The Presbyterian Church in Canada
Tell the biblical story in ever new and creative ways; Point to the redemptive work of Christ and the life-changing presence of the Spirit; Provide a place of sanctuary, tranquility and renewal in the name of the One who said, "I will give you rest"; Call for personal righteousness, justice and reconciliation in the Church and in the world and to hear, respect and cherish all God's children; Use God's gifts wisely and fairly for the good of all; Learn from one another and work together for the healing of the nations.
The roots of The Presbyterian Church in Canada are Scottish, but the Canadian heritage includes the work and witness of French Huguenots (Protestant) settlers who came to Canada in the 1600s. Of course, many people have come, and continue to come, into the denomination from other branches of the Christian Church. Many Presbyterians in Canada have their churches named after Reformers, particularly John Calvin (a Frenchman) and John Knox (a Scot who was influenced by Calvin's teachings). John Calvin (1509-1564) has often been called the "father" of Presbyterianism. Calvin lived in Geneva, Switzerland. From there, Presbyterianism spread through Europe. Calvin, like other reformers, worked hard to develop a church where everyone, not just the clergy, shared responsibilities. Schools were established to provide education for both clergy and laity. John Knox (1515-1572), after studying with Calvin in Geneva, returned to his native Scotland to establish Presbyterianism. It soon spread to northern Ireland, the United States and Canada. In 1875 several groups of Presbyterians formed a union and called themselves The Presbyterian Church. The Church has been independent since then.