Response to this site and e-mail correspondence

From: Gail Reid[]
Sent: December 29, 1997 11:37 PM
Subject: Project 2000

Dear Friends
Found this on the net. Are any of you aware of this project???

Visit their website:



Sent: January 1, 1998 9:08 AM
Subject: Re: project 2000

I have exchanged email with Peter Vanderkam and also when I acted as moderator for United Chat during Richard Fairchild's move.

I kept a copy of our email exchange back in August when Peter and I were discussing Christ. I (WW) said...
I am convinced Jesus Christ was/is God for many reasons. .....

Peter said...
You're entitled to your opinion. (with respect)

In my humble view I believe Project 2000 is an effort to do a total re-write of the 20 Articles.

I had no desire to participate when I realized there was little input from theologians. As lay people, our views may be valuable but without reference to scripture or those who know it (Hebrew & Greek scholars, etc.) the effort is rather shallow. Heads up. If done properly it could be good.

In Christ,


January 15, 1998

From Mark Fearnall:
Sent: January 10, 1998 9:57 AM
Subject: Subject: re: Basis of Union as a historic document
Date: Fri, 09 Jan

Hello All,

First, let me say I would have put this in the uccanchat but I have had no luck getting any messages posted there. So I have decided to start another list (very limited, only 15 names) BUT IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE ON THIS LIST JUST LET ME KNOW :-)

I have been following a lot of threads on United Online and came across this statement by Peter Vanderkam (sp?) from Project 2000. He writes:

I have just recently been informed that there is a move afoot to declare the "old" Articles of Faith so-called "historical documents". If my understanding is correct, that would mean that we would no longer use them, but that we would not do away with them as we would enshrine them. If that is the wish of this Church, so be it. But that would mean that we need new Articles of Faith to replace them with. Why not take this opportunity and start working on their design?

Now I realize to change these articles requires a remit, but is there any basis (no pun intended) for this statement of Peter's. Has anyone heard of such a movement?



Hi Mark:

I have not heard of such a movement. However, I did mention in a general introductions email that in 1988 in Alberta and Northwest Conference a resolution came to the floor calling for the Basis of Union be declared a historic document. I was being ordained that year and pointed out to the court that as such I was declaring that I was in essential agreement with the Basis of Union and asked how it was that we could declare the basic doctrine of the United Church to be a historic document. After some discussion, a motion was made and passed that the resolution be sent back to the Conference division which produced it. The actual resolution should be in the minutes for that year. And yes Bill Phipps was Executive Secretary of Alberta Northwest at that time.

Is this a movement? I don't think so. But it may be enough to be misconstrued as such.


David F.

p.s. Keep me on your list Mark!


From: Jack Waller[]
Sent: January 1, 1998 4:32 PMSubject: Re: project 2000

In my humble view I believe Project 2000 is an effort to do a total re-write of the 20 Articles.

I had no desire to participate when I realized there was little input from theologians. As lay people, our views may be valuable but without reference to scripture or those who know it (Hebrew & Greek scholars, etc.) the effort is rather shallow. Heads up. If done properly it could be good.

As a committed Christian lay person, I am no less erudite than most "theologians". As we retrace our roots, I do not read the words exegesis, hermeneutics, for example, as forming a part of the vocabulary of the scripture writers. "Except as you become as little children..." may be naive, yet until ALL of us share a "community of faith", we will continue to lose ground and credibility.

We must evaluate for our self what will feed us. I do know that Richard Fairchilds' pages are linked to Project 2000.

I am tired of being stereotyped as orthodox, and we who vision for the future as being treated as less than steerage!

I am objective, and hold my integrity and accountability in highest regard!


From: Gail Reid[]
Sent: January 3, 1998 9:40 PM
Subject: stand with us

Dear Friends:
I am sending you a copy of our next interim letter for Fellowship Magazine. We will be including the confession with it.

A copy of the confession has been sent to Bill Phipps. It is also on the United Online website. As well Fellowship Magazine will include it with 12,000 for the Easter issue. I have discussed with John Trueman the possibility of putting it in the upcoming Community of Concern newsletter. Their mailing list is different than ours at Fellowship. NACC have already sent it to all the regions.

I do not believe we should be afraid of our small numbers, nor the hesitancy of some among us who might not sign. It is time for us to proclaim where we stand and, for those who do, to stand together. Our hope is this will encourage and strengthen those that feel helpless and confused.

Your support in your own churches will help a great deal. You can find the confession of faith at



From: Gail Reid[]
Sent: January 3, 1998 9:40 PM
Subject: stand with us (2)

Dear friends:
When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to say, "Faith is a private matter between you and God. It isnít something you talk about like the price of eggs." Then her lips would press firmly shut, ending any further discussion or questions. I got t he impression that talking openly about faith was somehow vulgar, even irreverent.

As a long-standing member of the United Church, Grandma was not alone. The standard expression of faith in Jesus Christ was through works of love and social justice. There was an unspoken understanding that United Church members believed the same truths.

Yet over the last few decades changes in the secular world have created the need for clarity and a new verbal boldness in proclaiming faith. Today we in The United Church of Canada can no longer assume that we all believe the same things. As our United Church Moderator Bill Phipps has clearly indicated, even the divinity of Jesus Christ and His bodily resurrection are being challenged leaving many in confusion.

This is not about the outward expression of our faith in behaviour, but rather the core of our Christian faith. It is about who we believe Jesus Christ to be. At risk is our very existence as a Church and our membership in the World Council of Churches, which insists in the basic confession of Jesus Christ as both LORD and Saviour.

Many of you have already sent in letters of concern to the National office. This has been effective in conveying the urgency of this matter. Many of you are preparing a response to the Christology document. In addition, we believe that standing toget her in confessing our faith can make a difference.

Please read over the Confession of Faith that we have included with this letter. Prayerfully consider signing it and passing it on to others. The intentions of the confession are clear: "We believe that by lifting our voices together we can bear a wit ness that will encourage the downhearted, give direction to our leadership, and open a new dialogue with all the people of our generations."

You may be wondering what one signature can do in a Church of 700,000. We are told in Scripture that believers will overcome through the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony (Revelations 12:11). We must leave the influence of our witness in Godís hands. May the Lord give us the boldness we need to share the hope that is in us.

The Easter issue of Fellowship Magazine will include the progress of this uniting confession to uphold our Lord. As well, we will cover Godís movement to bring His goodness out of the controversy initiated by Phipps.

Fellowship Magazine upholds the 20 Articles of Faith set out in the Basis of Union. As always, we are dependent on your financial and prayer support. If you know of someone who would benefit from a copy, please send us their name and address. We will also send copies for you to pass out in your congregations.


Gail Reid
Managing Editor, Fellowship Magazine


From: Jack Waller[]
Sent: January 11, 1998 7:00 AM
Subject: Re: For Your Information

This is a time for us to affirm our belief in Abba, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the love revealed in Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins!

There is no %age to be gained in discussing what our church hierarchy promulgates, as they are unwilling to hear what is being said from the grassroots and the pew.

The information at seems to reinforce the idea that we must have a contemporary expression of our faith beyond the creeds, and the Articles of Faith & Basis of Union.

I have attached an historic document which has a relevance in this discussion.

The words "essential agreement" have been touted. It's time they were understood!

Let's pray that the triune God will continue to be our bulwark!


Jack Waller