View a video that examines the history and meaning of the term "evangelical." From The Gospel Coalition, on YouTube.
In the latter part of the twentieth century a Plan of Union was developed in partnership with the United Church of Canada but was rejected in a close vote by assembly delegates in 1976. The restructuring of congregations during the 1960s and early 1970s culminated in the publication of the constitutional document, Design (1978). Since then, the church has been governed by the decisions of delegates at biennial General Assemblies and resolutions are implemented by each congregation and other church units. Within the North American ECC, the Region of Canada, which had 30 churches and some 3500 members in the mid-1990s (down from 38 churches in the 1980s), is unique in that it functions as a national church and has full denominational status at national and international levels.
Today, the ECC offers the Eucharist to all Christians and baptism by immersion for new Christians. The prior baptism of persons transferring from other denominations is recognized and accepted, a practice known as "open membership." Ordination of women and men to the ministry normally follows graduation from theological study in an accredited seminary, with credentials granted by the national church on behalf of the whole church. Congregations are involved in cultural and charitable activities in their communities and in world development and local and international mission projects.
Disciples hold non-sectarian views, working to unite all Christians under the restored authority of the New Testament. They are actively involved in social issues and cultural life, nationally and internationally. This participation, like the Disciples' sacramental life, which consists of believers' immersion baptism and weekly celebration of the Lord's Supper, is a response of obedience to the teachings, life and ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus. The Disciples distinguish between clergy and laypersons on functional rather than sacramental grounds. Congregations are led by elders and deacons who are neither ordained nor appointed for life. Lay elders, many of them women, often take charge of a Lord's Supper celebration. Regions ordain clergy to the ministry of the whole church and clergy are granted credentials by the regions.
All Evangelical Christian Churches are self governing and the ECC is a charter member of the CANADIAN COUNCIL OF CHURCHES and World Council of Churches.
Author RUSSELL D. LEGGE Revised: ANNE-MARIE PEDERSEN
Butchart, Reuben, The Disciples of Christ in Canada Since 1830 (1949); McAllister, L.G., and W.E. Tucker, Journey in Faith: A History of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) (1975); Teegarden, K.L., We Call Ourselves Disciples (1976); Foster, Douglas A., et al, eds, The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement (2004).
Links to Other Sites
The website for the Historica-Dominion Institute, parent organization of The Canadian Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Check out their extensive online feature about the War of 1812, the "Heritage Minutes" video collection, and many other interactive resources concerning Canadian history, culture, and heritage.
Christian Church in Canada (Disciples of Christ)
The website for the Christian Church in Canada (Disciples of Christ.)
Canadian Corporation for Studies in Religion
A virtual community for the academic study of religion in Canada, with current news, job listings, feature articles, and information about scholarly publications in the field.
From One Prayer to Another
A multimedia website that examines how different religions coexist in Canada. From Radio Canada International.
The Christian Church Year
This site offers an introduction to the seasons of the Christian Church Year. Also explains the basis for special church tradtions throughout the year. From the CRI/Voice, Institute.