Congregations, Ministries, and Preaching Places

Over 2 million members and adherents worship in about 3,000 congregations or preaching places across the country. Pastoral care is provided to nearly 390,000 known households. The United Church also supports community and social justice ministries, camps, campus ministries, chaplaincies (armed forces, hospitals, correctional), seniors homes, theological schools, education centres, and new expressions of ministry.

Pastoral Charge

Pastoral charges may include one or more congregations under the spiritual leadership of a minister. There are approximately 2,000 pastoral charges, each of which has a governing body.

Presbytery

An administrative grouping of pastoral charges in a local area. Lay and ministerial delegates from the charges meet regularly to oversee the work of the charges. There are 86 presbyteries within the church.

Conference

An administrative grouping 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.

General Council

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. A General Council Executive (GCE) and Sub-Executive (GCSE) govern between meetings of the council. Proposals, reports, minutes, and other documents related to meetings of these groups can be found on United Church Commons, under Governance, where you will also find the Records of Proceedings of the most recent General Councils. A list of members can be found attached below.

Policy is implemented through four permanent committees of the General Council and a staff group organized into 7 working units. There are also about 50 committees and task groups, composed of voting members from across the country and General Council staff as corresponding members.