Series 3 - Research materials for reports, briefs, and statements submitted by the Board to the church and external bodies

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Research materials for reports, briefs, and statements submitted by the Board to the church and external bodies

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  • Textual record

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CA ON00340 F510-3

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96 cm of textual records

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(1926 -1972)

Administrative history

The Board of Evangelism and Social Service was established at the time of Church Union, bringing together Methodist and Presbyterian traditions in the fields of social and spiritual welfare. The duties of the Board as outlined in the Manual of the United Church of Canada were "to give leadership to the Church ... in the promotion of evangelism, the development of the spiritual life and work of the Church and the application of the principles of the Gospel of Jesus to the whole life." This mandate was broadly interpreted over the years, and led to the Board's involvement in care facilities, chaplaincy services, the development of communications strategies, and the establishment of committees and commissions to investigate social and political issues in the areas of war and peace, human rights, poverty, industrial society, health care and welfare. In 1964 the Board became a part of the Division of Congregational Life and Work while retaining its independence of action and leadership. In 1972 the Board was absorbed into the Division of Mission in Canada.

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There is a great deal of research material found in the Board of Evangelism and Social Service accession which is not directly related to the activities of its various committees, or the operation of its various social institutions. An examination of the Minutes of the Executive and Sub-executive of the Board in the 1960s for example, will show that the members were interested in several issues that were either of an immediate nature (like the Vietnam War), or were not considered to be central to its mission as a vehicle for evangelism and social service (assistance to American draft resisters from that war who were resident in Canada). Examples of the use made of this type of material are found in the briefs presented by the Board, on behalf of the United Church, to Parliament on an issue like abortion; as background briefing materials for delegates attending a conference on racism and human rights; or for studies undertaken on issues like poverty or urban unrest. The collection of the research reports, newspaper clippings, statements from other denominations and non-religious bodies was often undertaken for a period of time beyond the immediate need of it for a specific report, brief or statement.

Series consists of the following sub-series: 1) Human rights and civil liberties, 1951-1971; 2) Human rights, racism, and native Canadian concerns, 1958-1971; 3) Medicare and Abortion, 1962-1971; 4) The church and urban issues, 1959-1971; 5) Experiments in ministry, 1963-1968; 6) American draft resisters in Canada, 1967-1971; 7) Reports to the Board, 1962-1969.

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created January 2023, AZ

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