Talk:United Church of Canada

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Notable members subsection[edit]

Would anyone object to removing this subsection entirely? A while back, editors discussed who should be removed. It seems to me that if a notable individual is notable becuase of activity related to the church, they should be mentioned elsewhere in the article discussing their contribution (and many are). Otherwise, their membership in the church is, of course, appropriate to mention on their article, but it seems not to be as relevant for a general discussion of the church. This would, to me, indicate a WP:Undue problem. I am suggesting this only for the members subsection. I think the theologians subsection relates more directly to the church itself and the subject of this particular article. (That said, I would not object to incorporating the theologians into the other sections or removing reference to them.) In short, if an individual affected the history of the church, they should be in an article about the church. Otherwise, they are tangential and should not appear in the main article about the church. Novaseminary (talk) 17:16, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree with this suggestion to delete Notable members.Guinness323 (talk) 17:26, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
That was quick! And if we do go this route, this would not prevent anyone from creating a list of notable members as a seperate article (assuming it follows the guidelines for lists and everyone on the list is notable). Novaseminary (talk) 17:29, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
I went ahead and removed the section. If anyone would like to use what was there as the basis for a stand-alone list, here is the diff. There is also a Category:Members of the United Church of Canada that might be more useful. Novaseminary (talk) 21:03, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
I also removed the notable theologians subsection with this edit. It seems that if those listed are really notable with repsect to the Church itself, they would be mentioned at the location in the article in which the particular issue or topc is addressed as are the other individuals noted throughout the article. Novaseminary (talk) 02:30, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Similar church unions outside Canada[edit]

Is this section germane to the overall article? Reading references to churches outside of Canada that have no connection to the UCC other than they are the result of church amalgamations seems unfocussed. Guinness323 (talk) 22:53, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree it should go. I added the "citation needed" tags, but don't think it is relevant even if sourced. Novaseminary (talk) 23:02, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
To elaborate, if other "union" churches have used the UCC as a precedent for their own unions, that info should be added to their articles, not this article. The UCC did not consciously set out to create a worldwide "union" movement, but to solve a problem in Canada. What happened elsewhere afterward is not the UCC's story.Guinness323 (talk) 14:44, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
I think Guinness323 is exactly right (and that is sort of what I tried to say in the edit summary). Of course, the language that was removed had sourcing, peacock, and other POV problems, too. Novaseminary (talk) 17:11, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, meant to make attribution to your comment in edit summary, somehow didn't make the final cut...Guinness323 (talk) 17:44, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
I cannot see why it's irrelevant in an article on the United Church of Canada. The Uniting Church in Australia expressly regards the UCC as its own template -- and its leaders avowedly aspire after its courage in espousing politically delicate causes -- and its first hymnal (published in co-operation with the Anglican Church of Australia and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney: a subsequent edition is joined in by the Australian Lutherans) is essentially a second, Australian edition of the 1971 Hymn Book of the United and Anglican Churches of Canada. The UCC has always been at the forefront of ecumenical dialogue; its model of inter-confessional dialogue and institutional merger was expressly acknowledged in the assorted similar church unions throughout the world in the 20th century. This is surely not something the UCC would be ashamed of.Masalai (talk) 05:57, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

It is tough to prove something is irrelevant. The burden is really on the editor proposing the adddition to show that it is relevant. Regardless, this idea is potentially relevant on those other church's articles. It is only relevant on the UCC article to the extent it directly adds to one's understanding of UCC. For example, many athletes inspire others, but we wouldn 't necessarily note on Wayne Gretzky's article that Alex Ovechkin idolized Gretsky. We might note it on Ovechkin's article (if it is true, I have no idea), but the other way around doesn't ususally make sense. Perhpaps a sentence indicating that several other churches have adopted the UCC model with wikilinks to those churches pages (where the issue can be expounded upon) would be appropriate. The focus would be on UCC's impact. But what was there was overkill, unsourced, and non-neutral. And whether UCC would be ashamed of the fact, or any fact, is irrelevant. This is a WP:WEIGHT issue. Of course, using words in the article (here on the talk page is fine) like "courage," "forefront," and "model" as you wrote above also might lead to WP:Tone and WP:Peacock problems. Feel free to propose some alternative language (with good sources) and we can go from there. Novaseminary (talk) 06:24, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

