Oct 252014

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506/1 Conference Men Lay Association

Title: Administrative Records of the Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario

Series: 506/1 Conference Men Lay Association

Dates: ca.1910-1962

Extent: 10 cm textual records and other material.

Finding Aid: The Finding Aid includes File Description and Box Lists.

  • Manitoba Conference Lay Association. – [ca.1910]-1962. – 10cm textual records.
Historic Note

Laymen’s Associations and Laymen’s Missionary Movements existed in both the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches prior to Union in 1925. The Laymen’s Missionary Movement was part of the interdenominational Laymen’s Missionary Movement which had the aim of stimulating interest in and financial support for home and foreign missions. The demands of wartime likely precipitated its demise around 1916. The Methodist Laymen’s Association, which was formed in 1918, had the aim of encouraging co-operation of all lay agencies to promote the evangelistic and missionary efforts of the Church. The Manitoba Conference Lay Association was the successor to these Conference Laymen’s groups. The first meeting of the new Conference Lay Association took place at the same time as Conference in 1926. A resolution was passed to create an Executive Committee with the power to appoint other committees as may be required. All lay members of the United Church in the Conference would be eligible for membership. Officers elected included a President, Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer. In 1930, the Conference Lay Association was reorganised. An Executive was appointed as before with six additional members plus representatives from each Presbytery outside Winnipeg. By this time, a Lay Association had been formed in each of the eleven Conferences and all were represented at the General Council in London in 1930. By 1934, Lay Association activities included Laymen’s Sunday, lay preaching and teaching Sunday School. Later, members would take on the delivery of Christmas hampers and the logistical support of worship services at Winnipeg’s municipal hospitals. The Conference Lay Association endorsed Temperance and total abstinence for its members. In 1958, members of the Manitoba Conference Lay Association were placed on record as opposing the death penalty as contrary to the spirit and teaching of Christ.

Nationally, a Board of Men came into existence in 1954 and by 1960 plans to create one Church organisation for men, the United Church Men (UCM), were well under way. A new Conference level organisation was formed composed of one layman and one minister from each Presbytery. In 1962, it was decided to create a joint Conference level committee, the Conference Co-ordinating Committee for Lay Activities, with representatives from the United Church Men and the United Church Women (UCW) as well as the Young People’s Union and the Conference Christian Education Committee. This committee would assume the responsibilities previously delegated to the Conference Lay Association in The Manual of The United Church of Canada (1960, paragraphs 474-482). The Manitoba Conference Lay Association wound up its affairs in 1965 by dividing its remaining assets between the UCM and UCW. In 1967, Congregational Life and Work became a standing committee of Conference and assumed the work of the Conference Co-ordinating Committee for Lay Activities.

 Scope and Content

The provenance of these records is obscure, however, it is probable that they were brought to the Archives after the dissolution of the Conference Lay Association in 1965.

Surviving records include Minutes of the Executive of the Manitoba Conference Lay Association, 1931-1962; Resolutions, [before 1925]-1939; Annual Reports, [before1925]-1940; and Correspondence, 1910-1962.

The Manitoba Conference Lay Association was also known as Manitoba Conference Lay Associations’ Advisory Council.

Access: No restrictions apply on access.

Accurals: No further accurals are expected.