In-Person Affirm United Summer Conference 2020 cancelled | Stay tuned for alternate plans.

Dear friends of Affirm United/s’affirmer Ensemble,

The council of Affirm United in agreement with First St. Andrews United, London Ontario, have decided to cancel this year’s summer conference scheduled for July 23rd to July 26 because of the uncertainty being experienced with Covid 19 Virus. We will keep you updated about the work of Affirm United, and what decision will be made in regards to our annual AGM that normally takes place at our Summer Conference.
We pray for you and all your loved ones and hope you are keeping healthy and safe during this time of disruption. Please follow the guidelines that our health experts recommend so we can meet again and share our gift of God’s love.

Blessings to all,
AU/SE council

Annual conference 2019: free speaker videos and photos

We had a great time at Hillhurst United Church in Calgary July 26-28! 75 adults and about ten kids registered, and we had more people join us for Harlan Pruden’s intro to Two Spirit identities, worship, and the Caretakers theatrical reading. Deep thanks to the beautiful hospitality of the Hillhurst community. You made the gathering gracious, very open, very worshipful, very insightful and thought provoking, and very creative. Thank you.

And, we have the whole thing on video! Thanks to the amazing tech team at Hillhurst, the whole conference was livestreamed and archived. All of the generous presenters and leaders agreed that the videos can be shared free of charge. Please take the time over the fall to review some of the videos that you think would speak to you or your community, and set up a video night. From GSAs to social media pro tips; Two Spirit identities to LGBTQIA refugees; from worship to biblical engagement and self-care, it’s all here. Please enjoy. Check out:

Photos: Many thanks to John Loney for sharing his photos of the weekend with us! You can find them on Google Drive.

Annual conference 2019- theme, promo, registration and other details!

Annual conference 2019, Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble:
DISRUPTIVE FAITH: Forging Brave & Inclusive Communities in Divided Times
July 26 at 4:00PM, all day and evening Saturday July 27, to Sunday 28 after lunch, at Hillhurst United Church, Calgary

Online registration is now closed, but you can register in person at any time at Hillhurst United Church.

Here’s the draft schedule (PDF) and bios for some of our awesome resource people!
Read on for registration, theme, costs, accommodation info, children’s programming, and more. Look for updates right here May through July, and see our Facebook event here.Can you help us promote this gathering? All images, posters, text and PowerPoint slides are available right here– share away!Together we will engage in conversation, workshops, worship, enriching dialogues, theatrical performances, food, and more! Children’s programming is available!If you are looking for new ways to engage and expand your faith and social justice work, this conference is for you! All faiths and identities, backgrounds and abilities are welcome! Share with your friends and colleagues! Continue reading “Annual conference 2019- theme, promo, registration and other details!”

New details: 2019 annual conference at Hillhurst United Church, Calgary

Our 2019 annual conference will be hosted by Hillhurst United Church in Calgary, July 26-28. AUSE Council expresses gratitude and excitement at this chance to work alongside Hillhurst and other Affirming ministries in the Calgary area, who work together through Affirming Connections. We look forward to a rich time of learning, visioning, and being together.

The conference will likely begin with registration late Friday afternoon, a BBQ dinner on Friday July 26, followed by evening programming; we’ll continue all day Saturday and through the evening, with conversation, workshops, and exciting theme speakers and exploration. The theme will likely focus on bringing together trans and queer justice with commitments to decolonization. Sunday we’ll join the congregation of Hillhurst United for worship and lunch, and then wrap up with a brief annual general meeting. There may be after-conference opportunities to explore Calgary and area- stay tuned!

We’re very grateful to the Hillhurst for its commitment to making this time fully inclusive of youth and children; programming will be offered for a range of ages.

Accommodation will include hotel and university residence options that will be listed on the website, as well as billeting with Calgary-area Affirming supporters. We thank all hosts in advance for helping to make this conference more accessible for everyone!

The registration fee will be kept as reasonable as possible. AUSE welcomes designated tax-receiptable donations that will support those for who the registration is a barrier. Donations can be offered here: We are a member-funded movement and are grateful for all the work that your donations of time, money, and talent make possible.

Please watch our annual conference page for further details and registration, and start planning your visit!


July 26-28 2019: our annual conference dates in Calgary!

Our 2019 annual conference will be hosted by Hillhurst United Church in Calgary, July 26-28. AUSE Council expresses gratitude and excitement at this chance to work alongside Hillhurst and other Affirming ministries in the Calgary area, who work together through Affirming Connections. We look forward to a time of learning, visioning, and being together. Please watch this event page for details and registration.

Calgary is on the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprising the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations), the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (including the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations). The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.


