Bishop’s Notes – September 14, 2009

Dear Colleagues,


Yesterday morning, Donna and I worshipped in the healthy community atmosphere of theStory, a Free Methodist church plant in downtown Sarnia, ON.  Now in its third year, this church plant led by Joe Manafo and Nathan Colquhoun, meets in a storefront location where it has high visibility in the arts and film section of the city.  They regularly open their doors to community groups and provide space for bands to practice and work space for local artists. During the week, there is a lot of drop-in traffic (and conversations with) not only curious people passing by but also with neighboring storeowners.   As they told stories about relationships that they have been developing, it was clear to me that this community of believers is being salt and light in their neighborhood. 

Yesterday morning’s worship experience was beautiful in its creativity and simplicity.  While Pastor Joe spoke about the tables where Jesus sat and met all kinds of different people, a communion table made out of a door creatively drew us into the reality that the bread and wine is a doorway into intimacy with Christ. He reminded us with stories from the New Testament about how regularly Jesus went out and often met with undesirable people bringing the good news of grace and forgiveness to them.  You’ll see a picture of this table in the Photo Gallery along with pictures of the group as they eat together – something that happens weekly.

Next door, there was a healthy group of lively children meeting in an attractive space that has been developed for them on Sunday mornings, but is used, like the meeting area, in many other ways by the community during the week.  With deep appreciation, Pastor Joe talked about the ways that the New Horizons FMC just a few blocks away has been a source of encouragement and financial and practical help.  They are already beginning to dream about planting another church in another neighborhood in Sarnia.

Later in the afternoon, there was a lot of joy as Barbara Peterson was ordained at the New Horizons FMC.  On page two of the current Mosaic you can read about Barbara and Lloyd’s special interest in ministering to Latino people in Southwestern Ontario, the Dominican Republic and Mexico.  It was wonderful to welcome several of these congregations to the ordination service and because many of these new friends do not speak English, the service was conducted in Spanish and English.  It was a beautiful thing to listen to messages of congratulations that were read from friends in the Dominican Republic and to have a sister who travelled from Mexico to make a special presentation on behalf of friends there.

We are praising God for healthy congregations like New Horizons that have a vision for empowering people to be involved in what God is doing in their city, region, and in other parts of the world.  I think that I have been to Sarnia for more ordinations/commissioning than any other church in Canada.  What is interesting is that Rick Venne (pastor of New Horizons’ Iglesia de Buen Samaritano congregation) was being interviewed by MEGaP last Saturday and Nathan Colquhoun (from theStory) and Ryan Young (from New Horizons) are scheduled for later this fall. 

There are pics from Saturday’s MEGaP interviews, theStory, and Barbara’s ordination in the Photo Gallery this week.

There is one new announcement this week:  Christine Li has been appointed as Assistant Pastor at Richmond Hill Free Methodist Church.

Please remember the Minister’s Conferences in your prayers; and if while you are praying, you are reminded that you need to register, it would be good to do that when you have finished praying. 

Have a great week serving Jesus.

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:

MEGaP Interviews – Sept 12, 2009
theStory – Sept 13, 2009
Barbara Peterson Ordination – Sept 13, 2009

Christine Li – Assistant Pastor at Richmond Hill FMC, effective September 15, 2009

Ecclesiax, Ottawa, ON (Cameron Montgomery, Interim)
Lakeside Community Church, Salmon Arm, BC (Sheldon Carlson, Interim)
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON (Glenn Dixon, Intentional Interim until September 30, 2009)
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON (Vic 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
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
– Associate Pastor of Mission and Ministry– Arlington Woods FMC, Ottawa, ON
– 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 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.