The Free Methodist Church in Canada | Summer 2011 | Volume 8 Issue 3
Reflecting the diversity of ministry expression within the Free Methodist family
FREE METHODISM CELEBRATES 150 YEARS OF MINISTRY | DAN SHEFFIELD
COVER Free Methodism celebrates 150 years of ministry Dan Sheffield PAGE 2 Editor’s Desk What do we do now? Jared Siebert 100 Church Challenge Upcoming Foundational Courses PAGE 3 From the Developing Godly, Competent Leaders for Today and Tomorrow Study Team Kim Henderson PAGES 4-5 Conference Attendees share their experiences That’s my story and I’m sticking to it Ryan Young of New Horizons Reflections on GC Vic Stonehouse of Trulls Road FMC Enjoying ministry moments Jody Pfeifer of Weyburn FMC A very inspiration event Arthur Perry, Retired Minister I came expecting Fred McCracken of Athens FMC
GC Prayer Journal Excerpts PAGE 6-7
FREE METHODIST BEGINNINGS IN CANADA
ne hundred and fifty years ago, in 1860, Canada with it vast stretches of unsettled land and small scattered population was not yet a nation. Canadian Methodists were fractured into seven different denominational bodies. A decade later, Canada had become a nation with its own Prime Minister, but the move to unite various Methodist bodies into a respectable, socially acceptable denomination bothered some – among them Robert Loveless, a concerned Canadian Primitive Methodist layman in Toronto.
Let’s get on with it, strip down, start running and never quit eyes fixed on Jesus Bishop Keith Elford PAGE 8-9 General Conference A Snapshot
Passages Online Resources Topics Worth Thinking About We are freaking broke! by Sandy Crozier
MR. AND MRS. ROBERT LOVELESS is a publication of The Free Methodist Church in Canada
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Two years later, when 28-yearold Daniel Marston was also appointed to Canada, “He dropped his head on the seat in front of him and DANIEL MARSTON cried like a child.” Marston said to Sage: “the idea of sending a boy to Canada!” Their work for the next several years involved responding to invitations from Canadian Methodists who were troubled by the drift toward union, toward middleclass propriety, and away from Wesleyan fundamentals. They gathered these disaffected Methodists into new Free Methodist congregations throughout southern Ontario. Not everything went smoothly in those early days. Sage admitted he was “unacquainted with the people and customs of Canada, especially their natural prejudices against the Yankees!” When promoting his revival meetings, Sage billed them as “a chance to see a live Yankee preacher.” Later he reflected: “I could not have done a worse thing.”
“Canada.” At the time, Sage felt this appointment would “crush” him.
In 1873, he found a copy of B.T. Robert’s Earnest Christian magazine in a post office, was deeply moved by what he read about the message, passion and vision of Free Methodism, and invited Roberts to come to speak in his church.
Four years after Sage arrived in Canada, B.T. Roberts organized the Canada Annual Conference in Galt, Ontario. Three years later, the work was being led by Rev. Albert Sims the first Canadian superintendent. By 1884, the other Methodist bodies in Canada had formed their final union, leaving Free Methodists as the only nonmainline grouping of Methodists left in the country.
This is where the story of the Free Methodist Church in Canada begins ...
Three years later (in 1876), Roberts sent Charles Sage from the North Michigan Annual Conference as a missionary to
The move in 1880 to form a district of the North Michigan conference into a Canadian annual conference was a leap
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forward in developing an indigenous contextualized voice north of the 49th parallel. At the same time, Canadian Free Methodists now had their own voice in the denomination’s legislative body, the General Conference In his State of the Work report in 1880, Charles Sage was passionate about the task still to be done in Canada: “we have no place for lounging, whining preachers… we need men baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire, with the love of souls at heart… who have never learned a retreat and don’t know when they are whipped.” [Sage was obviously speaking of ‘men’ generically, because two years later conference appointments included 10 women on the roll]
SOME EARLY LADY EVANGELISTS TAKEN IN 1891
Fast forward 40 years to Sarnia, Ontario just across the border from Michigan where Canadian leaders came together in an AllCanada Convention in 1920. The Canadian annual conferences spread across the country all related directly north-south to the North American General Conference, with no east-west national dialogue among themselves. From this Sarnia Convention would emerge a new Canadian identity, the development of The Canadian Free Methodist Herald magazine, and work toward founding Canadian pastoral training schools. The establishment of a Canadian Executive Board would coordinate uniquely Canadian objectives and retain financial contributions for Canadian ministry concerns. 150 ANNIVERSARY CONTINUED ON BACK - PAGE 12
EDITOR’S DESK Looking back, looking ahead and the inevitability of change Working with Dan Sheffield for the past several months on the 150th ministry anniversary of Free Methodism has been an enlightening experience. We have a history and beginnings that we can be proud of, and in remembering where we came from – the who, why and how we came together – I think helps us to better understand the characteristics that define us as a movement. Reading through the stories of the earliest Free Methodists sent to Canada as missionaries gives us a glimpse at the kind of “spiritual DNA” that is part of this denomination’s foundation. Hard-working pioneers like Charles Sage and Daniel Marston (who wept when he learned that he was being sent to Canada - but was obedient despite his feelings) are incredible examples to us of servantleadership and humility. The part that really struck me was the “expectation of sacrifice” that was commonplace in their lives. They knew in loving Jesus and in following Him that they would be called to surrender their rights to live as they pleased, that they were anticipating a life that in many instances would involve suffering. They sacrificed comfort, possessions, money, etc and they did it freely with joy for the sake of the Gospel. I believe their lives as well as the lives of all those Free Methodists who have followed have left their thumb print behind: the decisions they made, both good and bad, have marked us and affect who we are today. This issue of the MOSAIC attempts to cover a lot of ground, from our beginnings as a movement to a summary report on our recent General Conference. But I think they are rather deeply connected. In every decision that we make — to give of ourselves sacrificially, to grow in maturity, to reach out beyond ourselves to extend Christ’s love to others — we also are leaving behind our thumb print for future generations of Free Methodists. We often use the analogy of a stone falling into water and causing that ripple effect to demonstrate our “waves of influence.” The faithfulness to Christ we demonstrate as individuals, as churches, as a general conference have a rippling effect that continues to change us. The deception would be in believing that our actions will not leave their mark – they absolutely will. Change is as inevitable as movement in a river. We can move with the current or we can struggle against it – the one thing we cannot do is remain in the same place. Change is inevitable, but direction . . . now that’s optional. I have been reflecting lately on the kind of thumb print – or spiritual DNA – I’m leaving behind for others to build on. Is it self-sacrificing? Is it Jesus-centred? Will it inspire others to find joy in surrendering their lives? It’s humbling to realize that I’m still a long way off, but my prayer is that when I miss the mark history will show that I did not fall back but stumble forward.
