Since the end of the World War II in 1945, The United Church of Canada, like many mainline denominations, has experienced a decline in members, participants, financial resources and social/political influence. There are many within both church and society that grieve this decline and view this social phenomenon as a “problem to be fixed”—or worse, an inevitable trend toward the extinction of the mainline protestant church in Canada.

We see a different picture. We see a denomination with 430,000 members and over 1 million people who identify with one of nearly 3,000 congregations. We see almost 150,000 people gathering for weekly worship together and who together raise 385 million dollars each year. We see a denomination with property an insured value of almost 4 billion dollars. We see thousands of committed United Church people throughout Canada with incredible talents, gifts, skills and a passion for living out the Gospel of Love.


The United Church of Canada is a church of abundance.


We are also living in a society that has shifted in its understanding of how work is done, power is shared, and decisions are made. The corporate practices that the church adopted in the 1950’s no longer fit our social, cultural and technological contexts. Social and technical innovations have resulted in common assumptions that work is accomplished through collaboration, power is distributed among stakeholders, and decisions are made by engaging many voices. The church can draw on the rich resources of our people – talents, skills, passions and wisdom – as we discern our way forward and allow new projects and programs to emerge. By training practitioners to engage many voices in conversations that really matter, we can begin to thrive rather than merely survive.


Hosting Sacred Conversations is both a movement and a program that offers the church a new way of engaging our members, disciples, and stakeholders for responding to the call to mission and ministry.