The Presbyterian Church in Canada
Synod of Alberta & The Northwest
Reverend Raymond E. Glen
The Presbyterian Church in Canada came into existence in 1875 uniting several synods and presbyteries that had existed prior to that date.
It is part of the worldwide family of Presbyterian and Reformed Churches. The Greek word for "elder" forms the basis for the name and refers to the practice of choosing leaders from or by congregations. The overall governance structure consists of four courts - Session, Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly.
The Synod of Alberta and the Northwest was formed in 1906. The annual meeting set for October, 2005, will be the 100th meeting. Its boundaries include the Province of Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Yukon as well as the Peace River block of Northeastern British Columbia.
For many years, archival materials were forwarded to the Presbyterian Church National Archives in Toronto. In more recent times, formal agreements have been concluded with some Provincial Archives. In 1984, an agreement between the Provincial Archives of Alberta and the Synod was signed. The Synod has also agreed to forward a copy of all materials deposited in the Provincial Archives to the Presbyterian Church Archives. The Synod and National Church Archives are very appreciative of the cooperation, interest and facilities of the Provincial Archives of Alberta.
The Synod annually appoints one of its members as Archivist. He/she deposits the original minute books of the Synod, together with correspondence and reports. The Archivist deposits occasional special publications, collections of private papers and materials received from presbyteries and congregations. If a congregation is closed, the official documents of that congregation are to be given to the Archivist for deposit in the Provincial Archives.
The Archivist is the only person who may make deposits on behalf of the Synod. Efforts are made to acquaint officers and members with the system and to gather materials from special occasions. The Archivist reports annually to the Synod. She/he encourages microfilming and records management. Recently the Synod held a workshop on basic archival topics which was led by the National Church Archivist.
The Synod's Archivist is endeavouring to involve some local volunteers to become acquainted with archival procedures and to further develop a network across the Synod through presbytery and congregational historians, archivists and interested persons.
Among issues of interest or concern for our archives:
- 2005 Synod and Provincial Centennial observance including preparation of histories, conferences and special events;
- Oral histories taped interviews with persons of varying ages reflecting on their faith and experiences;
- Review and revision of agreement between Synod & Provincial Archives concern that more official records be microfilmed and together with original documents be deposited in Archives;
- Gathering the documents of related societies and ministries, eg. Women's Missionary Society, Chaplaincies, ecumenical coalitions, etc.;
- Collect'mg a representative sampling of the life and work of the Synod as a resource for research in the future.
- In reviewing the list of holdings, I wish to highlight the following:
- Pioneer Mission Work Presbyterian Church, Alberta, authorized By Women's Home Missionary Synodical Conference of Alberta, Edmonton, 1915 4 papers covering the province: # PR2004.0941 Mss Re: Experiences of the Rev. J.E. Duclos as a Presbyterian Missionary to FrenchCanadian Protestants at Bonnyville & Cold Lake @ 19161930 (# 74.22 1).
- Where Visions Become Real by G. A. Johnston; a History of Camp Kannawin, Sylvan Lake, 19311991 (The Synod's Camp # 97.323)
- Mission Record Books, Alaskan Highway Mission, 18561964 #96.428
- GROWTH A History & Anthology of the Synod of Alberta, 1968. Published for Centennial of Presbyterian Church, 1975 # 98.867
Access - the Minutes of Sessions are restricted by denominational rules for a period of fifty (50) years. Otherwise materials in the Synod's holdings are unrestricted.
Synod Archivist - The Rev. Raymond E. Glen, 9039 - 148 Street,
Edmonton, AB T5R 1A2
Tel. 780 - 489- 6724 E:Mail email@example.com
Presbyterian Church in Canada, Archivist/Records Administrator: Kim Arnold, Assistant Archivist - Bob Anger 50 Wynford Drive, Toronto, ON M3C 1J7
Tel. 1 - 800 - 619 - 7301 FAX: 416 - 441 - 2825