Lisa Howden Managing Editor
WHAT DO WE DO NOW?
hat’s Next?” seems to be an important question after this General Conference. God acted in some pretty extraordinary ways and I believe is looking for a response from us. May I suggest that we consider our response to God in three ways? HEART RESPONSE I am writing this article around the time of game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals. It is a frequent phenomenon that the best teams (on paper at least) frequently never make it to this point in the playoffs. How can that be? Shouldn’t this just be a contest between the “best” teams in the league? In the case of Vancouver that is true. They finished the regular season as the top team. Boston didn’t. Boston was 7th overall. Part of what makes the Stanley Cup and other kinds of finals so thrilling is that there is more to winning than flawless strategies and mountains of talent. Desire can often be a bigger factor than talent and strategy. All of the biggest prizes in sport are for those that want it the most. Less talented teams often win because they want it more. The same principle can hold true in the church as well. Desire is one of our most important assets. How else do we explain how 12 apostles birthed the church in the middle of a context where they were out-classed, out-numbered, out-funded and openly opposed in every imaginable way? The answer? They had Godgiven desire. They allowed their desires to be shaped by God’s. They loved the things He loved and hated the things that He hated. They were so sold out to the message that they stopped at nothing in sharing it. I believe at the 2011 General Conference, God planted the seeds of those kinds of desires in our hearts. It is up to us in the weeks, months and years to come to water those seeds until they become full-fledged forests of desire. Desire to see God live and act among us. Desire to see our regions, towns and cities transformed by the power of God. Desire to see our churches healthy. Desire to see God’s kingdom come. No amount of talent and strategy can equal the power of people that will stop at nothing to see it all happen. HEAD RESPONSE Building on desire we need to respond with our minds as well. We cannot simply surrender to God in general. Our responses must be thoughtful and specific. In the swirl of all of these emotions something sustainable must emerge if our emotions are to have any meaning. Anyone can be caught up in the emotions of a wedding day but it takes sturdier stuff to turn them into a lifelong commitment. Lifelong commitments are not simply intentions to change — they are sustained actions. Lifelong commitments are real, specific and permanent changes
to behaviour. As we leave General Conference we cannot simply vow that things will be different. We must make those vows real by actually living differently. To do that we are going to need to do some thinking. We need to look at our contexts with new eyes. We need to ask ourselves how we can specifically serve in this place in this time? We need to create sustained responses to what we see in the world around us. We need to plan. We will need to commit to and work that plan.
God given desire ... I believe at the 2011 General Conference, God planted the seeds of those kinds of desires in our hearts. It is up to us in the weeks, months and years to come to water those seeds until they become full-fledged forests of desire. HANDS RESPONSE Once we have worked through our desires, once we have thought it all through, we need to look at our capacities. Capacities, sometimes called “counting the costs”, involve taking stock of what we already have and what we will need to obtain to carry out our responses to God. We need to ask ourselves some questions like: What specific strengths do we have? What can we start working on already? What do we need more training in? What do we need to do to get more training? Who do we know that can help us with this? Do we have enough money? If not, then what is our plan for having enough? Do we have enough leaders? If not, then what is our plan for finding, training and releasing more leaders? God undertakes action on His own time table and through His own will. God, on His own initiative, acted in some pretty powerful ways during General Conference. As such we are looking for a way to respond. To respond with our entire selves: hearts, heads, hands. We respond with our hearts by accepting the course corrections and the reshaping of our desires. We respond with our heads through reasoned and sustained actions that get us heading in the right direction. We respond with our hands as we take stock of what we already have and what we will need to keep going. Rev. Jared Siebert is the Director of Growth Ministries for The Free Methodist Church in Canada. You can contact Jared via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Church Planting is vital to the ongoing health and sustainability of our movement As a movement we are putting out a call for 100 churches to support church planting across our country by generously giving $3700/year – that’s $308/month; or $10.15 a day! . . to the Church Development Giving Stream. Can we count you in? Contact Davika Dotson [email@example.com], Growth Minstries department, if you would like to donate to the 100 Church Challenge.
Upcoming Foundational Course Personal and Church Stewardship Foundational Course September 26-28, 2011 Wesley Acres Camp in Bloomfield, ON October 24-26, 2011 Holt FMC in Mount Albert, ON This foundational course is required for those who are tracking toward ordination or commissioned minister in The FMCiC. It is also a required course for ALL members of conference (optional for retirees) to be used for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and must be taken before General Conference 2014.
Tuition for each course is $150 and must be paid whether you choose to take the course for full credit or only audit the course. Detailed information on all the FMCiC foundational courses and how to register can also be found on the website at www.fmcic.ca COURSE REGISTRATION DEADLINES Wesley Acres - September 19, 2011 Holt FM Church - October 17, 2011 You will find other helpful information on the website regarding tracking for credentialled ministry in The Free Methodist Church in Canada under the Leadership Development section >> tracking
FROM THE DEVELOPING GODLY, COMPETENT LEADERS FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW STUDY TEAM
nce again, another General Conference is behind us. The preparation for General Conference reminds me of preparing for Christmas dinner: all of the planning and work that takes hours, sometimes days and the meal itself can be over in thirty minutes! That’s not where the comparison ends, though. I think most of us look forward to Christmas dinner with healthy anticipation of something that will be both good and good for us and I believe that was true of General Conference 2011 as well. I presented the report and the recommendations brought by the Developing Godly, Competent Leaders for Today and Tomorrow on behalf of the National Ministerial Education Guidance and Placement committee (NMEGaP). The NMEGaP members serve as the study team. ‘DGCLf TaT by NMEGaP’ – we certainly had the longest title. For those who weren’t able to attend, here are some highlights and the recommendations from the Developing Leaders Study Team that were passed. For those who were in attendance, this will be reminder of what we said ‘yes’ to. I shared some updates on the work done on sabbaticals and the new pastor orientation, as both were recommendations from GC 08. The previous two issues of the Mosaic have contained highlights on both of those topics. I also introduced some new resources that NMEGaP has been developing. These resources are geared to help pastors discern if it’s time to leave their current pastoral appointment. Our theme song for this is ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ – courtesy of The Clash. Our hope is that all of us will make this an annual discipline and we’ll spend some time with the Father, asking Him the question ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’. The resources includes books, articles and a Scripture-based self-reflection inventory. Other resources we are working on are personal stories from our brothers and sisters who have asked God this question and the answer they received, as well as a version of the inventory that a pastor can ask someone else to complete on his/her behalf, for another perspective. The resources are available by contacting myself or Susan DePlanché. Now on to the recommendations ... Recommendation #1: This recommendation addressed pastoral transitions. The conference approved changes to paragraphs 340, 875 and 880 that include provision for a local church to initiate a transition. Before this recommendation passed, provision for a pastor to request transition existed but there was no provision for a local church to initiate a transition other than through a performance appraisal. The changes also address congregational input to board decisions about a transition, when necessary. Recommendation #2: This recommendation was an addition to the Leave of Absence Guidelines (Par. 374.6) that addressed the need for a gradual and progressive re-entry plan for a pastor, done in consultation with the board, the pastor’s physician and the Director of Personnel, when the pastor has been on a medical leave and is ready to return. To go immediately back into full responsibilities can quickly undo the benefits of the time off and result in another leave. Recommendation #3: This recommendation provided some good discussion both at the resourcing session and on the conference floor. It addresses lay leadership at the local church, and conference approved an addition to Par. 320.3.6 stating the board chair and the delegate positions should not normally be filled by the same person. This is to provide a broader leadership perspective as well as to guard against control (perceived or real). The approved change is not a mandate. Recommendation #4: This recommendation proposed some Manual changes for non-member voting. After some really good questions, conversation and input during the resourcing session, we realized that there were better ways to address the major points of the recommendation than what we had originally proposed, so NMEGaP withdrew it. My thanks to those who participated in the resourcing session conversation and helped us see a better approach to take. As the actual presentation of this report happened on Saturday afternoon of conference, I’m sure I can say ‘thanks’ from all of us as this meant there was one less recommendation to process!
