Let me start with giving you pastors some permission and love. It seems that we will not be gathering in person on Sundays in the month of April anywhere in Canada.
This means another month (or more) of virtual meetings. Thank you for leaning into the technology, I know that it excites some of you, and it is a stretch for the rest of us!
Here’s the permission piece: please do not feel any pressure to produce something that looks like
a mega-church production. Be you! Most of our churches do not have the capacity to replicate a mega-church Sunday event, nor should you try. Instead you should be true to what God has called you to be in your community (your church community and your city). People have access to all kinds of great resources online. Point them to the resources that are most representative of FMCICs hermeneutic and culture, AND then be you. Pastor your community, using all the technology and acceptable measures available to you. Be you while being stretched and learning to minister within our new reality. Be you creatively. Be you as you remain accessible to your people. Be you prayerfully. Andy Stanley was not called to your community but you uniquely are.
You are not called to help your people “weather this storm”. I really believe that this is a wrong framework or approach to this crisis. Jesus did not weather storms, He walked through them and He brought calm. Pastors, do the same. Walk through this storm with Jesus, with your community (your people and your town) and be bringers of calm. Calm, or more Biblically “peace”, is a heart-cry in Canada right now. We have an opportunity to introduce our community to Him!
Lastly, pastors, peace. Rest. Being home with bored kids is not a restful environment. Rediscover ways to sabbath and please let the rest of us know your new spiritual habits. I am journaling prayer because I stay focused in prayer as I write – I have to think of what word to write. I haven’t mastered the urge yet to stand and take walks to the fridge. Sometimes I don’t even eat, I just take a walk to the kitchen, open the fridge and look in…
An invitation from Pastor Kevin Kay:
“Are you wanting to get out, to meet up with friends? Have you worn ruts into the floor from pacing around? Do you need to feel the energy of a crowded room? If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, we are going to try to help you.
Calling all Canadian Free Methodist Extroverts, we are having a group meeting on Thursday April 9 at 6:30pm (Sask Time) for a social gathering. We are going to try to create a virtual crowded room on Zoom.
Here is the link: http://zoom.us/j/2081571895 Meeting ID 208 1571895
This will be a short time of chatter and banter that you extroverts are missing. It won’t be long and drawn out. It will be a time designed especially for you. We are inviting everyone, the introverts can get your book and read in the corner if you like. I hope you can join us.”
Two last notes: My pastor called me to check up with me. Staff and board divided the membership list up. Each of these leaders is responsible to check in regularly with each person on their list. It was good to be contacted – it made be feel connected to the church and it made me smile. I hear that many of you have done this. Thank you.
Finally, take a look at the pictures and video attached.
Our Newmarket church is ministering to their neighbourhood with signs… I asked them about it: “Very encouraging responses! While we were setting them up, cars slowed down to read them and several random people out walking commented, but the best was a lady who shared that this was a “message” to her and she instantly started to pray using the words as her prayer. Queen Street is used for many health care workers to travel to the hospital, so hoping it encourages them.” Thank you, New Hope!
Church Health Thursdays – You Can Do This Church: https://fmcic.ca/you-can-do-this-church/
News & Stories Blog – Connecting with You Over the Next Two Weeks: https://fmcic.ca/connecting-with-you-over-the-next-two-weeks/
the conneXion – a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out: https://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/
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ORDINATION AND COMMISSIONING SERVICES
Leonard Bruce – Warkworth, ON – ordination service date TBA
Dani Harris – The Corner Church, Oshawa, ON – ordination service date TBA
Douglas Smith – Fellowship of Joy, St. Williams, ON – ordination service date TBA
FOUNDATIONAL COURSES https://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*
November 6-8, 2020 – 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:
Course starts October 13 (deadline to register – October 5)
Part One: Oct 13-Nov 5 – advance online engagement
Part Two: Nov 6-7 – two-day in-person class – Trulls Road FMC, Courtice, ON
Personal and Church Stewardship: (NOTE: TUITION WAIVED FOR THIS ONLINE COURSE-FRENCH AND ENGLISH)
5-week online course (FRENCH) – start date – April 13, 2020
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://fmcic.ca/scholarships/
October 15 is the deadline to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for any courses taken during the summer and/or fall semesters 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://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
Lakeland Community Church, Spiritwood, SK
Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, 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)
None at this time
(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
Cedar Street Community Church, Simcoe, ON
Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK
First FM Church, New Westminster, BC (Rev. Vern Frudd – Transition Pastor)
New Hope FMC, Bracebridge, ON
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Smiths Falls FMC, Smiths Falls, ON (Rev. Aaron Birtch – Transition Pastor)
Trinity Christian Centre, Dresden, ON
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON (Rev. Vic Stonehouse-Transition Pastor)