ACC: The Anglican Church of Canada; also the Anglican Consultative Council, one of the global expressions of Anglicanism.

ACIP: Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples


PCC: reports and minutes of the national annual meeting of the General Assembly (referred to as the A&P or the “Blue Book”).


ELCIC: Informally used to denote someone who participates in the congregation but does not have formal membership.

UCC and PCC: Someone who participates in a congregation but who is not a formal member.

ANCC: All Native Circle Conference of the United Church of Canada


ACC: A more common term is ‘historic succession of bishops’. The continuity of the Church through the ages from the apostles, symbolized by the succession in office of bishops duly consecrated by other bishops validly consecrated. The succession is a sign that the Church is the same Church, preaches the same Gospel, and celebrates the same sacraments as in the “faith once delivered to the saints.” Anglican discussion ecumenically often turns on how central the role of the bishop needs to be in apostolic continuity.

ELCIC: The continuity of the Church through the ages from the apostles, as recognized primarily by the continued proclamation of the Gospel. Whenever the Gospel is proclaimed in Word and Sacrament, apostolic succession is happening. The historic episcopate, as a component of apostolic succession, is to insure that the gospel is proclaimed in accordance with that tradition.

PCC: The term is rarely used.

UCC: The succession is seen as continued through Scripture/teaching and faith heritage, expressed in the Conference’s role in ordination/commissioning of ministers.


ACC: One of several terms (fair share, assessment, allotment, etc.) which parishes are requested to share for the work of the wider church; also used for the amount which dioceses are asked to share with the national church. In some dioceses, apportionment means a voluntary contribution, while assessment is an amount that must be paid.


ACC: An office of leadership in a large region, or as ‘executive archdeacon’, the assistant to the bishop. Usually acts on behalf of the bishop.


ACC and ELCIC: The immediate altar area is the sanctuary; that and the choir area are the chancel; the nave is where the main body of the congregation sits, with additional seating in the transepts, the two wings of crossbar if the church is in the form of a cross; the narthex is the gathering area inside the main front doors; the vestry is where the clergy robe; the sacristy is where the vessels are kept.

PCC and UCC: The sanctuary is the whole area of worship; the narthex is the vestibule; the chancel is the area of the communion table, baptismal font, pulpit and lectern;the vestry is the room where clergy robe; the transepts are the two wings of crossbar in churches built in the shape of a cross; seldom used.

BAS: The Anglican Book of Alternative Services (the green book) containing liturgies authorized in 1985.

BCP: The Anglican Book of Common Prayer (the maroon book) containing the official, normative liturgies of the church. There have been several revisions since Cranmer’s first book of l549. The one most commonly used in Canada was authorized in l962 (but is often called the l959 book since it was first presented to General Synod then). (See also Book of Alternative Services.)


All: A Sacrament, administered with water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, marking the beginning of new life within the Christian family. All four churches practice both infant and adult baptism.


ACC: This term is not generally used in a financial sense.

ELCIC: Funds designated for use in support of the mission of the church beyond the congregation.

UCC: Concern for others. Many congregations have a benevolent fund which is used to help those in need.

PCC: Concern for others. Many congregations have a benevolent fund, sometimes administered by the minister and session.


ACC: One of the three orders of ministry (bishop, priest, deacon). A diocesan bishop presides over a diocese; a suffragan or assistant bishop assists; a coadjutor bishop is an assistant who will become the next diocesan bishop. (see also ‘Primate’)

ELCIC: One of the three orders of ministry. A bishop is the head of a synod church, elected for a four year term (renewable) at a synod convention. A bishop is ordained for life but may resign or retire from the exercise of their ministry, or not be re-elected. (see also ‘National Bishop’)

PCC: Not used but episcopal authority is a responsibility of presbytery.

UCC: Not used but episcopal authority is a responsibility of presbytery, except for ordination in the UCC which is the responsibility of the Conference.

Book of Common Worship:

PCC: Service book approved for optional use by clergy.

Book of Forms:

PCC: Authoritative document setting forth the law and practice of the church.

Book of Praise:

PCC: The hymn book


ACC: Not used; see ‘Canon’.

ELCIC: The legal regulations that implement the requirements of the Constitution.

PCC: Not used; see Book of Forms, and Standing Orders of the Presbytery.

UCC: Regulations under which the church operates contained in The Manual.


