Hiring Announcement

We are very excited to announce the hiring of our new Communications Coordinator! As you may recall, our previous Communications Coordinator Julie Graham moved on to her new work in Regional Ministry this winter serving Northern Spirit, Living Skies and Prairie to Pine Regional Councils. 

Affirm United/s’affirmer Ensemble is pleased to welcome Michele Petick (she/her) to the team. Michele has been hired to work with Affirm United/s’affirmer Ensemble for 20 hours/week to support various aspects of communications such as social media, website management, newsletter writing and distribution, and working with the Affirming Ministry Program Coordination team. We are excited to see how Michele’s background in website development and design will help us better connect and engage with our many members and ministries across the country! 

Michele K. Petick, Communications & Marketing Coordinator Affirm United / S’affirmer Ensemble

I am so pleased to join the Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble team! I look forward to listening and working with existing and exploring communities involved with the important mission of Affirming across Canada.

A very short bit about me, I have been in digital tech for over 30 years and involved in some form of employment or volunteer position with the United Church of Canada for over 20 years. My home base is Toronto. As trends and technology constantly evolve as do I, and am committed to learning new and old ideas each and every day I breathe. “Online” is my office, so please reach out anytime!

I can be contacted at:

communications@ause.ca

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

Affirming celebration, Cadboro Bay United Church, Victoria BC Sunday May 3, 2020

All are welcome to an online celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Cadboro Bay United Church on Sunday May 3, 2020  at 10:00AM at:

Cadboro Bay United Church,  pre-recorded and streamed at http://www.cadbayuc.org/
Church address (building is closed because of COVID-19):
2625 Arbutus Rd
Victoria, BC  V8N 1W4
http://www.cadbayuc.org/
 Phone  250-477-2715

Please send a note of congratulations to the faith entire community of Cadboro Bay United Church through this private form:


POSTPONED Affirming celebration for Trinity Memorial United Church, Abbotsford BC, 29 March 2020

NOTE: this celebration has been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check back for an updated celebration date.
All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Trinity Memorial United Church on Sunday March 29, 2020 at 4:30PM to 5:30PM, dinner to follow.

Location:
Trinity Memorial United Church,
33737 George Ferguson Way,
Abbotsford  BC  V2S 2M4
www.trinitymemorialuc.com 
604-853-2591

Please send a note of congratulations to people of Trinity Memorial United Church through this private form:

Opportunities: AUSE staff position, co-chairs, members at large

Are you feeling called to be a part of the work of Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble? We are currently seeking passionate and dedicated people for volunteer and staff positions. The positions are: 

Communications and Marketing Coordinator (CMC)- Deadline March 2, 2020. This is a paid position, focused on communicating with members and the public. The CMC develops strategies/goals and manages all communication tools (social media, print, website, etc.). 

Co-Chair (2 positions available)– Deadline June 1,  2020. This a three-year term. The co-chair(s) are responsible for the success of AUSE and the effective operation and leadership of the council/organization. 

Member at Large (2 positions available)– Deadline July 13, 2020. Serves as a liaison to the general membership. Duties may change as needed to fulfill the needs of the organization/council. 

For all expressions of interest, please fill out this form.

Full position descriptions can be found here: 
Communications and Marketing
Co-Chair
Member at Large

Action invitation: support bans on conversion therapy

Protest against “conversion” “therapy” in Edmonton, Alberta, by local citizens, including church members.

Federal government to work on criminalizing “conversion therapy”: our support for this and other initiatives needed

In the spring of 2019 many in our movement were disappointed when the federal government (a Liberal majority) said that it could not ban conversion therapy through Health Canada. It cited health as a provincial jurisdiction. (What is “conversion” “therapy”? See this overview from CBC.)

Many turned to, or continued, working with their municipalities, provinces, and territories, asking them to follow MB and ON’s lead and outright ban this deeply harmful practice. As one example, in December Edmonton city council prepared to debate a ban within the city, as Alberta has not banned such “therapy” and indeed, more than a few in the province and its government support it.

Thank you to all, including many AUSE members, who are carrying this struggle forward. Special thanks to Gary Simpson in Edmonton for his research, advocacy, and advice.

In December 2019, the now-Liberal minority government said it would move to place conversion or reparative therapy in the Criminal Code, making the practice illegal and punishable.

As some in our Affirming movement reminded us, we need to speak out in support of this, although we also need to be aware that the proposal has some problems and limits. For example, the proposed Criminal Code amendment would only apply to minors, and this may be the only way such an amendment would be permitted under the Charter.

Whatever the advocacy options, whether national or local, we know that our advocacy and education efforts are important and much-needed.  We must continue to advocate for regional and local responses, like the one currently before Calgary’s council. And we need to make it clear to our faith communities that conversion therapy is alive and in practice across Canada to this day.

Yet the federal government’s proposal is one promising step forward. And the mostly Christian groups who support this abusive practice will be sure to be in loud opposition. Please read up on the government’s plans, and then if you are so moved, contact your Member of Parliament, no matter their party, and briefly express your support for this measure and your opposition to so-called conversion therapy. If you identify as a church member or Christian, also make that clear to your MP. Consider asking your community of faith, congregation, or parish to write such a letter.

If you’re a United Church member, remember that your Regional Council is one place to advocate, and that proposals for advocacy initiatives is an important way to move church policy or motivate action. Such proposals should be consider now for regional gatherings in May and June.

We need an end to this Christian-justified, cissexist, heterosexist abuse. Please add your voice where you can.

POSSIBLE POSTPONEMENT Affirming celebration for St. Paul’s United Church, Riverview NB, April 19 2020

NOTE: this celebration will likely by postponed because if the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check back for updates.

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for St. Paul’s United Church on Sunday April, 2020 at 10:00 AM!
Location:

St. Paul’s United Church,
404 Cleveland Avenue,
Riverview, NB
E1B 1Y2
www.stpaulsriverview.org
Phone:  506 386-3335

Please send a note of congratulations to people of St. Paul’s United Church through this private form:

Affirming celebration for Knox United Church, Lower Sackville NS, 15 March 2020

An Affirming Ministry celebration will be held for Knox United Church on Sunday March 15, 2020 at 10:30AM at: Knox United Church
567 Sackville Drive 
Lower Sackville  NS 
B4C 2S9
Phone:   920-865-9216
www.knoxsackville.ca

The amazing people of Knox United Church hosting the national GO Project for youth leadership.

All welcome!
Please send a note of congratulations to the whole community of Knox United Church through this private form:

______

Important news: 2020 increase in membership fees

(Article également disponsible en français) 
Dear friends and members in the Affirming movement: We have important news related to membership fees.
At the 2019 AGM in Calgary, members present voted to make changes to the institutional and individual membership fees for the first time in over 20 years. A print mailing is going out to all current members, and to the entire national list via our e-newsletter. In the attachments below you will find:

  • Current context: a brief overview
  • How the membership fee increase works: an explanation of the new institutional/group/individual/household membership fees
  • What your membership fees have been supporting, 2015-2019
  • What your increased membership fees will allow us to do over time:  the beginnings of a vision of what extra funding could accomplish
  • Contact information

Please share this letter and the accompanying background information widely in your ministry, especially with governing, finance, Affirming, and program or justice-related bodies. Please take time to read the entire letter, not only the summary. This is an important change for AUSE and our members, and we have tried to explain both the reasons and the process as fully as we can.

Documents:
Cover letter: membership increase for 2020 (December 2019, PDF)

Background to the AUSE membership increase, 2020 (December 2019, PDF)

A huge rainbow banner stretches along the front of a white clapboard church, held up by dozens of people.
The people of Ralph Connor Memorial United Church in Canmore, AB, at their Affirming celebration in November 2019.

The AUSE Council thanks you for the safer sacred space you and your ministry continue to create. Thank you for all you as supporters and members have offered this growing movement of trans, non-binary, Two Spirit, intersex, asexual, pansexual, bi, lesbian, gay people and communities—and our cisgender and heterosexual allies. You are the reason for our name: ensemble (together) and united.