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Loving responses to the hateful Nashville Statement

In late August, a broad group of pastors in the US issued a transphobic and homophobic “Nashville Statement” condemning gender and sexual diversity in God’s name. No one knows what the special occasion was, and the statement was nothing new, though none the less hateful and damaging. Immediate opposition was sparked; this article names but a few examples and adds AUSE’s own comments. […]

By | 2017-09-11T18:21:42+00:00 September 11th, 2017|News & Events, News Bulletins, Take action, Uncategorized|0 Comments

SpiritPride 2017- program updates

Our big event, SpiritPride 2017 and the Affirm United Annual Conference, is just 3 weeks away, July 28 – 30, 2017! We’ll gather in Vancouver on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples including the Musqueam, the Squamish, and the Tsleil-Waututh Nations, as part of Pride Vancouver’s celebrations. Some of you have already registered and we are looking forward to seeing you there! AUSE especially encourages Affirming ministries and those in the process to come and share your experiences, questions, and hopes. For those still considering attending, here’s latest news about the event; we remind you that there’s a week left [...]

AUSE welcomes Colombian partner to 2017 annual conference

SpiritPride and Affirm United /S’affirmer Ensemble will welcome Colombian global partner Paola Márquez to their gathering July 28-30 in Vancouver. Partnerships with global LGBTQ+ communities and allies is a crucial part of our journey towards dignity, equity, and rights.  Paola is coordinator of volunteers for the Colombian Methodist Church in Medellín, Colombia. This work has given her opportunities to work with organized groups of visitors from North America who assist in projects in Colombia. She is also a law student at the Atlantic University in Barranquilla on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Her mother, who she also works alongside, is a Methodist pastor [...]

By | 2018-01-08T16:57:46+00:00 July 6th, 2017|Annual Conference & AGM, AU/SE Workshops, News & Events|1 Comment

Kamloops United: A public, intentional, explicit welcome

Kamloops United Church in BC has been an Affirming ministry for decades. Lately they've put energy into creatively renewing that commitment, in part by focusing on how to be out, proud, and present in the wider community. Have a look at their invitation to the congregation to be present at Kamloops Pride 2017. As Affirming committee member Christine Dolson reminds the congregation, "Most congregations do their best to be welcoming, but being affirming goes deeper and is public, intentional, and explicit, in its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Being affirming is about radical hospitality, about making sure that everyone finds [...]

By | 2018-01-08T17:00:21+00:00 June 30th, 2017|Affirming Ministries in Action, News & Events|0 Comments

A prayer for Pride month-June 2017

(Also available on the United Church of Canada website.) A prayer by Alydia Smith for Pride month, June 2017. Constant Friend, because People of every sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity have the right to live with dignity and without persecution or discrimination, we Remember in our prayers: […]

By | 2018-01-08T17:02:43+00:00 June 9th, 2017|Iridesce/ Living Apology project|0 Comments

Remember Orlando: ring your church bell 49 times June 12

The AUSE Council invites all churches to ring their bells 49 times (or use another form of good noise) at noon Florida time on Monday June 12. The  Florida-based One Orlando Alliance writes, "We are asking churches around the world to toll their bells 49 times June 12, 2017 at noon to commemorate the 49 innocent victims of the Pulse Orlando shooting. For the loved ones of those taken and as a united community at large, we ask you to join the 49 bells movement of love. For more information and to sign up, visit https://oneorlandoalliance.org/49-bells/

Pride prayer and United Church statement on Pride worldwide

The United Church offers us both a prayer for Pride and a reflection on Pride Month that moves Pride from the local to the global: “During the month of June, thousands of people in Canada will be participating in Pride activities celebrating the lives and freedom of LGBTQ+ people. That won’t be happening in Chechnya, or in Uganda, Zambia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and many other countries… Millwoods United Church, Edmonton at Edmonton Pride 2015. […]

Affirming words from our friend Anne Squire

Testimony for Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble, by Anne Squire On May 27, 2017, Emmanuel United Church in Ottawa became Affirming. At that celebration, the physical presence of a congregation member central to the Affirming process was missing. Here is that story, and words from that member. Anne Squire, presente. With us in Spirit. Anne Squire’s rainbow cape draped over her wheelchair; Emmanuel United Church’s Affirming celebration, 27 May 2017. Anne had died on April 24. Margaret Armstrong writes, “Anne Squire was at the founding of Affirm. At the Morden, MB General Council amid the clash of argument that [...]

Welcome: coordinator for Living Apology project

Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble is pleased to announce that it has hired Aaron Miechkota as the new coordinator for *IRIDESCE: The Living Apology Project*. AUSE thanks the United Church for its funding of this position and looks forward to collaborating on this important work towards a Living Apology to gender- and sexually-diverse communities. Living Apology coordinator Aaron Miechkota. Aaron is currently studying toward ordained ministry and brings a background in creative communications to her role. Aaron is interested in the theology of friendship with people and the Earth. *IRIDESCE: The Living Apology Project* seeks to inspire and reconcile people [...]

Take action: Bill C-16 stalled in the Senate

Trans* people are ministers and leaders in the United Church, across the country, and around the world. They are members of our families, our loved ones, our friends, colleagues, and neighbours, and they deserve to have their identities protected by the law. Bill C-16 would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of gender identity and gender expression. It will also amend the Canadian Criminal Code to include gender identity and gender expression as a recognized group when offences are motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate. Bill C-16 passed its third reading in the House [...]

By | 2018-01-07T21:16:52+00:00 May 8th, 2017|News & Events, News Bulletins, Take action|0 Comments