Those United, Uniting polity statements

In my last blog post, I made reference to the adherent status within the United Church of Canada and the Uniting Church in Australia. I don’t approve of every assumption here, but since I brought it up thought it better to work with clear definitions.

So time to give citations . . . but before that, a commendation: I really like the logical way the United Church of Canada site is laid out, and how the manuals are released under Canada 2.5 version of the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license. OK: half a commendation, because it’s the “least liberal” of the liberal licenses, allowing the unhindered, noncommercial redistribution of the resource (with attribution), but nothing else. And it doesn’t apply to their Manual, see below.

Now the documents:

United Church of Canada. Congregation Organization Handbook. PDF. See pg. 9, which refers back to the UCCan Manual. See Basis of Union section 5.8.2, Bylaws section 001 and in passim.

“Adherent”  means a person who is attached to a Congregation and who contributes regularly to its life and work while not being a member thereof.

Uniting Church in Australia. See Constitution and Regulations. PDF. See section 3. Adherents do not have a vote, but there is a roll, adherents and considered a part of the congregation with members, and they may be orderly transfered from congregation to congregation. (Regulations 1.1.22–1.1.24)

Adherent means a person not being a member or a member-in-association but recognised as sharing in the life of the Congregation and within the pastoral responsibility of the Church. (Constitution, section 3)

And for clarity, a member-in-association is an ecumenical distinction for “a member of another Christian denomination but not actively engaged in the life of that denomination and participates in the corporate life of the Congregation and accepts the polity and discipline of the Church” or “participates actively in the corporate life of two Congregations of the Church and is enrolled as a confi rmed member of the other Congregation” (Regulations 1.1.11)

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