2017 Conference: Theological Consultation #57

Soul Care
September 29 - October 1, 2017
Essenhaus Conference Center - Middlebury, Indiana


The Rev. Dr. John Lane, superintendent of Wabash Conference, will be the speaker at our fall retreat, Sept. 29, 30 and Oct 1, 2017, at Essenhaus in Middlebury, Indiana. He has been pastor of several large churches and has a Doctor of Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Seminary, but his resume also revealed some less well-known experiences that might help him as he develops this theme. These experiences include: being a part of a church planting team, Associate Minister, Senior Minister, Camping Director and counselor, Inner-city youth leader, Hospital Chaplain, Missions leader, Stephen's Minister, and Coach.

His subject will be soul-care. So, what is a soul? Aristotle wrote much about the soul (psyche, ψυχή). What do other cultures say, what does modern science say and what does the Bible say? Is the soul something only important in heaven or is it also important now? Pastor Lane will address this subject in his initial talk, where he will review some of this, but then help us see where our soul is. How can we care for our soul if we are not sure if we have a soul, or are too busy to recognize it?

The subsequent talks will be to help us see what is our soul today and how we can care for it. Although the best care of our soul is to let God take care of it, there are practical things we can do which include making time and certain spiritual disciplines. In addition to his talks, he will direct us in discussion around our table and as a group. We should all come away with some practical ideas of how we can take better care of our souls.

2016 Conference: Theological Consultation #56

Showing God's Love Cross-Culturally
September 16-18, 2016
Palisade Retreat Center - Seattle, WA


The main speaker will be Blake Wood, Pastor of Seattle First Church. Pastor Wood used to be with the mission board and has worked overseas as a Free Methodist missionary. We are working with him as to what our theme will be. Tentative plans call for a mission emphasis on Friday night and other issues discussed on Saturday. We also want to reach out to students at Seattle Pacific and have contact with faculty there. The facility is very good.  The cost will be a little over 200 dollars a person, but this will include two nights lodging and 6 meals. There will be no separate registration fee, lodging or meal costs.  More details will appear in our winter newsletter.

For those flying in from the east, there will be transportation from Sea-Tac Airport to the center, so there will be no need to rent a car. On the other hand some many want to come early or stay late. Our west coast members will have suggestions. If people can commit early, we can also connect people through our website. Our board is really excited about this upcoming event and hope many decide to come.

2015 Conference: Theological Consultation #55

The Place of Chaplains on the Health Care Team
September 18-20, 2015
Essenhaus Inn, Middlebury, IN


-What might a Chaplain teach a Christian Doctor?  John Vlainic

-Mission Sharing:  Dr. Sam and Dr. Elizabeth Jeevagan from Umri Hospital

Saturday AM

-Expanding our view of how God can heal. A discussion lead by Chaplain John Vlainic

-How a chaplain can add value to a healthcare team: Chaplain Bruce Swingle, Albany NY

-Being a chaplain in a major pediatric hospital, Marc Zumhagan, Cincinnati Children’s 

-Integrating Spiritual Health and Physical Healing at Kibuye Hospital, Burundi,

                  Dr Eric McLaughlin

Saturday PM

How our fellowship can reach out to pastors and churches to help them minister to the sick and chronically ill. Discussion lead by John Vlainic

-How to Recognize a "Spiritual" Issue

-Visiting People in the Hospital

-Bibliography - Christians and Disability

Sunday AM

Communion service

Our theme was “The Chaplain as a Member of the Health Care Team.” Our denomination has ordained pastors working as chaplains at many hospitals, nursing homes and hospices. Rev. John Vlainic from Toronto, with extensive experience as a local church pastor, teacher of theology, and for the last 15 years as a Chaplain in a major teaching hospital was our main speaker. Through presentations and panels our chaplains shared their perspective on very ill patients and their families. We want it to spill over to our churches. . . what can our chaplains teach our pastors and laypeople about ministering to those who are ill in hospitals and nursing homes?

Rochester NY Area Meeting

November 1, 2014 at  New Hope FM Church

In November members from Rochester, NY gathered for a Saturday morning breakfast. Two physicians, who are also ordained Free Methodist Pastors, attended. One is head of an OB residency and the other does Adolescent Medicine at a community health center. Two physicians who do addiction medicine were there, the former chairperson of Roberts Wesleyan Nursing program and two physicians who have done extensive work overseas: one an obstetrician and one a family physician. A dental hygienist who is also a pastor joined in too. As you might gather, we had a lot to share. We plan to meet again and may do something in conjunction with the Roberts Wesleyan pre-med group and nursing school.

2014 Fall Conference: Theological Consultation #54

September 19-21, 2014

Essenhaus Inn, Middlebury, IN

Dr. Willard Swartley, a nationally known author was the speaker at our annual conference/retreat in Sept 2014. He has published Health, Healing and the Church’s Mission: Biblical Perspectives and Moral Priorities, which was a featured book by InterVarsity Press in 2012. Part of the Free Methodist Healthcare Fellowships new mission is to be a resource to the whole church and to help our churches become healing communities. His talks were very appropriate and encouraged our vision to assist our churches to become healing communities. He has provided us extensive notes, and we will share one subject in each issue of this newsletter. This will be a good review for those who attending and something new for those who could not attend.