This past weekend Karlene and I were Valleyview FM, in the Greater Sudbury area. They started an initiative a couple of weeks back that involves board games and fresh baking. It is a community outreach event and as Pastor Jason explained, what better way to have safe face to face time with a new friend. So far it has been a very good event in that it is doing what he hoped it would do in the community. Pastor Jason and Sylvie have a bookshelf full of games (most of which I have never heard of) and on Saturday night the beautiful Tripp family introduced Karlene and I to a few of them. Unlike Jesus, they chose to thoroughly kick my butt – or maybe it was like Jesus in that they were teaching me humility.
One note I’d like to mention about the Valleyview board. As I stood in the entrance before service began I watched as board members greeted everyone who came in – not formally at the door, but informally as they walked by or stood with or as people came in. They were hugging and laughing, using people’s names, and introducing themselves. It was exactly what a board should be doing! Thank you Valleyview.
What about Communion?
Because I have had many conversations lately…
Our Manual provides excellent direction about Communion. I refer you to The Manual chapter 7.
I believe strongly that communion should not be merely added to the end of the service, once per month ‘just because that’s how we do things’! Communion is a sacred opportunity and directive from Jesus that should be fully integrated into the service. It should include at least the following elements: An “invitation” to begin the service (which can serve as the introduction to the Gospel story that will be ‘remembered’ in this time), the “Creed” (a declaration of what we believe) and “Confession” – each of these elements can be sung, declared, danced, or communicated with other creative means during the worship package. For years, the words I have used as introduction, prior to stepping into the liturgy have been: “Communion is a meal that Jesus invites us to have with Him. We want to fully embrace that opportunity so we use liturgy. Liturgy is like asking an old wise believer the questions “how do I do communion? What needs to be remembered?” Liturgy is the old wise response.
A few years ago I realized that there was some confusion about communion in my church family. Symbol versus real body, regularly served versus seldom, formal versus informal, open versus something less than open… My leadership team decided to create a church-wide communion initiative Click here to go to the communion package: https://www.fmcic.ca/wp-content/uploads/Communion-package.pdf
- Small groups, youth, young adults and children would each take turns leading a communion service;
- Each group would do a 2-3 week Bible study about communion (I even offered to show up for a session);
- They would prayerfully build a liturgy – only with the options provided. They could sing the confession or Creed or simply declare the one provided;
- In preparation they would pray for each person that they would serve;
- They would then buy the bread and juice, prepare it, and lead the service;
- Finally they would clean up after;
- They would the following week for each person they served.
Church Health Thursdays – Are Small Groups Effective: https://www.fmcic.ca/are-our-small-groups-effective/
News & Stories Blog – Singing to Jesus:https://www.fmcic.ca/singing-to-jesus/
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: Jeff and Jan Steckley – Contemplative practice, second half of life & the art of starting: https://www.newleafnetwork.ca/podcast/ep-53-jeff-and-jan-steckley-contemplative-practice-second-half-of-life-the-art-of-starting/
Faith and Finances Website: http://faithandfinances.ca
Rev. Brian Hornibrook – Lead Pastor at First Free Methodist Church, New Westminster, BC – approved to transfer as an Ordained Minister into the FMCiC, effective October 4, 2018
Smiths Falls Free Methodist Church, Smiths Falls, ON, has gone into transition.
Ordination and Commissioning Services Schedule
Dave Moriarity, Almonte, Ontario – ordination service on October 28, 2018 at 4:00 pm, Cornerstone Community Church, Almonte, ON
Pierre Zidor, Montreal, Quebec – ordination service on November 25, 2018 at 2:00 pm, Eglise Methodiste Libre de Rosemont, Montreal, QC
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:
November 2-4 at Trulls Road FMC, Courtice, ON
June 7-9, 2019 – location TBA*
June 7-9, 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!)
2019 SCHOLARSHIPS https://www.fmcic.ca/scholarships/
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 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) 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 attended the fall Minister’s Conferences, add 6 hours of CEU credit when you send in your annual CEU report.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Dryden FMC, Dryden, ON
Melfort FMC, Melfort, SK
West Springs FMC, Calgary, AB
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)
Caistor Centre FMC, Caistor Centre, ON (Nov 27/18)
Madoc Wesleyan/FMC, Madoc, ON (Nov 27/18)
Weyburn FMC, Weyburn, SK (Nov 27/18)
(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.)
Athens FMC, Athens, ON (Angel Valentin-Transition Pastor)
New Horizons Community Church – Sarnia, ON (Kim Henderson-Interim Pastor)
Richmond Hill Chinese & English Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Abbs So and Shadow Lau-Interim Co-Pastors)
Smiths Falls FMC, Smiths Falls, ON