Part 3 : UEEL – Union des Églises
of UEEL, how it functions, its structure, and how these
influence the functioning of a local Church belonging to the
A / - logo
The same since
1984, but which needs to be explained.
1 / It is, at
the same time, an open cross and a crossroads: a way of
saying that it is at the cross of Christ that we meet: our
churches are evangelical churches. The preaching of the
cross, the work on the cross, is central.
2 / The whole logo forms a circle, the image of gathering
around Christ. 1 Cor 3:10-11
10 By the grace God
has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and
someone else is building on it. But each one should build
with care. 11 For
no one can lay any foundation other than the one already
laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
A circle, a community: our churches are churches of
A major difference between confessing churches and
By a confessing church we mean churches with a confession of
faith as its basis, a unique declaration that serves as a
criterion for the teaching of this church. A church of
professants is a church which admits as members only those
who profess publicly their individual faith, in accordance
with this confession of faith.
is at the level of individuals: in a confessing church one
can find professing members but in a church of professants,
all are professants! All have a personal faith that is
The difference between going to church and believing in God.
Being religious or have a relationship with God, Jesus
3 / Then there are finer lines in the form of a circular arc
which give the dynamic impression of the movement towards
the centre: our Union finds its cohesion by focussing on the
Ph 3:14, 15
press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has
called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of
things. And if on some point you think differently, that too
God will make clear to you.
4 / The open
cross finally underlines our willingness to welcome Christ
as He has welcomed us. Romans 15: 7 "
one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to
bring praise to God.”
B / - Motto
In the essential things: fidelity.
In secondary things: freedom.
In all things; charity.
Why talk about essential things and secondary things?
a / We can’t know everything or understand everything in the
Bible. We need to prioritize; recognize that not all truths
have the same importance and role.
b) To distinguish the essential things from the secondary,
is to give the possibility of living one's faith with
If all the convictions of each were erected in infallible
dogmas, there would be no churches ....
As one of the Union's characters has said, "Speaking of the
essential is not to reduce the truth, it is to refuse to
C / - Spirit of construction:
The Union is like a modern tower, the foundation is not very
broad but it is deep: rooted in Christ. Afterwards, the
construction of the floors begins with the centre and not
with the exterior walls: the center is the spine, where
water, gas, air, and electricity pipes pass. Then, to this
central column are attached floors, floors whose exterior
walls are not brick but glass panels: by day light
penetrates, at night the tower shines on the city. Mat
are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be
15 Neither do people light
a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its
stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”
We want to
make vertebrate Christians and not molluscs: vertebrates
don’t need shells, they don’t have need of shelter. Their
strength and cohesion comes from inside (the central
column), and their identity can then be positive, not
These different elements are added: professants, individual
faith, crossroads, openness, Christ in the center, a place
for differences of opinion in secondary things, having a
non-defensive attitude but openness on the outside, solidly
anchored Christians and not molluscs that need protection,
D / - UEEL is made up of some fifty major churches and
First of all, in France, in order to be recognized as a
Church, an association must be established, which must have
a minimum number of members according to the total
population of its zone.
previously mentioned two types of churches (major or
begins as a post of evangelisation and becomes major when it
has acquired a certain stability and in particular its
financial autonomy: the ability to pay a full-time pastor
and to assume the operating expenses.
As long as a
church does not have this capacity, it is considered a post
of evangelisation, as is still the case of Périgueux today.
An evangelistic post is supported financially by the Union
but this aid is linked to the project of the Church and
limited in time.
The salary of the pastor is not left to the discretion of
the members of the local Church, but is fixed according to a
national scale, which takes into account the seniority of
the pastor, the number of dependents, nature, reimbursement
of travel expenses, accommodation, etc.
evangelistic post and major church is invited, but not
obliged, to pay part of the offerings received to the Union.
Thus we are in a system with an operating budget, paid by
the local Church, and an investment budget on which the
Union can intervene, as a financier or a surety.
of our Church have been purchased by the Union, which place
them at our disposal; it is up to us to insure the payments
and the maintenance.
The project of
acquisition of the accommodation for the future pastor will
be done exceptionally on the same principle.
association law 1905, this means having statutes, members
who choose from among them a board of directors.
As I visit
people attending this church, the question of becoming a
member can arise.
undertakes to truly support the life and activities of the
Church, hence by spiritual, active and financial
We are all part of the universal Church, but the functioning
of a Church in France requires statutes, people who make the
move to become members.
of being a member: see statutes, to be obtained at simple
An association has rules of operation. In our case, for
example, the decisions are made at the General Assembly on
the proposal of the Council - so you must contact one of the
members of the Council - the pastor is one of them - weeks
before the General Assembly to submit a proposal or a
request. The council will deliberate and give you its
At the General
Assembly, only questions are asked. The decisions taken are
only those written on the agenda proposed by the Council.
I have noticed
a certain irritation at previous General Assemblies, people
who complained of not getting an immediate decision, but the
statutes only allow us to vote at the General Asembly on the
proposeod by the Council.
At the last meeting of the pastoral team, it was suggested
to hold 'round
table' meetings for the entire community 3 to 4 times a
year. It is not a general assembly but a time of exchange,
from which may then arise subjects that the council should
work with a view to a future General Assembly.
This idea is
yet to be submitted to the Council of Administration.
The Church Council has as its operating rules not only the
statutes of the association but is also subject to the
internal rules of the Union: a workbook with rules.
how to replace a pastor who leaves his post to take charge
of another Church.
There, I must
acknowledge that we have not been precise in communicating
this process, but we are not used to managing pastoral
change because, thanks to the Lord, we have had a period of
stability with Pastor Guy Delarbre in office for 11 years.
To conclude with the rules of functioning and structure at
the level of the Union, we must know that we have a
the churches (at least the chosen representatives of each
Church, at the local Church General Assembly) meet every two
years to discuss the major decisions / directions to be
The day-to-day management of the Union is carried out by the
Synodal Commission, composed of pastors and laymen, elected
for two years by the participants in the synod.
oversees several other committees, such as the ministerial
committee which decides on the consecration of pastors,
their inter-church movements and their situation in the
Church in case of difficulties, such as human resources in a
Commission keeps abreast of what is happening in the local
churches by means of a written communication requested from
the pastors before each meeting of the commission and by the
synodal visit: every two years, each church is visited by a
pastor of another region. During his visit, he meets the
pastor and the council together, then separately, he fills
in a standard form and takes the "temperature" of the
On an international level, our Union is linked to the
Covenant Churches of the United States, to other Unions in
Germany, to Norway and so on. Sister churches that support
us financially but also by sharing experiences, such as the