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. This 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 was 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 for a possible connection to the Upper New York Conference, being the closest UMC Conference outside Canada bordering Niagara.
It was during the Charge Conference held in February 2018, that Toronto UMC was declared a member of the Niagara Frontier through the District Superintendent who was invited to chair the said conference.
Just days afterwards, the decision was recalled and reviewed by members of the Board and council, followed by series of prayer and discussions in reference to the Church Constitution. Reviewing members became aware that certain local church decisions may have the tendency to be overruled or altered being subject to the heirarchical 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. So, the consensus 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 Filipino-Canadian. A letter of withdrawal duly signed by majority of the board and Church Council was sent prior to the Upper New York Annual Conference in May 2018.
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 @ the new location. It was a fellowship 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 vibrant 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. Following a year period from the time Toronto UMC have moved to a new location, and having the name changed to Methodist Congregational Church of Ontario, a Transitional Church Anniversary celebration was held on May 25, 2019 with the Theme: “Determined, We are Moving On to Win the Race.” This mark another chapter, in the life of TUMC/MCCO through dedicated leaders and members whom God chose ensuring the continuity of Christ ministry and mission in Ontario and beyond. 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, with the theme: “Keeping our Faith Alive”