An FMCIC Rule of Life: Part 1
“I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out. – John Wesley
The end goal of the initiative that you are about to read about, is that as good Methodists we will lean into our desire to pursue holiness – with a heart for God, and a shared methodology. The 3-month Rule of Life covenant (March-May) is an opportunity for FMCIC family to mutually encourage each other to establish a spiritual rhythm that helps us to pay attention to each other, to our community and most importantly, to God. A rule of life helps us posture ourselves to be open and attentive to all that God has to say to us personally and as a movement. The covenant (see below) is what should already be a part of your life rhythm. The covenant that I am inviting you to is:
- Pray 3 times daily (morning, lunch, evening – you pick the best times for you)
- Read, study, meditate, memorize a common Scripture daily (sent out weekly)
- Half-day fast weekly (you pick when and how)
- Every other week 45- minute triad meeting (you pick when)
- Once a month Sunday evening national zoom meeting with Bishop (this is not part of the covenant)
A “Rule of Life” then is a means whereby, under God, we take responsibility for the pattern of our spiritual lives. It is a ‘measure’ rather than a ‘law’. The word ‘rule’ has bad connotations for many, implying restrictions, limitations and legalistic attitudes. However, a “Rule of Life” is essentially about freedom. It helps us to stay centered, bringing perspective and clarity to the way of life to which God has called us. The word derives from the Latin ‘regula’ which means ‘rhythm, regularity of pattern, a recognizable standard’ for the conduct of life. We do not want to be legalistic. A “Rule of Life” is an orderly way of existence but we embrace it as a way of life not as keeping a list of rules. It is a means to an end – and the end is that we might seek God with authenticity and live more effectively for Him (Esther De Waal). John Ortberg called a rule of life, a “game plan for morphing”!
“The structured arrangement of spiritual practices is referred to as “rule of life.” A rule of life is a way of ordering our life around the values, practices and relationships that keep us open and available to God for the work of spiritual transformation that only God can bring about. Simply put, a rule of life provides structure and space for our growing. The phrase “spiritual rhythms” is another helpful way of talking about this important concept.” Ruth Haley Barton, Sacred Rhythms (this book is well worth the read). Next week a Wesleyan take on “rule of life”.
I am inviting you to covenant with brothers and sisters across Canada. The covenant is to participate in a rule of life. It takes 66 days to establish a habit, so I am inviting you into a 3-month covenant. Within the next couple of weeks, you will be hearing more about how to sign up, “what in the world is a triad?”, the introduction of an online resource page, and more about what this covenant is about.
For now, it is about going deeper in our faith, and doing that as a national body.
NEW THIS WEEK:
Questions to Wrestle With by Marc McAlister: https://www.fmcic.ca/questions-to-wrestle-with/
Get the Scoop: https://vimeo.com/502332242
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
Tuesdays: Cliff’s Notes
Thursdays: Church Health Thursday article share
2nd Tuesday of each month: What’s Got You Thinking?
3rd Wednesday of each month: Get the Scoop with Lisa and Alison
4th Thursday of each month: Church Health Thursday
Wednesday, January 6: Message from Jared Siebert
Wednesday, February 2: Message from Marc McAlister message
Wednesday, March 2: Message from Bishop Cliff
None this week
ORDINATION AND COMMISSIONING SERVICES
Wilder Boutin – Centre Biblique Louange a L’Eternel, Montreal, QC – date and time TBA.
Leonard Bruce – date and location TBA
Douglas Smith – May 2, 2021 at 2:00 pm, Fellowship of Joy, St. Williams, ON
FOUNDATIONAL COURSES https://www.fmcic.ca/foundational-courses/
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
Date and location TBA*
- May 7 to June 25 – hybrid online/livestream course – “John Wesley’s Theology” [THEO 0629H] at Tyndale University with instructor Rev. Dr. James Pedlar: https://www.tyndale.ca/seminary/summer/courses/theo-0629h
- through FMC-USA as a 7-week intensive online course with several start dates: 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:
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! )
2021 APPLICATIONS https://www.fmcic.ca/scholarships/
LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP PLAN (LSP):
February 15 is the deadline to apply for LSP for any courses taken during the winter semester 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.
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 or the spring Regional Gatherings, add 6 hours of CEU credit for each event when you send in your annual CEU report.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Cedar Street Community Church, Simcoe, 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 (Rev. Jurgen Rausch-Transition Pastor)
Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK
Dunnville FMC, Dunnville, ON
Harrowsmith FMC, Harrowsmith, ON
First FM Church, New Westminster, BC
Lakeland Community Church, Spiritwood, SK
New Hope FMC, Bracebridge, ON (Rev. Gary Denniss-Interim Pastor)
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)
Camp Director – Harbour Ridge Camp
Angelic Treasures Christian Daycare Newmarket – SUPERVISOR