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The Free Methodist Church in Canada | Summer 2013 | Volume 10, Issue 2


Reflecting the diversity of ministry expression within the Free Methodist family



We have everything we need?! by Bishop Keith Elford


PAGE 2 Editor’s Desk More ... both here and there! by Jared Siebert PAGE 3 Regional Gathering and Leadership Development by Kim Henderson PAGE 4-7 Regional Gathering What have we learned? Stories by Ryan Young, Dale Harris, Keith Obgobu and Nancy Luross PAGES 8 Marc McAlister appointed to National Leaership Team Portfolio: Church Health by Marc McAlister PAGES 9 Preparing for General Conference by Chris Lewis All Aboard the food truck ... or not! by Alison McKinnon PAGE 10 Passages Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow by Sandy Crozier PAGE 11 OUR HISTORY: J W Haley’s Missiology: The Mission Temporary, the Church Permanent by Dan Sheffield ICCM: The importance of sponsorship by Paula Moriarity PAGE 12 What is the Holy Spirit saying to us about International Ministry? by Dan Sheffield

DID YOU KNOW? The MOSAIC is produced using environmentally responsible processes. The paper is acid-free, contains 10% post-consumer waste material, and is treated with a non-chlorine whitening process. Vegetable-based inks were used throughout the publication and it is 100% recyclable.


is a publication of The Free Methodist Church in Canada

4315 Village Centre Court Mississauga, Ontario L4Z 1S2 T. 905.848.2600 F. 905.848.2603 E. For submissions: Dan Sheffield, Editor-in-Chief Lisa Howden, Managing Editor and Production Mailed under publication agreement #40008369 Return postage guaranteed


or the last 30 years, “Family Feud” in one format or another, has been a popular television game show. The way that it works is that two families line up on the stage facing each other. After it is determined which team will go first, one by one each family member of that team guesses what the top six answers are in a survey to a questions like: “A place you would go on your first date”. After an answer is given, the game show host shouts “Survey says!” If the answer is one of the top six answers, that answer flips down on the screen in its place among the top answers. If it wasn’t, a big X appears to the annoying sound of a buzzer. As in baseball, if a team gets three strikes, it is “out” and their opponents are up. Do you remember the show? Today’s question is “Reasons for having a General Conference …” And the Board of Administration (BOA) will give the answer. Here goes: “Reasons for having a General Conference …” » Answer: to do the business of the church! » BOA says: Yes. (# 6 priority) » Answer: to build relationships among leaders! » BOA says: Yes. (# 4 priority) » Answer: a good way to spend the 2014 Victoria Day weekend. » BOA says: X. (Though that is the date.) » Answer: to celebrate our accomplishments/diversity. » BOA says: Yes. (# 5 priority) » Answer: to inspire involvement/build momentum! » BOA says: Yes. (# 2 priority) » Answer: to teach leaders/influencers! » BOA says: Yes. (# 3 priority) » Answer: to worship and pray together! » BOA says: Yes. (# 1 priority) There you have them, the reasons why we continue to have General Conferences every three years. And I love what we have set as our first priority! Now about the title of this article – which is also the theme of the General Conference. At first glance it looks like we have a typo in the punctuation. Which is it? A question? Or a strong affirmation! And the answer is Both!! Here’s what we want to do with our time together. Many of our church leaders – local and national, live with inadequate resources. We dream about what we could do if we only had this or lots of that. So our response to the question “We have everything we need?” is “No we don’t!” But when we turn in our Bibles to 2 Peter 1:3, it says: “His divine power has given us everything that we need for life and godliness….” So which is it? And which perspective will guide our thinking these days as a movement? Does what Peter

2014 General Conference theme | May 16-19, 2014

wrote in his New Testament epistles to early church Christians have anything to say to the circumstances in which we are working to form communities of devoted Christfollowers in 2014? Compared to what those believers were up against in his day, “Do we have everything we need?” We’re asking the Lord Jesus to help us get a fresh perspective and a new grip on what it will take to live out His Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) in the spirit of His Great Commandment (Matthew 22: 37-40). If we don’t have everything we need in a building project or in a military campaign, Jesus suggests (Luke 14: 28-33) that it may be because someone did not really count the cost of what was needed to be successful in the project. A building requires resources and a military campaign calls for committed troops. Both scenarios require a clear understanding of what the architect and commanding officer have in mind. It could be that General Conference will be a time of seeking God in humility and repentance and putting ourselves and everything we hold dear (our dreams, our schemes, our preferences, our possessions, our preoccupations, etc) on the altar for the sake of His mission in the world.

He (God) may have new levels of personal and corporate consecration to which He is calling us and disturbingly different ways to which He desires to re-direct us. When there are clear undivided hearts and absolute surrender to the Lordship of Jesus, we have everything that we need. The best technique and technology that Jesus has for ministry in this rapidly changing world is fully devoted joyful witnesses who are confident in the reality of His living presence with them.

Let’s think about one of our stories. Led by the Holy Spirit and following some clear principles, Canadian pioneering missionary John Wesley Haley founded what is now a thriving Free Methodist Church in Burundi, the Congo and Rwanda with far less than what we have and far more of what we need. “Yes,” you may say, “but that was a different time and vastly different circumstances!” Exactly! And we are finding ourselves in a vastly different Canada and our circumstances are rapidly changing. So, do we have everything we need from God’s perspective? I don’t believe that He has changed his mind about whether He wants a presence in Canada that bears the name of His Son the Lord Jesus. But He may have new levels of personal and corporate consecration to which He is calling us and disturbingly different ways to which He desires to re-direct us. So, General Conference is going to be an engaging and challenging event. The conference will open with keynote addresses on Friday night and Saturday morning and night by Dr. Will Willimon. This man of God comes with rich life experience as a pastor, teacher, university chaplain and most recently bishop. And we can count on him to challenge us with prophetic messages. Twenty five years ago, he co-authored a book with Stanley Hauerwas entitled Resident Aliens: A Provocative Christian Assessment of Culture and Ministry for People Who Know that Something is Wrong. During the day that General Conference begins, we are partnering with Epiphaneia Network to bring these two respected authors to our site for a one day conference. Willimon and Hauerwas will revisit what they foresaw in their book and lead conversations about where we are now. It’s going to be good and we are trusting that what they have to say will spill over into the informal coffee break conversations and formal conference discussions that will happen during the weekend and beyond! CONTINUES ON PAGE 3 - EVERYTHING WE NEED


FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK Jared Siebert Director of Growth Ministries

Lisa Howden Managing Editor

Having everything and nothing . . . .




’m thirsty!” That is what I thought to myself as I sat on the highway. No cars were moving as the police and firemen cleared the road of debris after an accident up ahead. The highway had been stopped for about 40 minutes and I had nothing to drink – no water, left over soft drink, cold coffee . . . nothing – and I was thirsty. I checked my purse and found some trail mix, hmmm tasty – but unfortunately not thirst-quenching! No amount of food was going to help, I needed water. Whenever I think about contentment, or the lack of it, I’m reminded of being stuck in my car on the highway, of feeling thirsty and having nothing to drink. Of having a need that could not be met by anything other than water – no matter the quantity. There is a similar condition that is fostered all around us by clever marketing strategists and the world’s ever-growing culture of consumerism. It attempts to lure us in by powerful claims that we will be happy if we have . . . you can fill in the blank: a bigger home, a new car, the latest flat screen television, the “just released” cell phone . . . the list is endless. The world’s answer to its discontent is to create a need for even more, to be constantly looking for something better or different. Like shoveling handfuls or trail mix into your mouth and yet realizing that you are still thirsty. I remember this quote from William Penn, a Quaker in the 1700’s, “Seek not to be rich, but happy. Riches lie in bags, happiness in contentment.” That’s how I see the world at times – having everything and yet nothing. In Philippians 4:11-13, St. Paul writes: “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” So what is being modeled for us here? I think it is the knowlege that true happiness and contentment exists outside of the possession of things and inside a life focussed on Christ. True contentment is not a watered-down, resigned feeling that “I will make do with what I have.” But a state in which we truly take pleasure in the joy and peace that come from being found in Jesus. Life’s contentment comes from our simple acceptance of His plan and provision in our lives. Easier said that done, I know, in a world that is filled with so many diversions and challenges – but we will find contentment if we truly seek it. When I arrived home after the highway cleared

(about two hours later) I think I must have gulped

down at least one litre of ice cold water . . . ahh contentment!

