Affirming Ministries in Action

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

Opportunities to welcome LGBTQ refugees

Long before the suffering of millions of Syrian refugees finally reached the mainstream media, Canadian groups were sponsoring people seeking refuge from around the world. For decades, United Church congregations have been part of an innovative sponsorship option offered by the federal government and the national United Church; any local church can offer to support one or more refugees for at least one year, and in so doing opens the door to their coming to Canada. […]

By | 2016-01-09T19:09:16+00:00 January 9th, 2016|Affirming Ministries in Action, Take action|Comments Off on Opportunities to welcome LGBTQ refugees

Safe, strong, and Affirming: Artemis Housing Co-op, Winnipeg

Young United Church is an Affirming ministry in Winnipeg that carries the Affirming message into unique community and ecumenical partnerships.  It shares Crossways in Common with Hope Mennonite Church, and both share in Artemis Housing Co-op Inc, an associated ministry  in the Crossway’s shared building. Artemis’  “collective purpose is to continue to meet the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of the West Broadway Community. We partner with Young United Church, Hope Mennonite Church, Day Nursery, West Broadway Youth, and West Broadway Community Ministry. At Artemis we provide apartments to people with HIV+/AIDS and their families; cancer; and other medical struggles. We [...]

By | 2015-11-17T21:59:55+00:00 November 17th, 2015|Affirming Ministries in Action|0 Comments

First-St. Andrew’s United Church First Annual Pride Parade Party

First-St. Andrew’s United Church in London, ON became Affirming this year, and launched their public work in style. Anne Cummings of the congregation’s LGBTQ Committee writes, “What a grand time we had at the first annual Pride Parade Party on the lawn of First-St. Andrew’s United Church in London, Ontario on July 26. Because the route for London’s Pride Parade passed in front of our church, this event was organized as a way to welcome community members to our church. Some members of other United churches in the area also joined us. A hotdog lunch was served and it is estimated [...]

By | 2015-11-17T21:56:50+00:00 November 17th, 2015|Affirming Ministries in Action|0 Comments

StarGayzers: West Island LGBTQ Youth Centre’s Queer Prom

As spring emerges and the end of the 2015 school year approaches, the sight of smiling teens emerging from limousines dressed to the nines with corsages and carefully coiffed hair becomes commonplace. As teenagers, we are taught that our high school prom is meant to be the pinnacle of our high school experience, a celebration of all the hard work and growing that we have done. However, this is not the case for everyone—being anywhere under the LGBTQ umbrella can make prom an extremely stressful and even sad time. Many queer teens feel awkward expressing themselves at prom, be it [...]

By | 2015-06-06T19:36:47+00:00 June 6th, 2015|Affirming Ministries in Action|0 Comments