Affirming celebration for Seagrave United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Seagrave United Church

Date:             Saturday March 23, 2024

Time:            1:30 pm

Location:    15 Coryell Street    Seagrave  ON   L0C 1G0  The service be live-streamed livestreamed via YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/live/UPYLc94tz3E?si=UQxnZTF2P5e0CwCr

Website:                 https://seagrave-church.com

Phone:                     905-985-2429         

Email for sending congratulations (church office)

            Seagrave-church01@gmail.com

Affirming celebration for Westminster United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Westminster United Church

Date:             Sunday March 17, 2024.      Also livestreamed on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/westminsterunitedhumboldt

Time:            2:00 pm

Location:     708 13th Avenue   Humboldt SK   S0K 2A0

Website:     https://www.wuchumboldt.com/

Phone:         306-682-2779

Email for sending congratulations: westminsteruc@sasktel.net

Affirming celebration for Grace United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Grace United Church

Date:             Sunday March 10, 2024

Time:             10:30 am

Location:     310 12th Street, Hanover ON     The service will be live-streamed.  Please find details at:  https://www.youtube.com/@graceunitedchurchhanover/streams

Website    www.graceunitedhanover.ca

Phone:         519-364-3550        

Email for sending congratulations (church office)      graceuc@wightman.ca

Affirming celebration for First United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for First United Church

Date:             Sunday February 18, 2024

Time:            10:30 am (PT) followed by Community potluck

Location:    636 6th Avenue West, Prince Rupert BC.  V8J 1Z8.

The service be live-streamed through Zoom.  Join   https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2126659242?omn=81672489393                                   Meeting ID:  212 665 9242   

Website:     http://www.firstunitedpr.com

Phone:         250-624-2087 

Email for sending congratulations (church office) united@citywest.ca

As we look for ways to be more accessible, and recognizing the incredible volunteer workload that goes into hosting us each year, we’ve made the decision to offer our 2024 AGM and Annual Conference in a virtual format. Don’t worry, this isn’t the end of in-person events, but an opportunity for us to consider how best to use the resources we’ve been blessed with.

We hope to see you online this July!

Trans Youth Deserve Safety –

Affirm United would like to express our continued support for transgender and gender-diverse youth. Youth across the country must be supported to live as their authentic selves.

These newly introduced policies in provincial jurisdictions are not based on evidence and will cause irreparable harm to trans and gender diverse youth. To base proposed policies in misinformation and discrimination is irresponsible.

AUSE stands firm in support of 2SLGBTQ+ youth, and against any form of discrimination or intimidation that puts the lives of 2SLGBTQ+ youth at risk.

To the trans youth witnessing this hatred, know that we see you and honour you, just as you are. Even if your government tells you otherwise, you deserve to live a life of authenticity and joy. We see you and we love you. 

PIE Day 2024 is fast approaching!

The theme for 2024 is: PIE in the Public Square. Why PIE? PIE = Public. Intentional. Explicit. Those are the standards we hold ourselves and our welcome to when we seek to live into being Affirming, Welcoming, or Inclusive people and communities.

Check out our pieday.ca website and our google folder for planning ideas, how-to’s, graphics, videos, worship service templates, and more!

Panel: Living out PIE in the Public Square

Thursday, February 15

4pm PST / 5pm MST / 7pm EST

We’re inviting three dynamic faith leaders to reflect on what the 2024 PIE Day theme means to them!

Affirming celebration for Central Okanagan United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Central Okanagan United Church

Date:             Sunday February 18, 2024

Time:            10 am

Location:    721 Bernard Ave.,  Kelowna  BC  V1Y 6P6 .  Service will be live-streamed via our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Centralokanaganunitedchurchkelownabc/ 

or via zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87180971824?pwd=V3BuaXJWK0JZM3RyTGVIS1ZQcFJwdz09

Website:     https://centralokanaganunitedchurch.com/

Phone:         250-762-3311      

Email for sending congratulations (church office) admin@centralokanaganunitedchurch.com

Affirming celebration for Highlands United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Highlands United Church!

Date:             Sunday February 4, 2024          

Time:            4:00 pm

Location:    3255 Edgemont Blvd, North Vancouver  BC V7R 2P1   

Website:     https://www.highlandsunited.org/

Phone:   604-980-6071        

Email for sending congratulations (church office) churchoffice@highlandsunited.org

Thank you, The United Church of Canada Foundation!

Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble has been granted $11,000 from the the Brian and Belva Piercy Endowment Fund at The United Church of Canada Foundation for our upcoming project, REAFFIRM: A Faithful Response to Anti-2SLGBTQIA+ Hate. This grant is made possible through the Seeds of Hope granting program and we are SO grateful for the support!

Affirming celebration for Southminster United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Southminster United Church

Date:             Sunday January 21, 2024

Time:            10:30 am

Location:    1011 4th Avenue South, Lethbridge  AB T1J 0P7   Live streamed on our Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/SouthminsterUnited

Website:     https://southminsterunited.ca/

Phone:   403-327-3404

Email for sending congratulations (church office) smunited@shaw.ca

Affirming celebration for Grace United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Grace United Church!

Date:                         Sunday January 28, 2024

Time:                        2 pm

Location:                 2111 Walkers Line Burlington ON K7M 0Z2  The service be live-streamed.  Link is https://www.youtube.com/@graceunitedchurchburlingto3831

Website:                 graceunitedchurchburlington.com 

Phone                       905-335-0090

Email for sending congratulations (church office)

office@graceunitedchurchburlington.com and graceaffirming@gmail.com

Affirming celebration for St. Paul’s United Church! 

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for St. Paul’s United Church 

Date:         Sunday January 14, 2024

Time:        10:30 am

Location:    2410 Malaview Avenue   Sidney BC V8L 2G3

The service will be live streamed.

Website:     https://www.stpaulsunitedbc.com/

Phone:       778-678-8550

Email for sending congratulations (church office)     stpauluc@telus.net  

Greetings.

It has come to our attention that materials that are considered a hate crime in Canada have reached some of our affirming congregations this week. We are saddened to note that this is coming during a time when we are preparing to celebrate the arrival of the Christ in our midst.

The hate mail received this week included a letter with disturbing messages and a USB key. It has come from the United States and may have a Customs declaration that it is a “gift.” If you receive mail that you suspect to be this or other hate correspondence, here is what we recommend you do:

  • Do not insert the USB key into any of your devices. Curiosity could put your computer and your security at risk.
  • Be aware that the letters that we are aware of contained disturbing messages targeting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. You may choose not to open it.
  • Report it

If the mail meets the description provided above, you can report it as suspicious without opening it and include this newsletter to back up your concerns.

For security reasons, never put any USB key from an unknown or hostile source in your computer, as it could contain viruses or other malicious software that could steal your personal information, could cause harm to your computer and could also spread malware to your contacts. If you received a USB key, please report it to the police and surrender it to them. If you have already put such a USB key into your computer, please remove it immediately and take steps to check for malware before using your computer further.

We understand how distressing opening this mail may be for the staff member or volunteer who did so.  It will distress many and be experienced as a personal attack by any who identify with or are family and friends of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

If you receive the above noted package or any other hate mail, please reach out to Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble at communications@ause.ca. Our Communications Coordinator, M, will keep track of these instances, and inform the respective Regional Council. Knowing what is occurring in your local community is helpful so that AUSE can best support you and other congregations across the country. If you would like any information or assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know.

Please know that we are with you.

May God bless you and your congregations as you move through this season.

With love,

The Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble Team   

Affirming celebration for Saint Andrew’s United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Saint Andrew’s United Church

Address:      6036 Coburg Road  Halifax  NS  B3H 1Y9

Date:             Sunday November 26, 2023

                         co-hosted by the Halifax Gay Men’s Chorus,

with certificate presentation Sunday December 3, 2023

Time:            10:30 am

Location:     6036 Coburg Road  Halifax  NS  B3H 1Y9  

Website:     https://saintandrewshfx.ca/

Phone:         902-422-3157

Email for sending congratulations:          outreach@saintandrewshfx.ca

Affirming celebration for Bridgenorth United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Bridgenorth United Church

Address:      832 Charles Street, Bridgenorth ON  K0L 1H0

Date:             Sunday November 26, 2023

Time:            11:00 am
Location:     832 Charles Street in Bridgenorth ON   Virtual video services are available on our Facebook and Youtube channels

Website:     http://www.bridgenorthuc.com/

Phone:         705-292-9601

Email for sending congratulations:      mbegbie80@hotmail.com

Affirming celebration for Eastern Ontario Outaouais Regional Council, The United Church of Canada

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Eastern Ontario Outaouais Regional Council!

Address of Regional Council:  Zion United Church  37 Franklin St. Carleton Place ON K7C 1R6

Date:  Saturday November 4th, 2023

Time:   2.30-4.00 (arrival, service, celebration)

Location for celebration:   Woodroffe United Church, 207 Woodroffe Ave, Ottawa ON  K2A 3V1.  If you wish to attend by Zoom please contact      https://eoorc.ca/2023-eoorc-fall-meeting/ for Zoom link 

Websitehttps://eoorc.ca/

Phone Contact Number:  613-277-2094

Email for sending congratulations: AJansman@united-church.ca

Affirming celebration for Goodwood United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Goodwood United Church

Address:      3999 Concession 3 and Goodwood Road, Goodwood ON L0C 1A0

Date:             Sunday October 29, 2023

Time:                        9:30 am

Location:    3999 Concession 3 and Goodwood Road, Goodwood for in-person celebration.     The service will the service be live-streamed.

Website:     https://goodwoodunitedchurch.com

Phone:         905-852-7433

Email for sending congratulations (church office) goodwoodunitedchurch@gmail.com

Fall Worship Series

Join us for a time of prayer, worship, and hope! Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble invites you to a time of affirming worship. All are welcome, but for safety, registration is required. 

Register for the October service here.

Register for the November service here.

Register for the December service here.

Affirming Coffee Hour !

Are you an Affirming Ministry with questions? Or ideas to share? Or maybe just looking for some community to connect with on all things Affirming? Or perhaps your community of faith isn’t yet Affirming, and you’d like to learn more about the process, and what others are doing? Then join us for coffee! AU/SE is inviting you to join us for monthly coffee hours to learn and connect. All are welcome, but registration is required. 

Register for the October coffee hour here.

Register for the November coffee hour here

AGM Hosting Info Session!

A few months ago we put out a call for AGM 2024 hosts, and many of you responded!  We are now inviting any interested communities of faith to join us for a virtual info session to learn more about what hosting entails. If your Affirming Ministry is interested, whether you’ve expressed interest before or not, please join us for this session. Register here

Welly Hanenberg is this year’s Youth Advocate!

Welly has been an outstanding advocate for the 2SLGBTQ+ community at Redeemer University which has not been easy, at a school who is not Affirming. Last year, Welly and the Redeemer LGBTQ community experienced the death by suicide of a beloved member of the community. Welly rallied around students and did not give up the fight to have Beckett’s experience heard. The advocacy and voice Welly has maintained as a student at Redeemer University has changed lives. She has instilled confidence in personhood, has affirmed the inclusive Love of God and has been a voice for those feeling alone in their journey in figuring out who they are.

Congratulations Welly!

Sharon Valmont is this year’s Volunteer of the Year!

Sharon is the Chair of Golden Ears United Church’s affirming team, encouraging, and inviting new people to the committee. They’ve held three major affirming events in the past six months, including a PIE Day screening, and a Drag Brunch. Sharon is an out and proud Trans woman who lives with some disabilities. She has generously shared her journey and testimony with her congregation in worship, being willing to be authentic and vulnerable. She shared her journey to sobriety and has helped our congregation be more understanding and welcoming.  She also is a weekly volunteer at their Thrift, and volunteers to run their livestream on Sundays.

From Sharon: “Volunteering has always held a special place in my heart. There’s something inexplicably rewarding about dedicating your time and energy to help those in need. The smiles on people’s faces, the gratitude in their eyes, and the knowledge that I have played a part in brightening someone’s day are priceless rewards.

Receiving the Volunteer of the Year award is a testament to the collective efforts of all those who contributed to my journey. It is an acknowledgment of the countless hours, determination, and love poured into the work I do. This recognition fills me with tremendous pride while also inspiring me to continue making a difference in the lives of others.”

Congratulations Sharon!

Affirming celebration for Northern Spirit Regional Council of The United Church of Canada!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Northern Spirit Regional Council

Address:      13535  122 Ave NW, Edmonton AB  T5L 2V7 

Date:             Saturday October 21, 2023

Time:             4:00 pm       

Location of Celebration: Kirk United Church Centre, 13535 122 Ave. NW Edmonton, Alberta.

For information on livestream of the celebration please contact Chloe Burns, Regional Staff Administrative Support at  chburns@united-church.ca  

Website:     https://northernspiritrc.ca/      

Email for sending congratulations:       NorthernSpirit@united-church.ca

Affirming celebration for Wesley-Knox United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Wesley-Knox United Church

Address:  91 Askin Street, London ON

Date:                 Sunday October 15, 2023

Time:         10:30am

Location:    91 Askin Street London ON for In person service.   Join us virtually through our interactive livestream at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBltlTwnCnU_-mtYYvrqAOQ

Website:     https://wesleyknox.com/

Phone:   519-673-4803

Email for sending congratulations (church office):

Wesley-Knox United Church <wesleyknox@bellnet.ca>

Affirming celebration for Courageous Community!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Courageous Community

Address:      3747 Church Street, Port Alberni, BC  V9Y 1T5

Date:             Sunday September 24, 2023

Time:            7:00 pm

Location:     In-person at 3747 Church Street Port Alberni and on Zoom.  Please check Courageous Community’s website for Zoom link.  Followed by Affirming themed Night Temple Service including a video and 40 minutes of music with different centers to explore.

Website:  www.courageouscommunity.net

Phone:      250-735-6401

Email for sending congratulations communitycourageous@gmail.com

Urgent: Notice Of Nationwide Anti-2SLGBTQ+ Rallies Sept 20

URGENT NOTICE

On Wednesday, September 20th, anti-2SLGBTQIA+ activists plan to rally at legislatures, city halls, and school board offices across the country under the “1 Million March 4 Children” banner. While they claim to be in support of “parental rights,” this is explicitly an anti-2SLGBTQIA+ rally. They’re supported by a big tent of far-right and conspiratorial groups, including Christian Nationalists, white supremacists, and anti-public education activists.

(Click here to learn more: *content warning of extreme anti-2SLGBTQ+ language)

5 THINGS YOU CAN DO

1) Presence

  • Counter-Demonstrate, using the advice found in the Pride Defense Guide, Safety Plan, and Faith Community Guide. Find out what is happening in your city and make plans with community partners.
  • Plan an alternate event at the same time on the 20th. This could be anything from a coffee hour to a vigil, simply – a place to connect and find solace.

2) Communications

  • Use all of your available communication channels to show your support: church signage and property, e-newsletters, websites, social media, and connections with local media. We have created some images that you can use in your messaging, that you can see below, and download here

3) Advocacy 

  • Connect with your faith community and work together to find out what your ministry can do to respond faithfully to these issues.
  • Contact politicians, in particular school trustees/MP’s, to express your support for gender-affirming policies and inclusive education, and your opposition to policies that would forcibly out trans youth (sample letter).

4) Community Relationships

  • Reach out to local 2SLGBTQIA-led and solidarity groups and ask how you can be of service and what kind of allyship would be most helpful to them. 

5) Pastoral Care 

  • If you feel equipped to offer support to those who are being targeted by these hate groups, be sure those around you know you’re available. 
  • Ask for support! This is an extremely worrying and intense time for queer folks.

Find contact info for Affirming Ministries through Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble here, and resources from Affirming Connections here.

We encourage everyone to share positive messages of Public, Intentional, and Explicit affirmation to the 2SLGBTQ+ community, particularly from a faith perspective.

Since religion is being weaponized by many of these extremist organizers, it’s imperative to share a different narrative about faith, and to categorically denounce hate and bigotry. 

Messaging and images created in partnership with Affirming Connections, and the Regional Minister: Justice and Communication for Living Skies, Prairie to Pine, and Northern Spirit Regional Councils of the United Church of Canada.

Port Nelson United Church is this year’s Affirming Ministry of the Year!

The Affirm Ministry at Port Nelson United Church in Burlington, Ontario is a vibrant, committed group that over the past six years has carried out its mandate to promote inclusion in multiple areas of diversity. The Affirming statement guiding their work is as follows: “We affirm, include, and celebrate people of every age, race, belief, culture, ability, income level, family configuration, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation in the life and ministry of Port Nelson United Church.”

The mandate of the Affirm Ministry also includes advising other ministries and the Board on making the church building and the activities within more inclusive. They were consulted on signage for all-gender washrooms. They continue to make suggestions for enhancing accessibility to church events and the building, recommend providing financial support to church events so that income level is not a barrier to attendance, and promote intergenerational gatherings.

The Affirm Ministry administers the Port Nelson Youth Award, a $1000 scholarship “to recognize and celebrate leadership of young people in the community in the area of being inclusive, particularly pertaining to 2SLGBTQIA+ rights. This award has been offered for the past 10 years and was created to mark the marriage of their minister, the Rev. Dr. Michael Brooks and his husband Jay Poitras, an educator.

In the fall of 2022, Port Nelson hosted, with four other local churches, a production of the oratorio “Considering Matthew Shepard,” performed by the Elora Singers and a small instrumental ensemble. Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming, was brutally attacked and murdered in an act of anti-gay violence in 1998. Over $2000 was raised for the support group “Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays” (PFLAG) Halton Region.

On March 14, 2021, celebration of the first P.I.E. Sunday was virtual due to COVID-19. In his sermon, Rev. Dr. Brooks spoke about the Port Nelson journey to affirming incorporating the concepts of being public, intentional, and explicit. On March 13, 2022, with the congregation now meeting in person, the P.I.E. celebration was led by the Affirming Ministry. Pie was served at coffee time. An auction for the opportunity to “pie” Michael Brooks raised about $1100 for support of the Positive Space Network, an umbrella of support services for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth in Halton Region. At this year’s P.I.E. Sunday, pies made by Affirm committee members and friends sold out in minutes. An auction to “pie” Jay Poitras raised $2500 for PFLAG Halton, reflecting the church’s ongoing commitment to support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

Port Nelson has an ongoing relationship with Six Nations Polytechnic in Brantford, Ontario. They partnered with this post-secondary institution in 2018 to present a weekend of workshops on Indigenous culture. A fund was established to provide $1000 annually in support of graduating students from the Indigenous Languages Program.

The members of the Affirm Ministry of Port Nelson have frequently been asked by United Church congregations in Southern Ontario to provide advice and support on the Affirming process. These consultations have taken the form of emails, Zoom meetings, and in-person visits to congregations.

