Introduction

The Free Methodist Church in Canada (FMCiC) position on women in leadership (a fully egalitarian posture), whilst not new, is a counter-cultural position within western evangelical Christianity. Many congregants in our community churches come from different backgrounds and, in the age of the internet, are accustomed to learning and growing in their faith from sources outside our egalitarian teaching, in particular online teaching and social media.

When working counter-culturally in any arena, it is vital that one’s position be constantly and consistently given voice in as many ways as possible. This task force believes that if we, as a denomination, do not engage in proactive and intentional efforts to support and promote this doctrine, we are likely to continue to see a widening gap between our stated belief and the reality in our denomination.

Going into this project, the task force assumed nothing regarding barriers to women in leadership. This was important so that we could honestly hear the perspectives and stories of women leaders in our surveys and interviews. Even when barriers were articulated, it was often with the clarification that, on balance, their experiences have been positive.

In examining our findings and considering recommendations, we thought it helpful to have a high-level understanding of what is needed to ensure the success of this endeavour. We offer the following principles as key to the preservation and full expression of our Free Methodist doctrine.

  1. Proclaiming our Free Methodist ethos as it pertains to Women in Leadership.

  2. Modelling our Free Methodist character and beliefs allowing for better pathways and opportunities for Women in Leadership.

  3. Sustaining our unique Free Methodist culture as it relates to Women in Leadership to truly live out our doctrine.

Mandate

The Canadian Study Commission on Doctrine wholeheartedly affirms the denomination’s position on women in ministry. The Commission further recommends that leaders across the denomination explore the barriers that continue to hinder women and find ways of removing those barriers to release women for more effective leadership and ministry through the Free Methodist Church.

Transition Team Members

The authors of the report are listed in the report on page 1.

The names below are a Transition Team put together by the BOA to begin to respond to the recommendations in the report.  This group includes some of the report’s authors, BOA members and an NLT representative.  You can direct questions, thoughts and concerns to them using the form below.

Ultimately this team will be replaced by a standing team that will fully respond to the recommendations in the report as well as work with all areas of the movement on issues relating to Women in Leadership.  Once that team is in place, this page will be updated.

Rev. Marc McAlister, Courtice, ON

Rev. Ian Isaac, Weyburn, SK

Tamera Goller, Bluffton, AB

Amy Bratton, Saskatoon, SK

Dr. Catherine Stonehouse, Shubenacadie, NS

Have a question or want to engage with the Team? Please send us a message: