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2018 conference registration deadline June 30

Friends, we close registration for our 2018 annual conference on June 30! Join us July 13-15 at our lovely host, Royal York Road United Church in Toronto, on Dish with One Spoon Treaty territory. Register here. The planning committee has been labouring over a hot workshop list, confirming amazing speakers, and planning a public worship at Dundas Square in the heart of downtown Toronto. From stained glass creations to allyship with LGBTQIA youth, from supporting LGBTQIA asylum seekers to becoming Affirming in your context, we'll have it all. Subsidies and billets available. Allies and all identities welcome and needed. Bring your [...]

By | 2018-07-07T14:50:17+00:00 June 18th, 2018|News & Events|0 Comments

One ministry’s response to homophobia 

Grosvenor Park United Church, an Affirming ministry in Saskatoon SK, recently received a homophobic email. With their permission, we share the email and their response, which was drafted by a group and sent by the minister. […]

Annual Conference and AGM 2018 Online Registration Form

Thank you for registering for Affirm United / S’affirmer Ensemble’s 2018 AGM and conference, Many Voices- One Song. We emphasize that all people of all identities are welcome at this gathering; we ask that you bring a respectful spirit and open mind, and that all participants come with the belief that sexual and gender diversity is part of God’s beloved creation. Our movement believes that being gender and/ or sexually diverse is a gift, not a sin. We look forward to seeing you July 13-15 at Royal York Road United in Toronto! All of the information you include in this [...]

By | 2018-05-10T14:18:55+00:00 May 4th, 2018|Annual Conference & AGM, News & Events|0 Comments

Sherwood Park United Church Affirming Celebration Weekend

What a celebration it was Saturday, April 14th & Sunday, April 15th 2018! The sanctuary was a rainbow of colors with a beautiful rainbow banner leading up to the altar. The Fellowship Hall was bedecked in rainbow tissue flowers and the congregation was invited to add rainbow stickers to their name tags. The Affirm United banner stood front and center for all to see. Saturday night kicked off the celebration with a chili supper followed by a screening of the Camp fYrefly documentary, “Over the Rainbow.” This documentary raises awareness about the complex needs and concerns of LGBTQ youth. The [...]

By | 2018-07-07T20:03:58+00:00 May 1st, 2018|Affirming Ministries in Action, News & Events|0 Comments

Islington United’s town hall on being Affirming

Islington United Church in Toronto is in the Affirming process, and will vote April 2018. Here’s a nifty resource: a PDF version of the PowerPoint they used in an open discussion on where their Affirming process is at as they prepare for that vote. Transparency is key to a good Affirming process, and is crucial throughout. It’s natural that questions and fears may surface during the process. The transparency and clarity shown in this this resource is a great example of one way to ensure that all in the ministry know exactly where the Affirming process is at, and who to contact [...]

By | 2018-04-06T19:33:23+00:00 March 12th, 2018|Affirming Ministries in Action, News & Events|0 Comments

Affirming ministries-a decade ago

Throwback Thursday/ Throwback Anyday: Affirming ministries a decade ago, and a lot of change since. At times it feels like the church is making slow progress at becoming truly LGBTQ+ welcoming. While AUSE is edging towards 200 Affirming ministries, it’s too easy to look at the United Church’s roughly 3,000 ministries and courts and focus only on how far we have to go. But, look at this Observer story from a decade ago for some context. Huron Shores United Church, Grand Bend ON, at their Affirming celebration in September 2017– one of over 30 new ministries welcomed to the [...]

By | 2018-01-07T21:20:41+00:00 December 26th, 2017|Affirming Ministries in Action, News & Events|0 Comments

Annual conference/ SpiritPride 2017 report

“…God is queer. Jesus is queer. The Gospel is queer…. May we step proudly into our place at the table of God and claim that space, saying boldly and proudly, “we shall not be moved”. -Brandan Robertson. The Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble network is a far-flung family, extending coast to coast to coast, and including kin and allies in many countries. Every year we have a chance to gather face to face, and in 2017 we were hosted by St Andrew’s Wesley United in Vancouver as part of their annual SpiritPride event. Many thanks to the congregation and the planning [...]

By | 2018-01-07T21:34:35+00:00 September 11th, 2017|Annual Conference & AGM, News & Events, News Bulletins|0 Comments

Iridesce: stories, questionnaire, resources, visits

Greetings from Aaron Miechkota, Coordinator of Iridesce: The Living Apology Project! Here’s the latest news; for all of these updates, read more www.iridesce.ca Downloadable Iridesce poster; see Resources at www.iridesce.ca Stories of 1988. For some in the United Church the mention of this date is enough to silence a room, but for others it is the beginning of new conversations around acknowledgement and lament, apology and reconciliation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and 2-Spirit (LGBTQ2) people. Maureen (not her real name) remembers: “One of my longest standing friends, and her family, left a congregation and official board work [...]

From Hate to Hope: New prayer, and reflection on intersecting identities

Over the summer, the White supremacist march and violence in Charlottesville, VA reminded us that our struggles against violent discrimination are inseparable. When people of colour and Indigenous people, of all genders and sexualities, are targeted for who they are, what should the response of an LGBTQQIA+ and Two Spirit movement like ours be? How do we name and face White privilege and racism within our own movement and communities? A number of communities held anti-racism rallies, and in Edmonton the Hate 2 Hope rally asked AUSE member Gary Simpson to offer a prayer. He has generously shared the prayer [...]

By | 2018-01-08T16:54:03+00:00 September 11th, 2017|Affirming Ministries in Action, News & Events, News Bulletins|0 Comments

Action to support Rev LIM Borah and the Sumdol Hyanglin congregation, South Korea

In past newsletters we’ve written about the Sumdol Hyanglin,  the only “out” LGBTQIA+ affirming congregation in the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, one of the United Church of Canada’s oldest and closest partner churches. AUSE is fortunate to have a number of members who connect regularly with this courageous congregation. This summer Toronto Conference, which is newly Affirming, hosted a public event with Sumdol Hyanglin members and their pastor, Rev. LIM Borah. Now Rev. Borah and the congregation face a new struggle, as attempts are being made to declare her ministry heretical. An action addressed to the World [...]

By | 2018-01-07T20:35:32+00:00 September 11th, 2017|News & Events, News Bulletins, Take action, Uncategorized|0 Comments