The Free Methodist Church in Canada | W inter 2011 | Volume 7 Issue 4
Reflecting the diversity of ministry expression within the Free Methodist family
CONTENT WHY READING TIMOTHY’S MAIL COVER Why reading Timothy’s mail is a good idea by Bishop Keith Elford
PAGE 2 Editor’s Desk The Care and Feeding of the Common Household Pastor by Jared Siebert
PAGE 3 Sabbaticals From Health, For Health by Kim Henderson
PAGES 4 & 5 Pastor Joe’s No Good, So Sad, Very Bad Day by Wendy Kittlitz Dancing with Burnout by Jay Mowchenko One of my Favourite Summers! by Terry Gibson
PAGE 6 Passages Live Generously Generously Poured Out by Sandy Crozier FM Numbers
PAGE 7 General Conference Update by Chris Lewis International Child Care Ministries
PAGE 8 Faithful and Obedient To God Haiti Moves forward Canadians Free Methodists move alongside by Grant Sigsworth
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IS A GOOD IDEA | BISHOP KEITH ELFORD
f you are a lay person, you may be tempted to set aside this edition of the MOSAIC because pastoral health is not relevant to your life. Actually, it is very important for you to prayerfully consider because you, along with the other members of your congregation, can play an important role in encouraging your pastor to maintain and model practices of healthy living before your congregation and in the community. In fact, what is being discussed is relevant to every believer. So please take the time to work your way through the articles and think about how you (especially if you are a board member) can be used by the Lord Jesus to play a crucial role in encouraging your pastor to be wholesome and healthy. For my contribution on the topic, I decided to turn to the Apostle Paul, a spiritual leader for whom I have high admiration and deep respect. As you read the letters he wrote to individuals and to churches in our New Testament, you find a person who was radically committed to the Lord Jesus and ready with energy and authenticity to engage with whatever life brought his way. When circumstances required it, it was not a problem for him to minister bi-vocationally and make tents. When churches sent support his way, he was deeply grateful and expressed his appreciation to them without a sniff of entitlement. He was a person who could write, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11b-13
And we know from what he wrote in his second letter to the Corinthians that there was nothing hollow about his claim. As a Christian leader, he had learned the disciplines of appropriate self-care so that whatever his situation, he was able to persevere with optimism. (I am not suggesting that the Apostle Paul was never discouraged or never battled with self-doubt or depression, but in order to have the following testimony, he really understood something about being alert to healthy practices that fulfill the third point of Jesus’ Great Commandment - “to love ourselves.”) Here’s how Paul described how life was for him in his ministry. You feel his emotional toughness, spiritual resilience, and grace-based optimism. One might question his basis for “commending himself in every way,” but once you read the summary of his experiences, any concern about that dissolves. He writes: “Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not
“2 Timothy” - Sixty-Six Clouds: Visualizing Word Frequency in the Bible [www.66clouds.com]
killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:4-10
... if we run from hardship or in our suffering, look for comfort in unhealthy places, our morals will weaken and we will make unhealthy choices. As one reads this (and we get details on some of these events when we read the book of Acts), we see that a healthy understanding of suffering (and how to take it in stride) is essential to the health of any spiritual leader. I read recently that the late Dr. Martin Luther King said that only when the cross of difficulty and tension is picked up and carried so that its weight, mark and pressure are all felt in the soul, is it possible to find that most excellent way which comes through suffering. “Christianity,” he said, “has always insisted that the cross we bear precedes the crown we wear.” Over my years as a pastor, I have found it helpful to imagine myself in a place as an understudy of Paul and to read the two letters that he wrote to Timothy. He has
some important things to say about the place of prayer, the work of the Spirit, and the role of the Word of God in a healthy pastor’s life. Assuming that others will write about these, I am going to pick up on some other key coachings that Paul gives in his second letter to Timothy. There is not space enough to cover them all, and so let me encourage you to join me in occasionally reading the two letters to Timothy and taking to heart what the Apostle has to say. Here goes for several of these key coachings in 2 Timothy: “Fan into flame the gift of God which is in you…” (1:6). In other words, understand who you are in Christ and step up in those areas where you are gifted! “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus… entrust what you have learned to others…endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2:1-3). • Grace is to be the defining characteristic of our lives – grace received, grace appropriated and grace given to others – especially those who don’t deserve it. • Sharing life with reliable people (especially ministry leaders) is so healthy. Healthy leaders entrust the things they have learned to other people who are reliable.
THIS ARTICLE CONTINUES ON PAGE 2 - “TIMOTHY”
EDITOR’S DESK Read the instructions Hello my name is Lisa and I am a plant killer. There, I said it. Every once in a while someone – who does not know me so well – gives me some form of vegetation to care for. I know that these gifts are always given with the best of intentions, and I am grateful, but it inevitably ends badly for me and the plant. Lately, whenever I receive a plant at the office it is almost immediately confiscated by a co-worker so that it can be tended to properly. It is discouraging to have such a terrible reputation, although I know I richly deserve it. I will invariably put the plant that requires little-to-no sunlight right in the window, or over-water the “little water required” plant – I once killed a cactus . . . still not sure how. Now I know that there are greenthumbed people out there who look at a plant at twenty paces and can give you a clear diagnosis – and clearly that is not me. But I certainly would have had a better chance of succeeding if I’d read the instructions that came with the plant. Ignoring the pesky “care instructions” card that gets tucked into the soil will have detrimental effects. The plant will eventually begin showing signs of ill-health, the leaves will start to droop, they may turn yellow and start to fall off, etc. I was thinking that we all come with “care instructions” as well. Of course the instructions are a lot more complicated than a potted plant, but ignoring them, by not finding a proper balance, can be just as harmful. Another point to keep in mind is that we are all different - we don’t all need the same things . . . you might require more sun or less water than me! So, my encouragement to us all, as we begin this New Year, is to find that healthy balance in all areas of life (family, ministry, work, play, etc.) and follow the “care instructions” carefully. Lisa Howden, Managing Editor
THE CARE AND FEEDING OF THE COMMON HOUSEHOLD PASTOR
t is a commonly held understanding that healthy pastors can positively influence the health of churches. It also stands to reason that a healthy church can also positively influence the health of a pastor. While self-care is essential to pastoral health, churches can also play a significant role in the life of their pastor. What follows here are four essentials in creating a healthy environment for pastors. Rest While this may seem obvious it is amazing how few pastors actually take a day off once a week. This is clearly commanded in scripture and is designed for their benefit. Churches can assist the pastor by developing a policy around which day the pastor intends to be his or her Sabbath and then making it clear to the congregation and the pastor that they are to respect that as a day of rest. We also strongly suggest that churches provide for a pastoral sabbatical once every five years. Sabbaticals are vital to the ongoing development and health of our pastors. They provide them the opportunity to explore new perspectives on church, recharge their batteries, and develop new skills. Learning Opportunities Churches should budget for and create schedule space to allow pastors to pursue learning opportunities. Conferences and seminars can provide very important training and resources that directly benefit pastors and local churches. As a denomination we are committed to seeing
pastors become life-long learners. Conflict Resolution Boards should develop policies and guidelines around dealing with conflict in the church. Not all conflicts can and should be handled by the pastor. Specific plans should be created around handling criticism directed at the pastor. Boards should also seek out group training and resources in conflict resolution. A strong board with good policies and proper training is vital to protecting and preserving a pastor’s emotional and spiritual health. Realistic Job Description and Evaluations Boards and churches are expected to develop realistic job descriptions and evaluation processes for their pastors. A clear and reasonable job description that is based on the unique skill set of the pastor can go a long way in preventing burnout and contributing to their development. Churches that follow these four simple guidelines make a significant contribution to sustained and effective ministry in our denomination.