"This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail..."[edit]

Is this a valid objection? I consult an encyclopedia -- even Wikipedia, be it said -- for detail that I would not otherwise be able to find. The objection seems to be that the article contains information that is not common knowledge. What kind of an objection is that? Masalai (talk) 06:02, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Now that some fluff has been removed from the article, this criticism is less valid. There still are some areas that are disproprotionately intricate. The discussion of hymn books, for example, is longer than the discussion of doctrine. As for the level of detail, remember, too, that Wikipedia is a tertiary source. It should be written (and sourced!) in such a way that it "sum[s] up widely accepted results of large amounts of primary and secondary sources." The more intricate detail can be derived through the cited sources. Unfortunately, this article lacks sufficient properly cited sources. It is just my preference, but I would rather see the existing text smoothed out and sourced before anyone bothers to add significant new text. Novaseminary (talk) 06:35, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
I'd have thought it axiomatic to anyone who knows the United Church of Canada that doctrine isn't a big issue. Indeed, the world-renowned stories of Alice Munroe, which often focus on the blandness of the United Church, make just this point. Hymnody, on the other hand, is vital. That's where the United Church sets out its creed. What's the big deal? This is where the United Church defines its broad-minded self, not in doctrine. N'est-ce pas? Masalai (talk) 07:21, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Have you not noticed that one of the most popular hymns in the 1971 Hymn Book is a hymn to Nataraja, the Lord of the Dance? [1] Hindus laugh themselves silly at this foolishness. Masalai (talk) 07:26, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
If you can find original research verifying that link between a little-known Hindu deity's even lesser-known title and the title of a hymn based on the ancient Christian theme of sacred dancing as expressed in the old carol Tomorrow shall be my dancing day, then let's see it. As it is, the hymn writer, Sydney Carter, said of his hymn: "I see Christ as the incarnation of the piper who is calling us. He dances that shape and pattern which is at the heart of our reality. By Christ I mean not only Jesus; in other times and places, other planets, there may be other Lords of the Dance. But Jesus is the one I know of first and best. I sing of the dancing pattern in the life and words of Jesus. Whether Jesus ever leaped in Galilee to the rhythm of a pipe or drum I do not know. We are told that David danced (and as an act of worship too), so it is not impossible. The fact that many Christians have regarded dancing as a bit ungodly (in a church, at any rate) does not mean that Jesus did." There doesn't seem to be much in the way of Hindu deism there.
"a little-known Hindu deity's even lesser-known title" -- hardly. Surely among westerners the Lord of the Dance is the best-known Hindu god of all: the dancing avatar of Lord Siva, one of the pre-eminent trinity in the Hindu pantheon. (Perhaps a close competitor would be Ganesha aka Ganesan aka Ganapati. But not likely.) There can scarcely be an city in the western world without a Nataraja restaurant, precisely because the representation of the Lord of the Dance is stereotypical in western notions of Hinduism and India.Masalai (talk) 01:40, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

[redent] But to get back to the point at hand, this article still favours minutiae at the expense of broad strokes. While I now know about legal issues facing non-concurring Presbyterians in the 1930s—which, as a point to the section before this one, is relevant to an article about the Presbyterian Church of Canada, not the United Church of Canada—there is still nothing in the article about the difference between an ordained minister and a diaconal minister. Are there any restrictions on clergy regarding gender, sexual orientation or marital status (as they are in many other denominations)? What is a licensed lay minister? What is a presbytery? What are the sacraments? What is "confirmation"--what does the word refer to and how does it relate to membership? What are the privileges (if any) of being a member versus an adherent? Let's work towards providing more basic information about the church structure, hierarchy, clergy, and membership, inasmuch as that information also sets out how the UCC is different from other denominations in Canada, while at the same time removing information that is better off in a more relevant article. Guinness323 (talk) 22:27, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

