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5 years ago  ::  Dec 04, 2009 - 7:14PM #1
Quebecois
Posts: 25

Have there been in the history of your denomination some plans to merge it with another denomination ? If yes, when ? With who ? Why dit it fail ?


 


Nowadays, are there such plans or discussions with other churches that could lead to a merger ?

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5 years ago  ::  Dec 04, 2009 - 11:24PM #2
Vanessa86
Posts: 170

Bonjour, Quebecois, et bienvenue!


My former pastor told me the DoC/CC had plans to merge with the American Baptist Church, I think back in the 60s or 70s. (The ABC is not the same as the Southern Baptists.) As I recall, it fell through not for doctrinal differences, but for something fairly mundane, which I unfortunately cannot recall right now. The churches retain pastoral reciprocity, though -- he is now the pastor of an American Baptist Church congregation in West Virginia.


I believe we may have kicked around the idea with other denominations too, but again, it's late, I'm tired, and I cannot recall for sure. Either Campbellite or Mecbecduke can tell you more though -- both are very knowledgable about DoC politics and history, and they check in on this forum regularly.


Why do you ask?

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5 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2009 - 2:13AM #3
Quebecois
Posts: 25

Thanks Vanessa for your welcome and your answer.


Dec 4, 2009 -- 11:24PM, Vanessa86 wrote:

Why do you ask ?



Laughing


I was expecting this...


Some years ago in the old version of Beliefnet forums, I had signed in and posted in the DoC forum which was bustling at that time. I remember very clearly that a DoC member asked me the same question after I asked a question similar to this one.


I'm beginning to think my questions to DoCers are hurting some particular DoC sensibility... I don't want to offend anybody, I just want to know better your denomination, almost inexistant in Québec.


Maybe I don't choose the appropriate words when I formulate my questions, since I'm not used to write/speak in English.


To answer your question, I asked this because in Canada there were talks in the 60's between my church (the United Church of Canada) and the Canadian DoC for a merger. Talks were abandoned after some years, don't know why. I was wondering if something like that happened in the history of American DoC.

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5 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2009 - 1:10AM #4
Vanessa86
Posts: 170

"To answer your question, I asked this because in Canada there were talks in the 60's between my church (the United Church of Canada) and the Canadian DoC for a merger. Talks were abandoned after some years, don't know why. I was wondering if something like that happened in the history of American DoC."


Ah! Well, I know of no DoC sensibilities that would be hurt by the question ... In fact, most of us are so delighted that someone wants to know anything about us that we get excited, and then we want to know more about what prompts the question! As for me, I am also a former journalist and I am always asking questions -- just ask my husband. :)


In any case, I thank you for your question and for your interest in my church. Please ask anything you like -- I will do my very best to answer as fully and truthfully as I can.


Also, your English is far better than my French (or any other language I know anything about)! You write it very well.


It seems that much happened in the 1960s in a lot of religions and denominations, ours included. During that time, a number of congregations split from the American DoC to become independent congregations -- we sometimes refer to them as the "indies" (short for "independents"). I believe many tend to be more conservative than the DoC -- for example, I know that the indie church in my small town displays in its lobby books refuting the theory of evolution. One would not see that in a DoC church. But each indie congregation is autonomous (like those in the Church of Christ, which is one of our spiritual cousins), so their ideas and beliefs will differ from church to church.


As for mergers, the one with the American Baptist Church is the only one I can think of, but I feel sure there were others. Again, a couple of other regulars on this forum know far more about DoC history than I do, and I hope they will share their knowledge.


I am sorry to admit that although I have studied Canadian history, I know nothing about the United Church of Canada -- is it related to the Church of England/Anglican Church, or is it a uniquely Canadian church with its roots on this continent?


 


 


 

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5 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2009 - 9:21PM #5
Quebecois
Posts: 25

Dec 7, 2009 -- 1:10AM, Vanessa86 wrote:

I am sorry to admit that although I have studied Canadian history, I know nothing about the United Church of Canada -- is it related to the Church of England/Anglican Church, or is it a uniquely Canadian church with its roots on this continent?



It's a merger (in 1925) of the Methodists, the Congregationalists and 2/3 of the Presbyterians. Yes, it's a uniquely Canadian church, but there are sister churches around the world (reformed, methodist and union churches). It's not related to the Church of England, that would be the Anglican Church of Canada. They have bishops, we don't. And since we're talking mergers, that's why a plan of union between the United Church and the Anglican Church failed in the 1970's.


