The Renewal/Reform Groups of the United Church of Canada

The Spirit of Methodism

Dr. Victor Shepherd

Ontario Theological Seminary

December 11, 1997



Statement of acknowledgement and thanks

This paper would not have been possible without the generous help of Gail Reid, editor of Fellowship Magazine, Dr. Graham Scott of Church Alive, Irma Salmon, and especially Dr. John Trueman, president of the Community of Concern, Dr. Bob Blackburn, the secretary-treasurer of the National Association of Covenanting Congregations and Mrs. Verna Blackburn, chair of the United Church Renewal Fellowship. Thanks are also extended to the OBC/OTS library for having a substantial collection of The Small Voice, Al Clarkson and Katherine Mercuri for the newspaper articles, Dr. Victor Shepherd for his teaching, insight and inspiration, and my mother, Carol Eileen Neilson Zachar, who believed I was ready to reexamine my roots in the United Church of Canada, so that I would rejoice and not be shamed. Thanks also to Tony Copple for e-publishing this paper and for Ron Piggott for his HTML coding.
I hope the paper encourages you in your faith, especially those remaining in the United Church of Canada. Laurie-Ann Zachar



Introduction Page 04
Precipitating cause of renewal movements: New Curriculum - 1964-5Page 04
United Church Renewal Fellowship - 1966 Goal - a renewed United ChurchPage 06
Charismatic Renewal affects grass roots in certain locale Page 08
Positive focus in theology, discipleship, evangelism and prayerPage 10
Church Alive - 1974Page 11
The Remit on Christian Initiation and the Inclusive Language issuePage 14
Crisis: The Issue - 1984 precursor and 1988 Page 15
Community of Concern -1988Page 18
The Great ExodusPage 19
National Alliance of Covenanting Congregations 1990Page 22
UCRF - the futurePage 25
Current Controversy: Moderator Bill Phipps and responses - 1997Page 26
ConclusionPage 29
Endnotes . Page 30
BibliographyPage 43
Appendix A - The Twenty ArticlesPage 51
Appendix B - Objectives of the UCRFPage 53
Appendix C - The New Creed (1980 version)Page 53
Appendix D - the 15 Affirmations (Church Alive)Page 53
Appendix E - Declaration of Dissent (Community of Concern)Page 57
Appendix F - Objectives and Purposes of the Community of ConcernPage 58
Appendix G - The Commissioners CovenantPage 55
Appendix H - The Alberta ArticlesPage 60
Appendix I - Community of Concern statement regarding Bill Phipps' remarksPage 61



The United Church of Canada in some ways is unique
1 concerning the inclusive factor of reconciling the theologies of the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches in 1925, which were on the theological drawing table from approximately 1903.2 This reconciliation of doctrine was influenced by growing ecumenism (through the precursor of the World Council of Churches), and a desire to reach the non-Christian immigrants that were flooding the country in the early twentieth century in a way that was cost effective. Thus the desire to unite was facilitated by interdenominational cooperation, the shrinking finances of all three denominations, and a desire to have an exclusively Canadian church.3

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This ecumenical desire to respond to other views was helpful in the outreach of the 'social gospel', but the horizontal dimension of the Christian faith must always have its core the vertical relation with Christ first. This balance was evident in the twenty articles of Faith from the Basis of Union (which are available in appendix A). This balance may be understood through an analogy of Christology, in that Christ is understood as both fully divine and fully human. Descending Christology, is often at the core of worship and liturgy, particularly in the deeply meaningful seasons of Christmas and Easter. Ascending Christology, that of focus on Christ's human attributes is embedded in his mission on earth: that of healing, reconciliation with God, missions, and an egalitarian focus in love. It is essentially the core of the Law in fully loving God and neighbour (Matt. 22:36-39). Yet, if the authority factor in the vertical relationship with God is compromised, and there is more of an emphasis on love of neighbour, there is not only a decreasing of holiness and the power of the Holy Spirit, but also an increasing reliance on adaption of culture. Contextualization is an essential for Christian missions and apologetics to reach those outside of the Church. Yet, when this adaption turns into an adoption, there is a serious decline.4 The core aspect of the vertical relationship that has come repeatedly under attack in the United Church concerns the authority of scripture and the personhood of Christ. What will be examined in this survey are these issues of imbalance, the birth of the United Church renewal/reform groups and their fight to "uphold the historic Christian faith within the United Church in Canada."5
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Precipitating Cause of Renewal Movements: New Curriculum

During the mid 1960s, many Canadian churches went through a crisis, "and the United Church of Canada did not escape that experience. That was the decade when many young people rebelled against the standards of their parent's generation and took to the roads in a mass protest. Unfortunately, they did not have a positive alternative to offer. During that period, we witnessed an erosion of moral standards, and family life [in general] lost credibility in many homes. The very foundations seemed to be crumbling."6 Many clergy and lay leaders felt responsible for helping repair the chaos in individual lives, and to try to communicate values to a generation that no longer trusted in absolute standards. Another distressing trend during those years was a decline in the Church's spiritual life. Says Cumming, "the United Church of Canada had grown during [the 1950's]. Each year the reports had indicated increased membership, new buildings and financial growth. We had all the appearances of success from a human point of view. That trend reversed around 1960, and we found ourselves in a definite decline. We naturally asked ourselves, 'What happened; where did we go wrong? [italics mine]'"7 There was an increasing liberalization in the surrounding culture as well as the church. The New York Times published a large pronouncement that 'God was Dead', which was an attack on God's sovereignty.8 There was also a growing rebellion against the authority of Scripture, and the church, through its longstanding liberal theological training, adapted to this easily with the 1964 New Sunday School Curriculum.9 The situation was serious, according to Lloyd Cumming:

"He recalled [that] Ernest Long, then Executive Secretary of General Council, predict[ed] that if the church continued in the direction she was going --- at the rate she was going --- we would be out of business in ten years . . . In a desperate effort to reverse the trend, a decision was made to publish 'The New Curriculum.' That action aroused many of us who had been apathetic about the mission of the church. It revealed the fact that, for many years, our ministers had been taught a theology which did not accept the Bible as the inspired, authoritative word of God. They were taught to look critically at the Scriptures rather than [or instead of] seeking the message which God had to teach them through His written word. That realization sent shock waves throughout the church. It was evident that executive positions in church headquarters had been filled by theologians who were committed to a liberal theology which explained away the miracles and avoided any reference to the necessity of the new birth through faith in Jesus Christ. [italics mine]"10

McCaig believes that the New Curriculum was the 'writing on the wall' for those who could read it.11 "The innovative 'New Curriculum' Sunday School material, published by the church in 1964 and 1965, became for the renewal-minded the warning-call to arms. At issue was the way the material quietly questioned many of the biblical miracles, focused on Jesus' humanity while minimizing his divinity, and sidestepped such topics as the need for personal forgiveness and the 'new birth.' In the name of 'biblical scholarship' and 'relevance', the authority and the clear teaching of Scripture were being compromised [italics mine]"12 This also led to a conflict between the gospel message and social service. Says Cumming, "this was very unfortunate, because we realized that the two are inseparable and interdependent."13Even the advance of the gospel was understood in a variety of ways "by people in the United Church. [Says Chambers], it may mean a preaching mission for some, or work for social justice for others. Some church members would describe themselves as evangelical; others would not."14 There was also another contributing factor to the increasing secularization to both the church and the surrounding culture in Canada. Crysdale attributes some of this change of attitude among the laity as well as the clergy, to the effects of urbanization. His findings were due to the results of a poll of United Church members and adherents in the 1960's. He believes that "people whose style of life was not highly urbanized preferred the traditional interpretations of belief, whereas highly urbanized people had a preference for liberal theology."15

Some members of the United Church began what would be a steady exodus at this time. Says Cumming, "many members took the attitude that they could not remain in a church which to some extent denied the authority of God's written Word and they left to join other denominations. Some of that number felt that they were no longer welcome in their churches where they had been trying to uphold the historic scriptural doctrines of the Christian church."16 Yet, God was faithful, and did not leave the United Church without a witness. A handful of concerned ministers and lay people began meeting to formulate a response. In 1966 the Renewal Fellowship was born.17
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United Church Renewal Fellowship 1966

"The United Church Renewal Fellowship began as a response to a growing rebellion in society and the church. A growing number of people refused to remain in a denomination that permitted and encouraged such rebellion. Others expressed the need to promote from within the Biblical foundation of the Church as the Body of Christ."18 Cumming also notes that many members and adherents in the United Church were not growing spiritually, due to lack of nurture (no small groups and few mature Christians willing to mentor new believers), and very little scriptural teaching. There were so many starving Christians!19 He believes that the Spirit, Truth and fellowship are essential for growth. All three were to be essential elements in the UCRF, as well as prayer, evangelism and missions, social service and discipleship20. Concerning the importance of fellowship, Cumming shares some of his own story: "If I could prepare a graph illustrating my spiritual growth over the past thirty years, I am sure it would indicate the most progress during the periods when I was closely involved with a group of fellow Christians who were studying the Word and praying together. At times when that kind of fellowship was lacking, I was surely backsliding or, at best, making little progress."21 The emphasis on small groups was also one that resurfaced in the UCRF in Fellowship 1993.22 [Which ironically the Observer finally addressed in June 1997]23

The concern about the lack of scriptural authority in the church, and the increasing alienation from the roots of the United Church were part of the call of the Renewal Fellowship. As a result of the increasing liberalization of the clergy, the "lay people, who sat in the church pews Sunday after Sunday, were being underfed and the Church was suffering from acute spiritual malnutrition [italics mine].24 Thus, During the summer of 1965, one young United Church minister, Rev. Ronald McCaw,25 was deeply concerned about "the need for a fellowship where Christians could join together in sounding a clear scriptural message with one voice to the church. After much prayer, [he contacted] Rev. Bill Thornloe who shared the same concern for the church. [They in turn] called on Rev. Vic Wood who was one in the Spirit with them. ...[and were so encouraged that they believed there were many more who would have the same vision]."26 Although it may have been clergy who were the originators with the vision, this fellowship was not to be exclusively a clergy community. It was to include "all kinds of ordinary grass-roots people within the United Church of Canada who wish to uphold the [original] 20 Articles of Faith [that were] agreed upon by the uniting churches in 1925. ... [It was also to become] a 'place' within the United Church where ... the basic common concern was biblical teaching... encouragement and Christian fellowship, [which was not meant to] replace congregational worship and fellowship, but [instead] to strengthen it."27

The next step was a gathering at the Sundial Restaurant in Orillia in early October, 1965. There were ten ministers and their spouses in attendance. After a prayerful confirmation concerning their meeting, they agreed to meet again. Charlotte Mackenzie, a clergy spouse, offered her services as secretary, and faithfully continued this ministry until 1981.28 Lay involvement began early in the UCRF, and two new members were added to the nascent ad-hoc group. On March 12, 1966, the members were challenged by the "need of a rallying point within the Church" by Rev. Bill Hincks, a missionary who was home on furlough (from Zambia).29 Says Cumming, [they] accepted his challenge and advice, and the United Church Renewal Fellowship was officially organized.30 A constitution was prepared, the objectives were articulated, and the original articles of faith (from the Basis of Union) were upheld as soundly based in scripture. Says Cumming, we established a membership which was open to all United Church members and adherents who subscribed to our statement of faith."31 A prayer letter was sent periodically to the members who identified with us. It [eventually] became a little magazine which [was] called The Small Voice, [and in 1987, the higher quality Renewal Fellowship Magazine which later became Fellowship Magazine in 1993].32 Says McCaig concerning the evolution of the magazine, "The Small Voice evolved into Fellowship Magazine and has become an independent freestanding renewal publication managed by representatives of all the renewal groups. With its mandate to portray faithfulness to Jesus Christ and to the orthodox Christian faith. Fellowship Magazine is still growing in readership and influence."33 Members of the fellowship were also encouraged to gather into regional 'chapters.'

The first plan of the group was fervent prayer,34 and it was soon discovered that those who desired renewal also needed it themselves.35 In 1972, Lloyd Cumming was reluctantly but sovereignly led to become the Field Secretary of UCRF. This was to be a lay position that was apostolic and pastoral in his travels across the country; and he was to encourage and minister to the regional Chapters.36 This position was later sovereignly filled by Bailey and Ethel Snow in 1984, while also continuing leadership at the then thriving Woodbridge United Church.37 During his office as Field Director, Cumming increasingly began to see the United Church as a mission field,38 and when he was interviewed by David Mainse on 100 Huntley Street, he began to formulate the understanding of the group as a grass-roots movement, when he defended the intentions of UCRF to stay within the United Church of Canada.39 He thus believed that the lay leadership of UCRF would be an added precaution that would prevent a splitting off into another denomination. Says Cumming concerning this insight, (with the memory of the group being sovereignly led to not have an ordained person as Field Secretary): "I realized that, if we had followed our own way ... we would have sent out one of our outstanding preachers as an evangelist, who could , conceivably become a John Wesley. The Renewal Fellowship could have become a movement which was focused on one dynamic leader, [and he or she] could have [unintentionally] led a large number of members out of the United Church. Surely, God spaced us from falling into that trap."40

Even though the fellowship was no splinter movement, it was at times misunderstood as a threat; and at other times, it was ignored by the official administration of the United Church. Says McCaig, "from the beginning, the official structures of the church refused to acknowledge the renewal movement. Unlike the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches, which have always accepted and recognized their 'renewal wings', the United Church dismissed its renewal movement as irrelevant at best, and as harmful and divisive, at worst. The irony was that for many United Church Christians, the Renewal Fellowship was the only sustaining link that kept them from leaving. In the end, however, the Renewal Fellowship could not stem the tide."41 Although the early years did meet with opposition, a spiritual breakthrough came in the autumn of 1976, and continued through the early 1980's. This breakthrough was the Charismatic Renewal, which had "an emphasis on the manifestion and operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in personal lives."42
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Charismatic Renewal Affects Grass Roots in Certain Locale

The Charismatic Renewal was essential in some congregations in bringing in new Christians into the United Church, and in bringing new life to the grass roots in some areas. The members of the Fellowship had been involved in evangelistic and discipleship preparation through Dr. Robert Coleman's Master Plan of Evangelism.43 Says Cumming, "God has always worked out His plan through a small nucleus of committed obedient disciples. With that vision clarified, we trusted God to renew His church through the dedicated disciples we were discovering throughout the church, many of whom we identified as members."44 Yet, "some ...were slow in recognizing the [Charismatic] movement as God's answer to prayer for renewal in the church."45 Bern Warren defended the movement in context of a balance between Spirit and Truth; and in time it was found that one of the fruits of the infilling of the Holy Spirit was not only empowerment and equipping, but also an increased hunger for Bible Study.46 There was also a growing interest in United Church roots in the Twenty Articles.