Congratulations Port Nelson United Church! 

Affirming celebration for Trinity – St. Stephen’s United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Trinity – St. Stephen’s United Church

Date:             Sunday September 24, 2023

Time:            10:30 am

Location:    1 Ratchford Street   Amherst NS    Recorded for later viewing on Youtube

Website:     www.tssuc.com

Phone:         902-667-8483 

Email for sending congratulations (church office) office@tssuc.com

Affirming celebration for Aurora United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Aurora United Church

Date:             Sunday October 15, 2023

Time:            11 am

Location of Celebration:          

Trinity Anglican Church, Main sanctuary

79 Victoria St. Aurora, On L4G 1R3

                        Service will be in person and live-streamed.

Website:     www.auroraunitedchurch.ca

Phone:         905-727-1935  

Email for sending congratulations (church office) info@auroraunitedchurch.ca      

Affirming celebration for St. Matthew’s United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for St. Matthew’s United Church

Date:             Sunday September 17, 2023

Time:            10:30 a.m.

Location:    333 Crosby Ave, Richmond Hill ON for in-person service.  A recording will be uploaded on youtube later in the day.  

Website:     https://www.stmatthewsuc.ca/ 

Phone:   905-884-3606

Email for sending congratulations (church office): st.matthewsuc.rh@gmail.com

Affirming celebration for Trinity United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Trinity United Church

Date:              Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023

Time:             10:30 am

Location: 100 Main St West, Grimsby, ON L3M 1R7   

   Live streamed  YouTube – Trinity United Church Grimsby

Website:      www.trinityunitedgrimsby.ca

Phone:    905-945-2249   

Email for sending congratulations (church office) officetrinitygrimsby@gmail.com

Affirming celebration for Norval United Church! 

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Norval United Church 

Address: 14015 Danby Road  Georgetown ON  L7G 0L8

Date:         September 17, 2023

Time:        10 AM in person service and live-streamed

Location:     14015 Danby Road  Georgetown ON  L7G 0L8

Website:      norvalunited.ca

Phone:      905-877-6122

Email for sending congratulations (church office) office@novalunited.ca  

2023 AGM Conference Information!!

FAQs –

Where is Beaconsfield?

Beaconsfield is a suburb of Montreal, in Quebec! They are on the West Island, close to the airport.

What is online and what is not?

Friday’s panel discussion, the Saturday AGM meeting itself, along with the Service of Lament, and Sunday Worship will all be online on a zoom link!

Here is a downloadable copy of the agenda, highlighting what is live streamed!: http://affirmunited.ause.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2023/06/2023-Conference-Schedule.pdf

Affirming celebration for Mount Zion United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Mount Zion United Church

Date:             Sunday July 23, 2023

Time:              9:30 am

Location:     471 Ridgewood Crescent, London ON N6J 3H7  Event will be livestreamed    

Website:     https://www.mtzionuchurch.com/

Phone:         519-471-9130

Email for sending congratulations (church office) info@mntzion.ca

God Loves Queer People

How does God feel about Queer People? We asked ministers from denominations all over Canada to find out. Here’s what they said: God loves Queer People. The idea that all Canadian churches are hostile to the queer community is simply false, as these ministers and Moderators of the major denominations make clear. So what can you do? Contact your local politicians and let them know you do not condone hatred against queer people. Share it on social media and post this video to your church website. Let the world know that God is love, and God loves people of all sexualities and genders.

Affirming celebration for Cressy Glenora United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Cressy Glenora United Church

Address:      3442 County Rd 7, Picton ON  K0K 2T0

Date:             Wednesday August 2, 2023

Time:  5 to 7 pm


Location:     3450 County Rd 7, Picton, ON

(Burley Hall next to Cressy Glenora UC)

Website:     https://cressyglenorauc.wixsite.com/website

Facebook:   @CressyGlenoraChurch


Phone:         613-503-4717

Email for sending congratulations (church office) cressyglenorachurch@gmail.com

Clergy Candidates Meet Up

Thursday evening: July 20, 8-10 pm EST
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84166720607?pwd=NWJOd2tmcFVkbGZaTnNDUVhFc2V6dz09

Sunday afternoon: September 10, 2-4 pm EST
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82269288946?pwd=Q2Q3a2pacU5SaDdLYUUvN0htR1lmUT09

What can I expect when I join an online gathering? 

Our online gatherings continue to evolve but here is what you can expect if you join: I (Michiko) will be acting as the host and ensure that people are welcomed into the space, their tech is working, and help facilitate introductions and checking in. As facilitator, I like to introduce a topic for discussion or a question for each of us to answer. The format is casual, encouraging people to bring their own thoughts or questions into the conversation. You are welcome to participate in whatever way feels most comfortable to you. However you show up and are present is part of being in community.  

Are monthly meetings not the space you need right now? 

You are always welcome to be in touch with me to set up a time for a one-on-one conversation. I understand that there might be certain topics that feel easier to address when you don’t have to worry about larger group dynamics or that the dates set aren’t the best for your schedule. 

Find them online @queerkenosis

BIPOC Virtual Meet Up

Thursday night: July 6, 8-10 pm EST
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89866949460?pwd=ZHI1dkx3dU9WclZEN04wWlkvdERJdz09

Sunday afternoon: October 22, 2-4 pm EST
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89732067072?pwd=SVo4dndJWWo3WTVVTzNISnRuN00vQT09

What can I expect when I join an online gathering?
Our online gatherings continue to evolve but here is what you can expect if you join: I (Michiko) will be acting as the host and ensure that people are welcomed into the space, their tech is working, and help facilitate introductions and checking in. As facilitator, I like to introduce a topic for discussion or a question for each of us to answer. The format is casual, encouraging people to bring their own thoughts or questions into the conversation. You are welcome to participate in whatever way feels most comfortable to you. However you show up and are present is part of being in community.

Are monthly meetings not the space you need right now?
You are always welcome to be in touch with me to set up a time for a one-on-one conversation. I understand that there might be certain topics that feel easier to address when you don’t have to worry about larger group dynamics or that the dates set aren’t the best for your schedule.


Find them online @queerkenosis

AGM Registration now open!!

Hello Friends!

Our registration for our AGM at Beaconsfield United Church is now open!

Registration Form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf62ydkkgjDd4imBkx_2WoH8L-Y8Y_cDLv0r9txzqc0WUSbjQ/viewform

This form has information about demographics, accommodations (there is a reduced rate block of hotel rooms reserved at DoubleTree Hotel in Pointe Claire under the code: Affirm United available until June 29), billetting, car pooling, registration costs ($125 for the whole weekend, $95 for Saturday), child care, and bursary support.

There will be another form for joining virtually coming soon.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email M at communications@ause.ca

We look forward to seeing you next month!!

Show us your PRIDE!

We want you to SHOW US YOUR PRIDE!

If your Affirming Ministry is celebrating this month, or if you’ve held events this past year and have pictures and videos to share, we want to see them! We want to share together in this time of celebration, and challenge hateful rhetoric. The pictures and videos sent along by our Affirming Ministries will be included in a video to be shared at our Annual General Meeting and beyond, so we can celebrate the joy and success of each ministry’s pride. 

These images may be shared by Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble on social media and beyond, so please be cognizant when selecting which images to send us and ensure you have permission for those pictured. Pictures and short videos can be sent to executivedirector@ause.ca 

While the deadline to have your images included in the AGM video is July 7, feel free to keep sending them after that. Big or small, we want to see your pride this month, and always!

Affirming celebration for High River United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for High River United Church.  The service will be outdoors behind the church. We invite you to bring a picnic lunch and stay after the service for visiting. We will provide desserts.  Please bring a water bottle, chairs, sunhats, etc. We can’t wait!

Location Address: 123 MacLeod Trail S.W., High River, AB

Date:             June 25, 2023

Time:            10:00 – 11:30 am

Join us by livestream https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8EnXYjXlLrwUdJBOOG61rQ

Website:     highriverunitedchurch.org

Phone:         403-652-3168

Email for sending congratulations (church office): hruc@telus.net 

AU/SE Student Bursary!

Are you a post secondary student and queer advocate? Are you connected to a United Church community of faith, and do you work for the full inclusion of 2SLGBTQIA+ people in your church and the wider community? Then this is an opportunity for you!

Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble is excited to be offering up to four student advocates a bursary for the 2023-24 school year. The bursary amount is dependent on the number of applicants selected, but will be a minimum of $1000 each. 

Bursaries from this fund will be for post-secondary students with a demonstrated financial need. Students may be attending any Canadian school, at any level (college, undergraduate, post-graduate, graduate, doctoral). This bursary is for students who are involved with a United Church of Canada community of faith or related organization, and can demonstrate a commitment to 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusion in their religious/spiritual community, and wider society.

Application information can be found here!

Applications are due July 7, 2023. Submit your full application package to executivedirector@ause.ca

Affirming celebration for Kimbourne Park United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Kimbourne Park United Church

Date:             Sunday June 18, 2023

Time:            10:15 am

Location:     200 Wolverleigh Blvd Toronto and on Zoom through kpuc.org/online

Website:     ttps://www.kpuc.org

Phone:         (416) 461-7200        

Email for sending congratulations (church office) office@kpuc.org       

Awards Announcement!

Nominations are now open!

After a hiatus, we’re excited to share that AU/SE’s annual volunteer recognition awards are back! We are now accepting nominations for Volunteer of the Year, Affirming Ministry of the Year, and Youth Advocate of the Year. Winners will be honoured at our AGM in July, virtually or in-person.

