This weekend I spent some time with members of our MEGAP at Wesley Acres. I found myself so very grateful for these volunteers and our MEGAP members across Canada. They have the very important ministry of journeying with potential ordained ministers. On Sunday I was with the Trulls Road FM Church family, that despite restrictions, will be baptizing several people. They are fully engaged in the 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, and celebrated one of their own, who was raised in their church, Rev. Tyler Lane, being ordained.
Today, a reminder about VISION.
Vision for ministry is a clear mental picture, imparted by God, of a preferable future. In order to help make this vision a reality, God also imparts the necessary people, gifts and resources (financial, skills, etc) needed to fulfill the vision [He has given]. Vision is your Church’s unique contribution to the Kingdom in your community. My friends, the FMCiC has Regional Coaches and a National Leadership Team ready to help you discern vision in your local Church.
Part of your vision will be “evangelism” as a Church family and for each follower of Jesus (because, in my opinion each of us should have a personal vision statement). Oh, I assume that you will not use the word “evangelism” in your vision statement, because it both carries baggage and it is not necessarily understood. The baggage it carries is much like the Biblical phrase, “born again” carries. “Born again” is a powerful metaphor that Jesus used, but there was a season, not that far in the distant past, that it was misused and even abused. The phrase “born again” became associated with very poor representatives of the faith. Likewise, the word “evangelism” has been polluted by tactics (e.g. a Church in Florida ran a “bring the most friends to Church and win a cruise” contest – I was there the morning they announced the winner!), cookie-cutter programs (programs aren’t necessarily wrong, but relationships and missional context always trump impersonal programs), and by poor theology (e.g. “just recite the sinner’s prayer, and you are saved from hell”).
“Evangelism” is the beautiful privilege and moral responsibility of every follower of Jesus (take a moment and discuss these two ideas: “evangelism is a privilege” and “evangelism is a follower of Jesus’ moral responsibility). In your Church ministry plan, you will probably choose words like “outreach”, “reaching your neighbours”, “sharing your faith”, “loving your community”, or “extending hospitality”. These are all good, if they mean introducing others to Jesus.
I am attaching a link to a Canadian evangelism survey (click here). My hope is that it would rattle our corporate FMCiC cage! I hope that you spend some time praying about Jesus’ command to evangelize, and how that applies to you (how you practice evangelism, or not). I also would like your Church leadership teams to consider the implications of this survey.
Let me remind you again to consider as a Church, developing an “evangelism” team or champion. Someone who works with each ministry area in your Church to help the ministry be evangelistic. This champion would regularly connect with ministry leaders to encourage them in evangelism, and offer training opportunities.
Evangelism should be, quite simply, a natural outpouring of our experience with Jesus. When it becomes tactics, and contrived, or a committee’s job in the Church life, then it becomes something much less. Evangelism should be a part of the culture of your Church.
Hit with COVID and drought, families in Ethiopia face the crisis of famine. Through Tearfund Sunday, your congregation will provide much needed food and partner with local churches to be a force for change and display God’s love in the community.
You will watch a powerful story from Ethiopia and receive everything needed to host an inspiring Sunday morning, including sermon notes (based on Acts 6:1-7), handouts, posters, social media resources, and more. Physical and digital options are available. To learn more and register, please visit: https://tearfund.ca/tearfundsunday2021/ or call 613-371-6246
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 3 at 2:00 PM – Blake Found – Pine Orchard Camp, Cedar Valley, ON
October 24 at 3:00 pm – Jessica Isaak – Hampton FMC, Saskatoon, SK
November 7 at 2:30 pm – Leonard Bruce – Peterborough FMC, Peterborough, ON
November 21 at 3:00 pm – Wilder Boutin – Centre Biblique Louange a L’Eternel, Montreal, 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*
7-week course on Tuesday evenings 7:30-9:30 pm EDT via Zoom starting Tuesday, October 5, 2021
- 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.
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.
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
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)
Prince Albert, SK – Cornerstone FMC [part-time] (Oct 5)
Simcoe, ON – Cedar Street Community Church [part-time] (Oct 5)
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
Harrowsmith, ON – Harrowsmith FMC
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