Regina Council of Churches, 1984-

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Regina Council of Churches, 1984-

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In November 1984, a preliminary meeting of all interested in the establishment of a church ecumenical organization in Regina was held at St. Luke's Anglican Parish Hall. Over 60 individuals attended, including Archbishop Charles Halpin (Roman Catholic) and Bishop Michael Peers (Anglican). The preliminary meeting resulted in a decision to establish a new organization to replace the existing Regina Ministerial Association, which was an exclusively clergy association.

The new Regina Conference of Churches was made up of both clergy and lay members who represented individual congregations, rather than representing denominations. In January 1985, a covenanting service for the new association was held in the Education Auditorium at University of Regina. Member organizations covenanted to seek the welfare of the city; to serve those who are hungry or in prison; to witness the unity of the church in worship; to be open to dialogue with other faiths; and to support the ministries of one another in prayer. The first organizational meeting was held on February 4, 1985 at Grace Mennonite Church on Pasqua Street. Twenty congregations were represented, as were Native Ministries, Luther College, Family Service Bureau, Downtown Chaplaincy, and the Roman Catholic Diocesan Centre. The following officers were elected to the Board of Directors: Rev. Howard Hanson, Dr. James Christopher, Mr. Breen Melvin, Rev. Doug Ohs (Vice President), Ms. Margaret Herman, Rev. Ferd Ediger, Prof. Terence Marner (President), Mr. Chris Hartnell, Judge Jamesina Jamieson, Ms. Evelyn Black, and Rev. Gord Vickruck.

On Sunday March 17, 1985, a meeting was held at Grace Mennonite Church at which the following working committees were established: Ecumenical Concerns, Peace and Justice, Membership, Pastoral Care and Youth, Media, Arts, and Public Relations. Margaret Herman of St. Martin's Roman Catholic Church was appointed Press Officer. It was decided that twice each year there would be an assembly and dinner open to all member congregations and other interested people. The spring assembly would also be the time of the annual general meeting.

In 1989 it was decided to change the organization from a congregational model to a denominational model, and the name of the organization was changed to the Regina Council of Churches. With a revision to the constitution in 1997, provision was made to include both denominational representatives and congregational members, as well as members at large appointed by the Council. In the year 2000, the Council was able to celebrate the millennium jubilee with a one-day event in Agribition Park which attracted several thousands of people from across southern Saskatchewan.

As of 2001, the Anglican, Apostolic, Baptist, Lutheran, Mennonite, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Salvation Army, and United churches were actively involved in the Council, which maintains friendly relations with other councils of churches in the province, as well as with the Canadian Council of Churches, the Regina Evangelical Ministerial Association, and the MultiFaith Forum. Through its representatives on the Advisory Committee on Corrections and the Spiritual Care Committee, the Council involves itself in the work of the chaplaincy at the Regina Correctional Centre and with hospital chaplaincy. The Council also deals with issues brought to it by the provincial and municipal government, non-governmental organizations, and others, and it continues to encourage ecumenical worship by organizing an annual, city-wide ecumenical service.

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