Nominations are due June 15th, and can be submitted here: https://forms.gle/g4a4JRdPhraTX1WR9

Have questions? Send us an email at communications@ause.ca.

Happy Pride Month!

Happy Pride Month!

During this time of celebration and love, we remember that the first Pride was a protest, and we recommit ourselves to justice-seeking and advocacy for queer folks in our churches, across the country, and around the world. With a focus on justice, we head into this month honouring the joy, love, and resilience of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

Be kind, stay safe, have fun, and HAPPY PRIDE!

Dear Friends,

We write to you today with a heavy heart.

We’ve all heard the news from Uganda, criminalizing homosexuality with the punishment of death. We recognize that the Churches in Uganda are supporting and upholding the government’s decision. We mourn with our Ugandan siblings.

We’ve heard the cries from our trans siblings in the United States that call out against anti-trans bills. These bills are jeopardizing their healthcare and livelihood in their home states. We pray for their wellbeing and for their safety.

We’ve joined the fight against book ban initiatives here in Canada. We work with local pride groups to support drag performers, in all their work. We rejoice with the news from Manitoba in the rejection of the call for book bans.

We hear the calls from the injustices that our community is facing. This, on the eve of Pride Month worldwide, is getting harder and harder to comprehend. We continue to support the affirming process and are looking forward to welcoming ten new communities of faith into that fold in the month of June. We will continue our advocacy work, and all the work that we are holding in our hearts within our local communities and beyond.

Love, AUSE

Affirming celebration for St. Luke’s United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for St. Luke’s United Church

Date:             Sunday June 4, 2023

Time:             10:00 a.m.

Location:     5372 St. Margaret’s Bay Rd, Upper Tantallon     In person and possibly live streamed. 

Website:     http://www.stlukesunited.ca/

Phone:         905-826-2523      

Email for sending congratulations            office@stlukesunited.ca

Affirming celebration for Dunlop Central United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Dunlop Central United Church

Date:             Sunday June 25, 2023

Time:             10 am

Location:      757 Rosedale Ave, Sarnia ON      Livestreamed and Recorded on YouTube

Website:     http://www.dunlopuc.ca/

Phone:         519-337-3061

Email for sending congratulations:              dunlopcentral@cogeco.net

Affirming celebration for Faith United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Faith United Church

Date:             Sunday June 11, 2023

Time:            9:30 am

Location:     “Little Theatre” in LaSalle Secondary School

                        773 Highway 15, Kingston ON                        

Website:     www.faithunitedchurch.ca

Phone:   Sally Weir  613-539-5393    

Email for sending congratulations    faithunitedchurch.kingston@gmail.com

Affirming celebration for Whitehorse United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Whitehorse United Church

Date:             June 18, 2023

Time:            10:30 am

Location:       601 Main Street  Whitehorse  Yukon.  The service will be live-streamed on Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100067509608648

Website:     https://whitehorseunitedchurch.ca/

Phone:          867-667-2989

Email for sending congratulations: wuc@klondiker.com

Affirming celebration for Lakeview United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Lakeview United Church

Date:             Sunday June 11, 2023

Time:            10:30 am

Location:    3200 McCallum Ave.  Regina SK  – Livestreamed at @lakeviewUnitedRegina

Website:     http://www.lakeviewchurch.ca/

Phone:  306-586-7844   

Email for sending congratulations (church office)  lakeviewuc@sasktel.net 

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Today is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, which means it’s a great day to live out loud! Here at Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble, we support and love you no matter who you are or who you love.

It’s also a day to take action. 2SLGBTQIA people deserve safety and welcome, and we still have to fight for it. How can you help take action against homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia?

·  Learn about the history of this day here.

·  Take the pledge at It Gets Better Canada to help support their work and to show 2SLGBTQIA+ youth that their stories matter.

·  Support AU/SE in our work of education, action, and support for the 2SLGBTQIA community.

·  Learn about what it means to be an Affirming congregation. Check out this series from Affirming Connections about the path to becoming Affirming in a small town.

·  Show up in your community: find something like your local Pride organization or a queer youth centre and show up for them. They need your time, resources, and support! Just ask them what they need and how you can help.

·  Start planning your Pride Sunday service! Check out these resources from the United Church of Canada.

How are you taking action against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia?

Welcome to our new Executive Director!!

Hi, I’m Alix (she/her), your new Executive Director of Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble! I am thrilled to be joining the AU/SE team, and can’t wait to help lead this organization into a bold new chapter of growth and advocacy.

A bit about me: I grew up and live in B.C., attending my local United Church. I have always felt called to justice-seeking, and working in a way that allows me to live out my faith values. My prior experience is varied, but includes leadership and frontline work with anti-violence organizations, fundraising, and United Church camping ministry. I have a Master of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding, a Bachelor of Arts in History, a Bachelor of Social Work, and am a certified Sexual Health Educator.  First and foremost a follower of Christ, I am also a parent, a social worker, a performer, and an activist.

Have questions for me? Feel free to reach out to executivedirector@ause.ca. I can’t wait to learn and grow with you all!

Affirming celebration for St. Paul’s United Church!

All are welcome to celebrations of becoming an Affirming Ministry for St. Paul’s United Church

Address:       10206 100 Ave.   Grande Prairie,  AB  T8V 0V6 

Date:              Sunday, June 11, 2023 (Pride Family weekend celebration)

Time:             10 am Celebration Service followed by refreshments  

2 pm   Community Celebration followed by refreshments                        

Location:      10206 100 Ave   Grande Prairie and live streamed

Website:       http://www.stpaulsuc.ca

Phone:   780-532-2415 church office        

Email for sending congratulations (church office)      gwaldie@stpaulsuc.ca

Affirming celebration for Kitchissippi United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Kitchissippi United Church

Date:             Sunday June 4, 2023

Time:            10 am followed by celebration

Location:      630 Island Park Drive, Ottawa   – in-person, live-streamed & recorded

Website:     www.kitchissippiuc.com

Phone:         613-722-7254

Email for sending congratulations (church office):     kgracequist@kitchissippiuc.com

Affirming celebration for St. Paul’s-Victoria Avenue United Church,  an amalgamation of two Affirming Ministries –  Victoria Avenue UC (2008) and St. Paul’s UC (2021) 

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for St. Paul’s-Victoria Avenue United Church

Date:   Sunday June 4, 2023

Time:   11 am

Location:      22125 Communication Road, Chatham, ON N7M 5J3

Website:     http://www.ruralunited.com/st-pauls-victoria-avenue-united-church.html

Phone:           519-354-7540   

Email for sending congratulations ____ spvauc@gmail.com

Affirming celebration for Chinook Winds Regional Council of The United Church of Canada!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Chinook Winds Regional Council

Address:  43 Riverside Drive  P.O. Box 98  Okotoks  AB T1S 1A4

Date:   Friday May 5, 2023

Time:  6:30 pm

Location of Celebration:   

Regional Gathering 2023

Fifth Avenue Memorial United Church

476 4 St SE, Medicine Hat, Alberta

Livestream Link: Online Registration Link via RG Registration

 Website:     https://chinookwindsregion.ca     

Email for sending congratulations:   chinookwinds@united-church.ca

Announcing the location of our 2023 AGM!

Beaconsfield United, just outside of Montreal, QC, will be our host for our first in person AGM in three years! More information will be coming, but we wanted to let you know the location ASAP so you can make your plans!

Are you an organized and motivated volunteer who wants to help us plan out the AGM? Please email M at communications@ause.ca to see what you can do to help!

Affirming celebration for Birds Hill United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Birds Hill United Church!

Date:             May 7, 2023

Time:            10:00 am

Location:  Birds Hill United Church, 2105 Burton Avenue, East St. Paul MB  

Website:     birdshillunitedchurch.ca

Phone:   204-669-2764         

Email for sending congratulations (church office)       bhuc@mymts.net

Affirming celebration for Trinity United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Trinity United Church

Address:  44 William Street, Bobcaygeon, ON K0M 1A0

Date:  Sunday April 30, 2023

Time: 10:30

Location:    44 William Street Bobcaygeon – with livestream and recording

Website:     https://www.trinityprovidence.org

Phone:   705-738-5135       

Email for sending congratulations: trinityprovidence1@gmail.com

Affirming celebration for John Black Memorial United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for John Black Memorial United Church

Date:  Sunday, April 30, 2023

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Location:    898 Henderson Hwy, Winnipeg  MB  Recorded and posted on our website following the celebration

Website:     http://www.johnblackunited.com/

Phone:         204-661-2579    

Email for sending congratulations (church office) – jblackuc@mymts.net    

Affirming celebration for Trinity United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Trinity United Church

Address:   4287 William Street, Beamsville ON L0R 1B0 

Date:  Sunday April 30, 2023

Time: 10:30 am

Location:    4287 William Street, Beamsville  ON L0R 1B0  
and live-streamed on their YouTube Channel
 youtube.com/@trinityunitedchurchbeamsvi4782

Website:     www.trinitybeamsville.ca

Phone:         905-563-4943

Email for sending congratulations (church office)       info@trinitybeamsville.ca

United Against Hate: faithfully responding to anti-2SLGBTQ+ actions

Join us for:

United Against Hate: faithfully responding to anti-2SLGBTQ+ actions

Wednesday, February 15

6:00pm MT, 7:00pm Central, 8:00pm ET, 5:00pm PT

As a special United In Learning event, join Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble and Affirming Connections to learn about the malicious misinformation campaign and threats that have been launched against the drag and 2SLGBTQ+ communities across Canada – and what you can do.

