Last week was a very interesting week. On Tuesday evening and Wednesday, I met with 12 other Canadian denominational leaders to talk about what could be done to promote unity in our working together to be salt and light in our nation. It was a very engaging conversation and when I get the notes from the meeting, I’ll share some of the things that we talked about and the commitments that we made to each other.
Wednesday evening I flew to Sault Ste Marie and joined the other pastors in the Northshore network at All Tribes Camp on St. Joseph Island for our quarterly network retreat and check-in time. We talked about pastoral health and the disciplines that are needed to remain healthy as spiritual leaders and used Wayne Cordeiro’s book Leading on Empty as a resource. If you want a book that will help you understand the signs of ministry fatigue and the principles for ensuring that you don’t become so depleted that you “burn out,” this is a must read. It’s written in easily accessible language and gives lots of practical application. Our network could have used another half day to discuss it and interact with its wisdom!!
On Saturday, pastors and local church leaders gathered at the Sault Ste Marie FMC for the Regional Gathering and it was an excellent day. I know that I have been writing something like this about the other Regional Gatherings every week; but once again, it was clear to me that this is a strategy that the Lord has given the FMCiC for connecting and inspiring local church leaders. I thought that with only three churches, we might end by mid-afternoon, but the discussions and fellowship continued until late afternoon. There are some very encouraging things happening in these northern Ontario congregations and I believe that more is on the way.
Yesterday I worshipped at the Sault Ste Marie church pastored by Marc and Laurie McAlister. This is a very warm and healthy group of Christ followers, and just standing around and observing, one can see that their love for each other across generations is genuine. And it wasn’t just coziness among longstanding friends, I met new people who enthused about the way that this congregation worships with authentic passion for the Lord Jesus and warmly welcomes anyone who comes to the church. Some have come through their Alpha program; others have come with friends and a good number now find themselves included in a small group.
There are pics in the Photo Gallery this week. There are no new announcements.
Before I close off, let me share a couple of prayer requests. The Regional Gatherings are going so well because of your prayer support. Please pray for the Ellice, AB Gathering next week. I’d also invite you to pray for our Free Methodist friends in Haiti. This past week, Rev. David Charles, a long time leader in the Haiti Church (secretary of the Conference) and pastor of the John Wesley congregation in Port au Prince, was shot and killed by robbers. He was a faithful Christian leader and a good friend who will really be missed by all who have worked alongside him.
Looking forward to being with you at the throne of grace on our days of fasting and prayer on Thursday and Friday this week. The Prayer Guide is attached.
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
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
Blue Mountain Community Church, Thornbury, ON – (Aaron James, Interim) – DoP receiving resumes until June 4
Arlington Woods FMC, Ottawa, ON
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 (Tom Gurnick, Interim)
Trulls Road FMC, Courtice, ON
Vennachar FMC, Vennachar, ON
Westport FMC, Westport, 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
William (Rusty) Crozier
2010 Regional Gatherings
June 5 – Ellice
June 12 – Merritt
2010 FMCIC Ministers Conferences
September 28-30 – Wesley Acres
October 5-7 – Entheos Retreat Centre (near Calgary)