A few years ago some of the leaders of the United Church congregations in town began to meet. We realized that we didn’t know each other all that well. Sometimes it seemed like we were in competition.
It was then that a vision and invitation of Norfolk United Church brought us together. Norfolk United, after 175 years of faithful and creative ministry decided to sell their building and join with another United Church in town (Trinity United). They set up a structure and offered the resources to bring Guelph United Ministries (GUM) into being. We began our life together in a joint service of worship that brought 900 of us together in the auditorium at John F. Ross High School on December 1, 2013 presided over by the elected leader of the United Church at that time, the Rev. Gary Paterson, our Moderator.
Since then cooperation and connection have deepened. We do more things together. We have fun together. We worship together. We serve together and support each other in our respective ministries. Many of our committees and working groups now meet regularly to better coordinate and cooperate to support one another and serve our community of Guelph.
We have developed closer relationships with our Outreach Ministry – Chalmers Community Services Centre and have been partners with them in setting up a new food distribution centre – The North End Harvest Market. And now, we are excited to support them as they redevelop in a new property in downtown Guelph as their community hub among vulnerable populations in our city. Our relationship with the campus Ministry at the University of Guelph – which for too long had very little connection with local churches – is deepening and developing as well. In all of this we have come to a deeper appreciation of our unity even as we recognize our unique character and traditions. We have come to see this diversity as our strength that enables us to connect with greater diversity of people – where all, we hope, can find a place to serve and find a spiritual home. This website is another step in cooperation in sharing our story with the wider community.
We would welcome you to be part of our story in serving in our community and beyond.