Over the summer, the White supremacist march and violence in Charlottesville, VA reminded us that our struggles against violent discrimination are inseparable. When people of colour and Indigenous people, of all genders and sexualities, are targeted for who they are, what should the response of an LGBTQQIA+ and Two Spirit movement like ours be? How do we name and face White privilege and racism within our own movement and communities?
A number of communities held anti-racism rallies, and in Edmonton the Hate 2 Hope rally asked AUSE member Gary Simpson to offer a prayer. He has generously shared the prayer with us; download it here and check out our worship section under Resources on our website.
AUSE is a movement that strives to recognize the reality and impact of intersecting identities, and thus works from the belief that the recent gains in LGBTQ+ civil, political, and human rights are not equally true for all sexual and gender-diverse communities. This is why the ongoing and intense debates about the official, uniformed police presence in Pride parades are so important.
(Photo: Rally against white supremacy in Washington DC. By Ted Eytan, licensed under Creative Commons.)
In past newsletters we’ve written about the Sumdol Hyanglin, the only “out” LGBTQIA+ affirming congregation in the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, one of the United Church of Canada’s oldest and closest partner churches. AUSE is fortunate to have a number of members who connect regularly with this courageous congregation. This summer Toronto Conference, which is newly Affirming, hosted a public event with Sumdol Hyanglin members and their pastor, Rev. LIM Borah.
Now Rev. Borah and the congregation face a new struggle, as attempts are being made to declare her ministry heretical. An action addressed to the World Communion of Reformed Churches has been launched, and your signature is needed. Please share the link widely, along with the links above, and this English background piece (below) from Pastor Craig Barlet, who ministers at the Open Doors Metropolitan Community Church in Seoul. Continue reading
In late August, a broad group of pastors in the US issued a transphobic and homophobic “Nashville Statement” condemning gender and sexual diversity in God’s name. No one knows what the special occasion was, and the statement was nothing new, though none the less hateful and damaging.
Immediate opposition was sparked; this article names but a few examples and adds AUSE’s own comments.
Four Rivers Presbyterial of the United Church Women (Bay of Quinte Conference) will celebrate their declaration of becoming an Affirming Ministry on Wednesday September 20, 2017 at 1:00 PM at:
St. Paul’s United Church,
25 Gore Street West
Perth, ON K7H 2L9
Four Rivers becomes the first-ever Affirming Presbyterial! Please send a note of congratulations to Four Rivers Presbyterial by filling out this contact form:
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
Please send a note of congratulations to Huron Shores United Church by Continue reading
Robert McClure United Church in Calgary, AB will celebrate their declaration of becoming an Affirming Ministry on Sunday October 1, 2017 at 10:30 AM at:
Robert McClure United Church
5510 26 Avenue NE
Calgary AB T1Y 6S1
Please send a note of congratulations to Robert McClure United Church by filling out this contact form:
Trinity United Church in Portage la Prairie in Manitoba will celebrate their declaration of becoming an Affirming Ministry on Sunday, September 10, 2017 at their regular 10:30 am service. Please join them at:
Trinity United Church
15 Tupper Street South
Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 1W7
Please send a note of congratulations to Trinity United Cchurch by Continue reading
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
Tummel: Sunday August 6, 2017 at 7:30 pm. Please call if you need directions.
Please send a note of congratulations to Roblin- Tummel Pastoral Charge by Continue reading
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.
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 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.