Toronto Conference is one of 13 Conferences within The United Church of Canada, reaching from the shores of Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay and bounded by Muskoka to the east and Mississauga to the west. Toronto Conference provides leadership and support to four presbyteries: Living Waters, Northern Waters, South West and Toronto Southeast. It includes 53,000 church members in 230 pastoral charges. For a description of our organization and policies see our Governance Handbook and Conference Job Descriptions.
Mission & Vision
The mission of Toronto Conference is to strengthen Congregations, Pastoral Charges, Outreach Ministries, and Missions to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ.
To fulfill that mission, the Conference Executive will:
- Make the best use of the human and financial resources available.
- Ensure oversight and compliance within the polity of The United Church of Canada
- Provide resources in the Presbyteries to promote the work in the following areas – program, property, personnel and public witness, with further support from the staff in the central Conference office.
About The United Church of Canada
The basic unit of organization for the United Church is the pastoral charge. A pastoral charge may be made up of one or more congregations under the spiritual leadership of a minister. The United Church is organized into four levels, or courts. The four courts are
(a) The governing bodies of Pastoral Charges go by different names including, the Session, the Official Board, or the Church Council.
(b) Presbyteries are administrative groupings of pastoral charges in a local area. Lay and ministerial delegates meet regularly in plenary sessions and are organized into various committees.
(c) Conferences are administrative groupings of presbyteries in a regional area. Lay and ministerial delegates from the presbyteries meet annually. Full-time staff in Conference offices work with presbyteries and local pastoral charges. There are 13 Conferences within the church.
(d) The General Council is the church’s highest legislative court. Ordained, commissioned, and lay commissioners are elected by the Conferences and meet every three years to set church policy.
(from Congregations and Courts of the United Church on the national church website.)
The United Church of Canada website includes more information on the beliefs, organization, history and polity of the church.
The 2016 Version of The Manual is a guide to church policy and procedure.
The United Church of Canada is currently in a significant process of review including a series of remits that are being voted on in Presbyteries and Pastoral Charges in the next two years. Remits are available on The General Council 42 website.
About this image:
Contemporary stained glass windows at Humber Valley United Church designed by artist Eric Wesselow. With gratitude to Susanne Hynes for the use of her photo.