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s a movement we need more. At least that’s the sense I get when I talk to our leaders. Whenever the conversation turns toward the current state of the church in Canada just under the surface is a longing for more. We want a deeper sense of the Spirit at work in us. We want more workers for the harvest. We want to see more people in our communities trust Jesus. We want to see more godly disciples. We want to see our church engage more with their community. We want to see more of just about everything. Honestly? I feel it too. The way I see it if we are serious about our vision to see a healthy church in the reach of all Canadians and beyond we are going to need more. A whole lot more. Whenever I get into this mindset the Spirit reminds me of 2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life” I usually have two immediate and simultaneous reactions to this statement. One is incredulity. Peter, what do you mean we have everything we need? Have you looked around lately? My second is to believe him. Why? Because I’ve seen God work before. He frequently... no regularly... goes far beyond anything I dare imagine. The work of God in the world is far deeper, far wider, and far more powerful than I ever seem to predict. If he says we have all we need then that is probably true! It’s at this intersection, right at the corner of the desire-formore and the confidence-that-God-will-do-more that we plan to host our next General Conference. But I’ll let the Bishop tell you more about that in his article. In this article I want to draw back the curtain a little bit and give you a peak inside how your leaders think, and wonder, and pray, and work. Especially when it comes to the question of how do we do/get/see more? When it comes to seeing more happen there are two basic responses: strengthen the centre (ie – your structures, your processes, your leadership, etc..) OR strengthen what’s around the centre (ie – your people, your workers, etc..). In the past little while we have been working at doing both. It is our practice to have the leadership of the FMCIC (Bishop, NLT, BOA, Delegates, Network Leaders, Pastors, Lay Leaders) to meet and consider the future of the FMCiC. It has become apparent that we need to invest in a stronger centre. This year we have stepped out in faith and invested in our centre. It is our hope that by adding another NLT member, a National Director of Church Health, that we will see more. More regular interactions with national level leadership. More focus on congregational health issues particularly during the pastor/church transition. More focus from the Director of Personnel on personnel matters during transitions. More focus by the Director of Church Planting on church planting. In the end we hope to see more of our established churches identify as healthy. To see more pastors identify as healthy. And we hope to see more churches.



It’s at this intersection, right at the corner of the desire-for-more and the confidencethat-God-will-do-more that we plan to host our next General Conference.

But is the centre the only place to find more? There are limits to what the centre can actually do even if if everyone wants to see more. For instance if we solely depend on the work of a Church Health Director we are bound to run into the limits of the centre. Consider this, there are about 150 churches in The Free Methodist Church in Canada. If our new director attempted to visit 1 church per Sunday, with no breaks, it would take Marc a little under three years to visit each church once. So the question remains how do we get more? The centre can do a lot for us. They can be active encouragers, they can act as experts and helpers, they can give advice, they can steer and suggest and guide, but in the end they cannot do the work for us. Our investments can’t only be at the centre, we have to invest in the people around the centre. If we want to see more, we need to empower people around the centre. We need to give permission and freedom to our people to work We need to resources them, encourage them, help them connect with other people who are doing similar things so they can teach and encourage each other. So how are we working on doing that? Well for starters we changed the way we approached our last regional gatherings. That might not sound very impressive but here is the spirit in which we made those changes. When Jesus sent out the 72 in Luke 10 he commented on the world like this “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” Jesus was also saying that the world needed more! Specifically he was look for more workers. Not more harvest. More workers. So when faced with needing more what did Jesus suggest? He suggested this “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” During our NLT retreat last fall we were also wondering how we would see more. We spent a lot of time praying. Praying about the harvest. Asking God what to do. We spent time listening. Over those days together it became clear that we needed further investment in our grassroots. Specifically, to invite workers from more regions than ever before to reflect on the harvest and to ask themselves “What is the Spirit saying to us about what’s next for ministry in our region?” In previous years we were only able to meet in 9 regions. Why? Because that’s all the centre could Continued at the bottom of page 3 More ... both here and there


Kim Henderson Director of Personnel



his spring 11 Regional Gatherings happened across the FMCiC and the vast majority of leaders who attended believed that the time spent together on those Saturdays was time well spent. The format was different from previous years. We were challenged to spend time in prayer prior to the gathering on “What is the Spirit saying is next for ministry in your region?” We followed an open space process for people to share what the Spirit had been saying to them which resulted in a variety of ideas and actions that became discussion topics for the afternoon session. It shouldn’t surprise us that some common themes emerged from East to West. Disciple-making was a discussion topic at nine of the gatherings and we trust that some of those conversations are continuing. Another theme that was discussed at six of the gatherings is related: Emerging Christian Leaders/Developing Leaders. It’s this theme in particular that I’ll be writing about, more specifically about the development of pastoral leaders. I remember being at Pastor’s Conferences and hearing Alan Retzman say “It all happens in the local church.” I believe that’s true. I especially believe that’s true for identifying and raising up the next generation of pastoral leaders. If this doesn’t happen in the local church, where do we expect our future pastors to come from? Recruited from Bible colleges and seminaries? From other denominations? From overseas? It’s through one of these options that some of us have found a home in the FMCIC. Yet I still believe that God calls men and women from local churches - Free Methodist churches to be pastoral leaders.

Northshore Regional Gathering

People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7). So the seven sons are presented one by one to Samuel and one by one he says “no.” I wonder if Samuel was getting nervous. I wonder what Jesse was thinking. Finally Samuel asks Jesse “Are these all the sons you have?” (1 Samuel 16:11) and Jesse says, “There’s one more - the youngest - but he’s tending the sheep.” I have pondered on the relationship between Jesse and David. Samuel’s invitation was for Jesse and all his sons, yet Jesse made no arrangements for David to be there. The entire process then ground to a halt until David arrived and Samuel heard the Lord say: “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” (1 Samuel 16: 12b)

Usually when I pray and reflect on this, my heart and mind go to Samuel and David. But before I share on that, take a minute and answer two questions:

Now go back to your list. Want to make some changes? Here are two more questions to think on:

{a} Write your definition of a pastoral leader. {b} Write down the top 3-4 characteristics/attributes/skills you look for in a pastoral leader.

{a} Do you now embody the characteristics/attributes you identified? {a} Who has (had) been active in developing you as a leader and what did they see in you?

Saul was no longer king having been rejected by God (as a leader, that’s a very sobering thought isn’t it?) and Samuel was listening as God gave him instructions for the anointing of the next king of Israel. It was to be a son of Jesse of Bethlehem. A leader from among the people. Jesse and his seven sons were there by specific invitation from Samuel. I suspect that Jesse had a sense that something was up and I wonder what he might have said to his sons. Samuel was sure that the oldest son Eliab was the one: When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed stands here before the LORD.” (1 Samuel 16:6). Eliab must have been mighty to behold. Samuel was ready to act - and ready to fall into the same pattern as Saul’s anointing. Saul was also mighty to behold: attractive, physically strong and head shoulders above everyone else. But this wasn’t God’s plan. The LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at.