of conference serving under special appointments at least once between each general conference. This includes pastors attending school, chaplains, those in denominational ministry, general evangelists, those released for service beyond the denomination and retirees. It does not include interim New Resources! These resources are ministers or supply geared to help pastors discern if it’s time to pastors because leave their current pastoral appointment. they give regular accountability to Our hope is that all of us will make this their networks an annual discipline and we’ll spend and official boards some time with the Father, asking Him the because they are question ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’. appointed to a local church. (Our theme song, courtesy of The Clash) Recommendations #7 & 8: These recommendations dealt with pastoral and staff evaluations. After viewing the data on the number of performance appraisal (PA) reports actually filed with the personnel office since 2004, there was agreement that as a movement, our performance in this is less than stellar. NMEGaP also realizes that are good reasons why a PA would not be done annually as ‘one size does not fit all’. The recommendations proposed changes to paragraphs 335 and 374.5 that call for annual evaluation based on board-approved job descriptions for all appointed pastoral staff. At least once between each general conference the annual evaluation has to be a 360 PA (or approved equivalent). In the other years an informal review needs to be completed. Guidelines and forms for the informal review process will be available in the fall. Conference approved these recommendations. NMEGaP also has the responsibility to initiate and oversee changes to Chapter 8 of The Manual, and these changes are reviewed by the Board of Administration. All changes made to Chapter 8 since General Conference 2008 were included in the report. As NMEGaP has the authority to make changes to Chapter 8, if you have questions about changes or suggestions for changes please send them to me and I will put them on the agenda for NMEGaP which meets in January 2012. All of the Chapter 8 changes (and other Manual changes from GC2011) are now reflected in the online version of The Manual as well as in CD and binder form. The final recommendation that conference approved was the MEGaP Stats Report. This document is a list of FMCiC personnel: ordained ministers, deacons, commissioned ministers and ministerial candidates currently in the denomination, who have left, who have transferred to other denominations and so on. As part of this recommendation I brought a report on the Character of Ministers. This recommendation was approved by conference. It really was an amazing conference. I believe those who came anticipating both something good and good for us found that the Spirit was so present with us – both in the planning and work done ahead and as well as in the moment. Like Christmas dinner when there is work afterwards before the leftovers are dealt with and the dishes are done, things at the Ministry Centre are more back to ‘normal’ following General Conference. But we still continue to eat meals after Christmas dinner – and so we need to work and put into practice these Spirit-led decisions we have made. May God us faithful to all He has called us to be and do. Rev. Kim Henderson is the Director of Personnel for The Free Methodist Church in Canada. You can contact Kim via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
MANY THANKS We want to acknowledged those who have served on National MEGaP so faithfully for the last three years.
Recommendation #5: Conference approved this recommendation that proposed two changes to Par. 853 for located ministers. Located ministers keep their credentials but their membership is transferred from the conference to the local church, making them eligible to serve on the church board and other leadership teams. The approved changes adjusted the conference’s contact with located ministers to one time between each general conference and provided the option of depositing credentials with the denomination, in the event a decision regarding credentials need to be made.
Heather Persson (served 3 terms)
Sylvia Shepherd (served 3 terms)
Neta Dawson (served 3 terms)
Rob Van Norman
Greg Elford (serving as Network Leader)
Grant Wolfe (serving as Network Leader)
Réal Gagné (served 3 terms)
Pierre Zidor (tracking/credentialed ministry)
Recommendation #6: In keeping with the connection with located ministers, conference approved necessary contact between the personnel office and those members
Dan Massey (serving as Network Leader)
THERE WAS A LOT GOING ON AT GENERAL CONFERENCE AT ANY GIVEN TIME. HERE ARE A FEW PERSPECTIVES FROM SOME OF OUR ATTENDEES . . .
Here are just a few of the “Behind the Scenes” participants who helped make things happen!
Chris Lewis Conference Coordinator
Nathan Colquhoun The “Fixer” of all things computer related
Camille Boodhoo Livestream Operator
Katherine Siebert Portairt Photographer
That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to it This year was my first year to experience a General Conference, and by all accounts, it was a good year to be a conference “newbie.” It’s hard to put an experience like GC in a nutshell, but I want to highlight a few impressions and experiences that may give you a “tasting sample” for how God used conference to grow and challenge our church movement. The expectations that we bring with us to an event like this are important because they shape how we perceive our experiences, so I want to briefly lay out the questions and thoughts that ended up in my backpack along with my computer. In these early years of the third millennium statements like “culture is changing rapidly,” and “things that used to work aren’t working as well any more,” garner general agreement in both secular and ecclesiastical settings. We are in a season where the church has some new challenges and opportunities in successfully communicating the Message of Jesus, (and here I am speaking broadly of the church both inside and outside our denominational sphere). How we navigate the next century as the Free Methodist Church in Canada is beyond vitally important. With this in mind I was looking forward to some words of insight, encouragement, and adventurous dreams from our church leadership. Are we asking the right questions? Are we successfully retooling our denominational ship for success in new waters? Are we focusing on the elements of our spiritual lives that animate church health? Are we sending our “surveyors” to the right places? Where is God leading us? So the following is the “sample platter” that I promised. I don’t have enough space to include everything I heard and experienced, but I hope that these snippets give you a flavor of our time together. Camels, dust, pizza dough, & Joe Six-Pack. Our guest speaker Bishop David Roller had the remarkable gift of casting vision and hitching it to epic stories and memorable ideas. “Are we ready with answers to questions that nobody is asking?” “Are we telling the Story of Jesus in a way that Joe SixPack can understand?” “Are we ready for church version 2.0?”
Dean Holtz Conference Photographer
Ryan Young Conference Photographer
Emily Arbo Head Teller
Thanks to Dean Holtz, Fred McCracken, Andrew Suttar Ryan Young, John Lang (and others) who volunteered to stand during those long sessions so that we could see everything! You were awesome!!
Bishop Keith asked us if we’re ready to run toward the purpose that God has for us as a church. He relayed stories from his own experience as a long-distance runner. All I have to say is that it’s good to remember to wear shorts when you run (you’ll have to check out the audio recording to know what I’m talking about). He told stories about how picking up garbage on his daily walks as a practical application of Wesley’s “Acts of Mercy,” is moving him towards thinking about God’s creation and caring for it as well as the people in his neighborhood. And this simple act of care is leading others to care (and leading Bishop Keith to wonder who else is picking up garbage on “his turf.”
Jared Siebert, the director of Growth ministries on the National Leadership Team, told us that the purpose of the church is not just to grow for the sake of growth, but “we exist because the Eternal Community (the Trinity) wants community with us.” We often start with the church and what we need to do, but he reminded us that “the church doesn’t have a mission, rather God’s mission has a church.” We need to start with understanding God and his mission first, to understand where God is calling us as his church. These quotes and word pictures don’t have the same impact here in these short paragraphs as they had in the context of sermons or presentations, but I have a point in sharing them. I remember them over a week later without looking at my notes. I remember these ideas because they were painted with vivid words, descriptive words, memorable words. These words were spoken in a way that was relatable and understandable. These words were meaningful to me because they captured my imagination and held it. General Conference reminded me of the power of story: all the stories of what God is doing in us and through us. God’s Message never changes but the way we tell it must change so that we can be ready to answer the questions that people are asking. If you look at our Scripture, God has always used story and poetry to reveal Himself. To me General Conference was a call to poets and wordsmiths and dreamers and visionaries to be ready. Ready to tell the stories of God; ready to tell the stories of what God is doing in us; ready to tell the stories of what God is doing in our local context. And let me say that hearing from our national leaders gave me deep hope and excitement. God has graciously given us the right leaders for this season of change. We have leaders who understand the power and dynamics of storytelling. They are gently leading us back to ancient foci ( John Wesley’s “Means of Grace”) that will allow the Holy Spirit the access He requires to breathe into us the words and pictures we need to tell Jesus’ Story anew. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Ryan Young, Associate Pastor New Horizons FMC - Sarnia, ON
Reflections of GC The focus on Church Health and the call to intentionally practice the “Means of Grace”, (the works of piety and mercy), was profoundly convicting for me. As the various people addressed the body, they did so with a level of passion and conviction that stirred me deeply. The opportunity to form prayer groups (near the end of the event) proved to be a very significant experience for me.
The Trulls Road delegation was seated in the last row. This meant that the gallery was immediately behind us. As a result, I found myself praying with a retired pastor and a pastor’s wife. I was impressed by how comfortably we shared with each and our level of honest transparency. We followed the admonition of James 5:16, as we humbly “…confessed our sins…and prayed for each other…”. As we bowed together, I was reminded of a little booklet, written by Norman P Grubb entitled, Continuous Revival. The author shares that as we “walk with Jesus”, we must do so in an attitude of “brokenness”. This is an essential step in the process of “continuous revival. As the three of us prayed together, we experienced that brokenness in His presence. Vic Stonehouse, Lead Pastor Trulls Road FMC - Courtice, ON
Enjoying Ministry Moments Every now and then ministry moments happen that are so remarkable you just want to frame them and hang them on your wall. For me, being invited to be part of the General Conference Worship Team was just that! Our time together was amazing. Rehearsals were late, sound checks were early and leading was often but I loved every minute of it. I worked hard with the General Conference Worship Team but because I was doing what I love, surrounded by people I love and who love me, I experienced purpose, passion and pleasure. I had a taste of God’s best for me and it was awesome! I count myself incredibly fortunate to have had that experience but I am also painfully aware that many people don’t come anywhere close to God’s best for themselves. They have no idea that anything like that could exist for them and therefore many people I know are coping at best. Well, Jesus didn’t come so people could cope. He came so people could find life! At conference, I committed to God and in front of others to fully let go of my hangups and excuses and wrong thinking so that I can help people at all stages of faith, find their purpose, passion and pleasure. I want to get on with it. I want to help people discover God’s best because when you do, it’s pretty fantastic. Jody Pfeifer, Associate Pastor Weyburn Free Methodist Church
A very inspiring event Many years have passed since I first attended an annual conference, yet I must say this General Conference was one of the best. Even though I had to bring my scooter, because of a weakness in my limbs, I am so glad to have been able to attend this one. A wonderful spirit prevailed throughout the business sitting and the times of worship. I still remember at a conference held in Belhaven in a tabernacle 1948 when I was ordained. And the singing of, “A charge to keep I have, a God to glorify” has helped me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. And the Sunday morning hymn this year, “And can it be” is so heart warming. It helps to remember that while we were yet sinners Christ shed His blood for our redemption. The former Rev. Arthur Slater would truly have enjoyed hearing it again. My heart has been blessed to meet several friends, and to have ministers mention how much they appreciate the comments I send out on the ministers’ forum. God willing, and I am still living, I plan to be at the next General Conference. To God be the glory, great things He has done. Arthur Perry, Retired Minister
I came expecting I have attended two General Conferences. To compare, they were both where I met God on a deeper level. “Stripping down,” getting away for a break with the refreshing and renewal in my spirit and soul is what Jesus did when he “left the crowd to be by himself.” I went expecting with anticipation. Yes, business was on the agenda in a hotel near Toronto airport, as well as the local restaurants, for which we were a witness. We were uplifted by one another in prayer, given the push to continue “running the race” by speakers and leaders, including Bishop Keith, Bishop David, the N.L.T. There was reconnecting with colleagues and making new friends. Most importantly, meeting Jesus. We took away thoughts, fresh ideas and experiences from others. We may have learned a thing or two, taking them back to our local churches, continuing to “get on with it.” Jesus, in his humanness wanted to quit many times I am sure. But God gave him the power. We have that same power, if our “eyes are fixed on Jesus.” What will God do between General Conferences. Fred McCracken, Pastor Athens FMC, Ontario
GC Prayer Journal Excerpts Prayer made up an important part of the success of General Conference. Each attendee was given a specific time to pray - this made it possible to have the conference covered in prayer 24 hours a day. Below are just some of the inspiring letters and prayers that were recorded in the prayer room journals.
In this world where everything is changing, I’m thankful that you never change, God. Father, I want to thank you for a great weekend. I want to praise you for what you are doing through this movement - I feel privileged to be a part of it. Please continue to grant us wisdom as we seek your direction for our lives, your churches and our country. I pray for all the damage that has been caused by the flood waters around Clarenceville, Quebec. I pray that God will open doors for us to reach out and connect with those in need. May we be a blessing to hurting people in our area. May the effect of the flood waters decrease and the Holy Spirit flood our souls. I pray for the vision of our church. Help us keep that vision and the commitments we have made at this General Conference in our minds and on our heats as we leave this gathering and return to the places you have called us. May all we do be for Your glory. Help us to remain faithful not only in thought but in action. Help us to be a witness of generosity to those in need in our communities, our country and around the world. Heavenly Father, thank you for the many reminders this weekend of the importance of “The means of grace.” You have shown me, in a new way, how indispensible they are to my walk of holiness (sanctification). Lord, I confess my neglect of these means. I repent of this neglect and ask for a ministry of your grace that will enable me to consistently walk in the means of grace. Lord God, make me a servant. Holy Spirit, give our movement a fresh understanding of your grace and power. Father, renew our love for you and for the hurting. Lord Jesus, help us to find unity in your Body and build your church. Thank you for your many extravagant blessings. I pray that we would live our lives aware of your presence. You are with us now, inviting us - leading up to join you in the mission of freeing those who are held captive. Open our eyes, ears and heart to your work. Our time here at General Conference is almost at an end, but the work You have for us all to do is not. Father, give us enough light to see the next step and enough courage to take it!
