By Phyllis D. Airhart
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Extra info for A Church with the Soul of a Nation: Making and Remaking the United Church of Canada
42 For progressives like Rowell, confidence that old differences would be transcended in a new land was a widely shared egalitarian notion. B. Creighton, the new editor of the Methodist denominational paper, was using the columns of the Christian Guardian to send the same message. The church had a responsibility to work with the state to provide educational and religious services for the immigrant today; otherwise, they were likely to become a burden tomorrow. T. S. W. Sparling of Wesley College in Winnipeg wanted to leave no doubt in young readers’ minds about the enormity of the task facing the churches.
37 Protestant church leaders imagined that the new type of Canadian would bear far more resemblance to the values and virtues of the Anglo-Saxon race. ”41 Like many of his day, Rowell believed that the greater part of the population of Canada might soon be found west of the Great Lakes, and the ideals of that region would determine the future of the nation. At first glance, this was a disturbing prospect. Rowell noted that the social, political, and religious institutions of non-English-speaking immigrants differed from those who had come from the British Isles or the United States.
91 Either way, Chown’s variety of evangelicalism fit easily with the enhanced role in the life of the nation that unionists saw for a national church. Methodists, Presbyterians, and Congregationalists across the country found themselves working together and thinking about their mission in similar terms. 92 The extent of their rootedness in the religious world of late-Victorian Canada is important in the story of church union; however, it’s a point often left out in favour of an emphasis on the novelty of their position.