The United Church of Canada is the largest Protestant Christian denomination in Canada. It was inaugurated on June 10, 1925 in Toronto, Ontario when the Methodists, Congregationalists and 70 per cent of the Presbyterian churches in Canada entered into an organic union. It was the first union of churches in the world to cross historical denominational lines, and gained international acclaim. Impetus for the union arose out of the growing need of massive waves of new immigrants settling in the Canadian prairies, and a belief that a cooperative effort that pooled both human and material resources would serve best.
The United Church Crest symbolically expresses this physical and spiritual union. The oval shape is derived from the outline of a fish which was an identifying symbol used by early Christians. The initials of the words “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour” spell the Greek word for fish. The “X” at the centre is the first letter for Christ in Greek. The open Bible represents the Congregational Churches with their emphasis on God’s truth that liberates. The dove represents the Holy Spirit whose transforming power was the hallmark of Methodism. The burning bush portrays the Presbyterian belief in the indestructibility of the Church as the body of Christ. The Alpha and Omega symbols are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet representing God as the One who was in the beginning and will be there in the fullness of time. The Latin words “ut omnes unum sint” mean “That all may be one”, echoing the words Jesus prayed for us. The Mohawk phrase “Akwe Nia’Tetewá:neren”, which means “All my relations”, was added in 2012 to acknowledge the presence and spirituality of Aboriginal peoples in the United Church.
Our beliefs are best expressed by an affirmation of faith called “A New Creed” which continues to evolve as our understanding of ourselves in relationship with God and our world is ever unfolding:
We are not alone,
We live in God’s world.
We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others
by the Spirit.
We trust in God.
We are called to be the Church:
To celebrate God’s presence,
To live with respect in Creation,
To love and serve others,
To seek justice and resist evil,
To proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
Our judge and our hope.
In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.
For more information follow this link to
The United Church of Canada website: www.united-church.ca