Every year, AU/SE honours individuals who strengthen and bless our movement in especially significant ways. In 2017, we honour two Albertans: Gary Simpson and Bryon Delarue. Council member Jen Carter-Morgan writes, “It is a great delight to be able to introduce a wonderful man who is one of the faces of the Edmonton Pride Community – Gary Simpson. Gary Simpson decked out in his usual Affirming splendour at the Edmonton Pride parade, 2017. Gary and I first crossed paths at the start up gatherings of a group called Soul Outing, which is a queer worship community in Edmonton [...]
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 [...]
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. […]
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.) […]
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!
Central United Church will celebrate their declaration of becoming an Affirming Ministry on Thursday April 28, 2016 at 7:00 pm. This will be followed by a reception Please join them at: Central United Church 150 Queen Street Moncton, NB E1C 1K8 (506) 857-3186 centralunitedmoncton.com Please send a note of congratulations to Central United Church by […]
Don't be shy-- these resources are designed to help your work, whether you're considering beginning the Affirming process or have been an Affirming ministry for decades. Becoming Affirming flyer One of the most common questions asked of Affirm is: Our congregation is already inclusive. Why should we become Affirming? Have a look at our latest handout (PDF), which is designed to address this and other common questions. Photocopy it freely; use it at events or as a bulletin insert, or wherever people need help addressing this crucial question. Limited colour copies are available, and budget permitting, we may print more. If your [...]
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 [...]