Canadian Council of Churches: Made up of 21 Canadian Christian Churches, it is the chief Canadian ecumenical agency. The Anglican, Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian and United Churches are members.


ELCIC and UCC: the process of selecting and appointing ministry personnel to serve in a particular congregation or ministry situation.

PCC: A process and document by which members of a congregation request of the presbytery a specific minister.



ACC: An article of church law; also an honorary title given by the bishop to some senior clergy or laypersons. Also used to refer to authorized Scripture.

ELCIC, PCC and UCC: Used to refer to authorized Scripture.


ACC: The law governing the life of the church in dioceses, provinces, and at the national level.

ELCIC, PCC and UCC: Not used.

CATECHISM: A basic primer of Christian teaching that uses questions and answers.

ACC: There is a Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer

ELCIC: Lutherans use Luther’s Small and Large Catechisms.

UCC: Traditionally used in confirmation preparation; now seldom used.

PCC: Traditionally, the Westminster Confession was used frequently in Christian teaching; there is a modern catechism available.

CATHOLIC: The Church universal.

ACC, ELCIC, PCC and UCC all consider themselves part of the Church Catholic, though not of the Roman Catholic Church.


UCC: A resource book of psalms, prayers, and orders of worship published in 2000.

Certification for Ordination:

PCC: The final stage in training for ministry whereby a candidate is examined and certified by a presbytery and becomes eligible to accept a call or appointment to ministry and to be ordained.


All: Ministry of pastoral care to those in hospitals, universities, prisons and the military.


ACC: An organization of lay Anglicans which is structured on the model of a military organization with the main purposes of evangelism and outreach.

CLWR: Canadian Lutheran World Relief: An agency for international relief and development of the ELCIC and Lutheran Church Canada.


ACC: For the eucharist, usually an alb and stole, often covered by a chasuble. For Services of the Word, cassock and surplice, with a black preaching scarf and possibly a university hood.

ELCIC: Usually an alb and stole, often covered by a chasuble for the eucharist.

PCC: Often a clerical collar and a gown, sometimes an alb and stole. Clergy apparel is at the discretion of the minister and sometimes no specific clergy apparel is worn in public worship.

UCC: Usually a gown or alb and stole for the season.


PCC: An individual appointed by a church court to take minutes, keep records, and provide legal extracts of decisions.



An alternative term for ‘shared ministry’.


ACC: A prayer used in the worship service. There is a collect of the day which sums up the theme of that particular liturgical event.

ELCIC: A prayer used in the worship service, more commonly called the prayer of the day.

PCC and UCC: Not used.


ELCIC: The final oral examination for seminary graduates before ordination; part of the certification process.


ACC: Anglican hymn book authorized in 1998


ACC and ELCIC: The chalice (cup) and paten (plate) used in the Eucharist are set on a linen or cotton square cloth called a corporal. They are covered before use with a veil, often of embroidered or woven material, and a burse, a square decorated pocket containing the corporal. A purificator, a rectangular linen or cotton cloth, is used to wipe the chalice. The altar top is covered with a “fair linen” cloth, and the front or the whole altar may be covered with a more decorated cloth called a frontal. The frontal, burse and veil are usually in the colour for the liturgical season, as are hangings behind the altar (if any) and on the lectern and/or pulpit. Additional vessels are two cruets, one of wine and one of water, and (possibly) a lavabo bowl in which the presider may wash his/her hands, drying them on a lavabo towel.

UCC and PCC: Communion ware – cup or chalice, communion trays with small cups, plate. Table cloths and colours are a matter of local custom.


ACC: Usually used in a multi-faith setting.

ELCIC: A religious community sharing a common faith and beliefs.

UCC and PCC: Often used to mean a congregation, but could be any other grouping of believers, either Christian or other faith.


ACC: Not used, except in its usual sense of a meeting.

ELCIC: Geographical groupings of congregations within the synod (similar to an Anglican ‘deanery’.

UCC: Regional court of the church comprising a group of presbyteries, with responsibility for ordination and commissioning.

PCC: Not used, see Presbytery.


ACC: Confession is used of the prayer of penitence which may be said corporately or as a private sacramental act in the presence of a priest. Creed is a statement of belief; the Anglican Church holds to three universal creeds: the ‘Apostles’’, ‘Nicene’, and ‘Athanasian’.