How do we do this? How do we identify and help form an emerging pastoral leader? Here are some thoughts: 1. Pray. We need to pray and ask God to show us whose heart He is preparing. 2. Don’t be surprised when He answers and be open to His choice. 3. Make time for this person. A leader needs to be developed and this will require intentionality, commitment and creativity. 4. Explore the call of God with this person. Is the evidence of this call observed and affirmed by other leaders in the church? 5. We all need (and hopefully want) to be healthy in every aspect: spiritually, mentally, emotionally, relationally and physically. Here’s an approach for mentoring a leader: i. self awareness: What is this person continually learning

More ... both here and there! - continued from page 2 handle. So we decided to push the regional gatherings out past the centre and begin handing them over to the people around the centre. To you! We added two more to the schedule and are capable of adding many more than that if we need to. We got excited. The plan came together and actually worked. But you know that isn’t what impressed us most. What we saw time and again was evidence of two things: 1. that we have great people with huge capacity. We truly do have all we need! 2. that the Spirit responded to our questions! The Spirit helped us identify, explore, and address some of the most important issues facing our churches. He helped us gather new ideas, resources, and people and connected them to these issues. He helped us reenergize an action-ready community of people. And in the end He gave us all permission to act on what we heard.

So what does the future look like for us? Will we see more? Only time will tell. Here’s what we do know for sure. Everything the Spirit said to us we wrote down. We plan to bring the conversations we started locally to the national stage at our next General Conference. We know that folks who participated told us that they planned to take what they saw and heard back with them to their churches. Over the coming months we are hoping and expecting to hear how some of you who took these ideas to heart and are beginning to work regionally to see more happen. This is all a good start and we are hopeful that more is on the way!

Rev. Jared Siebert is the Director of Church Development for The Free Methodist Church in Canada |

about God and him/herself; are the means of grace practiced; is a teachable spirit present ii. contextual awareness: how is the love for people made evident within the faith community; is active disciplemaking occurring; how is this person a good neighbour in his/her neighbourhood and how is he/she loving those who don’t yet know Jesus iii. theological awareness: is this person rooted in Scripture; is the capacity to think theologically being developed so that actions and decisions have a theological foundation; theological education pursued as needed Not long ago I had a conversation with a woman - I’ll call her Barb - whose 18 year old son recently shared that he believed God is calling him to be a pastor. This caught Barb and her husband a little by surprise as the plan until then had been for him to go into one of the trades. Yet as they prayed about it, saw the changes in their son’s life and also saw the response to him by others in the church, they knew they were to support him. Our conversation covered a lot of topics like Bible college and how this first year in particular will be pivotal, FMCIC foundational courses, other required courses, scholarships and so on. I then told Barb that her son is an answer to prayer. Many of us have been praying for God to raise up godly, competent leaders and here is a young man, from one of our churches, exploring that call. We have others across the movement exploring that call. By the end of June, 10 new lay leaders have been identified from our churches and these individuals are continuing to take steps toward credentialed ministry. I thank God for answers to prayer and I thank the local leaders for affirming the gifts and graces for pastoral leadership in these people. It all happens in the local church! Rev. Kim Henderson is the Director of Personnel for The Free Methodist Church in Canada| kim.henderson@

Everything we need from cover General Conference 2014 will have another new feature. We have reduced the number of reports to be presented so that, on Saturday afternoon, local church leaders from across the country can carry on the great conversations that have started in the Regional Gathering. Rather than having Study Teams present, we are opening up the afternoon to talk about some of the things that surfaced in the Regional Gathering “Open Spaces” like – Christian maturity/discipleship … Ministry to children and youth … Healthy Community engagement … Prayer and releasing the power of the Holy Spirit to take over our lives and ministries. So, there are lots of interesting things being planned, but underneath it all is going to be this question: Is it “We have everything we need??” (… C’mon. Really?) Or is it “We have everything we need!” (… and we need to see fresh ways of seeing what we have….). Rev. Keith Elford is the Bishop of The Free Methodist Church in Canada |


Regional Gathering Locations: Quebec, South/Southwest Ontario, Eastern Ontario, Central Ontario, East Saskatchewan/Man Brantford Regional Gathering Reflection Famous rocker Mike Rutherford (Genesis, Mike and the Mechanics) once said this, “Being in a band is always a compromise. Provided that the balance is good, what you lose in compromise, you gain by collaboration.” I find collaboration to be a challenging balance. It brings with it both the latency for illuminating discovery and the possibility of sturdy disappointment. However, if you analyze the very best of collaboration it combines diversity, creativity and authenticity.

True community is sculpted by collaboration; living, learning, sharing and failing together. I suspect God meant it to shape us as the apostle Paul writes - adversity is the crucible of maturity. Diversity cultivates robust consensus, but can also evoke strong opposition because not everyone in the room thinks alike. Creativity inspires the inventor’s heart, but often brings with it change that can cause discomfort. Authenticity keeps a conversation grounded, but vulnerability feels alien in a culture that teaches us to conceal our weaknesses. True, healthy, collaboration is hard. True, healthy, community is hard. This is one of the elements of Jesus’ ministry that is so encouraging and challenging to me. His teaching and his style of ministry invited conversation and authenticity and collaboration. His parables were designed to entwine people with the heart of God; to help them encounter truth in ways that beckoned their heart, caused them to be uncomfortable and ploughed their hearts for Kingdom growth. True community is sculpted by collaboration; living, learning, sharing and failing together. I suspect God meant it to shape us as the apostle Paul writes - adversity is the crucible of maturity. I’m not a fan of adversity. And if I’m honest I’m often only open to collaboration if it’s on my own terms; insisting that it will be comfortable and productive. But true collaboration is often uncomfortable and it may not always be productive. It often kickstarts ingenuity and openness to the Spirit but it also places a beacon on our insecurities and prejudices. If it’s done well collaboration/community envelopes our best and our worst.

This most recent regional gathering was set up to inspire collaboration and I found it refreshing. Jared Siebert has reminded us on multiple occasions that we are a church in exile, meaning that we don’t have the same voice in culture that we once had. I agree with him. God is putting his church in a unique place where we need to re-think and re-envision what it means for the Word to inhabit God’s people and what it looks like for us to welcome others in a faith-journey with us. I felt like God accomplished just that in our most recent regional gathering. Brantford gathering: thanks for sharing your prayers, your doubts, your vision, your fears, your dreams. Thanks for helping me to see Jesus more clearly. We need each other. Ryan Young Associate Pastor TheStory - Sarnia, ON

Gazing back on Regional Gathering I’ve been thinking a fair bit this week about autostereograms. Remember those “Magic Eye” pictures that were popular back in the 90s? They just looked like a big blotch of random colour, but if you stared at them long enough with your eyes held just so, you’d suddenly see a 3-D image materialize mysteriously out of all that colourful static. People would stand there squinting, sometimes for minutes on end, until suddenly someone would say: “Oh! I see it, it’s a shark!” Pretty soon everyone had seen it but you, and just when you were about to give up, suddenly there it was: a 3-D shark floating mysteriously out of the page before you. You’ve probably seen one of these pictures before, but maybe didn’t know that the thing you were looking at was called an autostereogram.

