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United Church of Canada. Church Union

  • Collectivité
  • 1925-

The Dominion Act uniting the Methodist Church (Canada), the Canadian Congregational Union, and the Presbyterian Church in Canada came into force 1925 June 10, the day the inaugural service of The United Church of Canada was held in Toronto. This event had been preceded by thirty years of proposals and negotiations, under the direction of the Joint Committee on Union after 1904. Within the Presbyterian Church, the years between 1910 and 1925 were particularly marked by controversy over the legitimacy of the union proposals and the efforts of a determined minority to preserve its traditional church structure; and about one-third of the Presbyterians did not join into the union of 1925.

United Church of Canada Aboriginal Ministries Council

  • Collectivité
  • 2009-

Participants at the 2005 Aboriginal Consultation in Sudbury strongly recommended that Aboriginal peoples become partners in the work of The United Church of Canada through the establishment of an Aboriginal Ministries Unit. The Aboriginal Ministries Steering Committee was established in 2006 to undertake a process of consultation and discernment with Aboriginal members and others within the church about a National Aboriginal Council and Aboriginal Ministries Unit. A report of the Steering Committee, entitled “Giving Voice to a Vision” was presented to the General Council Executive in November, 2008. Based on the adopted report, the Aboriginal Ministries Council, with the purpose of overseeing and guiding the work of Aboriginal Ministries was created and to be implemented by an Aboriginal Ministries Council Implementation Task Group. The inaugural meeting was held in September, 2009. A staff team in the General Council office is called Aboriginal Ministries Circle and works in partnership with The United Church to apply Aboriginal people’s vision of spiritual healing, stewardship, and economic well-being. A large part of their work is the National Aboriginal Spiritual Gatherings which provide an opportunity to share and nurture the vision of the Circle. The Aboriginal Ministries Council takes direction from the Spiritual Gatherings and sends this work to the Executive of the General Council. It also reflects and takes into consideration the documented meetings of the Aboriginal Ministries Steering Committee, the All Native Circle Conference, and Aboriginal Presbyteries which document and reflect the voice of the Aboriginal community. The Council supports approximately 52-56 Native Ministries, including congregations and outreach ministries. The Healing Fund and the Towards Right Relations Task Group both report to the Council.

General Council Minister
Aboriginal Ministries Coordinator
Healing Programs Coordinator
Administrative and Program Support
Youth Leadership Coordinator
Community Capacity Development Coordinator

Aboriginal Ministries work was previously a part of the Office of the Moderator and General Secretary, the Support to Local Ministries Unit and Division of Mission in Canada Unit.

Centre for Christian Studies (Toronto, Ont.)

  • CAN
  • Collectivité
  • 1926-1991

In 1926 the Presbyterian Missionary and Deaconess Training Home and the Methodist National Training School joined to form the United Church Training School in Toronto. In 1930 the School became affiliated with Emmanuel College, whose staff contributed to the courses of instruction. The School was first located at 135 St. Clair Avenue West, the former Methodist building. In 1942 the Canadian Women's Army Corps took over the St. Clair building and the school moved to 214 St. George Street West; in 1955 a new building was constructed at 77 Charles Street West. The purpose of the school was to train women for work as missionaries for home and foreign fields, Social Service, as congregational workers in pastoral charges, and other non ordained Church vocations. The School was under the direction of a Board of Management which was appointed by the United Church of Canada General Council, and was supervised by a Principal, a position held by Jean E. Macdonald, 1926 1934, Gertrude L. Rutherford, 1934 1946, Jean D.H. Hutchinson, 1946 1953, and K. Harriet Christie, 1953 1970. In 1962 the name was changed to Covenant College, and the constitution amended to permit the admission of male students.

In 1970 Covenant College amalgamated with the Anglican Women's Training College to constitute the Centre for Christian Studies. The two amalgamating bodies continued to operate as separate administrative entities until a complete merger was constituted in 1991. The Centre was located on Charles Street West in Toronto, before moving to Winnipeg in 1998. Its mandate was to act as a theological school of the United and Anglican Churches of Canada which prepared and supported women and men in educational, pastoral and social justice ministry in the church and the world, including providing a diploma program for diaconal ministers in the United Church. The Centre was governed by a volunteer board called the Central Council, which was composed of directors representing the Anglican and United Churches, as well as Friends of the Centre. Principals of the Centre have been Marion Niven 1970- 1982, Gwyn Griffith, 1982-1991, Trudy Lebans, 1991-1995, Wendy Hunt (Coordinator), 1996-1998 and Caryn Douglas, 1998-2008.

United Church of Canada. National Coordinating Group for the Study/Dialogue Programme on Sexual Orientation, Lifestyles, and Ministry

  • Collectivité
  • 1980-1988

The National Coordinating Group was established upon the request of the 1984 General Council that the Division of Mission in Canada and the Division of Ministry, Personnel and Education establish a process for a national study on sexual orientation, lifestyles and ministry, involving all levels of the Church. The Group was formed in 1985 to undertake this study, which carried on until 1988.