ELCIC: 1) A creed is a statement of belief. The ELCIC holds to three universal creeds: Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian. 2) Confession: A prayer of penitence which may be said corporately or as a private act in the presence of a pastor or another Christian. 3) Lutheran Confessions are the documents of the Lutheran Church that give an authoritative interpretation of the Scriptures.

UCC: Most worship services include a prayer of confession (that for which we repent) and a confession of faith (expression of what we believe): ‘Apostles’ Creed’, ‘Nicene Creed’, or ‘A Contemporary Expression of Christian Faith’ commonly known as ‘A New Creed’.

PCC: Most worship services include a prayer of confession (that for which we repent) and often a confession of faith (expression of what we believe). The modern confession of faith is Living Faith/Foi Vivant.


ACC: When a person who has been baptized is confirmed in their faith by the laying on of hands by a bishop. Originally part of the baptismal rite, it may be done at baptism, or at any later age. Traditional custom was as a rite of passage into adulthood, when young people accepted their baptismal promises for themselves, and it was a prerequisite to receive communion. Now it is in transition. Some dioceses prefer that confirmation take place in full adulthood, others keep the age of 12-13 years. It is always done by a bishop as the sign of the whole church and the agent of laying on of hands.

ELCIC: A service of affirmation of baptism which usually follows a period of instruction in the Christian Faith, accompanied by the laying on of hands by the pastor.

. UCC: Reaffirmation of baptismal vows, usually with laying on of hands by the minister and selected lay members. Confirmation classes are usually held for young people and interested adults.

PCC: Normally referred to as Profession of Faith or Affirmation of Baptism, and follows instruction in the Christian Faith.


ACC: Included in the General Synod Handbook, with the Declaration of Principles, Constitution and Canons. Dioceses and Provinces also have constitutions.

ELCIC: The legal documents outlining the basic rules of an organization.

UCC: Included in The Manual. Commonly called The Basis of Union.

PCC: Included in the Book of Forms.

(All of these documents are on the respective websites of the denominations).


ACC: Dioceses, provinces and the General Synod have executive councils, or executive committees. Some parishes use ‘parish council’ for the governing board of a parish. Anglicans also have two consultative bodies, the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples and the Council of the North (representative of financially assisted dioceses).

ELCIC: Term used for the governing board of a congregation, synod and the national church.

UCC: Used by some pastoral charges instead of Official Board, one of the local courts of the church. The General Council is the national court of the church.

PCC: The Assembly Council is the executive committee of the General Assembly, functioning between Assemblies.


ACC: Process used in disciplinary cases.

ELCIC: has one court – the Court of Adjudication. The court of adjudication is the nationally appointed body to rule on whether due process has been followed by the decision-making bodies of the church.

PCC: One of four governing bodies: Session, Presbytery, Synod, General Assembly.

UCC: One of four governing bodies: Session and Official Board/Church Board/Church Council, Presbytery, Conference, General Council.

COVENANTING SERVICE: A service of worship conducted by a Presbytery to commence a ministry within that Presbytery.


ACC: An assistant cleric, often recently ordained, serving under the supervision of a more senior cleric.

ELCIC, PCC and UCC: Not used.


ACC: One of the three orders of ordained ministry. A deacon has a particular ministry of outreach and service, often acting in social justice areas. Deacons have a particular liturgical function of proclaiming the Gospel and praying for the needs of the world. It has been the practice for new clergy to serve as deacons for a short time before being ordained priest; frequently the term ‘transitional deacon’ is used of this person

ELCIC: See ‘Diaconal Minister’. ‘Board of Deacons’ is sometimes used to refer to the members of the congregational council who have primary responsibility for the stewardship of administration, finance and buildings.

PCC: Some congregations have a Deacons’ Court with responsibility to care for the pastoral needs of the congregation.

UCC: See‘Minister (noun)’.


ACC: Used to have women offering pastoral or other ministry; they were ‘set apart’, not ordained, but when women were allowed to be ordained as deacons this particular ministry gradually lapsed.

ELCIC: Diaconal minister (see below) who also belongs to either the Deaconess Community of the ELCA/ELCIC or the Lutheran Deaconess Association.


ACC: Geographical groupings of parishes within a diocese (similar to Lutheran ‘conference’).


ACC: see ‘Deacon’.

ELCIC: one of the three orders of ministry. The primary focus of diaconal ministers is one of Word and Service.

PCC: Member of an order of teaching ministers specializing in Christian Education and service.