Dr. Clark Pinnock also contributed an article to The Small Voice in the autumn of 1974, on the charismatic movement. He not only defended the issue of including the work of the Spirit so to avoid 'bitarianism,'47 but he also suggested to avoid the two extremes of views on charismatic gifts. UCRF was seeking to include both charismatic and non-charismatic members, and that experiences of this type were in no way to be a source for pride, or a condition of membership. Pinnock also pointed out that extreme of insisting on the gift of tongues as the only evidence of the Spirit was not biblical. Of the other extreme, that of refuting all charismatic gifts, Pinnock goes into greater detail. He says,

"A minority of us would go further and argue that all supra-normal gifts ceased being given after the close of the apostolic age. This view, first developed by Augustine, has become has become influential among present day evangelicals through the writings of B.B. Warfield. ... Even if it could be established (which it cannot) that the supra-normal gifts were withdrawn, we could not safely conclude that the Spirit is incapable of bestowing them again should the need arise. We have no right to try to bind God's hands with a tenuous theological theory that has the effect of denying him the power to grant spiritual gifts to his Church." 48Cumming believed that this article had a tremendous benefit for UCRF in clarifying confusion. "Dr. Pinnock's thoughtful article proved to be an invaluable help as we moved forward in our renewal ministry within the United Church. As I met with [regional] groups in different areas, I discovered a wide variety of emphases on the Holy Spirit's movement. Some groups had been exposed to para-church ministries which were placing a strong emphasis on the charismatic gifts, and they were experiencing a freedom and joy in their worship and fellowship. Other groups had not progressed in that direction but were growing in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18)."49 Although there were a number of whole congregations that were affected by the renewal50 much of the work of the Spirit affected individual members in a sovereign way. Says Cumming, "we had gradually realized that [God] was at work in individual life and through them the church was growing spiritually. We heard God saying to us, 'you pray and I will renew My church'. That took the pressure off and set us free to concentrate on encouraging His disciples wherever we found them [in the United Church]."51

At times during the UCRF family camp meetings (which began in 1980 after discovering the need),52 there were calls to absolute surrender, as more and more members were called into active lay service. Since the movement was thriving, there was also need for legal protection against growing opposition. At the Fifteenth Annual meeting, delegates " worked their way through a difficult business session as confirmation was given to the boards' action in establishing the Renewal Fellowship as a legally incorporated organization. The purpose was to give legal status to [UCRF] and to provide a measure of personal protection to the board members."53 One form of opposition to renewal came in the form of presbytery's response to the turmoil that often comes when new or renewed Christians become involved in a power struggle between traditional Church members, who should have been available to mentor the younger Christians. "It became increasingly evident that many of the influential people in the [church] bureaucracy viewed the movement as a threat,"54 and this is shown in the following scenario. Says Cumming, "[the] mature members failed to recognize their responsibility to nurture the new Christians and help them grow. Tensions built up and resulted in outright divisions in many congregations. Presbytery officials were called in to discharge their responsibility to deal with those explosive situations. The procedure has been to lay the blame on the pastor ... for failing to maintain the peace and welfare of the congregation; [and often pastors were put on] the discontinued service list."55 The UCRF came to the defense of these pastors by emphasizing that it was the fault of the Church as a whole and the seminaries for not giving adequate training for the pastors to handle renewal, and that presbytery was unclear concerning pastoral function. Says Cumming, "when a presbytery executive condemns a minister who has been trying to follow [the outlined] objectives [in ministering in sacrament, Word and pastoral care], it would appear that they are aiming at [another] list of [unknown] priorities."56 Yet, on a small level, many lives were being affected and made stronger as Christ's disciples in the United Church. The church historian Ian Rennie also has expressed optimism even as late as 1987. Says Rennie, My contacts within the United Church make me feel there is a strong Methodist sentiment which stresses evangelism and personal religion."57 Surely, Dr. Rennie was thinking of UCRF.
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Positive Focus in Theology, Discipleship, Evangelism and Prayer

The UCRF always encouraged prayer, evangelism, discipleship and sound theology. Often the faithful were prompted to pray throughout weekend retreats, the regional chapters and in nearly every issue of The Small Voice. It was the Fellowship's very first mandate, and they never forgot it. Donald Lamont encouraged the intercessors in the context of faithfulness in continuing when the task seems impossible. He declared:

"Throughout scripture, we see God working patiently through a faithful people who have stuck with it even when it seemed an impossible task; [and he reminded them of a renewal that happened in a dying church in Dewberry Alberta, and that presbytery had granted permission for their four point charge to be reorganized so that ministry could be invested in them]. [He reminded the readers that] there are major phrases concerning praying for a renewed church. [These are] the [praying and] faithful remnant, the turning point, and [then] renewal."58

Concerning urgent prayer and apologetics for orthodox yet nondogmatic theology, UCRF responded to the Inclusive language issue and organized a prayer vigil for the General Council during August 15 - 24, 198059. Says Riordan, "for the Renewal Fellowship, the signs of 'moral decay [were] clearest in matters of gender and sexuality."60 Reluctantly the Fellowship was forced to protest issues, rather than the exclusive ministry of evangelism, discipleship and fellowship, although Bob Taylor exhorted the UCRF to "never forget the purpose of the organization."61 They were to be first a people who seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matt 6:33). This meant that the members had to walk a very fine line as intercessors, but they could not remain silent about the increasing liberalization in the areas of Christian initiation, inclusive language, and the issue of homosexuality in the pulpit (Eze. 3:17, 33:6-7). In 1974, 1988 and 1991, God was to raise up other groups for that purpose, but UCRF was still like the watchman on the wall. Concerning a positive theological focus, Garbe called attention to the Reformation doctrines of the United Church, such as justification by faith, the authority of scripture, and the priesthood of believers (thus encouraging grass roots to be active even if ignored). UCRF also published two books about historical doctrines, to help nourish those interested in the roots of their church, and for the many who needed an anchor and structure that was grounded in scripture. These were Our Inheritance: On its 50th Anniversary The United Church of Canada has special opportunity to renew its faith through a study of its official doctrine, in 1975, and We have an Anchor: A Searching Study of The Basis of Union of the United Church of Canada, in 1985. The first book contains doctrine from the United Church's forbearers and the Twenty Articles, as well as a reminder of the evangelical heritage of the Evangelical United Brethren who on the basis of agreement with the [original Twenty Articles], became a part of the [UCC] on January 1, 1968.62 The second book was concentrated on the Twenty articles with accompanying homilies that expanded and applied the doctrines of God, Revelation, Divine Purpose, Creation and Providence, Sin, the Grace of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, Regeneration, Faith and Repentance, Justification and Sonship, Sanctification [including the Wesleyan doctrine of Christian perfection], Prayer, the Law, the Church, the Sacraments, the Ministry, Church Order and Fellowship, Resurrection, the Last Judgement and Future Life, and on Christian Service and the Final Triumph.63

Concerning evangelism and discipleship, the book Master Plan of Evangelism became the text and goal in the Fellowship for evangelism and discipleship.64 In 1971, John Griffin was concerned about the structure of confirmation classes, and that it should not be merely disseminating information, but also imparting new life through evangelism. Says Griffin, "Confirmation is the beginning of a new life, not the point where you have learned so much material that you deserve to be a church member."65 Gordon Hunter declared in 1982 that there [was] no alternative to evangelism, [and it was important] to get back to basics."66 This discipleship concern was also reflected in the care and nurture of emerging leadership. In an 1980 issue of The Small Voice, there was a highlight on newly ordained promising theological students, and a call to prayer to raise up clergy dedicated to UCRF principles.67 At least one hundred new evangelical clergy were 'prayed in' by a Newfoundland chapter of the UCRF,68 due to a call to prayer about 260 pulpit vacancies in 1977.69 This was surely an answer to prayer, because there often was a bias against evangelical students entering the ministry. Says Cumming,

"The discrimination against evangelical students in our theological colleges is becoming more intense, to the extent that, in some cases, evangelical candidates for the ministry are being discouraged from enrolling. These and other threatening issues must be addressed if the United Church is to be saved from self-destruction [italics mine]." 70

However, the grass roots did not share this attitude toward emerging clerical leadership or lay executives, and this was shown through the example of a congregation being led to support UCRF leadership through the Mission and Service Fund.71 Yet this support was not always available through official membership. Many United Church members and clergy supported and prayed for the Fellowship, agreed with the sound theology, yet did not join "for various reasons."72 Some of the reasons were out of fear, as the UCRF was labelled as being narrow-minded, militant and exclusive.73 However, unceasing prayer and watchfulness continued to be a priority as another reform group was raised up.
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Church Alive

This organization started as an ad-hoc group that was concerned about the theological drift of the United Church from her roots, but still affirmed and cared for the Church. Dr. Graham Scott, a founding leader of the group, had been active long before the establishment of Church Alive. According to Riordan, in 1968, he called the New Creed [which is in Appendix C] sub-Christian and implicitly heretical; [because] it downplayed [Jesus'] divinity, and thus took a unitarian rather than a Catholic [Trinitarian?] stance."74 Riordan asked why Dr. Scott did not join the Renewal Fellowship, and was given a reply that he was essentially a liberal evangelical and not a conservative one. Said Scott, "The UCRF was inclined to see the Scriptures as infallible, I cannot accept that it is infallible.75

Though I admire the UCRF, I could not join it because I could not buy that particular party line.' So, says Riordan, in 1974, he and five others formed their own group, Church Alive."76

This group became a theological association and spiritual fellowship that emphasized both "head and heart faith in Jesus Christ. It was founded out of a felt need for critical Biblical scholarship and an emphasis on the sacramental life."77 Says Scott, "The name 'Church Alive' is best understood as a prayer to God the Father that His Church may be truly alive in His Son Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit."78 An adhoc committee of concerned United Church clergy (from the Montreal and Ottawa areas, Scott, Gordon Ross from North Bay, a former Presbyterian Kenneth Barker (who was to be the editor of the organization's publication, Theological Digest and Outlook), and Professor Kenneth Hamilton of Winnipeg )79 was formed in 1973.80 Convinced of the need for ongoing ministry, this committee incorporated as Church Alive on May 28, 1974. "The Founding Directors were the late Dr. G. Campbell Wadsworth, Dr. Victor Fiddes, Dr. C. Daniel Matheson, Professor Kenneth Hamilton, Dr. Graham Scott, Rev. Gordon Ross, and diaconal minister Judith Richards (now [married to] Gordon Ross)."81 The next step was to become incorporated for legal protection through the "Ministry of Consumer and Corporate Affairs. This allowed them to obtain charitable, tax-exempt status, which later turned to be useful."82

According to Hoover, Kenneth Barker was at first reluctant to officially join the group, because he believed it created an "unnecessary polarization [and reduced their concern] to a mere 'party' within the UCC."83 He was concerned with what could be construed as party spirit, polarization, negative dogmatism and traditionalism. Said Barker, "I prefer an approach which affirms positive support for the historic Christian Gospel and a far more positive attitude to our heritage."84 On February 14, 1974 in Montreal the group produced a manifesto entitled '15 Affirmations of Lent' ; "an urgent call to the Church ' to a more serious commitment to its theological foundations and to a more positive affirmation of Christian faith.85 This manifesto, was revised by the group in a positive declaration of faith (this statement is available in Appendix D). "This document was circulated to all Ministers of the United Church for signature, and by June 30 [1974], it had been signed by over five hundred Ministers and members; [and] it was reviewed sympathetically in The Princeton Seminary Bulletin in the Summer of 1974.86 Of note, one of the theological practices that the Affirmations attacked, in true Wesleyan fashion, was that of innovation and doctrinal distortion (that was to continue to rock the church).87 "[The Affirmations were also mailed to all 2,000 United Church ministers at that time, with eventually 200 ministers and 300 members subscribing to it. The United Church Observer under A Forrest gave it sympathetic coverage,"88 as did the widely publicized "Appeal for Theological Affirmation, [an interdenominational] American publication produced in January 1975."89

The objectives of Church Alive became fivefold: that of making a clear Biblical Witness to Jesus Christ crucified, risen and exalted; to encourage rigorous theological enquiry and discussion; to challenge doctrinal inadequacies; to encourage spiritual growth through prayer, Bible learning, sacramental worship and other means of grace; and to encourage a truly prophetic approach to the culture and society in which we live.90 The first official publication of Church Alive was called Affirmations, which was edited by Rev. Ed McCaig. "Special mailings were sent to the commissioners of the 1978 and 1984 General Councils on the subjects of the task force on Ministry and of sexual orientation and eligibility for the order of ministry."91 It was truly for this witness that this group was called, and more. A second publication, the Theological Digest, which later added 'and Outlook' to its title also became a widely distributed bulletin. Says Scott, "In 1984 Ken Barker, alarmed at trends in the United Church, suggested a newsletter digesting theological journals and with Board approval published the first issue of Theological Digest in January 1986. The July issue included an article on inclusive language, and quantities were shipped to the General Council meeting in Sudbury. Barker served as editor from 1986 to 1989.92

The first retreat took place at the monastery of the Anglican Society of St. John the Evangelist in Bracebridge; the first conference was held at Victoria Park Church in Scarborough and included a paper by Professor David Demson of Emmanuel College."93 Theologically stimulating retreats were to continue, at Cedar Glen and other places; and Church Alive would continue to be a cosponsor of the conferences Faithfulness Today I, II and III.93 The long term goals that were being discussed in 1993 also included publishing "TD&O four times a year, and providing chaplaincy support for theological students who find their faith challenged and/or undermined at seminary. [Says Scott,] We see the need for a theological college that would build up students' faith and enable lay leaders to strengthen their faith."94

Networking both within the United Church with the other renewal movements, and ecumenically outside the denomination with other renewal executives was one of the concerns of Church Alive. Says Scott,

"continuing cooperation with the other renewal groups [may lead] to an intermediate goal, the creation of an umbrella organization that would make unified financial appeals and hopefully provide solid and substantial funding for all four renewal groups. .... Meetings with renewal executives from American denominations [also has suggested] that we have more in common with renewal people in other denominations that with the practicing agnostics, selective relativists and politically correct ideologues who seem to dominate our own church courts. Besides continuing to renew their dying denominations, renewal leaders are looking to share the Gospel with the unchurched of our continent. Will we be able to explore interdenominational renewal cooperation in discipleship and evangelism, while also striving to cooperate in relief, development and community-building? This could prove to be the most exciting long-term goal of all." 95

Church Alive was also influential in the start of one other renewal group, the Community of Concern in 1988, and also was influential in the covenanting movement in 1991. The role of Church Alive in this fashion shall only be briefly discussed. In March 1988 a report called, 'Sexual Orientation, Lifestyles and Ministry' (SOLM), burst among United Church people. On March 17 Kenneth Barker, Graham Scott, Bill Fritz and Dr. A. Gardiner Skelly, all of Church Alive, and Rev. Allan Logan, met at Central Church, Weston. "The group accepted Barker's draft of a statement of dissent and called for a meeting of interested persons at Central on April 8. [Over 250 people were present from throughout the country, and the Community of Concern was born. Church Alive continued to endorse this new group, but was not identical with it]."96 After this Declaration of Dissent was signed by 32,000 lay people and 1,022 ministers and missionaries, and four moderators, it was sent to Council.97 "Congregations also sent petitions to General Council in unprecedented quantity --- 1,983 in all, opposing ordination of practicing homosexuals. TD&O produced a special issue in May and mailed it to all General Council commissioners -- all to no avail, since Council approved a statement concocted during Council called 'Membership, Ministry and Human Sexuality' (MMHS)."98