Our panelists will address some of the dangerous myths circulating around drag, trans and other queer identities; look at recent Canadian online and in-person instances of anti 2SLGBTQ+ hate, some of which include Christian groups; and explain how these connect to wider hate, racist, and extremist anti-vaccination movements.

They will also share some ideas on what you and your community of faith can do to bring a faithful public response in your context, as well as support and care for those who need it.

Our panelists:

Toddy, Drag artist, standup comedian and musician

Toddy is a high energy drag artist, standup comedian and musician. Toddy is the season 1 winner of Call Me Mother on OUTTV. They have been featured at JFL Toronto, JFL Vancouver, CBCLOL, VSO’s Symphony of Terror and Toronto Pride. Trained as an opera singer, they find themself at the intersection of classical music and pop-culture, mixing them together in unique and bold ways! Toddy is a rising star in the music and comedy world; with albums for each coming out in 2023. 

Rev. Nobuko Iwai, Grosvenor Park United Church

Rev. Nobuko Iwai (she/her) (Noh-boo-koh Ee-wah-ee) is a 1.5 generation Japanese Canadian woman, born in Japan, raised across three provinces in Canada. She is the well-beloved partner of Doug, a minister, a cancer survivor, and a multi-generational preacher’s kid. In Japanese, Nobuko means woman of faith, taken from Luke 1, at the meeting of Elizabeth and Mary. She is ordained in The United Church of Canada, and has served across Saskatchewan both as intentional interim minister and in regular ministry. She enjoys trying all kinds of new experiences, isn’t much of a perfectionist, is a dog lover, zentangler, and enjoys puttering.  Since 2015 she has served as ministry personnel at Grosvenor Park United Church, an Affirming ministry in Saskatoon, SK, Treaty Six.

Hazel Woodrow, Education Facilitator at the Canadian Anti-Hate Network

Hazel Woodrow is the Canadian Anti-Hate Network’s Education Facilitator. She holds bachelors degrees in sociology and social work, and brings a trauma informed approach to hate prevention, intervention, and reparation. Prior to her current role with the organization, she was a researcher and analyst with CAHN. She has appeared on podcasts and provided analysis and commentary to media, regarding her research. As a convert to Islam, Hazel’s work is strongly informed by the Holy Quran’s command to bear witness, and to seek equity and justice. The Canadian Anti-Hate Network is a nonpartisan, non-profit, proudly anti-fascist organization with the mandate to counter, monitor, and expose hate promoting movements, groups, and individuals in Canada using every legal, ethical, and reasonable tool at our disposal.

Registration is free and required through the United in Learning website at the link below.

https://catalog.churchx.ca/product?catalog=UILX1151

Affirming celebration for Port Wallis United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Port Wallis United Church

Date:             Sunday February 12, 2023

Time:            10 am to 12 pm

Location:    263 Waverley Road, Dartmouth NS and on Zoom

Register for Zoom at https://portwallisunitedchurch.ca/virtual

Website:     https://portwallisunitedchurch.ca/ 

Phone:         902-435-3644

Email for sending congratulations (church office) https://portwallisunitedchurch.ca/contact  

Affirming celebration for Riverview United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Riverview United Church

Address:  760 Hwy #2  Elmsdale NS  B2S 1G3 

Date:  Saturday February 18, 2023

Time: 2:00 pm

Location:    in-person at 760 Hwy 2, Elmsdale, NS

Website:     elmsdalecooperativeministry.com

 Church Phone:   902-883-9274

Email for sending congratulations (church office) elmsdalecooperativeministry@gmail.com 

Statement in Response to a Rise in Hatred

Anti-Hate Statement from King Julez

Hello Members and Supporters of Affirm United. Its King Julez here, and I’m one of your chairs on the board of directors. I’m here to talk to you about the rise of hate across our country and across our ministries. At Affirm United, we denounce this hate. This Homophobia, this Transphobia, Bi-phobia, all of it. We know that denouncing it isn’t enough, so we’re also taking action. Members of our board are meeting with folks from Affirming Connections, as well as the General Council Office at the United Church of Canada, to think about the ways that we can actively support and honour the lives of 2SLGBTQ+ folks in our communities. We are looking at providing educational resources for staff, lay people, and all of your communities to combat hate and to be able to provide safe spaces for folks in your area.

We are collaborating to build this support and to provide everything that we can, because we know that this is a difficult time, in many of our lives, and especially those of us who fall within in the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

We ask that you be our eyes and ears in your various locations. We strive to protect those of you who are victims of this kind of hate and of this discrimination. But we need to know what’s going on as well. Feel free to email our Communications Coordinator, M, at communications@ause.ca, or through our communications portal on our website. We want to know what’s going on. We want to know where it’s happening. We want to know where we can best support you. Please let us in and let us know what we can do and when we can do it.

We are here for you; we are here for all of the people who need it. We are stiving to do the best that we can, and we know that we can always do better.

Thank you for being a part of this community, and for trying your best to protect and create safe space in your communities.

We know that this hate is hard. We know that its continuing to come. We are here. We are powerful and we are strong as a community. Thank you for doing everything that you do.

Transgender Day of Remembrance

The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), also known as the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, has been observed annually (from its inception) on November 20 as a day to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia. It is a day to draw attention to the continued violence endured by transgender people.

Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender woman, to memorialize the murder of transgender woman Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. It has slowly evolved from the web-based project started by Smith into an international day of action. In 2010, TDoR was observed in over 185 cities throughout more than 20 countries.

On November 20, we remember and honour Two-Spirit, trans and non-binary people killed around the world because of hatred and oppression. Affirm United/S’Affirmer Ensemble renews our commitment to fighting transphobia in all its forms.

Affirming celebration for Trinity United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Trinity United Church

3555 5th Avenue, Prince George BC V2M 1K8

Date: October 30, 2022

Time: 10 am PST

Location: 3555 5th Ave. (5th and Union) or www.trinitypg.ca or @TrinityUCPG on FB or Youtube

Website: https://www.trinitypg.ca/

Phone: 250-563-9167

Email for sending congratulations (church office)     office@trinitypg.ca        

Affirming celebration for Thornhill United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Thornhill United Church  

Date:             Sunday, October 16, 2022 

Time:            10:30 a.m. 

Location:     25 Elgin Street, Thornhill Ontario and on Zoom 

Join Zoom Meeting by computer, tablet or cell phone: 

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/566527256?pwd=Y1NtZ09KR21qNENxYy9McEJwM2JCUT09

Meeting ID: 566 527 256   Password: 011 654  

Join by phone:         647 374 4685  or 647 558 0588 

Website:   thornhillunitedchurch.ca  

Phone:   905-889-2131   

Email for sending congratulations (church office): info@thornhillunitedchurch.ca 

Please find below a message from Rev. Eli Carter-Morgan – Western Affirming Ministries Co-Ordinator!

My name is Eli (EE-lye) Carter-Morgan and I use they-them pronouns.  I am here to re-introduce myself as the western Affirming Ministries Co Ordinator.  I have had the honour of serving in this role since 2016, but a re-introduction is needed as I am going by a new name and pronouns.

I also hope that this time can be a learning experience for those of you who have never experienced working with someone with a non-binary identity.  I am happy to answer any questions or be a part of any local (Edmonton) or online panels if that is helpful. 

As a small child I was known by a derivative of my middle name, Annie, or as my double named Elizabeth Anne. With school came the need for something shorter – Elizabeth.

My teen years brought a new identity that fit me better, and I have gone by Liz ever since, though I added a Rev. Before and a Morgan to the end, marking important changes in my life.

I have never fit comfortably within the gender binary, and as time has passed, society has produced different ways of understanding and expressing this. We have always used “they/them” pronouns when unsure of someone’s gender, but it has now become more common.  I am agender – which means the category of gender has little meaning when applied to myself. This is one type of non- binary, a type of transsexual.

With new times come new names.  The biblical story of the call of Samuel, and the role Eli (EE- lye) plays in that story speak strongly to me, so I will begin going by the name Eli starting July 1.

I recognize that change is difficult, and I expect people will sometimes use the previous names or pronouns. The best thing to do is correct yourself quickly and move on.   There is a huge difference between a slip of the tongue and the malicious misgendering that has led to media attention and discipline of employees etc.

I deeply appreciate Linda and Kim helping to support the western ministries this summer as I have been settling back into Edmonton and my new call serving Spirit West United Church.

Affirming celebration for Dublin Street United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for 

Date: September 25, 2022

Time: Service at 10:30 am

Location: 68 Suffolk Street West, Guelph ON N1H 2J2                                

See Dublin St. UC website for Service information.

Website: https://www.guelphunited.org/dublin

Phone: 519-821-0610

Email for sending congratulations (church office ) Jennifer Pellegrino, Office Administrator      office@dublin.on.ca

Affirming celebration for Georgian Shores United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Georgian Shores United Church

Date:  Sunday September 25, 2022

Time: 10:30 am

Location:    997 4th Ave East, Owen Sound, Ontario

Please check the website for information about live streaming

Website:     http://georgianshoresuc.org/

 Phone:   519-376-3890     

Email for sending congratulations (church office) office.gshoresuc@bmts.com      

Affirming celebration for Wesley United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Wesley United Church

Date:  25 September 2022

Time: 10 am

Location:    The Sanctuary, Wesley United Church

Address:    77 William Street, St. Andrews, NB  E5B 1W8

Websitehttps://wesleyunitedchurchstandrewsbytheseanb.ca

Phone:   506-529-3527       

Email for sending congratulations (church office) wesleyunitedstandrews@gmail.com 

Please send a note of congratulations to the entire faith community of Wesley United Church through this private form:    

Affirming celebration for St. George & St. Andrew United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for St. George & St. Andrew United Church!