UCC: One of the two streams of the Order of Ministry; see ‘Minister (noun)’.

DIALOGUE: Conversation towards mutual understanding, such as between denominations like the Anglican Church/United Church Dialogue.


ACC: Basic unit of the church, containing a number of parishes. In Canada there are 29, each headed by a bishop.

ELCIC, PCC and UCC: Not used.

ELCIC: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada


ACC, PCC and ELCIC: Generally meaning the work towards the reconciliation of the whole Church.

UCC: Currently working on expanding the meaning beyond inter-church to include inter-faith and whole world ecumenism.


ACC: Aboriginal elders play an important leadership role in First Nations church life.

ELCIC: Sometimes used to refer to the members of a congregational council who have primary responsibility for the spiritual affairs of the congregation.

PCC: An ordained order of ruling ministry. The ordained minister is the ‘teaching elder’.

UCC: Members of the Session being responsible for the spiritual life of the congregation and pastoral care of its families. Elders are considered the wise ones, especially in Aboriginal church communities.


ACC AND ELCIC: Pertaining to the bishop, or to a church which has bishops.

UCC: Same, and the functions of a bishop undertaken by the Conference or Presbytery.


ACC: Eucharist is the usual term for the sacrament of the altar, although the term holy communion is also used. Some Anglicans call it mass or divine liturgy. Normally celebrated every Sunday, at the main service and often at additional times on Sunday or during the week.

ELCIC: Sacrament of the Altar in which participants receive the bread/wine, which is the body/blood of Christ. Congregations are encouraged to celebrate the Eucharist (also referred to as the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion) every Sunday.

PCC and UCC: Communion is the common term for the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

EVANGELICAL: Based on the Gospel.

EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN WORSHIP: The current hymn book/worship resource of the ELCIC, published in 2006. Preferred abbreviation is Worship or WOR, because the ELCIC’s national women’s organization is known as ELW (for Evangelical Lutheran Women); the acronym ELW is copyrighted.


PCC: Highest governing body of The Presbyterian Church in Canada.


UCC: National governing body of the church which meets triennially; between meetings its work is done by the General Council Executive (GCE).


ACC : An act of reverence in the presence of the blessed sacrament (the consecrated bread and/or wine). One kneels (briefly) on one knee.

ELCIC: An act of reverence (most commonly bowing) before the altar, often at the beginning and end of worship.

PCC and UCC: Normally not used.

GHDA: Global Hunger and Development Appeal: the development, relief and justice fund of the ELCIC.


ACC and ELCIC: A psalm or hymn said or sung as the Gospel is taken in procession to be read.

Guarantee of Stipend:

PCC: A document (part of the call process) in which a congregation sets out the stipend to be paid to its minister and promises the presbytery that they will fulfill this obligation as a first call on their resources.


ACC: All the bishops serving in the church. The House meets for consultation on its own twice a year. When the bishops meet in the General Synod, with clergy and laity, they form an ‘order’ of bishops. Each order votes separately on certain issues.

ELCIC: All the actively serving bishops of the church, who meet together for consultation, usually twice a year as a Conference of Bishops. The Conference does not make policy or legislation, but may make proposals to the National Convention (NC) or to the National Church Council (NCC).

PCC and UCC: Not used.

INCUMBENT: Person currently holding office, usually referring to the minister.


ACC: A service of installation in ministry conducted by the bishop or their designate.

PCC: A service of worship conducted by a presbytery to commence a ministry where there is a call from a congregation.


ACC: Used for lay officials being admitted to office, or of the placing of a bishop in his/her seat in the cathedral after their consecration.

ELCIC: To install – e.g. a pastor, Sunday School teachers, etc. Each has it own service and implications.

PCC and UCC: Usually a liturgical act recognizing someone beginning work in a new office, such as the installation of the Moderator, or of Sunday School teachers.

INTERCESSION: Prayers for the needs of others.

INTERDENOMINATIONAL: Activities involving more than one Christian denomination.

INTERNSHIP: An in-service training period for those preparing for ordered ministry roles.


All: A term used in ecumenical shared ministry situations to describe a governing body or person(s) who has responsibility for oversight of the ministry situation.

ACC and ELCIC: The bishop.

PCC and UCC: Each of the four courts of the church.

KAIROS: An ecumenical coalition of churches in Canada working together on matters of justice. All four churches are members.