Magic Eye 3D image

If you know what I’m talking about, however, then you’ll probably get it when I say that my experience at Regional Gathering this year was a bit like one of those

autostereograms, spiritually speaking: staring intently at something that looked like little more than a swirl of random connections, when suddenly, unexpectedly, a compelling image materializes clearly before your eyes. Of course, I haven’t chosen the “Magic Eye” analogy at random here. It picks up on the central theme from Bishop Keith’s talk at the start of the day, about doing some missional “gazing” and seeing what unexpected God-thing materializes as we do. He reminded us of how the disciples were “gazing” into heaven after the ascended Jesus at the start of Acts, and then of all the “gazing” that follows, as those same disciples kept looking for new regions and territories and peoplegroups that hadn’t yet heard the message of Jesus. Bishop Keith challenged us to do some “gazing” of our own, looking intently at our churches, our ministries, our neighbourhoods and the world around us, and asking some hard questions about what God’s next “unexpected thing” might be for us as we take the Jesus story to the ends of the earth. Though I didn’t know it at the time, my own “gazing” had actually started earlier that morning. On the drive into Wesley Chapel, the talk in the car had swirled around the question of Youth Mentorship and Leadership Development. “What are we doing to disciple youth into the next generation of Christian leaders?” we had asked, thinking we were just whiling away the time on the 401. As it turns out, this was to become God’s big question for me that day. An off-hand comment in Bishop Keith’s address hit me unexpectedly (like a big blotch of colour, maybe, in a metaphorical autostereogram): by some estimates, he said, most of Jesus’s disciples were in their late teens when they met him and started serving him. Then in a brief sharing time before our sessions began, one church shared passionately about their heart to see the youth, and especially the young men in their community, encounter the love of God through Jesus Christ (another blotch of colour on the canvas). Another pastor shared about the unique challenges facing the youth in his community. And lines would continue to be drawn: Out of the fourteen focus groups that formed to talk about pressing issues in the church, three dealt specifically with the question of reaching youth and engaging them in the life of the church. In one session we talked about youth mentorship and leadership development, and the beautiful risk that comes along when we give youth responsibility in the church. Later, in the prioritization exercises at the end of the day, youth issues would together receive no less than 25 yellow stickers out of a total of 82.


Regional Gatherings What have we learned?

nitoba, Northwestern Ontario/Winnipeg, Central Ontario GTA, Central Ontario North, Northern Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta

Turns out the folks in our car-pool weren’t the only ones asking, “What are we doing to disciple youth into the next generation of Christian leaders?” This question is burning in the hearts of FMCiC lay-leaders and pastors across our region.

“...since Regional Gathering, I’ve been sharing my vision with some of the ministry leaders at our church, and the picture has continued to solidify. To borrow an image from Bishop Keith, I’m excited to see how this ‘horse’ will morph into a ‘rocketship’ as we continue to gaze at it.”

But as we sang our closing hymn, I was sort of gazing at all those yellow stickers lumped together under the youth categories, and suddenly this picture formed in my mind. Like a 3-D image materializing suddenly out of all the colorful chaos of an autostereogram, an idea came to me, in very sharp detail, about a Young Christian Leader’s Training initiative we could start at the FreeWay, which would match FreeWay youth with Christian mentors and give them concrete ministry experiences and responsibilities as developing Christian leaders. There’s not space here to sketch out the details, but I will say that since Regional Gathering, I’ve been sharing my vision with some of the ministry leaders at our church, and the picture has continued to solidify. To borrow an

image from Bishop Keith, I’m excited to see how this “horse” will morph into a “rocketship” as we continue to gaze at it. To put it more directly: I came home from Regional Gathering with a very concrete picture in my mind of what youth discipleship might look like at our church; now begins the exciting time of seeing God’s next unexpected thing take shape. Dale Harris Lead Pastor The FreeWay FMC, Oshawa, ON

Gazing back on Regional Gathering Regional Gathering 2013 arrived in the midst of large snow fall warnings, road closures and predicted icy conditions. In spite of the weather warnings most were still able to make their way to Arlington Beach Camp. As always there seemed to be a theme that permeated the Regional Gathering of connection, checking in with each other and sharing ideas. That theme was seen as individuals gathered for conversation during coffee break, through the creative process of getting to know the NLT and other national committee members and of course during the breakout sessions. Traditionally during Regional Gathering, we come around and share in sub groups about our churches, the good the bad and the ugly. But as we all know little comes from just sharing what it is that we like or don’t like and so this year the conversations seemed to jump to the next level. There was a concentrated

focus on our common strengths, common questions, common challenges and common concerns. As the ‘group generated’ conversation topics began to flow, we found that the diversifying Saskatchewan, increased immigration, discipleship and the issue of young adults and the church, were just a few issues that many of the churches were celebrating, wondering about or being challenged by. As we found our way into a variety of discussion groups it was wonderful to hear the perspectives of lay leaders, ministerial candidates, ordained and commissioned ministers join together, not just to focus on what we couldn’t do or haven’t done, but rather with a focus on what was and is possible if we think and act together rather than apart.

Together we were able to connect with people who had common thoughts, perspectives, challenges and ideas as well as ones who were unafraid to question the status quo. We were able to check in each other and ask the question “how are things going?” Once the small group conversations ended, we came back together to decide what we wanted to explore further, with the intent that we would continue the conversation via email. I am not quite sure how everyone has done with the follow up email conversations, but personally I haven’t forgotten the questions that were asked and the issues that churches in my region find important. Together we were able to connect with people who had common thoughts, perspectives, challenges and ideas as well as ones who were unafraid to question the status quo. We were able to check in each other and ask the question “how are things going?” And finally we were able to examine where we are and where we need to be heading in new and creative ways. This forced us to look beyond the barriers and see that what Christ has begun in and around our region can be accomplished especially if we work together. As the day ended, we found our way back out into the slushy, snowy parking lot with a sense of renewed connection, tightened bonds, and a sense of community among those who call this region home. Now as we work together, with Christ before us, let’s see what happens next! Keitha Obgobu Pastor Hampton FMC Saskatoon, SK

Regional Gathering at Wesley Chapel


What is an “Open Space” It is an effective process for organizations and communities to identify critical issues, give voice to their passions and concerns, learn from each other, and, when appropriate, take collective responsibility for finding solutions. The goal of an “Open Space” is to create time and space for people to engage deeply and creatively around issues of concern to them. The agenda is set by people who have a passion for the topics to be discussed. There is no pre-planned list of topics, only time slots and a space in the main meeting room where interested participants propose topics and pick time slots.


Regional Gathering in numbers . . . 11 Regional Gathering locations – 5 National Leadership Team members involved – hundreds of leaders connecting from across Canada


Regional Gathering at Arlington Beach Camp

“I value these gatherings greatly. They are tremendously important to me.”

My Regional Gathering Experience I attended the April 2013 Free Methodist Regional Gathering at Arlington Beach Camp along with about 80 other people and I was glad I did! I have found that the love, support and encouragement of others who do things in their churches that are similar to what I do, is very helpful for me. It is uplifting to hear another church’s success stories and to realize that no matter what size of church we are in our highs and lows are very similar. I look forward to seeing the friends I have made in the leadership of the Free Methodist Church. The great thing about this event is that all are welcome. It is not just for pastors and staff, delegates, board chairs, lay ministers and retired minsters are all invited. The group is diverse. There are young, old, men, women, little experience and a life-time of experience, as well as people of different cultural backgrounds too. Everyone has a voice and are encouraged to share in large and small group times. Talented people share their gifts of music and singing which I really enjoy. (I hope those around me did too?) Bishop Keith sent his message by the world wide web (technology is always amazing). Although I missed speaking with him in person I was glad he made the choice to stay away and get well so he can be a marathon bishop not just a sprinter.

