At his installation as 41st Moderator of The United Church of Canada on August 18th, the Right Reverend Dr. Gary Paterson compared the United Church to the early church that Paul described and prayed for in his letter to the ancient city of Ephesus.
“They found themselves in a vast multicultural community and began struggling, praying, wrestling, and fighting about what it means to be an intercultural church . . . We, like those people of Ephesus, are struggling, and we need to hear this prayer from Paul,” he said.
Dr. Paterson was speaking at the end of the General Council meeting in Ottawa, in which 350 delegates (commissioners) from across Canada had gathered to review where the Church has been and discern God’s guidance on the way ahead.
- They had looked back in celebration and with new clarity, officially recognizing the 60 Aboriginal Methodist and Presbyterian congregations who had joined at Union in 1925.
- They had addressed the present, acknowledging, and at times mourning, the status of “church” in today’s world. And they incorporated the four colours of the Aboriginal medicine wheel and the phrase, “Akwe Nia’Tetewá:neren” (“All my relations”) in the United Church crest.
- They had looked squarely to the future, recognizing that the Church structures, both organizational and physical, will look nothing like they have in the past.
With Dr. Paterson’s words, commissioners departed, confident that with the help of the Creator, the United Church will be “able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20)
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For 87 years, The United Church of Canada has built its legacy as a prophetic, uniquely Canadian, voice in the world. It has made the ministry of Jesus a reality where and when it has been most needed, both in Canada and around the world.
And this legacy will continue, no matter where the United Church is headed―and no matter what form it will take.
Why not become part of this legacy? You can do your part by establishing a legacy gift. Perhaps a bequest in your will, or the purchase of a United Church gift annuity, or through the gift of a life insurance policy, designating the area of the church’s mission that moves in your heart.
For more information on the many ways that you can lead the legacy into the future, contact:
Jane Harding, Financial Development Officer