As part of the movement to get this new statement reconsidered at the next General Council, Scott proposed a major conference to be called Faithfulness Today. "The first conference took place in March 1990, and drew more than 750 participants. TD &O published an number of the addresses and sent its July 1990 issue to every commissioner of the new Council. Again, to no avail, since Council reaffirmed MMHS."99

This unfortunate decision was anticipated and in turn, the response was the covenanting movement. Scott and his associates in both Church Alive and Community of Concern drafted a covenant now known as 'The Commissioners' Covenant" [in Appendix F]. "The covenant, along with a commentary, were published in a special August 1990 issue of TD&O. At the same time, concerned people in Alberta were writing a shorter covenant. The result of individuals and congregations signing one or other covenant (or both) was the formation in September 1991 of the National Alliance of Covenanting Congregations, with Rev. Rick Prieston as first president [it is now Dave Snihur]."100 Thus, Church Alive was essentially apostolic in helping other movements come into being, as well as handling issues itself.
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Remit on Christian Initiation and the Inclusive Language Issue

This next issue again concerns scriptural authority. Within this remit on Christian initiation was an attempt to revise church membership on baptism only, which was a contradiction of the necessity of conversion as well as the Articles 9, 10, 11, 12.101 The Session of Scotland, Ontario included a critique to this remit in a 1983 issue of The Small Voice. Concerning ambiguity of initial membership, they asked, "What will take the place of 'confirmation?' The church has a responsibility to bring people to commitment in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. What will provide the motivation for young people and how will this be accomplished under the new system if they are already considered members?"102 However, this issue did not pass the votes of the congregations. According to Cumming, the presbyteries were divided, but the congregations voted it out by a 2/3 majority!103 Cumming believes this action was significant for the following reasons: because it signified more acceptance of scripture's authority by a majority; and it "also provided a precedent that the grass roots could affect church government decisions." Many church leaders are insensitive to ordinary members, and often have arbitrary imposed agendas, but in this issue, it really was 'majority rules.'104

The second issue, which was introduced in the 28th General Council in 1980, was the inclusive language concern. Says Cumming:

"A motion was passed committing the church to eliminating 'male' words in church publications. These would include hymnbooks, the Manual, Service Book, the New Creed, Christian Education resources and other Divisional materials . . . The whole concept had been instigated by a [radical] feminist movement which was crusading on behalf of women who, they felt, were being subjected to discrimination and injustice. They objected to the 'male oriented' language of the Bible and they were insisting on changes that would give women equal status with men."105

Thus, God was to become Father-Mother, and Jesus became the Child, even when portraying the adult Jesus. This was not fully put into practice in every congregation when it went beyond the simple Sons of God to Children of God.106 At times inclusive language could also be clumsy and awkward, which was the main critique of writer and UCRF member Maxine Hancock at General Council. She understood this issue from three perspectives: that of her "allegiance to the scriptures; ... by honouring the Living Word, Jesus Christ, who addressed God as 'Father'; and third, by giving respect to the English language which was being misused by the clumsy expressions in the inclusive language which our church leaders were trying to thrust upon us."107 Again, the issue was scriptural authority, as well as opening the door for feminizing God. God the Father was never scripturally portrayed as male, but as one who gives a fatherly relationship.108 John Tweedie continued to raise awareness of this issue as symptom of the cultural change that was connected with the erosion of church doctrine. As the church continued to adopt more and more of the surrounding culture in the name of relevance, the very foundations were crumbling. Says Tweedie:

"This is but one example of the communication problem that exists within the church. We, in the Renewal Fellowship, have raised our voices of concern all across the church, a concern that is well documented in our publication on inclusive language. Let us pray that our expression of concern will be given serious consideration at all levels of the church's life . . . As those who seek renewal for the church, let us never be afraid to speak out for what is true. Let us also be diligent in praying that those who have responsibility for decision-making in the church, will have 'Ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church' through members in numerous congregations across the land."109
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Crisis: the Issue - 1984 Precursor and 1988

The issue of homosexuality in the church was considered by 1984 General Council, and then in a different form in 1988 concerning the ordination of practicing homosexuals (despite clear scriptural teaching that would condemn the practice). Since the late 1970's and even stronger in the 1980's the UCRF emphasized that homosexuals can be healed through Jesus, that it is learned behaviour, and they continued their tradition of testimonials especially in this area. Cumming gives an example of one of these testimonies, that also happened to be the first field assignment of Bailey and Ethel Snow. Says Cumming:

"One of the Field Secretary team's first assignments was to present the Renewal Fellowship at the historic meeting of General Council in Morden, Manitoba. We had arranged for three healed homosexual persons to be there. Bailey introduced them to the appropriate sessional committee where they had an opportunity to share their testimonies of how God had delivered them from the bondage of homosexuality. Many commissioners had their eyes opened, for the first time, to the positive side of the issue that was dividing, not only General Council, but the whole church. We believe that impact of the testimonies of our three friends was a strong influence in defeating the motion to ordain homosexuals [in 1984]"110

The leaders of UCRF believed that there was an initial victory that day. Says Cumming, "While we breathed a sigh of relief, it was evident that, even though a strategic battle had been won, the war was not over. The next day after the crucial vote was taken, wheels were set in motion to prepare church members to accept practicing homosexuals into the order of ministry four years later."111 A highly acclaimed professional video called "Homosexuality . . . a new direction" was produced in 1985,112 and one of those on the study group concerning homosexuality was a former homosexual himself, John Howard. This section deals with 'the Issue' as it is called by Riordan.113 When the Issue first surfaced, the renewal groups had to reluctantly deal with it although they declared that it was already declared as sin in scripture. Said Cumming in 1983:

"[The UCRF] receives letters from many United Church members expressing deep concern about the evident movement to ordain practicing homosexuals in the United Church. We regret the necessity of becoming involved in this controversy. We have tried to maintain a positive emphasis, sounding the message of the gospel of Jesus encouraging people to receive him, and to respond to His call to discipleship. We believe that, as our people grow in that experience, the church will be renewed and we will have no time to waste even discussing issues where the Scriptures take a clear position. However, we are faced with a situation where leaders in our church are trying to influence us to accept self-declared, practicing homosexuals into the order of ministry. This was very evident in the sixteen page copy of 'Issue' published by Division of Communication (paid for by our givings to 'Missions') which is evidently trying to soften us and melt down our resistance to the point where we will accept their distorted position sometime in the not-too distant future.114

The UCRF stance continued to be their version of 'hate the sin-but-love-the-sinner.' The smokescreen of the report of being neighbourly was not to cloud the concern of considering homosexuality as a sin, and that Christians are to treat the homosexual person the same as any other sinner. Says Cumming, "Our mission is, hopefully, to introduce him/her to our Lord who is waiting to forgive ALL who turn to Him in repentance and accept each one into His kingdom, deliver each one from the bondage in any way, cleanse them from all unrighteousness [etc.]."115 The Renewal Fellowship members were encouraged to not waste energy in becoming defensive and dogmatic, but to continue mentoring disciples for Christ.116

Ralph Garbe also was concerned about the attack of scriptural authority in this matter, and spoke out in The Small Voice and CBC radio. Says Garbe,

"The teachings of Scripture on the matter of homosexual practice are clear. It condemns it. Recent pro-homosexual interpretations of passages such as Genesis 1:27, 2:24, 19:1-29, Leviticus 18:22, 21:13; Romans 1:18-32, 1 Cor. 6:9-11 and 1 Timothy 1:9-11 as being too ancient to apply to our day, unclear, wrongly interpreted in the past, based on ignorance or insufficient in number to build a case against homosexual practice is one of the most flagrant attempts to wiggle out from under Biblical authority. .... This matter becomes crucial for the future of Biblical authority that can be confirmed by observation of natural phenomenon and reason, how shall we ever accept Biblical authority in matters that are beyond natural observation and reason, especially if someone decides that these teachings are uncomfortable, inconvenient, offensive to one's sensibilities or disagreeable to a certain group? What happens, for instance, to Biblical authority in teachings about Christ, heaven and hell, sin and salvation, [and] the nature of

God? [see Phipps issue] Will what we believe about these things be determined by what seems 'reasonable', 'nice,' 'inoffensive,' or by Biblical authority?"117 The UCRF paid for a full page advertisement in one of the fall issues of the 1984 Observer, and urged that the grass roots that the 'time had come' to stand up and be counted.118 The pro-gay group Affirm did the same with another issue of the Observer.119 The other issue concerning this crisis concerned outreach toward the homosexual, and again, Christian healing was always offered as a godly alternative to ungodly actions. In no way was there any authority given to condemn sinners. Thus, the issue at stake, in this controversy, was not, 'How do we treat sinners? but rather, 'How do we handle sin?"120 "We do not question the human rights of homosexuals; we are saying that we cannot condone homosexuality. We further maintain that no unrepentant sinner is qualified to be an ordained minister in the church."121

Other voices echoed the UCRF concerning the attack on scriptural authority, such as Donald Faris:

"The homosexual ideology like a TROJAN HORSE, will bring [non-Christian] underlying ideologies into the church. If these non-biblical, or one might even say antibiblical, ideologies can capture the church, in what sense will the church remain Christian? If the authority of the one Word of God, Jesus Christ, as attested in the Scriptures, is replaced by the authority of ideologies from the dominant culture, are we still dealing with Christianity? Are not these ideologies being granted the status of a new revelation, superior to the revelation in Jesus Christ?"122

At the 30th Council in 1984, the major controversy specifically focused on acceptance of self-declared practicing homosexuals into the membership, by affirming their humanity; thus bearing the image of God. Chambers does not mention about the attempt to accept the ordination of homosexuals until a later council. Says Chambers, "[The Council] rejected any exclusion from church membership solely of the basis of sexual orientation, included in the report, Gift, Dilemma, and Promise adopted by the General Council. While there were various understandings of this statement, and varying degrees of agreement and disagreement, it had become a public policy of affirmation of the United Church and, when it came to the matter of who was eligible for ordination and commissioning, this position launched the debate."124 However, the church had, quietly affirmed the human rights of homosexual persons since 1977, when DMC's Department of Church in Society passed the following motion:"We affirm the right of persons regardless of their sexual orientation to employment, accommodation and access to the services and facilities that they need and desire.'"125 Sadly, this was the same issue, that was addressed in a different package in the 1988 second attempt. Both Church Alive and the UCRF responded to these issues through publications, pronouncements, prayer vigils and radio shows.

In the midst of this upheaval between the deciding General Councils of 1984 and 1988, the Division of M.P & E and the Division of Mission in Canada were to approach homosexuality as a whole. A coordinating group of 12 people appointed, and would include people from various groups, including Affirm (a pro-gay group in existence since 1982), and a former homosexual (who was in ministry to homosexuals), John Howard, who was a delegate from the evangelical Collier St. United, from Barrie. Says Cumming, "The group . . . met and agreed on a schedule that will climax in a report to the 32nd General Council in 1988. A budget of $268,000.00 [had] been accepted to finance this study . . . [This] study group was given the ponderous name of 'The National Coordinating Group on Sexual Orientation, Lifestyles and Ministry. [NCG on SOLM]"126

SOLM was critiqued by David Chotka, (who was one of the dissenting voices recorded in the Report) in Renewal Fellowship Magazine. Chotka's understanding of the presuppositions are as follows: "a radically 'updated' view of marriage and the family [as a social human institution only]; a heavy dependence on psychological theory of the last two decades; an apparently unquestioning acceptance of current feminist-homosexual tenets; and cavalier dismissal, by means of 'biblical reinterpretation of scripture [italics mine]"127 Chotka further critiqued the report by challenging SOLM's re-interpretation of the Wesleyan quadrilateral, that of scripture, tradition, experience and reason. He pointed out that until the Confessing our Faith materials "showed up [recently], the four modes of understanding [that are referred to in SOLM] were simply never mentioned as United Church tools of interpretation. Ever since that time, this so- called 'Wesley quadrilateral' has been applied sporadically in some isolated contexts within the church [ in a manner that was not Wesleyan at all].128 Chotka also further elaborated that Wesley's context was entirely different from that of SOLM, and therefore the use of Wesley's name and thought was unwarranted.

Again, the UCRF expressed regret on having to keep readdressing the issue. The UCRF proclamation reminded the United Church that "We thought it was settled at General Council last August, and so it was, when the Division of Ministry Personnel and Education report was soundly defeated. However, the next day, on the same conference, wheels were set in motion to raise [the very same] issue under a different title to prepare the church to approve the ordination of self-declared, practicing homosexuals at the 32nd General Council in 1988."129 No doubt a good reason for this was to desensitize the grass roots of the church to the persistent agenda toward liberalization and acceptance of unrepentant practicing homosexuals in the pews and the pulpit. The emergence of Community of Concern was to show the liberal bureaucracy just how strong the grass roots were.
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Community of Concern

The connection between Church Alive and the Community of Concern has already been discussed. Ross Salmon connects the COC as arising within the reaction to the 1988 SOLM report. Says Salmon, "Like no other event in UCC history, SOLM served to focus the attention and unite the efforts of concerned United Church members. Much of this effort was centred in the Community of Concern."130 Kenneth Barker's formed response was expanded into the Declaration of Dissent, through a Steering Committee of thirteen members.131 Says Riordan, " Bill Fritz and a team of volunteers [from his church] mailed the Declaration of Dissent to every minister and congregational board in the United Church. By mid-July more than a thousand ministers and missionaries had signed, and some 32,000 lay people. Across the country individuals and groups, some with discontents that long predated The Issue, formed themselves into Community of Concern chapters. This group had no official status in the United Church, and neither did its petition. But virtually overnight the Community of Concern was a force to be reckoned with."132 All of the renewal groups that had formed to that date were at this General Council. It was a struggle between agenda and reform. Another paper on The Issue, called A Place for You, was easily approved by Council with few amendments.133 Meanwhile, at the same conference, were representatives of the renewal groups and Affirm. Says Riordan,

"Commissioners joked later that if anyone had wanted to get any really outrageous policies through General Council, this would have been the year to do it. Who would have noticed? Outside the auditorium, commissioners had access to several information tables. On one side the [UCRF] showed its 1985 video, Homosexuality: A New Direction. Next to it was the Community of Concern, where one could still sign the Declaration of Dissent. [Graham Scott of Church Alive was also in attendance.] Next door to [COC was] Homosexuals Anonymous, [which] offered 'a healing ministry for homosexuals' under the auspices of John Howard . . . At [yet] another table, was Affirm, [complete with a display of pink balloons, punch, videos, answers to often-asked questions about homosexuality and ministry, and two kinds of buttons: pink triangles and those with the slogan 'we affirm.']"134

