Canadian Unitarian Council

Canadian Unitarian Council

May 14, 2008 17:03 ET

More Than 600 Unitarians Gather for Canadian Unitarian Council Annual Conference May 16 - 19

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 14, 2008) - Unitarians from coast to coast and around the world will gather at Algonquin College on May 16th to 19th for the Canadian Unitarian Council's 2008 Annual Conference and Meeting. The theme of the conference is 'The Web of Life - In our Hands'.

The ACM will feature worship services, workshops on peace, social justice, the environment, and congregational development, and programming for children, youth, and young adults. Attendance is now forecast at more than 600 delegates, members, Unitarian youth, and fraternal representatives from the Unitarian movement in the United States, Britain, France and other countries.

Key events include:

-An opening 'Ingathering' on Friday evening at 8 pm featuring a parade of banners from many of the CUC's 50 congregations and fellowships across Canada;

-Address and greeting from Joyce Ashworth, president of the British General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, May 17 at 8.30 am;

-Keynote address on Saturday at 9:00 am by longtime social activist Allison Brewer of New Brunswick and her son Will, both campaigners for social justice and for people with disabilities;

- Sunday morning worship at 11 am with a massed choir of Unitarians from across Canada and sermon by Rev. Janet Newman of Ottawa's First Unitarian Congregation, "As Canadian as Possible - Under the Circumstances";

- Ateliers et discours en francais de la part de delegues et deleguees unitariennes venant de Quebec.

"As the Host Congregation for the 2008 ACM, it is our pleasure to welcome Unitarians and Universalists to Ottawa" said Elizabeth Bowen of First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, chair of the ACM's Host Committee. "The 'Web of Life - In our Hands' conference will focus on social justice, peace and the environment - all issues which are regularly and passionately debated in Ottawa."

Canada's 5,400 Unitarians are part of a world-wide movement of churches that are organized on a congregational basis and share a common commitment to a religion that is based on free inquiry and common purpose but has no formal or binding creeds.

The Unitarian movement has its roots in the Reformation and today is particularly strong in the United States and Britain. Canada's first Unitarian congregation was established in Montreal in 1842. The Canadian Unitarian Council was originally part of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in the United States, but moved from under the UUA's wing and has led the denomination independently in Canada since 2001.

The Canadian Unitarian Council is an association of forty-five congregations located across Canada. Arising out of the work of outspoken reformers and dissenters within the Christian tradition five centuries ago, the Unitarian movement today includes Universalists and flows in a broad religious stream augmented by Humanist, earth-centred, Buddhist and other progressive beliefs.

Charged with taking individual and collective responsibility for our lives and for our planet, Unitarians respect the inherent worth and dignity of every person and the interconnected web of existence. Unitarians are called to act with compassion, generosity and integrity, are strong believers in social action, and are driven by a commitment to a fair, diverse and sustainable global community.

Are you curious about Unitarianism? Jean Pfleiderer, CUC President responds "The 2008 ACM is a great opportunity to learn more. The public is welcome to join us for Sunday service on May 18th at 11:00 am to 12:00 pm in the Algonquin College gymnasium. Free parking and proximity to public transit make it easy to attend."

All conference sessions and workshops are open to the media.

Creation is too grand, complex,

and mysterious to be captured in a narrow creed.

That is why we cherish individual freedom of belief.

William Schulz

Contact Information

  • Canadian Unitarian Council
    Mary Bennett
    Executive Director
    Canadian Unitarian Council
    Carol Anne Deneka