LET’S GET ON WITH IT, STRIP DOWN, START RUNNING AND NEVER QUIT – EYES FIXED ON JESUS | BISHOP KEITH ELFORD
erek Redmond broke the record for 400 metres at 19 years of age years of disciplined training and he would rather deny himself any relief and earned gold medals at the World, European and Commonwealth than let comfort deny him the finish line. Games levels. But, it was something that happened at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona that makes him memorable – and it wasn’t the medal that he We too are surrounded by a crowd of witnesses, the writer to the Hebrews won. He didn’t win one. tells us and there is a finish line out in front of all of us. You know what I’m talking about or do you? I’m talking about the finish line at the end of On the day of the Olympic race, he and his father Jim agreed that no every week, at the end of every year and, of course, at the end of our lives. matter what happened, Derek would finish the race. When the starting gun And my question is: At each of these finish lines –the doctrine that we went off, Redmond broke from the pack and seized the lead. Only 175 embraced, the discipline we followed, and the self-denial that we exercised meters away from the finish line, … what did they actually produce in us and what difference did it make in he was clearly going to win the the world that God loves? heat and make the finals. Suddenly, he pulled up as if he had been shot Runners ... they have strong hearts and enlarged lung capacity. But this and he fell to the track clutching superb physical condition didn’t just happen. If we follow them closely, his right hamstring. When the medical crew arrived, he waved them away, and started hobbling down the track. The crowd began to catch on to what was happening, the roar of their cheering began to build. Meanwhile, Jim Redmond finally got to the bottom of the stands and leaped over the railing.
Let’s give doctrine a new face and call it “embracing Jesus’ worldview” – an embrace that is lodged with clarity in our heads, with firm conviction in our hearts and with perseverance in our hands and feet.
we see that they think like runners even when they eat or drink. They have Together, arm in arm, father and a “runner’s worldview”. They sleep according to a routine. They have son finished the race. With the discipline. Watch how long they socialize before getting to training and crowd of 65,000 in an absolute frenzy, Jim released the grip he had on his we see self-denial in order to embrace the passion of their lives - running. son, so Derek could cross the finish line by himself. It’s in the running that we see what they are becoming and what they are capable of. They have enduring, persevering power because of the way “I’m the proudest father alive,” Jim said afterwards. “I’m prouder of they think, the discipline they embrace and their ability to deny even what him than I would have been if he had won the gold medal. It took a lot of is good in favour of the finish line. guts for him to do what he did.” God has more that He wants to accomplish through The Free Methodist But it was more than guts. He was a runner!! His mind and will were Church in Canada and we do praise Him for the positive things that are focused on the finish line. To finish, he drew upon strength built up during happening. Yet, I see lots of unrealized capacity for bringing good to
our neighborhoods, and for glory that would ultimately flow to the Lord Jesus. I want to see God’s power released in a greater way to see our leaders – both lay and ministerial serving as joyful and enduring disciples, committed to being used by the Spirit of God to raise up all kinds of people to be like them in understanding what it means to “get on with it, strip down, start running and never quit – eyes fixed on Jesus”.
“I agree that we are saved by grace, not works, but our salvation needs to be worked out in good works
(Hebrews 12: 1, 2)
for us to attain to the full
When I talk about God’s power I’m not thinking only of the dynamic power released on the day of Pentecost. That would be welcome. But I’m thinking about the enduring “Book of Acts” power where we live in the ongoing story of those earnest disciples who rejoiced in times of favour and persevered in times of storms and persecution, and through their disciplined endurance, the Gospel went from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria to the outer reaches of the Roman Empire and down into Africa.
stature of Jesus.”
When Jesus talked about the enduring power of the Kingdom, he talked about being salt, light, branches of the vine, and yeast in the dough. He said that we are to be “salt of the earth” where our influence would bring cleansing (and sometimes even cause stinging) but healing would come and what is good would be preserved from going rotten.
embrace of practices that develop maturity) and a laxity in self-denial (their ability to say no to impulses – especially at a sacrificial level). I know what this sounds like: doctrine, discipline, self-denial … Buckley’s! It tastes terrible, but it works. Just for a minute, let’s talk about hugging. What’s in a good embrace? We begin with opening our arms in a defenseless posture. Then the arms go around; there is a mutuality of response as we move towards each other and in the amount of pressure we apply. It’s reciprocal. There’s appropriate, momentary intimacy. Then there’s a mutual unspoken signal to “break” the embrace. If the hug was wholesome, something comes away with each hugger that says “What?”... “I received something from that person and I freely gave something of myself to that person.” This is quite different from hugging someone that you don’t want to hug … like Uncle Herman … because your parents said: “You kids need to hug Uncle Herman because he’s leaving.”
He talked about us being “lights” that keep shining into the darkness with hope, and help and wholeness … about us being “branches of a vine” that keeps drawing resources and extending out, producing beautiful fruit - crop after crop, pruning after pruning. He talked about dough that would lose its flatness and rise because one How about embracing doctrine, discipline, and particle of yeast alongside a dough cell changed self-denial and being embraced by them? What’s it and then another and then another. your reaction? Uncle Herman? Buckley’s? If so, This is the kind of unstoppable, enduring we’ve missed something in our discipleship? power that I’m talking about where ordinary The Holy Spirit can help us to see that, if we let disciples did not quit doing whatever it took to doctrine, discipline and self-denial embrace us see more disciples formed, who did whatever it regularly (and we began to embrace them back), took to see more disciples formed and on it went we would see what all enduring, mature disciples until the gospel came to you and to me. Their down through the ages have seen – expanded capacities to make ongoing differences in our goal was to make joyful, enduring disciples. neighbourhoods – especially when we link up I’ve been reading about John with accountability to one another. Wesley. It encouraged me to Let’s give doctrine a new face and call it understand that Mr. Wesley “embracing Jesus’ worldview” – an embrace was discouraged from time to time with how things were that is lodged with clarity in our heads, with firm going – especially as time conviction in our hearts and with perseverance passed and the new converts in our hands and feet. That’s what a full mutual experienced what missiologists call “redemption embrace with living doctrine does. It is alive and lift”. Their children lived comfortably and with clarity in our heads, firm conviction in our their grandchildren knew little about the dynamic hearts and perseverance in our hands and feet. of the revival. Let’s do an embracing doctrine exercise with Later in his life, he wrote an intense Jesus’ worldview concerning salvation using the sermon entitled: “Causes of the Inefficacy book of Romans. In Romans 1-7, we see the of Christianity”. Methodist scholar, Randy awfulness of life apart from God, that the wages Maddox, helpfully summarizes what Wesley of sin is death, but in the middle of it, there’s preached in that sermon and wrote an article some good news … God commends His love entitled “Wesley’s Prescription for Making towards us in that while we were alienated from Disciples of Jesus Christ – Insights for the 21st Him, Christ died for us. The section ends with a description of the war within us – we don’t do Century Church”. what we know we should, and we keep doing Wesley’s sermon opens with an extended what we realize doesn’t work and then these lament – why so little global impact by final, desperate words: “Who will rescue me Christianity? Why so little impact on England from this body of death?” their nation? Why even so little fruit among With chapter eight, hope seeps into our the Methodists when they started so well? His answer … a laxity in doctrine (their embrace of hearts – there is no condemnation for those Jesus’ worldview), a laxity in discipline, (their who are in Christ Jesus. We are not slaves, but
the Spirit testifies that we are God’s children and absolutely nothing, can separate us from the deep, passionate, sanctifying love of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Chapter 12 takes the message from our head and heart to our hands and our feet. “Therefore in view of God’s great mercy, we are to offer ourselves as living sacrifices.” If we, as living sacrifices, don’t crawl off the altar, maturity has a chance. Joyful endurance becomes a reality rather than just a remote possibility. For example, read this passage from Romans 12:9-18 and let its worldview embrace you. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. What did you take away from it?
