Friday, April 13, 2012
A promise made is a promise to be kept ...
In 1968, the fourth Denominational Partner in the United Church of Canada came into the Union when The Canada Conference of the Evangelical United Brethren Church joined the fray.
According to the official history on January 10th 1968 through a formal Union inauguration held in Kitchener Ontario, we brought in (my background is proudly EUB), about 10 000 members, 58 congregations, 40 ministers and TWO FINE camp sites.
Since my days as a student at Queens' I have unrelentingly said "we are MORE than two fine camp sites" when it comes to the role and legacy of the EUB to and within the United Church of Canada.
Now with the imminent meeting of General Council this coming summer, it would seem the legacy of the EUB Church is about to be pushed farther out of our collective conscience as the United Church of Canada considers a proposal to alter the Church crest by including the four colours of yellow, red, black and white to reflect the First Nations' input to the United Church.
While I don't have any objection to the altering of the Crest to include the First People. I DO however, wonder why the FOURTH Denomination in partnership is still NOT represented on the Church Crest.
According to my sources (who unfortunately are no longer with us) one of whom was part of the team that negotiated the Church Union of 1968, there was a promise made to alter the United Church Crest by including the clasped hands (pictured above), which was and is the symbol of the EUB Church at the bottom of the crest. The Alpha and Omega symbol that is currently there was to be dropped and the clasping hand place there in its place. This would mean ALL FOUR partner denominations that comprise this United Church of Canada, would be represented on our crest.
We're STILL WAITING for that promise to be fulfilled.
It's been 44 years and the crest has been altered several times in the years since, but there has nary been a word offered about including the EUB symbol. AND now they are looking at yet another alteration to include the First Nations.
A good move I say - but let's make it a better move by INCLUDING the EUB symbol too!!
Afterall, a few years ago the Crest was altered to be bilingual to reflect the reality of Canada's heritage of French AND English speaking Churches, and now if we're going to include the First Nations, it is high time to ALSO include the Evangelical United Brethren Church, who brought far more to the United Church than just two fine camp sites.
We brought 10 000 members who continue to live and minister within this United Church, and even though some of our Congregations have closed up, any of the EUB'ers I've met (or that I'm related to), we remain proud of our heritage and our history, and we're STILL wanting that promise fulfilled !!!!
(Click here for The EUB Church on wikipedia)