continued from cover
Unhealthy leaders find themselves out of touch and cowering in caves like Elijah, feeling like they alone are the faithful ones (I Kings 19). Healthy leaders keep asking God to show them the potential in others and then they act to pour into their lives and entrust opportunities and responsibilities to them.
Even more importantly, if we run from hardship or in our suffering, look for comfort in unhealthy places, our morals will weaken and we will make unhealthy choices. King David (whom we all admire) set in motion a whole series of tragic family circumstances when he opted out of being with his soldiers in battle, stayed behind in Jerusalem, and got involved with Bathsheba. The story starts in 2 Samuel 11, but we need to keep reading on into the following chapters to see the fall-out from his lack of discipline in a time of hardship. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more
Rev. Jared Siebert is the Director of Church Development for The Free Methodist Church in Canada
not be every healthy pastor’s primary gifting, but it definitely must be part of “discharging all the duties of one’s ministry.” Quite apart from the importance of the mission of God in the world to see people reached with the gospel, there is nothing like the joy of seeing people come into personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. And, there is no source of encouragement that equals the enthusiasm and zeal of new believers.
“Endure hardship as a good soldier” (2:3). I haven’t done any military service, but I have played sports, and every athlete learns the importance of taking hardship in stride with a healthy attitude. In life in general, but especially in ministry, this is key to our morale and our morals. If we healthily embrace various forms of hardship as being normal in the Christian life, our morale will readily bounce back after set-backs. It doesn’t mean that we will never be discouraged, but it does mean that we will not stay there for very long.
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As he finishes his second letter to Timothy, it is clear that Paul realizes that he is going to die soon. He paints for Timothy a picture of the ultimate victory that he lives with as he comes to the finish of his ministry. Why does he do this? I think Paul wants Timothy to make a sober commitment to embed healthy practices in his life so that he finishes his ministry well. “Apostle Paul writes in prison”
ungodly…Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.” (2:15, 16, 23) Healthy pastors keep focused on their ministry and they don’t let themselves be distracted by trivia. They don’t take the bait of those who want to pull them into pointless debates. Admittedly, this takes discipline and healthy pastors find sources of accountability to maintain a joyful, disciplined life that focuses on presenting to God the best work they can do. Unhealthy leaders fuss and worry about things that really don’t matter … and that don’t advance the kingdom. Such traps drain them of their energy, rob them of their time, and leave them with little in their hands to present to their Lord. Naturally, discouragement and cynicism aren’t far away when one is thus depleted.
“But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” (4:5). Of course, with experience, a pastor learns how to do each of these coachings with greater excellence and maturity. I’ve already commented on the importance of a healthy view of suffering, and so I would like to say a few words about the other pieces of advice in this verse. • Keep your head in all situations… Healthy people, and especially leaders, are alert and thinking about what’s going on around them and within them as well. Of course, there will be times when they over or under react in a situation and it becomes evident that they were not paying attention. This doesn’t have to be the end of the world, but rather a time for growing in self-awareness and for developing the alertness of maturity and wisdom. • Do the work of an evangelist… This may
Paul is not bragging when he writes the following. Without saying as much, he is telling Timothy that there is a way to live life in ministry so that when you near the end of your life, here’s what you see: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (4:7-8) It is possible to live a rich and meaningful life as a pastor, but this doesn’t happen without paying attention and taking healthy responsibility for appropriate self-care. The Apostle Paul is my hero and I’m glad that Timothy’s mail from him is available for me to read. Have a look at it from time to time; it will help you. Rev. Keith Elford is the Bishop of The Free Methodist Church in Canada
SABBATICALS – FROM HEALTH, FOR HEALTH
he FMCiC encourages pastors to practice appropriate self-care in all areas of health: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. There are many ways that we can support our pastors in this: •
taking a true weekly Sabbath
allowing time for personal retreat (eg. one day a month)
providing for a reading week(s)
granting a sabbatical
A sabbatical is one of the many tools in the ‘toolbox’ that we can use to maintain and improve pastoral health. A true sabbatical operates from the perspective of “from health, for health.” One of the first questions asked is Why? Why pastors when so many other professions and vocations don’t have sabbaticals? I recently spent time with my niece (who is twenty) and over the course of our conversations I shared that I was writing an article on sabbaticals. As I explained what a sabbatical was, her first question was ‘why?’ This was my response. Pastors are men and women who are called of God to lead God’s people and they do that under a lot of expectations. Expectations that they will be able to administrate, supervise, counsel, pray, trouble-shoot, budget, get the sound system to work, plan mission projects, resolve conflict, preach, study, be involved in community, manage staff, meditate, study, plan yet be flexible, be a collaborative leader and be model spouses and parents. Even the pastors who are really good at setting boundaries and managing time struggle to find ways to turn the switch from ‘on’ to ‘off ’ for just a little while so that they can recharge and be renewed. If that release valve isn’t found, the stress continues to build. Sometimes there is financial stress as well. So while there are lots of reasons to answer the ‘why’ question about sabbaticals, the main one is the need for a healthy opportunity available to pastors to relieve the building stress. “More and more Christian leaders run out of gas before they see the finish line. The way we do ministry is often not sustainable – spiritually, emotionally and even physically! Our first step towards better practices occurs when we arrive at a core assumption – self-care is not selfish. Each leader must build avenues of renewal to sustain the spiritual, emotional and physical health to make it over the long haul.” Norm Grube The Bible does provide a perspective on renewal. There is a work/rest design that is evident in Scripture. Both ‘work’ and ‘rest’ are good, four-letter words! (Genesis 1&2; Exodus 20:8-11; Leviticus 23:3; Leviticus 25:4-6)
In the New Testament at least two examples exist to help us see the pattern (although we don’t often read them with renewal in mind). After thirty years of living, and just before entering the most demanding and stressful time of His life, Jesus spent forty days alone to fast, pray and reflect. Also, the Apostle Paul, after his conversion and early ministry, spent time in the ‘desert’ in his home area before Barnabas sought him out for his ‘life’s work’ (Acts 11:25). While neither of these examples could be called a sabbatical in any sense of the word, they do illustrate a point: An investment in reflection and renewal serves to enhance ministry. If we are really interested in the work of the Kingdom, perhaps we should give the examples some serious thought. What is a sabbatical? This quote comes close to addressing the heart of a sabbatical: ‘…a time to relearn and rehearse that critical capacity to reflect, which transforms dreams of vacation to new visions of vocations.” – David Ellingson A sabbatical is not vacation. It is rest, yes, but should involve a plan, goals and accountability. It’s not academic leave, although there may be learning of some sort during a sabbatical. It’s not an escape – if things are that bad then a renewal leave won’t solve the troubles.