Date:   Thursday September 22, 2022

Time:  7 pm

Location:    393 George Street, Annapolis Royal NS  B0S 1A0

Website:     https://www.unitedchurchannapolisroyal.com/

Phone:   902-532-7954

Email for sending congratulations (church office) stgeorgeandstandrew@gmail.com

Please send a note of congratulations to the entire faith community of St. George & St. Andrew United Church through this private form:

Affirming Ministry Celebration for Beacon United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Beacon United Church!

Date: Sunday September 18, 2022

Time: 11:00 am

Location: 25 Beacon Street Yarmouth NS B5A 2W2 . . . In-person

Website http://beaconunited.org/

Phone 902-742-4320

Email for sending congratulations beaconunited@eastlink.ca

Please send a note of congratulations to the entire faith community of Beacon United Church through this private form:           

Affirming celebration for Peninsula United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Peninsula United Church

Date:  Sunday August 7, 2022

Time: 10 a.m.

Location:    2756 127 Street, Surrey BC  V4A 6L5  

The in-person worship part of the celebration will be live-streamed on the Peninsula United Church YouTube channel, and also available there for later viewing.

Website:     https://www.peninsulaunited.com/ 

Check website for Affirming Ministry page . . . . coming soon!

Phone:  604-531-2979

  Email for sending congratulations (church office) office@peninsulaunited.com 

Please send a note of congratulations to the entire faith community of Peninsula United Church through this private form:

Affirming celebration for Bramalea United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Bramalea United Church

363 Howden Blvd, Brampton  ON  L6S 4L6

Date:  Sunday  June 26, 2022

Time: 10:00 am

Location:    363 Howden Blvd, Brampton ON   – and live streamed on website

Website:     https://nbuc.ca/

Phone:         905-450-8003       

Email for sending congratulations (church office) office@nbuc.ca

Please send a note of congratulations to the entire faith community of Bramalea United Church through this private form:   

Affirming celebration for Enniskillen Tyrone United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Enniskillen Tyrone United Church

2702 Consession Road 7, Bowmanville ON L1C 3K6     

Date:  Sunday June 26, 2022

Time: 10:25 am

Location:    In person at 2702 Consession Road 7, Bowmanville  and Facebook Live at http://www.facebooklive.com/jeffdoucette1

Website:     https://enniskillentyroneunitedchurch.wordpress.com/ 

Phone:   905-263-4107 

Email for sending congratulations (church office)    enniskillentyroneunitedchurch@gmail.com 

Please send a note of congratulations to the entire faith community of Enniskillen-Tyrone United Church through this private form:       

Affirming celebration for Humbercrest United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Humbercrest United Church

16 Baby Point Road,   Toronto ON  M6S 2E9

Date:  Sunday June 12, 2022

Time: 10:30 am

Location:  In person at 16 Baby Point Road or live-streamed on Youtube . . . celebration lunch to follow service

Website:     https://www.humbercrest.ca/

Phone:   416-767-6122

Email for sending congratulations (church office) Info@humbercrest.ca  

Please send a note of congratulations to the entire faith community of Humbercrest United Church through this private form:

Affirming celebration for Pacific Mountain Regional Council

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Pacific Mountain Regional Council!

Date:  Saturday June 11, 2022

Time:   3:00 pm

Theme:  Rooted and Grounded in Love: General Meeting 2022

Location:   In person at the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre and as visitors on the land of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, 808 Canada                 Games Way, Prince George, BC, V2L 5T6

Online participation is also available.

Websitehttps://pacificmountain.ca/

Phone Contact Number: 1-800-934-0434

Email for sending congratulations: pacificmountain@united-church.ca

Please send a note of congratulations to Pacific Mountain Regional Council through this private form:

Affirming celebration for Kingsview United Church!

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Kingsview United Church

505 Adelaide Avenue East, Oshawa ON L1G 2A4

Date:  Sunday June 19, 2022

Time: 10:25  am

Location:    505 Adelaide Avenue East, Oshawa ON

Website:     kingsviewunitedchurch.com

Phone:   905-436-2000

Email for sending congratulations (church office)     kingsview@kuchurch.com  

Please send a note of congratulations to the entire faith community of Kingsview United Church through this private form:

Affirming Ministries Video!

Let’s create together!

I would love for all of the Affirming Ministries across Canada to send me a short and simple video clip!

I will use these clips to create a montage of Affirming Ministries sharing their love!

What should you do?

Take a video of your Affirming Ministry blowing a kiss. It could be one member, two members or the entire community. In the video, you will (1) reach out to your left to grab a kiss (2) turn to your right and blow a kiss in that direction. Super simple.

Please be sure to have your phone/camera landscape view.

The video file should be short enough that you can easily email it to me at laura@mcclureunitedchurch.org. If you have any problems uploading, please send me an email and we’ll find another way.

I need all videos by end of day on Sunday, June 12th.

I will put them together and have a completed video by Friday, June 17th. Feel free to use it in your Pride or Affirming Ministry services.




AUSE AGM!

Join us on July 14-17 for our AGM!
Come as a voting representative from your community of faith, or grab your own membership and represent as yourself with a vote!
More details to come, stay tuned! See you there!

Meet your Board Post #12 – Meet our Consultants!

Affirm United / S’affirmer Ensemble is working with two consultants, Brian Hoessler and Kit Loewen, to help us imagine what our organization can be and develop a plan for the coming years. Over the next few months, Brian and Kit will be consulting and engaging with the AUSE Council, staff, members, and other key stakeholders to identify the organization’s root causes of success, articulate new directions, and identify pathways forward.

Today, you’ll meet Kit!

Kit Loewen (She/Her, B.Sc., B.Ed., M.Ed) lives with her family in Saskatoon, on the traditional territory of the Plains Cree (Nēhiyawak), Saulteaux, Dakota and Nakoda people bound by the commitments made in Treaty 6.  Kit’s home rests on land settled by La Prairie Round/Prairie Métis settlements, including Road Allowance communities. 

Among other things, Kit is a consultant committed to working with non-profit organizations to support their vitality in their communities through a variety of organizational development approaches (which include governance refinement, strategy work, and non-profit life cycles). Kit is an active member of St. Martin’s United Church, where she is currently a member of the Affirming Action Group and Chair of the Ministry and Personnel Committee. Currently, she is pleased to sit as an ally-member of the Board of OUTSaskatoon, whose mission is to “To uplift 2SLGBTQ people by leading, serving, and supporting in a dynamic community.”

Prayer and Statement in Response to Recent Hate Crimes

Affirm United / S’affirmer Ensemble grieves the news of multiple hateful attacks on our communities of faith that are working to live into their present or pending Affirming Status.

We pray for St. Andrew’s United Church in Hamilton ON, who had racist stickers placed on their church sign.

We pray for the community of First United Church in Fort Saskatchewan, AB who had their Pride flag stolen.

We pray for Metropolitan United Church in Toronto, ON who had vandalism using homophobic and anti-Semitic graffiti.

We pray for St. Luke’s United Church in Upper Tantallon, Nova Scotia, whose Pride flag was torn down and a stone thrown through the glass door of the church building.

We pray for Scarboro United Church in Calgary, Alberta, who had their Pride banner damaged by cuts and burn marks along with the word “repent” written in black marker.

We at Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble aim to Educate, provide Action and Support people of all sexual orientations and genders, and sexes in finding support and community within The United Church of Canada. We encourage all communities of faith to become PIE: Public, Intentional and Explicit. This means being Public: Being out and proud! Using symbols, signs and words which are echoed outside and inside the church building, in all facets of church life; Intentional: An Affirming ministry is deliberate in their process of study, education and dialogue with members of their faith community. They ensure that the history of oppression and discrimination by the Church is both understood and acknowledged, and that continued growth, education, and celebration are part of its ministry; and Explicit: An Affirming ministry is very clear about who it welcomes. It names queer, trans, and Two Spirit people and the gifts they are.

We understand that being PIE can be difficult. But we take solace in the messages that came after these hateful attacks – at St. Luke’s where the Pride flag was torn, Rev. Rick Gunn said in a statement on facebook “We may never know what was going through this man’s head or heart. Tearing down a Pride flag is a message all on its own, however.” Rev. Gunn encouraged his community of faith to pray for the perpetrator.

Similarly, at Scarboro United, where their banner was damaged by cuts and burn marks, Rev. Erin Klassen said, “This most recent experience is an important reminder that being an Affirming Congregation, an Affirming Region, an Affirming Denomination, an Affirming Society, does not happen by accident and should not be taken for granted. It requires intention, discernment, agency, and action.”

We agree.

We pray for these communities of faith and stand in solidarity with our siblings in the LGBTQQIA+ and Two Spirit communities that continue to be the target of hate crimes. We remember and proclaim our commitment to working for justice and inclusion for all. We will continue to strive for peace and equity for all people through our daily actions in church and community.

Meet your Board Post #11 – Meet our Consultants!

Affirm United / S’affirmer Ensemble is working with two consultants, Brian Hoessler and Kit Loewen, to help us imagine what our organization can be and develop a plan for the coming years. Over the next few months, Brian and Kit will be consulting and engaging with the AUSE Council, staff, members, and other key stakeholders to identify the organization’s root causes of success, articulate new directions, and identify pathways forward.