In the afternoon we were encouraged to select three discussion sessions we would like to be part of and to go share our ideas about those HOT-to-us topics. We were encouraged to listen to the spirit and to one another. Bishop Keith discussed the importance of “Gazing” ...imagining ideas, and ‘wondering if ’ conversations that could lead to something unimagined emerging. He explored how the gospel got from Jewish-only Jerusalem to multicultural Canada. With a map of a bunch of FM churches in Saskatchewan and Manitoba he reminded us “Ephesians 3:20 says, Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according

Arlington Beach Camp: Discussion Group

to his power that is at work within us...” He encouraged us to go make a difference in the world. Jared Siebert discussed resources available to us as well as videos for partnering with other countries. This was followed by an ‘open space’ process where anyone and everyone was encouraged to share topic ideas they would like to see discussed by our church. Many different ideas were presented and all were recorded and displayed by Vana White (a.k.a. Sandy Crozier). In the afternoon we were encouraged to select three discussion sessions we would like to be part of and to go share our ideas about those HOT to us topics. We were encouraged to listen to the spirit and to one another. Also to face hard choices and have conversations with people. I value these gatherings greatly. They are tremendously

important to me. When we are away from each other it is easy to have feelings of isolation. Travelling together and spending time with each other builds the Free Methodist leadership team. This was evidenced by the laughing and joking we all enjoyed. The room was full of friendship and genuine interest in one another. The state and health of our lives and our ministries was very important to each of us and we had to be pulled away from each other to get back to our meetings. The time was well spent. I appreciate being included. Thanks for having me. Nancy Luross Children’s Pastor Lakeview Church Saskatoon, SK


Marc McAlister appointed to National Leadership Team Portfolio: Church Health


et’s start with the dry history. At the 2011 General Conference of The Free Methodist Church in Canada, a Systems Analysis Task Team that had been commissioned by the Board of Administration brought forward a report and several recommendations. Among them was this one – Be it resolved that the Board of Administration be given the authority to hire a Director of Church Health when there is a sufficient, sustained increase in CORE giving to support this new position on the National Leadership Team. Part of the rationale for this motion was that as a movement we needed to focus on church health, church planting and pastoral health to reach our God-given vision to see a healthy church within the reach of all people in Canada and beyond. This motion passed. Skip ahead to late 2012. The Board of Administration decided that the time had come to proceed with this hiring. A process was put in place and in early 2013 a Director of Church Health was hired — and it turned out that I am that person. So here we are I officially began my duties on July 2, 2013. So far, as people have approached me about this new role, there have been two main questions that I have had to answer. So I thought I would take a moment and answer those two questions as we move forward together. The first of those questions goes something like, “So what exactly will you be doing?” Well this is a new position, so nobody is quite sure exactly what it will look like. But here are the starting points. One of the main responsibilities will be to work with churches in transition (helping them work through issues like the need for an interim pastor and how to prepare a profile). This will free up the Director of Personnel (Kim Henderson) to focus on pastoral health issues and pastors in transition (among her other duties) – because we need healthy churches and healthy pastors.

“Over the years, I have had the privilege of attending and pastoring several healthy churches (not perfect, but healthy). I love the local church and I love our movement and if I can play a role in helping both be all that God intends for us to be, I will gladly serve.” Another responsibility will be to work with churches who are putting together a LifePlan and/or work with churches who have/need similar tools as they pursue getting or staying healthy. This will free up the Director of Church Planting ( Jared Siebert) to focus on planting healthy new churches - because we need healthy new churches and healthy established churches. I will also be working with boards and pastors on things like conflict resolution and crisis intervention. Hopefully this (and other things) will free up our Bishop as he gives leadership to the overall movement – because we need a healthy national church and healthy local churches. That’s the starting point. Other areas of this position will include developing and deploying a team of LifePlan coaches to help with the LifePlan process: researching and developing “best church health” practices and processes for our movement; and monitoring and overseeing our health nationally as well as helping to share our stories so we can learn from each other and grow together. I’m sure that other things will be developed and discovered over time as I talk with, work with and even dream with local churches, boards and pastors about what it means to be a healthy church and how we can get there.

The McAlister Family (left to right)

Sons - Tyler, Eric with Laurie and Marc McAlister

The other question that I am often asked regarding this new role is, “So why are you doing this?” That’s a good question really. Why am I uprooting my family and leaving a church I love and have had the privilege of pastoring for eleven years? Obedience is a part of it, obviously. I would not do this if I didn’t think God was calling me to it. Duty is also a part of it. I was a member of the BOA and Systems Analysis Team that made these recommendations to General Conference. I believe strongly in them and would like to see the process through to the end. But the strongest reason goes a little beyond that. Over the years, I have had the privilege of attending and pastoring several healthy churches (not perfect, but healthy). I love the local church and I love our movement and if I can play a role in helping both be all that God intends for us to be, I will gladly serve. Reconfiguring the workload Jared Siebert Church Development


Developing LifePlan Coaches

Kim Henderson Leadership Development

Marc McAlister Church Health

s s


Working with churches in transition

Developing LifePlan Coaches

Crisis Conflict Resolution

s s

Working with churches in transition

Crisis/Conflict Resolution

Please note: these are not complete job descriptions

Next Steps My wife Laurie and I, along with our two sons, Eric and Tyler are moving from Sault Ste. Marie, ON to Courtice, ON. Please pray for us during this time of transition as we relocate and get our sons off to University in the fall. I would also ask that you remember me as I begin this new role. I will need your prayers. If you or your church would like to talk with me about anything, let me know. I would be happy to do that. I look forward to working with you as we pursue the goal of developing healthy churches. Rev. Marc McAlister is the Director of Church Health for The Free Methodist Church in Canada |


Preparing for General Conference 2014 DATE:

May 16-19, 2014 | Location: Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel

It’s hard to believe that General Conference 2011 was over two years ago. What do you remember most about those few days? Was it the sessions with David Roller? Was it a reunion among friends? Or perhaps it was the reaffirmation of the calling you’ve received. For others of us, we might remember most that there were too many vegetarian sandwiches served at lunch – a problem I promise to fix this time around.

opportunity to introduce Resolutions to the General Conference according to provisions Par. 410.5 of the Manual of the FMCIC. As you prayerfully consider introducing a Resolution please remember that a Resolution must:

General Conference 2014 will take place on May 16-19, 2014 at Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel. The General Conference Planning Committee has been hard at work over the past number of months to ensure that all of the details, great and small are taken care of so that you can focus on what the theme “We have everything we need?!” means for us together as a denomination and for you, in your local context.

Second, General Conference will present the findings of the three standing committees: Board of Administration (BOA), Ministerial Education, Guidance and Placement Committee (MEGaP), and Study Commission on Doctrine (SCOD). Should you wish to inquire about the content, topics or direction of any of these standing committees, you can visit the General Conference portion of to find the most appropriate person to contact with your comments, questions or concerns.

We’re pleased to announce that Will Willimon will be the keynote speaker for General Conference. Will served as the United Methodist Church Bishop of the North Alabama Conference from 2004-2012 and recently has returned to Duke University as Professor of Christian Ministries, a role he assumed for nearly 20 years while also serving as the dean of Duke Chapel before his terms as Bishop. Willimon is a wonderful communicator, prolific author and has spent his career serving the church at large. As the conference approaches there are a number of ways to join us in the process of ensuring a successful General Conference. First, all members of the FMCiC have the

1. have the support of a delegate of the General Conference (lay or ministerial delegate) and 2. be sent to the Ministry Centre by February 14, 2014.