At the last General Conference, these guidelines were approved to help pastors and churches draft a sabbatical policy: The following policy principles are given to local churches as guidance for setting up sabbatical entitlements. An official board is free to grant more sabbatical time than is suggested below. A sabbatical may be granted to full-time pastoral staff members of ___ Free Methodist Church for the pursuit of activities as approved by the Official Board, who may seek advice and direction from the Director of Personnel. The following understandings will apply: 1.
The intent of a sabbatical is to enable the staff member, upon his/her return, to enhance his/her service to that church.
Sabbaticals may be granted by the Official Board of the local church for up to three (3) months after every five consecutive years of fulltime ministry by a staff person at the same church. Sabbaticals for part time staff need to be considered on a pro-rated basis (up to 6 weeks sabbatical time for a half time staff member).
When a pastor applies to the Official Board for a sabbatical, a detailed proposal outlining the goals and activities of the sabbatical, must be presented to the Official Board with the application. Applications must be presented six months prior to requested sabbatical.
Each staff member may apply vacation time earned to extend his/her sabbatical up to a maximum of one month.
Full salary and benefits will be paid during the sabbatical, upon approval of the sabbatical application by the Official Board.
Upon returning, the staff member taking a sabbatical will give a report to the Official Board on what was achieved during their time.
All requests for sabbaticals by pastors and the resulting decision of the Official Board shall be filed with the Director of Personnel.
Upon completion of the sabbatical, the staff member is required to serve one year at the church. Pastors failing to complete this minimum requirement may be required by the local church to pay back half of the salary received during the sabbatical.
There is a link, a correlation, between pastors and churches, which is identified in the first guideline. A pastor who is renewed and refreshed should bring that fresh wind and fresh fire into the local church. That is a very good thing! There is more information on sabbaticals, including ideas for planning, available on the website at http://www. fmcic.ca/en/leadership-development/pastoral-resources/ sabbaticals. The more lead time there is in planning, the better as there are financial considerations to take into account. While the finances can be challenging, they can be overcome. From health, for health. If you would like some assistance in planning a sabbatical, or just having a starter conversation, please give me a call. Components There should be a plan, a goal and accountability. The 8 R’s are good to keep in
mind: relax, recreation, rest, renewal, revival, rethinking, refocusing, return. Education can be a part of the plan as there needs to be a time of gearing up for return and re-entry into ministry.
What is a sabbatical? “A time to relearn and rehearse that critical capacity to reflect, which transforms dreams of vacation to new visions of vocations.” Planning: the more lead time, the better i. time frame, frequency, and when the sabbatical is to be taken during the year (summer has its attractions – and also can be a time that is less stressful for the church to consider as well) ii. costs: salary and benefits should continue. The more lead time given allows for financial planning – i.e. how much needs to be set aside per week to cover anticipated extra costs during the pastor’s sabbatical iii. life goes on: preaching, appropriate visitation, contact people, direction for ministry, deploying leadership a. retired pastors as interim b. seminary/Bible college students c. partnering with another church d. training of identified rising leaders within the congregation iv. congregational involvement: plan for rest and growth for all (i.e. studying a book in small groups) v. accountability: a check-in with a spiritual advisor for the pastor vi. family: ideas for family renewal vii. feedback: an opportunity for both church and pastor to share the experience and what has been learned viii. communication: with the congregation and leadership, prior to the sabbatical (bulletin, announcements) and possibly during the sabbatical For example, a sabbatical plan could look like: 3 months: May 31st to August 31st Goals: rest, spiritual renewal, explore one new spiritual discipline, strengthen family relationships Activities: reading (4 new books); prayer, practicing solitude as a spiritual discipline, visiting other churches, rest, exercise, spending quality time with each family member, attending a 3 –day conference, completing the work for a course Accountability: reporting back to the board and congregation and two check-ins with a spiritual mentor Sabbatical Application Please refer to the Sabbatical Guidelines prepared by NMEGaP for pastors in the FMCiC. THIS ARTICLE CONTINUES ON PAGE 7 “FROM HEALTH, FOR HEALTH”
PASTOR JOE’S NO GOOD, SO SAD, VERY BAD DAY Pastor Joe sat listlessly in his office all morning, grateful for his administrative assistant who had agreed to hold all of his calls and give him privacy for sermon preparation. As he glanced at the clock, he realized that he had done little but stare off into space for the past three hours. He felt drained, discouraged, numb, and frankly, exhausted, even though he had not expended any energy at all. The thought of having to preach on Sunday made him feel almost panicky and he wanted nothing more than to run away and hide. Pastor Joe is well on his way to burnout. Ministry, for him, has become painful, tiring and draining. He is not sure how he got here, but he is even less sure of what to do next. He contemplates leaving the ministry, as he has begun to question why he ever felt called to be a pastor anyway. How did he get here?