I think Guinness323 hit the nail on the head. I was probably too categorical in suggesting that nothing should be added until the rest of the article is sourced. I should have limited my comment to text of the level of detail or abstraction as Masalai was suggesting with his good faith defense of the removed text. These basic topics should be there ASAP. In response to Masalai's comment "I'd have thought it axiomatic to anyone who knows the United Church of Canada that doctrine isn't a big issue," I would just note that omebody unfamiliar with the church would not know this unless the article so informs them. That is the point of an encyclopedia article afterall.
And, for what it is worth, the photo added with this edit is exactly the type of image that should be added, in my opinion (illuminating/illustrating an important concept or event in the article rather than just for aesthetic value).
Novaseminary (talk) 05:54, 8 March 2010 (UTC)


This is a perfect example of trivial material. The self-named United Church Computer Users Group started itself up (as did many CUGs in the 1980s), managed to get themselves a bit of a budget from the church to demonstrate how they could improve interchurch communications, and operated in an extremely minor role within a conference of the UC for three years (1984-1987), before falling part due to various issues including budget overruns and lack of interest from outside the group. The wiki on UCHUG, written mainly by founder Gordon Laird, was deleted today for notability and the material moved here. I believe the new material should also be deleted from this article for the same reason—it had little if any effect on the history of the church, and both its start-up and subsequent demise went virtually unnoticed by the national church. If we are to include a write-up on every group that has ever operated at the conference level, this article will be many many times larger that it is currently. (More info on UCHUG as written by Gordon Laird at Guinness323 (talk) 16:44, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

I have to agree with you again. I had proposed that article for deletion. It was even seconded. Rather than delete it, though, another editor removed the prod, created this new section, and redirected the UCHUG article to this new section. It clearly doesn't deserve its own article, and this information is not important enough to be on the UCC article. I would remove the new section. That will leave UCHUG redirecting to a nonexistent section of the UCC article. Therefore, once the section is deleted, I think UCHUG should be listed at WP:RFD (maybe with a link to this discussion). Novaseminary (talk) 17:05, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
This sounds like a reasonable course of action. Guinness323 (talk) 17:19, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
I removed the section. I will take care of the redirect later (or someone else feel free to do it). Novaseminary (talk) 19:41, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
I RfDed the UCHUG redirect. Here is the discussion. Novaseminary (talk) 23:01, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi, I merged the content, but have no position on whether it should stay in the article. I was merely going through Category:Proposed deletion as of 1 March 2010, where UCHUG was listed, and I thought this article would be a good place for the about-to-be-deleted content. --PinkBull 23:19, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
I figured as much. Thanks for clarifying! Novaseminary (talk) 23:24, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── One more update in the saga of UCHUG... Because of an objection at the RfD, I have restored UCHUG to the state it was in prior to the prod being removed (when it was merged into the UCC article) and AfDed it here. Novaseminary (talk) 15:04, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Ministers: New article?[edit]

I've added new sections on church structure and sacraments. I've also written a piece on ministry, but it strikes me as long and detailed, exactly the type of thing we have discussed removing from this article. Would this work best as a separate article? Guinness323 (talk) 03:08, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

It looks good to me. This is detaied, but in the spirit of complying with WP:UNDUE as opposed to some of the recently removed material. I do like the idea of it being a seperate article. Perhaps the first paragraph could go in the main article (or a modified version of it) with a main article template pointing to the whole thing in its own article, maybe titled "Clergy in the United Church of Canada" or the like. And it is nitpicky, but I'd break the second/last sentence of the first paragraph into two sentences (How is that for feedback!). Novaseminary (talk) 03:56, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
I have done so (moving the material from here to there.) Guinness323 (talk) 04:44, 10 March 2010 (UTC)


"[T]he United Church has a "bottom-up" governance, where the congregation hires its clergy, rather than clergy being appointed by a bishop or other body." This isn't strictly speaking true. Congregational personnel boards de facto deal with the minister as an employee from day to day, but searching and hiring -- making a "call," in Presbyterian governance terms -- is a Presbytery matter and congregations with a history of difficulties with clergy can find themselves facing considerable hurdles in obtaining substantive as opposed to acting ministers.Masalai (talk) 07:01, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

