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DESCRIPTIONFMCIC Mosaic August 2004
The Free Methodist Church in CanadaAugust 2004 - Volume 1 Issue 6
Reflecting the diversity of ministry expression withinthe Free Methodist family
by Scott Williams
continued on page 3 - I dare you to move
COVERI dare you to moveby Rev. Scott Williams
PAGE 2Editor’s Desk
Student MinistriesGod being our helper
PAGE 3Life is good and getting better!By Bishop Keith Elford
World Relief CanadaLaurie Cook interviewed aboutThe Free Methodist Church inCanada’s roleby Donna Elford
One Hundred Years Young!Thornbury celebrates a century of ministry
Picton Youth Ministry GoesPublic with Skate Park Projectby Andrew MacKay
PAGE 7Adventures In Doing TheRidiculous, Helping Pigs Fly… or Planting A Churchby Joseph Moreau
Renewed Energy for UrbanMinistry in Manilaby Dan Sheffield
Missionary updateLinda Stryker, Lois Meredith
Frankford signs agreement withCuba FM leaders #40008369.
Afew summers ago, in the spirit of the familyvacation, we all got in the car and headed out tothe farm in Saskatchewan. We were nearing a
small town in rural Alberta called Redcliff when the fuelpump on the truck died. We coasted into the first littledive we could find and took a room at the local 5 starhotel. We knew it was a five star hotel because the starswere painted on the doors. There were four of us in aroom that was, I kid you not, twelve feet by eight feet…for two days.
We soon learned all the wonderful benefits of a ruralgarage. They did not have any of our needed parts instock. Jed, the mechanic with one good tooth in his head(and he wasn’t even taking very good care of that one!),explained to us the benefits of rural pricing and so wespent at least two hundreds dollars more than we wouldhave had we had the repair done in a city. Finally, aftermore than two days of watching the wheat grow andchasing unknown arachnids around our hot hotel room,we begrudgingly paid our bill and were thankful to geton our way. We had done nothing but sit and stare andcomplain for what seemed like an eternity. No car, noentertainment, three channels on the television and Essofood for the first third of our vacation.
We no sooner cruised out of the garage and had goneonly about 70 metres when we started down a steep hill...right into Medicine Hat. Travelodge’s, Canadian TireStore, numerous full-service garages… the works. Theyhad a Silver City Theatre, malls, pools... you can imagineit. Without a word of exaggeration, Redcliff is right onthe outskirts of Medicine Hat. We looked at each otherand just started to laugh...
I often think of that experience and realize that it hasseveral life lessons for me. The first and most obvious oneis — bring a map! Only slightly less obvious than thatlesson is the growing realization that many of us, myselfincluded, often live on the edge of tomorrow and do notunderstand what is waiting for us just over the hill.
We settle for a life that we do not love and pine for afresh start, but we do not actually get out of the hovel andstart down the road into a fresh beginning. We arepainfully aware that something is not right though we areunwilling to let go of the land we know and look forwardto a shore we cannot see.
President Harry Truman used to tell the story of a
man who was hit on the head and fell into a deep coma.He stayed there for along time. People thought he wasdead so they sent him to a funeral home and stuck himin a coffin. At 2:00 a.m. all alone in this dimly lit room,he sat up and looked around. “Good night!” he said.“What’s going on? If I’m alive, why am I in a casket? And,if I’m dead, why do I have to go to the bathroom?”
That story makes me laugh and it makes me think.How many times have I been unable or unwilling tounderstand what is going on? I have often becomedespondent because I have not understood God’s biggerplan for my life and feel shackled bythe events of the past. Understandingthat we can start fresh and beforgiven is a fact that many of us havea hard time ingesting. We constantlyplay the tapes of our past failures andconvince ourselves that we areterminal. We lay in the casket andwonder if we can ever be truly aliveagain.
For many of us this is not just aplatitude or a hypothetical problem.Like many of you, I live in a realitythat I did not choose, and I’mregularly tempted to feel sorry formyself, blame someone else, orsimply give up. The need forforgiveness and the belief for newbeginnings gives many of us hopeand help in a world that tends tocondemn and pronounce judgment on us all the time.
Many years ago, as a white-water canoeing guide, Iwas often called upon to take groups across an infamousnorthern Saskatchewan lake called Nipew Lake. Wealways tried to get across Nipew Lake early in themorning before the waves got up. It’s a big lake and nastyfrom about nine in the morning until six at night everyday. It’s a long paddle. I’ve been stranded on the lakeseveral times, taking refuge on islands or inlets.
We try to get on the lake by about six am. Usuallythat is evilly early but I have learned that if I sleep in, theprice is too high. It is usually foggy on the lake and weare headed for a tiny inlet eleven kilometres away. I couldnot afford to make mistakes. I have learned how to read
“Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets afresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it!”
2 Corinthians 5:17 (MSG)
“We often live
on the edge
and do not
us just over
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I dare you to
I love that clean page!I have a general routine that Ifollow when I start a new project.It's a sign that has become veryrecognizable to most of the
Ministry Centre staff. All the loose items on my deskare examined, sorted, filed or discarded (which isno small feat . . . I must admit to not being as tidyas some of my co-workers). My existing work foldersare placed off to the side. I satisfy myself that Ihave all my favourite pens on hand, my ruler isready and, if I'm feeling really ambitious, I run acloth over my desk. Only after all this is completedwill I bring out new sheets of looseleaf paper andplace them on top of my desk.
