Cliffs Notes: October 25, 2022

Last week the FMCiC prayed a corporate, “thank YOU Father, for John Vlainic”. Our dear brother went home to be with Jesus. I still find myself shocked by this new reality. I am experiencing John’s “both/and” theology: I am both celebrating how God has greeted John and said to him, “well done My son”, and I am grieving for the hole that he leaves for Ruth, Jason (his son), his extended family, all of us, his friends and our denomination. Just this weekend, I experienced a moment during an online pastor discussion, where I thought for just a second, “I need to call John to hear his thoughts”. He was that for me: someone to check in with, to help me to process, to challenge me, and encourage me. He was that to us as a movement (which he loved deeply): a keeper of our story, one who challenged us to think deeply, as he modeled Godly debate and discussion.

In difficult conversation or debate, John modeled the Godly approach. He was humble. Humble does not have to win a debate (pride does). Humble is very attentive to those ‘in the room’ – for instance, humility cares about how one comes across, how the other is hearing, and what they are hearing. Humble tries to make sure that their own words, opinions or reactions do not ‘destroy’ another, but are gently received.

Truth can be corrupted by how it is delivered.

Humble does not generally pull out the badge that says, “I am the smartest one here, or best read here, or the pastor here, or the final authority here”! Humble does not have to prove itself, which makes a humble person a good listener. John was humble.

John celebrated learning. I often heard him ask great clarifying questions. Jesus, the humblest human to have lived, asked over 300 questions! Jesus helped people be heard, to hear themselves, and helped them come to Truth. John would say things like, “thank you for that point… you gave me something to think about”. And then he would think about it. He would prayerfully think. He would cross-check with his library (his massive library and catalogue system!), and with trusted friends, before he responded.

John gave us much, taught us much and loved us well. “Thank You Father for John, now please help us to honour Your son John, by living into how You have used him in our movement.”

This is how God has orchestrated His Church: He has given us each other, to help us become stronger. We are stronger when we live into humility… Canada needs a humble Church.

This past weekend Karlene and I were warmly welcomed into the 121st anniversary service of the Zion FM Church, near Sarnia Ontario. Thank you Zion for 121 years of faithful ministry, and Pastor Terry Clyne for your 25 years of gentle, loving, committed pastoral ministry at Zion!

Cornerstone Prince Albert also celebrated a milestone anniversary this past weekend – their 100th!  Their anniversary service was recorded, you can view it on YouTube using this link.


Tuesdays: Cliff’s Notes
2nd Tuesday of each month: What’s Got You Thinking?  New Episode Available
4th Thursday of each month: Church Health Thursday 
Check out all the latest photos from around the FMCiC here: 


None this week

None scheduled

Register online through the link above (Tuition payment is not required when registering for a course.  Payment is due 10 days before the course begins.)
Lay Ministers tracking for credentialed ministry and those transferring ordination credentials into the FMCIC need to take the following two courses for full credit – and if possible, the Heart course first and then Wesleyan Theology.

Heart of Canadian Free Methodism:
June 2-4, 2023 – location TBA*

Wesleyan Theology:
June 2-4, 2023 – location TBA*

Also available:

  • Tyndale University – “John Wesley’s Theology: Renewing the Heart, Renewing the Church”
    • as a 7-week intensive online course: Wesleyan Theology [#74W] Dr. Robert Vaughan – start date: Nov 1
    • as a correspondence course (8 months to complete):  Wesleyan Theology (#74C), Dr. Allen Wachter

Ministerial Candidates tracking for Commissioned or Ordained Minister are required to take the following two courses for full credit.  Those who are already commissioned or ordained are required to either audit these two courses for 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) each or take the two courses and complete the assignments for 3 CEUs each.

Culture and the Missional Church:
Date and location TBA*

Personal and Church Stewardship: 
5-week online course – Start Date TBA
(* These course locations are selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early!)


The Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) provides financial assistance to candidates who are studying to meet the educational requirements for credentialed ministry, or for members of conference pursuing continuing education.

February 15 is the next deadline to apply for LSP for any courses taken during the winter semester of 2023. The 2023 application forms and instructions will soon be available to download from the link above.  Please use the application forms marked “rev 2023.”

The Special Scholarships provide financial assistance to those who are members of a Free Methodist church pursuing post-secondary education to grow in their Christian faith, to those who are pursuing credentialed ministry, and to members of conference pursuing continuing education.

October 15 is the deadline to apply for the annual Special Scholarships for courses taken during the 2023 calendar year – apply online anytime from the link above.  Special Scholarships are awarded in late November/early December each year.

Ordained and Commissioned Ministers (except retirees) are to annually report hours acquired during each year for Continuing Education Units (CEUs).  Check the link above for information on CEUs, and a list of examples of many different types of life-long learning that can be applied as CEUs.

You can now send a report online anytime you have hours to submit for CEUs.  Here is the link:

Note:  For those who attend the fall Minister’s Conferences or the spring Regional Gatherings, attendance is now taken at these events so 6 hours of CEU credit for each event will automatically be recorded.

For those who took courses and/or did in-depth research and learning about how to make the changes required during the pandemic (ie how to live-stream services), add the number of those hours to your annual CEU report.



Hilton Beach, ON – St. Joseph Island FMC
New Westminster, BC – First FMC
Salmon Arm BC – Lakeside Community Church

Sarnia, ON – New Horizons Community Church
Thornbury, ON – Blue Mountain Community Church
Warkworth, ON – Warkworth FMC

Church Profiles available
Contact Davika Dotson in the  Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] (deadline to apply in brackets)

None available this week

Preparing Profiles
If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Davika in the Leadership Development Office [see above] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.

Bracebridge, ON – New Hope FMC
Brampton, ON – Bramalea FMC

Campbellford, ON – Campbellford FMC
Cloyne, ON – Pineview FMC
Dunnville, ON – Dunnville FMC (Rev. Neale Robb – Interim Pastor)
Frankford, ON – Frankford Community Church
Kingston, ON – Polson Park FMC
Madoc, ON – Madoc Free Methodist/Wesleyan Church
Marmora, ON – Marmora FMC

Richmond Hill, ON – Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches (Rev. Louis Leung – Interim Pastor)
Sault Ste Marie, ON – Sault Ste Marie FMC
Tillsonburg, ON – Open Arms Church


Unique Associate Pastor Opportunity – Trulls Road FMC

Associate Pastor of Worship Ministry – Northview Community Church