ACC: All the people of God, but generally used of those not ordained to one of the other three orders (bishop, priest, deacon).

ELCIC and PCC: The members of a congregation not ordained.

UCC: All the people of God, usually used to distinguish from ministry personnel.

LAMBETH CONFERENCE: Global gathering of all Anglican bishops that normally occurs every 10 years.




ACC: The duties for Lay Reader vary in different dioceses and other titles of the office may be used, e.g. Lay Minister of Word and Sacrament. For some, this may indicate that the person reads scripture in services. In others, the Bishop licenses trained Lay Readers who work under the supervision of the Rector to perform additional duties, including leading morning and evening prayer, distributing communion (during a Eucharistic service and in special circumstances to shut-ins), preaching, baptizing in emergencies, and conducting funerals when no clergyperson is available. This licensing does not include the presiding at a marriage or eucharist.

ELCIC, PCC and UCC: Lay person who reads scripture in the worship service.


ACC: The sacramental action of the bishop in ordinations and confirmations, and also used by clergy and licensed lay ministers in healing services.

ELCIC: The action by bishops and pastors in ordinations and confirmation services, and also in healing services.

PCC and UCC: Term used in ordination/commissioning, confirmation and healing services.


All: The listing of the appointed texts for the church year. Many congregations use the Revised Common Lectionary which offers texts in a three-year cycle.

LICENSE TO PERFORM MARRIAGES: Anyone who presides at a marriage requires a civil license issued by the civil province. Each church authorizes a list of personnel eligible for such a license.


ACC: All clergy (including those in ecumenical shared ministries) need to be licensed by a bishop in order to exercise ministry in a diocese; Lay Readers are also licensed for their particular ministry.

ELCIC: The action of a bishop to authorize someone other than an ordained Lutheran pastor to exercise pastoral ministry.

PCC: No longer used, see Certification for Ordination.

UCC: Authorizing someone to practice ministry – as in the licensing of lay worship leaders or the licensing of lay/commissioned ministry personnel to administer the sacraments within a particular pastoral charge.


All: Both the order of service and the event of worship.

Living Faith/Foi vivant:

PCC: A booklet containing a contemporary expression of Christian belief, a ‘subordinate standard’.


ELCIC: A worship book and hymnal of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada published in 1978.

LWF: The Lutheran World Federation, a global expression of Lutherans.


ACC – see ‘rectory’.

ELCIC – see ‘parsonage’.

PCC and UCC: Usual term for houses owned by the church in which ministry personnel may live.


UCC: The book of rules and regulations which govern the life and work of the church. Originated at the time of Church Union in 1925 and revised after each General Council.


ACC and ELCIC: Membership in the church is of all the baptized. There may be specific qualifications (age, attendance, confirmation, etc.) for membership in a governing body of the church.

PCC and UCC: Membership in the church is of all the baptized. Those who have affirmed or reaffirmed their faith through a liturgical act and whose names are on the congregational membership roll are eligible to vote in all congregational matters, including the election of elders and the calling of a minister.


ACC: The archbishop who has jurisdiction in an ecclesiastical province.

MINISTER (noun):

ACC: All are ministers by virtue of their baptism, but some appointed or ordained to specific ministries may generally be called ministers. It is more common for the term ‘rector’ or ‘priest’ to be used if the person is an ordained priest.

ELCIC: Not ordinarily used. The term Pastoris more commonly used.

PCC: Normally refers to the ordained Minister of Word and Sacraments or a member of the Order of Diaconal Ministers. Lay missionaries are laypersons who are appointed to do pastoral duties but do not administer the Sacraments.

UCC: There are several categories of ministry personnel. Those ordained to the ministry of word, sacrament and pastoral care (ordained ministers) and those commissioned to the ministry of education, service and pastoral care (diaconal ministers) are members of The Order of Ministry. (A diaconal minister can sometimes be appointed to perform the functions of an ordained minister.) Designated Lay Ministers are trained laypersons who are appointed to perform the functions of an ordained minister in a particular location.

MINISTER (verb): To be of service to others.


UCC: Those employed by the Church in any ministry position, lay or ordered. This term has been adopted in this Handbook for ecumenical shared ministries.


UCC: Name of the General Council fund to support the local, national and global partnership work of the UCC.


All: The whole activity of the Church in witness to Jesus Christ and the building up of the reign of God. Partnership characterizes work throughout the world in mission and service. Each church has specific mission agencies and/or programs that assist the church in carrying on this work.