Robust Christians embrace both the works of piety (because through praying, reading and worshiping they meet God and become more like Him) and in the works of mercy, they go out and serve God! So, how do we wholesomely embrace doctrine, discipline and self denial? The Means of Grace. Wesley talked about two groups of habits and, if they are practiced, maturity and joyful endurance will be the result. One he called “the works of piety” – practices like prayer, Bible reading, fasting, corporate worship, listening to teaching, discussion with other believers, resolving to obey God and being accountable to others. During his ministry Wesley wrote letters to many seeking to know God. Among them was Miss J. C. March, a woman of wealth and education who was serious about experiencing the fullness of salvation. In order to be more like the Lord Jesus, she told Wesley that she needed to have extended times where she could seek God in seclusion. Wesley’s response was to encourage her toward the Means of Grace that he called the “works of mercy”. These have to do with responding to those listed in Matthew 25 – the hungry, the thirsty, the lonely, the sick, the imprisoned, the strangers. In fact, in his sermon entitled CONTINUED ON PAGE 11
1. Sunday Morning Worship Service 2. Saturday Morning 3. Chaplains, Stephen Merriman, Jennifer Anderson and Bob Lay 4. BOA prays for Bishop Keith and Donna Elford 5. Darryl Dozlaw - Northview FMC in Regina, SK playing a ukelele 6. Mary-Lee DeWitt of New Horizons FMC in Sarnia, ON 7. Keith Schnell and Rick Ashton of West Springs - Calgary, AB with Dan Sheffield 8. Colleen Zavrel and Wes Wood of Whitby FMC, ON 9. Greg Ford, newly elected BOA chair 10. Honouring Retirees Ed Yoshida, Vic Stonehouse, Elizabeth Nickel, Gary Walsh and their spouses 11. Guest Speaker, U.S. Bishop David Roller 12. John Hyndman Jr. St. Joseph`s Island and Esther Teal, Rice Road Community Church, Welland, ON 13. Ministry Centre Staff members Davika Dotson, Vinola Pakkianathen and Roseline Isaac 14. Kim Henderson with Randy Williams of Smiths Falls FMC, ON 15. Retiree Reynolds James 16. Réal Gagné, one of our conference translators
M O S A I C 10
PASSAGES Appointments Stephen An – Chaplain, Canadian Armed Forces, Trenton, ON, effective June 15, 2011 Brian Bell – Lead Pastor, Trulls Road FMC, Courtice, ON, effective September 15, 2011 Peter Goodyear – Pastor, Asbury FMC, Perth, ON, effective July 10, 2011 Tom Gurnick – Pastor, Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, ON, effective June 1, 2011 Phil Hamilton – Associate Pastor, Chapel Ridge FMC, Stittsville, ON, effective August 1, 2011 Munetoshi Hatsusegawa – Pastor, Wesley Chapel Japanese FM Church, Toronto, effective June 15, 2011 Paul Millar – Pastor, Westport FMC, Westport, ON, effective August 15, 2011
Ordination approved and service scheduled Judy Crowe – June 12, 2011 at Frankford FMC, ON
Change of Status Elizabeth Nickel – retired, from Lakeview FMC, Saskatoon, SK, effective Aug 31, 2011 Catherine Stonehouse – retired, from Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY, effective June 30, 2011 Edward Yoshida – retired, from Wesley Chapel Japanese, Toronto, ON, effective June 15, 2011
Churches in transition Avonlea FMC, Avonlea, SK Barrie FMC, Barrie, ON Charlemont FMC, Wallaceburg, ON Church-on-the-Hill, Orillia, ON Cornerstone Community Church, Almonte, ON Eyebrow FMC, Eyebrow, SK First FMC, Moose Jaw, SK Harrowsmith FMC, Harrowsmith, ON Kingston West FMC, Kingston, ON Pine Grove FMC, Seeley’s Bay, ON
ONLINE RESOURCES Topics worth thinking about
The site, maintained by the Study Commission on Doctrine, is intended to be a place where articles can be found on topics of interest. There are also several helpful pastoral resources. Visit www.fmcic.ca >> who we are >> Study Commission on Doctrine for access to the following resources . . . . Communion - Free Methodist stance regarding
Communion; Children’s Communion Brochure [pdf]; Children’s Communion Brochure - Leaders Guide; Communion Service for Children; Communion Bibliography
Ecclesiology - Ecclesiology Affirmation Evangelism - Eastern Thought and the Gospel; Ministry and evangelism in contemporary Canadian society Human Sexuality - Christian Marriage; HIV/AIDS: Implications for the Local Church; Statement on Homosexual Behaviour; Providing Pastoral Care for Same-Gender-Attracted Individuals
Methodism - Defining the Elements of a Methodist Ethos Sanctification; Seeing the World through a Wesleyan Lens; Seven Steps Toward Free Methodist Renewal; The Free Methodist Synthesis
Ordination - What is the Meaning of Ordination?; Life and
Character of an Ordained Minister; Dennis Camplin interview on the meaning of ordination; Tom Gurnick interview on the meaning of ordination; John Vlainic interview on the meaning of ordination
Science and Ethics - Cloning, Embryonic Stem Cell; Research, and Approach to Bioethics; End of Life Care Organ and Tissue Donation; Ethics - How to Make Ethical Decisions in a Complex World Social Issues - Compassion and the Poor; Human Rights; Social Justice; The Environment; Child Abuse Prevention Policy (Winning Kids Inc); Suicide - A Funeral Sermon Resource Theological Issues - Documents to Help Us with Issues of Truth [PDF]; Baptism and Dedication; Divine Healing; Open Theism; The Security of Believers; Theology of Possessions Women in Ministry - Women in Ministry (FMCNA, FMCIC); Wesleyan Perspectives on Women in Ministry; Women in Ministry (Reading the Bible as a whole, 1 Timothy 2:12)
WE ARE FREAKING BROKE!
hese were unusual words to hear at the General Conference, but they certainly got my attention – along with everyone else! We were in a rather lengthy discussion on how to fund a potential new National Leadership Team position (Director of Church Health). It was one of those win/ lose moments where we all knew something important needed to be said and heard! That was when Garry Castle from Next Church in Kingston stood up. With obvious heartfelt passion, Garry laid these words on us… “I am part of a pretty young church that is no longer a church plant but a full society. We are tithing to core - and we are freaking broke! But it is something I value in my own life. It is something that I value that my church did. We had a 10-year plan to get there and when I got somewhere near the helm, I said “We are going to go there now because we have to model this for each other. This is our family and we believe in the work of our family.”