Okay, so you may have already establishedthat I'm a bit quirky but these are the marks thataccompany a new project for me. There'ssomething about starting fresh, about reaching intomy drawer and pulling out a clean page that reallyinspires me. I don't like anything that I've done inthe past in sight. No reminders of previousperformance — good or bad. At that moment,anything is possible and the choices are endless.
I have an uncle who, at every social gatheringtalks about that winning goal he made in minorleague hockey back in the day . . that one shiningmoment, the time he stood apart from everyoneelse. In many ways that goal, as fantastic as it was,impedes him from moving forward. It keeps him inthe past — just remembering something thathappened a long time ago. He needs to turn thepage and start thinking about the possibilities thatthe future holds.
I think we all have areas in our lives where welive in the past. Remembering defeats as well asvictories can be burdensome if we carry themaround with us instead of laying them down andallowing God to shoulder the load. We can movefaster and accomplish much more without aweight tied to us.
That's why I love opening my drawer and pullingout some clean pages to write on. It's a reminderto me that God's very nature is redemptive. Wecan run to him, unload and move forward into thepurpose and plans that are lying ahead.
“The rung of a ladder was never meant to restupon, but only to hold a man's foot long enoughto enable him to put the other somewhat higher.”
- Thomas Henry Huxley, Life and Letters of Thomas Huxley
Lisa HowdenManaging Editor
M O S A I C 2
It has been an enjoyable beginning to my time with the FMCiC. I am appreciative to allthose who have welcomed and given me words of encouragement as we get set to embarkon this journey. God has really given me a sense that we have been brought together by Him,
for His purposes. I have been involved in youth ministry for about 17 years (wow … that means I am getting
old!) and up until about 4 years ago was doing that bi-vocationally while working as aphysiotherapist. I am fortunate to be accompanied on this endeavour by my wife of 12 yearsPaige and my 4 children: Jackson (7), Oakley (6), Jazmin (4) and Zachary (3).
God has really given me a heart and passionfor young people and more recently a heart forthose working with young people, and so I amvery excited about joining you in this ministrycapacity.
In the past few weeks I have had someopportunity (mostly via email) to start to getthe feel for where we are in terms of studentministry.
Here are a few excerpts of what I have beenhearing …
“ I think the youth (leader) turn over rate is nowaround 2 years, but it used to be even less thenthat … I’m hoping to defy the odds.Ha…actually I would like to be involved inyouth ministry for a very long time … I thinkthere is definitely something to say about stayingput in a situation for a long time.”
“ Our Youth Ministries program is all but non-existent … there are a “few” teens around ...(but) hardly enough to make up a Youth Groupand they really have no desire at this point intime. If I had some backup help, that would bedifferent, but no one wants to volunteer. Anyway,that’s our dilemma here.”
“Do you come to speak with youth leaders, to helpthem with their youth ministries? If you can helpus out that would be wonderful. We have ayouth group of approximately 30-40 teens. Westill feel the need for some help as youth leaders.”
“(Regarding the Student Ministries DirectorPosition) I think that is awesome; there isn’tenough connection and accountability withinthis denomination amongst the youth pastors.”
As you can see there are all kinds ofdifferent situations, but the common theme
seems to be the desire to go beyond where weare.
With this in mind, the initial thrust of ourStudent Ministry initiative will be the creationof regional Student Ministry LeaderNetworks. Matthew 10:24-25 says, “A studentis not above his teacher…It is enough for thestudent to be like his teacher…” Thephilosophy behind Leader Networks is that (asthe verse intonates) the strength of any studentministry is only as strong as its leadership.While perhaps different in process thesenetworks should all be serving to encourage,support and train our Student MinistriesLeaders. Tim Smith has written a bookentitled “Nurturing the Soul of the YouthWorker” and this I believe is where we wouldlike to end up … with “Networks thatNourish”.
This summer I will be meeting with asmany people (students, ministry leaders, pastors,denominational leaders) as possible to heartheir needs, wishes, thoughts and questionswith regard to Student Ministries. I willhopefully have the opportunity to meet withsome of you as I visit our camps this summer.I would love to hear from anyone involved inany way with student ministry and once againI am looking forward to the opportunity towork with you as we seek to strengthen thefaith and maturity of our students.
In Christ,Andrew Brown Student Ministries Director
Andrew Brown will be continuing in his role asPresident of Reach Forth (www.reachforth.net),a multi-denominational evangelistic sports andyouth ministry in Hamilton, ON.
Canadians and Americans share a continent, a dominant language and, at aquick glance, a similar history. Yet as these countries grew, so did their distinctions— differences that now capture attention around the world. Canadians andAmericans still dress alike, like the same books, television shows and movies, andtrade more goods and services than ever before. But from gay marriage to druguse to church attendance, a chasm has opened up on social isues that go to theheart of fundamental values.
Canadians often look to America for models of effective ministry, becausethere are so many believers who are also belongers in the United States. We thinkthey have the answers. We forget the questions may be different. Given the cleardifferences between the faith experiences of the two countries, it is clear thechallenge of encouraging Canadians to integrate Church and faith demands a“made in Canada” solution. The challenges are here. So are the solutions.
statistics taken from Ipsos-Reid, Sept/Oct. - 1996 & 2003
Like thy Neighbour?The religious differences between Canada and the U.S.