Third, would you consider joining us as an individual or corporate partner of the General Conference? As you can imagine the cost to host an event of this magnitude is substantial and any gift you could provide, either individually or as a corporate partner, would be greatly appreciated. For specific details regarding the different opportunities we have available, please contact me. Chris Lewis is our General Conference Conference Coordinator

ALL ABOARD THE FOOD TRUCK…OR NOT! In my first blog post for the FMCiC website I gushed about my Regional Gathering experience. As I think back to Bishop Keith’s message asking us to gaze and imagine the unimagined I am still inspired and encouraged not only by the conversations that happened that day but the possibilities that lie ahead. One of the discussions I was involved in at the gathering concerned improving communication within our region. We discussed some options and I volunteered (big mouth strikes again!) to look into some kind of regional online bulletin board for sharing ideas and resources. Technology is not my happy place and I have wanted to ditch this responsibility several times. I tried to rationalize this in several ways: Does technology really improve our communication? Isn’t a phone call more personal? And the big one: so what if I don’t follow through with this online bulletin board stuff ? Nothing lost. True…but nothing gained either. This is not an idea that will change the world but it might provide a resource which could lead to doing something a little differently which might speak to someone who needed to hear it in just that way which could in turn lead to the unimagined. So onward I trudge through this land of all things techy. Hang in there fellow discussion group peeps I’m working on it. In that first blog I also mentioned another idea entirely of my own making – I was really on a roll that week. To quote myself (that’s a first), “Since Regional Gathering I have started gazing and imagining what’s next for ministry in our house church. I imagine a food truck – very Hamilton. I imagine a ministry that could take us into different parts of our neighborhood where both body and spirit could be nourished. I imagine this food truck being shared with other churches in the city or with other FMC churches in the region.” I am still digging this idea. Sadly not everyone in our house church community was as excited. In fact, some people were the opposite of excited – hard to believe I know! In hindsight perhaps posting a photo of a food truck on our church Facebook page was not the best way to introduce the idea. I tend to get a little ramped up about something and then expect everyone to keep pace with my level of enthusiasm. Apparently not everyone in our community is gazing and imagining the same thing. More specifically they are not imagining MY thing. And there it is. MY thing – perhaps not God’s thing. My community of Jesus followers has grounded me not the idea. I have slowed the pace to include time for prayer, reflection and group discussion. The idea has renewed the conversation about how we would like to be present in our neighborhood and the food truck may take on several different forms before becoming what God has intended for us. And so onward with this imagined Spirit led slow evolving idea. Alison McKinnon is the Social Media Journalist for The Free Methodist Church in Canada. If you have a local church story that needs to be shared you can contact her at |

PAST STORIES . . . Street Evangelism - Tillsonburg Style – So when you think about visiting a quiet western Ontario farm town on a beautiful evening you immediately think street evangelism - right? Yeah, me neither. Yet that is exactly what happened last Friday night when my friend Mandy and I went to visit Brazos Abiertos – an outreach ministry of Open Arms FMC in Tillsonburg, ON . . . Nourishment Studio 15 Style – Two weeks ago I braved (read white knuckled) the 401 to check out Studio 15, a Christian arts community for youth in the Kingsview Village and The Westway neighborhoods of Toronto . . .

To read the rest of these stories and many others, please visit the website at

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PASSAGES Appointments Dennis Camplin – Transition Pastor – Northview Community Church, Regina, SK, effective July 4, 2013 Sabrina D’Rozario – Lead Pastor – Wesley Chapel FMC, Toronto, effective May 26, 2013 Darrin Lindsay – Transition Pastor – Kingsview FMC, Toronto, ON, effective September 1, 2013 Andrew MacKay – Associate Pastor (Pastor of Family Ministry) – Prince Edward County FMC, Picton, ON, effective August 1, 2013 Joe Manafo – Associate Pastor (Teaching Pastor) – Lakeview FMC, Saskatoon, SK, effective August 1, 2013 Kathy Stephenson – Associate Pastor – Campbellford FMC, Campbellford, ON, effective June 6, 2013

New MEGaP Committee Member Jason Tripp – Pastor – Valleyview Community Church, Blezard Valley, ON (replacing Marc McAlister), effective July 1, 2013

Network Leader Approved Barry Taylor – AB/SK Large Church Network, effective July 1, 2013

Ordinations Approved and Service Scheduled Munetoshi (Toshi) Hatsusegawa (Pastor, Wesley Chapel Japanese FMC, Toronto) – October 20 Dyan Mouland October 27 at Hampton FMC, Saskatoon, SK Tim Richards (Pastor, Melfort FMC, Melfort, SK) – October 27 at Hampton FMC, Saskatoon, SK Philippe Reichenbach (Pastor, St Henri FMC, Montreal) – Saturday, November 16

Transfer-in as Ordained Minister Approved David Moran (Pastor, Harrowsmith FMC, Harrowsmith, ON) from Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, effective June 14, 2013

Ministerial Candidates approved Racheal Kellar (attends Peterborough FMC) – effective June 14, 201 David Moriarity (attends The FreeWay, Oshawa, ON) – effective May 29, 2013

Churches in transition Cornerstone Community Church, Almonte, ON Crestview Park FMC, Winnipeg, MB Église Méthodiste Libre de Gatineau–La Lumière, Gatineau, QC Ellice FMC, Bashaw, AB Kingscourt (Butternut Creek) FMC, Kingston, ON Kingsview FMC, Toronto, ON Malvern Methodist Church, Toronto, ON Marmora FMC, Marmora, ON New Horizons Community Church, Sarnia, ON Northview Community Church, Regina, SK Sault Ste Marie FMC, Sault Ste Marie, ON The Journey, Niagara Falls, ON The Next Church, Kingston, ON theStory, Sarnia, ON

FMCIC Calendar This calendar is meant to provide highlights and is not exhaustive

2013 Ministers Conferences • •

September 24-26 – Wesley Acres October 1-3 – Entheos (Calgary)

Foundational Courses Wesleyan Theology • Ontario – November 1-3, 2013 @ Trulls Rd FMC, Courtice, Ontario • Western Canada – November 1-3, 2013 (location TBA)

Heart of Canadian Free Methodism • Ontario – November 1-3, 2013 (location TBA)

General Conference | May 16-19, 2014

Sandy Crozier Stewardship Development Director



eally? Don’t worry about tomorrow? I don’t think I’ve heard that message from any of today’s top financial advisors.

In this world of panic over stock markets, housing markets, job security, increased interest rates, lost pensions there is a lot to make us worry. Advisors tell us we need a million dollars in our retirement fund just to survive! Listening to the news just raises our panic and dread over our future. Many are thinking: “We don’t have enough for today, never mind enough for retirement!” But Jesus tells us, “Don’t worry about tomorrow...” Now before we think it is okay to stop saving altogether, it is important to remember the second part of this verse: “ ...for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Not saving and accumulating debt simply adds today’s trouble to tomorrow’s. So saving for emergencies and future needs is a wise thing to do. But that should not take away our focus on today – and what we are to do with what we’ve been given today. Our opportunities, abilities, relationships, work, health, time, resources and money. The biblical message tells us that we are given enough for this day. In the desert, there was always enough manna for the day (hoarding only spoiled the gift). In the New Testament, Jesus reminds us to ask God for our daily bread (not tomorrow’s) and to use today to seek His kingdom with all we have. He tells us that what gives life meaning is giving it away. This was – and still is – a counter cultural message. Instead of worrying, remember that God is trustworthy – and he trusts us to make us his stewards. And also remember that God gives us everything we need to do what he has called us to (2 Peter 1:3). If we really believe this, then the questions we may have to ask ourselves are, “What did we do with what God has already provided? Did we waste it? Did we use what God blessed us with to put ourselves into the bondage of debt? Did we bring our master a return on his investment in us and all that he has provided? Or worse yet, did we rob God by not giving?”