In most cases, the impetus for searching for a new minister begins within the congregation at a congregational meeting, usually called after a minister has resigned or indicated that he or she is leaving. The congregation then makes a motion asking the presbytery to declare a vacancy, and also a motion forming a Joint Needs Assessment Committee (JNAC) to assess the ministerial needs of the pastoral charge. The initiative comes from the congregation, and the presbytery only acts as an overseer to make sure the proper process is used. Once the JNAC issues a report, it is up to the congregation as well as the presbytery to approve the report. The next step is for the congregation make a motion to form a Joint Search Committee (JSC), and it is the congregation who approves the recommendation of the JSC and issues a call. Again the presbytery acts as objective overseer during the process, but the impetus comes from the congregation. It is a rare (and usually volatile) situation where a congregation asks presbytery to appoint an interim minister until they have gotten their act together and are ready to go through the JNAC and JSC process. The point is that unless it is an unusual situation, the initiative comes from the congregation and the process is simply vetted by presbytery. To say that presbytery is the driving force behind the search and call process is just wrong. Guinness323 (talk) 15:23, 10 March 2010 (UTC)


"The spiritual head of the church is the Moderator." No, this is quite in violation of standard ecclesiastical terminology. As the English head of state is not the "head" of the Church of England but the "Supreme Governor" -- the standard piety is that Christ is the head of the church -- so too with the Moderator of the United Church of Canada. The Moderator is the administrative leader. Masalai (talk)

Agreed, I was trying to imply that the moderator has no temporal powers like the heads of other denominations. I resisted using the word "administrative", since the day-to-day administrator is the General Secretary. In the end, I felt "nominal" best described the position, implying a lack of temporal power. However, YMMV. Guinness323 (talk) 15:23, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
Maybe "leader," eh? Masalai (talk) 15:26, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
Possibly, although the term "leader" by itself does not seem to suggest whether or not the moderator has the power to initiate and implement policy or is a spiritual figurehead. Guinness323 (talk) 15:32, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
Would replacing the first sentence with something like this work? "The the church is led by a moderator, though that individual does not have the power to initiate and implement policy. The moderator is elected at each General Council for a three-year term." Novaseminary (talk) 15:38, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
Or we can just sidestep the whole spiritual/temporal leadership issue with something like this: "The voice and face of the church is the Moderator, who is elected to a three-year term at each General Council." Guinness323 (talk) 16:03, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── That works for me. Novaseminary (talk) 16:06, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Proposed deletions[edit]

I am proposing that the following sections, which were tagged as unsourced in March 2009, be deleted, on the basis that a year has been plenty of time for editors to source this material:

  • Music & beliefs: Liturgy
  • Music & beliefs: Official doctrine
  • Public Positions & policies: General
  • Public Positions & policies: Liberal political causes
  • The United Church in Public Life

In addition, I would also propose that the following sections be deleted:

  • Public Positions & policies: Abortion, family planning & women's rights - abortion and family planning now covered in "Beliefs and practices: Abortion"
  • Universities founded by antecedent denominations of the United Church - would seem to be material better suited to wikis of former denominations since the United Church had no effect on the founding of these universities, only inheriting them upon union.
I agree with the entire proposal, especially since the public policy aspect is now covered elsewhere. If other editors have RSs to show that any of what will be deleted is worthy of inclusion, they can rework to be compliant with WP:UNDUE, source and cite it, and add it back in. Novaseminary (talk) 20:58, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Proposed removal of fancruft and refimprove tags[edit]

With the elimination of all unsourced material and material that does not deal with the United Church, I propose that the fancruft and refimprove tags could be removed. Guinness323 (talk) 21:21, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Agree. Done. Thanks for your great work on this article! Novaseminary (talk) 21:28, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
No, I apologize for letting time slip away; my original intention was to give this article some attention over a year ago. You know how it goes, first one article seems to need immediate attention, then another, etc. I believe it was your edits a couple of weeks ago that brought my attention back to this article. Thank you for your contributions and suggestions. Guinness323 (talk) 14:51, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

