The United Church Crest is the official seal of The United Church of Canada, placed on legal documents, ordination parchments, and licences to perform the sacraments. It was designed by Dr. V.T. Mooney, former Treasurer of the United Church and adopted by General Council in 1944.
For our church members, this insignia is a spiritual and historic reminder. Its oval shape is derived from the outline of a fish, which was used as a symbol of identity by early Christians. The initials of the words “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour” spell the Greek word for fish.
- The “X” at the centre is the first letter in the Greek word for Christ, and is a traditional symbol for Christ.
- The open Bible represents the Congregational Churches with their emphasis upon God’s truth that makes people free. From this communion we have a heritage of liberty in prophesying, love of spiritual freedom, awareness of the creative power of the Holy Spirit and clear witness for civic justice.
- The dove is emblematic of the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:10) whose transforming power has been a distinctive mark of Methodism. Here our heritage is one of evangelical zeal, concern for human redemption, warmth of Christian fellowship, the testimony of Spiritual experience and the ministry of sacred song.
- The burning bush is the symbol of Presbyterianism. It refers to the bush that burned and was not consumed (Exodus 3:2), and symbolizes the indestructibility of the Church. From Presbyterianism we have received a heritage of high regard for the dignity in worship, the education of all people, the authority of scripture and the church as the body of Christ.
- The symbols Alpha and Omega in the lower quarter are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. They symbolize the eternal living God, in the fullness of creation (Revelation 1:8).
- The Latin words ut omnes unum sint, that surround the symbols on the crest, mean "That all may be one." They are a reminder that we are both a "united" and "uniting" church.
- The Latin words “ut omnes unum sint,” that surround the symbols on the crest, mean “That all may be one.” They are a reminder that we are both a “united” and a “uniting” church. In 1980, a French translation of this phrase was authorized by General Council to be added to the crest.
- In August of 2012, at the 41st General Council, The United Church of Canada acknowledged the presence and spirituality of Aboriginal peoples in the United Church by revising the church’s crest. The crest changes include incorporating the four colours of the Aboriginal medicine wheel (yellow as a symbol of life and Asian people, black as a symbol of the south and dark-skinned people of the world, red as a symbol of the west and Aboriginal peoples, and white as the colour of the north and white-skinned people) and adding the Mohawk phrase “Akwe Nia’Tetewá:neren,” which means “all my relations.”