General Conference 2020: Be Free!
This is week 2 of my interviews with Harold Gonyou, Chair of the Board of Administration. Remember the goal is that you will have received motions and recommendations months before General Conference so that you can discuss in your local churches. If there are any clarifying questions, you can contact BOA or myself.
Harold, the BOA has been working on restructuring our organization. We have added Coaches, we have moved from sub-committees of BOA members, to “Teams” of experts or practitioners in the following areas: Church Health, Leadership Development, Church Planting, Prayer, Missions (Intercultural Engagement) – each of these teams report to the BOA (and each have a BOA rep as well as an NLT member leading). We have been doing important work with regard our BOA too. One of the recommendations that the BOA is making is about the size of the Board of Administration. We are recommending a size change. Can you explain what the motion is and the rationale involved?
Harold: The BOA had briefly discussed a smaller board size during the previous term, but it was so tied to our committee structure that we could not envision a change. Moving from committees of board members to teams of well qualified specialists or practitioners for each ministry area, the link between committees and board size was eliminated.
We had a task force gather information on efficient board sizes early in this term. Management boards tend to be larger, while vision/policy boards function best with 8-12 members. This size better facilitates discussion and communication. We felt that a board size of 10-12 might be appropriate for the FMCiC rather than our larger 16 members. With this in mind, we purposely did not refill board positions that became vacant during the term and finished with a board of 12. With this size we still had a member on every ministry team as well as a full management committee. Our discussions at BOA meetings were lively and involved everyone. We held a number of video conference calls and I would say that these might have worked better if we had had an even smaller group. The BOA is bringing forth a motion that the BOA consist of 10 members. The motion would retain equal numbers of lay and ministerial members as well as the principle of proportional regional representation. It also encourages the principle of proportional gender representation. We think there are a lot of positives in the motion being brought to conference.
You are saying that the advantages include, but are not limited to: a 10 member BOA is within the parameters of what research and best practice says is optimum size for our type of governance (16 is well outside of these parameters); 10 offers every member a consistent voice which is especially important for this time as Zoom (and similar platforms) are becoming an essential meeting space; nothing is lost in terms of equal regional or gender representation; cost savings for 10 versus 16 is significant; research tells us that the smaller the group the more committed they are in terms of participation and engagement; and very important is that Nominating Committee will be filling less positions and the BOA will therefore encounter less transition bumps.
Harold: We also recognized, and discussed, some of the challenges a smaller yet more representative board would encounter. It may be more difficult to achieve proportional regional and gender representation in a smaller board, and the balance could be upset if only one or two of the positions were vacant for an extended period. Also, as the chair of the BOA must be a layperson, the pool of candidates for the chair will be more limited during each term. Overall, we feel that the advantages outweigh the challenges.
I mentioned last week that the BOA had engaged in an evaluation of its board members. I believe that process created a greater awareness of what each member brought to the board, and of imbalances in representation (gender and cultural as examples). I think that level of awareness was more easily achieved because we were a smaller board, and we were healthier because of it.
This past weekend Karlene and I worshiped with the Corner Church which is a beautiful marriage between the Nazarene Gateway Church and the FMCiC Freeway Church. It’s a great story that began with Gateway not having a pastor and Freeway not having a building. Pastor Dale has worked diligently and carefully to help develop one church, with one board and one goal! In fact things are going so well in terms of unity and process, they were able to give Pastors Dale and Dani a sabbatical. Not only that, during the sabbatical the board continues to meet and lead. Thank you Corner Church for leaning into our value to collaborate and further strengthening the Kingdom. If you live in a neighborhood that has smaller churches who approach ministry from a Wesleyan hermeneutic, then maybe you should be prayerfully chatting with Madoc (Wesleyan-FMCiC) and The Corner Church…
Church Health Thursdays – What Mr. Church Health Wants for Christmas: https://www.fmcic.ca/what-mr-church-health-wants-for-christmas/
News & Stories Blog – First Response Bags: https://www.fmcic.ca/first-response-bags/
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: The 2019 New Leaf Advent Reader – : https://www.newleafnetwork.ca/podcast/
None this week
ORDINATION AND COMMISSIONING SERVICES
Rev. Todd Stelmach (Kingston, ON) – ordination service on February 2nd at 4 pm at Rustle Free Methodist Church, Kingston
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:
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:
Ontario course date and location TBA*
Personal and Church Stewardship:
5-week online course (FRENCH) – start date – TBA
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://www.fmcic.ca/scholarships/
February 15 is the deadline to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for any courses taken during the winter semester 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://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, add 6 hours of CEU credit when you send in your annual CEU report.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Athens FMC, Athens, ON
Lakeland Community Church, Spiritwood, SK
Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, 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)
None available at this time
(If you are interested in seeing 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.)
Campbellford FMC, Campbellford, ON
Cedar Street Community Church, Simcoe, ON
Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK
Trinity Christian Centre, Dresden, ON
Eyebrow FMC, Eyebrow, SK
First FM Church, New Westminster, BC
New Hope FMC, Bracebridge, ON
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON
Smiths Falls FMC, Smiths Falls, ON (Rev. Aaron Birtch – Transition Pastor)
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON