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!


Six Affirming celebrations on April 28, 2019!

When you have a good problem: so many Affirming celebrations on one day that posting them all under “News” will fill up most of your news feed.

Please have a look at our upcoming celebrations page, and take a minute there to send a short note of thanks and congratulations to the six ministries officially joining the family on April 28 2019:

St Andrew’s United Church, Spruce Grove, AB

Knox United Church, Russell MB

Silverton United Church,  Silverton MB (This is Russell-Silverton pastoral charge- both points are becoming Affirming and they’re having a celebratory turkey supper April 28 that you know is worth driving across the West for.)

Queen St United Church, Lindsay ON

Riverside United Church, Ottawa

Trinity United Church, Smiths Falls

THANK YOU to all of these ministries for their commitment to safer sacred spaces that celebrate gender and sexual diversity!


PIE video- more about the hosts and ministries!

People have been asking about the hosts of our new video, who take us through what PIE means, and spend a lot of time eating pie. And our new 15 minute free video on a Public, Intentional, and Explicit welcome for LGBTQIA+ and Two Spirit people also features five Affirming ministries from BC, Alberta, Ontario, and PEI. Learn more about them all here! (What’s “Affirming”? Learn more here.)

Running time: 15 minutes. Download or stream and enjoy:

Thank you to Gifts with Vision and all who support Affirming Connections and Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble with your time, love, and resources. Read on to get to know our storytellers, and please share the video widely.

Continue reading

Affirming celebration for Cole Harbour-Woodside United Church NS, 7 April 2019

A celebration to be declared an Affirming Ministry will be held for Cole Harbour Woodside United Church on Sunday April 7, 2019 at 7:00PM (note the evening time!) at:

Cole Harbour United Church,
15 Bissett Road
Dartmouth, NS  B2V 2T1
Phone: 902-434-7714

Please send a note of congratulations to Cole Harbour Woodside United Church through our secure form:


Why P.I.E? at Kamloops United Church

A talk offered by Christine Dolson March 17 for Affirming PIE Day 2019 (drawing the circle wide on or after Pi Day and exploring Public, Intentional, and Explicit celebration/ welcome of LGBTQIA+ and Two Spirit people.)

Good morning!

As you can see we have a bit of a pastry situation going on.

I want to talk to you about pie, all kinds of pie and about some of our pie practices around here.

Affirm United is the national organization that works for the full inclusion of people of all gender identities and sexual orientations in the United Church, and in wider society. They help ministries to become truly welcoming safer sacred spaces. In 2019, to have a little fun and build awareness, they declared that March 14 would be National Affirming Pie Day. Today, belatedly, KUC is celebrating PIE day.

Why PIE ? Well… Public; Intentional; Explicit is the standard for an affirming welcome of LGBTQIA+ and Two-Spirit people. Two-spirit is a uniquely Indigenous identity.

Why Pi?    Love is a circle. It’s irrational, inclusive and infinite. So why not add that affirming twist to International Pi Day celebrations on March 14?

Why pie? …Why not?  Pie makes everything better!

So let’s slice up some PIE. Continue reading

Affirming PIE video ready for free download!

The Affirming PIE video is now ready for free download! Join our pie-loving hosts Stéphane and Pam as they introduce us to PIE, and five Affirming ministries tell their stories about their Public, Intentional, and Explicit work and welcome for the LGBTQ2SIA+ community.

Running time: 15 minutes. Download or stream and enjoy:

Thank you to Gifts with Vision and all who support Affirming Connections and Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble with your time, love, and resources.

Remember: Affirming PIE Day is 14 March 2019! Sign up or learn more at!

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.


A great example of an inclusive marriage policy

Trinity United Church in Cannington, ON will become an Affirming ministry in the spring of 2019. As part of this journey, they’ve met the requirement of having an inclusive marriage policy- and they’ve met it with some inclusive and very clear wording. Affirm United/  S’affirmer Ensemble is often asked for examples of the kind of policies created by Affirming ministries or ministries in the process. Here you go! Trinity United Church-Cannington Inclusive Marriage Policy (PDF).

Uplifted as equal- becoming Affirming at Gower St United Church, NL

Note from Affirm United: On January 27 2019, Gower Street United Church in St. John’s NL voted to become Affirming. They will become the first Affirming ministry on the island, joining Labrador City on the mainland in Labrador. And great will be the rejoicing! Many thanks to Larry Kelly for his permission to share his words. 

Reflection by Larry Kelly – January 13, 2019, Gower St United Church in St. John’s NL

Good Morning! Last Sunday Lorne spoke about the differences between welcoming and affirming congregations. This morning’s affirm message speaks to why affirming congregations may be more important now than ever. Continue reading