Attend church weekly 19% 38%
You don’t need to go to church in orderto be a good Christian (% agree) 80% 55%
Very important to encourage non-Christians to become Christians (% agree) 26% 53%
All great religions are equally true and good 67% 55%
How important is religion for guidance in my day to day life (% very important) 19% 40%
Summer is a wonderful time of the year; but when the leaves start toturn and the cool autumn air is crisp, we’re coming into my favouriteseason. When I was a kid, I headed off to school with new clothes,
new shoes, and notebooks with fresh, clean pages. As a teenager, I lookedforward to the cross-country races at the various regional meets. As apastor, it was wonderful to feel the fresh energy as members of thecongregation returned from summer vacations and camps and everythingpicked up again in the ministries of the church. Autumn is a time of newbeginnings.
Can I talk with you about what’s on my mind as we begin anotherseason of this vital ministry of birthing and developing growingcommunities of faith that will make a difference in the villages, sub-divisions or metropolitan areas where they are located? It’s healthyrelationships. Let’s think about what one sees and hears and feels whenrelationships with God, with other team members, and with theneighbourhood are wholesome. In summary, one sees loved, happy,engaged people.
Loved people have a richness about them. Needy people are draining,but it doesn’t have to be so. In healthy congregations, one finds awholesome culture that influences people to look in all the right places foreach of the various dimensions of the love that all of us need. Intimacywith God is found in time alone with Him and His word, not in freneticfussing over one more project. A network of trusted, caring friendships isdeveloped when one makes the time to show up for regular encounterswith others who are committed to life together and then when one goesfurther and takes the risk to drop down below surface chatter and politesmiles….. and be real.
The wider buoyancy of being loved by and connected to an extendedspiritual family comes in the larger group experience when one relaxes,looks around and enjoys others being who they are as they interact withothers…and especially as they express themselves in worship. Small grouplife is rich, but it’s also wonderful to be loved for who you are by peopleyou may not know that well. Both give one a sense that Jesus is there.
Happy people have energy – even when they are working very hard.Frustrated people are just no fun to be around. What’s more, happy peoplewho are involved in ministries that fit who they are, are often moreeffective in what they are trying to do.
Alan Retzman is always learning new things about the experience of“life together” in congregations. He wisely observed on one occasion thatconflict in a church is often rooted either in person-to-person relational
issues or in ministry-to-ministry administrative“disconnects”. These “disconnects” result whenone ministry group finds itself sideways toanother; and then as more things jam up,everybody begins to wonder why ministries arenot moving forward.
In healthy communities of faith, one doesn’tfind leaders “having it out” in the middle of theministry road while ministry traffic piles upbehind them or melts away as people look forexits to other ministries that have some motion,flow and direction to them. In happy, energeticministries, the bottlenecks are busted, functioningstructures are constructed and person to persontensions are worked through, leaving a feeling offlow — person to person and ministry toministry.
People engaged with making a difference intheir community have passion; self-preoccupiedpeople are tedious. Of course, each of us engages with our neighbourhoodaccording to who we are, and we each express our passion according to ourtemperaments. But in wholesome congregations, there is an environmentwhere healthy passion flows naturally (and even builds) because here arepeople who “get it.” What do they “get”? They understand Jesus’ heart.They identify with His self-understanding that He did not come to beserved, but to serve and to give His life … for others (Mark 10:45). Theyreadily and gladly grasp His metaphors of “salt and light” (Matt. 5:13 –16).
In healthy communities of Christian faith, there is always a passion toconnect to the neighbourhood. Usually this comes with sensing, thenseeing, then meeting a need. Sometimes the connection is so subtle that itis hardly perceptible, yet the effect is that life is a little more pleasant in theneighbourhood. Other times, the engagement is very open and obvious,and in some cases it may even eventually work its way beyond theneighbourhood to regional and even international webs of relationships.
Autumn is coming. It's a season of new beginnings in the flow of congregational life. Life sure is good when it revolves around Jesus and focuses on what's on His heart. It's even better when His life flows out through the lives of loved, happy, engaged people serving Him togetherand making a difference in their local, regional and global neighbourhoods.
there is always
a passion to
connect to the
a compass. I know about things like declination and magnetic north vs.true north. My compass is worth several hundred dollars. When I’m in thefog and I have eleven canoes and twenty-two potentially dead people… Ihave learned to trust my compass, not my eyes. I don’t trust my ears; I don’teven trust my experience. I have tried to fake it in the past and gottencaught… a six hour detour.
If only I could trust God’s promises like that . . . Not my eyes, not myears, not even my experience . . . only his compass. Regardless of how I feel,regardless even of the past and my many failings, God forgives me. Thatforgiveness does not depend on whether or not I believe it, it just is. It doesnot matter how little I claim his grace, it is not dependent on anything Ido, it is a simple fact. God gives me a fresh start. God forgives me. All Ihave to do is accept it… But often that is the hard part.
Lately I have been listening to a song called “I Dare You To Move” bySwitchfoot. The words continue to challenge me and remind me that it isup to me whether or not I will grab hold of God’s promises of forgivenessand wholeness. Whenever I read or hear these words it stirs something deepwithin me…
Welcome to the planet, Welcome to existence. Everyone’s here, Everyone’s here.Everybody’s watching you now, Everybody waits for you now…What happens next? I dare you to move, I dare you to move. I dare you to lift yourself up off the floorI dare you to move, I dare you to moveLike today never happened, Today never happened beforeThe tension is here, between who you are and who you could be.Between how it is and how it should be.
