Christ is Risen!
I thought maybe you would appreciate some non-Covid19 talk. Before the pandemic I had interviewed Joel Martin, a member of one of our churches. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Joel as he is a member of the National Prayer Team. I have found him to be a man of God with important insights, and his faith story inspires me (you’ll read a little of it below). Remember as you read this that this interview was pre-Covid19. Note his words about where he sees the church going – maybe God is using this crisis to renew and compel His church forward…
ME: Joel, tell us a bit about yourself and how you’ve experienced God’s call on your life?
JOEL: I attend the Madoc Wesleyan and Free Methodist Church with my wife Petra and our 3 young boys. Nine years ago we moved back to this area, which is where I’m from, after spending 2 years with a Missions Organization (now called Multiply) based in BC. We both thought we’d end up serving long-term overseas as missionaries but had an increasing sense of God’s calling us back to this area but didn’t know what it would look like. We simply felt called to come and live missionally. We sold most of our belongings and packed the rest into our Chevy Optra and moved into a very small rural community. I started painting houses and we started getting to know our neighbours. Eventually youth started coming to our house for supper and board games and a Bible study. It grew into a Jr and Sr High Youth group run out of the local church. A couple years later there was a position with Youth For Christ that came available in a neighbouring community. We didn’t feel permission from the Holy Spirit to pursue it right away but 6 months later I applied and began a full-time ministry role as a “School Outreach Worker”. We were missionaries, fundraising our support, equipping and encouraging the church, reaching lost young people, discipling new believers, just not overseas… right here in our home town. I served in this role for 5 years.
ME: What is your role now with Youth For Christ?
JOEL: I now work for Youth For Christ Canada as the “National Prayer Coordinator”. I love YFC because of their commitment to reach un-reached youth and their desire to partner with other like-minded organizations and denominations. We really see ourselves as an extension of the local church as together we pursue the vision of “Every Young Person Living Fully in Christ”. We have over 850 staff and 200 ministry hubs across the country. My role as part of the National Service Team is to help serve and lead our front-line staff in the area of prayer and to deepen the culture of prayer within our organization. We firmly believe that apart from Jesus we can do nothing. But in Him anything is possible. Prayer is that incredible privilege and process through which we remain in Him and He in us. If we are weak in prayer we are weak everywhere. That’s why we are intentionally pursuing a ministry culture that is saturated in prayer.
ME: What do you see 5 years from now in YFC and in the Church?
JOEL: I see a growing hunger in YFC and in the Church. A hunger for the Word of God and prayer. A hunger for lost souls. A hunger to know God more deeply and see Him move in power through our lives. I see a shift in our ministry efforts from program to presence. We are becoming less concerned with a well executed program or order of service and deeply desiring the presence of God. It doesn’t mean there won’t be structure or order to our services but it’ll be rooted in an insatiable hunger for the presence of God. I see an increasing desire for deep roots. People are longing for a spirituality that touches and transforms the deep places of their lives. People want to be real, with God and with each other. I see this affecting how we approach discipleship. It’ll be less focused on information and more focused on formation – becoming like Christ. I see lives breaking free from the drum beat of our noisy and busy culture and slowing down for loving union with Jesus and doing this together in close knit community. I see a movement of people so in love with Jesus and so in tune with His Spirit, that they are speaking of Jesus and leading people to Him wherever they go. They can’t help themselves. They’re in love. They’re on mission with Him. They’re hearts beat for the lost. Their arms long to embrace the broken and their lips to proclaim freedom for the captives and recovery of sight for the blind.
ME: Anything else you’d like to say to the Church on Prayer?
JOEL: Prayer is a privilege. It’s not a have to but a get to. In prayer we put ourselves into living contact with the living Jesus. We converse and commune with God. What a privilege! Yes, there’s discipline involved in cultivating a deep prayer life, but this discipline is born out of desire. And the desire is then nurtured in discipline. The first priority of prayer is always unto intimacy with God. As we wait upon God in prayer, seeking his will and listening for his voice, there is an aligning of our hearts to heaven’s. His power is free to flow through our lives as we become increasingly yielded to his will. The secret is pursuing Him in the secret place of prayer. With great intimacy will come greater authority.
Joel is an example of a local missionary – we have several across Canada. He is responsible to raise his own support. If you would like to reach out to Joel, you can connect with him at [email protected]
A reminder about our FMCIC 40 days of prayer: It is wonderful to know that during these 40 days, churches are giving focused and increased prayer for the renewal of the FMCIC and at the same time praying for our communities, nation and world as we wrestle with the effects of the pandemic. I can see how the 2 are very much linked. One of the ways churches are responding to this call is to sign up to pray around the clock for one of the 40 days. Right now, we have 27 of those days covered with 24 hours of prayer, and 2 days covered for 5 hours. Thank you for praying! We will be concluding this season of intensified prayer with a virtual Prayer Summit, May 14/20 7:00pm – 8:30pm.
Here is the information to connect to the call:
Meeting ID: 911 8599 0001
Church Health Thursdays – You Can Do This Church: https://fmcic.ca/you-can-do-this-church/
News & Stories Blog – Wawota Palm Parade: https://fmcic.ca/wawota-palm-parade/ &
Services Suspended but Prayers Extended: https://fmcic.ca/21143/
the conneXion – a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out: https://fmcic.ca/3-minute-theology-2-5-knowing-the-bible-inside-out/
New Leaf Network: The 2019 New Leaf Advent Reader – : https://www.newleafnetwork.ca/podcast/
Rev. Shelley Utz – Lead Pastor at Centennial Chapel FMC, Kamloops, BC – approved to transfer ordination credentials into the FMCiC, effective April 7, 2020
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://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 – via Zoom (details will be sent to participants 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 (FRENCH) – start date – April 13, 2020
6-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://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://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)