AUSE annual conference 2018 reflections

By Julie McGonegal. Check our Facebook album for some photos!

A big maple tree hung with rainbow ribbons and a quilt, with people sitting under it talking.
The Rainbow Tree: a lovely old maple, made into a rainbow space by Susie Henderson as the heat inside the church grew more intense.

Many Voices–One Song. That was the theme of Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble’s Annual Meeting and National Conference. It encapsulated the vibrant diversity of the

over 85 participants who gathered together from July 13–15, united by a Spirit-led call to end discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in the church and wider society.

We may be in different places on the Affirming journey and we each arrived at the meeting, held at Royal York Road United Church in Toronto, from different locations; participants hailed from all corners of the country and represented a colourful rainbow of experiences and identities. Yet we came together to sing a heart song that heals, uplifts, and supports all gender and sexual identities in our church.  As always, people of all identities were welcome to join our weekend-long community.

The diversity of our perspectives, and the common cause that unites our vision for the future, was evident during the business portion of the meeting. Often the mandated annual general meeting is a minor part of the weekend. However, this year our usual sharing of Affirming stories from across the church was preceded by intense discussion about the changes currently facing the United Church, and how these changes affect the Affirming movement. Continue reading “AUSE annual conference 2018 reflections”

Deep gratitude for annual conference 2018 hosts and planners

The planning team and hosts!

Enormous gratitude to the beautiful planning team and hosts of our just-finished annual conference at Royal York Road United Church in Toronto. Your welcome was warm, your creativity so cool, and your commitment to loving and Spirt-ed community so clear.

May the Spirit bless you as you’ve blessed our gathered Affirming community this past weekend, friends.

And may you have a long nap in a cool space very soon.

Look for a report some time in August. Have a look at our photo album in progress for photos and a taste of what 100 of us shared in: worship, workshops, speakers, and public pop up event at Dundas Square in downtown Toronto.


2018 conference registration deadline June 30

Friends, we close registration for our 2018 annual conference on June 30!

Join us July 13-15 at our lovely host, Royal York Road United Church in Toronto, on Dish with One Spoon Treaty territory. Register here.

The planning committee has been labouring over a hot workshop list, confirming amazing speakers, and planning a public worship at Dundas Square in the heart of downtown Toronto. From stained glass creations to allyship with LGBTQIA youth, from supporting LGBTQIA asylum seekers to becoming Affirming in your context, we’ll have it all.

Subsidies and billets available. Allies and all identities welcome and needed. Bring your good energy, ideas, and spirit to our growing nationwide movement. Be inspired, and help Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble continue to grow and transform.

Annual Conference and AGM 2018 Online Registration Form


We have closed registration for Affirm United / S’affirmer Ensemble’s 2018 AGM and conference, Many Voices- One Song. Thank you to our 80 plus registrants.

We emphasize that all people of all identities are welcome at this gathering; we ask that you bring a respectful spirit and open mind, and that all participants come with the belief that sexual and gender diversity is part of God’s beloved creation. Our movement believes that being gender and/ or sexually diverse is a gift, not a sin. We look forward to seeing you July 13-15 at Royal York Road United in Toronto!

All of the information you include in this form will be treated as confidential, and shared only as needed with the planning committee and AUSE’s communications coordinator.

Please click here for full workshop information, as you are invited to give your workshop preferences in this registration form. Click here for a draft conference agenda Continue reading “Annual Conference and AGM 2018 Online Registration Form”

AUSE Conference 2018 July 13-15, Toronto

We’re delighted to announce that Royal York Road United Church will host the 2018 Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble annual conference July 13-15 in Toronto.  We’ll gather on Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, and Anishinabek Territories; we look forward to creating a safer space and a deeply inclusive welcome for all.

AUSE also thanks Toronto Conference of the United Church for its generous contribution to staff support for this gathering. We’re deeply grateful to Affirming ministries like Royal York Road and Toronto Conference, and we hope our time together will be a chance for all to experience and learn from Affirming ministries across the land. As always, people of all identities are welcome, and we’re in an accessible space with public transit at the door.

Please watch this site, for registration and details. Our annual conference: includes community, worship, learning, discussing, eating, and probably films and dancing too! All identities welcome. We’ll post registration and agenda links here when they’re ready. For now, please hold the date! And please share the invitation widely, as a PDF for printing, or as a JPG for social media and your newsletters (right click on the image above).

This weekend falls before the United Church’s national triennial meeting, General Council, and its public Festival of Faith in Oshawa, about an hour east.  If you’re travelling to General Council, come early and join us. Or, stay on after for the Skylight Festival July 27-29 at Five Oaks near Paris ON.