Maybe redemption has stories to tell. Maybe forgiveness is right where you fellWhere can you run to escape from yourself? Where you gonna go? Salvation is here…
I dare you to move, I dare you to move. I dare you to lift yourself up off the floorI dare you to move, I dare you to move like today never happenedToday never happened before
When we were children there were few things more sacred than the“dare”. Like a Pavlovian dog I would stir to the challenge of the dare. Ifsomeone dared to me do anything, no matter how stupid, I felt compelledto rise to the call.
I dare you to move. I dare you. I dare you to claim God’s promise offorgiveness and for once act like you are forgiven.
I dare you to start fresh right now. To live like you are truly alive. Tostand up and let God give you the freedom of tomorrow, right now. I daremyself too.
I think the Rolling Stones said it well in their old song, “You can’talways get what you want… but if you try sometimes, you just might find,that you get what you need…”
Life isn’t perfect. In fact I’ve found it isn’t even fun for many of us. Butthe truth of scripture reminds me that God makes everything new. It’s upto us whether or not we want to live like that is true or not. I dare you tomove.
Rev. Scott Williams is senior pastor at New Heights Free Methodist Church inMission, BC
3 M O S A I C
I D A R E Y O U T O M O V E continued from cover . . .
By Bishop Keith Elford
PassagesM O S A I C 4
“Are you hungry?" It's a question often used on a daily basis with family or friendswhen thinking about the next meal or snack. But for others in our world that same,simple question only prompts despair as 25,000 people die daily from hunger or
hunger related causes. It doesn't have to be that way. World Relief Canada (WRC), a partnerorganization with The Free Methodist Church in Canada, has created a wide range of strategiesand developed effective channels for addressing the problems associated with hunger.
One such strategy is to put focus on the problem of world hunger in our services, classes orsmall groups on World Relief Sunday on October 3rd. “Closing the Gap”, the theme chosenfor this year, calls us to join with other congregations across Canada "…in closing the gap onpoverty, hunger and pain so that together we can shine the light of Jesus Christ in places of greatspiritual darkness."
World Relief Canada not only has strategies and channels for helping those caught in a spiralof poverty and hunger, but as a registered charity in Canada, has the added benefit of beingeligible to receive matching grants from Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)for most projects. Donations and World Relief Sunday offerings literally grow from thematching grants of a ratio of 3:2 (CIDA provides $3 for every $2 raised by World Relief Canada)to 4:1 depending on the project.
The funds raised through the special one-day offering are used in three strategic ways. Thefirst is response to major disasters, the second for sustainable development projects and third,development education and partnership development.
When major disasters strike, relief and rehabilitation projects focus on emergency relief suchas food, safe drinking water, temporary shelter, medical supplies, and trauma counseling.However, the majority of World Relief Canada's projects focus on sustainable development suchas micro-enterprise development, micro-credit, housing development, literacy, health education,agricultural technology, farm inputs, developing water resources and gender training. Throughdevelopment education and partnership development World Relief Canada also focuses onenvironmental issues, gender empowerment and other key social justice issues.
World Relief Canada's mandate doesn't include maintaining staff overseas. Instead, theirapproach is to work through church partners, training local leadership to organize andadminister the projects in the areas where they live. Canadian-based project officers regularly
visit the fields for the monitoring of ongoing work.World Relief Canada's website <<www.wrcanada.org>> has
detailed information including hunger facts resourced from TheHunger Project (United Nations), listings of current projects,curriculum resources for more teaching in this area, and further
explanations on microfinance projects that empower poor peopleto take control of their own lives.
As a partner organization, there is an agreement with WRCthat 30% of offerings received from our congregations be sent toour own Bishop's Relief fund. With these funds our leaders areable to target specific needs within our own church familyoverseas when there are international disasters or hardshipsaffecting people connected with Free Methodist congregations.
These funds are either funneled through the Free MethodistChurch of North America or (where appropriate for CIDAmatching grants) back through World Relief Canada.
The CEO of World Relief Canada, Laurie Cook, worships at Trulls RoadFMC in Courtice, ON.
AppointmentsNathan Umazekabiri, PastorSt Henri FMC, Montreal, QCJune 9 , 2004
Ministerial Candidates Michael GarnerMatthew Turvey
Approved for OrdinationDaniel Massey (service on September 26)Elisabeth Natividad (service on September 19)
Churches in TransitionCaistor Centre FMC, Caistor Centre, ONEastern Koinonia FMC, Toronto, ONKaren Crescent FMC, Orillia, ONKillarney FMC, Killarney, MBNew Hope FMC, Bracebridge, ONO'Connor FMC, Kakabeka Falls, ON
as of Dec. 31, 2004Richmond Hill Chinese FMC,
Richmond Hill, ONRoblin /Grandview (MB) FMCSouris Valley Community Church,
Estevan, SKTimmins FMC, Timmins, ONVennachar FMC, Vennachar, ON
Pastors in TransitionGermain FortinNorman ShepstoneMike SmeltzerDale VinkleScott Woolhead
New Assistant Superintendent Rev. Don Miller (replaces Rev. VicStonehouse)
Received by TransferRichard Finlay (from PAOC)
Posters, and bulletin inserts, available in English, French and Chineseare available for congregations in August. A five-minute video thatquickly brings together the most important issues to consider whenfocusing congregations on world hunger is also available.
Laurie Cook, CEO for World Relief Canada, also just happens toattend our Trulls Road Free Methodist Church, in Courtice, Ontario. Incommenting on his work with World Relief Canada, Cook said "Theessence of why I love what WRC does is wrapped up in the statement'World Relief Canada partners with the evangelical church in Canadaand overseas to respond to the basic needs of the world's most oppressed,poor and suffering people, empowering them to meet their own needs inthe name of Jesus Christ.' I am so thankful for a ministry like ours thatcomes alongside the church in developing countries and assists them toportray the love and redemptive work of Christ and restore people's livesand family to God given health. The facts that our work is of the highestquality in terms of development and is secure and effective are importantand reassuring. However this only takes on real significance when youlook into the face of the single mother in Rwanda who has been able toreclaim her dignity and ability to provide for her family through a smallloan and the support of a Christian microfinance group."
About one-third of our congregations participated in World ReliefSunday last year so there's lots of room for more participation. Togetherwe raised $46,000. Imagine what we could raise if more congregationsjust took a few moments in October to focus on this ministry that
empowers people to meet their most basic of needs.If we work together, Closing the Gap on poverty and
hunger isn't just an empty slogan but a real possibility.
by Donna Elford
5 M O S A I C
The Free Methodist Church in Canada
w Someone dies from hunger every 3.5seconds.
w About 25,000 people die every dayfrom hunger or hunger related causes,down from 35,000 ten years ago.Three-quarters of the deaths arechildren under the age of five.
w At least 1.2 billion people - a fifth of theworld's population - are living on lessthan $1 a day.
w Today 10 per cent of children indeveloping countries die before theage of five, down from 28% fifty yearsago.
w 6 million children under the age of 5die every year as a result of hunger.
w As well as causing death, chronicmalnutrition also causes impairedvision, listlessness, stunted growth, andincreased susceptibility to disease.
w It is estimated that some 800 millionpeople in the world suffer from hungerand malnutrition about 100 times asmany as those who actually die from iteach year.
w The basic health and nutrition needs ofthe world's poorest people could bemet for an additional $13 billion a year.
2003Congo Relief $5000 (US)
Burundi Relief $5000 (US)
Haiti Relief $3000 (US)
2002Afghanistan Relief Sent via World Relief $5000 (CDN)
Total funds distributed2000-2003 $32,758.00Rev. Dan Sheffield, Director of Global and InterculturalMinistries, is a member of the board of directors of WorldRelief Canada.
THE AGENCY:World Relief Canada was formed in 1982 as the relief and developmentassistance arm of the evangelical church community in Canada, and is anagency working in partnership with overseas church partners to assist andempower the poor in the developing world.
THE POSITION:The Program Officer, based in Markham Canada, will:· Administrate assigned programs based on applicant's education andexperience in the areas of micro-banking, agriculture, communitydevelopment, and/or relief.· Review program proposals and reporting, provide funding support andtechnical advice, for our overseas partners as they plan and execute overseasprograms.· Include three trips a year overseas for three weeks at a time for the purposesof planning, assessment and training with overseas partners.
THE QUALIFICATIONS:The applicant should:
· Be a Christian with strong commitment to holistic ministry with the poor.· Have a university degree in business/ micro-banking, agriculture,
community development or a related field.· Have overseas experience in at least one of the above-referred areas.· Have good interpersonal, training, planning, assessment and reporting
skills.· Be proficient at financial review/ analysis and be computer literate.· Be proficient in English is essential. French would be an asset.
Apply with a resume to:Mr. Laurie Cook, CEOWorld Relief CanadaSuite 310, 600 Alden Road, Markham, ON L3R 0E7Fax: (905) 415-0287 E-mail: [email protected]
Although we appreciate every application, only those being interviewed will be contacted
w w w . w r c a n a d a . o r g
Thornbury Free Methodist ChurchONE HUNDRED YEARS YOUNG!
Many years ago, the renowned judge and poet, Oliver Wendell Holmes,wisely observed,
Little of all we value hereWakes on the morn of its hundredth yearWithout both feeling (and looking) queer.In fact, there’s nothing that keeps its youth,
So far as I know, but a tree and Truth.
But old Oliver Wendell Holmes had it wrong! Something has “kept itsyouth” after 100 years! The roots of the Thornbury Free Methodist Churchwere formed in 1904, and a century later the church is still going strong —still preaching the Gospel in the Beaver Valley — still spreading the GoodNews!
Here’s how it all began. In 1898 an earnest young evangelist namedFrank Goff, who hailed from Sand Bay, near Gananoque, Ontario, felt calledby God to go to the town of Meaford, a bustling port on the shores ofGeorgian Bay.
Unsure of just where Meaford was, Goff visited his local railway stationand asked the agent if he could purchase a one-way ticket to that destination.
Arriving in Meaford, Goff immediately began holding a series of tent-meeting revivals. Hundreds flocked to hear his powerful preaching, andmany people came to know the Lord. At that time, Rev. Goff did not havea church of his own, but was frequently invited to preach in other localchurches. Several years later, he established the Holiness Workers’ Church innearby Clarksburg. In 1904 the name was changed to the Gospel Workers’Church. Frank Goff’s ministry was so blessed that soon he and his followersopened satellite churches in ten other neighboring communities.
The Gospel Workers laboured on through the first World War, the GreatDepression of the 1930s and World War II. When Rev. Goff departed to bewith the Lord in 1944, the church came to a crossroad. To carry on hisevangelical outreach, the congregation elected to join the Free MethodistChurch.
In 1962 a new Free Methodist Church was dedicated in Thornbury, builton the site of the former Gospel Workers’ Church. In 2004, under theleadership of Pastor Bob Lay, the Church continues the Gospel Workers’ 2traditions of preaching and outreach. The yearshave seen many pastors come and go, andchanges in forms of worship, but, (praise theLord!) the Message remains the same.
The Centennial Celebrations began with a“Meet and Greet” hour at the church onSaturday afternoon, June 12th. Happinessmingled with feelings of nostalgia as visitorsviewed displays of old photographs and othermemorabilia in the sanctuary, while in the lowerauditorium video and slide presentations wereshown. Following the fellowship time, thegroup proceeded the few steps to St. Paul’sPresbyterian Church next door, where dinnerwas served to almost 150 people.
Back at the Free Methodist Church, it was“standing room only” as guests and localresidents alike enjoyed a concert featuring theministry of the well-known southern gospelquartet “Middle Cross” and other musicians.
On Sunday, June 13th, Clarksburg nativeRev. Dennis Camplin, former WesternConference Superintendent and Superintendentof Personnel, Canada Conference, delivered amessage on the theme “Occupy till I come” (Luke19:13 KJV), stressing how the Lord’s people mustmake the best use of the time and talents He has given them until His return.Rev. Robert Buchanan, former Conference Superintendent, Canada East,whose Scottish forebears first settled in the area in the mid-1800s, was anappropriate choice to give a detailed and fascinating account of the church’shistory. Rev. Jim Carne, former Thornbury Pastor, served as Worship Leader,and member Dave Randall, whom God has blessed with a magnificent voice,ministered in music. Following the service, a light lunch was served.
So ended the first 100 years! Someone once said, “How can you knowwhere you’re going unless you know where you’ve been?” While theCentennial Celebrations served to remind the Thornbury congregation ofthe pioneer work of Rev. Frank Goff and his successors, Pastor Bob Lay andhis present flock look towards the second century with renewed faith andconfidence. “Occupy till I come!”
PICTON YOUTH MINISTRYGOES PUBLIC WITH SKATEPARK PROJECT
On a sunny Saturday in June, a dedicated group of teens woke up early tohelp set up chairs, tables, food, sun shades, garbage cans, sound equipmentand skateboard ramps for a competition that most of them wouldn’t becompeting in. Every year for the last 4 years the Youth Group at the PrinceEdward County Free Methodist Church has hosted a skateboardcompetition to raise funds for the Picton Skate Park.
On average about 500 people come out to see the event, and some evendrive more than 2 hours to compete. This year there were 42 participantsages 8-20, which is 10 more than last year. It was nice to see so many peoplecoming out to the event. Although I love skateboarding and watchingcompetitions, we don’t go throughmonths of preparation every yearsimply to help skateboarders. Eachyear we try to share Christ with theskaters in a special way. Over theyears we have done things like giveout Christian Skateboard Videospackaged with the Jesus Movie. Oneyear I gave out a home made videofeaturing the top skaters in Pictonand my personal testimony abouthow Christ has impacted my life as askateboarder. We bring in aChristian DJ who plays mostlyChristian rock and rap music. Wealso set up a booth with informationabout the ministries available to youth. All these things have played a partin leading people to Christ but we believe that one day a year isn’t enoughcontact with people totruly impact their lives.
Each Wednesday afterschool we go to the SkatePark to build friendshipswith other skaters. It is allpart of our youthministry’s purpose, to seethe skaters get involvedwith the Friday NightYouth Ministry andeventually become activein a church.
This year the town ofPicton has formed acommittee to build a world class concrete skate park. The current park isnot too bad, but we are running out of space, and concrete will be muchsafer than the wood and metalramps we now have. Each yearabout $1200 is raised throughthe competition and variousother fundraisers which usuallyadds up to just enough tomaintain the ramps we have andbuild one new ramp.
With the help of the town,the Picton O.P.P., the Parks andRecreation Department, Staff atthe High School and a localservice club we will be able toprovide the skaters with a facilityeveryone will be really proud of.The most exciting thing for me isthat Christian teenagers are theones doing all the work behindthis project. We held meetings atthe High School inviting anyoneinterested to attend. Oddlyenough, the majority of thepeople who showed up justhappened to be from our church youth group.
I believe this is going to be a powerful witness to the people of Picton.For one reason or another, today’s church has developed a reputation forbeing self-serving and it is our prayer that we can be a part of breaking thatmyth. We want to be known as a church that cares about our community.
It seems like a big challenge, but God is working through us and becauseof his grace, we will continue on.
by Andrew MacKay, Assistant Pastor (supply) at the Prince Edward CountyFMC in Picton, ON.
Waverley Rice and DonBuckingham on Saturday concert
Rev. Dennis Camplin preaches atthe Sunday evening service.
M O S A I C 6
Competition Group Shot
Back slide flip
7 M O S A I C
One recent Sunday morning at 11:07 in the Glebe of Ottawa (anupscale artistic neighbourhood), a man in his mid 20s approached meafter our version of a contemporary worship service. He never went
to church, never read the Bible. In fact he did not believe in God. Here iswhat he said to me that morning: "I don't believe in God, but I can hear Godin this place!" He received Christ on the spot. Took a new Bible from me. Hasbeen discipled for several weeks and is now sharing the gospel with his manyfriends who were in the same boat as he was. He is helping with ministry atour church. He came to Ecclesiax just once and heard God!
