News Bulletins

Spring greetings from your co-chairs

Our February 2016 Council meeting in Toronto covered a lot of ground. We welcomed new members Chris Mann (BC), David Cathcart (BC), and Cindy Bourgeois (SK) to their first in-person Council meeting.  We missed the presence of new Council member Serena Patterson (BC). We were especially pleased to welcome Cindy Bourgeois as secretary and member of the Executive. Your 2016 Council: Front, left-right: Michiko Bown-Kai (co-chair) and David Cathcart. Second row: Jen Carter-Morgan, Judy Amsbury, Chris Mann, Jordan Sullivan (General Council staff). Back: Julie Graham (AUSE staff), Collin Smith (co-chair), Warren MacDougall, Jenni Leslie, John Calhoun, Cindy Bourgeois, Marco Ste-Marie. [...]

By | 2018-01-13T23:56:59+00:00 March 16th, 2016|News & Events, News Bulletins|Comments Off on Spring greetings from your co-chairs

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

LGBTI Human Rights Defenders at risk in South Korea

5th November 2015 by Suh Yeon Chang Hello, My name is Suh Yeon Chang. I’m a human rights lawyer and LGBTI activist from South Korea. I want to thank you to have this opportunity to talk about the LGBTI human rights defenders’ situation in South Korea. First of all, I’d like to tell you about LGBTI rights situation. This activism started over 20 years ago, and we have seen many institutional changes, incidents, and movements including the National Human Rights Commission Act in 2001, and the legal gender recognition of transgender people in the Supreme Court in 2006. But backlash [...]

By | 2016-03-16T17:11:05+00:00 March 16th, 2016|News & Events, News Bulletins|3 Comments

New support for transgender members of the UC’s Benefits Plan

Good news! Trans* members of the United Church’s benefits plan have new benefits and rights. In 2009, the United Church created a Trans and Gender Diversity Task Group (2009-2011). Their final report  in early 2012 asked the church to “research the cost of providing extended physical and mental health coverage for persons in gender transition who are employed by the United Church of Canada, and to make the coverage available.” After a lot of work by many current and former staff, the Executive of the General Council approved the recommendation from the Permanent Committee on Ministry and Employment Policies and [...]

By | 2015-11-17T22:01:15+00:00 November 17th, 2015|News & Events, News Bulletins|0 Comments

WELCOME to new Affirming ministries

It’s always a great pleasure to include the official birth notice of new Affirming ministries! This time, three of the four “courts”, or official structures, of the United Church are represented: Brechin United Church, BC (at left-- photo by Martha Hardy.) Four Rivers Presbytery, in Bay of Quinte Conference, Ontario. Maritime Conference (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Bermuda). Please check our Facebook page for more photos, and our website to send messages of congratulations.

By | 2018-01-14T00:06:18+00:00 November 17th, 2015|News & Events, News Bulletins|0 Comments

New resource: Celebrating Gender Diversity kit

Congratulations to the United Church on its new resource, Celebrating Gender Diversity. This free kit is available for download here. As the kit’s introduction reminds us, “Our ideas of what “normal” is, when it comes to gender, can limit our ability to celebrate the fullness of God’s diversity. So this kit supports the church’s intercultural vision of honouring differences. Learning new ways of language and of building community can have an incredible impact on the safety and spiritual well-being of trans people within communities of faith. We hope that this resource will speak to people in all ministries of the church—whether [...]

By | 2018-01-14T00:17:31+00:00 November 17th, 2015|News & Events, News Bulletins, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Upcoming events, November and December 2015

November 20: Trans* Day of Remembrance. Have a look at the United Church of Canada’s website for ideas related to this important day of honouring struggle and hope. http://www.united-church.ca/planning/seasons/transgender December 1: World AIDS Day. This global pandemic is very far from over, and has already killed over 38 million people, according to the World Health Organization. Another 35 million people live with the disease. Look for vigils and events in your community; raise both awareness and prayers at worship on November 29; consider a donation to groups that support and advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS here in Canada or around the world. December [...]

By | 2015-11-17T21:35:54+00:00 November 17th, 2015|News & Events, News Bulletins|0 Comments

Seeking new Affirming Ministry Coordinators

If God’s love for all is the soul of all we do, then Affirming ministries are the heart. Over one hundred and thirty United Church of Canada ministries of all kinds make up the Affirming movement; these ministries have made a public declaration of support and inclusion  for and with sexual and gender minorities in the church, in their communities, and around the world.  (If you want to know more about being Affirming, see this excellent short video  from Hillhurst United Church, and our website's Affirming Ministries section.) In addition, ninety or so ministries  are in the process of becoming Affirming, a journey of [...]

By | 2018-01-14T00:22:02+00:00 November 17th, 2015|News & Events, News Bulletins|0 Comments

Reflection: More than anything, the church needs to listen

Michiko Bown-Kai is a queer person of colour who currently lives in Toronto, Ontario (Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, and Anishinabek Territories).  They are a candidate for ministry within the United Church of Canada and are currently studying at Emmanuel College in the Masters of Divinity program.  They find joy in dancing, crafting, and blogging.  In August 2015, Michiko became Affirm United/ S’affirmer ensemble’s new co-chair. In Spring 2015 they were asked to contribute a story for the final print edition of Xtra! Toronto. The accompanying photo ran, but the story did not. Here is what Michiko wanted to say. A while ago, I was asked to [...]

By | 2018-01-14T00:25:38+00:00 September 23rd, 2015|News & Events, News Bulletins|0 Comments

Knox UC, Fort Frances, ON

Knox United Church will celebrate their declaration of becoming an Affirming ministry on Sunday, September 20, 2015 at their regular service at 10 am.   Please join them at: Knox United Church 340 Church Street Fort Frances, ON  P9A 1E1 (250) 754-9212 knoxfortfrances.ca Please send a note of congratulations to Knox United Church by […]

By | 2015-09-14T19:35:48+00:00 September 14th, 2015|Affirming Ministry Celebrations, News & Events, News Bulletins|Comments Off on Knox UC, Fort Frances, ON