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: https://vimeo.com/320966739
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.
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
Please send a note of congratulations to Cole Harbour Woodside United Church through our secure form:
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.)
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
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!
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
Please send a note of congratulations to Bridgewater United Church by filling out this contact form:
A celebration to be declared an Affirming Ministry will be held for Trinity-St Andrew’s United Church on Sunday, 2018 at 10:00 AM. All welcome!
Trinity- St Andrew’s United
291 Plaunt Street South, Renfrew, Ontario K7V 1N2
Media coverage of the celebration, too!
Please send a note of congratulations to Trinity-St Andrew’s United Church through this contact form:
A celebration to be declared an Affirming Ministry will be held for Carleton Memorial United Church on Sunday December 2, 2018 at 10:30AM at:
Carleton Memorial United Church
740 Melfa Crescent
Ottawa ON K2C 0P2
Please send a note of congratulations to Carleton Memorial United Church through this contact form:
Reflection: Kamloops United Church, Orange Shirt Day 2018, by Christine Dolson. She explains, “Our Affirming Sunday coincided with Orange Shirt Day. Reconciliation and being Affirming arise from the same Source.”
The artists and the Affirming chair. (Left to right) Barb Hollingshead, Heather Mewhort, Christine Dolson, Marie Allen (project’s leader), and Marcia Skaarup.
It is colourful here today isn’t it? Orange shirts, and rainbows. So many colours, so
many symbols. Colours and symbols have power. Colours and symbols can make us feel something. Colours and symbols serve to celebrate and to remind us about things that are important.
Today we are celebrating and remembering.
Today we celebrate a special remembrance that over 22 years ago, this community of faith, Kamloops United Church, committed to being an Affirming congregation, and officially became a member of the national organization, Affirm United.
We are also a community of faith committed to Reconciliation. Today, September 30, is Orange Shirt Day, as part of the ‘Every Child Matters’ campaign. Continue reading
Intersectional conversations: racism and a kairos moment at General Council
(An article from our September 2018 newsletter.) A kairos moment is a door from ordinary, linear, chronos time to sacred and transformative time. Such a moment took place in the closing hours of the 43rd General Council of the United Church of Canada, when the Moderator invited people of colour and Indigenous people to come to the mics and tell their stories as racialized people in the United Church of Canada.
The LGBTQIA+ community in Canada is no more free of White privilege and racism than the rest of the church or the rest of the country is. The sacred place where our diverse genders and sexualities meet diverse racial identities is one we must seek as an Affirming movement. Often it’s a painful place, as well as a growing place, as we saw a couple of years when queer and trans members of Black Lives Matter stopped the Toronto Pride parade in order to have their perspectives and experiences heard.
You are invited to take the time to watch and absorb these two hours of sacred storytelling. Your reflections on what this moment might teach the Affirming movement are most welcome. You can use our contact forms, or our Facebook group to share your thoughts.
The people of Meewasin Valley UC receiving their certificate at their April 2016 Affirming celebration.
AUSE is deeply humbled and grateful to have received a generous legacy donation from Meewasin Valley United Church, an Affirming ministry in Saskatoon. Thank you to the community of Meewasin Valley United Church for thinking of Affirm United as you journey towards closure. We are honoured that you have blessed us with this opportunity to live out part of your legacy in the areas of education and social justice. We at Affirm United are inspired by Meewasin Valley’s support, which has shown us that there are many ways in which a community of faith can live out a commitment to being an Affirming ministry. (Photo: the people of Meewasin Valley UC receiving their certificate at their April 2016 Affirming celebration.)