The United Church of Canada is Canada's second largest church (after the Roman Catholic Church), and its largest Protestant denomination with over three million members. The current Moderator of the United Church is the Rev. Peter Short.
The United Church of Canada was formed by Act of Parliament in 1925. It was the merger of four prominent Protestant denominations, the Presbyterians, the Methodists, the Congregationalists and the Unionists. This merger was unprecedented in world history; Canada was the first country where the Protestant churches elected to pool their resources and become one large non-dogmatic church.
The United Church is one of the most socially liberal of the world's large Protestant denominations. It was quick to allow female ministers and has long shied away from a rigid interpretation of the Bible.
The United Church is also very open to homosexuals. Corporately, the church allows homosexual ministers, celebrates gay unions, and fights for gay rights in the greater community. Church delegates presented evidence in favour of same-sex marriage to the House of Commons Justice Committee during its cross-country hearings in 2003 and welcomed court decisions that legalized same-sex marriage in certain provinces. However, the process of coming to a church-wide decision of gay issues has been difficult, with some congregations electing to leave the church entirely. See Christian views on homosexuality.
In 1999 the limits of the Church's openness were tested when the Church's Moderator, the Rev. Bill Phipps commented that he was not sure the resurrection of Jesus was a scientific fact. This sparked great debate in the church, and many congregations passed motions asserting their faith in Jesus' resurrection.
|Table of contents|
1.1 Halifax Presbytery2 External links
1.2 Montreal Presbytery
1.3 Ottawa Presbytery
1.4 Quebec-Sherbrooke Presbytery
1.5 Toronto South Presbytery
1.6 Toronto West Presbytery
Toronto South Presbytery
Toronto West Presbytery