CliffsNotes – April 21, 2020

What about General Conference?? 

The National Leadership Team and General Conference Planning Committee met to map out a plan. We brought our recommendation to the Board of Administration for approval and today I am introducing the plan to you! 

The most current forecasts about our socio-economic state one year from now are, at best, ambiguous. The truth is that no one knows what the markets will do, what the unemployment rate will be, or what the economy will look like. And we certainly do not know what the implications will be financially for our local churches. How would you plan for General Conference one year from now with all this non-information? We are working with two tracks. Let me outline the plan: 


May 2nd 2020 (12:00-1:30 PM EST): National Virtual Check In
Goal: To practice technology and to check in (connect) with everyone to make sure everyone is ok. We will collect this information nationally in order to help us move forward. We will create breakout rooms so that you will have an opportunity to meet new friends from across the nation, and answer three questions: What’s working well in your local church? What are you learning? What can we pray about for you? This event is for all voting members of conference (Delegates and Ordained Ministers) and they are expected to attend.

May 14th 2020 (7:00-8:30 PM EST): National Prayer Summit

June 13th, 2020 (12:00-1:30 PM EST): NLT & BOA Report
Goal: To practice technology and to share information on the various departmentsHow has the 3 Year Plan changed in light of our current circumstances?  

Here are the two options  for General Conference 2021 (the “go-no-go” decision date will probably be September 1):
Option A: Face to Face General Conference June 5-6, 2021
Option B: Virtual General Conference on June 5-6, 2021
Both will be discussed a little later, but I wanted to give you the two options that have informed the planning of the time between now and the next General Conference.

September 2020: General Conference Vote #1
These Fall-Winter votes will happen regardless of which option we choose
Goal: To practice technologydo business and to connect. Our rationale is that there are items on the General Conference agenda that are very straightforward and can be dealt with virtually. We will probably have a zoom call or presentation at the beginning of the month to introduce the issue. We will also have some sort of discussion opportunity and then an online vote. One hope is that if this works well, we can have voting opportunities and discussion times regularly as a movement – we wouldn’t have to wait every three years for votes and reports! 

October 2020: General Conference Vote #2 
Discussion using various media & online vote 
Goal: Practice technology, do business and connect. 

 November 2020: General Conference Vote #3 
Discussion using various media & online vote
oal: To practice technology, do business and connect.

January 2021: General Conference Vote #4
Discussion using various media & online vote
Goal: to practice using technology, do business and connect 


General Conference Options:

Option A: Face to Face General Conference June 5-6, 2021
This would be a scaled back version of General Conference. Our rationale is that we would like to get together if this is possible. We are considering our options including a Christian university or one of our local churches. This option would include billeting to help with costs. We have already begun to explore, and we will be setting a “go-no-go” date which will be based on government, public health and of course the FMCIC’s financial state at that time. This is when we will decide if we can do a face to face gathering or not. We assume that the go-no-go date will be around the beginning of September. If we can not meet then we go with option B… 

Option B: Virtual General Conference on June 5-6, 2021
We have actually mapped out the year based on this end goal. The May and June events mentioned above are designed for us nationally to become more proficient with the necessary technologies, and with the desire to develop a greater capacity (and comfort relationally) to virtually meet, discuss, befriend, pray and worship. Obviously, Option B is not our first choice, and B would only be how we do General Conference this one time. Even though Option A is our first choice, we have to plan for Option B.


Spring 2021: Regional Gatherings –  this is depends on the option for General Conference that is chosen
If Option A is chosen: The Regional Gathering will be a virtual national event to check in primarily to discuss and prepare for General Conference; 

If Option B is chosen: The Regional Gatherings will be a face to face meeting (similar to the usual format) with NLT and BOA members to connect with the FMCIC (12 regions) in order to have preparatory discussions for General Conference, and to hear each other’s stories.

June 5-6, 2021 General Conference 

In the meantime, NLT will continue to connect weekly with you, and we also plan to visit (not sure if it is virtually or face to face) all of our networks (summer – fall). Of all the things that have changed, I deeply miss my visits with you the most. I love time with leaders, and being you on Sunday mornings. For now, I appreciate being with you virtually. I do hope that you are participating in the 40 day prayer challenge! Here is the link for the 40 days of Prayer:
There is also the Prayer Summit happening via Zoom May 14, 2020 7pm-8:30 pm. Here is the link for you to register:



Church Health Thursdays – You Can Do This Church:
News & Stories Blog – Wawota Palm Parade: &
Services Suspended but Prayers Extended:
the conneXion – a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out:
New Leaf Network: The 2019 New Leaf Advent Reader – :


None at this time



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


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*

Wesleyan Theology:
November 6-8, 2020 –   Ontario location TBA*
(also available online through FMC-USA:

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

5-week online course (FRENCH) – start date – *new* start date April 27, 2020
5-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.)



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.



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. 



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


Preparing Profiles

(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)

Worship Coordinator – Arlington Woods FM Church
Executive Director – Wesley Acres
Ministry Intern – Maple Grove Christian Retreat