The Christian church has always been part of the social fabric of the city of Regina. Anglican, Lutheran, Orthodox, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic churches began as ethnic-based missions, primarily caring for their own people. The Methodists, Congregationalists, and some Presbyterians later merged to create the United Church, which some describe as the first “home grown” church to appear in Canada. As a result of interdenominational co-operation reflected in the Regina Ministerial Association, the Regina Conference of Churches was created in 1965 to enable clergy and lay people to come together. Initially, the Regina Conference of Churches was comprised of individual member congregations. In 1989 it changed its name to the Regina Council of Churches, and today the Council is primarily made up of representatives of the various mainline and orthodox churches, with a representative from the Regina Evangelical Ministerial Association. Membership is open to all congregations and individuals who subscribe to the ecumenical aims and objectives of the Council. Christian member groups help refugees and other new immigrants in need, as well as the urban poor (see Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry) and those who have been incarcerated.