“What’s your vision for The Free Methodist Church in Canada?” I am asked this all the time. It is a very good question. If I were a leader of a business that made widgets, then I would have one board to work with and one executive team. The FMCiC has one Board of Administration to be sure, but we are also accountable to 140 other boards and leadership teams across the country. Furthermore we are not a franchise where we can expect each local church to have big golden “FM” arches outside their building, and our pastors must wear the same uniforms (though that would be fun! In fact I just took a moment to imagine Marc McAlister and Jared in McDonald’s like uniforms).
There is something quite beautiful about us, that each local church is responsible to discover what they need to dress like, worship like, be like, in order to accept responsibility for their community. My vision includes fostering and nurturing BRAVE leaders who will discover what they need to do in their communities. PRAYING, BRAVE and PEOPLE LOVING pastors imagine life as God imagines it. I heard about “Camp Gladiator” this week. The short version of the story is that a Christian started a cross fit business. Her business was growing and a building was needed. Enter a vision-ful church who teamed up with her: services on Sunday, cross fit the rest of the week. Out of the cross fit community came Bible studies and much more!
I can imagine, a young Christian personal-trainer type with entrepreneurial gifts starting a business. To my entrepreneur friends, you are reflecting the image of God when you create – Genesis tells us the story about Entrepreneurial Creator God!
I can imagine this entrepreneur speaking with their pastor, “I can use my entrepreneurial gifts to create a profitable business and give you some of the profits, OR I can use my gifts to create a profitable ministry wherein people are pointed to Christ. What would you have me do?”
Imagine a church family that discovers that their opportunity to accept responsibility for their community is physical health. They hire a “Pastor of Exercise / Health” that creates programs for children (because there just might be a child obesity problem in their town), teens (because teens might need meaningful engagement) and adults. And these programs require mentors (church members) to help each one in the program. These can be nutrition, exercise, relaxation programs all led by believers in the church family, and supported by mentors (who again are members in the church family). Can you imagine discussion times and relationships that could form. I can imagine this church participating in missional opportunities beyond their community that reflect their unique calling, like clean water, food growing, etc.
Now substitute the word “cross fit” with music, or sports, or carpentry, or construction or art… I am not suggesting more programing, but I am suggesting prayerful, vision-ful, courageous, people-loving church family FOCUS!
This is the stuff of sanctified imaginations – which requires PRAYER (dig deeper revival prayer), people-loving, courageous leaders and courageous church families.
This past weekend Karlene and I attended Westdale Park FM’s first effort in developing a relationship with their indigenous brothers and sisters. It was excellent and I look forward to telling you more about it next week. We were also in the pretty town of Perth to worship with the wonderful people in the Perth FM. Pastor Brent is transferring into FMCiC from the Wesleyan church and has been received warmly by his new church family. Several people made the effort to tell me about the good atmosphere and growth that Perth FM has enjoyed these past 6 months. Welcome Pastor Brent and Linda!
Attention: Pastors and Delegates!
It’s that time of year—the Annual Report for 2018 for your church is due on February 20, 2019. You will find the Annual Report on the home page of our website at www.fmcic.ca.
Annual Report in English: https://fs1.formsite.com/reports/form141/index.html?1406294972546
Annual Report in French: https://fs1.formsite.com/reports/form144/index.html?1420832672433
This year we have included a guide (pdf) to help you understand and complete the Annual Report. We trust that we will be helpful to you in completing the form. Attached you will find a template (in pdf) to help you gather information from your treasurer (and others) and to note your Network Leader Evaluation numbers before you start to file the report online.
We do appreciate your filing online if possible, but you can fax or mail your report to the Ministry Centre as well – [email protected] / 905-848-2603
Please note: Network Leader Evaluation – each person who attends Network meetings should file.
The Lead Pastor’s evaluation of the Network Leader will be included with the Annual Report; all others can file through this link: Network Leader Evaluation
Please keep in mind that we ask for the same statistics every year for the Annual Report, so a system should be in place to gather this information. Every church and church plant must file a report.
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 – A Healthy Word for the new Year: https://www.fmcic.ca/a-healthy-word-for-the-year/
News & Stories Blog – Many Voices, One Heart: https://www.fmcic.ca/many-voices-one-heart/
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: Dave Overholt – Keeping Young Adults: https://www.newleafnetwork.ca/podcast/ep-62-dave-overholt-keeping-young-adults/
Faith and Finances Website: http://faithandfinances.ca
(Re)Imagine Mission is Tearfund Canada’s one-day conference on Integral Mission. Hosted in 4 cities on 4 different days, (Re)Imagine Mission gives pastors and ministry leaders from all across Canada the opportunity to reimagine the face of traditional missions -especially as it relates to our call to serve the poor. As many churches and pastors are already engaged in conversations about the future of local and international missions, (Re)Imagine Mission provides you with an opportunity to hear from knowledgeable speakers and participate in breakout sessions to share your ideas with others. Here is the link to the event: https://tearfund.ca/reimagine-mission/
Ordination and Commissioning Services Schedule
Louis Innocent – ordination service on March 17, 2019 at 2 pm, Eglise Methodiste Libre La Foi Des Elus, Repentigny, QC
INTERNSHIPS The deadline to apply for a 2019 FMCiC-sponsored internship is FEBRUARY 28, 2019. Here is the link for more information and the online application form: https://www.fmcic.ca/intern-prog/
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:
*NEW* May 31-June 2, 2019 – Ontario-location TBA
* November 1-3, 2019 – western Canada-location TBA*
*NEW* May 31-June 2, 2019 – Weyburn Free Methodist Church, Weyburn, SK
* November 1-3, 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:
Date and location TBA
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 https://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 Interviewing
Caistor Centre FMC, Caistor Centre, ON
Madoc Wesleyan/FMC, Madoc, 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)
(If you are interested in reviewing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Susan in the Leadership Development Office [su[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)
Hampton FMC, Saskatoon, SK
New Horizons Community Church – Sarnia, ON (Kim Henderson-Interim Pastor)
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Abbs So and Shadow Lau-Interim Co-Pastors)
Smiths Falls FMC, Smiths Falls, ON