Affirming Ministries in Action

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

Volunteer of the Year Award 2017-Gary Simpson

Every year, AU/SE honours individuals who strengthen and bless our movement in especially significant ways. In 2017, we honour two Albertans: Gary Simpson and Bryon Delarue. Council member Jen Carter-Morgan writes, “It is a great delight to be able to introduce a wonderful man who is one of the faces of the Edmonton Pride Community – Gary Simpson. Gary Simpson decked out in his usual Affirming splendour at the Edmonton Pride parade, 2017. Gary and I first crossed paths at the start up gatherings of a group called Soul Outing, which is a queer worship community in Edmonton [...]

By | 2018-01-13T20:08:52+00:00 October 19th, 2017|Affirming Ministries in Action, News & Events, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Volunteer of the Year Award 2017-Gary Simpson

AUSE Volunteer of the Year Award 2016-17- Bryon Delarue

Every year, AU/SE honours individuals who strengthen and bless our movement in especially significant ways. In 2017, we honour two Albertans: Bryon Delarue and Gary Simpson. Gary and Bryon’s work both appears on our website and social media; in 2017 Bryon offered a timeline of all the many and growing Affirming ministries in Alberta, and a reflection on how this was accomplished. Council member Jen Carter-Morgan writes, Bryon Delarue presenting the Affirming certificate to Robert McClure United Church in Calgary, October 1, 2017 “It is a great pleasure to be able to share just a bit about one of [...]

By | 2018-01-13T20:09:50+00:00 October 19th, 2017|Affirming Ministries in Action, Annual Conference & AGM, News & Events, News Bulletins|Comments Off on AUSE Volunteer of the Year Award 2016-17- Bryon Delarue

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

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 [...]

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

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 [...]

Affirming Awards 2017: your nominations needed!

Every year, Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble invites your nominations for outstanding individuals and Affirming ministries whose work and witness have inspired our movement. Awards are presented at our annual conference, which will be held July 28-30 2017 in Vancouver. The deadline for nominations is June 10 2017. The decision will be made by a committee of the Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble national Council. Altar banner, George St United, Peterborough ON. Please use the form below to nominate people, or contact the co-chairs if you wish to send a nomination by mail. The form allows you to attach Word [...]