Sponsoring LGBTQIA refugees- a call from the United Church

Many Canadian Christians know that churches are a key part of support and sponsorship for people seeking refuge in Canada. Together, we see this as living out the gospel and prophetic call to seek justice and offer healing. But when we focus on LGBTQIA+ refugees, the picture changes radically. Did you know the United Church of Canada is one of the very few faith based Sponsorship Agreement Holders within Canada’s LGBTQ refugee program? And that there are more LGBTQIA people seeking refuge than there are sponsors?

Here’s where you come in. You can help change this. Please have a look at the United Church’s excellent new LGBTQIA refugee web resources, dedicated to helping increase the number of ministries who will sponsor LGBTQIA people in need of safety and security. Scroll down for their summary PDFs and download them to share. Then: Continue reading

Don’t give up pie for Lent! PIE Day 14 March 2019

Don’t give up pie for Lent! Announcing Affirming PIE Day 14 March 2019 and our new website and video!

What’s PIE? Public+Intentional+Explicit= PIE. These are the standards for a real and radical welcome for LGBTQIA2S+ people in our church. Draw the circle wide and join in! Host a story telling event complete with pie and join many others across the land and the church as we learn together how to offer this welcome. Co-hosted by Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble and Affirming Connections. All traditions and backgrounds welcome: you do not need to be a United Church ministry or member to join the fun. All PIE stories are an important source of inspiration (and possibly nutrition).

Planning resources, full info, and event sign up and calendar: www.pieday.ca

Remember: this is all about you and your ministry! If you’re planning an event, we need to hear about it.

Our video to launch PIE Day and to give some tips of what Affirming looks and feel like is coming soon! Our hosts take us through a journey of pie and what PIE (Public, Intentional, and Explicit) can mean for you! You will have free access to the video by March 1 and can plan to show it at your PIE event or for any Affirming initiative.

Why I’m an Affirm United member-Emma Pipes

Rev. Emma  Pipes is one of AUSE’s awesome Council members. She serves Knox pastoral charge in Caledon, ON. She’s kicking off our series of stories on why people choose to become members of Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble. Are you a member who’s happy to tell our wider family why you made that decision? Write to our communications coordinator and we’ll post your story! Wonder why becoming a member makes a difference? Read more here

Why am I a member of Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble?

I often find myself moving between places and people.

Sometimes people ask me to get on board with what is going on already and often I can do that.  However, there is something special about people who are working together to figure everything out as it happens around them. Sometimes this can be challenging, but I really like being in the midst of conversation about the world and its realities.  I especially find meaning in working together to reduce oppression and hatred the world through a variety of ways especially for LGBTQ2+ people.

Being part of Affirm United gives me a forum to continue asking questions, learning and engaging with real people and their stories on a very real level as well as being a part of decisions that would affect change in the world. I care that the voice of those who would identify as part of the LGBTQ2+ community would be heard and valued in the church and wider world as years go on.

Members and donors: our ministry would be impossible without you

If you are able to contribute money as well as time and talent, know that your donations and memberships make up the vast majority of AUSE’s budget. THANK YOU for your generosity and your deep commitment to safer sacred spaces. Have a look at our 2018 year in review for more details about the year behind us.

We have around 150 ministries in the (free) Affirming process, and our budget helps us accompany them. This figure has almost doubled over the past five years: thank you for helping us keep pace.

Your donations enable our volunteer Council to gather, and for our network to come together once a year. Thanks to you, we can keep that annual gathering affordable and offer full subsidies. Thanks to you, we can gather a task group on outdoor ministries (camps) in the Affirming process. We can hold meetings to explore new avenues for the Affirming process.

Gathering and communion at Dundas Square, Toronto, as part of the 2018 annual conference.

Your memberships also keep us strong. Often this work is isolating, and it’s always geographically stretched. When Affirming or ally ministries, and individuals and households, take out memberships, you help us create stronger relationships. And when we get a rare chance to meet and worship together in person, the conversation never ceases- as our 2018 conference in Toronto showed.

This Advent, AUSE thanks you for the ways you have contributed hope, joy, peace, and love to our movement. We look forward to that continued relationship in 2019. Join us or donate anytime!

Farewell and gratitude to Affirming Conferences and Presbyteries

There was a time when being an Affirming ministry meant being a congregation—and local churches are still very much our backbone. But in 2008, the Conference of Manitoba and NorthWestern Ontario took a new step: it became Affirming. It began working with the presbyteries in its borders, and as of 2017, all of these presbyteries were Affirming. Bay of Quinte Conference in Ontario set itself some similar goals, as well as setting up a team to support more Affirming congregations and presbyteries.

Together, and with many others, they helped open up space for eight Conferences and seventeen presbyteries to become Affirming, as of November 2018.

Continue reading

Affirming celebration for Riverbend UC, Edmonton, 3 March 2019

A celebration to be declared an Affirming Ministry will be held at Riverbend United Church on Sunday March 3, 2018 at 10:30 AM at:

14907 45 Avenue NW
Edmonton AB, T6H 5K8
Phone:  780-430-7275

All welcome!

Please send a note of congratulations to Riverbend United Church through this form:


Affirming celebration for St Andrew’s UC in Mission BC, 3 March 2019

A celebration to be declared an Affirming Ministry will be held on Sunday March 3, 2019 at 3:00 pm for St. Andrew’s United Church at:

33077 2nd Avenue
Mission, BC   V2V 1J7

All welcome!

Please send a note of congratulations to St Andrew’s United Church through this form:


Affirming celebration for St Paul’s United Church, Perth ON, 24 Feb 2019

A celebration to be declared an Affirming Ministry will be held for St Paul’s United Church on Sunday February 24, 2019 at 10:00AM at:

St. Paul’s United Church,
25 Gore Street West,
Perth  ON  K7H 2L9

All welcome!

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


Affirming celebration for Bridgewater UC, NS, 27 Jan 2019

Bridgewater United Church choirs, from youth to seniors.

A celebration to be declared an Affirming ministry will be held at Bridgewater United Church on Sunday January 27 at 10:30 AM at:

87 Hillcrest Street,
Bridgewater NS B4V 1T2
Phone: 902-543-4833
All welcome!

Please send a note of congratulations to Bridgewater United Church by filling out this contact form:


Affirming celebration-Burton Ave UC, Barrie ON 27 Jan 2019

A group of people of all ages gathered outside in front of a sign saying "Camp Simpresca".

Burton Avenue United Church gathering at a local United Church camp.

Burton Avenue United Church in Barrie, ON will celebrate their declaration of becoming an Affirming Ministry on Sunday January 27th at 10:00 AM at:

37 Burton Avenue,
Barrie  ON   L4N 2R3
Phone:  705-726-0401

All welcome!
Please send a note of congratulations to Burton Avenue United Church by filling out this contact form: