Keep your eye out on our Facebook page for these two days of Annual Conference 2018 as we'll be uploading lots of special videos that give us the scoop about what's going on in churches all across the conference!
Day 10: Superintendent Bruce Rhodes closes out our 10 Days of Prayer series just in time for Annual Conference 2018 tomorrow.
Day 8: Pastor Jeffery Harrold leads us in a devotional and prayer time for our 10 days of prayer leading up to Annual Conference 2018.
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Day 7: Pastor George Houston of Stone Haven Free Methodist Church leads us in a devotional and prayer time for our 10 days of prayer leading up to Annual Conference 2018.
Day 6: Pastor Megan Weber of Dearborn Free Methodist Church takes us into a devotional and prayer time in our 10 days of prayer leading up to annual conference.
Click the above picture to see day 4 of our 10 Days of Prayer, which features people all across our conference calling us to a time of prayer and devotion as Annual Conference 2018 approaches. Today features Jerilynn Rhodes.
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Day 3: Our Mission Igniter leader Dustin Weber leads us in a time of devotion and prayer in our 10 days of prayer leading up to Annual Conference 2018.
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Day 2: Pastor Heather Castle of Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church leads us in a time of devotion and prayer in our 10 days of prayer leading up to Annual Conference 2018.
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Day 1: Superintendent Bruce Rhodes leads us in a devotional time of prayer as Annual Conference 2018 approaches.
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We have been supporting the Harbor financially for several years, but recently took our support to a new level. We have been sending teams to serve there and so far 24 people have went over the first two trips. We have put together hundreds of crafts for the kids at the various sites. Between 50-70 people came together to help with that initiative. This weekend our folks are bringing in 20 9x13 meals, several desserts, and a handful of gift cards to purchase fresh supplies as needed for salads. Our people have been so eager to partner with our brothers and sisters in the SMC to reach Detroit. We are even having to add more opportunities to give for people who didn’t grab a 9x13 quick enough. An increased focus outside our walls is bringing a lot of enthusiasm and passion inside. We're excited to see what God is doing as we work together to reach Detroit!
Because of the location we are in we have done ministry to people with addictions for years, but over the past several months we have had several reports of people who have been clean for over 60 days. These people are becoming active in our church and are following Jesus. Also, our weekly AA meeting is giving 30-50 people a place to grow in their recovery journey.
Some months ago, Pastor Ray Babcock accepted a position at the World Ministries Center in Indianapolis but continued to work bi-vocationally under his appointment at Three Oaks. When the Superintendent met with the Board on two occasions, it became clear to them that they no longer had the financial resources nor the community ministry that was needed to reach out to their community.
A few weeks ago, the delegate and Pastor contacted Superintendent Bruce with news that the church had convened a Society meeting and voted to close itself. The following excerpt from their Society meeting is recorded below;
Moved to discontinue worship services. The last service to be 5/27/2018. The conference is to be notified for the next step in dissolving the society. The motion was supported by Bernie Abendshien. Voting was done through paper ballots. All 15 votes cast were in support of the motion; motion carried unanimously.
We are grateful for the rich legacy of the Three Oaks church across its 109 year history. Countless lives were changed forever, ministries across the globe were supported, children and young people were discipled and new leaders were developed and deployed. Only heaven knows the combined weight of Kingdom advancement that took place through our Three Oaks Church. The members of the congregation will be encouraged to affiliate with the closest Free Methodist Church in Niles Michigan to continue in that same Kingdom work in the days ahead.
Freedom Sunday has been a powerful movement of God over the past 8 years and lands on September 30th of this year. We encourage you to invite the leaders under your care to participate. You can download a letter detailing Set Free's projects this year and promotional materials for you to use. Once a leader registers they will be in contact and provide all that is needed to make this Freedom Sunday a powerful event.
This past year of ministry has been so exciting for the entire Van Tifflin family! A year ago now, we were still actively partnership building/fund raising with Free Methodist World Missions in order to relocate to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Last summer was filled with many church visits and several different family camps to attend. By July 2017 we knew our plans to move to Thailand were becoming more realistic. Funding came in and our missionary support account was fully committed for the year ahead, we were now ready to purchase one-way air tickets for our family of four. We departed Flint Bishop airport on August 9th, 2017.
Settling into a new country, culture, house, ministry role, etc… with two children under the age of three was a big undertaking! A couple months into this big move to our mission field, we all came down with a severe strain of the flu. Having to figure out the medical procedures in a foreign country was also a new experience for us! Thankfully we received good care and were all healed, praise the Lord!
We have been so proud of Jason this past school year, he was enrolled in an all Thai kindergarten school just around the corner from our house. He told me after a couple days of school “Daddy, they all speak Thai and I don’t know anything they are saying!” After just a month or so, Jason began understanding more and more of the language and conversations at school. Jason is now beginning to identify and write the Thai manuscript. They say that full immersion into the language and culture is the best way to learn a new language. He mentioned to me just the other day that he enjoys attending his school. Jason also has been studying the piano, attending lessons one day per week. He has really enjoyed learning this new skill.
Hlawn Hlawn has just completed a sixth month course of speaking, reading and writing Thai language. She will continue this course work for the next year or two. She’s doing an amazing job!
Seth has been traveling for ministry work quite often throughout several S.E. Asia nations (Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia). Seth is serving as the Asia Area Administrator for Free Methodist World Missions. Seth is also the Executive Director of In Better Hands. In Better Hands is now an Affiliate Ministry Partner of FMC-USA/FMWM. Please visit the website to see the Kingdom work that is being done in S.E. Asia through In Better Hands.
Seth and Hlawn Hlawn have both really enjoyed creating new friendships in Chiang Mai. Hlawn Hlawn has had the opportunity several times to share her faith and relationship with Jesus to international classmates. We’ve invited friends over to our house and have even shown the Jesus Film. Please pray for the Van Tifflin family as they continue their work in S.E. Asia, drawing people to Jesus through their ministry work and everyday living.
C’mon out of the cold and join with the SMC team in Frankenmuth for the 2018 Pastor/Spouse Retreat Feb. 5-7 at the Bavarian Inn Lodge. Doug & Margie Newton will help warm up your relationship with your spouse and with the Lord as they share how “Love Can Deepen During Life’s Demands.” Many couples find the challenges, expectations, workloads & changing seasons of life pulling them apart and into separate worlds. The Newtons will share form their own experiences how, by God’s grace and their very specific commitments and patterns, their love relationship has become more and more fulfilling. They will share key factors that apply to any couple or person in ministry.
Now is the time for churches to submit their 2018 FMWM commitments. It is quick and easy and requires no login. Just click here to enter your information!
You can adjust these at any time after submitting them by calling 800.342.5531 or by emailing Debra Hancock.
The 2017 SMC Global Partnership Book distributed at Annual Conference contains a description of our SMC Global Partners and counties (except some creative access places). This can be found in the Conference Resource Google Drive.
The church gathered together to baptize 7 of our youth at Lime Lake this past summer. It was a wonderful time full of celebration, food, and play. We also had two families come up to us recently who were desperate to take care of some bills or face eviction or other problems. I briefly shared their need during service, set an offering plate on the stage, and hundreds of dollars came in to take care of them, even in a time where we’ve had to push people to donate towards buying our building.
-Pastor Jamin Bradley
I think of John and Tamara Skultety. We've ministered to them for one year, first meeting them through the suicide of their son. John let me know he wasn't a church guy and not to expect to see him here. Over time God touched both of them in a deep way. The church has ministered to their entire family, and now they are an active part of our life and will begin serving as greeters and possibly on our worship team next month. Both express their faith in Jesus, their love for the church, and their commitment to continue to grow as a follower of Christ.
We also had a Family Festival in September. We wanted to have an event for the community to bridge our summer children's programming to fall programs. We had about 300 people come from the neighborhood and many of these have connected with our children's ministry.
-Pastor Scott Gentry