Canadian Council of Churches - 75 Years

The United Church of Canada

In 1966 The United Church of Canada Report of the Commission on World Mission recognized that God is creatively and redemptively at work in the religious life of all humanity. Therefore, the mission of the church must include dialogue with people of different faiths, approached in a spirit of openness, trust, and grateful acceptance of what others may contribute to our understanding of God’s work in the world. 

The 1997 document, Mending the World, sees interfaith work through the lens of “whole world ecumenism.” We are committed to make common cause with all people of good will, whether they be people of faith or not, for the creation of a world that is just, participatory and sustainable.

The church’s most recent interfaith study, Honouring the Divine in Each Other: United Church-Hindu Relations Today, asks: “in our pluralistic society, how can we build relationships based in a theology of acceptance, respect and mutual transformation?” Acceptance of the plurality of religious traditions defines both a constitutional right and a joyful recognition of the rich diversity that makes up the religious life of our society. Respect in a conversation between two religious traditions is the awareness of one that God is at work in the life of the other. Finally, by recognizing that inter-religious conversation may lead to an experience of mutual transformation, we affirm that God is at work in these conversations and that the openness we experience is a longing for God’s further leading in this context.

The Christian person’s special responsibility in these opportunities for mutual transformation is to seek and express an understanding of God in Christ Jesus that will respect the other’s integrity.

Gail Allan and Ian Sloan