This is when the Next Church became one of my most favorite cousins in the family! Let me extract two phrases from Garry’s input that grabbed my heart. After all, generous stewardship is a matter of the heart. Garry said, “We are tithing to core and we are freaking broke!” and “We are going to go there (tithe) now because we have to model this for each other. This is our family and we believe in the work of our family.” As someone who strives to help all of our churches create a culture of generous stewardship, my heart leaped. Here was a small, young, and broke church that got it. They understood why they gave. It wasn’t about how much they had, but about being part of the ‘family’. You give because this is how you model generosity to the people in your church. You give not because you have to, but because you want to. You give because you are part of the family. It reminded me of Paul’s praise for the Macedonian church that gave despite being extremely poor, because of their overflowing joy in being part of what God was doing in the greater church. (1 Corinthians 8:2-3) Just as with individual families, most churches struggle with meeting budgets, unexpected expenses, and the need to get everyone in the ‘family’ involved. Generosity is something that needs to be both taught and caught. If we want our people to give to the local church, then we have to teach why generosity is so important in our conforming to the Image of Christ. But perhaps before we can ask the people to give, the leadership of the local church also has to model it first. The FMCiC has intentionally structured the support of the denomination on the biblical model of tithing. Simultaneously as individuals give to support the ministry of the local church, there is opportunity for each church to tithe 10% to support the work of those at Ministry Centre who work on behalf of all local churches. If all our churches modeled tithing this way, we would not only
have the resources to fund our present level of ministry, but also the much needed future NLT positions. The position on the radar right now is the Director of Church Health. Paul tells us that God blesses us with resources, so that in turn we can bless others when they are in need (2 Corinthians 8:14). What is so encouraging about Next
Church and others like them, is that these churches are not waiting to be a certain size, or till they meet budget, or to finish their building project. Even in their poverty – they give faithfully. Despite being a small church – they give. And even when it might not make sense – they still give. Imagine what we could do collectively throughout Canada and beyond if every church tithed to Ministry Centre? And just imagine what God could do if everyone in your local church learned from their Official Board’s example to give this way. What ministry could you do in your community? Creating a culture of generous stewardship means so much more than simply giving out of duty or obligation. It is not trusting our wealth, but trusting in God. It is becoming rich in good deeds and willing to share. It is building community with the needy. We are not called to be generous to simply pay the pastor, pay the bills, run programs, support the denomination or because we are told to. We are called to generosity because this is a spiritual issue; a central matter of discipleship and a transformational issue of the heart. We may start giving as a discipline. But if we allow it, God uses generosity to transform our hearts by rooting out selfishness and apathy. Without this transformation we are all “freaking broke” in a spiritual sense. As long as we cultivate a desire to be rich in money to meet our needs, we miss the opportunity to be rich towards God in generosity. But when we recognize how rich we are in Him, and cultivate a desire to be generous like Him, we cannot help but give. We are then giving as a love response to God from a blessed heart. The question changes from “How much do I have to give?” to “Where can I start giving?”
Sandy Crozier is the Stewardship Development Director for The Free Methodist Church in Canada. You may contact Sandy at email@example.com VISIT THE WEBSITE FOR STEWARDSHIP RESOURCES
What about instead of once-in-alifetime mission trip experiences, we embrace the discipline of
knows that this is true. If you had a wholesome embrace in that experience, something came back with you that said “What?” … “I just received something and I just freely gave something of myself.”
being on a mission trip regularly Likewise, if there is a pregnant teen in our family or in the family of close friends. Our attitudes toward teen pregnancy change when “On Zeal,” he essentially says that if you want to it’s our niece or our daughter or our friend’s son. grow into full maturity and, if on a rare occasion, When we are right “there”, personally involved you have to choose between works of piety and in a human situation that demands mercy, it changes us. works of mercy, go with works of mercy first.
in our community?
We might say: “Just a minute, Mr. Wesley, we’re protestant evangelicals saved by grace not works – Ephesians 2:8,9.” Wesley might reply: “I agree that we are saved by grace, not works, but our salvation needs to be worked out in good works for us to attain to the full stature of Jesus.
When we embrace works of mercy, our hearts change. We find the time, energy, and money to follow what captures our heart ...
Robust Christians embrace both the works of piety (because through praying, reading and worshiping they meet God and become more like Him) and in the works of mercy, they go out and serve God! It looks like that on the surface, but Jesus says in Matthew 25 that they actually meet Him in the works of mercy and are transformed.
For several years now, on my morning walks, I pick up garbage and drop it in garbage barrels along the way. And here is what it has done for me. I’m more convinced that the earth is the Lord’s and my convictions about Christ centred ecology are growing deeper. From picking up garbage! Guess what? There’s less garbage to pick up. I suspect that my practice, like leaven, is influencing other walkers who have seen me doing this. Somebody else is on my turf picking up garbage. This is a work of mercy that has to do with stewarding God’s creation, but it’s also making our community a nicer place to live. When I meet teenagers on my walks, I say “Hi” even if they ignore me or just grunt way back there inside their hoodies. Jesus has a worldview about the worth of all people and this practice has taken me on a journey of personal transformation that has eventually led me into prisons. One of the kids on our street that I always took time to talk with grew up to be a drug dealer. If you listened to my Easter video greeting, you heard about my visit with him at Collins Bay penitentiary – not an exposé on life inside a prison, but about a conversation with this young man, who is my friend, about working out what it means to follow Jesus.
This is why Wesley taught his followers to intentionally and regularly put themselves in real-life-works-of-mercy situations that demand a response. Why? Because, when the heart of God really embraces you in the works of mercy, you come away with this deepening conviction What do you suppose would happen if you that what is needed is a gracious response and asked God to show you where you could meet Him in ongoing works of mercy? “I was a slow Joerg Rieger, a Wesleyan you grow in grace. learner at school and you came and helped me”. scholar, writes: “Works of If you stay, you grow in grace. If you run, you “I just landed in Canada and didn’t have a clue mercy are more than just correct actions. As a real stay immature, self-centred, fighting for your how things worked and you came alongside me”. means of grace, they are point of view and preference….and you take that “I was all alone in my hospital room and you channels that convey grace to aroma into the life of the congregation and the came. You had the aroma of Jesus and when I the one who acts mercifully. A smell you give off doesn’t change when you go knew that I trusted you, you told me about Him.” work of mercy is, therefore, no out into your neighborhood. This is not about our churches becoming longer a one-way street leading from the wellSo here’s what I’m thinking. What about instead religious service clubs that omit sharing the meaning Christian to the other in need. Something comes back in return, which transforms the doer of once-in-a-lifetime mission trip experiences, whole gospel. It’s about discipleship practices of mercy as well. In doing works of mercy – and we embrace the discipline of being on a mission that put us in places where we ourselves meet this is absolutely crucial – a real encounter with trip regularly in our community? God needs Christ in new ways …. and others around us also God takes place that cannot be separated from to lead you into this. I’m not talking about meet Him because when the time is right, we talk sensational initiatives here. It’s ordinary grace- about the place that He has in our lives. the encounter with the other.” filled participation in life and then watching to When we embrace works of mercy, our Everyone who has gone on a mission trip see what happens – inside us…and around us. hearts change. We find the time, energy, and money to follow what captures our heart and we have to say “no” or at least “not yet” to other things. Look, almost without realizing it, we’re embracing self-denial but it’s from a totally different motivational base!