Even with the defeat of this overwhelming response at the 32nd General Council, membership in COC continued to increase. Says Hoover, "Despite [many] subsequent withdrawals including many who have left the United Church altogether, membership in the Community has continued to increase. Lay support for [COC] is certainly much higher than the figure officially given . . . Following the action of the General Council in Victoria [in August 1988] the militancy of the laity supporting the Community greatly increased."135 The laity's frustration and anger [concerning the ambiguity of the accepted statement of MMHS] were further "inflamed by the disingenuous claim that the action at Victoria had changed nothing, and by the refusal of the Council's Secretary, Howie Mills, to submit to the controversial wording of the [statement]."136 Gordon Ross of COC, revealed after the 1988 Council why homosexual ordination is so serious in the UCC. He said that "Ordination does not just mean ordination to one congregation. When you are ordained, [it is] to the whole church. That means we cannot just block this thing at the local level, it has to be stopped everywhere. Anyway, if a local selection committee [is not allowed to] ask about a candidate's sexual orientation, how are they to know what they are getting?"137

The moderator called for both parties to negotiate their differences to find a way to heal the split in the Church. Two teams of six members, the first team from the Sub-Executive of the General Council, including Howie Mills, the second was a steering committee of noted United Church clergy and laity. This second committee included Dr. Allen Churchill, Ian Outerbridge; the legal counsel for COC, Dr. Victor Shepherd, and Kenneth Barker as Chairman.138 Additional members were Dr. Phillip Cline, Frank Lockhart, Dereck Parry, David Reeve, Anna Russell, Dr. Graham Scott, Dr. Gardiner Skelly, Donna Mann and Dr. Dorothy Wilson.139 On November 7, 1988, the groups met and drafted what became known as the Cedar Glen Agreement, which promised clearer communication, no boycott of M&S funds, pastoral address of issues, the right for clergy loyal opposition, and the need to change decision making and structures in the Church.140 However, after some time, the General Council Executive chose to reject the Cedar Glen agreement. Instead, a letter was issued to the Church that was full of generalities and no reassurance. COC issued a statement that included this comment: "We are concerned that this rejection [of the Cedar Glen agreement] will be interpreted by the membership of the Church as yet another failure by the senior courts of the Church to acknowledge the hurt within the membership. The statement does not even acknowledge the crisis in the Church which was recognized at Cedar Glen."142

COC also came under increasing opposition described as "bitter attack and misrepresentation."143 Despite the widespread support of COC by clergy, laity, four former moderators and many "former Conference presidents, the [COC] was branded an ultra-rightist organization. Such a characterization is a gross misrepresentation . . . The [COC] embraces a wide range of liberal and conservative theological opinion . . . from within the mainstream of Christian theological tradition."144 The bitterness between COC and the General Council grew during the attempt to reverse the 1988 decision. Howie Mills had stated to the media that parts of the COC were "seemingly demonic and possessed", and Ross responded by a suit for libel against Dr. Mills and the United Church administration. However, on May 25, 1990 both issued a joint statement of apology to the Church for their 'regrettable' actions.145 Also, despite COC being very careful to otherwise have moderate, balanced remarks, the reform group received hate literature.

In 1989, COC held its first annual meeting in Etobicoke's Westway United. Despite the decision of the General Council, the COC now had an established coast-to-coast network.The vision of the COC was unchanged, but concerned more than just the Issue, to rebuilding a strong UCC founded on "biblical authority, respecting Christian tradition and our ecumenical decision. We want theological education which truly equips our graduates for the ministry and the mission of the Church of Christ. We love our church and we pledge our time, talent and energy to build up a church which seeks to daily witness in alignment with the holy will of Christ, the Head of our Church."146 Gordon Ross was appointed as Executive Director effective July 1, 1989. It was time for more full-time leadership, and he was installed in another service held at Westway United on September 23.147

In 1990, there was another defeat in the attempt to persuade General Council to reverse their decision. For many, this Council was their last hope, and when it failed, again another wave within the exodus poured out of the UCC - including many COC members. Others stayed, and believed that SOLM and MMHS were symptoms of the real problem and not the problem itself. Says Salmon, "substantial numbers of clergy remained, perhaps with more determination than before."148 This struggle left COC with considerable debt, so reorganization of the group was essential as well as loans and financial appeals. At the same time, says Salmon,

"[the] COC was asked to undertake the formation of another reform group, the National Alliance of Covenanting Congregations."149

COC was to continue a strongly as ever, under the leadership of John Trueman. The massive debt of $60,000 was paid, and a newsletter called 'Concern' was published regularly, with over 9,000 recipients on the mailing list. COC is still prophetically aggressive, and has been perceived as a voice "which is beginning to be heard. Says Salmon, many people want action, not endless 'dialogue' and are prepared to support an aggressive reform agenda which appears to be [making a difference.]"150 The group's intent is to work with the other reform groups, and continue to work for the purposes and objectives of the COC in reform and renewal. This Constitution is available in Appendix F below.
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The Great Exodus

The Exodus, which grew to crisis proportions from 1988-90, and still continues, exemplified a need for healing and reconciliation in the church. "Graham Scott was one of twelve ordained ministers who were invited by the moderator to form a theology dialogue group, yet another attempt to search for common ground in the church. His only comment was 'God help me.'"151 The UCRF also believed that much was theologically unreconcilable. John Howard declared after the 1988 Council "[The SOLM] discussions were held in an atmosphere of cordiality and mutual respect. We talked about our differences and looked for paths beyond them. We even dared to believe we could find common ground beyond the August General Council. Regrettably, those paths no longer exist. Unless the decisions of August can somehow be reversed, we have come to the place of irreconcilable differences. Indeed, even if a reversal of policy occurred, we would continue to have irreconcilable differences because there is wide disagreement in the church where the authority of Scripture is concerned."152

John Tweedie, gave a very strong statement in the September/October 1988 issue of the Fellowship Magazine. [He later was to leave the United Church in 1989 to join the Congregational Christian Church in Canada, a tiny denomination that would expand from five congregations in 1987 to 93 in 1997 (most of them former United Churches)]153 Tweedie compared the 1988 decision with the 1960 General Council [which had] said homosexuality is a sin in four ways. Ultimately, in 1960 homosexuality was a moral problem; in 1988 homosexuality has become an acceptable alternate lifestyle --- acceptable, that is, to those for whom the Scriptures are not authoritative where homosexual practice is concerned!"154 Ultimately, the church was in dying, and Kowalski noted this even in the continuous decline of membership over 22 years in an Oakville United Church. He called the United Church a "cut flower church [that was completely cut off from its roots]."155 Another UCRF leader, Joe Campbell called for a choice between "Christianity and Churchianity; [and so many from the UCRF left, as well as many other members and adherents as well]." Since August 1988 after the General Council's decision, many United Church people who were either 'kept in the dark' or were sleeping, were now awake and questioning all around them. Says Cumming, "the exodus, which had already begun, gained momentum. Sad to say, [many of] those who were leaving, did not leave as a body, they left as individuals and families. In some cases, these people were welcomed into the fellowships of other denominations; but others seemed to be wandering in a wilderness. Some, . . . even a year later, were still not attending church anywhere or they [had] not settled into a church home."156

McCaig also calls the 1988 decision more than the catalyst that widened the whole in the restraining dam of the United Church. He calls the reaction to this decision as "the largest single exodus of members in the church's [entire] history; [greater even than that caused by the New Curriculum, which was a loss of 92,410 Sunday School students alone in the first year.157 The national church itself estimates the number at 20,000, but the true figure may be significantly higher. Tragically for the renewal movement, many of those who withdrew were renewal-minded Christians who felt they had been pushed out of the United Church. Those leaving included the majority of members and leaders of the Renewal Fellowship. The dream of a renewed and united church had ended."158 Many of the former UCRF members ended up in the Congregational Christian Churches in Canada, a tiny denomination of five congregations that grew almost overnight to a new national denomination of 93 congregations with an estimated membership of 14,000."159 "The remainder of the Renewal Fellowship regrouped and continued as before, but membership dropped from around 4,000 to around 1,000 by 1990. By 1996, membership was under 350."160

Riordan also confirms that the United Church has been losing members since the mid 1960s; but grew in momentum in the seventies and eighties as the more conservative evangelical churches gained more members. Says Riordan, "In [the sixties, it reached] an all time high of 1,064, 033; In 1972, it dropped below one million, and in 1982 below nine hundred thousand . . . In 1984 it slipped by more than ten thousand."161

Yet there were still some in the renewal groups who had the hope to stay, including Graham Scott of Church Alive. Said Scott, "The church has always been tempted by apostasy; right from the beginning. Though some of my best friends have left [for various denominations], I cannot imagine the conditions that would force me to leave. In any case, all the [mainline?]churches are so problematic now, what is the point of leaving this one and going to another? If God were not in the church somewhere, it would have fallen apart a long time ago." 162
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National Alliance of Covenanting Congregations

The NACC was formed by the Community of Concern, while Church Alive also formed a similar covenanting movement. Many United Church people believed that now was the kairos timing for a renewal group that ministered congregationally. "Previous reform and renewal groups until [1991] only allowed for membership by individuals."163 Church Alive's organization, led by Graham Scott, had a 'Day of Covenanting' for interested congregations at Appleby United Church in Burlington on December 1, 1990. A covenant now known as The Commissioner's Covenant, was available for congregations to covenant with, and unlike NACC, individuals were welcome to join the organization.164

Meanwhile, the COC organized a similar association, based on the shorter Alberta Articles, which was inaugurated at Westway United on November 24, 1990.165 Rick Prieston, the original leader of NACC, illustrates the precursor of the covenanting movement: "In 1989-90 . . . a group of four ministers met to discuss a major concern: the exodus of individuals and congregations from The United Church of Canada, and the even more alarming withdrawal from the church courts of many more congregations. What would happen if the congregation being asked for its opinion of the MMHS felt even more isolated and alienated by the actions of the church courts? What was needed to stem the exodus and to ease the feeling of isolation or alienation? What was needed to stem the exodus and to ease the feeling of isolation or alienation?"166 The answer was evidently the covenanting movement.

The core of the creed was the Alberta Articles, which were at first part of a vision of "a network of Alberta congregations that would enter into a covenant relationship as an association. And so . . . drafts of the 'Articles of Association' [were sent] to every Alberta congregation in September 1990, with the invitation to meet in Devon to re-draft the articles and to form the association we had originally envisaged."167

It was the right timing, for these Articles were adopted "and discussed at the national Community of Concern meeting in September [1991]. A dramatic wave of interest and excitement brought the articles attention from coast to coast. The Alberta vision had become a national phenomenon! With nothing more than the simple theological principles of the articles and similar covenanting statements, meetings were held across the country to discuss forming regional associations."168 Yet there was also a need for national coordination. The Community of Concern set up a committee of five, which grew to 15, to draft a proposal for a National Association. "In the meantime, regional associations sprang up in London (Southwestern Ontario) Alberta, Hamilton-Toronto (Central Ontario), and the Maritimes (Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island)"169 [and later British Columbia, Eastern Ontario and Newfoundland]"170

Dr. 'Bob' Blackburn, the secretary-treasurer of the NACC, has a dynamic story to tell concerning his own congregation of Streetsville United. He almost left the United Church himself, but was given hope after hearing about the Alberta Articles. Says Blackburn, "I heard of the Articles of Association being drafted in Alberta, and changed my mind. There was a way to satisfy my own conscience, help hold our congregation together within the church, and perhaps in the long run to help influence policy and structure, in that order of priority. [italics mine]."171 This option provided hope and in Lori Gwynne's words, "a place to stand [in] a fellowship of like-minded United Churches that will not be bullied into a corner but who, together, affirm our heritage of faith with pride."172 According to Blackburn, there were five choices (which briefly summarized) were: "To swallow my conscience and continue as usual [he could not do it]; to resign but continue to attend [he did not think that was good enough]; To resign and join a different denomination [but the church at large would not notice]; to join with our whole congregation in seceding from the United Church, with the intention of continuing in our own building and with our own choice of ministers. [this was perceived as too drastic, there would be legal problems, and Presbytery would lay claim to the building and assets] or, to join with the whole congregation in endorsing the Alberta Articles, and become part of the nation-wide association now being formed within the United Church - an association now being formed within the United Church -- an association committed to maintaining the historic Christian faith."173 The end decision was the latter option with an overwhelming majority and Streetsville became a founding member in NACC. It helped the church "stay together, and we are even gaining new members. [Thus it] has been the right decision for us at Streetsville."174 There are many others who were given hope through this opportunity and fellowship between like-minded congregations. It caused many congregations within the association to blossom in safety. According to the NACC guidelines, the congregation could be much better prepared to select a ministerial candidate for their church. The pamphlet So your Minister is Leaving? is particularly one filled with hope, as the grass-roots within the church are given an opportunity to carefully choose for themselves. This is also clearly shown in the following suggestion within that brochure: "Experience has shown that a clear understanding of at least the basic theology of each candidate is absolutely critical. The Committee should be prepared to ask specific questions about such central issues as the divinity of Christ, the nature of the Trinity, the authority of Scripture, the Articles of Faith, and 'God language.' Adequate preparation for this will likely involve your representatives in some serious study and discussion."175

According to the 1991 constitution, "[membership is to be] limited to UCC congregations that have adopted the Articles of Association, the Commissioner's Covenant, or a cognate statement acceptable to the board of directors of the Corporation, and have informed the secretary of the corporation of such action."176 Much work is also done at the regional level. "Here is where the work of fellowship gatherings, clergy support groups, educational seminars, family camps, pulpit exchanges, and resource and idea sharing is most effective. Because of the regional emphasis, 'national' activity if relatively limited: its purpose is to spread information about the covenanting movement, to be a contact and registrar for all member congregations, and to be a vehicle of coordination and information sharing. From the outset, it was planned that the NACC would be responsive to, and financially dependent upon, regional associations and member congregations."177

This emphasis on community was also mirrored in the group's stance on Christian marriage, which had been subjected to reinterpretation in order to make room for the homosexual agenda. NACC was to affirm the "ideal of lifelong fidelity in marriage and loving chastity in singleness as set forth in the proceedings of the 19th General Council, 1960; [and] while not blessing or giving sanction to [sexual relationships outside of marriage], we nevertheless include all people in our pastoral concern, and commend all people and all relationships to the mercy of Christ."178

Like all of the renewal groups, this one was also misunderstood. Prieston explains that "All too often we also [have] heard [the following questions] 'The National Alliance - that is the group that wants to lead people out of the United Church, [is it not]?' or, 'The NACC is just a group of narrow-minded fundamentalists who want everyone to think like them.'"179 To this Prieston replied,

"NO, we say, a thousand times NO! We are not trying to lead people out of the United Church, just the opposite! Nor do we want everyone to think like us. We are an association of United Church congregations that wish to support one another in our traditional beliefs. Our purpose is to encourage such congregations to stay in the United Church of Canada as participating members at all levels of the church's life. We would also hope to gain some official recognition that our traditional faith is still valid and acceptable in a rapidly changing United Church of Canada. Dialogue, witness, and faithful integrity are our mission."180

