Affirming Ministries in Action

From hurt to welcome: an interview with Rev. Bora Lim, South Korea

Karina Schumacher‎, a German advocate from the Ecumenical Mission Service, interviews Rev. LIM Bora, pastor of Hyanglin Seomdol congregation in Seoul, South Korea. Hyanglin Seomdol means “stepping stone”. Since 2007, Rev. Lim and the congregation have been campaigning for the rights of sexual minorities.  Earlier in 2016 we featured the congregation and their witness at Seoul Pride. […]

By | 2018-01-09T00:51:44+00:00 November 22nd, 2016|Affirming Ministries in Action, News & Events|0 Comments

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

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

Yes, Churches in the Pride Parade Make a Difference

“Even LGBT people who are atheists want to know that big organizations, such as churches, are prepared to stand with the LGBT community to fight oppression, homophobia and transphobia.” by Gary Simpson, AU/SE supporter and lay member at United Church, Edmonton. June 2016 I was in the Pride Parade in Edmonton, with the United Church. (Click here for a video of the churches marching.) I have been in about 10 Pride Parades in Edmonton and about 4 or 5 in Calgary. I tend to make a splash, which might be something to do with how I dress. Walking in the [...]

By | 2018-01-13T23:40:12+00:00 June 21st, 2016|Affirming Ministries in Action|0 Comments

Now on to being further “Affirming”! Westminster United, Whitby ON

By Paul Kneebone, Affirming Ministry team member at Westminster United Westminster United Church in Whitby, ON is pleased to announce that they are now officially an Affirming congregation.  Now onto to further “being affirming”! A number of folks at Westminster first met informally in March-April 2014.  This was after some of us had attended an Affirm United-sponsored workshop at Dunbarton-Fairport United Church in Pickering in January/2014.  A-Team members also subsequently attended other all-day Affirming workshops in Kingston and Peterborough that were held by Bay of Quinte Conference, itself an Affirming ministry. […]

By | 2016-05-30T16:31:01+00:00 May 30th, 2016|Affirming Ministries in Action|Comments Off on Now on to being further “Affirming”! Westminster United, Whitby ON

Witnessing courage: Our Korean partner, Sumdol Hyanglin church

The United Church of Canada is unique to the Canadian context, but it holds a global identity through a wide range of church partners who share in common traditions or ministries. One of the United Church’s longest-running partnerships is with the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, a relationship which moved closer to full communion at last summer’s General Council meeting. This is a significant relationship for both churches; as United Church members accompany the PROK in its justice work, PROK members have been involved in the United Church’s own work on intercultural ministries and the intersections of racism, [...]

By | 2016-03-16T17:16:13+00:00 March 16th, 2016|Affirming Ministries in Action, News Bulletins|Comments Off on Witnessing courage: Our Korean partner, Sumdol Hyanglin church