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The United Church of Canada

A History

Don Schweitzer

Publication Year: 2011

Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. ix-x

As editor, I would like to thank several people for assisting in the production of this book. Rob Alary of Data Library Services at Murray Library, University of Saskatchewan, provided the Canadian census statistics on membership in the United Church of Canada...

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pp. xi-xix

The United Church of Canada has had a significant presence in Englishspeaking Canada for over eighty years. Its formation occasioned debate in Parliament and required the passing of The United Church Act in 1924. Its inaugural service on June 10, 1925, received extensive...


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pp. xx-xxi

Genealogical Chart of Church Union in Canada

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pp. xxii-xxiv

Part One. Chronology

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Chapter One - Unity among Many: The Formation of The United Church of Canada, 1899–1930

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pp. 3-38

A rousing worship service in downtown Toronto on the morning of Wednesday, June 10, 1925, formally inaugurated The United Church of Canada.2 In a flash, nearly all the Methodists and Congregationalists of Canada, as well as most Presbyterians and many independents...

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Chapter Two - The 1930s

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pp. 39-56

Over 15,000 congregants gathered in the Maple Leaf Gardens on June 10, 1935, while thousands of listeners across Canada tuned in to their radios. The United Church of Canada was celebrating its tenth anniversary. Moderator Richard Roberts delivered the address...

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Chapter Three - The United Church and the Second World War

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pp. 57-76

In the small farming community of Domain, Manitoba, where I was raised, the annual Remembrance Day Sunday service held in the local United Church was one of the holiest occasions of the year. On those days, the service began as a procession of veterans...

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Chapter Four - A Golden Age: The United Church of Canada, 1946–1960

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pp. 77-96

On June 10, 1959, the Right Reverend Angus MacQueen, moderator of the United Church, dedicated “United Church House,” the church’s new headquarters building at 85 St. Clair Avenue East, Toronto...

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Chapter Five - “And Whether Pigs Have Wings”: The United Church in the 1960s

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pp. 97-118

Rachel Cameron is thirty-four years old, single, living with her mother and teaching in the fictional prairie town of Manawaka. As the protagonist of Margaret Laurence’s 1966 novel...

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Chapter Six - The 1970s: Voices from the Margins

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pp. 119-138

In the 1970s a number of marginalized groups, among them Aboriginal peoples, French-speaking Canadians and feminist women, began successfully to challenge entrenched assumptions about their status and identity within Canadian society...

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Chapter Seven - 1980s: What Does It Mean to Be The United Church of Canada? Emergent Voices, Self-Critique, and Dissent

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pp. 139-160

At its inception, the United Church’s identity was based on an understanding of itself as a uniting church in the Canadian context. Its formation was seen as a step toward the coming together –– in spite of differences –– of all committed Christians, which in turn would...

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Chapter Eight - 1990–2003: The Church into the New Millennium

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pp. 161-182

As Canadians entered the 1990s, the world around them had changed drastically in a short period of time. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union left the United States as the dominant military and economic superpower...

Part Two. Thematic Issues

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Chapter Nine - Worship on the Way: The Dialectic of United Church Worship

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pp. 185-202

The diversity of worship in The United Church of Canada presents significant methodological challenges for scholarly study. How does one study the history and theology of worship in a tradition where there is no fixed liturgy? It is like trying to describe something in motion...

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Chapter Ten - A Look at Ministry: Diversity and Ambiguity

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pp. 203-220

The history of ministry in The United Church of Canada is not uniform or definitive. The question “What does ministry mean?” has arisen over and over again. Forms of ministry and theological perspectives about them have varied in the United Church since 1925...

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Chapter Eleven - United Church Mission Goals and First Nations Peoples

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pp. 221-238

The approach taken in this chapter differs sufficiently from others in this book that an explanation is in order. Our initial intention was to write a chapter studying the history of the mission goals of the United Church in relation to Aboriginal peoples, but there were two problems...

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Chapter Twelve - Jews and Palestinians: An Unresolved Conflict in the United Church Mind

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pp. 239-258

Few issues have generated as much bitter contention in the United Church of Canada as the geopolitical struggle in the Middle East between Jews and Palestinians.1 This is not surprising. Jews and Judaism have posed a problem to Christian theologians since the split...

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Chapter Thirteen - Awash in Theology: Issues in Theology in The United Church of Canada

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pp. 259-278

Meeting in Toronto in August 2000, the Thirty-seventh General Council of The United Church of Canada directed the church’s Committee on Theology and Faith “to produce the draft of a timely and contextual statement of faith, with a view to circulation throughout...

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Chapter Fourteen - The Changing Social Imaginary of The United Church of Canada

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pp. 279-298

This chapter concludes the anthology by examining how the United Church’s social imaginary has changed in the course of its history. A social imaginary is the sense of self, of the world around it, and of how the two relate that every social group, organization...


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pp. 299-300


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pp. 301-306

Back Cover

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p. 307-307

E-ISBN-13: 9781554583768
E-ISBN-10: 1554583764
Print-ISBN-13: 9781554583317
Print-ISBN-10: 1554583314

Publication Year: 2011