Thus, the purposes of NACC are to "help a congregation make a public statement of beliefs affirmed by the majority of its members, and so hold its people together within the United Church, with integrity; and to gather like-minded congregations into a fellowship that sustains them in their respective ministries, and in their involvement in the courts of the Church, in hope that as numbers grow, their presence will have a positive effect."181 Its membership has grown as more congregations are renewed through the hope and shelter it gives. "Since the autumn of 1990, 112 congregations with more than 22,000 members in 10 of 13 conferences, and 41 out of 94 presbyteries or districts, have adopted a covenanting statement so as to join the NACC. The membership covers Canada from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island."182

Lastly, the group is also active with the other renewal groups and with renewal executives outside of the denomination. "Through its congregations, five regional associations and the national officers, the Alliance, (NACC) works in harmony with other organizations that promote renewal within the United Church and elsewhere. It seeks dialogue, not confrontation, and its members are encouraged to participate within the courts of the Church. Its regional associations seek to build mutual support and fellowship through newsletters and periodic events of various kinds." Thus, this group gives support within the community. Yet, a community also includes individuals. Due to the shrinking UCRF, a merger was proposed, and the NACC has accepted the offer. Exciting challenges are in store for NACC as it integrates the UCRF vision within its own. Prayer is thus essential for leaders like Verna Blackburn, the final chair of the Renewal Fellowship, while the legal formalities are in process, and after they have been implemented.184
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UCRF - the Future

Many people who left the Renewal Fellowship believed they had failed. But did they? Although the membership dwindled to a mere 350 by 1996, this group has had a tremendous history of touching the lives of United Church Christians, in evangelism, prayer and discipleship. Lloyd Cumming notes that the UCRF has not failed in its ministry - there has been much fruit and changed lives in the midst.185 1993 was a year of re-evaluation concerning networking with the other reform groups "to forward our common desire for renewal within our denomination."186 Says Hiley,

"Over [that] year, we have included in the mailing of Fellowship Magazine material from the other groups, which have also helped in distributing Fellowship to their memberships. At the initiative of the UCRF Executive, representatives from each group have come together to form an Editorial Advisory Committee to select a new editor and oversee the publication of Fellowship Magazine. Together we have launched a new image for our publication. We are also working with the other groups on a joint planning committee for Faithfulness Today III, as we have for the past Faithfulness Today conferences."187

The need for prayer, was emphasized as the UCRF was to consider possibilities, and God's will for the group."We are launching into our future with the same foundation on which we started: prayer.188 Says Hiley, "we will continue to encourage and direct people to pray. There is no person or institution that can stand against the concentrated prayer of God's faithful people. In the struggle against forces of evil that are destroying the faithfulness of Christian organizations, we often focus on advocacy, on change strategies and on organizational restructuring --- all of which are necessary, but only when grounded and surrounded by prayer. [Hiley also added the Renewal Fellowship of evangelism, and urged that new Christians in the United Church would be essential to its growth.189

Concerning the merger-in-process, McCaig is hopeful that it is a new chapter in UCC history. Says McCaig, "The decision [was] made [in the fall of 1996] to merge the membership and assets of the United Church Renewal Fellowship with the National Alliance of Covenanting Congregations (NACC) . . . A chapter in United Church history has just ended. A new chapter has begun."190
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Current Controversy: Bill Phipps and Responses

The liberalizing trend within the United Church still continues, although never without the remnant that speak for orthodoxy. The latest crisis that has shaken the church happened recently, even as I have gathered information on the earlier struggles of the UCC renewal/reform groups. This issue did not discover anything particularly new, considering the liberal theological education in many seminaries. What is new is the way it was conducted, by a newly elected moderator, to a secular newspaper on October 24, 1997, as if it were one of the accepted official views of the church. This section concerns the issue of Moderator Bill Phipps and the responses from clergy, laity and the UCC renewal groups. Again, another exodus wave has surged out of the church, as well as the equivalent of up to 400 members a week.191 However, even "though [many in] the United Church have been troubled by declining numbers - some attribute it to an emphasis of social action over spiritual practice --- Phipps said people are returning one by one." 192 He does not seem troubled by this trend, as is shown in the following quote. Stern reports that "Phipps sees a bright side [?] to the church's declining membership.

The United Church 's new position as a 'sideline church', he says, affords other opportunities. 'We can do a lot more. We can change society from the margins. We can critique a society that has lost its moral centre."193

At the beginning of this paper, the two main doctrines that were under attack were the authority of scripture, and a diminishing of Jesus' divinity. This agenda and view have not changed, and through it, an Arian type error has resurfaced in the church yet again. Phipps said the United Church has always been freethinking and past moderators have said much more outrageous things. 'What's new is that my views hit the front page of a secular newspaper.'194 Although Phipps calls himself no theologian,195 in some sense, everyone is a theologian and a philosopher,196 because as spiritual and ontological beings, we want to make sense of our lives and what is around us.197 We prescribe meaning to things, but what we impose is not necessarily the truth. Truth then is the core question when it comes to Phipps. Where is his centre? If Christians who are both liberal and conservative on the lesser issues are held together by the core doctrines of our faith, what is holding him together? Is the United Church really so inclusive that core doctrines such as the resurrection, the incarnation, the divinity of Jesus and authority of scripture are believed to be mere theory? One of the writers of the original Twenty Articles of Faith was Canadian Methodist Nathanael Burwash. He was the one who reconciled the doctrines of predestination with that of Wesleyan Armininism in such a way that there was a creative tension. He had believed that it was theory that divided the two groups in their theology.198 However, those two doctrines are not absolutely essential for saving faith. Even Burwash, who was a noted reconciler of doctrines, upheld scriptural truth and the human theories, (including ones of human origin to be mere theory.) Said Burwash concerning the difference of scripture and 'theory': "The Scriptural elements of faith we held to be essential, the theories human and at best imperfect, and changing with the progress of human science and philosophy. We strove to include all the prominent elements of religious faith, and to eliminate all speculative theory, especially where its harmony with Scripture might be questioned."199

Oh how liberalism has increased its pace. It seems to be clear that Phipps' creed is social justice, of a sort; a selectivity that only focuses on the prophetic justice acts of Micah, Amos and in cases Jesus, but he does not see that there is more to the story. Says Harvey in the original article, "His lapel button, 'zero poverty', reflects the views he developed in the mid- 1960's as a student observing riots and civil rights marches in New York and Chicago. 'Biblically, it's an abomination that there are any poor people in Canada at all', he says.200 His views on poverty are strong and definite. 'Your soul is lost unless you care about people starving in the streets.' He says Canada's major churches can no longer be called mainline churches because there is relatively little influence."201 It is true that many churches are indifferent to the poor, and often do not know how to really help; but arousing the Church to act does not come from attacking her very centre. Says Graham Scott, "Moderator Phipps' denials, unbelief and agnosticism are not good news. They seem to me an invitation to suicide. They do not even inspire me to care for the poor. But Jesus Christ, who, though he was rich yet for our sake became poor, does inspire me to care for the poor, for all human beings and for the world that God loves so much (John 3:16, 2 Cor. 8:9).202

Thus there is nothing wrong with social justice, but by itself, it does not fill one with compassion for the lost, it is not Christocentric and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Phipps' creed is very much steeped in humanistic social justice, thus he "believes that it is Christ's humanity [alone] that brings people closer to him."203 Then what would make Jesus distinct? Where is his heart and empowerment? If the resurrection is irrelevant as he believes,204 then even the preaching of the apostle Paul was in vain (1Cor 15:14). If the resurrection is irrelevant, than by what power does he minister if he accepts a form of godliness, but denying its power? (2 Tim 3:5) When Phipps was interviewed by The Ottawa Citizen originally, he believed it would be about his political views, but it was not. Says Finch-Drichen, "The Ottawa Citizen meeting was called partly in response to a barbed August editorial lambasting the [UCC] of its choice of leader and among other things, for being too political too be relevant."205

Yet, there is some good news. Most of his own church do not agree with him, including the UCC renewal reform groups. John Trueman's response was one of the strongest of all., and was so prophetic in its pronouncement that it has been included as Appendix J. Response to his remarks have been varied, but include calling him a heretic, an apostate,206 a false teacher,207 an iconoclast of ecumenical orthodox church doctrine such as what is contained in Christmas and Easter, (and including that of the World Council of Churches),208 the Twenty Articles of the Basis of Union,209 the United Church manual,210 and even the New Curriculum that was so shocking in 1964-65.211 Consequently, many pastors have distanced themselves from his statements, in preaching about all that he dismissed,212 and many have been demanding that he step down to show that he is at least responsible.213 He even publicly calls God 'she', which seems dangerously close to the Sophia doctrine that has invaded the church.214 "Ian Outerbridge, a Toronto lawyer and United Church elder, said he believes there are good legal grounds for laying a charge against Phipps within the church's own courts. He said 'there is a serious question as to whether or not he ought to even be a member of the United Church of Canada. Outerbridge [also] said Phipp's opinions are heretical, and he could be charged with spreading false teaching, and failing in his duty as moderator to provide spiritual leadership to the church."216 Mr. Outerbridge is only one of many who think this may be possible.

Since this time, Phipps has given a form of a weak apology for hurting the feelings of church members;217 but he refuses to step down or to retract his statements, since they are personally held beliefs.218 However, he seems to be confused about how this is affecting the church. According to Harvey, "Phipps said his worst fear is that the controversy over his views will divide the church, but his hope is that church members will see it as an opportunity to 'invite people to see the significance of Jesus in our world."219 It is quite probable that Phipps believes he is trying to contextualize his form of the gospel, but even his version has been skewed by decades of the surrounding culture. There simply is nothing left to adapt, because if current culture has been adopted in the central core of the faith, it ties you to culture, and when culture declines, so does the church! To this, John Neal in the UCRF had long ago given a plea concerning the destruction of United Church uniqueness. He reminded us that "we cannot be all things to all people."220 Thus, it is essential that the United Church be called back to what is central and core to her faith, and to reevaluate, in spite of Head Office's decision to defend Phipps because he fits within the inclusive scope of the church. Inclusivity works well, but only if you have a core identity and grounding. If this is lost, than the moorings are lost, and that which held the church falls apart.
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Conclusion

It is quite plain to see that the United Church of Canada needs more intercessors from other denominations as well as within her ranks. The renewal groups within the UCC have fought a valiant fight, and need the encouragement and prayers of others. I was once asked by one of my former pastors about my youthful heritage in the United Church. He had asked me "Is God still working in the United Church?"221 Had he known about the existence of the grass roots movement and viewed with his own eyes the faith of some of its members, he would not have made that remark. Too often the United Church has become a word of derision, too often have I also been ashamed of my heritage; but I am very pleased to find out otherwise, and trust that God is still in control.
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endnotes

1. The uniting church of Austalia and the United Church of South India are similar to the UCC, but I am implying this remark within a Canadian context.


2. Nathanael Burwash began working on the reconcilation of the different doctrines in 1903.

Laurie-Ann Zachar. Nathanael Burwash: Canadian Methodism's Struggles - Progressive yet Experiential and Evangelical. Spirit of Methodism. Dr. Victor Shepherd. Ontario Theological Seminary, North York ON. November 13, 1997. Appendix 1


3. Marguerite Van Die. An Evangelical Mind: Nathanael Burwash and the Methodist Tradition in Canada, 1839-1918. (Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1989). p 147. (paraphrase)


4. Shepherd, Victor. The Spirit of Methodism. Lecture Notes. Laurie- Ann Zachar, notetaker. September - December 1997. Ontario Theological Seminary, North York ON. A paraphrase of comments made on the T. Oden presentation. November 27, 1997.


5. This statement is on page 2 of every recent Fellowship Magazine. Barrie, 1993-1997.


6. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 24.


7. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 25.


8. (This is something that my mother, Carol Zachar would often tell me about. There were two things that really upset her in the 1960's concerning the trend. The first was the 'God is Dead' pronouncement; and the second was the New Curriculum. She pulled me out of the church for four or five years because of this, and was not sure where to take me for an alternative)


9. Art Hiley. "The United Church Renewal Fellowship: To win by Love" in Fellowship Magazine. Barrie: December/January 1994 p 24. (paraphrase)


10. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 25.


11. Ed McCaig. "Merger Keeps Renewal Vision Alive." in Fellowship Magazine. Barrie: March 1997. Volume 15. Number 1. p. 18. (paraphrase)


12. Ibid. p 18.

13. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 25.


14. (Chambers p 13)

15. (Crysdale p 94)


16. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 27.


17. Ed McCaig. "Merger Keeps Renewal Vision Alive." in Fellowship Magazine. Barrie: March 1997. Volume 15. Number 1. p. 18. (paraphrase)


18. Art Hiley. "The United Church Renewal Fellowship: To win by Love" in Fellowship Magazine. Barrie: December/January 1994 p 25.


19. -And there still are in many of the churches, as even I, who grew up in the United Church, was so starved for the Word and experience went searching for God in all the wrong places, in particular the occult. I was actually led into fortune telling by a member of the choir who attended my congregation for a while.


20. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 29 (paraphrase)


21. Ibid. p 20.

22. Art Hiley. "The United Church Renewal Fellowship: To win by Love" in Fellowship Magazine. Barrie: December/January 1994 p 26.


23. Karen Toole-Mitchell. "Participating in small groups helps us recover the 'baby' of faith from the 'bathwater' of religion." in The United C hurch Observer. June 1997 Vol 60 No 11. Toronto:UCC, 1997. np.


24. Cumming, Lloyd G. "Report from the Executive Director." in The Small Voice. Volume 4, 1985. Barrie: UCRF,1985). p 39.

25. He was since censured by United Church administration and put on the discontinued service list unfairly.

26. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 28.

27. Rudy Plug. "What is the United Church Renewal Fellowship?" in The Small Voice. Volume 1. Barrie:UCRF, 1986. p 13.

28. Cumming, Lloyd G. "Report from the Executive Director." in The Small Voice. Volume 4, 1985. Barrie: UCRF,1985). p 39. (paraphrase)

29. Ibid. p 40.

30. Ibid. p 40.

31. Ibid. p 40.

32. Ibid. p 40.

33. Ed McCaig. "Merger Keeps Renewal Vision Alive." in Fellowship Magazine. Barrie: March 1997. Volume 15. Number 1. p. 21.

34. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 31. (paraphrase)

35. Ibid. p 32 (paraphrase)

36. Ibid. p 41 (paraphrase)

37. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 110 (paraphrase)

-I know it was thriving at this time, due to reports throughout Small Voice about evangelism, and through the testimony of my small group leader at Woodbridge Presbyterian Church.

38. Ibid. p 47.

39. Ibid. p 48. (paraphrase)

40. Ibid. p 48.

41. Ed McCaig. "Merger Keeps Renewal Vision Alive." in Fellowship Magazine. Barrie: March 1997. Volume 15. Number 1. p. 19.

