News & Events

Why would a small rural congregation bother with becoming Affirming?

Many people assume urban churches are more likely to become Affirming. But in recent years, at least half of the ministries joining the Affirming process are in small towns. And their presence in both their communities and the Affirming process has a strong impact; they’re breaking stereotypes, and changing our Affirming process for the better. Here Rev. David Lander describes Castleton-Grafton pastoral charge’s journey, outlining motivation, process, congregational culture, theology, and overcoming fears. Read on to be inspired. Motivation Over the last number of years, many United Church congregations have toyed with the idea of becoming Affirming. Most congregations want [...]

By | 2018-01-08T23:40:00+00:00 December 15th, 2016|Affirming Ministries in Action, News & Events|0 Comments

United Church Moderator visit with Asian LGBTQI partners, Indonesia

In November, Moderator Rt. Rev. Jordan Cantwell and Rev. Michael Blair, Executive Minister for the Church in Mission unit, visited Jakarta, Indonesia at the invitation of its theological seminary. Jakarta Theological Seminary has committed itself to a yearly focus on LGBTQI inclusion, despite the challenge this creates in their context. This year’s conference also included the annual gathering of Asian Affirming and open churches. In this spirit, we include this post as part of our Affirming Ministries in Action series. (And draw attention to the t-shirt she’s wearing.) […]

By | 2018-01-09T00:00:14+00:00 November 23rd, 2016|Affirming Ministries in Action, News & Events, Uncategorized|0 Comments

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

Announcing dates and location for the 2017 annual conference

Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble is delighted to announce that our 2017 annual conference will be shared in partnership with St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church and its wonderful Spirit Pride conference. The conference will be held July 28-30 in Vancouver, on Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh unceded traditional territories. Spirit Pride precedes Vancouver Pride, which takes place over the August long weekend. More information will follow as planning gets underway. For now: save the date!

By | 2016-10-25T18:53:34+00:00 October 25th, 2016|Annual Conference & AGM, News & Events, Uncategorized|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: https://vimeo.com/185158953 […]

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

Moderator’s sermon: annual conference 2016

This sermon was offered by United Church of Canada Moderator Rt. Rev. Jordan Cantwell at the Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble annual conference closing worship, 24 July 2016, Glebe-St James United Church, Ottawa/ unceded Algonquin territory. The Moderator does not work from a printed text when she speaks. These are her expanded notes, and we thank her for sharing these with us at AU/SE’s request. (Photo: Ella listening, or not, to the sermon.)   Text: 2 Corinthians 5:16-20 In Christ, God has reconciled humanity to God. This suggests that our relationship with God must have been broken. How? […]

By | 2018-01-09T03:00:13+00:00 October 11th, 2016|Annual Conference & AGM, News & Events|1 Comment

Quotes and food for thought: 2016 AU/SE annual conference

Food for thought: quotes from the annual conference Many words of challenge, wisdom, and Good News were shared at the Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble 2016 annual conference. Many more could be added. If you encountered some thoughts, prayers, or words that moved you, send them to communications(at)ause(dot)ca and we’ll include them in a future newsletter. “You need to know that your work saves lives. Faith and the LGBT communities have been divorced for far too long. It’s time to end this separation.” — Jeremy Dias, Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity […]

By | 2018-01-09T03:07:45+00:00 October 11th, 2016|Annual Conference & AGM, News & Events|0 Comments