Affirm United

  • Collectivité

Prior to 1982, various regional groups existed to provide support and strategies for lesbians and gays in the United Church: United Church Gays and Lesbians of B.C.; One Loaf (Regina); The Council on Homosexuality and Religion (Winnipeg); TOUCH – Toronto United Church Homosexuals; and United Church Gays and Lesbians of Quebec (UCGLQ). The latter group, UCGLQ, offered to host and organize a gathering in Montreal days before the 29th General Council in August 1982 to explore the possibility of establishing a national network within the United Church for gay and lesbian persons.

AFFIRM – Gays and Lesbians in the United Church of Canada was established on August 5, 1982 as a national network of regional groups of lesbian and gay members and adherents of the United Church to: "Affirm gay and lesbian people within the United Church of Canada, provide a network of support among regional groups, act as a point of contact for individuals and speak to the church in a united fashion encouraging it to act prophetically and pastorally both within and beyond the church structure."
Open to all gay and lesbian people associated with the United Church of Canada, AFFIRM members could participate at the annual general meeting and establish local groups which would have representation on the National Consultative Council. The National Consultative Council, consisting of chairperson(s), secretary/treasurer, and local representatives, would appoint functions to the local groups, deal with policy making, and to make decisions between general meetings.

Affirm worked with the support of allies within Friends of Affirm, an organization of lay and order of ministry people who supported the aims and programs of Affirm. Affirm/Friends of Affirm submitted briefs to church and government decision-making bodies, spoke at church meetings, and offered educational events and resources. The Affirming Congregation Programme was launched by Affirm and Friends of Affirm in the summer of 1992 to provide materials to study the issues of inclusion and welcoming of diverse peoples, namely gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people. Participating United Church organizations become Affirming Ministries.
At a joint 1994 annual general meeting, the decision was made to merge Affirm and Friends of Affirm at the national level to “afford new opportunities for all people regardless of sexual orientation to work together.” The new organization was named Affirm United/S’Affirmer Ensemble.

United Church of Canada. Support to Local Ministries Unit

  • Collectivité

The Support to Local Ministries Unit was one of six working units created in 2001 that brought together work from the former Division of Mission in Canada and from the former Department of Stewardship Services following the restructuring of the General Council Office.
The unit was mandated to provide denomination support that enables, develops, and celebrates the vital and holistic ministries of diverse local church bodies (congregations, institutions, and specialized ministries) across Canada. Its work was divided into three programs, namely: Mission through Finance Program, Congregational Mission and Church Development Program and Specialized Ministries Program.
While Aboriginal Ministries was originally coordinated by the Division of Mission in Canada, due to the restructuring, oversight of Aboriginal Ministries was transferred to Support to Local Ministries. In 2006, Aboriginal Ministries, including the Healing Fund, migrated organizationally to report to the General Council Minister, Racial and Gender Justice. Aboriginal Ministries Council is now its own unit in The United Church of Canada.
In 2007, the Support to Local Ministries Unit and Faith Formation and Education Unit combined to form the Congregational Educational and Community Ministries Unit.

Kennebeck Methodist Circuit (Ont.)

  • Collectivité
  • 1867-1925

Kennebeck Methodist Circuit was established in 1867 and included the following points: Kennebeck, Swastika, Chamberlain, Leeville, Heawood and Cane.It was discontinued in 1925 when the United Church of Canada was formed and then formed Kennebeck Pastoral Charge.

Copper Cliff United Church (Ont.)

  • Collectivité
  • 1925-

Copper Cliff United Church, located at 26 Park Street, was established in 1925 at the time of church union; formerly Methodist and Presbyterian. Copper Cliff Methodist Church was established in the late 1880s. Knox Presbyterian Church, Copper Cliff, was established circa 1888 as a student mission field. Services were held at the Finnish Presbyterian Church in Copper Cliff during 1890s. It opened its own church building in 1899 in the middle of Park Street. In 1920, the church was moved to 26 Park Street. Both the Presbyterian and Methodist Church joined the United Church in 1925 to form Copper Cliff United Church. It is still an active congregation of the United Church of Canada.

Creighton Mines Mission was established in 1899, its first services conducted by the Presbyterian minister from Copper Cliff; it joined the United Church in 1925.

Swastika Community Church (Ont.)

  • Collectivité
  • 1925-2011

Swastika Community Church, also known as Swastika United Church was established in 1925; formerly Methodist and Presbyterian. The first building was constructed in 1912. The church joined the United Church of Canada in 1925.It formed part of Swastika Pastoral Charge which included over time: Larder Lake, Argonaut Mine, Boston Creek, Sesekinika, Kirkland West, Bourkes, West End in Chaput Hughes, Wavell, Hough Lake, Dane, King Kirkland, Matachewan and Virginiatown. In the 1960s, it was part of Kirkland Lake Surburban Pastoral Charge. A new building on Government Road West was constructed in 1950. The church was It closed on June 26, 2011.

Kirkland Lake Suburban Pastoral Charge was formed ca. 1951. It included Federal Church in Kirkland Lake, King Kirkland, Swastika, Matachewan and West End Church in Chaput Hughes. It closed ca. 1972.