Ecclesiax, a new kind of church in the heart of Ottawa, where Godsightings are occurring regularly. How do we spot God? In His manyactivities as He moves around our community and in our people. We seepeople meeting Jesus. We are upper middle class artsy urban Ottawa, whereEd Broadbent was elected as M.P. with quite a majority from what Iunderstand. And yes, we are even compelled to love those NDPers. Go figure,this is our mission field. So yeah, we have to believe that pigs can fly, to quotea good friend of mine.
Let me share a brief background. Ecclesiax (Greek for: called out peopleof Christ), was birthed over a year ago now. Was given space in the old 5thAvenue building in the Glebe. Our mission, reach people in the Glebe withthe gospel of Christ. Strategy? Prayer and fasting. Begin developing a coreteam from scratch. Exegesis of the community. Renovating a portion of thebuilding into an art gallery. Begin networking with people in the Glebe anddevelop relationships. Result: a slow but steady growth of community withthe majority of the people coming from no-church situations.
Last week we had another God sighting. A woman who had attendedEcclesiax a hand full of times and seemed quite aloof, slipped me a note afterSunday morning. What did the note say? "I need God in my life!" OnMonday she showed up with her occult material and ouija board in her armsrequesting that she be allowed to burn it in our fire place. I asked her if shewas doing this because she wanted to or because she felt some kind ofpressure? She adamantly stated that this was her deepest desire. She proceededto light the stuff on fire and then made a profession of faith. Prayers were saidagainst evil spirits breaking off any bondage they may have had her in. Herface changed to one of brightness. Light, really. Here's a note she sent me:"thank you for being there for me the other day when we burned the ouijaboard and book. Your welcome to me at Ecclesiax means so much and I amexcited to learn and experience more with God and everyone at Ecclesiax, sofar everyone is so amazing and special. Thanks again. See you Sunday(signed)"
She is now entering a discipling relationship with one of our more matureChristian women.
Numbers you say? Well, we don’t have Willow Creek type numbers togive you, but I can tell you this. Started with three. Grew to eight. Shrank tofive. Grew to nine. Grew to ten. Grew to fourteen. Shrank to nine. Grew toeighteen. Grew to twenty one. Grew to thirty two. Now at thirty eight.
Each step of the way has been brutally hard. Each step of the way hasbeen delightfully pleasant. Hmm, that sounds contradictory! Actually, no we
prefer the term paradoxical.Sort of like: God-man or dieto live (both concepts arefound in the Bible). Growthhas been something that wehave surrendered to God.Now, as I type that, I know itsounds very nice and spiritualand every evangelical churchsays the exact same thing: it isall about Jesus and prayer andGod and the Bible and reachingthe lost and… ad infinitum. Butwhen you start with three people andsay how do we plant a church fromscratch? What matters? What does not?Things get a bit more clear. Honestly!I am not making this up or trying tosound like I have it all figured out. Infact, I do not have it figured out atall. But ohhh, thank my HeavenlyFather that this piece of flawedhumanity can go running to Himand ask for help… for wisdom…for encouragement to stay thecourse. The incredible thing isthat He truly desires to help Hischildren out when we obeyHim. Disobey Him and He willbypass you. If we think we havethe perfect plan He will let us goand do our own thing minus Hispresence. Sure, we can do somepretty incredible things with tithesand a group of like minded people. Imean we can actually shoot for the stars… tower of Babel ring a bell anyone?
Planting a church designed to reach out to a different kind of culture thathas pretty much given up on institutional religion is the hardest thing in theworld to do and it is the easiest thing in the world to do (oh oh, there is thatnasty paradox again). Hard, if it is up to me and my dusty brain alone. Easy,if it is a God directed dream and people are obeying what HE says.
SOME FINAL GOD SIGHTINGSm A French UN worker living in the Glebe enters our gallery and asks what
she can do for us? She is spreading the word about us around theneighborhood.
m A famous Canadian sculptor hears about us and comes down to see if therereally is an art gallery inside a church. He and his wife have now becomepatrons and are helping us get the word out about who we are and whatwe believe. He is 70 years old and walked away from the church when hewas 15 because his pastor said, "artists are not that important to God." Henow sees that there is a church that says artists are loved by God. He isgiving us one of his artworks (he commands $3000 to $85,000 in artcommissions and has been producing fine art for 35 years).
m A medical doctor on a one year sabbatical to pursue her true dream ofbeing a painter has expressed an interest in Ecclesiax and asked if we couldhighlight her paintings of Baffin Island? She lives just a 2 minute walkfrom our building. She is coming to our house for a BBQ so her kids canplay with our kids.
m Our next door neighbours across the street on 5th Avenue in the Glebeenroll their children in anything we do for kids in the community. Theyhave spread the word to other families with kids in the Glebe. Our kids’programs are now packed out and we have the problem of not havingenough children's workers.
m We have many many connections with people in our community who arenow ready to come and see what Ecclesiax is about. The good problem wehave is space to fit them all in.
How can YOU help Ecclesiax? Can you pray about calling me? If you getthe urging from God to call me and talk, here is the number: 613.797.3161
I have a funny feeling God wants to say something to you about churchplanting.
Rev. Joseph Moreau is Church Planter at Ecclesiax in Ottawa, ON
We need a movement of God's people intoneighborhoods, to live out and be the newfuture of Christ. It must be a movement thatdemonstrates how the people of God have
a vision and the power to transform ourworld. This is not the same as currentattempts to grow bigger and bigger
churches that act like vacuum cleaners,sucking people out of their neighborhoods
into a sort of Christian supermarket. Our culture does not need any more
churches run like corporations; it needslocal communities empowered by the
gospel vision of a transforming Christ who addresses the needs of the
context and changes the polis into a place of hope and wholeness. The corporation churches we are
cloning across the land cannot birth this transformational vision,
because they have no investmentin context or place; they are
centers of expressive individualism with a truncated gospel of
personal salvation and little else.