42. Lloyd G Cumming. "Report from the Executive Director." in The Small Voice. Volume 4, 1985. Barrie: UCRF,1985). p 40.

43. Ibid. p 40 (paraphrase)

44. Ibid. p 40.

45. Ibid. p 40.

46. Ibid. p 41 (paraphrase)

47. Clark Pinnock. "The New Pentecostalism: Reflections by a Well-Wisher." in The Small Voice. (Barrie: UCRF:Autumn 1974). p 5. (paraphrase)

48. Ibid. p 8.

49. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 55.

50. Many articles from The Small Voice - issues: Spring 1 976, Winter 1977, Summer 1977, Volume 4, 1982. Volume 1 1983. Volumes 2, 3. 1986.

51. Ibid. p 41.

52. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 80. (paraphrase)

53. Ibid. p 80.

54. Ibid. p 97.

55. Ibid. p 97.

56. Ibid. p 98.

57. Ian Rennie. "Canada's 'State Church' in Transition. " A condensed article originally in Faith Today. July/August 1987. Reprinted in Renewal Fellowship Magazine. Volume 5. September/October 1987. (Barrie: UCRF, 1987). p. 15.

58. Donald Lamont. "Dry Bones Can Live Again" in The Small Voice. Volume 2. 1982. (Barrie:UCRF, 1982 ). p 13.

59. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 79. (paraphrase).

60. Michael Riordan. The First Stone: Homosexuality and the United Church. (Toronto:McClelland and Stewart, 1990). p 33.

61. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 87.

62. United Church Renewal Fellowship. Our Inheritance: On its 50th Anniversary The United Church of Canada has special opportunity to renew its faith through a study of its official doctrine. (Barrie: UCRF, 1975). p 93.

63. United Church Renewal Fellowship. We have an Anchor: A Searching Study of the Basis of Union of the United Church of Canada. (Barrie: UCRF, 1984). Table of contents (paraphrase)

64. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 33. (paraphrase)

65. John Griffin. "Evangelism, not Confirmation Classes." in The Small Voice. Volume 1. 1971. (Barrie:UCRF, 1971). p 14.

66. Gordon Hunter. "Evangelism Must Come First". in The Small Voice. Volume 2. 1982. (Barrie:UCRF, 1982). p 24.

67. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 77. (paraphrase)

68. Small Voice publication data - unavailable [approx. late 1970's]

69. Ronald McCaw. "Pulpit Vacancies." Editorial Page in The Small Voice. Summer 1977. (Barrie:UCRF, 1977). p 3 (paraphrase)

70. Lloyd G. Cumming. "Report from the Executive Director." in The Small Voice. Volume 1, 1985. Barrie: UCRF,1985). p 39.

71. Lloyd G. Cumming. Report from the Field Secretary." in The Small Voice. Summer 1977. (Barrie:UCRF, 1977). p 37. (paraphrase)

72. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 125.

73. Michael Riordan. The First Stone: Homosexuality and the United Church. (Toronto:McClelland and Stewart, 1990). p 90. (paraphrase)

74. Ibid. p 35.

75. -I wonder what he means by this - is this concerning the scribal errors and additions that make up to about 10 per cent of the Bible, but do not affect any important doctrines?

76. Michael Riordan. The First Stone: Homosexuality and the United Church. (Toronto:McClelland and Stewart, 1990). p 35.

77. Graham Scott. "Of Scholarship and Sacraments" in Fellowship Magazine. September/October 1993. Volume 11. Number 4. p 23.

78. Ibid. p 23.

79. John Hoover. "Reformation, not Separation." in Metropolitan Newsletter. March 1989. p 11. (paraphrase)

80. Graham Scott. "Of Scholarship and Sacraments" in Fellowship Magazine. September/October 1993. Volume 11. Number 4. p 23.

-date

81. Ibid. p 23.

82. Michael Riordan. The First Stone: Homosexuality and the United Church. (Toronto:McClelland and Stewart, 1990). p 35.

83. John Hoover. "Reformation, not Separation." in Metropolitan Newsletter. March 1989. p 11.

84. Ibid. p 11.

85. Graham Scott. "Of Scholarship and Sacraments" in Fellowship Magazine. September/October 1993. Volume 11. Number 4. p 23.

86. Ibid. p 11.

87. Michael Riordan. The First Stone: Homosexuality and the United Church. (Toronto:McClelland and Stewart, 1990). p 39.

88. Graham Scott. "Of Scholarship and Sacraments" in Fellowship Magazine. September/October 1993. Volume 11. Number 4. p 23.

89. John Hoover. "Reformation, not Separation." in Metropolitan Newsletter. March 1989. p 12.

90. Graham Scott. "Of Scholarship and Sacraments" in Fellowship Magazine. September/October 1993. Volume 11. Number 4. p 23. (paraphrase)

91. Ibid p 24.

92. Ibid. p 24.

93. Ibid. p 23.

94. This is ad hoc throughout Fellowship Magazines.

95. Graham Scott. "Of Scholarship and Sacraments" in Fellowship Magazine. September/October 1993. Volume 11. Number 4. p 24.

96. Ibid. p 24.

97. Ibid. p 24.

98. Ibid. p 24. (paraphrase)

99. Ibid. p 24.

100. Ibid. p 24.

101. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 92. (paraphrase)

102. Session of Scotland, ON. "Remit on Christian Initiation: A Critique." in The Small Voice. Volume 3. 1983. (Barrie:UCRF, 1983). p 7.

103. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 93. (paraphrase)

104. Ibid. p 93.

105. Ibid. p 119-20.

106. -I am speaking specifically with the United Churches that I have had contact with, in particular, Humber Valley as well as more evangelical congregations.

107. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 121.

108. Victor Shepherd. The Spirit of Methodism. Lecture Notes. Laurie-Ann Zachar, notetaker. September - December 1997. Ontario Theological Seminary, North York ON. A paraphrase of comments , said in context when he got upset about discussion of the Sophia influence in some churches, including the United Church. December 3, 1997.

109. The Small Voice Volume 3. 1986 np available.

110. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 110.

111. Ibid. p 110.

112. Ibid. p 125.

113. Michael Riordan. The First Stone: Homosexuality and the United Church. (Toronto:McClelland and Stewart, 1990).

-this term is used throughout his book

114. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 90.

115. Ibid. p 90.

116. Ibid. p 102 (paraphrase)

117. Ibid. p 103.

118. Ibid. p 105 (paraphrase)

119. Kenneth Barker. "The Community of Concern." Letters and History. in Theological Digest. Volume 4 Number 1. January 1989. p 7)

120. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 105.

121. Ibid. p 105.

122. Donald L. Faris. Trojan Horse: The Homosexual Ideology and the Christian Church. (Burlington: Welch, 1989. p 9.

123. Steven Chambers. This is Your Church:A Guide to the Beliefs, Policies and Positions of The United Church of Canada. (Toronto: United Church Publishing House, 1993 Third Edition) p 97.

124. Ibid. p 97.

125. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 111.

126. Ibid. p 111.

127. Virginia Blyfield. "The UCC grapples with gaiety." in The Renewal Fellowship Magazine. Volume 3. May/June 1988. (Barrie:UCRF, 1988). p 20.

128. David Chotka. "A Critique of the Report: Toward a Christian Understanding of Sexual Orientations, Lifestyles and Ministry." in The Renewal Fellowship Magazine. Volume 3. May/June 1988. (Barrie:UCRF, 1988) p 28.

129. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 111.

130. Ross Salmon. "Renewal: the Community of Concern." in Fellowship Magazine. (Barrie: December/January 1994). p. 23.

131. John Hoover. "Reformation, not Separation." in Metropolitan Newsletter. March 1989. p 12. (paraphrase)

132. Michael Riordan. The First Stone: Homosexuality and the United Church. (Toronto:McClelland and Stewart, 1990). p 94.

133. Ibid p 134 (paraphrase)

134. Ibid. p 135.

135. John Hoover. "Reformation, not Separation." in Metropolitan Newsletter. March 1989. p 12.

136. Ibid. p 12.

137. Michael Riordan. The First Stone: Homosexuality and the United Church. (Toronto:McClelland and Stewart, 1990). p 73.

138. John Hoover. "Reformation, not Separation." in Metropolitan Newsletter. March 1989. p 12. (paraphrase)

139. Kenneth Barker. "The Community of Concern." Letters and History. in Theological Digest. Volume 4 Number 1. January 1989. p 7)

140. John Hoover. "Reformation, not Separation." in Metropolitan Newsletter. March 1989. p 12. (paraphrase)

141. Ibid p 13.

142. Ibid. p 14.

143. Ibid. p 14.

144. Ibid. p 14.

145. Ed McCaig. editorial "The Church in the World: Joint statement calls comments and lawsuit 'regrettable.'" in Fell Mag j/a vol 8, no 4, 1990. p 26.

146. William Fritz. As quoted in "COC holds first Annual Meeting." Ed McCaig editor. Renewal Fellowship Magazine. May/June 1989. Volume 7. No. 3. Barrie:UCRF, 1989. p 30.

147. Ed McCaig. " The Church in the World: Gordon Ross installed as COC Executive Director. in Renewal Fellowship Magazine. November/December 1989.Volume 7 No. 6 (Barrie: UCRF, 1989). p 22.

148. Ross Salmon. "Renewal: the Community of Concern." in Fellowship Magazine. (Barrie: December/January 1994). p. 23.

149. Ibid. p 24.

150. Ibid. p 24.

151. Michael Riordan. The First Stone: Homosexuality and the United Church. (Toronto:McClelland and Stewart, 1990). p 250.

152. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 139.

153. Ed McCaig. "Merger Keeps Renewal Vision Alive." in Fellowship Magazine. Barrie: March 1997. Volume 15. Number 1. p. 18.

154. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 138-139 .

155. Ibid. p 130.

156. Ibid. p 141.

157. Ralph Garbe. "The Renewal Fellowship turns twenty five." in Renewal Fellowship Magazine. Ed McCaig editor. July/August 1990. Volume 8 Number 4. Barrie:UCRF,1990. p 6.

158. Ed McCaig. "Merger Keeps Renewal Vision Alive." in Fellowship Magazine. Barrie: March 1997. Volume 15. Number 1. p. 18.

159. Ibid. p 18.

160. Ibid. p 18.

161. Michael Riordan. The First Stone: Homosexuality and the United Church. (Toronto:McClelland and Stewart, 1990). p 171.

162. Ibid. p 295.

163. Ed. McCaig. (Ed McCaig, "'Associations of Congregations' emerging following General Council decisions." in Renewal Fellowship Magazine. November/December 1990. Volume l 8. no 6. (Barrie:UCRF, 1990). p 25.

164. Ibid. p 25.

165. Ibid. p 25.

166. Rick Prieston. "Therefore, STAND!" in Fellowship Magazine. September/October 1993. Volume 11. Number 4. p 25.

167. Ibid. p 25.

168. Ibid. p 26.

169. Ibid. p 26.

170. NACC. NACC: What is it? What are its purposes? Who are its members? How is it organized? What does it do? What are its benefits? (Mississauga: May 1997).

-addition from NACC brochure back cover.

171. Robert Blackburn. "Crossroads: Considering the Options." in Fellowship Magazine May-June 1991 p 2.

172. Lori E Gwynne, editor Editorial introduction to "Therefore, STAND!" in Fellowship Magazine. September/October 1993. Volume 11. Number 4. p 25.

173. Robert Blackburn. "Crossroads: Considering the Options." in Fellowship Magazine May-June 1991 p 2.

174. Ibid. p 2.

175. NACC. So your Minister is Leaving? Pamphlet concerning importance of Calls. (Mississauga:NACC, 1996).

176. NACC. Constitution, 1991. (Mississauga: ON, 1991).

177. Rick Prieston. "Therefore, STAND!" in Fellowship Magazine. September/October 1993. Volume 11. Number 4. p 26.

178. NACC. Statement concerning Marriage. (Mississauga: Annual Meeting, March 27, 1992).

179. Rick Prieston. "Therefore, STAND!" in Fellowship Magazine. September/October 1993. Volume 11. Number 4. p 25.

180. Ibid. p 26.

181. NACC. NACC: What is it? What are its purposes? Who are its members? How is it organized? What does it do? What are its benefits? (Mississauga: May 1997).

182. Ibid.

183. Robert Blackburn. Letters. October 8, 1997: Mississauga ON.

184. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 157.

185. Ibid. p 157.

186. Art Hiley. "The United Church Renewal Fellowship: To win by Love" in Fellowship Magazine. Barrie: December/January 1994 p 26.

187. Ibid. p 26.

188. Ibid. p 26.

189. Ibid. p 26.

190. Ed McCaig. "Merger Keeps Renewal Vision Alive." in Fellowship Magazine. Barrie: March 1997. Volume 15. Number 1. p. 18.

191. Victor Shepherd. The Spirit of Methodism. Lecture Notes. Laurie-Ann Zachar, notetaker. September - December 1997. Ontario Theological Seminary, North York ON. A comment made in more that one class - at one time it was 400 a week, until Phipps it was the same per centage per capita for the members and adherants who were left.

192. Leslie Schriver. "United Church moderator draws controversy for views."Toronto:Toronto Star, October 29, 1997.

193. Leonard Stern. "United Church moderator raises Cain: Ministers scrambling to distance themselves from leader's radicalism." in The Ottawa Citizen. (Ottawa:Southam, October 25, 1997).

194. Bob Harvey. "Moderator's beliefs divide United Church."in The Kitchener-Waterloo Record. (Ottawa:Southam, November 11, 1997).

195. Bob Harvey. "I don't believe Jesus was God: United Church's new moderator rejects Bible as history book." in The Ottawa Citizen. (Ottawa: Southam, October 24, 1997).

196. Victor Shepherd. The Spirit of Methodism. Lecture Notes. Laurie-Ann Zachar, notetaker. September - December 1997. Ontario Theological Seminary, North York ON. December 3, 1997.

197. This is a general concept I have learned from narrative therapy in my counselling class.

198. Marguerite Van Die. An Evangelical Mind: Nathanael Burwash and the Methodist Tradition in Canada, 1839-1918. (Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1989). p 162. (paraphrase)

199. Ibid. p 162.

200. Then it is clear he has not seen the poverty of the third world which is far worse.

201. Bob Harvey. "Heaven and Earth: United Church Moderator Bill Phipps worries less about the divinity of Jesus and more about whether his fellow man is starving in the street." The full unedited report for The Ottawa Citizen. Reprinted in full in The Calgary Herald. (Calgary:Wednesday October 29, 1997).

202. Graham Scott. "Statement of the Rev. Dr. Graham Scott on published remarks by Moderator Bill Phipps in October 1997. (Church Alive: November 5, 1997).

203. Pauline Finch-Drichen. "Moderator defends comments on beliefs." in Kitchener-Waterloo Record. (Kitchener: November 13, 1997)

204. Bob Harvey. "I don't believe Jesus was God: United Church's new moderator rejects Bible as history book." in The Ottawa Citizen. (Ottawa: Southam, October 24, 1997).

205. Pauline Finch-Drichen. "Moderator defends comments on beliefs." in Kitchener-Waterloo Record. (Kitchener: November 13, 1997)

206. Canadian Press. "Moderator a heretic, minister says." in Kitchener-Waterloo Record. (Calgary:Canadian Press, November 17, 1989).

