Moderator of the United Church of Canada
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The Moderator of the United Church of Canada is the most senior elected official within the United Church of Canada. They may be a lay person or a member of the Order of Ministry and are elected by commissioners to the General Council - the United Church's highest court - and typically serve for a term of three years. The duties of the Moderator are fourfold. They are responsible for giving leadership, presiding, visiting, and serving as spokesperson for the denomination. The current Moderator is The Right Reverend Jordan Cantwell. She was elected to the office by the 42nd General Council in Corner Brook, Newfoundland on August 13, 2015.
The Moderator's authority exists by his or her ability to influence the direction of the denomination, rather than any sort of direct power to unilaterally enact changes. Duties of the Moderator include:
- giving Leadership ("especially in spiritual things, quickening in the hearts of the people a sense of God as revealed in Christ, and heartening and strengthening the whole United Church")
- visiting pastoral charges across the country, "giving sympathetic guidance and counsel giving sympathetic guidance and counsel, and reporting to the General Council and its executive".
- being the primary spokesperson and representative for the United Church
- presiding at the meetings of the United Church's highest court, the triannual General Council, and chairing meetings of the General Council's Executive and Sub-Executive.
History of the Office
Moderators are elected at each General Council; their term of office is therefore defined by the length of time between General Councils. When the United Church of Canada was founded in 1925, General Councils were biannual, giving each moderator a two-year term of office. At the 1994 General Council, the commissioners voted to make General Councils triannual, thus increasing the moderator's term to three years.
Although most moderators have been ordained ministers, this is not a requirement of office—to date, four have been lay persons. If the moderator is ordained, he or she is styled the "Right Reverend" while in office, and the "Very Reverend" after their retirement.
In 2012, Gary Paterson was elected moderator. Paterson was the first homosexual leader of a major Christian denomination. In 2015, the United Church of Canada elected its second gay moderator, Jordan Cantwell.
Current and Past Moderators
|2015 to present||Jordan Cantwell||42nd||Corner Brook, NL|
|2012-2015||Gary Paterson||41st||Ottawa, ON|
|2009-2012||Mardi Tindal||40th||Kelowna, BC|
|2006-2009||David Giuliano||39th||Thunder Bay, ON|
|2003-2006||Peter Short||38th||Wolfville, NS|
|2000-2003||Marion Pardy||37th||Toronto, ON|
|1997-2000||Bill Phipps||36th||Camrose, AB|
|1994-1997||Marion Best||35th||Fergus, ON|
|1992-1994||Stan McKay||34th||Fredericton, NB|
|1990-1992||Walter H. Farquharson||33rd||London, ON|
|1988-1990||Sang Chul Lee||32nd||Victoria, BC|
|1986-1988||Anne M. Squire||31st||Sudbury, ON|
|1984-1986||Robert F. Smith||30th||Morden, MB|
|1982-1984||W. Clarke MacDonald||29th||Montreal, QC|
|1980-1982||Lois M. Wilson||28th||Halifax, NS|
|1977-1980||George M. Tuttle||27th||Calgary, AB|
|1974-1977||Wilbur K. Howard||26th||Guelph, ON|
|1972-1974||Bruce McLeod||25th||Saskatoon, SK|
|1971-1972||Arthur B. B. Moore||24th||Niagara Falls, ON|
|1968-1971||Robert Baird McClure||23rd||Kingston, ON|
|1966-1968||Wilfred C. Lockhart||22nd||Waterloo, ON|
|1964-1966||Ernest M. Howse||21st||St. John's, NL|
|1962-1964||James R. Mutchmor||20th||London, ON|
|1960-1962||Hugh A. McLeod||19th||Edmonton, AB|
|1958-1960||Angus J. MacQueen||18th||Ottawa, ON|
|1956-1958||James S. Thomson||17th||Windsor, ON|
|1954-1956||George Dorey||16th||Sackville, NB|
|1952-1954||Alexander A. Scott||15th||Hamilton, ON|
|1950-1952||Clarence M. Nicholson||14th||Toronto, ON|
|1948-1950||Willard E. Brewing||13th||Vancouver, BC|
|1946-1948||Thomas W. Jones||12th||Montreal, QC|
|1944-1946||Jesse H. Arnup||11th||London, ON|
|1942-1944||John R. P. Scalter||10th||Belleville, ON|
|1940-1942||Aubrey S. Tuttle||9th||Winnipeg, MB|
|1938-1940||John W. Woodside||8th||Toronto, ON|
|1936-1938||Peter Bryce||7th||Ottawa, ON|
|1934-1936||Richard Roberts||6th||Kingston, ON|
|1932-1934||T. Albert Moore||5th||Hamilton, ON|
|1930-1932||Edmund H. Oliver||4th||London, ON|
|1928-1930||William T. Gunn||3rd||Winnipeg, MB|
|1926-1928||James Endicott||2nd||Montreal, QC|
|1925-1926||George C. Pidgeon||1st||Toronto, ON|
- "The Manual" (pdf). United Church of Canada. 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-21.
- "Current Moderator". The United Church of Canada. United Church of Canada. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
- "The Manual" (pdf). United Church of Canada. 2013. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- "Overview: Historical Timeline". The United Church of Canada. 2010-03-03. Retrieved 2010-03-10.
- Todd, Douglas. "United Church of Canada elects second gay moderator". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2016-01-25.
- "Record of Proceedings of the 42nd General Council, 2015" (PDF). The United Church of Canada. United Church of Canada. Retrieved 21 January 2017.