Pastor Joe may have arrived at the brink of burnout for several reasons: Work factors While ministry can be very rewarding and stimulating, especially when people seem to be growing and churches are thriving, there are times when a leader feels little control over what they are doing. They may be lacking in encouragement or positive feedback. They may have ministry expectations that are unclear or overwhelming. Some pastors feel driven to meet the expectations, spoken and unspoken, of many in their church. Some feel weary from doing the same thing repeatedly with apparently few results. On the other side, ministry can feel chaotic and unmanageable, creating a continual state of high pressure to perform. Lifestyle factors Some pastors just plain work too many hours, with not enough down time. They fail to observe God’s rhythm of Sabbath rest. They respond to needs of others instead of taking care of themselves. They try to meet all of the unrealistic demands heaped upon them, without setting clear and necessary boundaries to protect themselves and
their families. In fairness, they often do this out of genuine desire to serve and love people, but they fail to realize the price this will cost them in the end.
Some pastors have a high need to be in control and have difficulty delegating tasks to others or working collaboratively with a team. Some of the very qualities that make them effective leaders (high-achieving, drive to succeed, vision-casting ability), make them more susceptible to burnout if not kept in balance. Other chronic lifestyle deficiencies that pastors wrestle with are basic issues of sleep, nutrition and exercise. Another challenge is the difficulty in cultivating safe, close, supportive relationships. While the majority of pastors are happily married, spouses cannot be the only place a pastor can go for support. This places an unrealistic burden on the marriage. Pastors often report that they find it hard to find a safe place to share their personal struggles, cares and needs. Personality factors Pastors are often people with high expectations of themselves and others—perfectionism is a commonly noted trait. While pastors function much of the time as extroverts, some are truly introverts by nature, which creates a tremendous energy drain on the individual. After a long day of interacting with people, many a pastor comes home exhausted and unable to meet the needs of family, even though s/he may want to. Some pastors have a high need to be in control and have difficulty delegating tasks to others or working collaboratively with a team. Some of the very qualities that make them effective leaders (high-achieving, drive to succeed, vision-casting ability), make them more susceptible to burnout if not kept in balance. So what can Joe do now? Joe has recognized that he has many of the symptoms of burnout: feeling tired much of the time, frequent headaches and muscle pain, getting sick frequently, not sleeping well, feeling alone, like he has failed and questions his call, becoming cynical and negative, feeling unmotivated, wanting to hide, overeating, being irritable, procrastinating and just wanting to run away. Though he has had occasional, short bouts of some of these feelings before, they are now many and have lasted for quite a considerable period of time. Nothing seems to help much. His wife has even started asking if he should go see his doctor and get assessed for depression.
This is in fact a good place to start. Joe may well be clinically depressed as this is a common feature of burnout. Seeing a medical and/or a mental health professional would be an excellent first step. Joe needs to assess how he got to where he is today and that often requires help. A doctor can diagnose for depression and may recommend medication and/or a stress leave. A counsellor can objectively help Joe figure out which of the factors above have contributed to his state of burnout. Joe could call the Clergy Care Network (1-888-5-CLERGY) for a complimentary counselling consultation and referral if he is not sure where to get started on this. Joe probably needs some sort of break in routine for a period of time, depending on how severe his case is. This is almost certainly more than a weekend away. A weeklong retreat, such as Focus on the Family offers at Kerith Creek (www.kerithcreek.com) would be an excellent place to begin this break. It is likely that this will not resolve a case as serious as Joe’s, but further goals and strategies would be recommended to build on this good beginning. There are other programs and facilities in Canada that our staff can recommend as well. Joe needs to re-evaluate his goals and priorities and set some better boundaries in place to protect his physical, spiritual and emotional needs. What has truly energized him about ministry in the past? Is God calling him to make changes of some sort in what, where or how he does ministry? He needs to discuss these changes with his family and the leadership of the church and enlist their support not only in his health but in the health of the church and the family. Ultimately, these changes will benefit everyone if Joe makes a commitment to caring for himself well and is supported in doing so. How could Joe have avoided burnout in the first place? Joe might have prevented burnout by doing some of the following: •
Cultivate a deep personal relationship with God that is all about enjoying and loving one another. Spend time with Him often.
Work at achieving a balance between personal, family and work responsibilities
Plan and take regular time off from demands—daily, weekly, monthly, annually
Rest, eat well, sleep, do some things just for fun
Learn and teach others about unrealistic expectations; many a pastor has a job description that no one could fulfill!
Develop a few safe, supportive friendships ideally individually as well as with your spouse (always involve your spouse if these relationships are with someone of the opposite sex)
Wendy Kittlitz is the Director, Counselling and Care Ministries for Clergy Care Network
Dancing with Burnout – a journal entry sometime in the past…
so empty? How come my prayer retreats have been so BORING lately? These feel like the right questions for today. They make my heart beat faster & my soul stir. Oh God, I’m so HUNGRY for your touch. How can I get there? This feels bigger than I can answer right now – maybe I’ll ask my group . . . and life goes on . . .
“Oh no…it’s happening again!” The symptoms are back: twitching eye; frequent headaches; trouble sleeping; panic attacks; cold sweats; even the smallest decisions becoming painful ; sin starting to look good . . . I think I’m heading for burn-out again. Didn’t I learn my lesson the last time? How are my “healthy life strategies” doing? •
Suggested books to read Unmasking Male Depression – by Archibald Hart Adrenaline and Stress – by Archibald Hart Leading on Empty – by Wayne Cordeiro Emotionally Healthy Spirituality – by Peter Scazzero
Small group where I could really be honest & receive prayer? Check and check – two groups, and I was being real in both of them. Accountability partner? Check. Was I really telling him my deepest darkest secrets? (You know the ones I mean – about killing that staff/board member or running away to Bora Bora with the parishioner that “understands me” – don’t try and pretend you haven’t had them.) I WAS. He knew EVERYTHING.
Network meetings? Totally – a great group of people. I am honest there too – sometimes TOO honest I think.