Today, you’ll meet Brian!

Brian Hoessler (He/They, B.Sc, M.A) is an independent consultant who enjoys working with individuals, groups, organizations, and communities to build their capacity to make positive change in the world. He is the Founder and Principal Consultant for Strong Roots Consulting, a firm based in Saskatoon on Treaty 6 territory and the traditional homeland of the Métis.

Over the past decade, Brian has worked with over 30 non-profit organizations, government agencies, and multi-stakeholder initiatives in the areas of program evaluation, organizational capacity-building, and strategic planning.

Brian grew up in Winnipeg and as an adult has lived in Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Kingston (Ontario) before moving to Saskatoon in 2012. He is currently an adherent with SSUC-Saskatoon (formerly Meewasin Valley United Church), where he participated in the congregation’s process of becoming an Affirming Ministry.

Meet your Board Post #10

This week, you’ll be meeting Michelle!

Originally from Portland, Oregon; Michelle came to Vancouver, BC in 2011 as a student at Capilano University. Shortly being introduced to St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church by a friend who was part of the gospel choir, Michelle quickly felt at home as she became involved in the choir which led her to reignite her love of singing.

Becoming a member of St. Andrew’s Wesley United (STAW) in 2014, has given Michelle the space to flourish spiritually by becoming involved in ministries such as the Word Is Out (LGBTQ2S+) as an ally and helping with the planning of their summer conference of SpiritPride that takes place leading up to Pride Weekend in Vancouver; acting as Chair of the Affirm Committee when STAW decided to embark on the journey of becoming an affirming congregation in 2013, to becoming involved in various events for the TRC, helping refugees and their families settle into Canada to supporting community ministries such as The Chapel, a space within STAW that offers a place for the community to come together in storytelling, faith and music. She also sits on the church board as Secretary. (Michelle jokes fondly that she is an uber church geek 🤓)

Having found that Vancouver was where her heart was, she became a permanent resident in 2020 and looks forward to becoming a citizen in the future.  Most recently she has stepped into the role of Office Administrator at Pacific Spirit United (formerly: Ryerson/Dunbar United) and loves working with the ministry team and getting to know the welcoming congregation there.

In her spare time, Michelle enjoys discovering new music, going to concerts, volunteering in the community, singing in SummerChor and traveling with friends.

*Little known fact: Michelle is in the Guiness Book of World Records for being part of the largest Zombie Walk in the US, that took place in Seattle, Washington***

Meet your Board Post #9

This week, you’ll be meeting Linda, our Coordinator of the Affirming Ministry Program!

Linda, a United Church member by birth and by choice, has worked/volunteered at all levels of The United Church of Canada with children, youth and adults, mainly in the areas of Resource Ministry and Affirm United’s Affirming Ministries Program.  She is a member of Sydenham Street United Church in downtown Kingston, ON, an Affirming Ministry since 1999.  Linda loves her contacts with ministries across Canada as a Coordinator of Affirm United’s Affirming Ministry Program since 2012.  Linda and her spouse, Bruce, have two adult children and four grandchildren, and enjoy being together . . . . gardening, walking, travelling . . . and talking!!

Trans Day of Visibility

The Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV) is a day to show support for the Two-Spirit, transgender and gender diverse communities. Importantly, it is to support all those who identify as transgender. Not all Two Spirit or gender diverse folks are transgender, but some are. A piece of being a PIE ally is to listen to how folks identify and be respectful of that.

Trans Day of Visibility aims to bring attention to the accomplishments of trans people around the globe while fighting cis-sexism and transphobia by spreading knowledge and educating about gender diversity outside of the male/female binary. Unlike Transgender Day of Remembrance, this is not a day for mourning: this is a day of celebration and getting the recognition trans folks deserve! Since 2010, TDOV happens every year on March 31.

Trans folks are not only surviving but are also transforming how we understand gender. Trans and gender diverse folks are not new, and being trans is not a modern trend. Cultures from all over the world have always recognized the important and sacred role trans folks play in our various communities. In an increasingly transphobic climate, we must use the newfound visibility to mobilize trans people against oppression, especially that of transgender youth and transgender athletes.

Speaking out, taking direct action, and educating others is critical to the safety and wellbeing of Two Spirit,  trans and gender diverse people. This recognizes that while visibility is important, we must take action against transphobia and cis-sexism. Visibility is not enough alone to bring gender liberation, freedom from our cis-normative world. However, we can use visibility as a vital tool for Two Spirit, transgender, and gender diverse justice.

Meet your Board Post #8

This week, you’ll be meeting Joyce!

Joyce Payne was born and raised in London, Ontario, and throughout all her life she has been a dedicated volunteer to the United Church. Joyce’s commitment and passion is for social justice. For many years Joyce has supported local politics for candidates that named social justice and equality as major components of their campaigns. Within the church Joyce lived her theology by leading out-of-the-cold meal teams for over a decade, and spent her summer holidays offering Community Vacation Bible School programs. Joyce was a trained Licensed Lay Worship Leader for 30 years and was a favoured preacher throughout Middlesex Presbytery.


Joyce was retired from her work after 38 years in 2007, as a Distribution Analyst at 3M and Imation and immediately started her full-time volunteer position as the chair of the Pastoral Relations Committee for Middlesex Presbytery.


Joyce has a deep faith and strong ethical commitments. Her unwavering commitment to God allowed her to hear the call to her volunteer roles as President of London Conference, and subsequently President of Antler River Watershed Region. Throughout her presidency she encouraged individuals and communities of faith to Bloom Where They are Planted, and to “Be Present” following the inspiration found in scripture in 2 Timothy and John 1. Joyce has been able to do this successfully throughout her life – even when adversity was obvious. She has believed in and followed the call of the God who says in 2 Timothy 2; “Be the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to God’s guests for their blessing.”

Meet your Board Post #7

This week, you’ll be meeting David!

David Hall is in his second year as a Member At Large on the AUSE Council and is currently the chair of the Affirm Committee at Silver Spire United Church. With his passion and education in conducting, voice and piano, David has served as a volunteer and as staff in the music ministry of various churches including positions as an elder, moderator and facilities chair. David has been a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ Advisory Committee to the City of St. Catharines and of the Working Group for OutNiagara as well as facilitating a group of LGBTQ+ Christians and allies. David works fulltime as the VP, Manager of Health and Safety & Risk in a wood manufacturing company owned by his sister and brother-in-law. He enjoys hiking, biking, swimming, beaches and travelling with his partner Jim as well as reading, writing, gardening, baking (especially Nova Scotia molasses brown bread) and jigsaw puzzles. David lives with his partner Jim Graham in St. Catharines, Ontario where David’s family including his two daughters and son-in-law also live. David plans to retire in the next three years so he can spend more time with Jim and to travel to all the provinces and territories of Canada.

Happy PIE Day!

Did you miss our Queer Virtue event, in partnership with Affirming Connections?

Well, we have it here for you! Happy PIE Day – thank you for all you do to be Public, Intentional and Explicit in your affirming work!

Meet your Board Post #6

This week, you’ll be meeting Peter, our treasurer!

Born and raised a Calgarian, Peter was baptized at St. Mathews United Church in Calgary. His parents were instrumental in building the new Sanctuary where his oldest sister was the first bride to be married there in 1959. A few years later, “Religion” was put on the back burner for Peter for many many years. In 2012, Peter entered the doors of Hillhurst United, an affirming congregation, and found a new spiritual home. Today he is the Financial Administrator at Hillhurst.

A graduate of the University of Calgary in 1976, he went on to become a Chartered Account from 1979 to 2008, specializing in Financial Systems for the Not-for-Profit Sector. It was that experience that brought him to the attention of Hillhurst leadership when they were looking for a new Finance Guy as they were entering the 21st Century. In his first summer of employment, Hillhurst United was the venue for the Affirm United/ S’Affirmer Ensemble AGM and Annual Conference. Peter seemed to “jump-in” with both feet. Peter will be retiring from Hillhurst in April/2022 and will fill his time with AUSE “things”.

Meet your Board Post #5

This week, you’ll be meeting Caitlin!

Hi, my name is Caitlin Smithers, She/Her pronouns. I identify as a lesbian. I am so excited to be a part of the Affirm United Council! I am a student at the Atlantic School of Theology and the Centre for Christian Studies. I am currently a Candidate for Ordained Ministry within the United Church of Canada. I am working half time in a Congregational Designated Minister position with Children, Youth and Families Ministry at a Church here in Halifax NS. This will be my third year in that paid role, and in the United Church of Canada, though I have worked for over 10 years as a volunteer with children, youth and families in the Baptist Church and United Church of Canada. I have been passionate about inclusion, love, and advocacy throughout that ministry, and my continued ministry to demonstrate and reassure people they are loved by God, unconditionally for all of who they are. I enjoy horseback riding, gardening and being out in nature. I dream of opening a garden church one day.

Everyone Gets A Slice! Affirming Panel

An official National Affirming/PIE Day event brought to you by Affirming Connections and Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble!

This years PIE Day theme is “Everyone Gets A Slice!”

Looking at the LGBTQIA2S+ acronym, which represents an endless diversity of identities and expressions, we acknowledge that some of the people who are represented by these letters often tend to get left out or underserved. Our guests panelists share their stories and expertise to invite us to consider which folks we may not have included in our Affirming programming and educational efforts and take strides to remedy that.

Come with your curiosity to meet these amazing leaders and be inspired to apply the principles of being PIE: Public, Intentional, and Explicit, in your journey to being a more Affirming person and community.

