Affirming Ministries in Action

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

Harcourt Memorial UC LGBTQA+ Committee update

We at Harcourt Memorial United Church enjoyed an active spring season and pride week recently. Two members sat on the Guelph Pride Week Committee throughout the year to assist with supporting this city-wide activity that saw hundreds of people attend the myriad of events throughout the week of May 3-10. Harcourt’s Committee planned the 2nd Annual Storytelling Series  “Speaking Our Truths”. Thirteen speakers from a wide spectrum of identities shared ten minutes of their story, including three transgender individuals and one individual married to a transgender person.  It was incredibly informative in helping us understand perspectives and experiences different than [...]

By | 2015-06-06T19:33:45+00:00 June 6th, 2015|Affirming Ministries in Action|Comments Off on Harcourt Memorial UC LGBTQA+ Committee update

Calgary Human RITES Conference a success

Our May 2015 Human Rites conference highlighted and celebrated the progress made and conversations being had by various leaders who are using their voices to create positive and inclusive change. And it honoured the fact that active exclusion of LGBTQ people is still being experienced daily. With over sixty registrants, and eighty to a hundred additional people attending each of our public evening events, this was the biggest and most successful faith LGBTQ conference that Alberta has seen. The conference was founded by five Affirming United Churches in Calgary (Hillhurst, Scarboro, Wild Rose, Deer Park, St. Thomas), and sponsored by [...]

By | 2015-06-06T19:31:39+00:00 June 6th, 2015|Affirming Ministries in Action|0 Comments

Emmanuel UC, Waterloo, ON: Beyond our building

What we do and say outside our buildings is crucial. Over a month after adding a rainbow flag to the front of their church, Emmanuel United Church in Waterloo, Ontario, received the following email: “Today on my way to work I noticed your flag “All Welcome”. Not sure if it had always been there, but today it certainly caught my eye. The message touched my heart. The rainbow spoke volumes. I suppose I have always had a soft spot for differences and when I saw your flag today, I was touched at the open arms of your parish to all [...]

By | 2015-06-06T19:26:21+00:00 June 6th, 2015|Affirming Ministries in Action|Comments Off on Emmanuel UC, Waterloo, ON: Beyond our building