Prayer support? I send out my newsletter faithfully every 6-8 weeks. Those folks know what I’m going through and they’re faithful…thank GOD for them! So…check.
Exercise? Check – 3 times a week. Maybe I needed to go every day?
Diet & weight under control? Check – certainly the diet can always improve, but it’s not been too bad.
Regular day off ? Half a check. Not perfect, but pretty good – I miss about one every 2 months, but usually catch up at another time.
Marital issues? Not really . . . we’re busy, but things are good. At least from MY end they are . . .
Kids? Check. Doing great. Not even any stress there.
Diet, rest, relationships, exercise . . . it’s all there. So why the struggle? The last time I headed down this road, I had very few of these things working as well as they are now. And I certainly don’t want to go to the end of that road again – medical leave and ministry transition. I know that I’m the one responsible for my own health, so I better get this thing straightened out. I remember that comedian who asked, “Who cares less about your problems that you do? . . . . EVERYBODY!” This is MY deal to take care of, not someone else’s. The weird thing is, things are going WELL. Last time, I was struggling and the church was not doing well. This time looks SO different. How can I be burnt out when I’m seeing RESULTS like never before? Hmmm….well, let me look at my schedule. Scanning my journal, I see that over the past 12 months, each month has had at least 2 MAJOR “happenings” – stressful, exciting, change-filled events in one area of my life or
Rev. Jay Mowchenko is the Lead Pastor at Weyburn Free Methodist Church in Weyburn, SK
another. It’s not all about the church – my personal life has had some “happenings” too.
One of My Favourite Summers!
Thought: Even when things are going well and you’re working all the angles, life and ministry take their toll. Sometimes you just need to “gear down” for a season, despite the pressure to keep the RPM’s up there.
The Board members acted on the principle that leadership is action, not position.
However, I’ve been TRYING to do that. The demands keep coming, the needs keep growing, and even when I’m “off ”, they’re still there. And come to think of it, most of those tasks aren’t things that get me fired up – it’s WORK and I’m not all that good at some of them. Yet I’m the only one who can do it – really. These are “Senior Pastor” things. So quite often these days, I “suck it up” and do the job. So - is this just a busy season that will wind down eventually? Have I got enough “gas” to get through this season? How long do I think it will last? Is it realistic to think things will slow down eventually? I need to be honest: these things aren’t going away. This has been ongoing for over a year, and as things grow, so will the load. I’m pretty sure I need something different. At the very least, I need to get some more joy out the grind. Question: What can I do to be inspired in my ministry these days? But is that enough? Will just finding more fun and fulfilling things to do make enough of a difference? Will that make the twitching go away? I think it’ll help, but this feels deeper than that . . .
Why? During the summer of 2009 ( June – August; 13 weeks to be exact), we enjoyed a sabbatical. What a treat! I have been in the ministry since 1983 and I have never had an opportunity like this before. The church we are serving at is just shy of 100 years old and it has never provided a sabbatical before. So we were charting some new waters together. Since this was new to all involved, we started planning almost a year before we were going to have the sabbatical. We did the best we could to talk about it often and to provide some education on the reasons for a sabbatical. We talked at the Board level and to the Congregation. There were concerns; some thought we could be selling our house; some thought we would be moving on. But we assured people that we were not leaving, but just changing things up for a “season”. Most of us have heard that a change is as good as a rest. Well, this was true for us! The assurance was given to those that had concerns that nothing was wrong, that we were just changing the pace for a time. We approached the Sabbatical “from health for health.” In other words, there was not a crisis; we were just trying to be proactive.
Follow-up Question: Come to think of it, where am I getting “life” these days, anyways? How am I “filling my tank”?
As a Pastor I do have a few goals in life and some of those goals revolve around finishing well and with a sweet spirit. Also, I would be delighted that when all is said and done, that my children love Jesus and His Church!
Hmmm….That’s not a comfortable question. I’m watching a lot of movies, playing some video games, hanging with friends, and I’m eating a little more junk food than I like. My wife and I haven’t had a lot of fun together recently, but I think that even if we had opportunity, I probably wouldn’t be that much fun to be around. It feels like there’s just something missing…
Since this was my first Sabbatical, I really wanted to get the most out of it. And I believed for me to get the most out of it, it would need to be a “win, win, win” for all involved. My prayer from the start was that it would be good for the congregation, good for Trevor (Associate Pastor) and good for me. I believe my prayers were answered; our numbers were
Hey! Where’s God in all this? When’s the last time I really “connected”? When did my prayer time become
THIS ARTICLE CONTINUES ON PAGE 7 - “SABBATICALS”
PASSAGES Appointments Jacki Barbour – Associate Pastor of Small Groups at Lakeview Free Methodist Church, Saskatoon, SK, effective November 3, 2010. Paul Carew – Assistant Pastor, The Freeway Free Methodist Church, Oshawa, ON, effective November 9, 2010. Adrian Collins – Pastor, St Joseph Island FMC, Hilton Beach, Ontario effective November 26, 2010. Liisa Farrugia – Assistant Pastor, Freedom Christian Community, Brantford, ON, effective October 6, 2010. Shonu Ghosh – Pastor, Mainstreet Community Church, Kelowna, BC, effective November 20, 2010. Munetoshi Hatsusegawa – Assistant Pastor, Wesley Chapel Japanese FMC, Toronto, ON, effective November 3, 2010. Dyan Mouland – Director of Arlington Beach Camps and Conference Centre, effective November 3, 2010. David Ryttersgaard – Pastor, Surrey FMC, Surrey, BC, effective December 1, 2010
Change of Status Gary Walsh – Retired as of December 3, 2010
Ministerial Candidates Approved Adrian Collins – Pastor, St Joseph Island FMC, Hilton Beach, ON, November 22, 2010 Raymond Leung -Youth Pastor, Richmond Hill FMC, Richmond Hill, ON, November 22, 2010.
GENEROUSLY POURED OUT
s people who are called to ministry to serve and give, pastors and churches sometimes forget to steward their own health, time, talents and resources. This leads to an unbalanced and unhealthy life. Churches and pastors need to partner together to help each other be healthy. As we partner together – in the Spirit – we will form the healthy communities of faith that graciously help each other steward everything that God has given us – including our Time, Talents and Treasures. This partnership (like the marriage partnership) requires that each of us pour out 110% - not just 50/50. Following the model of Jesus would lead us to invest everything we are and everything have - at just the right time, in just the right place, in just the right way. Romans 5:6
Both the church and the pastor need to partner together to work out a healthy balance in the use of everyone’s time.