WHAT DOES PARTNERSHIP LOOK LIKE AT ICCM? • Pray for your child daily • Send letters to encourage your child • and their family • Remember your child’s birthday and Christmas and give them gifts to celebrate these important events • Purchase a Bible and hymnal through ICCM and help them develop a deeper relationship with Jesus • Visit your child during an ICCM trip
Finally, some sober questions. A joyful, enduring disciple on these terms. Do I honestly want to be one myself? Do I want to put out to see such maturity formed in others? Will they learn what it means to be a joyful, enduring disciple from watching me?
HOW DO I GET STARTED PARTNERING WITH A CHILD? • Contact us at the ICCM office 905.848.2600 • Are you interested in a specific country? [Does your church already have a local-global connection?]
The cost is $30/month
Can you imagine what good would be released if every person in our movement were regularly embracing doctrine, discipline and self-denial on these terms? Without realizing it, our people would be the talk of the town, but for Christ honoring reasons.
Payment Options PAC (Pre Authorized Chequing) Credit Card ::: Through our website only ::: Cheques Preferably sent quarterly ($90.00), semi-annually ($180.00), or annually ($360.00)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, “let’s get on with it, strip down, start running (for the joy of the race) and never quit – eyes fixed on Jesus”. Rev. Keith Elford is Bishop of The Free Methodist Church in Canada
Paula Moriarity International Chid Care Ministries firstname.lastname@example.org www.childcareministries.net
Note: This is an abridged version of Bishop Elford’s sermon to the 2011 General Conference PHILIPPINES
M O S A I C 12
L TO R - 1918 IMPRESSIVE YOUNG PREACHERS FROM VERONA; LORNE PARK COLLEGE - MAIN BUILDING; B.T. ROBERTS; MEMBERS OF THE CANADIAN EXECUTIVE BOARD - MOOSE JAW SK; ALDERSGATE BIBLE COLLEGE
150 ANNIVERSARY - CONTINUED FROM COVER
CANADA YOUTH ABROAD - BRIAN PRITCHARD AND GARY WALSH (SEATED, SECOND AND THIRD FROM RIGHT
AND VIC STONEHOUSE SEATED, SECOND FROM LEFT)
adults serving abroad in short-term mission assignments. “Canada Youth Abroad”, organized and directed by Free Methodist Churches in Toronto, sent a small team to Hong Kong for a year, including a young Gary Walsh, future pastor, superintendent, and bishop. Several years later this idea was picked up by the American missions department and rebranded as Volunteers in Service Abroad, VISA.
REV. AND MRS. ALBERT SIMS AND FAMILY
Albert Sims, who had direct connections back to Canadian beginnings with Roberts and Sage, was elected Chairman of this new board. Charles Fairbairn, later Bishop Fairbairn, was a delegate with connections to the future of the movement.
on Education. Just before his retirement Fairbairn played a key role in the merger with the Holiness Movement Church in Canada which also brought significant work in Egypt and Hong Kong under the Free Methodist umbrella.
The intervening years led toward the fulfillment of the vision and goals set forward at that 1920 gathering. In 1971, however, some laymen at the two Ontario conferences suggested it was time to start thinking about the next step, full autonomy as a General Conference. Although there was strong support for this from the Canadian side, American leaders objected to any Canadian ‘secession.’ As an interim measure, the concept of a Jurisdictional Conference (now known as a provisional general conference) was birthed and the Canadian Jurisdictional Conference was approved by the North American General Conference in 1974, with Donald Bastian, a Canadian, being elected to serve as Canada’s first resident bishop. The challenge posed for Bishop Bastian and the team of Canadian superintendents was to shape a movement unsure of its identity and place in its own context, yet eager for change and advance. Bastian would lead the Free Methodist Church in Canada for 20 years through growth, leadership development and organizational maturity toward the inauguration of the BISHOP DONALD Canadian General Conference BASTIAN in 1990.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO WIDER FREE METHODISM As we reflect on Canadian contributions to 150 years of Free Methodist witness we think of people like Charles Fairbairn. He was a gifted pastor from eastern Ontario who went on to become an evangelist and pastor in the United States until elected as bishop in 1939 – a role he fulfilled for more than 20 years. Fairbairn had suggested a fifth bishop for the North American Conference to serve in Canada as early as the late 1950s.
REV. CHARLES FAIBURN
He was instrumental in the development of Christian Youth Crusaders or CYC while serving as director of the Commission
In the past decade the Canadian Study Commission on Doctrine began work on rearticulating the Free Methodist understanding of entire sanctification. This eventually gave birth to a new statement adopted in 2010 by Free Methodist General Conferences around the world under the leadership of the Free Methodist World Conference. Canada’s present bishop, Keith Elford, served for two terms as the first president of this new body after it was inaugurated in 1999. The World Conference has fleshed out a new international identity for Free Methodism.
MERGER MEETING, FREE METHODIST CHRUCH AND HOLINESS MOVEMENT - KINGSTON, ON 1958
James Gregory from Ontario founded Lorne Park College in Mississauga, then went on to serve as president of Spring Arbor College in Michigan, and as editor of the denomination’s magazine, The Free Methodist. Canadian pastor J. W. Haley and his wife Jennie went to Southern Africa in 1902 where they served as missionaries for more than three decades before moving on to the Great Lakes region of equatorial Africa to establish a new work in Burundi-Rwanda. This area of Africa is today home to one of the largest concentrations of Free Methodists in the world, who in turn have given birth to ministry in Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, and now Uganda and southern Sudan. Canada has come full circle now with Rwandans and Burundians planting churches and serving in leadership in the Canadian conference. Canadian Holiness Movement missionary, Alton Gould served in China, as did Canadian Free Methodist missionary, Stanley Ryding, both of whom contributed to laying the foundations of Free Methodist ministry in Hong Kong in the 1950s. It was Gould who gave birth to what is now the International Child Care Ministries program.
MISSIONARY ALTON GOULD
In the early 1960s a Canadian local church with connections in Hong Kong birthed a new notion – young
Bastian articulated a ministry truism faithful to the Wesleyan worldview and a contextualized missiology: “I cannot see that the church really grows anywhere if it does not grow where a particular congregation meets and ministers. My concern is for the growth of the local church.” At the 1993 General Conference, it was this very concern that led to fundamental changes in Canadian Free Methodist organizational structures and practices. A motion called for a thorough study of denominational structures and procedures so as to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. This became newly elected Bishop Gary Walsh’s key assignment for the next several years. What emerged from this process was a renewed emphasis on the pivotal role of local churches in advancing the gospel in communities across Canada. Denominational structures and procedures were reconfigured to ensure that personnel and financial resources were more focused on “empowering kingdom growth” at the local church level and less on conference systems and infrastructure. A renewed emphasis on developing healthy churches, missionally-oriented pastors, and church planting among groups and communities without effective witness has led to new works being started across the country. At the present moment, 25% (1 in 4) of Canada’s 150 churches is a congregation planted since 1995. In 150 years, we have come a long way from the days of B. T. Roberts and the Free Methodist world of 1860. As Canadian Free Methodists, we join with Free Methodists around the globe to joyfully commemorate 150 years of history and to look forward with faith and vision to a future of faithful witness and service until, in the fullness of time, we celebrate together for eternity in the presence of Jesus Christ, the Lord of history. Rev. Dan Sheffield is Director of Global and Intercultural Ministries for The Free Methodist Church in Canada