Living Apology outreach to diverse communities- please help!

The Iridesce: Living Apology Project needs your help!

Iridesce coordinator Aaron Miechkota at a Living Apology conversation and workshop.

During this last year, efforts of national and regional facilitators have been on reaching out and building intentional relationships with individuals, small groups, or communities of faith, who the project has not yet connected with during the previous two years.

Specifically, they are focusing on reaching people who:

— are LGBTQIA+ people who are racialized, Indigenous, Two-Spirt, and/or disabled—often marginalized within the LGBTQIA+ community in the United Church and wider society;

— and, who want to engage on the issue but have not yet done so. We are looking for people willing to share their stories about conflict, growth, learning, and transformation. We’re looking for people who may have been on ‘the other side’ of the issue, have never talked about what happened in 1988, but during the last 30+ years have shifted into a place of openness and willingness to start talking about their experience, learnings and growth, and what it means to be affirming of LGBTQIA+ and Two-Spirit people.

I am writing to ask you to share with me the names and email addresses of individuals, small groups, or communities of faith who may fit into one of the above focus groups.

You can send their names and contact information to me, and I will in turn share this information with the appropriate Iridesce facilitator – OR – You can forward this email on to individuals you think might be interested in participating so they can reach out to facilitators if interested in participating.

We recognize that the work of relationship building takes time and long-term commitment, and is something that we need to continue to address and live into, as we move into the future. We are, in many ways, just beginning.

Thank you for taking a few moments to consider who you might refer to the Iridesce project to help inform its final report and recommendations to the church. The learnings from the project will help the church to discern how it might continue to resource the LGBTQIA+ and Two-Spirit community in the church, and if, and how, the church might live into a possible apology to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and Two-Spirit people.

–Jordan Sullivan, Ministry Partnership Animator/Agent de Liaison et Animateur, Partenariats Ministériels [Includes: Outdoor Ministries (camps)-Campus Ministries-Community Ministries; LGBTQIA+ and Two Spirit Justice (Canada); Poverty in Canada; Program Assistant for Gender Justice]Church in Mission/L’Église en Mission, The United Church of Canada/L’Église Unie du Canada. Email:  jsullivan(at)united(hyphen)church(dot)ca
416-231-5931 x 4151; 1-800-268-3781 x 4151

 

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

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 because they could not stand the level of discourse from other board members and the minister at the time against the United Church decision… The tone that they heard coming from [church leadership] led them away from any sense of ‘Christian fellowship’ … the pain was real for the family and the reason for leaving was not discussed in the congregation even though the leadership was fully aware of the cause.” (Continue reading at https://www.iridesce.ca/news )

Bulletin insert for Iridesce

Bulletin insert for Iridesce

The Iridesce Questionnaire
How was it for you in the decades leading up to our 1988 decision, and through “The Issue Years” (1988-1998)? Maybe you were a member or a church or ordered ministry, and needed to remain in the closet, were outed, or were persecuted. We need to hear these stories. For more thought-provoking questions to help you participate in this Project visit www.iridesce.ca/questions

Where is Iridesce going next?
This season Iridesce plans to visit churches and communities of faith in the Maritimes (in October) and in British Columbia and the Yukon (in November). We welcome invitations to visit your community for early 2018. Please reach out to our coordinator to start a conversation about how a visit could help your community participate in this important project of our church, at livingapology(at)gmail(dot)com

Resources for your community
Download worship services, prayers and many resources for your community (bulletin insert, poster, and letter for your minister or community). Visit www.iridesce.ca/resources or email our coordinator at livingapology(at)gmail(dot)com

 

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.

Millwoods United Church, Edmonton at Edmonton Pride 2015.

Continue reading

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.

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 of diverse sexual, romantic and gender expressions and identities within the United Church of Canada. Continue reading

Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble Welcomes United Church’s Apology Process

(Version en français ici)

Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble is excited to hear the news that The United Church of Canada’s General Council has voted to begin a process of a living apology to LGBTT2Q persons. We look forward to working with the United Church to live into this promise. We congratulate the General Council on this important way forward.

Collin Smith, president of the AU/SE Council.
GC42 Continue reading