Nancy Luross - Children’s Ministry Director, Lakeview FMC, Saskatoon, SK, December 3, 2010
Ordination approved and service scheduled Aaron James – February 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm at Blue Mountain Community Church, Thornbury, ON
Churches in transition Arlington Woods FMC, Ottawa, ON Asbury FMC, Perth, ON Avonlea FMC, Avonlea, SK Barrie FMC, Barrie, ON Bramalea FMC, Brampton, ON Charlemont FMC, Wallaceburg, ON Eyebrow FMC, Eyebrow, SK First FMC, Moose Jaw, SK Harrowsmith FMC, Harrowsmith, ON Pine Grove Community, Seeleys Bay, ON Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, ON Trulls Road FMC, Courtice, ON Vennachar FMC, Cloyne, ON Westport FMC, Westport, ON
FM Numbers Report on Core and individual Giving Streams numbers as of the end of November 2010 Global Missions Church Developement
Let’s look at how this might look like in the stewardship of our churches. Stewardship of our Time Time is not our own. It is given to us by God. When we try to control time (which we cannot), we create unrealistic expectations, deadlines, frustration, overwork and burnout. For many, stewarding time is a greater issue than stewarding money – for we can never make more time. Our responsibility is to wisely use the time God has given. In looking after our pastors, are we allowing them the time to take their own Sabbath rest apart from preaching on Sundays? Do we allow them the time to build their relationships with their own families and not just the church family? Both the church and the pastor need to partner together to work out a healthy balance in the use of everyone’s time. Perhaps we could creatively free up one night a week where everyone is free from ministry, meetings, programs or events to spend time with our own families. What would that look like in your church? And in your home? Stewardship of our Talents Our temperaments, talents and abilities are also gifts from God. But every temperament and talent comes with a set of natural strengths and natural weaknesses. This is why being part of the body is so important. It is where – with God’s help – we exercise the fruit of the Spirit to maximize each other’s natural strengths while not being at the mercy of our own natural weaknesses.
Leadership Developement $16,944 Quebec Ministries Core
In helping our pastors be healthy through stewarding talents, we have to help each other find the balance between
rejoicing in the skills God has given us and having peace about the skills we lack. This means that when we have to work in any area outside our ‘gifting’, we take time to understand how God has wired each of us differently and partner with those around us to steward our talents wisely. This will involve extending grace to each other – especially when we are operating in an area that does not come naturally to us. But that is what the body of Christ is for – isn’t it? This is how we live out being devoted to one another in love. Honouring each other above ourselves. Romans 12:10 Stewardship of Treasures Now the area of stewardship of our treasures probably gets the most attention in any discussions of stewardship. It is probably because money and possessions have the greatest hold on our hearts. God’s design for the church is that we generously participate in fulfilling His mission for our communities including the poor and those in need of God’s grace, love, forgiveness and restoration throughout the world. Your pastor is sent to equip you to do the good works that God has prepared in advance for you to do. Part of this includes helping you be generous in all areas – with your time, with your love, with your forgiveness, with your hospitality, and with your money. Generosity is then used by God to transform our hearts by rooting out selfishness. Generous stewardship is how both pastors and churches are to live out our faith as we cooperate with God in His mission. Take a moment and imagine the full impact of such a partnership – pastor, church and God – all pouring themselves into God’s mission of reconciliation – in just the right way, at just the right time! Got that picture in your heads? Great! Now pour yourself into it – generously! And let us know how it goes! Mrs. Sandy Crozier is the Stewardship Development Director for The Free Methodist Church in Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org
- continued from page 8
from Belleville Centennial. After carefully assessing needs and priorities during 2010, other BRF allocations have included: • $30,000 for a new school in Morne a Bateau, near Guerin, where both the FM church and school crumbled in the quake. BRF funds are purchasing a substantial building in which to house one of Haiti FMC’s few schools covering both primary and secondary grades. • about $5,000 for repairs to the Morne a Bateau building, using paid Haitian labour entirely. • $15,000 to purchase over 200 tents as temporary shelter for displaced families. • $10,000 for repairs to homes of about 20 FM pastors in the affected area. Many were forced to cope with family injuries or collapsed/damaged homes, while also ministering to parishioners.
$5,000 for early support of missionary Rick Ireland who was rushed to Haiti after the quake to apply his administrative and budgeting expertise for handling overseas donations. Rick also is helping fill the ministry vacancy left by severe injuries to missionary Jack Munos and the death of his wife Jeanne in the quake.
Above all, faithfulness in PRAYER should remain the cornerstone of our obedient response to the Lord as we hear of Haiti’s needs. To help focus your prayers, there are suggestions online at http://fmc-canada.org/images/stories/haiti/ documents/prayer%20for%20haiti%20guide.pdf. Mr. Grant Sigsworth is the Help Haiti Heal Coordinator for The Free Methodist Church in Canada
FROM HEALTH TO HEALTH
GENERAL CONFERENCE UPDATE
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3
e’d better get on with it – strip down, start running, ever quit - eyes fixed on Jesus! With the General Conference just a few short months away the anticipation is growing for the time when we will gather as a movement to encourage one another and listen to what the Spirit is saying to His church. The General Conference Planning Committee has ramped up its efforts to take care of each aspect of this national event. It’s an exciting time as numerous study teams will be meeting in the coming weeks to investigate key areas of ministry and to prayerfully discern the way forward. We look forward to hearing the results of these meetings, as their findings in key areas of study will help to shape our movement for the coming years. As the conference approaches delegates are encouraged to make their travel arrangements as soon as possible. To book your hotel room please visit the following website: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/yyzot-torontoairport-marriott-hotel/ and use the Group Code “frefrea” to receive the special conference rate. [This link is available in the “General Conference” section of our website www. fmcic.ca]
The application to the board for a sabbatical should include:
General Conference please don’t hesitate to contact me either via email at email@example.com or call 416.994.8960.
Upcoming items on the delegate Timeline January 31
Delegate credentials are due.
