Free Methodist pastors and local church leaders have appreciated the opportunity to learn directly from bishops and denominational employees at regional Equipping for Excellence (E2) gatherings.
“The thing that was most pleasing to me and most beneficial was that all three bishops were speaking with a singular voice,” said B. Elliott Renfroe — the pastor of Peoria (Ill.) First FMC and the president of the Free Methodist Urban Fellowship — who has attended several E2 events. “When it’s being led from the top down that way, it helps me to know where I need to be leading my congregation.”
E2 events have been held so far this year at Warm Beach Camp in Washington and FM churches in California, Florida, Iowa, Michigan and Oklahoma.
“I really like the fruitfulness of the conference and the way that we are making disciples,” said Uriel Duran, the pastor of Rey de Gloria in Columbus City, Iowa.
April McGee of the Alma (Neb.) FMC described E2 as “a wonderful family reunion” allowing fellowship with members of other FM conferences while “helping everybody be on the same team.”
Her husband, Pastor Brian McGee, was excited to learn details about FM Connect, the new Free Methodist Church – USA intranet system.
Pastor Tyler Boyer of Knox Knolls FMC in Springfield, Ill., and other E2 participants said they enjoyed hearing from new National Ministerial Education and Guidance Director Jason Morriss. Boyer said he is pleased the denomination is “acknowledging multiple vocations in the church” and “embracing calling wherever it comes up.”
Pastor Mark Tuttle of Crossroads Celebration Church in Ankeny, Iowa, said E2 allowed him to meet two of the bishops for the first time and to hear more about their nine Uniquely Free Methodist strategies.
The last E2 event will be held April 21–23 in conjunction with the Ministers Institute of the North East (MINE) in Lancaster, Pa. Go to minefmc.org for details and registration.
Patrick McNeal — the pastor of Living Grace Community Fellowship in Flint, Mich., and the founder of My Brother’s Keeper of Genesee County — is featured prominently in a University of Michigan-Flint video celebrating the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Visit fmchr.ch/mlkmcneal to watch the video and mbkgenesee.org to learn about My Brother’s Keeper.
The FMC of Oil City’s Kid Zone made prayer pillows and delivered them to a local nursing home. Adults in the group were reunited with nursing home resident Betty Graham who cared for them in the church’s nursery when they were babies, and she was able to meet children and grandchildren of members of her longtime church family.
Mission Valley FMC’s Mako Seto, the brother of Seattle Seahawks defensive passing game coordinator Rocky Seto, was interviewed Feb. 9 by Assistant Pastor Philip Sakanashi about experiences attending the Super Bowl. “One of the highlights of my trip was I had Bible study with [Seahawks quarterback] Russell Wilson,” Mako Seto said.
Jesus and His disciples weren’t exempt from paying taxes (Matthew 17:24–27), and neither are modern Christians. Go to fmchr.ch/fmtaxtips for tips from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and resources that may help you prepare your individual tax returns before the Internal Revenue Service’s April 15 deadline.0