Brampton, ON
Charlemont FMC, Wallaceburg, ON
Eastern Koinonia, Toronto, ON
Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, ON
Trulls Road FMC, Courtice, ON
Vennachar FMC, Vennachar, ON
Functioning with approved local arrangements
Butternut Creek, Kingston, ON
Campbell’s Bay FMC, Campbell’s Bay, QC
Enterprise FMC, Enterprise, ON
Killarney FMC, Killarney, MB
Mainstreet Community Church, Kelowna, BC
Malvern Chinese, Toronto, ON
Marmora FMC, Marmora, ON
Mississippi FMC, Mississippi, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English Churches, Richmond Hill, ON
Roblin FMC, Roblin, MB
Timmins FMC, Timmins, ON
Wyevale FMC, Wyevale, ON
Yarker FMC, Yarker, ON
PASTORS IN TRANSITION
Director, Operations – Wesley Acres
Associate Pastor of Mission and Ministry– Arlington Woods FMC, Ottawa, ON
Retirement Park Administrator –Light and Life Park, Lakeland, Florida
Retirement Park Office Manager – Light and Life Park, Lakeland, Florida
2010 Regional Gatherings
April 17 – Brantford – Freedom Christian Community
May 1 – Arlington Beach Camp
May 8 – Dryden
May 15 – Athens
May 29 – Sault Ste Marie
June 5 – Ellice
June 12 – Merritt
2010 FMCIC Ministers Conferences
September 28-30 – Wesley Acres
October 5-7 – Entheos Retreat Centre (near Calgary)