"are members of the presbytery—"presbyters"...."[edit]

Possibly not a good phrase. If you recall, during the church-union discussions with the Anglican Church of Canada -- which came almost to the point of fruition till the House of Bishops quashed them -- the term for ordained clergy was to have been "presbyters." Given the scriptural references to presbyters and the discussion over two millenia as to what they mean, maybe not, eh? Masalai (talk) 23:55, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Be that as it may, the commonly used term for members of presbtery, both lay and clergy, is "presbyters". From the current version of The Manual (2007): "Applicants who have not been presbyterially commissioned to the diaconal ministry of education, service, and pastoral care, or ordained, by presbyters orderly assembled for this purpose shall also be required to produce satisfactory evidence to the appropriate General Council working unit..." If union with the Anglicans had gone through, undoubdtedly this would have been changed, but it didn't, so it wasn't. Guinness323 (talk) 03:16, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Extenal links section[edit]

The reason I knocked out the following external links with this edit is two-fold. First, I think they all would be accepted at the dmoz UCC directory. Once there, they would be indirectly linked to from the article anyway. To keep links to a minimum and not favor particular points of view, this seems the way to go as a general rule. Second, these particular links seem to run afoul of particular aspects of WP:EL. Here is why, I think so specifically:

  • Community of Concern - This is a blog (though an interesting one, if I may editorialize), so it is knocked out per WP:ELNO #11.
  • Wonder Cafe and Emerging Spirit - These are official sites, and are also linked prominently on the homepage of the main official UCC site (to which the article already links), so I think this one is out per WP:ELOFFICIAL

Novaseminary (talk) 17:30, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

I have no argument with this reasoning. Guinness323 (talk) 18:12, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Clean-up tag[edit]

What work still needs to be done to remove the cleanup tag? I have re=read WP:MOS and nothing leaps out at me that does not comply. Guinness323 (talk) 18:20, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Nothing major jumps out at me. It'd be nice to cleanup the "notes" so that each is full and standardized (and to change that section to references) and to cleanup the sources and further reading to remove the ones that are cited in the notes already and to remove any others that wouldn't seem to "guide the reader to the more important published sources." That said, I wouldn't add the tag to an article in this good of shape. Maybe it is time to remove it. Novaseminary (talk) 19:12, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for reminding me about the References and Further reading sections, I was looking at those last night but it slipped my mind today. Let me get on those, and then I think the clean-up tag could be removed. Guinness323 (talk) 19:57, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

List of testamur-granting theological schools[edit]

Is there a need to add a list of the 10 theological schools that can grant a testamur to candidates for ordination, either to this article or to Clergy of The United Church of Canada?

I've addressed this by creating a Theological Schools and Education Centres section in the United Church Template. That  :being said, not all theological schools and centres have wiki pages yet. If folks want to help me create them, please do.
M4CD0N4LD-D4N (talk) 02:48, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

"[T]he United Church has a 'bottom-up' governance...[edit]

"...where the congregation hires its clergy, rather than clergy being appointed by a bishop or other body." This is surely incorrect. Congregations issue a "call," to be sure, after doing the interviewing and such. Possibly the incumbent of a pastoral charge is indeed the employee of the congregation rather than of presbytery (as was the the case with the pre-Union Presbyterian Church). But presbytery has the essential discretion as in all churches with a presbyterian ecclesiastical polity. And indeed can and often does bar congregations with a history of prickly relations with their incumbents from calling new ministers till they have drawn in their horns and served a time in employment law Coventry.Masalai (talk) 09:56, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