207. Ian Outerbridge. Quoted in Bob Harvey. "'Un-Christian' remarks disturb minister's flock." in The Kitchener-Waterloo Record. (Ottawa:Southam, October 30, 1997).

208. Allen Churchill. quoted in Charles Enman. "Moderator 'undermines' faith, United Church minister says." in The Ottawa Citizen. (Ottawa: Southam: October 27, 1997).

209. John Trueman. Statement by Dr. John Trueman, President of Community of Concern [regarding Bill Phipps] October 31, 1997.

210. Ibid.

211. Graham Scott. "Statement of the Rev. Dr. Graham Scott on published remarks by Moderator Bill Phipps in October 1997. (Church Alive: November 5, 1997).

212. Allen Churchill. quoted in Charles Enman. "Moderator 'undermines' faith, United Church minister says." in The Ottawa Citizen. (Ottawa: Southam: October 27, 1997).

-Leonard Stern. "United Church moderator raises Cain: Ministers scrambling to distance themselves from leader's radicalism." in The Ottawa Citizen. (Ottawa:Southam, October 25, 1997).

213. John Trueman. Statement by Dr. John Trueman, President of Community of Concern [regarding Bill Phipps] October 31, 1997.

214. MacKinnon, Mark. "An activist moderator is rocking the United Church: Rev. Bill Phipps wants to 'mend a broken world' by exhorting his flock to focus on social issues, not religious doctrine." in The Edmonton Journal. (Edmonton: November 1, 1997).

215. Bob Harvey. "'Un-Christian' remarks disturb minister's flock." in The Kitchener-Waterloo Record. (Ottawa:Southam, October 30, 1997).

216. -Bob Harvey. "Moderator's beliefs divide United Church."in The Kitchener-Waterloo Record. (Ottawa:Southam, November 11, 1997).

-Canadian Press. "Moderator a heretic, minister says." in Kitchener-Waterloo Record. (Calgary:Canadian Press, November 17, 1989).

217. Canadian Press. "Moderator a heretic, minister says." in Kitchener-Waterloo Record. (Calgary:Canadian Press, November 17, 1989).

218. Ibid.

219. Bob Harvey. "Moderator's beliefs divide United Church."in The Kitchener-Waterloo Record. (Ottawa:Southam, November 11, 1997).

220. Lloyd G. Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 126.

221. John Arnott asked me this back in the autumn of 1989 when I was inquiring about the Vineyard.

222. United Church Renewal Fellowship. Our Inheritance: On its 50th Anniversary The United Church of Canada has special opportunity to renew its faith through a study of its official doctrine. (Barrie: UCRF, 1975). p 83-92

223. Lloyd G Cumming. The Uncomfortable Pew: Committed to Renewal. (Barrie: UCRF, 1990). p 32-33.

224. Steven Chambers. This is Your Church:A Guide to the Beliefs, Policies and Positions of The United Church of Canada. (Toronto: United Church Publishing House, 1993 Third Edition). p 12-13.

225. Church Alive. Fifteen Affirmations. By concerned members of the United Church of Canada. (Burlington: Church Alive, 1974 Second Edition).

226. Kenneth Barker. "A Declaration of Dissent: A Theological Background." in Theological Digest. Volume 3 Number Two. May 1988. p 1-4.

227. Ross Salmon. "Renewal: the Community of Concern." in Fellowship Magazine. (Barrie: December/January 1994). p. 24.

228. Church Alive. "A Covenant: signed by some General Council Commissioners" Originally published in Theological Digest, August 1990. Supplement to Theological Digest and Outlook, July 1994. [Otherwise known as the Commissioner's Covenant]

229. Articles of Association. For Member Congregations of the United Church of Canada Wishing to Maintain the Historic Faith. [based on the Alberta Articles] Congregational voting assent form.

230. John Trueman. Statement by Dr. John Trueman, President of Community of Concern [regarding Bill Phipps] October 31, 1997.
Return To The Table Of Contents




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APPENDIX A - the Twenty Articles222

The Basis of Union Doctrine

We present the accompanying statement as a brief summary of our common faith and commend it to the studious attention of the members and adherents of the negotiating churches, as in substance agreeable to the teaching of Holy Scriptures.

Article One - of God

We believe in the one only living and true God, a Spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable, in His being and perfections; the Lord Almighty who is love, most just in all His ways, most glorious in holiness, unsearchable in wisdom, plenteous in mercy, full of compassion, and abundant in goodness and truth. We worship Him in the unity of the Godhead and the mystery of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, three persons of the same substance, equal in power and glory.

Article Two - of Revelation

We believe that God has revealed Himself in nature, in history, and in the heart of man; that He has been graciously pleased to make clearer revelation of Himself to men of God who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit; and that in the fullness of time He has perfectly revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, who is the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of His person. We receive the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, given by inspiration of God, as containing the only infallible rule of faith and life, a faithful record of God's gracious revelations, and as the sure witness of Christ.

Article Three - of the Divine Purpose

We believe that the eternal, wise, holy and loving purpose of God so embraces all events that, while the freedom of man is not taken away, nor is God the author of sin, yet in His providence He makes all things work together in the fulfilment of His sovereign design and the manifestation of His glory.

Article 4 - of Creation and Providence

We believe that God is the creator, upholder and governor of all things; That He is above all His works and in them all; and that He made man in His own image, meet for fellowship with Him, free and able to choose between good and evil, and responsible to his Maker and Lord.

Article 5 - of the Sin of Man

We believe that our first parents, being tempted, chose evil, and so fell away from God and came under the power of sin, the penalty of which is eternal death; and that by reason of this disobedience, all men are born with a sinful nature, that we have broken God's laws and that no man can be saved but by grace.

Article 6 - of the Grace of God

We believe that God, out of His great love for the world, has given His only begotten Son to be the Saviour of sinners, and in the Gospel freely offers His all-sufficient salvation to all men. We believe also that God, in His good pleasure, gave to His Son a people, an innumerable multitude, chosen in Christ unto holiness, service and salvation.

Article 7 - of the Lord Jesus Christ

We believe in and confess the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Mediator between God and man, who being the Eternal God and man, who being the Eternal Son of God, for us men and for our salvation became truly man, being conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, yet without sin. Unto us He has revealed the Father, by His word and Spirit, making known the perfect will of God. For our redemption, He fulfilled all righteousness, offered Himself a perfect sacrifice on the Cross, satisfied Divine justice and made propitiation for the sins of the whole world. He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven, where He ever intercedes for us. In the hearts of believers He abides for ever as the indwelling Christ; above us and over us all He rule; wherefore, unto Him we render love, obedience and adoration as our Prophet, Priest and King.

Article 8 - of the Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who moves upon the hearts of men to restrain them from evil and to incite them unto good, and whom the Father is ever willing to give unto all who ask Him. We believe that He has spoken by holy men of God in making known His truth to men for their salvation; that, through our exalted Saviour, He was sent forth in power to convict the world of sin, to enlighten men's minds in the knowledge of Christ, and to persuade and enable them to obey the call of the Gospel; and that He abides with the Church, dwelling every believer as the spirit of truth, of power, of holiness, of comfort and of love.

Article 9 - of Regeneration

We believe in the necessity of regeneration, whereby we are made new creatures in Christ Jesus by the Spirit of God, who imparts spiritual life by the gracious and mysterious operation of His power, using as the ordinary means the truths of His word, and the ordinances of divine appointment in ways agreeable to the nature of man.

Article 10 - of Faith and Repentance

We believe that faith in Christ is a saving grace whereby we receive Him, trust in Him and rest upon Him alone for salvation as He is offered to us in the Gospel, and that this saving faith is always accomplished by repentance, wherein we confess and forsake our sins with full purpose of and endeavour after a new obedience to God.

Article 11 - of Justification and Sonship

We believe that God, on the sole ground of the perfect obedience and sacrifice of Christ, pardons those who by faith receive Him as their Saviour and Lord, accepts them as righteous and bestows upon them the adoption of sons, with a right to all privileges therein implied, including a conscious assurance of their sonship."

Article 12 - of Sanctification

We believe that those who are regenerated and justified grow in the likeness of Christ through fellowship with Him, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and obedience to the truth; that a holy life is the fruit and evidence of saving faith, and that the believer's hope of continuance in such a life is in the preserving grace of God. And we believe that in this growth in grace Christians may attain that maturity and full assurance of faith whereby the love of God is made perfect to us.

Article 13 - of Prayer

We believe that we are encouraged to draw near to God, our Heavenly Father, in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and on our won behalf and that of others to pour out our hearts humbly yet freely before Him, as becomes His beloved children, giving Him the honour and praise due His holy name, asking Him to glorify Himself on earth as in Heaven, confessing unto Him our sins and seeking of Him every gift needful for this life and of our everlasting salvation. We believer also that, inasmuch as all true prayer is prompted by His Spirit, He will in response thereto grant us every blessing according to His unsearchable wisdom and the riches of His grace in Jesus Christ.

Article 14 - of the Law of God

We believe that the moral law of God, summarized in the Ten Commandments, testified to by the prophets and unfolded in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, stands for ever in truth and equity, and is not made void by faith, but on the contrary is established thereby. We believe that God requires of every man to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God; and that only through this harmony with the will of God shall be fulfilled that brotherhood of man wherein the Kingdom of God is to be made manifest.

Article 15 - of the Church

We acknowledge one holy Catholic Church, the innumerable company of saints of every age and nation, who being united by the Holy Spirit to Christ their Head are one body in Him and have communion with their Lord and with one another. Further, we receive it as the will of Christ, that His Church on earth should exist as a visible and sacred brotherhood, consisting of those who profess faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to Him, together with their children, and other baptized children, and organized for the confession of His name, for the upbuilding of the saints, and for the universal propagation of the Gospel; and we acknowledge as a part, more or less pure, of this universal brotherhood, every particular Church throughout the world which professes their faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to Him as divine Lord and Saviour.

Article 16 - Of the Sacraments

We acknowledge two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, which were instituted by Christ, to be of perpetual obligation as signs and seals of the covenant ratified in His precious blood, as means of grace, by which, working in us, He doeth not only quicken, but also strengthen and comfort our faith in Him, and as ordinances through the observation of which His church is to confess her Lord and be visibly distinguished from the rest of the world.

1 Baptism with water into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is the sacrament by which are signified and sealed our union to Christ and participation in the blessings of the new covenant. The proper subjects of baptism are believers and infants presented by their parents or should train up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and receive the benefits which the sacrament is designed and fitted to convey. The Church is under the most solemn obligation to provide for their Christian instruction.

2 The Lord's Supper is the sacrament of communion with Christ and with His people, in which bread and wine are given and received in thankful remembrance of Him and His sacrifice on the Cross; and they who in faith receive the same do, after a spiritual manner, partake of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to their comfort, nourishment and growth in grace. All may be admitted to the Lord's Supper who make a credible profession of their faith in the Lord Jesus and of obedience to His law.

Article 17 - of the Ministry

We believe that Jesus Christ, as the Supreme Head of the Church, has appointed therein a ministry of the word and sacraments, and calls men and women to this ministry; that the Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, recognizes and chooses those whom He calls, and should thereupon duly ordain them to the work of the ministry.

Article 18 - of Church Order and Fellowship

We believe that the Supreme and only Head of the Church is the Lord Jesus Christ; that its worship, teaching, discipline and government should be administered according to His will by persons chosen for their fitness and duly set apart to their office; and that although the visible Church may contain unworthy members and is liable to err, yet believers ought not lightly to separate themselves for communion, but are to live in fellowship with their brethren, which fellowship is to be extended, as God gives opportunity, to all who in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

Article 19 - of the Resurrection, the Last Judgement and the Future Life

We believe that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust, through the power of the Son of God, who shall come to judge the living and the dead; that the finally impenitent shall go away into eternal punishment and the righteous into life eternal.

Article 20 - of Christian Service and the Final Triumph

We believe that it is our duty as disciples and servants of Christ, to further the extension of His kingdom, to do good unto all men, to maintain the public and private worship of God, to hallow the Lord's Day, to preserve the inviolability of marriage and the sanctity of the family, to uphold the just authority of the State, and so to live in all honesty, purity and charity, that our lives shall testify of Christ. We joyfully receive the word of Christ, bidding His people go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, declaring unto them that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, and that He will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. We confidently believe that by His power and grace all His enemies shall finally be overcome, and the kingdoms of this world be made the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ.

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APPENDIX B - the Objectives of the UCRF223

1. To pray and work for spiritual renewal within the Church

2. To deepen the spiritual experience of Christians so that they will express themselves more effectively through prayer, evangelism, social service, missionary endeavour fellowship and discipleship

3. To encourage those with an evangelical vision of enter the ministry of the United Church of Canada

4. To promote sound Biblical theology

5. To challenge its members with the need for:

a. witnessing within the local church community

b. the overseas mission of the church

6. To provide a fellowship where newly committed Christians can be nourished

7. To provide a fellowship for mature Christians, where they will be encouraged to witness and serve within the United Church of Canada

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APPENDIX C - the New Creed (1980 Version)
224

"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 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

Thanks be to God.

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APPENDIX D - the 15 Affirmations (Church Alive)
225

(reprinted by permission from Church Alive)

Introduction

We affirm that The United Church of Canada stand in the Reformed stream of the Catholic faith. As such the United Church is obligated to profess beliefs that are essential to this faith and to issue new statements of faith only after serious and prolonged examination of the Biblical witness.

We are therefore concerned that many of the pronouncements made in the name of the United Church of Canada - whether officially approved or not - have been giving the impression that our Church has compromised its theological integrity and casually ignored essential beliefs.

In the valid struggle to related the Gospel to contemporary life, many have fallen prey to doctrinal distortion.

We urgently call our Church to a more serious commitment to its theological foundations and to a more positive affirmation of the Christian faith. What we affirm now is said out of a constraining concern for the integrity of the Gospel, for the well-being of the Church and for the salvation of the wold. We are not attempting to re-write the Church's standards. We are re-affirming Christian faith in a situation of widespread confusion and uncertainty."

Affirmations

A. God and Man

1. We believe that God created the world and has preserved it from falling into hopeless corruptions and non-existence. The world is therefore God's world - an arena for the fulfillment of His sovereign purpose.

2. We believer that man and woman were created by God and endowed with freedom and dignity like His own. We are therefor not wholly determined by heredity or environment, but remain responsible moral agents. Moreover, we are not our own but God's. Our chief end is therefore to glorify Him and to find joy and fulfilment in His fellowship and service.

3. We believe that sin has mortally infected us all in our personal and social existence, showing itself in our alienation and our fellow man. But God's grace in Christ is sufficient to save us, and His mercy is every extended to those who respond in repentance and faith.

B God's Word

4. We believe that Jesus Christ is more than the man for others. We believe that He is the Son of God made man and that He is the Incarnation of God's Word of grace and truth. That is, in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, teaching us the meaning of revelation, redeeming us from our sin, giving us sure hope of forgiveness and of eternal life, and providing the incentive and power for the life of faith, hope and love.

