The United Church believes in God the creator, the Holy Spirit as divine inspiration and Jesus Christ as God’s son, messenger, teacher and standard for peace and justice in the world. It affirms a belief in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible as the primary source and standard of the Christian faith, augmented by the teachings of the early Christian creeds, the evangelical doctrines of the Reformation and faithful study and reflection today.
As a source of wisdom, personal prayer, and devotion, the United Church believes the Bible can bring us closer to God. It remains one of our best ways of experiencing God’s continuing work of creation and liberation in the world, while offering us forgiveness, healing, and new life in Jesus. The United Church believes the Bible’s stories and teachings have a mysterious power to inform our lives.
A sacrament is a symbolic action, or ritual, by which people of faith encounter the presence and goodness of God. In a sacrament, ordinary things like water, bread, and wine are used to point us to God and God’s love, reminding us of the sacred in life. In the United Church, we celebrate two sacraments: baptism, the ritual that formally recognizes we belong to the Christian community, and communion, a symbolic meal initiated by Jesus. The United Church invites all to share in this meal. These two sacraments are of central importance to our faith.
Jesus welcomed everyone, whether they were poor, rich, or just getting by; ill or healthy; self-made or educated; popular or a loner; secure or full of doubts. The United Church of Canada prides itself on welcoming everyone the way Jesus did, regardless of age, race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or physical ability.
The United Church of Canada views the religious practice of all people of goodwill with respect and gratitude. We believe the Spirit of God is at work in many different faith communities. For Christians, Jesus is the way we know God. We work together with other Christian churches whenever possible, and among people of other religions in Canada and throughout the world on matters of justice, peace, and human dignity.
Caring for one another was central to Jesus’ teachings: Feed the hungry, satisfy the thirsty, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, care for the sick, visit those in prison. We believe in working together, through God’s grace, for a better world. To this end, we cooperate with other churches, faith traditions, and people of goodwill at home and abroad to eliminate poverty and protect those who are most vulnerable. The United Church works with 143 partner churches and organizations in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America partners to care for vulnerable persons beyond our normal reach.