CliffsNotes – April 6, 2021

The God Who Makes Us Smile…

A friend of mine experienced the tragedy of a house fire last week. It was devastating to she and her husband. They lost a lot: treasures, pictures (especially pictures), collections (she had a series of rare and meaningful books), and art. Irreplaceable. I sent her a note just as I was reading one of the Rule of Life passages. I told her how sorry I was and in the last line I wrote, “I happened to be reading Isaiah 58:11-12 just as the message came up that you had had a fire. I prayed it for you.” This was her response:

Thank you, Cliff and Karlene,

Of course, you wouldn’t know this, but Isaiah 58 has been a guiding text for most of my adult life.  Then in mid-life, in quite a remarkable moment, a much older man in our congregation approached me and asked if we could have a word.  God had impressed on him to share and pray Is. 58:11 over me and with me. It’s been a key life text, always returning to me in some way in the tougher moments life has brought my way.  The Father always knows how to put a smile on my face 🙂.

Her response is important in so many ways.

  • A “guiding text”, do you have Bible verses that are especially important to you, so much so that you would call them a “guiding text”?
  • A much older man in our congregation” had a Bible verse for her and prayed for her. Does that happen? Let me speak to the “older” among us (those my sister Mary-Elsie’s age and older!): do you pray for your church family, and actually listen to the Holy Spirit for Bible verses? For gifts (like cookies, a card, a call, a lawn-cut)? Do you pray with your Church family regularly? I love seeing people praying naturally in the foyer at Church, or in their seats before service. I believe that the “older” among us have a responsibility to be brave and start to do this – pray for and pray with!

Now let me speak to everyone younger than my older sister Mary-Elsie (which is a lot of us!): do you pray for your Church family? Do you listen to the Holy Spirit for Bible verses, gifts, calls, service, emails or text? Would you be brave enough that the next time someone tells you something to pray for, that you would ask them right there to pray with you? I believe that we have a responsibility to be brave and start to do this – pray for and pray with whoever God brings your way.

If I had a do-over in pastoral ministry, I would find ways to teach (or better “disciple”) children to pray this way. I would teach Grade 6’ers for instance how to listen in prayer, and how to be brave enough to pray with someone for healing, or discernment. Actually, this is something I hope that we start talking about more as a movement (discipling our children to pray and releasing them to minister to us in prayer).

  • In the middle of a horrible thing, God found another way to bring a “smile” to my friend’s face! Seems God was reminding her that He’s got this, and He loves her.

Just in case you are having one of those weeks where you need to hear this: God loves you, and He’s got this!



Typically, we would meet regionally with members of the National Leadership Team travelling across the country to be with you in person, but this year is not typical. This year we will all gather together virtually to begin a pilgrimage.
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Blake Found – Lead Pastor at Uxbridge FMC, Uxbridge, ON – approved for Ordained Minister


Wilder Boutin – date and time TBA – Centre Biblique Louange a L’Eternel, Montreal, QC

Leonard Bruce –    date and location TBA

Blake Found – date and time TBA –  Uxbridge FMC, Uxbridge, ON

Jessica Isaak – date and time TBA – Hampton FMC, Saskatoon, SK

Erika Mills – July 25, 2021, Time TBA – Blue Mountain Community Church, Thornbury, ON

Benjamin Platz – date and time TBA – Next Church, Kingston, ON

Douglas Smith – May 2, 2021 at 2:00 pm, Fellowship of Joy, St. Williams, ON


Alyson Lauber – Date and time TBA – Lakeview FMC, Saskatoon, SK
Nathaniel Prakash – Date and time TBA – Surrey FMC, Surrey, BC


Register online through the link above (Tuition payment is not required when registering for a course.  Payment is due 10 days before the course begins.)

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:
Nov 5-7, 2021 – location TBA*

Wesleyan Theology:
Nov 5-7, 2021 – location TBA*

Also available:

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:
Date and location TBA*

Personal and Church Stewardship:

5-week online course – Start Date TBA

(* These course locations are selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early! )




October 15 is the deadline to apply for LSP for any courses taken during the summer/or fall semesters of 2021.  The 2021 application forms and instructions  are now available to download from the link above.  Please use the application forms marked “rev 2021.”


October 15 is the deadline to apply for the annual Special Scholarships for courses taken during the 2021 calendar year – apply online anytime from the link above.  Special Scholarships are awarded in late November/early December each year.


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 or the spring Regional Gatherings, add 6 hours of CEU credit for each event when you send in your annual CEU report.


Dunnville FMC, Dunnville, ON [Interim Pastor-Neale Robb]
New Hope FMC, Bracebridge, ON


Church Profiles available
Contact Davika Dotson in the  Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] or 416-240-7845   (deadline to apply in brackets)

Cedar Street Community Church, Simcoe, ON

Preparing Profiles

(If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Davika in the Leadership Development Office [see above] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.)

Campbellford FMC, Campbellford, ON (Rev. Jurgen Rausch-Transition Pastor)
Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK
Harrowsmith FMC, Harrowsmith, ON
First FM Church, New Westminster, BC
Frankford Community Church, Frankford, ON
Lakeland Community Church, Spiritwood, SK
New Horizons Community Church, Sarnia, ON (Rev. Mary Lee DeWitt-Transition Pastor)
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Trinity Christian Centre, Dresden, ON (Rev. Alan Adams – Interim Pastor)
Warkworth FMC, Warkworth, ON
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON (Rev. Vic Stonehouse-Transition Pastor)

Youth and Young Adult Ministries Associate Pastor – Barrie FM Church
Camp Director –  Harbour Ridge Camp