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.


 Program updates: 
The big news is that along with our Keynote Speakers Kathy Baldock and Brandan Robertson, this year’s conference will also include an Interfaith Panel Dialogue on the theme of ‘Religion, Faith & Inclusiveness: Reasons for Hope’. Our special guest panelists include;

– Rabbi Dr. Laura Duhan Kaplan, Director of Inter-religious Studies at the Vancouver School of Theology, Rabbi Emerita of Or Shalom Synagogue
– Imam El-Farouk Khaki, Co-founder and Coordinating Imam of el-Tawhid Juma Circle, Masjid el-Tawhid, Toronto Unity Mosque
– Dean Peter Elliot, Rector of Christ Church Cathedral and Dean of the Diocese of New Westminster in the Anglican Church of Canada

The Facilitator for the panel discussion will be Rev. Gary Paterson, Lead Minister, St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church, and former Moderator of the United Church of Canada (he was the first openly gay leader of a Christian denomination).

The panel event is sure to provide some amazing insights and opportunities for dialogue, as will the wide variety of scheduled workshop sessions!

Visit our event website at www.spiritpride.org to find out more about the conference schedule, speakers, and registration. We have a great program planned that you won’t want to miss, all taking place at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church in Vancouver BC. Our Early Bird rate of $90 for the full weekend conference ends soon, so be sure to check out the details ASAP! And if finances are an issue just email us at info@spiritpride.org and let us know you need support. We have both discount codes and bursary funding available, to ensure everyone can attend.

The mission of SpiritPride is to provide a safe, positive, LGBTQ+ affirming space for members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies to explore issues of faith, spirituality and sexuality. This year we are partnering with Affirm United (www.ause.ca) to host their Annual National Conference together with Spiritpride, making it an amazing national event! Affirm United works for the full inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities within church/ministry communities.

For more information or to register, go to www.spiritpride.org

Gregg Taylor and Chris Mann, on behalf of the Spiritpride Committee