With guest panelists:

  • Jamie Arpin-Ricci (author, activist, and pastoral leader at Little Flowers Community)
  • Dieulita Datus (community organizer and co-founder of Ubuntu – Mobilizing Central Alberta)
  • Chris Cochrane (Trans activist, educator, public speaker, Support Service Educator for The Youth Project, and Vice Chair of Halifax Pride)
  • Rev. Andrea Brennan (Priest at Christ Church and Minister at Knox United Church, Fernie, BC)

5:30pm PT
6:30pm MT
7:30pm CT
8:30pm ET
9:30pm AT

Zoom Sign up Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIld-CrrDsjH9LZ5_v4qJgASHVDpVTU9ZxC?fbclid=IwAR1PgSeDs6vmPOiJzMpEXzqQEAlcJFWFw3C-g85rrAm4Zr5rtmMRrpYvx0s

Meet your Board Post #4

This week, you’ll be meeting Julian / King Julez, our other Co-Chair!

Julian / King Julez has been a part of the AU/SE council since 2018, and became chair of the council at our 2021 AGM! They are passionate about creating equitable space, and hope to one day do that as a drag clown Reverend within The United Church of Canada. Historically, clowns have been storytellers, truth tellers, and the ones who poke fun at the people and systems in power. Bringing that energy into ministry is one way to make religion, and in King Julez’s case contemporary Christianity, more accessible.

Outside of the church, King Julez is currently working at a pet store and caring for their four cats at home. They love Christmas and Easter, and supporting local artists and businesses.

Meet your Board Post #3!

This week, you’ll be meeting Emma, our Secretary!

Emma Pipes is passionate about radical inclusivity and safer spaces in the Christian community. She has been involved in the United Church of Canada since being a baby and now serves in ministry! In her free time Emma enjoys hikes in nature, music and singing as well as theatre, arts and social justice work. Her favourite food is Shepherd’s Pie and Macaroni and Cheese.

Meet your Board Post #2!

This week, you’ll be meeting Brent, our Co-Chair!

Brent Alexander was born in Saskatoon, raised in Val Marie, SK and Carstairs AB. Lived, worked and studied in 5 provinces and six countries on three continents after leaving home. Sadly has not stepped foot in the other 5 provinces. Since 2018, Brent calls Leslieville, Toronto ON home, along with his husband (m. 2008) and sons (a. 2011; b. 2007 and 2009).
Brent’s Proudest Gay Moment was when he presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in Vancouver in 2003 while it was studying Equal Marriage and enjoying the fruits of that moment 5 years later when he wed his husband with one of the Committee of Justice members in attendance.
Started attending Hillhurst UC in 2007 and officially became a member in 2010. Takes a long time for RC’s to let go of the past and embrace the future! Current member of East End United Regional Ministry.
Brent is also the Lead Coordinator of Glen Rhodes Food Bank.

Meet your Board!

Starting this week, we are going to have “Meet your Board” posts posted every Saturday for you to get to know who is currently on the board! All of these posts have been written by the board members, and we hope that you’ll enjoy them!

This week is Mallory Brennan!

• Mallory Brennan once bicycled across New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as part of a performing and cycling tour to promote environmental sustainability

• Mallory does not wear shoes in church unless it is a concert

• Mallory collects Christmas hats and currently has a dozen completely ridiculous hats

• Mallory has her MA in Community Music

• Mallory works year round for Welcome Friend Association’s Rainbow Camp, a summer camp for 2SLGBTQ+ teens

• Mallory has two cats, Mooncat and Louie

A Christmas Message from the AUSE Board Chair

Hello, members of Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble! 

As we continue on through this pandemic, is can be difficult to keep our eyes on the end of the tunnel. I am here to remind you of the themes of Advent that we have been observing over the last four weeks: hope, peace, joy, and love. We hope for the best future and for the safety of all. We carry the peace of Christ with us as we walk along. We seek out and find joy in the places we least expected to find it. Most importantly, we love largely, loudly, and harder than ever before. 

I urge you to carry the spirit of Christmas (and the themes of Advent) with you publicly, intentionally, and explicitly as we move together into another year. The community that we share is life giving and ever affirming. We are here for you, just as you are there for one another. 

You all continue to amaze me, the Board of Directors, and God, with your work and dedication to making our world a more inclusive and affirming place. 

Merry Christmas, happy new year, and God be with you, amen!

– Julian | King Julez | they/them

Meet your outgoing Treasurer!

Meet Anne Wood! The outgoing Treasurer of Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble- Anne completed 4 years as Treasurer in July of this year. Anne and her wife Ruth recently celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary. They live in Kingston, ON, and have 2 children and 6 grandchildren who all live in the Kingston area. 

Anne says that she and Ruth have benefited from the work of Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble, although they do not yet belong to an Affirming Community of Faith.

Her hobbies include reading, sewing and photography. With stepping down from the board, she will have the free time to pursue several ideas for family history projects, using pictures and stories that were passed down from her grandparents and letters and pictures that were saved by Ruth’s grandparents. 

Thank you for all of your hard work, Anne!

Introducing the new Communications Coordinator!

Hi everyone! My name is M Chorney, and I work part time out of Winnipeg / Treaty 1 territory as AU/SE’s NEW Communications and Marketing Coordinator! My home congregation is Selkirk United, in Selkirk, Manitoba, and I grew up on a farm outside of the city. I have been involved in the Church since I was very young, and have an honours degree from the University of Manitoba in Political Science, with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. My partner and I live in downtown Winnipeg, and will be getting married next summer! I am excited to start this new role and assist AU/SE with their work. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions at communications@ause.ca, and I look forward to working with all of you!

Virtual Summer Conference 2021! AGM and Worship!

Saturday July 24th and Sunday July 25th 2021

Greetings Friends,

Tomorrow morning we begin our 2021 Annual Meeting Weekend Online! Here is the link to your weekend itinerary (Make sure to look for individual links, ie. “Morning Gathering” has its own link, ID/password).

This itinerary below will guide you through our weekend together!

WEEKEND ITINERARY:https://docs.google.com/…/1E1AblrL5sAj7LGTEIGQc…/edit…

Please submit any questions to: communications@ause.ca.

Members register now for your vote at the Annual General Meeting at 2:00PM- 4:00PM (EDT) (guests welcome to join the discussion)

https://zoom.us/…/tJ0pdeuvrTouH9RI4yCm_4cqnRnNkLOqqHA1Want to be a member? Learn more!https://affirmunited.ause.ca/membership/

Affirming Ministry Celebrations are planned for Westminster United in Medicine Hat, Alberta!

Westminster United Church – Medicine Hat, Alberta

Affirming celebration for Westminster United Church

101 6th Street SE  Medicine Hat  AB  T1A 1G7

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Westminster United Church. 

Date: Sunday June 27, 2021

Time:   Service available anytime after 9 am MDT

Location:    Westminster UC Medicine Hat Facebook page and the website as a prerecorded service

Website:     https://westminsteruc.com/

Phone: (403) 526-5247

Email for sending congratulations (church office):   reception@westminsteruc.com

Please send a note of congratulations to the entire faith community of Westminster United Church through this private form:

Congratulations St. Andrew’s United Church in Hamilton, Ontario on becoming an Affirming Ministry!

St. Andrew’s United Church, Hamilton, Ontario

Affirming celebration for St. Andrew’s United Church!

479 Upper Paradise Road, Hamilton ON L9C 5E2

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for St. Andrew’s United Church on Sunday June 13, 2021 

Time:  10:30 am (EDT)

Location:  YouTube accessed through the website

Website:   https://standrewsunitedhamilton.ca/

Phone: (905) 383-7411

Church Email for sending congratulations:  standrewshamilton@hotmail.com

Please send a note of congratulations to the entire faith community of St. Andrew’s United Church through this private form:

Congratulations to Harmony United in Saint John, New Brunswick on their Affirming Ministry!

Harmony United Church – Saint John, New Brunswick

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Harmony United Church!

Harmony United Church
8 Upland Road
Saint John  NB  E2H 2W5

Sunday June 13, 2021 at Time 9:45am (ADT)

Location: Harmony United Church – In person worship (limited due to COVID restrictions) and Live on our YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQvBdt7C56la9INBKOtvSPQ

Website:   https://www.harmonyunitedchurch.ca/

Phone:  506-696-3773

Email for sending congratulations  harmonyunitedchurch@gmail.com

Please send a note of congratulations to the entire faith community of Harmony United Church through this private form:           

It’s Pride Month!

What do you have planned for Pride Month!? Let us know! We’ve got TEN New Affirming Ministry Celebrations planned for this month across Canada from Nova Scotia to British Columbia!

Congratulations Central Saanich UC in Saanichton, BC on your Affirming Ministry!

Central Saanich United Church, Saanich, BC

An Affirming Celebration is planned for June 27th, 2021

Central Saanich United Church

7180 East Saanich Road, Saanichton, BC  V8M 1Y4

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Central Saanich United Church on Sunday June 27, 2021 

Time and location will depend on COVID-19 protocols at that time. If possible it will be in person, larger venue as the church has limited capacity and there may/will be social distancing rules in effect – possibly pre-registration required. Details are still to be determined.

Alternate plans will be:

Location:   Pre-recorded service posted on website on the morning of June 27th  

Website      https://www.centralsaanichunited.ca/   

Church Phone:  250-652-2713

Please send a note of congratulations to the entire faith community of Central Saanich United Church through this private form or email congratulations directly to megarnett@shaw.ca