Finally, we are still looking for a few individual and corporate partners to come alongside the event, so if you are interested please contact me directly and we can discuss how your generosity can best be utilized to ensure the success of General Conference.
General Conference Resolutions are due.
Travel Equalization payments due
All Reports received from Study Teams and affiliate ministries.
Resolutions are posted on website.
In a country where there are 1.1 billion people; of which 80% are Hindu, it might make you question, how can God’s spirit be working here? As I spent 17 days traveling across India, I experienced our ministries within ICCM and our Free Methodist churches in the cities of Bangalore, Gunter, Hyderabad, Yavatmal and surrounding areas. The children in our hostels are being drawn closer to God; building deeper relationships with their Saviour and sharing Him with others. Pastors’ children are witnessing their families’ commitment with our FM churches, while faithfully serving out God’s purpose in their home country. Our Free Methodist Bishops, superintendents and pastors have been given visions of transforming a nation for the next generations. God showed me time and time again the faithfulness of his people who are carrying their cross daily; whether a pastor who is being persecuted by his village for preaching the gospel yet continues to share openly, or the semi-orphaned child who, though a recent convert, stands firm in God when he is back in his Hindu home and begins to show the love of Jesus to his family; or the young girl who loves to sing English Hillsong songs and sees the opportunity to teach the children in her building those worship songs as well. Is God working in India? Through my journey and personal experience I can tell you I have not only seen the Holy Spirit at work beyond my grandest dreams, but have witnessed lives being changed on a daily basis by Christ’s love shown through His faithful Indian servants. We are excited to see what He has in store for the future! firstname.lastname@example.org www.childcareministries.net
Plans for the sabbatical. Four purposes are suggested here: i. Rest ii. Enriching Relationships iii. Soul Enlargement/Spiritual Formation iv. Rekindling/Clarifying Vision for Ministry
Pastoral Coverage – a proposal for who looks after this should be included (i.e. depending on the lead time before the sabbatical is taken, the pastor could make plans but not be the direct contact person should the arrangements fall through)
Financial Implications - these would be beyond salary and benefits (i.e. honoraria, mileage for guest speakers), and would be a ‘guesstimate’
Monitoring progress – a decision for how much (if any) monitoring/reporting that would occur during the sabbatical time
Rev. Kim Henderson is the Director of Personnel for The Free Methodist Church in Canada
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
up and our giving was up, throughout the summer. I was very encouraged to hear and see how the Board took ownership of their ministry. It is wonderful to see leaders lead where they are. The Board members acted on the principle that leadership is action, not position.
Paula Moriarity, Director of International Child Care Ministries, returns home from India trip
Dates (start date and return to work date)
Chris Lewis, 2011 General Conference Coordinator
Along the same lines please note that the Travel Equalization payments are due by February 28, 2011.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns about
Why? Why take a sabbatical? For me there were three goals I had in mind for the sabbatical; rest, renewal and sustainability. In order to achieve these three goals I committed to the church and myself to do nine activities. Read (4 books), pray, worship, visit other churches, take time off, attend the Leadership Conference in Chicago, exercise, family time and solitude. Now, you need to know that I didn’t do all nine activities as well as I would have liked to, but there are a few I would like to highlight. While at University, where I majored in Physical Education, I exercised on a regular basis, but unfortunately it’s been a while since I really got into a regular discipline of exercising, so this was a priority for me during my sabbatical. I bought a new bike and started riding and I did a bit of weight lifting. So far I have managed to carry this on over the last year. I feel good and know that I am in much better shape than I was at the beginning of my sabbatical. “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16) This verse has taken on deeper meaning for me since the sabbatical. Another thing we set out to do was attend some different churches. We attended these different churches with one question on our mind, “Lord how do you want to speak to me?” This was about being fed, challenged and stretched. We were not going to get a new idea or to critique their services; we were there for our own soul’s sake. Some good times were spent with family, as well as extended family. We went away a couple of times with my sister and her family which was very healthy. One of the places we went together was “Sight and Sound” in Pennsylvania. Jesus said, “Find a quiet secluded place so that you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you’ll begin to sense his grace….This is your father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you, what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.” ( Matthew 6:6-8 The Message)
“Few Christians make the connection between love of self and love of others. Sadly, many believe that taking care of themselves is a sin, a ‘psychologizing’ of the gospel taken from
our self-centered culture. It is true we are called to consider others more important than ourselves (See Philippians 2:3). We are called to lay down our lives for others (see 1 John 3:16). But remember, you first need a ‘self ’ to lay down. As Parker Palmer said, ‘Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch’.” (Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero). Besides all the planning, preparing and goal setting that I worked on, with the support of my Board and the congregation, there was also a supernatural, “perfect timing” component that became very evident as the year following my Sabbatical unfolded. It was a year filled with challenges, pain and grief. My younger brother was diagnosed with cancer and lost his battle to the disease on March 24, 2010. Exactly two months after this loss, a tragic car accident claimed the life of a teenage boy in our congregation Another painful loss. One month later, my wife’s brother died suddenly of a massive heart attack. I can’t help but ask, “where would we be if it was not for the intentional self-care that took place for our family, which helped prepare us for the unimaginable year ahead.” Praise God for his perfect timing. Let me close by saying “Thank you” again for the Sabbatical. It was a very good experience for my family and me. One of the many benefits that came out of it, that I was not looking for, was a renewed sense of love from the New Hope Family. When we first started talking about the sabbatical at the church there were some fears, like, “how can we afford this”, “who will preach”, “what about Pastoral care”, just to name a few. But in the end we decided to step out in faith and make history at New Hope. As I reflect upon why it went so well for us (win, win, win) I believe it was the step of faith we took and God honoured it! “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 Try it, you’ll like it! Rev. Terry Gibson is the Lead Pastor at New Hope Methodist Church in Newmarket, ON
FAITHFUL AND OBEDIENT TO GOD | Haiti Moves Forward — Canadian FMs alongside
AITI news keeps evoking all the wrong images in our minds -- catastrophe, devastation, suffering, desperation. An immense earthquake on January 12, 2010, killed 230,000 persons and left 1.3 million homeless. Since October, news of hurricane-spawned rains drenching the homeless in encampments, a sweeping cholera epidemic, and a presidential election fraught with fraud. But get past the headlines and good news is there. God is working through His faithful and obedient servants in Haiti and overseas. Since the quake, the Free Methodist Church (FMC), along with many other international and Haitian agencies and charities, have worked passionately to bring RELIEF for emergency needs of quake victims – food, water, tents for the homeless, and also medical care including at the FM hospital in Dessalines north of the affected area. Earthquake victims’ basic needs are being met in the main, although living conditions for many Haitians remain grim and unacceptable. The Lord calls us to compassion, sacrificially helping those suffering and in need. Canadian FMs have obediently and faithfully responded to Haiti’s circumstances. That is good news! Together we are making a difference – through ministry on site in Haiti and donating generously through three channels: • • •
$91,500 via World Relief Canada (WRC), our partner in responding to emergencies globally; $91,215 via our International Child Care Ministries (ICCM); and approximately $80,000 via our Bishop’s Relief Fund (BRF).
