News Bulletins

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

Annual conference/ SpiritPride 2017 report

“…God is queer. Jesus is queer. The Gospel is queer…. May we step proudly into our place at the table of God and claim that space, saying boldly and proudly, “we shall not be moved”. -Brandan Robertson. The Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble network is a far-flung family, extending coast to coast to coast, and including kin and allies in many countries. Every year we have a chance to gather face to face, and in 2017 we were hosted by St Andrew’s Wesley United in Vancouver as part of their annual SpiritPride event. Many thanks to the congregation and the planning [...]

By | 2018-01-07T21:34:35+00:00 September 11th, 2017|Annual Conference & AGM, News & Events, News Bulletins|0 Comments

Iridesce: stories, questionnaire, resources, visits

Greetings from Aaron Miechkota, Coordinator of Iridesce: The Living Apology Project! Here’s the latest news; for all of these updates, read more www.iridesce.ca Downloadable Iridesce poster; see Resources at www.iridesce.ca Stories of 1988. For some in the United Church the mention of this date is enough to silence a room, but for others it is the beginning of new conversations around acknowledgement and lament, apology and reconciliation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and 2-Spirit (LGBTQ2) people. Maureen (not her real name) remembers: “One of my longest standing friends, and her family, left a congregation and official board work [...]

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

Action to support Rev LIM Borah and the Sumdol Hyanglin congregation, South Korea

In past newsletters we’ve written about the Sumdol Hyanglin,  the only “out” LGBTQIA+ affirming congregation in the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, one of the United Church of Canada’s oldest and closest partner churches. AUSE is fortunate to have a number of members who connect regularly with this courageous congregation. This summer Toronto Conference, which is newly Affirming, hosted a public event with Sumdol Hyanglin members and their pastor, Rev. LIM Borah. Now Rev. Borah and the congregation face a new struggle, as attempts are being made to declare her ministry heretical. An action addressed to the World [...]

By | 2018-01-07T20:35:32+00:00 September 11th, 2017|News & Events, News Bulletins, Take action, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Loving responses to the hateful Nashville Statement

In late August, a broad group of pastors in the US issued a transphobic and homophobic “Nashville Statement” condemning gender and sexual diversity in God’s name. No one knows what the special occasion was, and the statement was nothing new, though none the less hateful and damaging. Immediate opposition was sparked; this article names but a few examples and adds AUSE’s own comments. […]

By | 2017-09-11T18:21:42+00:00 September 11th, 2017|News & Events, News Bulletins, Take action, Uncategorized|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 [...]

Welcome: coordinator for Living Apology project

Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble is pleased to announce that it has hired Aaron Miechkota as the new coordinator for *IRIDESCE: The Living Apology Project*. AUSE thanks the United Church for its funding of this position and looks forward to collaborating on this important work towards a Living Apology to gender- and sexually-diverse communities. Living Apology coordinator Aaron Miechkota. Aaron is currently studying toward ordained ministry and brings a background in creative communications to her role. Aaron is interested in the theology of friendship with people and the Earth. *IRIDESCE: The Living Apology Project* seeks to inspire and reconcile people [...]