A Church with the Soul of a Nation: Making and Remaking the by Phyllis D. Airhart

By Phyllis D. Airhart

"As Canadian because the maple leaf" is how one observer summed up the United Church of Canada after its founding in 1925. yet was once this Canadian-made church wrong in its layout, as critics have charged? A Church with the Soul of a kingdom explores this query by means of weaving jointly the historical past of the United Church with a provocative research of faith and cultural swap. the tale starts off within the aftermath of Confederation, while the customers of establishing a Christian country persuaded a gaggle of Congregationalist, Methodist, and Presbyterian leaders to put aside denominational variations and concentration in its place on shared ideals. Phyllis Airhart lines the hot church's fight to avoid wasting its attractiveness in the course of a sour controversy with dissenting Presbyterians who refused to hitch what they thought of a "creedless" church. Surviving the organizational and theological demanding situations of monetary melancholy and conflict, the way forward for the church appeared shiny. however the ties among own religion and civic existence that the founders took without any consideration have been quickly tattered by means of the secular cultural typhoon sweeping via western Christendom. The United Church's remaking got here with the belief that making a Christian social order in Canada used to be not going - even perhaps bad - in a pluralistic global. A Church with the Soul of a kingdom sheds gentle at the United Church's earlier controversies and current dilemmas through displaying how its founding imaginative and prescient either laid the foundation for its accomplishments and complex its model to the recent international taking shape.

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Extra resources for A Church with the Soul of a Nation: Making and Remaking the United Church of Canada

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Little did they know that their notions of mutual assimilation would someday look as quixotic in hindsight as the seemingly arcane theological quarrels that had once divided them. But non-concurring Presbyterians vehemently dismissed the call for a united church. They argued that the idea of a national church was flawed and that church union would divide both the nation of Canada and its churches. And thus was the stage set for controversy. indb 29 2013-10-31 14:12:58 2 Controversy and the Construction of Identity The Vision of Christ that thou dost see Is my vision’s greatest enemy.

109 The Methodists, too, owed their distinctive features to a different time and place. Their rise was the most significant institutional ­expression of the evangelical revivals that swept across the British Isles and North America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Industrial Revolution, with its large-scale social and economic changes, was accompanied by dramatic increases in population not only in London but also in Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, and other new centres of industry.

For there is a danger and it is national! Either we must educate and elevate the incoming multitudes or they will drag us and our children down to a lower level. ”44 Sparling’s apprehension was broadly felt, even among Protestants who rejected church union as the most effective way of meeting the challenge of immigration. Speaking to the Presbyterian Pre-Assembly Congress in 1913, Rev. D. indb 12 2013-10-31 14:12:57 “Friendly Service” to the Nation 13 diseased, oppressed, draining charitable resources when unemployed and undercutting wages when employed, carrying unhelpful political baggage such as atheistic socialist ideas, and disproportionately tending toward crime, insanity, and pauperism.

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