Our penchant for bigness and numerical success as the sign of
God's blessing only discourages anddeflects attempts to root communities
of God's people deeply into neighborhoods. And until we
build transformed communities there is no hope for a broken earth.
“Well, Dan, you have caused quite a problem for me.” These werethe words of the Philippines’ Bishop Jim Tuan when we met atWorld Conference in Zimbabwe last November. It seemed that
Rev. Manny Manongsong, Northern Philippines conference superintendentand pastor of the well-established Amparo FMC in Manila, had asked to berelieved of his duties.
Metro Manila is a global city with approximately 14 million people.The Free Methodist Church began ministry in The Philippines in 1949 onthe southern island of Mindanao. Church-planting work only began inManila in 1974. Pastor Manny was a teenage street kid in Manila selling
newspapers when he heard FM missionaryRay Streutker telling bible stories in theneighbourhood. He committed his life toChrist, was discipled and eventually went tobible college to train for pastoral ministry.Following bible college, Manny and his new
wife Esther (also a bible college graduate) wereappointed to Manila, where they beganplanting churches. Since 1984 they haveplanted 3 churches, including the Amparochurch which Manny has pastored for manyyears. This church grew, was able to purchaseproperty and build a nice worship facility.Manny and Esther now have 2 children; their
daughter is in 3rd year university, their son inhigh school.
In 2002, Philippine FM leaders invited me to help them thinkthrough the challenges of urban ministry. Most FM pastors and churcheshave been focused on rural and village ministry and urban ministry trainingwas not being provided. Since 2002, I have conducted three teaching,training and strategic planning processes; the most recent in mid-June thisyear.
The problem raised by Bishop Jim Tuan was that Pastor Mannywanted to start church planting again! Pastor Manny said that theseworkshops had helped him to realize the continuing needs for new churchesin Manila, and that his primary gifting was as a “church-planter” not as a
traditional pastor. So he left his Amparo church and identified an area of Manila
(Makati-Guadeloupe) needing a new church. He went without financialsupport from the conference (because they hadn’t planned for new church-plants), believing that this move was of God. In April this year the church-plant was officially launched in the function room of an office tower. WhenI shared God’s word with the congregation in mid-June there were alreadymore than 80 in attendance!
Other pastors and lay people in Manila have now begun to look atthe possibilities for new ministry. The sense of discouragement about urbanministry is being lifted as gifted workers like Manny and his familydemonstrate that God will reward a bit of risk-taking!
Dan Sheffield is Director of Global and Intercultural Ministries for The FreeMethodist Church in Canada
Linda StrykerMiss Linda Stryker, Canadian FreeMethodist missionary nurse, provides alink between the Free Methodist Churchin Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC), the North American FMC andvarious aid and United Nationsorganizations. Part of this responsibilityincludes being coordinator of FM health
ministries in the DRC. In spite of the ongoing war, which hascaused extreme poverty and the displacement of tens of thousandsof people within the country, the Nundu Deaconess Hospital,nursing school and some 35 health centers continue to function tosome degree, thanks to courageous efforts of Congolese staff andongoing support of donors. Also because of the war, more than10,000 Free Methodist members are still in refugee camps inneighboring Tanzania. Linda facilitates contact between them andtheir family and friends in the DRC. She also works alongsidechurch leaders in various aspects of training.
Linda Stryker has also recently been released from medicalleave and has begun speaking in camps and churches in NorthAmerica. She is thankful for everyone’s prayers during her monthsof recovery following pulmonary emboli (blood clots). Lindarequests prayer for travel safety and God’s special anointing as shespeaks in churches. Pray hearts will be stirred to have greaterinvolvement in global ministry because of what she shares.
Lois MeredithFollowing three months of home
assignment in Canada, Lois returned inmid July to her ministry in Nairobi,Kenya where she is involved inadministrative support and Christianeducation development.
Lois has completed more than 34years of missionary service in Africa.
Makati - Guadaloupe community where Pastor Manny and his family are plantinga new congregation.
Pastor Manny Manongsong andthe city of Makati
missionary update FrankfordsignsagreementwithCuba FM leaders
In June this year, Rev. Alan Adams, representing the Frankford FMC in easternOntario, signed a ministry development agreement with leaders of the FreeMethodist movement in Cuba. The agreement states that the Frankford churchand its ministry partners will take a partnering role in developing the ministrycapacity and organizational structures of this fledgling group of churches.
Free Methodist ministry began in Cuba in 1996 when Costa Rican FMleader, Jorge Gomez traveled to Cuba and encouraged several pastors ofcompatible, independent Christian fellowships to join the Free Methodistfamily. Costa Rican and Dominican Republic FM leaders nurtured thisrelationship over the years as best they were able given the distance and costsinvolved. Until this past year, when a Canadian relationship was initiated. Theactive need amongst this group of pastors and churches is for leadershipdevelopment and encouragement in ministry.
Since only a few denominations are recognized by the Castro government,the Free Methodist groups worship in homes. Although there is no harassment,they are not officially sanctioned and must be careful to not draw attention tothemselves. At present there are 43 congregations in this loosely organizedfellowship. Most churches are in the eastern part of the island.
For further information about this developing work in Cuba, contact PastorAlan Adams at: [email protected]