This is the hard part. Deciding to do something. About your debt. About what you do with the God’s given you – whether you think it is a little or a lot. These are tough questions. And some of the answers we may not like if we are honest. But the hope and promise of our God is that we can always stop the way we always do things and turn around. To seek His kingdom first. And discover that our money and life has the power to change the world when we give it away. So what do we do if we’ve really made a mess of things? What do we do if we are deep in debt? What if we have no money left to give away? What if we’ve wasted the skills, opportunities and resources that God has given us?

with – resources, opportunities, imagination, creativity, relationships, and abilities. Then ask the important questions: Where has God placed me?

What are the opportunities in my own backyard? What training is available that can help me handle money better? Or improve my skills so that I can take advantage of new opportunities? What part time jobs are available so that I can eliminate my debt and free up those debt payments to use in a better way? What has God given me?

What am I passionate about? What things am I good at? What do I need to improve on? What are the resources/ skills that I already have and how can I steward them better than I have in the past? What is God saying to me?

This requires that we take time to pray and ask God – but also time to listen for what he is saying to us. What has he called me to do? And finally – What am I going to do about it?

This is the hard part. Deciding to do something. About your debt. About what you do with all that God has given you – whether you think it is a little or a lot. About how you will invest all you have for His Kingdom. About your neighbour. About those that God cares about – the poor, the widow, the orphan, the foreigner, the disenfranchised and how God has placed you here to look after them. Answering these questions – and doing something about them – may not make you extremely rich, or provide for your ‘freedom 55 retirement.’ But it will bring you life and freedom. And it will change the world. And best of all, it will let you hear the Master say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Come and enter into the joy of your Master.” (Matthew 25:23). Now you can stop worrying.

Take hope. With God’s help, choose to be the faithful steward he has trusted you to be. Then start looking around you and see what God has already provided you

Sandy Crozier is the Stewardship Development Director for The Free Methodist Church in Canada |


The event includes four afternoon sessions, dinner and an evening presentation by Richard Blackaby

The Generous Stewardship Ministry of the FMCiC has worked closely with Advisors with Purpose over the years and is pleased to pass on their invitation to a one-day event on October 23, 2013 for Pastors and Leaders to join the conversation on Stewardship.

When: October 23, 2013 @ 1:00pm to 8:00pm Where: Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel and Suites 600 Hwy 7 East, Richmond Hill, ON Cost:

$99 per person

Visit to register


Paula Moriarity International Child Care Ministries Director



o why would a group of people decide to attend a day long Saturday meeting? The free lunch? The warmth and hospitality of a local Free Methodist church or hanging out with fellow leaders who have similar passions? Whether it is the regional gatherings across the country or an ICCM rep meeting, people are interested and want to engage in where our movement is going. Over the past few weeks, I have had great opportunities to talk to some of our ICCM point people. These particular individuals have experienced ICCM in action, they have met their sponsored children and have participated in the ministry, whether in an ICCM school or in our Free Methodist churches.

J W HALEY’S MISSIOLOGY THE MISSION TEMPORARY, THE CHURCH PERMANENT In Burundi, Canadian FMC missionary J W Haley, together with his wife Jenny and their children, pioneered one of the most significant national churches within the Free Methodist international family during the period 1934-1946. He did this on the basis of set of principles and practices that amounted to a brand new way of thinking about the mission task.

BURUNDI: First baptismal service in Muyebe in Urundi ICCM University graduates from the Philippines all children of FM Pastors.

One of the many discussions that we had was why is sponsorship important? What are the benefits? Let’s address the benefits of sponsorship first (study done by Compassion) • • •

27-40% more likely to complete secondary school 50-80% more likely to complete a university education 35% more likely to obtain a white-collar job

Not to mention the spill over effects of education to younger siblings and parents. So why is sponsorship important to the Free Methodist Church? These statistics are not only for Compassion but in the ICCM program there are many former students who have graduated from high school, technical schools, colleges, and universities. These graduates are not only working in white-collar jobs but also serve as leaders in their FM churches. Over the past four years, I have traveled to seven different countries where ICCM is serving and there is one recurring theme of sponsorship the trajectory of their lives changed when they accepted Christ and became active followers. Their outlook on life changed and they began to have a Kingdom focus. So how do we play a role in sponsorship – praying for your child and their family, encouraging them by sending them letters and pictures, taking the opportunity to visit your child on an Encounter trip. Your church can begin to develop a global partnership with a country. Our goal is see more FM churches activate change locally to impact children, families and communities globally!! If you have any questions on sponsorship, or how your church can connect globally contact Paula Moriarity |

Haley was convinced that if new believers, in any cultural context, were gifted and empowered by the Holy Spirit, they would be led into truth and guided in the development of their organizational life, without the continual oversight of missionary personnel. He believed that spiritual gifts are dispersed by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of building the church, not for personal ministry or gain. “How near we may be to grieving Him, when we thoughtlessly speak of ‘my work, my schools, my teachers, my evangelists,’ or lightly of any of the gifts He (the Holy Spirit) has received from Jesus with which to enable the Church in her conflict with the world.” Preaching the gospel and the receiving of new converts was a “laboratory” for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Gifted preachers and pastors would emerge and the missionary’s task was to train, provide active apprenticeship opportunities, including correction and further teaching, and the opportunity to be tested in the midst of adversity. Haley felt “we leave the New Testament pattern when we usurp their place as pastors and confine them to the place of helpers and servants and that for decades or a century.” In his writing, as well as in his practice, Haley expressed impatience with a church that trained missionaries and set up mission stations in unreached lands while achieving a “paucity of results” when compared with the early, apostolic Church. In his opinion, the situation called for “a comprehensive study and an intensive examination of methods with a view to the elimination of fruitless ones.” The purpose of “the mission” (as Haley used the term, “the task team” or “sent-out agent”), was to plant churches through, primarily, preaching and foundational discipling. From that point onward the Holy Spirit would take the initiative, guiding into truth, enabling the fruit of the Spirit, distributing the gifts of the Spirit. Haley sought to put in practice the following principle: “the mission, from the beginning, should foresee its own retirement and institute nothing that the young Church will not be able to carry, eventually.” It is in this sense that Haley speaks of “the mission temporary – the church permanent.” Haley was convinced of the role of the Holy Spirit in developing leadership capacity in any new believer, regardless of racial or cultural background. From his own experience as a Free Methodist church planter in Saskatchewan, he had reflected on the role of the missionary in relation to the development of self-propagating local congregations. Haley believed that “such a system will work on mission fields, even among peoples of a subsistence economy. Let them build their church buildings and schools when they feel the need, according to their own economy.” Regarding financial matters Haley focused on his concern for the development of selfsustaining Christian community – at the level that the local economy could support.



