Your Missionary Calling to a New Country
If in December of last year, God had asked you very clearly to leave Canada in order to “go” to a new country, would you have been willing? This new country has had past mission efforts, and as a result there is a small percentage of Christians. The majority of those who call themselves Christians however, are syncretistic – where native beliefs and Bible truths are married together and it forms a lesser version of Jesus’ Kingdom ethic. This new country does not allow large gatherings, and visiting with people outside of established social bubbles is illegal. Furthermore, they do not allow people to sing in public and face coverings are all the rage. The greeting ritual is unusual and involves a friendly nod. Handshakes and hugs are socially unacceptable. Coughing in public is considered rude. Tribalism is a very real thing, with unrest, injustice and lack of trust between the tribes.
How would you begin ministry in this new country? You certainly would not start by fighting for your right to gather or sing or hug or not wear a face covering. You would, as a missionary, work within these social parameters in order to offer the Gospel. You would pray for innovative culturally relevant initiatives to help bring reconciliation, peace, Christ! Well welcome to the new country!
As you know, the Board of Administration has been developing our FMCIC guiding principles. These are six statements that reflect our Free Methodist culture and mission.
Free to follow God: We are all free to journey with God, as revealed through Jesus, who invites and empowers us to join Him on His mission to reconcile everyone and everything.
Free to experience community: We are all free to enjoy gracious, authentic relationships with one another as the family of God, while practicing the ways of Jesus.
Free to hope: We are all free to experience the deep love and peace of God, to live without fear or guilt, and to accept Jesus’ forgiving, healing, restoring, and transforming grace.
Free to collaborate: We are all free to work, pray, learn, and partner with people, churches and organizations that are in harmony with our vision to see a healthy church within the reach of everyone in Canada and beyond.
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.
Free to pursue justice: We are all free to challenge racial and economic injustice, champion equality of opportunity for men and women, and advocate for the intrinsic worth and value of all people, living out the legacy of our movement.
These guiding principles are supposed to reflect us! I challenge you to take some time personally to ask yourself how you live into each of these. For instance:
- How committed am I to all people hearing about Jesus? Where is that evident in my life?
- How committed am I to developing authentic church family even in a season where we can’t meet face to face? Am I discipling someone? Am I being discipled?
- Do I celebrate hope in COVID season and would those around me call me person of hope? How am I developing a powerful prayer life?
- Am I a person, in John Wesley’s words, of “Catholic spirit”?
- Am I brave enough to try extraordinary mission ideas in a pandemic season?
- As for the last guiding principle, I do not want to try to simply sum it up – I will allow you to hear it again and then ask, “is this true for me Lord?” Free to pursue justice: We are all free to challenge racial and economic injustice, champion equality of opportunity for men and women, and advocate for the intrinsic worth and value of all people, living out the legacy of our movement.
Now same exercise, but this time with your small group, and church leaders.
If FMCIC truly lives into these 6 guiding principles the new country will experience Jesus.
Church Health Thursdays – The Act of Noticing: https://www.fmcic.ca/the-act-of-noticing/
News & Stories Blog – St. Joseph Island’s FMC Building Reopens – https://www.fmcic.ca/st-joseph-island-fmcs-building-reopens/
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/
Get The Scoop Video: https://www.fmcic.ca/august-26-2020-get-the-scoop-with-harold-gonyou/
Prayer Summit | Part 2
Helplessness & Hopefulness – Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020 (7:00-8:45 pm)
Click here to register: https://www.fmcic.ca/prayer-summit-registration/
None at this time
ORDINATION AND COMMISSIONING SERVICES
Leonard Bruce – October 25, 2020 at 11:00 am, Warkworth FM Church, Warkworth, ON
Douglas Smith – October 18, 2020 at 2:00 pm, Fellowship of Joy, St. Williams, ON
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 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)
5-week online course (ENGLISH) – October 5, 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 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
None at this time
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)
Cedar Street Community Church, Simcoe, ON (Sept 29)
(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 (Rev. Jurgen Rausch-Transition Pastor)
Cornerstone FMC, Prince Albert, SK
Dunnville FMC, Dunnville, ON
First FM Church, New Westminster, BC (Rev. Vern Frudd – Transition Pastor)
Lakeland Community Church, Spiritwood, SK
New Hope FMC, Bracebridge, ON
Pineview FMC, Cloyne, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Trinity Christian Centre, Dresden, ON
Whitby FMC, Whitby, ON (Rev. Vic Stonehouse-Transition Pastor)
Angelic Treasures Christian Daycare Newmarket – SUPERVISOR
Associate Pastor: Youth, Young Adults & Social Media – Barrie Free Methodist Church
Office Administrator – Westdale Park FM Church