BRAVE PRAYERS & PRO LIFE MONTH IS MAY
St. Joe’s Island is still a snow covered, Maple Syrup wonderland! (I learned that I am still susceptible to peer pressure as my brothers in ministry chirped me into ordering two large maple syrup saturated pancakes – a shameful but admittedly beautiful moment!). Four churches were represented at this Regional Gathering: Timmins, Blezzard Valley (home of the loudest pancake pressuring pastor), Sault Ste. Marie and St. Joe’s. We worshiped, we prayed, we discussed, clarified, disagreed and learned. It was a very good day together. On Sunday I worshiped with St. Joe’s. I heard of several physical healings that members have experienced ‘recently’: two back/shoulder healings, two cancer testimonies, a little girl whose leg didn’t work one morning, was prayed over by the congregation and healed, another man while shoveling his roof (stop for a sec and say that line over: “while shoveling his roof” – these are true Canadians!) hurt his leg, crawled to his house, was prayed for and healed! Thank you Pastor Adrian and St. Joe’s for reminding us to pray brave prayers!
May is “Pro-Life” month. Pro-life advocates will be marching in Ottawa in front of the Parliament buildings on Pro Life Day. I support this…mostly. To be clear I support the Pro Life movement, but I wrestle with “marching”. I appreciate that “marching” is a socially acceptable way to have a voice; however, I personally feel that marching and striking is a little outdated. My children lived through two elementary school strikes – they saw their teachers on picket lines, canceling sport teams and after school clubs – my kids’ school experiences were absolutely hurt by these job actions, in fact to this day I am troubled by this. It occurred to me at that time, that the people who should be contributing to my kids’ imaginations, community engagement, and social maturity were protesting in the same way that unions necessarily protested 100 years ago! There is no imagination in picketing, only a lot of anger, battle lines drawn and our children became collateral damage. My wife is a teacher, I love the profession, and value teachers, I am not taking a political run at teachers. I believe that their concerns are legitimate. I am however taking a run at a lack of creativity, imagination, and a culture that hasn’t apparently learned to explore more relevant ways of disagreeing, or “having a voice”. Maybe the church could lead the way with TRUTH, creativity, the coordination of our gifts and LOVE.
Consider our reputation as believers as “haters” because of our particular view of marriage, and our pro life stand – or maybe we are considered haters, not because of our views but because of how we have protested against other views? We have to own that our reaction to some of these issues in the past 40 years have involved marching, placards, picket lines, and anger. We have a beautiful creation story to tell that involves marriage, where God in His eternally colourful and loving imagination decided to create and bring together two unique, strong and equally gifted creations: one man and one woman. Believing this story and celebrating this covenantal gift should never have led to my tribe hating other tribes! Somehow though we focused on reacting against other beliefs and tribes, rather than owning and celebrating our story. “Owning and celebrating our story” does not naturally mean that I need to hate your story. I can love people different than me.
I leave your leadership teams, families and individuals with two big ideas to consider:
1. PRO LIFE month is an excellent time to remember our belief in the sanctity of life;
2. How do we both tell the beautiful story (God’s version of life) and make the most of our rights as Canadians to disagree with legislation that is contrary to God’s version of life?
Attention: Pastors and Delegates!
We have received 117 Annual Reports so far, but that means we are missing approximately 20 Annual Reports. If you have not yet completed your report please do so as soon as possible!
You will find the Annual Report on the home page of our website at fmcic.ca.
Annual Report in English: https://fs1.formsite.com/reports/form141/index.html?1406294972546
Annual Report in French: https://fs1.formsite.com/reports/form144/index.html?1420832672433
This year we have included a guide (pdf) to help you understand and complete the Annual Report. We trust that we will be helpful to you in completing the form.
Attached you will find a template (in pdf) to help you gather information from your treasurer (and others) and to note yppreciate your filing online if possible, but you can fax or mail your report to the Ministry Centre as well – [email protected] / 905-848-2603
Please note: Network Leader Evaluation – each person who attends Network meetings should file.
The Lead Pastor’s evaluation of the Network Leader will be included with the Annual Report, all others can file through this link: Network Leader Evaluation
Please keep in mind that we ask for the same statistics every year for the Annual Report, so a system should be in place to gather this information. Every church and church plant must file a report.
2019 REGIONAL GATHERINGS 2019 Regional Gathering Locations and Dates – PDF
Regional Gatherings are all about connecting! Our intention is to see Free Methodist leader and lay people meeting together as a movement for both an “informative” and “formative” gathering. We hope to see you there! https://fmcic.ca/regional-gathering-2019/
Church Health Thursdays – Les Rudiments “Ennuyeux” de la Revitalisation de l’Église: https://fmcic.ca/les-rudiments-ennuyeux-de-la-revitalisation-de-leglise/
News & Stories Blog – West Springs FMC Asylum Seekers Initiatives Group: https://fmcic.ca/west-springs-fmc-asylum-seekers-initiatives-group/
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: Learning Party stories – Andrew Benson: https://www.newleafnetwork.ca/podcast/ep-64-learning-party-stories-andrew-benson/
Faith and Finances Website: http://faithandfinances.ca
None this week
Ordination and Commissioning Services
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:
May 31-June 2, 2019 – Peterborough FM Church, Peterborough ON
November 1-3, 2019 – western Canada-location TBA*
Cours sur le Coeur du Méthodisme Libre Canadien
12 au 14 juillet 2019 à Montréal à l’Église Méthodiste Libre de St-Henri
May 31-June 2, 2019 – Weyburn Free Methodist Church, Weyburn, SK
*DATE CHANGE*: October 25-27, 2019 – 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:
Western Canada course starts October 7 (deadline to register – October 1)
Oct 7-31 – advance online engagement
Nov 1-2 – two-day class in-person at Lakeview Free Methodist Church, Saskatoon, SK
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://fmcic.ca/scholarships/
October 15 is the deadline to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for any courses taken during either the summer and/or the fall semesters of 2019. The 2019 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 2019 – 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 attended the fall Minister’s Conferences, add 6 hours of CEU credit when you send in your annual CEU report.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Caistor Centre FMC, Caistor Centre, ON
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)
Hampton FMC, Saskatoon, SK (May 7, 2019)
(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)
Crossroads FMC, Salmon Arm, BC
Madoc Wesleyan/FMC, Madoc, ON
New Horizons Community Church – Sarnia, ON (Kim Henderson-Interim Pastor)
Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Abbs So and Shadow Lau-Interim Co-Pastors)
Smiths Falls FMC, Smiths Falls, ON
Life Guards – Smoky Trail Native Bible Camp
Children’s Ministry Director – Barrie FM Church
Intern Job Position – Maple Grove Christian Retreat Centre
Youth Pastor – Malvern Methodist