Speakers | JOHN VLAINIC & AMY CASWELL BRATTON As communicators of the unchanging good news about the grace of God shown most clearly in Jesus Christ, we often find ourselves among people who yearn for simplistic answers to far-reaching and previously unimagined questions. In our own desire to give comfort in an uncomfortable world and/or in our discomfort about things that aren’t the way they should be, we may be tempted to give less than the whole counsel of God. In the “comfort” scenario, we may dull the edge of truth. Our fear and frustration may cause us to give truth without grace. Providing people with helpful teaching that isn’t more complicated than necessary requires careful, multi-dimensional reflection. While we need to be as straight-forward (“simple”) as possible, we cannot afford to be “simplistic.” Wesleyans are committed to The Person who “dwelt among us full of grace and truth.” We come to the task of theology as people with warm hearts and cool heads. In the 2013 lectures and workshops, our underlying question is going to be: “How do Wesleyans do theology?” Visit the website for registration information>> Events

He felt that “to fail to give the young Church a sound, workable plan could keep it in economic bondage to the mission indefinitely.” In his case in Burundi, “the mission had definitely stated that it would neither give nor loan money for the salaries of the Pastor-Teachers. They were the responsibility of the Church.” In fact, Haley felt it almost impossible for a missionary to ‘dispense’ funds to national pastors without the ‘master-servant’ image arising – “a relationship entirely foreign to an equal brotherhood.” Haley’s goal was that the missionary’s initial role as evangelist should be soon replaced by discipled and trained national leadership, who would continue the ongoing development of the work, while the missionary moved on to another “unreached” location. The intention was thus to minimize the Western missionary’s economic and social impact upon the local context. Throughout his missionary career Haley was firmly rooted in the Wesleyan/Free Methodist world of theology and practice. He was noted by colleagues as grace-filled and disciplined in his spiritual life. He exhibited a certain catholicity of spirit in the breadth of his appreciation for Christian traditions far afield of his own. The exercise of Christian ministry naturally overflowed in wholistic concern for the social, educational and medical needs of the people among whom his family lived. His continual emphasis on allowing the Holy Spirit to empower the whole priesthood of believers places Haley firmly within a Wesleyan expression. It was this combination of theology, personal integrity and reflective mission practice that placed Haley in the forefront of his peers at the time and still speaks to us today. [Installment 4] Dan Sheffield is the Director of Global and Intercultural Ministries for The Free Methodist Church in Canada |

M O S A I C 12

Global Ministries thinking globally, working locally

Dan Sheffield Director of Global and Intercultural Ministries


SRI LANKA [Picture above] Lana Abbott, Northview FMC - Regina with children at Family Camp in Sri Lanka

GHANA [Picture on left] Barrie FMC leadership building partnership with Ghana Free Methodist Leaders


ver the past decade increasing numbers of Free Methodist churches across Canada have been asking this question: What is the Holy Spirit saying to us about international ministry? In just the past several months I have had specific conversations exploring global ministry involvement with leadership at Pine Grove FMC (just north of Kingston, ON), Sault Ste Marie FMC, Chapel Ridge FMC (Kanata, ON), Barrie FMC, Asbury FMC (Perth, ON) and First FMC (Moose Jaw, SK).

leadership “from the start.” This ministry was birthed in discerning prayer and listening for the direction of the Holy Spirit. The challenging environment – heat, sand, multiple languages, cultures and religious systems, community-devastating drought, flooding and ongoing military action in the region – requires churches committed to encouraging the Wrights in their ministry and advancing the work through prayer.

Calgary, Dryden, Moose Jaw and Regina, have been instrumental in helping provide training for national pastors, conducting training for Christian education and children’s ministries workers, building homes for tsunami victims and purchasing property for worship centres. Sponsoring children through ICCM has also contributed to meeting real needs of pastoral families in this hostile anti-Christian environment.

The interesting thing about global ministry, as expressed by many of our churches across the country, is that none of it looks the same. The Holy Spirit guides and empowers creatively, uniquely. If we are listening to discern what the Spirit is saying we will hear God’s heart for lives transformed through meeting Jesus. And we join in with God’s purposes through both words of witness and wholistic actions – ministry to mind, body and soul.

The Free Methodist Church in Canada was asked to provide ecclesiastical oversight for the Ghana Mission District. More church partners for this growing work in Ghana would be welcomed! In the Dominican Republic, numerous Canadian Free Methodist churches are involved in many communities working alongside national Free Methodist pastors and congregations. Things like helping train Christian education workers in local churches; making sure children have access to food, clothing and schooling; building church facilities in new communities that birth thriving congregations – or just coming alongside struggling pastors and churches, encouraging them and praying with them. None of this work is coordinated from our National Ministry Centre – it is birthed in local congregations across Canada, who are listening to what the Spirit is saying to them. In Niger, in West Africa, more than 35 Canadian Free Methodist churches are connected to the pioneer church planting work of David and Jennifer Wright. Ministry in this Muslim-majority country has been the responsibility of the Canadian FMC as part of our Gateway Cities Initiative. Today there is one Free Methodist church and one church plant in development. The Wright’s goal is to train and develop national

The interesting thing about global ministry, as expressed by many of our churches across the country, is that none of it looks the same. The Holy Spirit guides and empowers creatively, uniquely.

BAPTISM IN THE NIGER RIVER: Pastor Soter baptizing two young members of the first Free Methodist congregation in Niamey.

Leadership at Barrie FMC have been listening to the Holy Spirit about their global engagement in Ghana for more than eight years. This has led them to come alongside a growing ministry community of national pastors and churches. In February this year, four ministerial candidates were ordained, more than doubling the number of trained and capable pastors in the FMC Ghana. That is the outcome of years of involvement and listening to the Holy Spirit speaking through the vision of Ghanaian leaders. Because of Barrie FMC’s persistent ministry trips and encouragement of national leaders in Ghana, The Free Methodist Church in Canada was asked to provide ecclesiastical oversight for the Ghana Mission District. More church partners for this growing work in Ghana would be welcomed! This summer in Sri Lanka we will celebrate 10 years of FMC ministry. Mississauga Tamil FMC and Wesley Chapel in Toronto were the two churches involved from the beginning in initiating ministry at the prompting of the Holy Spirit. The Sri Lanka Mission District is a growing collection of pastors and churches doing ministry in very challenging situations. The devastating civil war in Sri Lanka, pitting majority Sinhala people against minority Tamil people, has been the backdrop to ministry through all these years. Ministry teams from Toronto-area churches, as well as

Many of our churches across the country also partner with specific workers in specific countries as part of their listening to the direction of the Holy Spirit. More than 30 churches are specifically partnered with Debbie Hogeboom as she works in leadership development alongside the General Conference in Kenya. Several churches have aided in costs and building teams for Springs of Hope Bible College in Eldoret where Debbie lives and works. Linda Stryker continues to provide liaison for the FMC in Congo as it deals with the ongoing effects of inter-tribal/political warfare. Linda is also working with immigrant settlement services in Florida as she moves towards her retirement in October 2014. I, Dan Sheffield, am likewise supported by a group of about 30 churches who join with me in my role as Director of Global Ministries, as I work with national leadership in Ghana, Sri Lanka and Niger and with Canadian missionaries, short-term workers and church ministry teams. I have only touched briefly on some of the largest commitments that our Canadian churches are involved with. Other churches are involved in ministry in Haiti, Malawi, Romania, Brazil, Costa Rica, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, etc. The Free Methodist Church is located in more than 80 countries internationally, so if your church is listening to the Holy Spirit about global ministry – there are lots of opportunities to consider. Dan Sheffield is the Director of Global and Intercultural Ministries for The Free Methodist Church in Canada

Visit Dan’s blog Culture and the Mission

Summer 2013