FM contributions through WRC for Haiti relief were 13% higher than by any other denomination. Our federal Government (CIDA) matched these gifts, for a total of $183,000. In Port au Prince, World Relief has used funds for treatment of the injured at Kings Hospital and for feeding centers with local churches. The special donations for Haiti through ICCM are enabling greater assistance for school meals (Haiti Food Fund), for gifts to children in special need, and for the Haiti relief fund. The BRF has supported various important relief and recovery measures (details below). The Bishop’s Relief Fund and ICCM continue to accept designated donations for Haiti. The vibrancy of Haiti’s spiritual life is also good news. Missionary Rick Ireland wrote in August: “The Free Methodist Church in Haiti is on the move. Hundreds have come to know Christ in our churches since the earthquake, and the FM churches are discipling and growing new Christians. Every day we see God’s hand at work! It is an exciting time to be here!” Some congregations have more than doubled in size. The Haiti FMC has 90 organized churches and nearly 15,000 members. Their devout faith and staunch sense of community have been sustaining forces. During their recent visits, Ontario FM Pastors Jeff Nault, David Dyer and Glen Coates had opportunity to speak to congregations and pastors, encouraging them to remain faithful to the Lord and on fire to build his Kingdom there. It is critical to encourage and enable Haitians to lead in their nation’s RECOVERY. In February a Steering Committee, composed mostly of Haiti FMC leaders, was established during discussions with Bishop Keith Elford
A workforce of FM Canadian and Haitians cooperate in rebuilding school in Guerin. FMC Canada Help Haiti Heal Coordinator, Grant Sigsworth in top-left.
and US Bishop David Roller. This body has risen to guide the FMC’s efforts, partnering with FMCs in USA, Canada, and other countries. By mid-2010, the focus was shifting from Relief to Recovery, and Rick Ireland commented: “The Haitian people are moving forward, striving toward a new normalcy … [and] they are working to repair or rebuild many churches and schools.” Indeed, conscious efforts were made to form teams of Haitian FMs to remove the massive rubble from FM properties, and to train selected tradesmen to use improved construction methods and to serve as foremen of local teams for rebuilding. The wages paid to these workers provide both livelihood and dignity. The earthquake’s devastating aftermath also has prompted a steady flow in 2010 of North American work teams. Among them, two from Ontario in October contributed almost 175 person-days of labour to rebuild a FM school in the community of Guerin. The hope of Haiti lies in the children and their godly upbringing. All FM churches operate a primary school, and there are nine secondary schools. The ICCM program enables thousands of children to attend these schools. The Canadian teams in Guerin worked side by side with Pastor Joanel Bellune and a team of Haitians, through high heat and humidity. After an arduous 30-km daily commute (often open-air on a truck) departing before 6:00 am from Port au Prince, the work day started with a joint prayer time. Often communicating with just fingers and smiles, the Haitians and Canadians erected 3 classrooms and toilet area using rebar-reinforced concrete block walls and metal-roofing -- plus steel framing for walls and roof, a new earthquake-resistant feature for FM school reconstruction. The first October team was led by Verona FMC and Pastor Jeff Nault who had earlier ministered in Haiti and speaks Creole. The two teams’ 23 members also included representatives from Ontario FM congregations in Smiths Falls, Almonte, Pine Grove, Odessa, Napanee and Whitby. The teams gratefully acknowledge the guidance, support and gracious hospitality of Larry Judy, President of Friends of Haiti Organization (FOHO) and his wife Alice
throughout their missions. Special tribute is owed to Ian and Alice van Norman (West Springs FMC, Calgary) for their extraordinary commitment to Haiti. For over 25 years Ian has been involved with construction, and Alice with the accounting for the FM mission and Dessalines Hospital. From late February to June, after the earthquake, Alice provided invaluable services setting up a new bookkeeping system, handling mission accounts, and pulling together information lost in the destruction.
The Haiti FMC has 90 organized churches and nearly 15,000 members. Their devout faith and staunch sense of community have been sustaining forces. As well, Ian and son Jeff have spearheaded work and the private financing for reconstruction and expansion of the FM church and school in Greffin (Port-au-Prince area) which were partially destroyed by the quake. The project has purchased additional land, replaced and extended the front of the church, poured a new floor, demolished the old school and completed the new two-storey school, and built a parsonage. Up to 25 Haitians have worked on the project, along with representatives from FM congregations in Kelowna, Saskatoon, and the US. In God’s timing, a large tent city housing 2400 people has been created across the road, and the Greffin church and school are rapidly growing. In 2011 Ian will be leading other work teams of 2-3 weeks each, from mid-January to late March. and is inviting inquiries from interested workers. Belleville Centennial FMC also is recruiting for a work-team starting late March. The first visit to Haiti by a Canadian can be a “stepping out of the boat” decision into the unknown and the unimaginable. Twelve men heard Jesus’ challenge to take that step and only Peter obeyed and walked on the water. Some Canadian team members have affirmed that going to Haiti was a conscious act of obedience to the Lord’s leading, in effect to leave the comfort of the boat … and that the experience is already dramatically changing their outlook on life back home. Inquiries about joining a team in 2011 may be sent to Grant Sigsworth c/o HelpHaitiHeal.Canada@gmail. com . Our Bishop’s Relief Fund (BRF) has helped enable work-teams to Haiti by assigning $15,000 for their construction expenses -- $5,000 for each of the two teams at the Guerin project, and also for the team ahead continued on page 6 - “HAITI UPDATE”
Ian Van Norman (centre) with workteam in Greffin Port-au-Prince