Celebration for Roblin-Tummel Pastoral Charge, MB

Roblin-Tummel Pastoral Charge in Manitoba will celebrate their declaration of becoming an Affirming Ministry on Sunday, August 6, 2017 at two services. Please join them at:

Roblin, MB: Sunday August 6, 2017 at 10:30 am at
Knox United Church
227 Main Street NE
Roblin  MB  R0L 1P0
Phone:  204-937-4485

Tummel: Sunday August 6, 2017 at 7:30 pm. Please call if you need directions.
All welcome! 

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SpiritPride 2017- program updates

Our big event, SpiritPride 2017 and the Affirm United Annual Conference, is just 3 weeks away, July 28 – 30, 2017! We’ll gather in Vancouver on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples including the Musqueam, the Squamish, and the Tsleil-Waututh Nations, as part of Pride Vancouver’s celebrations.

Some of you have already registered and we are looking forward to seeing you there! AUSE especially encourages Affirming ministries and those in the process to come and share your experiences, questions, and hopes.

For those still considering attending, here’s latest news about the event; we remind you that there’s a week left to register online at the early bird rate at www.spiritpride.org (last minute registrations will be accepted, as well as at the door). On the SpiritPride website there’s also a contact for billets, should accommodation be a barrier for you or your family or friends.

Read on for exciting program updates!  Note that AUSE’s annual meeting will be held Friday afternoon– a break from our usual timing.

spirit-pride-logo-2017v2

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AUSE welcomes Colombian partner to 2017 annual conference

SpiritPride and Affirm United /S’affirmer Ensemble will welcome Colombian global partner Paola Márquez to their gathering July 28-30 in Vancouver. Partnerships with global LGBTQ+ communities and allies is a crucial part of our journey towards dignity, equity, and rights. Paola

Paola is coordinator of volunteers for the Colombian Methodist Church in Medellín, Colombia. This work has given her opportunities to work with organized groups of visitors from North America who assist in projects in Colombia. She is also a law student at the Atlantic University in Barranquilla on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Her mother, who she also works alongside, is a Methodist pastor in the same city. Paola has worked since she was 14, and since the age of 17, has been her family’s main income-earner. In the local church, she has begun a small ministry for LGBTQ people.

Kamloops United: A public, intentional, explicit welcome

pride-march-at-thompson-rivers-university-kamloops-uc-3-copyKamloops United Church in BC has been an Affirming ministry for decades. Lately they’ve put energy into creatively renewing that commitment, in part by focusing on how to be out, proud, and present in the wider community. Have a look at their invitation to the congregation to be present at Kamloops Pride 2017.

As Affirming committee member Christine Dolson reminds the congregation, “Most congregations do their best to be welcoming, but being affirming goes deeper and is public, intentional, and explicit, in its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Being affirming is about radical hospitality, about making sure that everyone finds this to be a safe place to be who they are, and to be fully included in all aspects of the life of the church, and the broader society. In particular, Affirming Ministries like Kamloops United Church work for the full inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the United Church of Canada and in society.”

Celebration for Huron Shores UC, Grand Bend, ON

Huron Shores United Church in Grand Bend, ON will celebrate their declaration of becoming an Affirming Ministry at a special service on Sunday September 24 at 2:00 pm.  All welcome to the celebration! Please join them at:

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 498
20 Municipal Drive,
Grand Bend, ON  K0M 1T0
519-238-2402
www.huronshoresunitedchurch.com

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Remember Orlando: ring your church bell 49 times June 12

The AUSE Council invites all churches to ring their bells 49 times (or use another form of good noise) at noon Florida time on Monday June 12. The  Florida-based New-BellOne Orlando Alliance writes, “We are asking churches around the world to toll their bells 49 times June 12, 2017 at noon to commemorate the 49 innocent victims of the Pulse Orlando shooting. For the loved ones of those taken and as a united community at large, we ask you to join the 49 bells movement of love.

For more information and to sign up, visit https://oneorlandoalliance.org/49-bells/

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.

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Celebration for Riverside UC, London ON

Riverside United Church will celebrate their declaration of becoming an Affirming Ministry on Sunday, June 25, 2017 at their 9:30 am morning service.   Please join them at:

Riverside United Church
695 Riverside Drive
London,ON  N6H 2S3
(519) 472-6071
www.riverside.on.ca/

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Affirming words from our friend Anne Squire

Testimony for Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble, by Anne Squire

On May 27, 2017, Emmanuel United Church in Ottawa became Affirming. At that celebration, the physical presence of a congregation member central to the Affirming process was missing. Here is that story, and words from that member. Anne Squire, presente. With us in Spirit.

Anne Squire's rainbow cape draped over her wheelchair; Emmanuel United Church's Affirming celebration, 27 May 2017. Anne had died on April 24.

Anne Squire’s rainbow cape draped over her wheelchair; Emmanuel United Church’s Affirming celebration, 27 May 2017. Anne had died on April 24.

Margaret Armstrong writes, “Anne Squire was at the founding of Affirm. At the Morden, MB General Council amid the clash of argument that led to the United Church agreeing to ordain gay ministers, a group of gay people and supporters met in a little room to found a group of people to affirm the place of gays within the United Church. Anne was there.

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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