The purpose of this sentence ("...where the congregation hires its clergy, rather than clergy being appointed by a bishop or other body.") is to show that unlike the Catholic and Anglican churches, where priests are appointed by the local bishop in a top-down "we know what's best for you" style, the impetus and initiative for hiring ministers in the United Church starts and ends at the congregational level.
It is the congregation that decides to ask for a vacancy to be declared, the congregation that decides how many ministers and what type of call is needed, the congregation that conducts the search, and, once the minister has been hired, the congregation pays the minister directly i.e. the treasurer of the congregation cuts the paycheque to the minister based on the terms of the call that were negotiated with the congregation's Search Committee. Yes, the presbytery does have oversight over the search process, but only to ensure that the proper rules are followed and that all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed.
In the rare cases of extreme minister-congregation conflict where there has been a damaging relationship between the minister and congregation, a presbytery exercises this power of oversight by refusing to declare a vacancy, and instead appoints a specially trained interim minister on a temporary basis to lead the congregation in a time of healing and reflection. When the congregation is judged ready to take up its normal responsibilities again, the presbytery declares a vacancy and the congregation-driven search process starts up.
Recall that an equal partner in the union was the Congregational Church, and the Congregationalists ensured that there would be no sense of "appointment" of clergy, that the process would be driven at the congregational level.
Since it is only in the rarest of cases that the presbytery steps in, and only for the short term, one must conclude that the process is congregation-driven. Guinness323 (talk) 14:54, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Any congregations conducting services in languages other than English apart from Chinese and Korean?[edit]

A fellow lawyer and friend since we were ten years old moved from the west to Nova Scotia a few years back and immediately emailed to report in mild distress that the CBC broadcasts both radio and television in our Scotch Gaelic there. My grandparents and their dozen siblings spoke it and I kick myself that I didn't get them to teach me a few sentences at least, they having spoken it to each other but not their offspring, having been beaten if caught doing so at school. Ridiculous given that they had French and Latin as subjects in school; I have added New Guinea Pidgin as a result of being a CUSO volunteer high school teacher in Papua New Guinea in my youth, but don't have a word of OUR language. The friend and his wife had a pipe band as well as me playing the organ at their wedding but nothing in, as I say, our language which certainly wasn't quite dead in the west just a few years back and still survives in Nova Scotia. Whereas my own children have never even heard a word much less learned a few. Masalai (talk) 21:25, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Is the United Church Calvinist?[edit]

Can the United Church of Canada rightly be classified as "Calvinist" when a large segment of the original founders were Methodists (i.e. Wesleyan)? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:30, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Yes, a large segment was Methodist, but another major portion was the Presbyterians, who were Calvinist. If the UCC is not Calvinist per se, they are a church with strong Calvinist roots, with much doctrine and structure drawn from their Calvinist predecessor.Guinness323 (talk) 20:51, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
Furthermore, they are members of the World Communion of Reformed Churches. That would suggest that they at least identify themselves as Calvinist. Sterrettc (talk) 21:12, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
However, the UCC is also a member of the World Methodist Council. This would suggest that at least a part of the UCC identifies itself as Arminian, not Calvinist. Maybe the question, whether the UCC is Calvinist is not the right question or should be answered: partly. Who knows the real answer?
My source: World Methodist Council: Handbook of Information 2007 - 2011, page 19 -- (talk) 16:50, 13 August 2017 (UTC)

Israeli Settlement Boycott[edit]

Guinness323 correctly pointed out that my revision earlier today was a duplication to facts already in the general assembly notes. However, I would put forward that the great steps that the Church took in taking and passing the position of boycotting Israeli settlement products would rather correctly fit under the "public policies and positions" section as the article itself notes it was of historical significance to the church to do so. Thanks, --Owaisr (talk) 07:14, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

