Bishop’s Notes – October 13, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  Thanksgiving this year has a wider and deeper meaning for Donna and me after spending this past week in Butuan City, The Philippines.  We arrived on Tuesday and were met at the airport by our wonderful hosts.  The next two days were spent in World Conference Executive Committee meetings where we grappled with ways to be helpful to several General Conferences struggling with complex issues.

On Wednesday evening, all the bishops were welcomed in a spectacular welcoming ceremony at the Butuan City Free Methodist Church.  It was wonderful that all the bishops were able to be present except for Bishop Philemon who remains in prison awaiting an opportunity for his appeal to be heard. It was a pleasure to meet new bishops from the Dominican Republic, Egypt and Japan.

There was a wonderful sense of camaraderie and high mutual respect among all the bishops as we listened to each other’s reports and spent considerable time in prayer for one another. In the Bishops Council we heard many thrilling reports of God at work and heartbreaking stories of intense suffering.  Bishop Lohara from India told us about three FM pastors in the Orissa area who were martyred for their faith.  Yet, he also told us some rather dramatic stories of breakthroughs that are coming as a result of these deaths and the love and forgiveness that Christians are expressing in word and deed.  Some community people are coming to Christ because of their kindness shown in the rebuilding of their homes by Christians who were persecuted.

After the meetings were concluded, we toured churches and had the opportunity to visit a church that has a social development ministry at the Butuan City dump.  We met a remarkable woman, Pastora Tessie, who is working alongside a church that has been planted to minister to families who eke out an existence scavenging for cardboard, plastic, cans, and bottles that can be sold and recycled.  Some of the children of these families who live at the dump attend a nearby school where they are learning life skills along with basic education.  You’ll see pictures of them in the photo gallery this week performing at the Welcoming Ceremony.

On Sunday morning, I preached at the English service of the Butuan City FMC located on the grounds of the Light and Life Bible College.   They have four services every Sunday and it is from this church (known as the Mother Church) that many other congregations have been planted.  They are believing God that they will see 120 people won to the Lord this year.  Presently they have had 113 conversions.  It was a real privilege to be among them.

Have a look at the pictures in the photo gallery this week and you’ll understand what I mean when I say that I could go on and on about what we experienced.  Thanks for your prayers for the Council of Bishops meetings and for our travel.  God is so good!
There is one appointment to announce:  Alan Adams is Interim Lead Pastor at Asbury FMC, Perth, Ontario.

Have a great week serving Jesus.

Bishop Keith

Have a look at Dan Sheffield’s blog: http://sheffield.typepad.com

PHOTO GALLERY
The Philippines

APPOINTMENT
Alan Adams – Interim Lead Pastor, Asbury FMC, Perth, ON, effective October 9, 2009

CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Interviewing

Ecclesiax, Ottawa, ON (Cameron Montgomery, Interim)
Lakeside Community Church, Salmon Arm, BC (Sheldon Carlson, Interim)
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON (Glenn Dixon, Intentional Interim until December 31, 2009)
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON (Vic & Joan Stonehouse, Interim)

Profiles available / Director of Personnel receiving resumes
Westdale Park, Napanee, ON (Carl Bull, Intentional Interim until March 9, 2010) DOP receiving resumes until October 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

PASTORS IN TRANSITION
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

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
– 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

2009 MINISTERS CONFERENCES
October 20-22 – Wesley Acres

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.