Tracing Back a History
With the members’ originated from Northwest and North Philippines who migrated in Canada, were able to regroup themselves for a regular home Bible Study fellowship. Eventually led to the formation of a worshipping congregation who chose to be called Toronto UMC.
Most of us aware that United Methodist in Canada is long gone as a result of merger of Protestant Churches in 1925 and has become part of a major denomination under the United Church of Canada.
Toronto UMC as the name implies should be a member of UMC conference, yet, existing independent. After 4 years of existence, initial step began through communication with the Upper New York – Niagara district for a possible connection under same conference, being the closest outside Canada. The initial move was positively supported, followed by the presence of the DS at the local church conference held in February 2018 with the pronouncement that Toronto UMC has been accepted member of the Niagara frontier district, a part of the initial process.
Well and good, however the full process failed to reach into completion through the Annual conference level. Majority of the local church council leaders came to realize numerous factors which include certain decision matters may have the tendency to be overruled or altered, subject to heirarchichal power that are encapsulated within the church constitution. Such may not effectively work under Canadian system, as most churches in Canada are congregational in nature. Members and leaders who sided to withdraw the connectional process, engaged in a series of discussions, prayers for direction, and planning as to what will work for the best interest of the local church.
The final decision was to withdraw the connectional process, which at the same time prompted the group to go congregational, so as to assert our freedom and rights, and what it means to be a Filipino-Canadian.
As it is now, from Toronto UMC – the name has officially changed to “Methodist Congregational Church of Ontario” (MCCO), succeeded to keep the original registration number. It’s a year since when the group has moved to a new location in a shared space @ 200 Finch West, North York Ontario. There were 20 adults and 7 children present during the inaugural service on May 20th, 2018 @ 3:00 pm. with lots of rejoicing, much hope and optimism that we will beat the odds and all challenges along the way.
Indeed, God is great, our young church leaders and members are even more challenged and inspired to move on. On January 20, 2019 , a simple church ceremony was held @ 200 Finch Ave. West when MCCO was admitted and welcomed as official member of the Congregational Christian Churches in Canada. Almost approaching a year period from the date a church service held on the new location and a major changed with the new name MCCO, members feel the reason to rejoice. A Transitional Church Anniversary celebration was held on May 25, 2019 with the Theme: “Determined, We are Moving On to Win the Race.” Please, pray with us….Thanks be to God!
Just to clarify, May 25th 2019 celebration was a transitional year, one year from the time the former name Toronto UMC has been officially changed to Methodist Congregational Church of Ontario. Official date of Anniversary celebration will retain the original date, which falls on the last week of September. This year 2020, Methodist Congregational Church of Ontario (MCCO) is on 7th Year Anniversary.