I like the edits made to this subject, which do make it more balanced and NPOV. I would suggest leaving this material where it is because the report was produced for consideration at the 2012 General Council, and the resultant controversy and reaction happened during the General Council; therefore the report and the resultant acceptance of its recommendations are germane to the General Council. While it has become "public policy and a position" of the church due to that vote, if it is mentioned in both sections, it becomes an unnecessary duplication of material, as previously noted.
The material could be split between the two sections along the lines of the report and vote staying with the General Council material, and subsequent reaction to the vote moving to the Public Policies and Positions section. However, I think it makes for a stronger article if the material is kept together, rather than forcing the reader to pick up the threads of the subject several paragraphs later.
I think a stronger case for mentioning it under Public Policies and Positions could be made if all (or most) of the actual public policies and positions of the UCC were gathered together here. However, at this time, there is one subject, and that isn't actually a public policy or position, just a note that the UCC ran 10% of indigenous residential schools in Canada. This section could be a very valuable summary of the church's official positions through the years on a number of subjects: the Vietnam War, draft dodgers, birth control, abortion, apartheid, the changing positions (and actions) of the UCC on the residential schools issue, female clergy, gay and lesbian clergy, same sex marriage, etc. However, at the moment, it is just a sort of tacked-on-at-the-very-end section that currently doesn't have a lot of useful information pertaining to the subject header. Guinness323 (talk) 15:56, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Great points and thanks for the feedback Guiness323. I would agree that the Public Policies and Positions could be better utilized and respect your position about duplication. However, could it be of benefit for the reader to see all of the positions summarized this one section as a reference point - I feel in the AGM section, much of the most powerful positions get lost in the details. Look forward to your thoughts on how to improve the page, thank you, --Owaisr (talk) 19:25, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Agreed that updating the Public Policies and Positions with a summary of various policies would be very useful in outlining what the church stands for. This could even include historical perspective such as:
The position of the United Church of Canada on social issues has often evolved over the years, sometimes resulting in a complete reversal of certain policies.
  • Homosexuality: The United Church initially barred homosexuals from being members of the church. However, by the 1960s, this attitude had begun to moderate, and in the 1980s, the church began a highly divisive dialogue that ultimately accepted gays and lesbians as members of the church as well as candidates for ministry. In 2003, the church urged the federal government to pass same-sex marriage legislation, and in 2012, the church elected their first openly gay moderator.
  • Vietnam War and draft dodgers: ... etc.
However, no question that summarizing the various positions of the church over the years (with references) would be quite a bit of work. It is not a task that I am able to take on at the moment. Guinness323 (talk) 16:33, 16 November 2012 (UTC)


If membership is most recently 2 million, it can't have peaked in 1964 at 1.1 million, and if membership is declining, it can't have quadrupled from 2008 (membership 525,000) to 2013. I refer to the intro, as no clear numbers are given in the Membership section. Nyttend (talk) 11:27, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

The citation for the membership peak in 1964 is a National Post article. I suggest someone consult with the UCC Yearbooks and confirm all the membership figures to give us a more accurate estimation. I am busy the next few weeks, but if I have a chance I might do that. If someone beats me to it, by all means! :) M4CD0N4LD-D4N (talk) 19:33, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Hi, I believe I also sent a message, but the UCC uses two metrics to account for membership. The UCC website both counts registered members as well as those Canadians who, in the census, identify as members of the UCC. In the last census, which is provided in the citation on the page, more than 2 million Canadians identify as members.SeminarianJohn (talk) 08:54, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

That is correct. The lower figure is confirmed members -- those people who are registered on church rolls. The higher figure is those who self-identify as belonging to the United Church.Guinness323 (talk) 02:16, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

"Crest" versus "badge"[edit]

While the crest might be more correctly referred to as a badge, the United Church calls it a crest (see, therefore it should be referred to in the article as a crest.Guinness323 (talk) 15:37, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

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Good Article Status - Something to Work Towards?[edit]

I wonder if we could bring this article up to GA status? Let me restate that - I know we can. we're already at B and I'm sure with a bit of work over time we could nominate it to become GA. The Wikipedia:Good article criteria page outlines what needs to be done. I have yet to look over them, but who knows it might be something fun to work towards. --M4CD0N4LD-D4N (talk) 02:56, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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UCC in Newfoundland[edit]

Hello,  "The Conference is part of the wider United Church of Canada, and joined the United Church before it joined Canada and has its own Act of Parliament. We do not have presbyteries like the other Conferences in the United Church. We have Districts."

I hope the current Wiki article can be rewritten to include a) the lack of presbyteries in Nfld, which contradicts the article, and b) the story of the church in Newfoundland before 1949. What was it called? What was the Act of Parliament? etc --Richardson mcphillips (talk) 16:29, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Anne Squire[edit]

What was the significance of female Anne Squire being elected in 1986? She wasn't the first woman elected as Moderator. --Richardson mcphillips (talk) 16:55, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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