One of the Christmas traditions Karlene and I have is to give each other and our kids an ornament that somehow reflects the past year – that is, something they’ve done, or accomplished, or achieved. Our Christmas tree tells our story. There are driver’s licence, lifeguards, sports, Bible verses that we blessed them with, compasses with an engraving, Narnia (for the year my family read through the series together every night and listened to on long trips), memories from trips, and more. I love the conversation Karlene and have to chose the right ornament. We asked questions like:
- what happened this year?
- What helped shape Abby and Greg?
- What is a memory that we need them to remember?
- How can we bless them with this ornament this year?
What would be your ornament this year? What happened to you? What can’t you forget because it is important that you remember? What is the blessing in this?
Do you remember what a blessing is? A blessing is 1 of the Big 3 God-gifts that you are invited to participate in. Actually not just “invited” but given the responsibility to run with. The Big 3 are all about God’s grace toward you, and how important you are to Him and His mission. The Big 3 are PRAYER, EVANGELISM and BLESSING. Each of these is a privilege and responsibility. God doesn’t need you to pray, I mean He can do whatever He wants, but He chooses to allow your prayers to make a difference in His government and mission in the world. God doesn’t need you in order for your neighbour to come to know Jesus, but He chooses to make you responsible to participate in helping others know Jesus. And God doesn’t need you to bless others, but He chooses to give you the responsibility to bless. A blessing is a Biblical promise or word or action from God that He allows you to ‘give’ to someone else. It comes out of focused prayer for someone, and the resulting confidence from having heard God give you the nod to give that promise or word or action to another. Then humbly you offer the blessing, “I prayed for you and I believe that God would like you to hear this word or promise… Take it, pray about it, talk to your praying friends about it to test it.” A blessing that is an action could be homemade cookies that God prompts you to give to a neighbour (or bishop).
The blessee is responsible to receive the blessing, pray about it, bring it to trusted friends to pray and talk about, say thank You to God and then wait. It is God’s responsibility to power up the promise and make it happen or meaningful in the blessee’s life.
On Christmas Eve I bless you with the responsibility to be blessers this new year (which requires focused prayer, good friends to help you to listen to Father, and courage to give the blessing away.
MERRY CHRISTMAS MY DEAR CHURCH FAMILY!
Church Health Thursdays – Are You a Light in The World?: https://www.fmcic.ca/are-you-a-light-in-the-world/
News & Stories Blog – First Response Bags: https://www.fmcic.ca/first-response-bags/
the conneXion – a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out: https://www.fmcic.ca/3-minute-theology-2-5-knowing-the-bible-inside-out/
New Leaf Network: The 2019 New Leaf Advent Reader – : https://www.newleafnetwork.ca/podcast/
None this week
ORDINATION AND COMMISSIONING SERVICES
Rev. Todd Stelmach (Kingston, ON) – ordination service on February 2nd at 4 pm at Rustle Free Methodist Church, Kingston
FOUNDATIONAL COURSES https://www.fmcic.ca/foundational-courses/
Register online through the link above
Lay Ministers tracking for credentialed ministry and those transferring ordination credentials into the FMCiC need to take the following two courses for full credit – and if possible, the Heart course first and then Wesleyan Theology.
Heart of Canadian Free Methodism:
June 5-7, 2020 – at Kingsview Free Methodist Church, Etobicoke, ON
November 6-8, 2020 – location TBA*
June 5-7, 2020 – location TBA*
November 6-8, 2020 – location TBA*
(also available online through FMC-USA: http://fmcusa.org/leadership/courses/)
Ministerial Candidates tracking for Commissioned or Ordained Minister are required to take the following two courses for full credit. Those who are already commissioned or ordained are required to either audit these two courses for 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) each or take the two courses and complete the assignments for 3 CEUs each.
Culture and the Missional Church:
Ontario course date and location TBA*
Personal and Church Stewardship:
5-week online course (FRENCH) – start date – TBA
6-week online course (ENGLISH) – start date – June 1, 2020
(* These course locations are selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early! Note: Tuition payment is not required when registering for a course. Payment is due 10 days before the course begins.)
2020 SCHOLARSHIPS https://www.fmcic.ca/scholarships/
February 15 is the deadline to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for any courses taken during the winter semester of 2020. The 2020 application forms and instructions are now available to download from the link above.
October 15 is the deadline to apply for the annual Special Scholarships for courses taken during 2020 – apply online from the link above.
CONTINUING EDUCATION UNITS (CEUs) https://www.fmcic.ca/introduction-to-continuing-education/
Ordained and Commissioned Ministers (except retirees) are to annually report Continuing Education Units (CEUs) acquired during each year. Check the link above for information on CEUs, the report form and a list of examples of many different types of life-long learning that can be applied as CEUs.
Note: For those who attend the fall Minister’s Conferences, add 6 hours of CEU credit when you send in your annual CEU report.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Athens FMC, Athens, ON
Lakeland Community Church, Spiritwood, SK
Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, ON
Church Profiles available
Contact Susan DePlanché in the Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] or 289-228-1225 (deadline to apply in brackets)
None available at this time
(If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Susan in the Leadership Development Office [[email protected] or 289-228-1225] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.)
Campbellford FMC, Campbellford, ON
Cedar Street Community Church, Simcoe, ON
Eyebrow FMC, Eyebrow, SK
First FM Church, New Westminster, BC
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON
Smiths Falls FMC, Smiths Falls, ON (Rev. Aaron Birtch – Transition Pastor)