To be more specific, we believe that the death of Jesus Christ on the cross was God's unique remedy for our sin, bringing life out of death; that the resurrection of Jesus Christ assures us that our King is still with us by the power of the Holy Spirit; and that the coming again of Jesus Christ in glory will involve both the judgment of the world of space and time and also its transformation into the world of God's eternal kingdom.

5. We believe that Jesus Christ has a definitive significance for all the races and religions of man. We therefore affirm that Christ is the judge of all faiths, including Christianity. We believe that Jesus Christ is the divine answer to the human longings to which all faiths testify. We therefore take with the utmost seriousness the great commission to go and make disciples of all nations.

6. We believe that the Bible is the God-given basis and norm by which the Church's life, teaching and worship are nourished and renewed. We recognize the value and need of critical scholarship. But the essential and vital need is the guidance of the Holy Spirit, without Whose inward illumination man cannot come to a saving understanding of divine revelation. Moreover, in our struggle to grow in the knowledge and love of God, we should remember that now we know in part.

C. God's Spirit

7. We believe that God reveals Himself to the individual through the enlightening work of the Holy Spirit, We believe that the Holy Spirit creates true faith in the heart, assures the believer that he is a child of God through Christ and empowers the believer to bear witness, to do good and to love his neighbour as himself. We believe that the Holy Spirit moves within the Church to infuse life and meaning in its worship and witness. Moreover, we believe that the Holy Spirit moves within the Church to infuse life and meaning in its worship and witness. Moreover, we believe that the Holy Spirit continues to work in the world and in the life of mankind so that all things will eventually work to fulfil God's good purpose.

D God's Church

8. We believe that God has called men, women and children into a sacramental community of faith, worship, fellowship, evangelism and service. This community is the Church, the Body of Christ, the household of faith, the people of God. The Church has never been perfect and at times has failed her Lord most scandalously. But God continues to work through fallible people who respond to His call and who seek to do His will.

9. We believe that every Christian is called to live in faith in all areas of life. But we believe also that some Christians are called, trained and ordained to a specialized ministry of preaching, teaching, sacramental ministration and pastoral oversight --- in short, of equipping the Church to minister to God and the world. Within the New Testament and ever since, this ministry of the Word and Sacraments has been regarded - along with Scripture and Sacrament - as a precious gift to the Church from her risen and exalted Lord. We therefore affirm both the ministry of the laity and the ministry of the Word and Sacraments.

10. We believe that the ministry of worship, both private and corporate, is essential to the life and growth of the Church, as it was to the life of Jesus Christ. The Church's service to the world should never be divorced from Christian belief, worship and prayer.

E Life with God

11. We believe that God calls man to exercise his freedom responsibly, in accordance with His holy will. Although we recognize that moral decisions are made in the context of actual life, we affirm the basic moral standards of the Judaeo-Christian tradition as definitive guidelines for Christian living.

12. We believe that God wills that marriage be a life-long union of faith, love and esteem between man and woman. Although we recognize that there are circumstances in which divorce can be justified, we affirm the sanctity of life-long marriage.

13. We believe that God wills that every human life grow up into the maturity of Jesus Christ. Although we recognize that there may be exceptional circumstances in which human life must be taken in order to preserve other human life, we affirm the sanctity of human life before birth and afterward.

Moreover, we are not our own but God's. We therefore oppose abortion on demand, and we think that our Church's official position to remove abortion from the Criminal Code effectively puts the Church in the abortion-on-demand camp.

14. We believe that God wills reconciliation, healing and wholeness for His hurting world. This belief has practical implications in a hostile, divided world; and that we cannot do enough for the welfare of the world. We believe that we must witness to God's love both in word and in acts of justice, mercy and compassion.

15. We believe that the Christian is called to be a leavening influence in life. In both his individual life and in his responsibility to the wider community, the Christian is called to be holy and to work for justice and mercy. In life and speech the Christian is called to proclaim the good news that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.

Conclusion

We make these affirmations of faith in humble awareness of our own inadequacies but in joyous faith in God's goodness, love and power. We are not committed to the exact wording of this document. Each one of us has a different emphasis and a different way of expressing the faith. But we are committed to the Lord Who is beyond our halting language. We are committed to His Gospel. And we are committed to His Church, particularly to our branch of the Church, The United Church of Canada.

We invite United Church members who share our concern and who find themselves in general agreement with this affirmation to add their names to those below. Doing this will call the Church to a more serious commitment to its theological bases and to a more positive affirmation of Christian faith. Doing this will also show our brethren in other communions that we also share with them the one faith of the Church Universal.

We pray that all men may find their true unity and realize their true humanity by believing in the person and work of Jesus Christ, to Whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, be all glory and blessing. Amen.

Copyrighted 1974 and 1989 by Church Alive.

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APPENDIX E - Declaration of Dissent (Community of Concern)226

April 1988- condensed version

1-affirmation of faith in Christ, commitment to Christ's way of love, loyalty to UCC, [with "a diversity of theological approaches]"

2-affirmation of scripture as standard (basis of union preamble)

3- affirmation of human rights in creation

4-opposition to SOLM

5-it shows inadequate "understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit operating in Scripture and also tradition, resulting in flawed methodology, which leads to limited and subjective conclusions."

6-limitation of sexuality to marriage fidelity, and loving celibacy for singles

"This has been and continues to be the standard upheld by the vast majority of Christian churches."

7 -all are sinners

8-call to repentance and obedience in Christ

9 - "We are concerned with the costs in suffering and depersonalization which our increasingly permissive society entails"

10 - 'We believe that the Church is not ours to do with as we like, but is Christ's Church. We are profoundly concerned with the implications of the Report for the peace and welfare of the Church. We reject the essential thrusts, directions and conclusions of the Report, because they are a drastic departure from historic Christian faith and obedience. We can do no other. The bottom line is obedience to Jesus Christ."

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APPENDIX F - Objectives and Purposes of the Community of Concern
227

Purposes:

A To promote within the UCC, greater adherence to the Twenty Articles of Faith in the Basis of Union, understood in the light of the Apostle's and Nicene Creeds and our Reformed, Wesleyan and Congregational heritage;

B To encourage within the United Church a theological renewal grounded in the Scriptures, Christian Tradition and the Articles of Faith;

C To encourage a deepening of theological perspective among members of the clergy and laity within the United Church;

D To assist the UCC in speaking to society with a clear, consistent, unambiguous and prophetic voice on matters of moral, social, economic and political significance.

Objectives:

1 To promote reform of the United Church Theological Colleges and education

2 To promote reform of United Church structures, procedures and leadership

3 To promote the strengthening of family life and values among the membership of the United Church and throughout Canada and to further the recognition of the family as the fundamental unit of society and the key to its well-being

4 To promote and sponsor theological conferences in support of these objectives

5 To assist the National Alliance of Covenanting Congregations within the United Church in support of these objectives

6 To co-operate with other like-minded organizations in support of these objectives

7 To provide financial, legal, and spiritual support for individual members, ministers and congregations in their efforts to achieve these objectives

8 To work both within and outside the court structures of The United Church of Canada to achieve these objectives

9 To maintain world-wide contacts with other groups and organizations having similar concerns and objectives

10 To secure funds and to receive gifts and donations to further the above objectives.

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APPENDIX G - the Commissioners Covenant
228

1 We love the Lord Jesus Christ and seek to love our fellow Christians in obedience to his new commandment (Jn. 13:34-35 ). We love the United Church of Canada, praying for its peace and seeking its good (Ps 122:6, 9 NRSV). We recognize as members of the church those who, by confession of faith, by example of life and by partaking the sacraments, profess the same God and Christ with us (Calvin).

2 We therefore covenant together on the basis of our faith in God and his Son, Jesus Christ. We affirm our roots in the Holy Catholic Church and the teaching of the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds. We value our Reformation, Methodist and Congregational heritage. We are in essential agreement with the Doctrine of the Basis of Union of the United Church of Canada. We understand essential agreement to include at least these five beliefs:

2.1 belief in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the primary source and ultimate standard of Christian faith and life;

2.2 belief in the one only living and true God, the Father Almighty, the Creator who is above all his works and in them all, and out of whose great love for the world has given his only begotten Son to be Saviour of sinners;

2.3 belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, the only Mediator between God and humanity, the eternal Son of God, who was crucified for us, rose from the dead; and is with us by the power of the Holy Spirit;

2.4 belief in the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who, through our exalted Saviour, was sent forth in power to convict the world of sin, to enlighten human minds in the knowledge of Christ, and to persuade and enable to obey the call of the Gospel; and who abides with the Church, dwelling in every believer as the spirit of truth, of power, of holiness, of comfort and of love;

2.5 and belief that the moral law of God, summarized in the Ten Commandments, testified to in the prophets and unfolded in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, stands for ever in truth and equity, and is established by faith.

3. We covenant to live in fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ and seek to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8). We affirm that we must demonstrate God's love visibly by caring for those who are deprived of justice, dignity, food and shelter. We affirm that the proclamation of God's kingdom of justice and peace demands the denunciation of all injustice and oppression, both personal and structural. We affirm that faithfulness to God as Creator includes serious commitment to environmental stewardship.

4 We covenant to cooperate with the existing courts and human laws of the United Church as far as our confession of faith in Jesus Christ allows. Our prime loyalty is to Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church. We make the following declarations:

4.1 Because Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except though me" (Jn 14:6 NRSV), we affirm the uniqueness, indispensability and centrality of Jesus Christ. It is therefore a contravention of our faith to say that other religions and ideologies are equally valid ways to God, however ethical they may be.

4.2 Because Scripture says 'the Word became flesh' about Jesus alone (Jn 1:14-18), we affirm that Jesus is God's only Son and that we are God's children by adoption (Rom 8:15, Gal 4:5, Eph 1:4-5). It is therefore a contravention of our faith to speak of a repeatable and continuing incarnation of God in the world or in human beings or even in loving people.

4.3 Because Jesus recognized God's institution of marriage from the beginning (Mt 19:4-6), because there is healing through the Gospel (1 Cor 6:11) and therapy, we affirm that God calls all people to loving faithfulness in marriage or loving chastity in singleness. It is therefore a contravention of our faith to solemnize same-gender-unions ("marriages"), or to ordain, commission, settle, or appoint self-declared, practising homosexuals, however admirable they may be .

5 We covenant to work for reform and renewal in the United Church and in the universal Church, praying that we may have the grace to love one another as Christ loved us.

6 We covenant to support and counsel one another, remembering that if one suffers, all suffer, and if one rejoices, all rejoice (1 Cor 12:26). We will do this through local congregations and by encouraging associations and fellowships among those of like mind and heart. Specifically we intend to hold periodic conferences and to facilitate communication that will build up the Church.

7 And we covenant to pray Christ's prayer that all may be one, so that the world will believe (Jn 17:11, 20-23). We are here for the sake of the world which God so loved (Jn 3:16). In the words of Jesus Christ: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age: (Mt 28:18-20 NRSV).

8 We urge all United Church congregations and courts, members and ministers to consider this Covenant prayerfully. If it is contrary to Scripture, set it aside. But if you find that we are taking our stand upon Scripture, then let no fear or temptation keep you from walking with us on the path of faith and obedience to the Word of God. Make this covenant your own, for the sake of Jesus Christ, his Church and especially those who have not yet heard God's Word spoken in Christ.

9 Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now and will be for ever. Amen.

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APPENDIX H - The Alberta Articles229

Articles of Association

For Member Congregations of the United Church of Canada

Wishing to Maintain the Historic Faith

Introduction

It is the purpose of this association of United Churches to call into being and develop a relationship of like-minded congregations and individuals who gather together around the following articles:

Article I - On Faith

We believe that the twenty articles of faith, which are printed in the Manual of the United Church of Canada, do set forth the substance of the Christian faith as commonly held among us. In doing so, we build upon the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.

We affirm our belief in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the primary source and ultimate standard of Christian faith and life. We acknowledge the teaching of the great creeds of the ancient Church. We further maintain our allegiance to the evangelical doctrines of the Reformation.

Article II - On Ministry

It is expected that those called to the pastorate of associated congregations will strive to exemplify the highest ideals of faithful service in the exercise of their public ministry and will live in honesty, purity and charity with all people. Fidelity in marriage and chastity in singleness, as defined by the 19th General Council, are among the standards of faithful conduct required of pastors of associated congregations.

Article III - On Fellowship

We covenant:

to welcome and nurture all those who seek to live in faithful obedience to God through the example and teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ.

to provide periodic opportunities for worship and fellowship together at local and regional levels

to gather clergy and /or church leaders together in fellowship and mutual support on a regular basis (at least annually)

to foster a hunger and thirst to study the holy scriptures; to profess and confess them by daily living and witness as containing the ultimate standard of Christian faith and life.

to acknowledge and proclaim the presence of God's Holy Spirit among the faithful believers and congregations and to confess the lordship of Jesus Christ as the supreme authority and head of the Christian Church

to affirm the call of congregations to govern and administer their corporate and spiritual affairs in obedience to Jesus Christ.

to cooperate with the existing courts of the United Church of Canada in so far as our confession in Jesus Christ allows

to share resources, materials and events that will contribute to the spiritual well being and growth of our congregations.

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APPENDIX I - Community of Concern statement regarding Bill Phipps' remarks230

"Shocked, disheartened and grieved do not adequately describe the feelings of the members of the Community of Concern. With one sweep of his hand the Moderator, the Right Reverend William Phipps, has repudiated both Christmas and Easter. In his statements to the Editorial Board of the Ottawa Citizen on October 24. 1997 and again to Michael Enright on the CBC "This Morning" show of October 28, 1997, he stated a personal belief that unequivocally contradicted 17 of the 20 Articles of the Basis of Union of the United Church. By the definition of 'membership' in the United Church Manual, the Right Reverend William Phipps is disqualified from membership in the United Church of Canada. It stretches the Manual to believe that he is qualified to be Moderator.

A Moderator's job is defined as being "to give leadership to the United Church ... heartening and strengthening the whole UNITED CHURCH.' It is, therefore, both tragic and dereliction of duty for him to make such reckless declarations. 'No moderator,' said Rev. Dr. Allen Churchill of Ottawa, 'has the ability or mandate to redefine the theology of our church.'

The ancient heresies have always been in our midst. Our toleration of them in recent years has allowed them to rise to the very highest levels of our church. Those of us who profess our faith in Jesus Christ and pledge our obedience to him, must no longer permit these heresies to go unchallenged. The Moderator is seeking a personal confrontation with the membership. The membership cannot back down from that confrontation. This is not a point on which Christ will permit us to compromise or negotiate.

In assessing the damage which the Moderator's ill-considered utterances have already done to the church morally, spiritually, and financially, the Executive of the General Council has an obligation to require his resignation.

Make no mistake about the depth of our distress. The members of the Community of Concern call upon the Moderator to repent of his irresponsible conduct. His words cannot be regarded as uttered in haste because they were uttered over a period of several days. They were a deliberate repudiation of Jesus Christ.

To demonstrate responsible leadership expected of a Moderator, he should resign."

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