PCC: The person elected to preside at any church court. The Moderator of the annual General Assembly continues in office for one year and is a spokesperson for the denomination.

UCC: The person elected by General Council to serve as Presider of General Council and its executive and sub-executive. The person is considered the spiritual leader of the denomination and serves until the next General Council, usually every 3 years.


UCC: A supplementary songbook, published in 2007.


ELCIC: The pastor elected by a National Convention to serve as the head of the National Church. The National Bishop is elected for a four-year term, renewable.


ACC: In addition to the common meanings of the space in which one works, and the position one holds on a board or committee, this is a term given to daily, non-eucharistic, prayer services (e.g. Morning and Evening Prayer).

ELCIC: either the space in which one works, the office which one holds on a board or a committee, or the authority and responsibilities given to a person called to fulfill a public ministry.

PCC and UCC: Either the space in which one works or the position held on a board or committee.


UCC: One of the possible structures for the local court of the church (see ‘court’).


PCC: Ruling elder, congregational deacon, diaconal minister, minister of word and sacrament.

UCC: Those ordained to the ministry of word, sacrament and pastoral care, and those commissioned to the diaconal ministry of education, service and pastoral care.


ACC: The service of laying-on-of-hands with prayer by the bishop admitting someone to the order of deacon, priest, or bishop.

ELCIC: The service of laying-on-of-hands with prayer by the bishop admitting someone to the order of pastor or bishop.

PCC: The act of setting an individual in an order by authority of the presbytery (ruling elder, congregational deacon, ministry of word and sacrament).

UCC: The setting apart by the Conference of someone for a particular ministry, used in the context of the ministry of Word and sacraments and pastoral care.

PCC: The Presbyterian Church in Canada


ACC: One or more congregations which have a common governing /advisory unit and one priest-in-charge or equivalent.

ELCIC and PCC: A congregation or more than one congregation in a formal relationship with each other and who share pastoral ministry.

UCC: Not normally used in an official sense, except in some areas as ‘larger parish’.


ELCIC: House occupied by the pastor and provided by the congregation.


ACC: A parish priest or a chaplain. The bishop is the chief pastor.

ELCIC and PCC: Ordained Minister.

UCC: Not normally used, except with reference to the minister’s pastoral role.


PCC and UCC: Local congregation, or if a multi-point congregation, the term used to describe that.


All: The form of organization and government of a denomination.

Presbyterians Sharing…

PCC: The mission and administration fund of the national church through which congregations are requested to contribute to the work of the wider church.


PCC: The court of the church between session and synod, having oversight of ministers and congregations and the right to ordain.

UCC: The court of the church between conference and pastoral charge. Functions include oversight of pastoral charges, pastoral relationships and property.


ACC: Someone ordained to one of the 3 orders of ministry, who is (if licensed) authorized to preside at the sacraments and to preach. One is ordained once to the priesthood, for life. Anglicans are normally ordained to the diaconate before they are ordained to the priesthood.


ACC: The spiritual head of the national church. This is always an archbishop, elected by the General Synod, and may serve until 70 years of age. The chair of the General Synod.


ACC: An officer of the General Synod, elected by the General Synod, either clerical or lay, who can preside at the Synod in place of the Primate.


ACC: A group of dioceses in a region. Also called ecclesiastical province. The national church is a Province (with a capital P) of the Anglican Communion. It contains four ecclesiastical provinces (with a small p), each led by an archbishop.


ACC: Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund: Anglican fund and program for disaster relief, development work and education.

PWSandD: Presbyterian World Service and Development Fund: Presbyterian fund and program for disaster relief, development work and education.


PCC: A service of worship conducted by a presbytery to commence a ministry where there is an appointment by a presbytery.


ACC: A minister in charge of a self-supporting congregation. It had a particular historical meaning but is now often interchangeable with ‘priest-in-charge’ or ‘incumbent’.


ACC: Usual term for houses owned by the church, in which clergy usually live, but which may be rented to others.


ELCIC: The list of ordained and diaconal ministers.


ACC: “An outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace;” two are Gospel sacraments (baptism and eucharist) and many hold that there are 7 (the chief 2 plus confirmation, penance (confession and absolution), matrimony, ordination and unction (anointing of the sick)).

