Affirming PIE Day- hold March 14, 2019!

Do you like PIE? Hold the date: March 14, 2019

Public. Intentional. Explicit. Those are the standards we hold ourselves and our welcome to when we become Affirming or affirming.

On International Pi Day 2019 (3.14- get it?)  we invite you to serve up some pie and PIE in your ministry and community.

Get together and:

Show AUSE’s new video-to-be featuring your stories about being PIE. 

Tell your own PIE stories: examples of your LGBTQ+ welcome that are and have been public, intentional, and explicit. Host a community open mic/ coffeehouse for all stories. Eat lots of delish church pie (and everything else you consider delicious). Together, spend, say, a half hour talking about how LGBTQIA+ and Two Spirit rights and dignity could be advanced in your context and community.

Come up with some bite sized ideas and note them down for ongoing action.  Fundraise/ awareness raise for your local Pride and LGBTQ groups. Put the proceeds wherever you want. Put in a good word for Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble and Calgary’s awesome Affirming Connections, our partner.

Whatever you do: don’t give up PIE for Lent, hold the date, and watch www.ause.ca for more information and materials.  Contact the communications coordinator at communications@ause.ca with your ideas, questions, and recipes.

AUSE Conference 2018 July 13-15, Toronto

We’re delighted to announce that Royal York Road United Church will host the 2018 Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble annual conference July 13-15 in Toronto.  We’ll gather on Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, and Anishinabek Territories; we look forward to creating a safer space and a deeply inclusive welcome for all.

AUSE also thanks Toronto Conference of the United Church for its generous contribution to staff support for this gathering. We’re deeply grateful to Affirming ministries like Royal York Road and Toronto Conference, and we hope our time together will be a chance for all to experience and learn from Affirming ministries across the land. As always, people of all identities are welcome, and we’re in an accessible space with public transit at the door.

Please watch this site, www.ause.ca for registration and details. Our annual conference: includes community, worship, learning, discussing, eating, and probably films and dancing too! All identities welcome. We’ll post registration and agenda links here when they’re ready. For now, please hold the date! And please share the invitation widely, as a PDF for printing, or as a JPG for social media and your newsletters (right click on the image above).

This weekend falls before the United Church’s national triennial meeting, General Council, and its public Festival of Faith in Oshawa, about an hour east.  If you’re travelling to General Council, come early and join us. Or, stay on after for the Skylight Festival July 27-29 at Five Oaks near Paris ON.

Iridesce: stories, questionnaire, resources, visits

Greetings from Aaron Miechkota, Coordinator of Iridesce: The Living Apology Project!

Here’s the latest news; for all of these updates, read more www.iridesce.ca

Downloadable Iridesce poster; see Resources at www.iridesce.ca

Downloadable Iridesce poster; see Resources at www.iridesce.ca

Stories of 1988. For some in the United Church the mention of this date is enough to silence a room, but for others it is the beginning of new conversations around acknowledgement and lament, apology and reconciliation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and 2-Spirit (LGBTQ2) people.

Maureen (not her real name) remembers: “One of my longest standing friends, and her family, left a congregation and official board work because they could not stand the level of discourse from other board members and the minister at the time against the United Church decision… The tone that they heard coming from [church leadership] led them away from any sense of ‘Christian fellowship’ … the pain was real for the family and the reason for leaving was not discussed in the congregation even though the leadership was fully aware of the cause.” (Continue reading at https://www.iridesce.ca/news )

Bulletin insert for Iridesce

Bulletin insert for Iridesce

The Iridesce Questionnaire
How was it for you in the decades leading up to our 1988 decision, and through “The Issue Years” (1988-1998)? Maybe you were a member or a church or ordered ministry, and needed to remain in the closet, were outed, or were persecuted. We need to hear these stories. For more thought-provoking questions to help you participate in this Project visit www.iridesce.ca/questions

Where is Iridesce going next?
This season Iridesce plans to visit churches and communities of faith in the Maritimes (in October) and in British Columbia and the Yukon (in November). We welcome invitations to visit your community for early 2018. Please reach out to our coordinator to start a conversation about how a visit could help your community participate in this important project of our church, at livingapology(at)gmail(dot)com

Resources for your community
Download worship services, prayers and many resources for your community (bulletin insert, poster, and letter for your minister or community). Visit www.iridesce.ca/resources or email our coordinator at livingapology(at)gmail(dot)com

 

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

Continue reading

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.

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

Spirit Pride/ annual conference 2017 promo material

Friends, please help Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble and St Andrew2017 Spirit Pride and AUSE annual conference poster-photo‘s-Wesley United Church promote our July 28-30 shared conference in Vancouver! Below are a poster and business cards we ask you to share and print; feel free to save the JPG of the poster and use it widely on social media and in your newsletters.

Join the Facebook event and check out the full program and accommodation info at http://spiritpride.org/ 

2017 Spirit Pride and AUSE annual conference poster (PDF)

2017 Spirit Pride business card (PDF)

Thank you for your support, and we hope to see you at Spirit Pride 2017! 

A Long and Winding Road – April 18, 2015

A Bay of Quinte Conference Affirming Ministries Workshop:

A Long and Winding Road?
 . . . not necessarily!!

Saturday April 18, 2015  9:30 – 4:00
Trinity United Church, Peterborough
360 Reid Street (Corner of Simcoe St)

$20 includes Lunch & Materials – Please pay at the door
Worship, Sing, Learn, Network, Be Inspired!!!

Please click here to open a poster in pdf format for more details and registration information.  Help us by printing out a copy and posting it at your church.

The Bay of Quinte Conference Action group ( 10 volunteers) has been holding 1 – 2 workshops a year since 2008, when there was one Affirming Ministry in the Conference. Currently there are 10 Affirming Ministries –  8 congregations, 1 Presbytery, and Conference itself, with 2 more congregations certified, plus a presbytery, the Conference UCW executive and 10 more congregations formally in process.  Upon request, Committee members also personally meet with and support any prospective group within the Conference borders. Contact Jim MacGregor at macgregor.jim@gmail.com for more information.

Workshop at Sydenham Street UC on November 1, 2014

In celebration of their 15 years of being an Affirming Ministry, Sydenham Street United Church will be hosting a workshop on November 1, 2104.  The keynote speaker is Rev. Michael Blair, the Executive Minister, Church in Mission/L’Église en Mission, for The United Church of Canada.  The workshop is being sponsored by the Affirming Ministries Action Group of the Bay of Quinte Conference in partnership with Sydenham Street UC.

Mark your calendars and go to their website to see more details as we get closer to the event.

http://sydenhamstreet.ca/ssuc1/Engaging_the_Spirit/Affirm_Group.html