West End United Church in Chaput Hughes was established ca. 1937. A church building was opened and dedicated on October 6, 1940. It closed ca. 1967

Federal United Church in Kirkland Lake was established ca. 1941, and closed ca. 1970.

Callander - Laurier Avenue Pastoral Charge (North Bay, Ont.)

  • Collectivité
  • 1960-2016

Callander - Laurier Avenue Pastoral Charge was formed in the 1960s; it included Knox United Church in Callander and Laurier Avenue United Church in North Bay. It disbanded in 2016 with the closure of Knox United Church in Callander.

Laurier Avenue United Church, located at 449 Laurier Avenue in North Bay, was established in 1928 to serve the northeast area of the city. A church was officially opened and dedicated on February 12, 1928. The church was originally formed part of North Bay Suburban Pastoral Charge with Ferris United Church (now Emmanuel United Church in North Bay). In formed part of a two-point charge with Carmichael's United Church in Widdifield Township from ca. 1941-1958. It then joined Knox United Church in Callander in 1958 to form a two-point charge. The church closed on May 6, 2012.

Knox United Church, located at 280 Lansdowne Avenue East in Callander, was established in 1925, formerly Presbyterian. The Presbyterians began services in Callander in 1883 and services were held in members' homes. Knox Presbyterian Church was built in 1892 and a vestry was built behind the church in 1922. The church joined the United Church of Canada in 1925. Until the 1960s, Knox United formed part of a multiple-point charge, Callander Pastoral Charge, which had included at times: Nipissing Junction, McDonald's,, River's Hill, Sunset Cove, Ferris and Laurier Avenue in North Bay. It then formed part of a two-point charge with Laurier Avenue United Church in North Bay until Laurier Avenue United Church closed. It disbanded in June 2016.

United Church of Canada. Woman's Missionary Society. Dominion Board

  • Collectivité
  • 1925-1961

The Dominion Board was the central authority of the Woman's Missionary Society, and it alone was permitted by the constitution to initiate mission work for the entire Society. It was made up of officers, including a President, General Secretary, Treasurer, and Assistant Treasurer, all of whom were elected at the Annual Meeting. In addition, the Board included the presidents of all the Conference Branches, the Moderator of the Church, one representative from each of several Boards of the Church, two representatives of each Conference Branch, and the secretaries of the Departments of the Society. Its Executive Committee acted for the Society between annual meetings, and it had the power to borrow money, mortgage property, sell or otherwise dispose of all holdings, and establish priorities for the Society.

The General Secretaries were Effie A. Jamieson, 1925-1931; Winnifred Thomas, 1932-1952; and Anne I. Ward, 1952-1961.

United Church of Canada. Woman's Missionary Society. Home Mission Department. Community Missions West

  • Collectivité

Like the Community Missions East, the work of the western section (Manitoba to British Columbia) was built upon the work carried on by the three uniting societies. The Congregational missionaries had been instrumental in isolated communities, while the Methodists had worked among recent immigrants in cities such as Winnipeg. The Presbyterians had undertaken work among Jews, Ukrainians, and other immigrant groups and new Canadians, as well as workers in extractive industries such as logging on the Pacific coast. Work with recent immigrants, hospital visitation, community work, and church extension into rural areas were all undertaken by the missionaries. While early work was concentrated primarily in large centres such as Vancouver and Calgary, a new type of woman worker, the missionary-at-large, came to labour in small, isolated communities where she was often the sole representative of the Church. This was especially true in northern communities, such as Flin Flon, Man., Cold Lake, Alta. and Cariboo Presbytery, B.C.

United Church of Canada. Woman's Missionary Society. Japan

  • Collectivité

The Japanese Mission began when the Methodist Society sent Martha Cartmell to undertake evangelistic and educational work in 1882. By the time of Church Union in 1925 there were stations in nine cities. Kindergartens, a primary school, three high schools, and the Women's Christian College suggested the heavy emphasis on educational work, but there was also evangelistic and social work in the cities. World War II interrupted the work. Many of the missionaries returned to Canada, and a national church, the Church of Christ in Japan (Kyodan), took over responsibility for mission work. Following the war, Canadian missionaries returned under the direction of the Church of Christ. Western missionaries were represented through the Interboard Committee, based in New York, and through that body, represented on the Council of Cooperation (COC) along with the Church of Christ and the Japan Christian Education Association.

United Church of Canada. Woman's Missionary Society. Northern Rhodesia

  • Collectivité

The Society entered the field in 1953 as part of the British United Mission to the Copperbelt. Two churches operated in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) at this time: the Church of Central Africa in Rhodesia (CCAR), a predominantly black African church, and the Copperbelt Free Church Council (CFCC), a predominantly white European church. While the missionaries were to work with both groups, their activity was concentrated on working with African women through the Mindolo Women's Training Centre, which eventually became part of the Mindolo Ecumenical Centre for Conference, Training and Research. An integration of the mission work with a united church made up of these two churches (United Church of Central Africa in Rhodesia--UCCAR) took place in 1961.

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