The United Church of Canada is member of the World Alliance of Reformed Church (by our Presbyterian and Congregationalists roots) and of the World Methodist Council (by our Methodist roots).


Because of its very progressive stance on social, economic and political issues, the United Church of Canada is very similar to your United Church of Christ.


Thanks for your compliments on my English ! I guess reading Beliefnet forums (and some blogs) for years helped me.

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5 years ago  ::  Dec 08, 2009 - 12:32PM #6
mecdukebec
Posts: 14,725

One of the DoC  communications ministers had a blog on Disciples.org in re: the DoCs in Canada just last month; you might want to check that out (discipleladysabbatical.blogspot.com/).  The "merger" churches in Canada united in an era of progressive ecumenism; the churches--such as the Presbies and Lutherans in Canada--that balked at that still remain separate today, and they have always seemed to me to have preserved more of their confessional identities, over against the ecumenical efforts that flowed in the United Church.


As to the DoCs ever uniting with the United Church, that is, de facto, in several places, as there is a UCC-DoC parish in Alberta, etc., much as there are UCC-DoC congregations in the U.S., as with Hope Church in Boston, Mass.  The DoCs have never had a large presence in Canada, and the identity is far and away more Anglophone, Scots and British-based.  DoCs had larger numbers up through the 1960s, and are smaller today; I don't see any organic merger with the United Church, now or in the future.


Still, there are two Haitian DoC congregations in the Montréal conglomeration, and they represent the varied-ability of the DoCs to engage with new churches, and the immigrant communities in Canada, and elsewhere in North America. 


Inevitably, in the U.S., when talk of merger with the United Church of Christ arises, there is usually a wish for a "merger" first with our Stone(d)-Campbell brethren and "sistren" in the churches of Christ and the independents.  This has all the chance as a snowball in hell, frankly, and the recoil from the "liberalism" of the UCC sends most DoCs in the pews into conniptions.  So, no merger anytime soon (or ever) with the UCC in the U.S. or the United Church in Canada; but, that said:  Plenty of union congregations as that in Alta. and in the various new church (UCC-DoC) starts that I know of, or just the sharing of each other's clergy, as is the case today when UCCs and DoC clergy can use the others' pastoral search profile system.  However, I would never think of most conservative DoC churches ever using the UCC search system, for the aforementioned reasons. 


There are some active Church of Christ congregations in Kebec; the Verdun congregation comes to mind; but this is beyond the scope of my remarks.  It simply illustrates that the Stone(d)-Campbell movement is also present in Kebec, in other-than-DoC congregations.

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5 years ago  ::  Dec 09, 2009 - 11:36AM #7
Vanessa86
Posts: 170

Thanks, mecdukebec, for sharing your knowledge of church history and politics! I was hoping you would!


Vanessa

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5 years ago  ::  Dec 12, 2009 - 12:53AM #8
Campbellite
Posts: 2,068

The efforts toward merger with the American Baptists was back in the 1940s IIRC. The primary outcome of that was the joint publication of the old Christian Worship: A Hymnal which was originally printed about 1948, with a revised edition in 1953. (give or take a year or so). We also cooperated to publish Hymnbook for Christian Worship in 1974. The Baptists pushed it to print too soon, so it has a few major flaws, but that is not the main point.*


The main point is that the proposed merger (which was about the fifth time in the last two hundred years that we have held talks with one Baptist group or another) fell upon the same theological rocks that all the others did. DOCs and Baptists (of whatever variety) have very different ecclesiologies. About the only thing we really have in common is the practice of immersion (but very different theologies re: baptism) and congregational governance (we have retained some presbyterian covenental ideas).


The 1950s urge to merge was abandoned when we began to seriously re-think our understanding of "Church" and what that means. The Panel of Scholars who led this effort spearheaded what became Restructure in 1968.


 


*The current Chalice Hymnal is an entirely DOC creation, first published in 1995.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2010 - 1:45PM #9
Vanessa86
Posts: 170

Thanks, Campbellite!


I didn't know the talks with the American Baptist Church were that long ago. I surely do appreciate the institutional memory we have here.

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