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How to celebrate your Affirmaversary: St Albert United, AB

In October 2016 St. Albert United Church in Saint Albert, Alberta decided to celebrate the anniversary of becoming Affirming by welcoming the whole community—and supporting a new generation of LGBTQ and Two-Spirit leadership. Camp fYrefly YEG with the University of Alberta, ISMSS and Calgary Sexual Health Centre will screen their documentary film “Over The Rainbow”; it premiered at the Calgary Fairy Tales Film Festival last May, as well as The Banff Centre for the Performing arts. It’s also available for screening by other Affirming ministries. Have a look at the trailer: […]

By | 2018-01-13T23:32:21+00:00 October 19th, 2016|Affirming Ministries in Action, News & Events|0 Comments

Kamloops United Church: Twenty years of being out and public

Kamloops United in Kamloops, BC has been an Affirming ministry for twenty years. They became Affirming long before equal marriage was obtained, and long before trans* activists and allies brought us much closer to full recognition of trans* human rights. They write, Kamloops United Church (BC) at the Thompson Rivers University Pride march, 2016. "We are feeling excited and optimistic about the renewed energy at Kamloops United Church to live more fully into our obligations and privilege of being an Affirming congregation, and of being a member of Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble. Since celebrating the 20th anniversary of [...]

By | 2018-01-09T01:24:38+00:00 October 11th, 2016|Affirming Ministries in Action, News & Events|0 Comments

Positive space and GSAs= a much deserved youth award

(Note: Port Nelson United is currently renewing its Affirming process, and sent us this great example of the kind of public witness offered by ministries in the process. Your Affirming process can be a public witness too!) When the adjudication committee at Port Nelson United Church in Burlington, Ontario met last May to consider applications for the annual Youth Award, they knew the job would be challenging. Young people in their final year of high school from every segment of Halton Region had applied for the $1000 scholarship. The award honours leadership in promoting inclusion, with a special emphasis on [...]

By | 2018-01-09T01:26:26+00:00 October 11th, 2016|Affirming Ministries in Action, News & Events|0 Comments

Moderator’s sermon: annual conference 2016

This sermon was offered by United Church of Canada Moderator Rt. Rev. Jordan Cantwell at the Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble annual conference closing worship, 24 July 2016, Glebe-St James United Church, Ottawa/ unceded Algonquin territory. The Moderator does not work from a printed text when she speaks. These are her expanded notes, and we thank her for sharing these with us at AU/SE’s request. (Photo: Ella listening, or not, to the sermon.)   Text: 2 Corinthians 5:16-20 In Christ, God has reconciled humanity to God. This suggests that our relationship with God must have been broken. How? […]

By | 2018-01-09T03:00:13+00:00 October 11th, 2016|Annual Conference & AGM, News & Events|1 Comment

Quotes and food for thought: 2016 AU/SE annual conference

Food for thought: quotes from the annual conference Many words of challenge, wisdom, and Good News were shared at the Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble 2016 annual conference. Many more could be added. If you encountered some thoughts, prayers, or words that moved you, send them to communications(at)ause(dot)ca and we’ll include them in a future newsletter. “You need to know that your work saves lives. Faith and the LGBT communities have been divorced for far too long. It’s time to end this separation.” — Jeremy Dias, Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity […]

By | 2018-01-09T03:07:45+00:00 October 11th, 2016|Annual Conference & AGM, News & Events|0 Comments

Annual conference 2016: heartfelt thank yous

Annual conference 2016: over 100 attendees; global partners; theatre, worship, song, words of challenge and affirmation Our 2016 annual conference in Ottawa is now complete! We welcomed over 100 attendees and global partners; we shared in theatre, worship, song, workshops, and words of challenge and affirmation. Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble offers profound gratitude to the Ottawa annual conference planning team. From the details of homemade muffins to the big picture of an integrated and thoughtful theme on trans* identities and rights, you offered us a safe, questioning, sacred space. Your hard work and generous spirits created a “kairos” moment for our movement, and we are [...]

By | 2018-01-09T03:13:23+00:00 October 10th, 2016|Annual Conference & AGM, News & Events|0 Comments

Affirming annual award: Honouring Jordan Sullivan

Every year, Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble offers a volunteer award or Affirming ministry award to an individual and/ or ministry who have offered exceptional inspiration and energy to the difficult work of widening radical inclusion. We were honoured to present the 2016 individual award to Jordan Sullivan at our 2016 conference at Glebe-St James United Church in Ottawa. Jordan is the Ministry Partnership Animator at the General Council office of the United Church of Canada. He connects with a very wide range of diverse communities and brings to those relationships both a love of endless details and a deep respect [...]

By | 2018-01-09T21:22:05+00:00 September 20th, 2016|News & Events|0 Comments

Highlights from Affirming ministries, 2015-2016

Every year, Affirming ministries are asked to give a short annual report. Jordan Sullivan, Ministry Partnership Animator, and LGBTQ+ Justice at the General Council office, takes on the enormous task of compiling highlights. Many thanks to Jordan and to all the ministries who reported for sharing your stories and inspiring us. Please take a moment to look at these hope-filled stories, and feel free to share them in other publications.  […]

By | 2018-01-09T21:26:03+00:00 September 20th, 2016|Affirming Ministries in Action, News & Events|0 Comments

Authentic love stories: Winnipeg Affirming ministries host trans* storytelling

Introduction: As Churchill Park United Church in Winnipeg, MB journeyed through the Affirming process, we shared stories of family members and friends who passed through our lives hiding their “Spirit and Soul”. This learning experience brought us all closer in our church family. We are a congregation that likes to take on learning challenges.  After a discussion with the former moderator Rev. Gary Paterson and his partner Tim Stevenson, we all decided that we did not know much about the transgender community.  So with our quest for learning, we chose to focus on the topic of transgender folks.  We contacted all of [...]

By | 2016-08-30T21:01:27+00:00 August 30th, 2016|Affirming Ministries in Action|1 Comment