Bishop’s Notes – November 2, 2009

Dear Colleagues,


This past week, Nathan Umazekabiri and I had the opportunity to attend the 2009 EFC Presidents Day in Montreal.  This year’s focus was on ministry in Quebec and each denominational leader was asked to bring someone who is involved in ministry leadership in that province.

It was a good day of interaction with other leaders as we heard presentations on the impacts of globalization, urbanization and secularity on ministry in Quebec.  Research from focus groups has identified five issues: 1) theological education is not keeping pace with what is needed in the church and culture, 2) there is high financial investment in church planting from outside the province with relatively modest returns, 3) it’s very difficult to get meeting space permits, 4) ministries are now increasingly making connections through the medium of the arts, 5) though many profess to believe in God, attendance at church is on the decline. 

Yesterday, Donna and I were at Blue Mountain Community Church in Thornbury, Ontario to dedicate the recently completed renovations.  These started with flat leaky roofs, and grew into a major renovation that has yielded a very pleasant entry area and a wheel chair ramp that gives access to the sanctuary.  We started to worship with singing and then part-way through the service we all went down into the newly finished area to together dedicate these areas to the Lord.  I suggested that the folks at BMCC look around at the physically open inviting environment that they have created and use this as a weekly symbolic reminder that this is how God wants us to be toward people in the community who are looking for friendship and, though they may not realize it, relationship with the Lord Jesus. 

It was nice to see Major Michael Allen and his family.  Michael is a Free Methodist Chaplain at the Armed Forces Training Facility in nearby Meaford, Ontario.  Lead Pastor Bob Lay, in a desire to find a way to connect with the military community, is presently on a sabbatical taking training there as a reservist chaplain.  (Fortunately, Bob was able to get leave for the day and be with us for the celebrations.)  During his sabbatical, Assistant Pastor Aaron James is doing a great job overseeing the ministries of the church.  In the pics in the photo gallery you can see the excellent improvements that have been made to the building, but even more encouragingly, you’ll see a multi-generational congregation that is healthy and optimistic about the future.  One older member spoke with great pride and thankfulness for the growing youth group that is part of BMCC. 

There are two announcements this week:  the Commissioning service for Rick Venne will be held on November 22 at 4 pm at New Horizons FMC, in Sarnia, Ontario, and Thomas Eng has been appointed as Pastor at Pineview FMC, Cloyne, Ontario.  Also a reminder that there is a job posting for the position of Stewardship Development Director on our website.

The Systems Analysis Team, the Intercultural Task Team and the BOA all meet later this week.  I know that those of us who are participating will really appreciate your prayers as we take part in important discussions.

Have a great week serving Jesus.

Bishop Keith

Have a look at Dan Sheffield’s blog:

Blue Mountain Community Church 

– Thomas Eng – Pastor at Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON, effective November 9, 2009

– Rick Venne – New Horizons FMC, Sarnia, ON on November 22, 2009 at 4:00 pm


Ecclesiax, Ottawa, ON (Cameron Montgomery, Interim)
Lakeside Community Church, Salmon Arm, BC (Sheldon Carlson, Interim)
Westdale Park, Napanee, ON (Carl Bull, Intentional Interim until March 9, 2010)
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON (Vic & Joan Stonehouse, Interim)

Profiles available / Director of Personnel receiving resumes
St Joseph Island Free Methodist Church, Hilton Beach, ON DOP receiving resumes until November 16

Preparing Profile
Asbury FMC, Perth, ON (Alan Adams, Interim)
Avonlea FMC, Avonlea, SK
Bramalea FMC, Brampton, ON
Charlemont FMC, Wallaceburg, ON
Eastern Koinonia, Toronto, ON
St Joseph Island Free Methodist Church, Hilton Beach, ON
Timmins FMC, Timmins, 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
Dean Babcock
Linda Dixon
Harold Fox
Tom Gurnick
Larry Hart
Dale Hawley
John Kurish
Steve Lougheed
Doug McLeod
Samson Mehari
Paul Millar
Jim Peetoom
Pierre Sanambe
Jennifer Wagar
Scott Woolhead
– Stewardship Development Director – The Free Methodist Church in Canada
– Associate Pastor of Mission and Ministry– Arlington Woods FMC, Ottawa, ON
– Children’s Ministry Administrative Assistant – Lakeview Church, Saskatoon

Please note: The Bishop’s Notes are sent out at the beginning of every week and includes pulpit supply information). As some of this information is personal and sensitive it has been omitted from the website.  Please contact the Personnel office (905-357-3165) for more information.