ELCIC: One of the two means of grace (Word and Sacrament) by which God proclaims and bestows grace upon people. There are generally two recognized sacraments for Lutherans: The Sacrament of Baptism and the Sacrament of the Altar. The sacraments are commanded by Christ, proclaim and bestow grace, and are connected with an earthly element.

PCC and UCC: A holy act instituted by Jesus; uses visible elements and promises a spiritual blessing. A means of grace. Two recognized: Baptism and Communion.


UCC: a lay member of the United Church who has been licensed by the Conference to preside at the sacraments of Baptism and Communion, within a pastoral charge, a congregation of which they are a member. This ministry is not available to shared ministry congregations.


ACC and ELCIC: the part of the church building surrounding the altar.

PCC and UCC: the space in which formal worship is conducted.

All 4 churches also use the term for the ancient custom of providing safe space for fugitives.

SEASONS OF THE CHURCH YEAR: Liturgical calendar: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost/Trinity. Seasons are often distinguished by changes of colour of vestments and church decorations.


PCC: Governing body for the local congregation, made up of the minister and elders elected from the congregation.

UCC: One possible structure for the local court of the church. Responsible for the spiritual life of the congregation. Session members are called elders and must be members of the congregation.


UCC: The action of the Conference to appoint ministry personnel to their particular ministries.

SHARING THE PEACE: Worshippers share a ritual greeting during a service of worship, according to an ancient tradition.


UCC: A statement of faith, adopted in 2006.

SONGS FOR A GOSPEL PEOPLE: A supplementary hymn book used in many congregations, published in 1987.


Commonly used in some denominational and ecumenical circles for volunteers to assist at large meetings by distributing papers, running errands, etc.

UCC: An administrative committee responsible for pastoral charge financial matters.

STEWARDSHIP: Use of time, talent and treasure in responsible ways for the sake of the world.

Subordinate standard:

PCC: Those confessional documents that, though subordinate to Scripture, are authoritative in doctrine and to which ministers and elders give assent.


ACC: The governing body of a diocese, province, or national church. It is made up of representatives of clergy and laity, and is presided over by a bishop or archbishop.

ELCIC: Regional expression of the church. There are 5 synods, each headed by a bishop.

PCC: The governing body between presbytery and General Assembly. Often responsible for church camps.

TITHE: A portion of one’s income given to the church, biblically 10%.


ELCIC: Sometimes used to refer to the members of a congregational church council with responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of the church facilities and financial affairs.

PCC and UCC: The board of the congregation that holds in trust the property, both real and personal, of the congregation.

UCC: The United Church of Canada


ACC: A room near the main body of the church where the clergy vest, or put on their robes; a place to meet. In some dioceses, vestry is the term used for the governing or advisory board of a congregation or parish; in others, it is the name for the annual parish meeting.

ELCIC, PCC and UCC: A room near the place of worship, where clergy robe.

VOICES UNITED: The current United Church hymn book, published in 1995.

WARC: World Alliance of Reformed Churches, of which the United Church of Canada and The Presbyterian Church in Canada are members.

WCC: World Council of Churches, made up of member churches from around the world; the chief global ecumenical agency, with headquarters in Geneva. The ACC, ELCIC, PCC and UCC are all members.


ACC: The two lay people who have senior leadership in the parish or congregation. Practice varies, but they usually form the corporation, or are officers of the parish with the priest. Wardens are responsible for the temporalities of the parish, such as the buildings. Check diocesan canons for exact responsibilities.


ACC & ELCIC: An agreement establishing full communion between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, entered into in Waterloo, Ontario in July 2001. It provides, among other things, for the interchangeability of ordained ministry between the two churches. The Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission (JALC) oversees the implementation of the agreement.

Westminster Confession of Faith:

PCC: Primary subordinate standard by which faith is tested.

(WOV) WITH ONE VOICE: a Lutheran supplementary hymnal with additional liturgies (1995).

WOMENS’ GROUPS: Each denomination has a women’s organization that functions locally, regionally and nationally. Some are more active than others.

ACC: Anglican Church Women.

ELCIC: Evangelical Lutheran Women.

PCC: Atlantic Mission Society, the Women’s Missionary Society, and Presbyterian Women.

UCC: United Church Women (all women’s groups are known collectively as the Women’s’ Ministries Network).

WORLD METHODIST COUNCIL: International body of Methodist Churches, of which the United Church of Canada is a member.