Does Wesley Have Anything to Say About a “Rule of Life”? Part 2
- Yes, the Rule of Life is open to everyone! I would love to have representation, nationally, from all demographics and from all of our churches. Please register here: https://www.fmcic.ca/fmcic-rule-of-life/
- You can sign up to be assigned to a triad, OR you can check the box that indicates that you are already in a triad. If you already have your own triad, please have all the members of your triad register so that they can receive zoom invites to our 3 Sunday evening events.
- On the FMCIC website find “PRAYER” drop down on the top of page. Click “PRAYER”. In PRAYER menu you will find “RULE OF LIFE” https://www.fmcic.ca/fmcic-rule-of-life/
This page will be updated weekly beginning March 1 with the weekly verses and resources.
- You will find all the information you need on the website page including Covenant and instructions.
I recently asked Rev. Dr. James Pedlar this question. Specifically, I asked, “if Wesley ever explicitly spoke about the idea of a “rule of life”? I see it implicit in so much of how he developed and taught his spirituality”? I love asking James questions, because I always learn something! He is one of us (a FM pastor at Wesley Chapel), a professor at Tyndale and a friend. Below is his answer which I hope helps you, my Free Methodist friend, as you prepare to engage in the 3-month covenant:
You are right [Cliff], having a rule of life is an essential part of Wesley’s spirituality, though I can’t think of one place where he addresses the topic in a general sense. He doesn’t use the exact term “rule of life” but does speak of “rules of holy living” or simply “rules” and he means the same thing. He calls particular sets of rules prudential (i.e., contextual) means of grace in the Minutes of the Conference, but doesn’t elaborate. There might be places in his letters or journal where he speaks to this more directly, but nothing is coming to mind at the moment.
Of course, he used rules of life personally beginning in his Oxford days, committing to rise at an early hour, pray every hour, attend the sacrament constantly, visit the sick, keep a detailed record of how he spent his time, etc. All of those types of things I would consider aspects of his “rule of life.” And then there were the corporate rules of early Methodism. The most well-known are the three “General Rules”. But there were other sets of rules, for example for the bands as seen in this document: https://www.fmcic.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/John-Wesley-General-Rules-and-Rules-of-Band-Societies.pdf
He was very well aware that rules of life could be twisted into a form of works-righteousness but argued their misuse was not a reason to avoid them. In Sermon 25 he basically describes the righteousness of a Pharisee using his own General Rules! But his point is not that we need to avoid the righteousness of a Pharisee (so often the takeaway when we demonize the Pharisees) but surpass it, as Christ taught (Matt 5:20). So, in other words, doing no harm, doing all the good we can, and attending the ordinances of God won’t save us, but why wouldn’t a truly saved person want to live at least as righteously as a person who has only formal righteousness?
Bottom line: I think he would say the same thing about a rule of life as he says about means of grace in general; we don’t trust them; they have no power in themselves, but we use them to seek God, trusting God alone, and if we use them with that intention then they are a powerful means for encountering and responding to God’s presence in our lives.
Please register today (it’s free). Simply go to the FMCIC website, find the “prayer” drop down menu at top of home page, and you will find the “Rule of Life” page: https://www.fmcic.ca/fmcic-rule-of-life/
ANNUAL REPORTS (due February 26, 2021)
We kindly ask that you make completing the Annual Report a priority. We have included a guide (pdf) to help you understand and complete the Annual Report. We trust that it will be helpful to you in completing the form.
ANNUAL REPORT ONLINE FORM (English):
NEW THIS WEEK:
Bishop Cliff in Conversation with Joey Molloy: https://vimeo.com/508560679
Rule of Life Introduction: https://vimeo.com/509778380
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
None at this time
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)
Dunnville FMC, Dunnville, ON [Interim Pastor-Neale Robb] (March 9)
New Hope FMC, Bracebridge, ON (March 9)
(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)
Cedar Street Community Church, Simcoe, ON
Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK
Harrowsmith FMC, Harrowsmith, ON
First FM Church, New Westminster, BC
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)
Camp Director – Harbour Ridge Camp
Angelic Treasures Christian Daycare Newmarket – SUPERVISOR