United & uniting church documents
Documents des églises unies et unifiantes
The United Church of Canada
- The Basis of Union (1925)
The Basis of Union is the formal document of The United Church of Canada
outlining its doctrine, polity, ministry, and administration, as approved by
the denominations (Methodist, Presbyterian, and Congregational) that merged
to form The United Church of Canada in 1925. The doctrines of The United
Church were formulated as the Basis of Union - the Church's "
constitution" - in 1925 and were amplified in the A Statement of Faith published by the Church in 1940.
In addition to the doctrine section of the Basis of Union, the United Church of Canada relies on three faith statements:
The 1925 Basis of Union forsaw the development of "subordinate standards" to assist in the interpretation of Scripture in the life and teaching of the church. The 40th General Council (2009) has approved a proposal to declare "A Statement of Faith" (1940), "A New Creed" (1968) and "A Song of Faith" (2006) to be subordinate standards. This proposal has been sent to the church for study with a "remit" to be returned to the 41st General Council in 2012. A study guide was developed entitled Our Words of Faith.
- The Authority and
Interpretation of Scripture (1992)
- Bearing Faithful Witness: United Church-Jewish Relations Today
"The 36th General Council (1997) authorized this document
for study in the United Church of Canada. People of the United Church
responded thoughtfully and prayerfully to the study document and the proposed
policy statement. The final policy statement encompasses that response and
seeks to be a faithful expression of our understanding of United Church-Jewish relations. It was overwhelmingly and enthusiastically approved at the
38th General Council in 2003."
- Mending the
World: An Ecumenical Vision for Healing & Reconciliation
"This report, Mending the World (1997), contains the
distillation of a decade-long conversation with the church on the subject of ecumenism. It
includes the responses of literally hundreds of people to the study document. The process
has laid bare the strong conviction among church members that God, who loves this world,
works for its mending, and calls the church to make this work its first priority."
[from the UCC website]
- That We
May Know Each Other: Statement on United Church-Muslim Relations Today
A statement by the United Church of Canda's 39th General Council in 2006.
- That We
May Know Each Other: United Church-Muslim Relations Today Toward a United Church of Canada understanding of the relationship between Christianity and Islam in the Canadian context.
A 2004 study document produced by the UCC's Committee on Inter-Church and Inter-Faith Relations on United Church-Muslim relations in Canada today.
The resource was developed for congregational study and then used to form responses to the
proposed statement on the relationship of the United Church and Muslims in Canada. These
responses were used as a basis for developing a final statement presented for
approval at the 39th General Council in the summer of 2006.
- Study Guide
Pages 91-117 of the study document, this study guide was intended for congregational study groups. Study leaders should consult the whole study document and appendices.
- United Church of Canada
Social Policy positions
The United Church of Christ (U.S.A.)
- Principles of the
Christian Church, 19th century
"The "Christian Church" is the name shared by several
branches of an early 19th-century movement for Christian unity on the American frontier.
The oldest of these branches united in 1931 with the Congregational Churches to form the
Congregational Christian Churchesnow a part of the United Church of Christ. Among
other descendants of this movement are the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the
independent Churches of Christ."
- Kansas City Statement of
- Evangelical Catechism (1929)
- Basis of Union (1943)
"The Basis of Union, 1943, was an early agreement between the
Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church. It was
formulated during World War II, a time like our own when churches believed it was God's
call to witness to unity as a sign of reconciliation in a divided and despairing world.
The agreement set the stage for the 1957 union of the two communions into the United
Church of Christ."
- Preamble to the UCC Constitution (1957)
"Adopted at the uniting General Synod of 1957, the Preamble of the Constitution of the United Church of Christ represents the core of the theological consensus that brought the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches together in covenant."
- UCC Statement of Faith (1959)
- UCC Statement of Mission (1987)
- Toward the 21st Century:
A Statement of Commitment (1993)
"In 1993, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ
adopted this "Statement of Commitment" as the starting point for four
"seasons" of churchwide theological reflection on the future of our community of
faith as we enter the 21st century. The statement underscores that the UCC seeks to be a
church where all people -- including those historically excluded by the Christian
community -- can find a home."
- Presbyterian Catechism (1998)
"This Study Catechism was authorized in 1998 by the 210th General
Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It has been read and studied widely in the
United Church of Christ as a contemporary faith testimony by a partner church that shares
with us the tradition of Reformed Christianity."
Relationship Between the United Church of Christ and the Jewish Community
Other united & uniting documents
- Barmen Declaration (1934)
"The Barmen Declaration, 1934, was a call to resistance against
the theological claims of the Nazi state. Almost immediately after Hitler's seizure of
power in 1933, Protestant Christians faced pressure to "aryanize" the Church,
expel Jewish Christians from the ordained ministry and adopt the Nazi "Führer
Principle" as the organizing principle of church government. In general, the churches
succumbed to these pressures, and some Christians embraced them willingly. The pro-Nazi
"German Christian" movement became a force in the church. They glorified Adolf
Hitler as a "German prophet" and preached that racial consciousness was a source
of revelation alongside the Bible. But many Christians in Germanyincluding Lutheran
and Reformed, liberal and neo-orthodoxopposed the encroachment of Nazi ideology on
the Church's proclamation. At Barmen, this emerging "Confessing Church" adopted
a declaration drafted by Reformed theologian Karl Barth and Lutheran theologian Hans
Asmussen, which expressly repudiated the claim that other powers apart from Christ could
be sources of God's revelation. Not all Christians courageously resisted the regime, but
many who didlike the Protestant pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Roman Catholic
priest Bernhard Lichtenbergwere arrested and executed in concentration camps."
[from the website of the United Church of
Together: The Present Vocation of United and Uniting Churches (Eph. 2:22)
The report of an international conference of United and Uniting churches, held under the
auspices of the World Council of Church Faith and Order Commission. The
United and Uniting churches do not have a "world communion", although many of
the belong to one or other of the existing communions. This conference is a method that
has developed to allow them an opportunity to reflect on their experience as churches
witnessing to the experience of organic unity.