Last Sunday I was at the Hampton Free Methodist Church. You heard them share their inspiring story at General Conference on how their focus is on being a Community Centre. They came to this Ministry Plan by prayerfully and carefully considering the needs of their community. They asked if “we build a building, how will it benefit our neighbourhood?” In other words, “It’s not about us!”
And after service, surprise, surprise, we ate – a delicious Ghanaian feast.
This past week Karlene and I had a wonderful time with very warm and friendly campers and staff at Arlington Beach Camp. I recall hearing that they ministered to approximately 150 children and youth during family camp! There was a sweet spirit in all the services and challenging seminars by gifted teachers. Thank you, Arlington Beach for a job well done!
I have also heard good reports from Maple Grove Family Camp.
Karlene and I will be spending the next week and a half meeting many of our pastors in the Saskatchewan and Alberta area.
Pastors, I’d like to thank you.
As I schmoozed around Arlington Beach, and as I have visited with churches, I hear good stories about you. I also hear stories about conflict in your churches. I want to thank you for your sacrifice: for giving up weekends, promotions, expensive toys and I want to thank you for giving up several nights on any given week because that’s the only time people can meet. I want to thank you for loving people who sometimes are hard to love. I want to thank you for initiating reconciliation, and choosing not to fight back when it would be easier to strike out and protect yourself.
Almost every Christian experiences a crisis of faith (times we doubt or feel dull spiritually), but you have the unusual and unenviable position that even though you might be experiencing this, still you have to get up in front of your church family and open up the Scriptures Sunday after Sunday and give a sermon. In fact, those very sermons are judged – families jump into their cars and ask the question, “Did you like the sermon?” As if a sermon is to be liked or not liked! Your sermons are compared to radio and TV preachers whose only job is to write a sermon – not to get to know newcomers, make visits to the hospital, go to planning meetings, volunteer at a drop-in centre, show up for a youth event, help at VBS, read Cliff’s Notes, attend and lead prayer meetings, disciple leaders, go to Network meetings and for some of us, have a second job because their church can only pay part-time, etc, etc, etc! Sorry that this happens, but thank you for not being defensive and continuing to persevere.
Thank you for your commitment to learn: to take courses on how to preach more effectively, on being a better leader, to pray, to disciple more like Jesus. Thank you for pursuing and modelling a healthy family. Thank you, pastors, for doing something most professionals don’t: have an accountability partner that challenges you forward. Thank you for not quitting this week! Thank you for desiring (and practicing) to become better listeners to God.
He, our Father, delights in you and we love you.
• The Little Big Picture Blog: A Co-operative Dream in the Dominican Republic: https://www.fmcic.ca/14279/
• Church Health Blog: Ordinary Time: https://www.fmcic.ca/ordinary-time/New
• 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 Podcast: The Church in Exile – Living in Hope After Christendom – Dr. Lee Beech: https://www.newleafnetwork.ca/podcast/ep-45-church-exile-living-hope-christendom-dr-lee-beech/
• Faith and Finances Website: http://faithandfinances.ca
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FMCIC
• LifePlan Study Team Files
Arlington Beach Camp
Do you know someone who would like to receive CliffsNotes? They can now sign up through the website at: https://www.fmcic.ca/cliffsnotes-signup/
The next deadline is October 15, 2017 to apply for both the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for the summer and fall semesters of 2017, and for the Special Scholarships. More information is available at this link: https://www.fmcic.ca/scholarships/
Heart of Canadian Free Methodism:
Nov 3-5, 2017 in Ontario*
Nov 3-5, 2017 in western Canada*
(also available online through FMC-USA: http://fmcusa.org/leadership/courses/)
Personal and Church Stewardship
6-week online course – start date TBA
Culture and the Missional Church:
Date and Location TBA
(*these locations will be selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early!)Registration is online for all courses at this link: https://www.fmcic.ca/foundational-courses/ and now includes PayPal or credit card payment options. Those tracking for credentialed ministry should take the Heart course first and then Wesleyan Theology if possible.
Ordination and Commissioning Services Schedule
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Dryden FMC, Dryden, ON
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON
Ryde Centennial FMC, Gravenhurst, ON
Smiths Falls FMC, Smiths Falls, ON
Westdale Park FMC, Napanee, ON
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON
Church Profiles available
(Contact Susan DePlanché at the Personnel office to request a church profile – [email protected])
Frankford Community FMC, Frankford, ON – Personnel Office receiving resumes until August 8
Warkworth FMC, Warkworth, ON – Personnel Office receiving resumes until August 8
(If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Susan at the Director of Personnel office [[email protected]] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.)
Athens FMC, Athens, ON
Blue Mountain Community Church, Thornbury, ON
Caistor Centre FMC, Caistor Centre, ON (Mary Lee DeWitt-Transition Pastor)
Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK – (Dyan Mouland-Transition Pastor)
Harrowsmith FMC, Harrowsmith, ON (Carl Bull – Transition Pastor)
Rustle FMC, Kingston, ON (Todd Stelmach-Interim Pastor)
Sault Ste. Marie FMC, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Tabernacle de la Grace, Montreal QC
Functioning with approved local arrangements
Avonlea FMC, Avonlea SK
Campbell’s Bay FMC, Campbell’s Bay, QC (Orville White)
Church On The Hill, Orillia ON (Ousman Ali)
Cordova Mines FM Fellowship, Cordova Mines, ON
Eglise Chrétienne Méthodiste Libre de Le Gardeur, QC (Duplan Auguste Lython)
Enterprise FMC, Enterprise, ON
Killarney FMC, Killarney, MB (Raymond Riglin)
Markham FMC, ON (K.K. Leung)
Richmond Hill Chinese & English Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (K.K. Leung)
Roblin FMC, Roblin, MB (Heath Butler)
Surrey FMC, Surrey BC (Nathaniel Prakash)
theStory, Sarnia, ON
Timmins FMC, Timmins, ON (Lewis Byer)
Vennachar FMC, Vennachar, ON (Laurie Lemke)
Verona FMC, Verona, ON (Kathy Casement)
Wesley Chapel Japanese FM Church, Toronto, ON (Misa Mochinaga)
Wyevale FMC, Wyevale, ON
Yarker FMC, Yarker, ON (Ken Babcock)
PASTORS IN TRANSITION
2017 ORDINATION ANNIVERSARIES
|10 years||25 years||30 years||35 years||40 years||45 years||50 years||55 years|
|Hilkka Aavasalmi||Brian Eschbach||Glen Coates||Doug Wightman||Floyd Babcock||Sheldon Carlson||David Ashton||Frederick Gordon|
|Mary Lee DeWitt||Barry Smith||Robert Lay||David Howick||David Panton|
|Jennifer Donnell||Brenda Tursa||Steve Lougheed||John Vlainic|