Pastors, here’s an offer not to pass up…
Karlene and I were in friendly Manitoba this past weekend (Steinbach, Brandon and Winnipeg). A special treat was that Wawota, SK church family joined MB. Kilarney, Roblin, then from Winnipeg, Crestview, and our two church plants The Hearth and Glorious Hope. We prayed, remembered our roots, talked through the new 3 Year Ministry Plan, heard about a healing miracle, and ate well.
On Sunday we celebrated the Lord’s Day with Glorious Hope and their dynamic worship team. Pastor Joseph also works with international Student Ministry, as a result I met people from Vietnam (6 months in Canada), Columbia, Brazil, Ireland, South Africa, Trinidad, Ghana and a French Canadian! Their worship team and board reflect this demographic – it’s a taste of heaven when “every tribe and every nation” work to figure out how to church family, rather than Sunday mornings being the “most segregated hour of the week”. Thank you Glorious Hope!
On Friday we drove to Steinbach to meet with the leader of the Church Renewal movement. Over 4000 pastors around the world are being coached by this ministry, 1000’s more have been blessed by this ministry including many of our pastors. I thought that I’d meet with Pastor Ray Duerksen to find out more – I ended up meeting a fantastic team including their leaders to South America and Southeast Asia. Pastors this is an opportunity to consider for your professional development credit: it includes a weekend conference (January, May or October), the church has 100’s of volunteers who to help make this affordable will billet you and if necessary arrange to pick you up in Winnipeg; on Sunday night a prayer summit, and then an offer for intensive on-line live coaching for 32 weeks ++. I asked Rev. Paul Millar of Westport to tell you about his experience (and BTW a new friend to FMCiC, and businessman, has offered to subsidize any pastor and spouse who might need help, in order to make this happen – he went to a conference and believes that God told him to make this offer to us! Let me know if you’d like to take advantage of his generous offer):
So Paul what is Church Renewal?
Church Renewal is a ministry to revitalize churches. It has grown out of their ministry experience at Southland Church – to be clear, this is not a “How-To” guide to have a church like Southland. This ministry emerges out of their church’s response to Jeremiah 6:16 “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
This is a call to the church to not look for the new and flashy program, but to find hope and victory in the ancient paths. The ancients paths are to see people set free from the bondage of sin and to help people to hear from the Father in prayer. They are excited to help churches discover what these ancient paths look like in their own unique contexts.
You came back very energized. What happened to you?
I tend to be a church conference cynic. When we arrived and I saw this huge church, I had a judgmental (rooted in jealousy and pride) response. I prayed that God would renew a right spirit within me. He did. Two leaders from our church and myself were stunned by this church. I said that it was the first mega church that I had ever been to that felt Canadian. There was a humble spirit throughout the whole church family, from the Lead Pastor to the smiling and happy janitors. We took part in their Set Free! Retreat. This is their introduction retreat to help people begin to invite God into their spiritual luggage. I have been a Pastor for 18 years and I can tell you that I was personally set from a struggle that has plagued me most of my life. I mean, really set free. I now look back at that struggle and it seems a mystery to me that it was ever difficult. I’m actually still confused by it all in this beautiful way. I will happily share the story in detail to anyone who wants to know more. I had this experience because I chose to take part in the event and stop trying to evaluate and judge everything.
You told me a great story about your experience with their Sunday night prayer time…
As part of the retreat we are invited to join their church’s regular Prayer Summit. It was a cold evening -36 before the wind-chill factor. They had 1200 show up to pray, of which 400 or so were teenagers. At one point they asked visiting Lead Pastors to stand. They invited those around the Lead Pastors to pray for them. They also said that if any Pastors wanted radical prayer they should go over to the teenagers. I was shoved over there by some friends. I was welcomed by a group of about 10 teen girls aged 14-16. They asked what I wanted prayer for. I told them about my heart for my church family and also about a reconciliation I needed to make with my youngest son after a harsh word I spoke, which was really a curse on his heart. This happened the day before the conference. One girl said, “ok, listening prayer.” At that the girls all had their head down for 6 or 7 minutes. Then the lead girl said “I got this vision of a little boy trying to fly a kite and failing, over and over again. Then his father comes to him and together they get the kite flying and delight in it.” I thought “What a great picture of me and my son.” She then said “God is telling me that you are the little boy.” Immediate tears and mind blown. She then silently started writing and the others looked to the floor. When she finished writing, the girls one by one shared a word from the Lord for me. Please remember, they were 14-16 years old. I was the only one there who didn’t know what I was doing and I am the one who has Pastored longer than they have been alive. BTW. The first girl was writing down every word form the Lord for me so that I could take it with me. Can I get and AMEN?
Who do I recommend it to? Who paid?
I recommend this to every Pastor who has tired of looking for answers in the latest book/strategy/model for how to do church. I invite you to join me in seeking the ancient paths and getting back to our roots of seeing people Set Free again. The word that Ray (head of Church Renewal) spoke to me was “I don’t know what Westport needs, neither do you, but if I can help you hear what God is speaking into formation then it is a win for the Kingdom.” If you want a time of refreshing of your spirit combined with a time of great hope for what could be, this is the event for you. The best endorsement I can give is that my wife and I are going back in May with 10 more leaders from our church. We do not go to learn how to be Southland Church in Westport, we go to learn how to be Westport Free Methodist Church in Westport. Our initial trip was paid for a by a generous and dear friend, Steve Rolston. Steve does not want credit at all, but he is deeply invested in seeing Pastor’s grow and the church rediscover it’s call as a movement of the Gospel.
Pastors, I hear that May is sold out and that you need to book for October already!
2019 REGIONAL GATHERINGS 2019 Regional Gathering Locations and Dates – PDF
Regional Gatherings are all about connecting! Our intention is to see Free Methodist leader and lay people meeting together as a movement for both an “informative” and “formative” gathering. We hope to see you there! https://www.fmcic.ca/regional-gathering-2019/
Church Health Thursdays – Nothing Beats a Good Story: https://www.fmcic.ca/nothing-beats-a-good-story/ New
News & Stories Blog – Who’s Reading What in 2019 – John-Mark Cockram: https://www.fmcic.ca/whos-reading-what-in-2019-john-mark-cockram/ New
the conneXion – a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out: http://www.fmcic.ca/3-minute-theology-2-5-knowing-the-bible-inside-out/
New Leaf Network: Learning Party stories – Andrew Benson: https://www.newleafnetwork.ca/podcast/ep-64-learning-party-stories-andrew-benson/
Faith and Finances Website: http://faithandfinances.ca
Rev. Adam Kline – transferred his ordination credentials from the Wesleyan Church-Central Canada District into The FMCiC, and appointed as Denominational Ministry-Intercultural Engagement Team Leader, effective April 26
Rev. Jay Mowchenko – appointed as Interim Pastor at Hampton FMC, Saskatoon, SK, effective April 28
Ordination and Commissioning Services
FOUNDATIONAL COURSES http://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:
May 31-June 2, 2019 – Peterborough FM Church, Peterborough ON
November 1-3, 2019 – western Canada-location TBA*
Cours sur le Coeur du Méthodisme Libre Canadien
12 au 14 juillet 2019 à Montréal à l’Église Méthodiste Libre de St-Henri
May 31-June 2, 2019 – Weyburn Free Methodist Church, Weyburn, SK
October 25-27, 2019 – Ontario-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:
Western Canada course starts October 7 (deadline to register – October 1)
Oct 7-31 – advance online engagement
Nov 1-2 – two-day in-person class at Lakeview Free Methodist Church, Saskatoon, SK
Personal and Church Stewardship:
5-week online course (FRENCH) – start date – TBA
6-week online course (ENGLISH) – start date – TBA
(*locations are selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early!)
2019 SCHOLARSHIPS http://www.fmcic.ca/scholarships/
October 15 is the deadline to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for any courses taken during either the summer and/or the fall semesters of 2019. The 2019 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 2019 – 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 attended the fall Minister’s Conferences, add 6 hours of CEU credit when you send in your annual CEU report.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Caistor Centre FMC, Caistor Centre, 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)
Hampton FMC, Saskatoon, SK (May 7, 2019)
Madoc Wesleyan/FMC, Madoc, ON (May 21, 2019)
(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.)
Athens FMC, Athens, ON (Angel Valentin-Transition Pastor)
Crossroads FMC, Salmon Arm, BC (Vern Frudd – Interim Pastor)
New Horizons Community Church – Sarnia, ON (Kim Henderson-Interim Pastor)
Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Abbs So and Shadow Lau-Interim Co-Pastors)
Smiths Falls FMC, Smiths Falls, ON (Vic Stonehouse)
Summer Intern – Wawota FM Church
Life Guards – Smoky Trail Native Bible Camp
Children’s Ministry Director – Barrie FM Church
Intern Job Position – Maple Grove Christian Retreat Centre
Youth Pastor – Malvern Methodist