We tried our first National check-in this past Saturday. It was definitely a learning experience and this, in some ways, is what is defining this season: try, see, be flexible and learn. Part of what it means to be Free Methodist is summed up well in one of the new proposed Guiding Principles: “Free to be courageous: We are all free to follow God’s Spirit learning, innovating and exploring new territory for ministry in ways that make sense for our local context and mission.” One of the goals of the event was to practice technology – we did and we will get very good with it!
I was asked if we should create re-entry policy guidelines. This is a very good question and yes, I will bring this to my team to consider. I also encourage each local church to begin this conversation right away. Pastors, boards and leadership teams please begin to sort out the following:
- Does our local public health agency already have guidelines or at least suggestions for us (please connect with your public health – we want to be ‘friends’ with them);
- How many people will be permitted in the building and will there be social distancing guidelines?
- Public washrooms?
- Extra volunteers prepared with Lysol-type wipes on all handles, counters, etc., cleaning at regular 5 min intervals;
- Prayer rail rules?
- Greeting times: hugs, handshakes?
- Coffee center and cookies – is this wise?
- Offering: is passing a plate wise? What about offering counters touching money?
- Nursery and children’s programs: will parents want their kids involved? Will new people? If not, can we accommodate children in the service? Perhaps a shortened service for a season?
- Hangers – cleaners cleaning these too?
- Are we using responsible cleaning products?
Let’s put our heads together and create a non-fear based but socially responsible re-entry plan… Let me know what your leaders come up with…
Church Health Thursdays – Thoughts About the “New Normal”: https://www.fmcic.ca/thoughts-about-the-new-normal/
News & Stories Blog – Westport FMC Considered an Essential Service: https://www.fmcic.ca/westport-fmc-is-an-essential-service/
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.newleafnetwindork.ca/podcast/
FM VIDEOS: https://www.fmcic.ca/category/fm-video-blog/
Josiah Piett – approved as Ministerial Candidate and appointed as Co-Church Planter to House of Freedom Church Plant, Niagara Falls, ON, effective April 21
Kara-Lee Piett – approved as Ministerial Candidate and appointed as Co-Church Planter to House of Freedom Church Plant, Niagara Falls, ON, effective April 21
Rev. Neale Robb – Ordained Minister-Released for Service as Teacher, Smithville District Christian High School, transitioning to retirement, effective June 30
ORDINATION AND COMMISSIONING SERVICES
Leonard Bruce – Warkworth, ON – ordination service date TBA
Dani Harris – The Corner Church, Oshawa, ON – ordination service date TBA
Douglas Smith – Fellowship of Joy, St. Williams, ON – ordination service date TBA
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 – due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this course will be taught live via Zoom (details will be sent to those who register prior to the course)
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:
Course starts October 13 (deadline to register – October 5)
Part One: Oct 13-Nov 5 – advance online engagement
Part Two: Nov 6-7 – two-day in-person class – Trulls Road FMC, Courtice, ON
Personal and Church Stewardship: (NOTE: TUITION WAIVED FOR THIS ONLINE COURSE-FRENCH AND ENGLISH)
5-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/
October 15 is the deadline to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for any courses taken during the summer and/or fall semesters 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
Lakeland Community Church, Spiritwood, SK
Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, ON
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)
None at this time
(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
Cedar Street Community Church, Simcoe, ON
Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK
First FM Church, New Westminster, BC (Rev. Vern Frudd – Transition Pastor)
New Hope FMC, Bracebridge, ON
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Smiths Falls FMC, Smiths Falls, ON (Rev. Aaron Birtch – Transition Pastor)
Trinity Christian Centre, Dresden, ON
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON (Rev. Vic Stonehouse-Transition Pastor)