The word that has been coming to mind these past few days as I have been preparing to write this is “hope”.
Hopelessness can be like a dangerous cancer. Like cancer, hopelessness can cause one to live under an ominous cloud – a cloud of fear, sadness, and uncertainty. Hopelessness is tiring and leads to despondency. When we live with hopelessness, we live with no anticipation of the future or what the future can bring. There is no joy in hopelessness.
I heard once that “hope is the future tense of faith”. That’s pretty good, because we know that the Bible tells us that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for.” Throughout Scripture faith and hope are described as being in a sacred, intimate dance. Scripturally, faith is the trust we place in God and His Word. Hope is the anticipation we feel, and the security we have, that our faith is not misplaced, and God will do what He promises. Whenever hope is detached from faith, it becomes simply a wish. Hope grows out of faith, and faith grows in our hopes being fulfilled.
People of Peace, are hope-bringers. We have hope to offer, and frankly, hope is needed in Canada right now.
Let’s speak practically, even evangelistically about hope: what does it mean to bring hope, especially in a season when marriages have broken, families are in distress, people groups do not trust each other, opinions about vaccinations have polarized us, natural disasters seem to be occurring more often… I could go on. The question is, what does it look like to bring hope? What would your church family have to do, for your neighbours to consider you a place of hope? What are the things people of hope talk about with neighbours, at church events, around the supper table?
I am challenging you to do something hopeful this week for someone. Something that instills in others joy, and a sense of anticipation of the future – that assures them that the future does not need to be lived under an ominous cloud.
- Pray for that someone, or someones, and listen deeply for a hopeful idea.
- Be courageous and offer them the hope gift.
- Trust God to make sense out of the hope that you have offered, after all, hope is a gift and something that grows in us (God does the growing!).
On Monday night I met with our Quebec church as we gathered by zoom to pray for Haitian Bishop Devariste. I know that prayer was happening for him all over the world. Bishop Devariste had been held hostage by a gang in Haiti for a ransom. Apparently, gangs are taking over Haiti. I am told that people are attracted to these gangs because there is a sense of belonging, safety, food, shelter and even a future – currently hopelessness has engulfed Haiti. We have been informed that there have been so many kidnappings that the police have not been able to keep up. On Monday night at approximately 11:30 I received several notes that he had been released! Praise the Lord!
Finally, in an ongoing effort to help you know and understand FMCiC leadership and structure, our new Board of Administration Chair, Dave, has prepared this video click here to watch.
Tuesdays: Cliff’s Notes
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
Message from Bishop Cliff: https://vimeo.com/
Coffee with Jared: https://vimeo.com/
Mystery Beverage with Marc: https://vimeo.com/
None this week
October 24 at 3:00 pm – Jessica Isaak – Hampton FMC, Saskatoon, SK
(to attend in person please RSVP at [email protected], or to view via Zoom,
Meeting ID: 823 2606 5913
November 7 at 2:30 pm – Leonard Bruce – Peterborough FMC, Peterborough, ON
November 21 at 3:00 pm – Wilder Boutin – Église Vie d’Espoir, 35, av. Marien, Montréal-Est, QC
Date and time TBA:
Erika Mills – location TBA
Benjamin Platz – Next Church, Kingston, ON
FOUNDATIONAL COURSES https://www.fmcic.ca/
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:
2022 date and location TBA*
2022 date and location TBA*
- Tyndale University: https://www.tyndale.ca/
- FMC-USA as a 7-week intensive online course with several start dates: http://fmcusa.org/leadership/
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:
2022 Date and location TBA*
Personal and Church Stewardship:
5-week online course – 2022 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/
LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP PLAN (LSP):
The Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) provides financial assistance to candidates who are studying to meet the educational requirements for credentialed ministry, or for members of conference pursuing continuing education.
NOTE: OCTOBER 15 IS THE DEADLINE to apply for LSP for any courses taken during the summer/or fall semesters 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.”
The Special Scholarships provide financial assistance to those who are members of a Free Methodist church pursuing post-secondary education to grow in their Christian faith, to those who are pursuing credentialed ministry, and to members of conference pursuing continuing education.
NOTE: 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/
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
Prince Albert, SK – Cornerstone FMC
Simcoe, ON – Cedar Street Community Church
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)
Harrowsmith, ON – Harrowsmith FMC [full-time] (Nov 2)
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, ON – Campbellford FMC, (Rev. Jurgen Rausch-Transition Pastor)
Cloyne, ON – Pineview FMC
Frankford, ON – Frankford Community Church
Hamilton, ON – Rymal Road Community Church
Hilton Beach, ON – St. Joseph Island FMC (Rev. David Griggs-Interim Pastor)
New Westminster, BC – First FMC
Oshawa, ON – The Corner Church (Free Methodist / Church of the Nazarene)
Richmond Hill, ON – Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Sarnia, ON – New Horizons Community Church (Rev. Mary Lee DeWitt-Transition Pastor)
Saskatoon, SK – Lakeview FMC
Thornbury, ON – Blue Mountain Community Church
Warkworth, ON – Warkworth FMC