For the past 15+ years the FMCiC has been in decline. We are now at a critical time: 5000 members is the magic number that a country is required to have in order to become its own Free Methodist Conference. For instance, Ghana is currently a mission district under the sponsorship of the FMCiC. In order for the Ghana FM to become its own conference, with their own Bishop and Board of Administration, and a voice at the World Conference, they need the following:
¶222 New General Conferences
- A new general conference may be authorized… by board of the sponsoring general conference on the grounds that the following standards are satisfied:
1.1 An effective, financially sustainable organizational structure at all levels…
1.2 A systemic plan to discover and train ordained ministers (deacons and elders or their equivalents);
1.3 Normally, a minimum of 5000 adult members and 30 elders;
1.4 A systemic plan to multiply churches locally and globally (or at least to new people groups)…
Why do I mention this? Well look at our membership. We are 768 members away from not qualifying as a Conference. I have been assured by international bishops that there would be no appetite to end our current status. They said that the most likely action would be strategic help from the international FMC. Nonetheless, it is imperative we pay attention to this chart now. Membership / partnership (you are free to call it either) is not celebrated, or embraced and perhaps is even begrudgingly taught in our churches.
Is it important for us to remain the Canadian Free Methodist Church? Absolutely. Therefore how do we reverse this declining membership / partnership trend? This week let me simply state that membership is good and is a part of a Biblical pattern and mandate (next week I’ll map that out a little more).
This week consider the early history of the church highlighted in Acts. Take a moment and read Acts 2:41-47 which represents approximately the first 25 years of the Church’s life. People believed the message that the Apostles taught. People heard teaching, experienced the wonder of a loving, redemptive community, saw signs and wonders. People’s response was to be baptized and then join in. What I want you to notice (and you’ll see it throughout Acts) is the Biblical pattern: people believed, were baptized and were added to the number, or for the preachers in the room, Conversion, Confession and Community!
Christianity was never meant to be a private conviction or belief – personal for sure, but not private. It was meant to be lived in community, wherein followers of Jesus are MEMBERS together of the Body. In fact there are no examples in the Bible of followers who did not belong (were “members”) of a local church. Paul would be your best argument, but the truth is, his ministry was all about starting local church families – which he loved! The entry point and opportunity to belong to the one Body is to live within a local church family. Belonging, membership, ‘partnering’ should be celebrated!
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.
Church Health Thursdays – What The Church Can Do Differently in 2019: https://www.fmcic.ca/what-the-church-can-do-differently-in-2019/
News & Stories Blog – Truth and Reconciliation: It Is Ours: https://www.fmcic.ca/truth-and-reconciliation-it-is-ours/
the conneXion – a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out: http://www.fmcic.ca/3-minute-theology-2-5-knowing-the-bible-inside-out/
New Leaf Network: Lennett J. Anderson – Relearning our history: https://www.newleafnetwork.ca/podcast/ep-60-lennett-j-anderson-relearning-our-history/
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
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 7-9, 2019 – location TBA*
November 1-3, 2019 – location TBA*
June 7-9, 2019 – location TBA*
November 1-3, 2019 – 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!)
February 15 is the deadline to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for any courses taken during Winter semester of 2019. See instructions and 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)
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 Weyburn FMC, Weyburn, SK
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 [[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
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES Youth Pastor – Malvern Methodist Church