Welcome!

Who are we?

Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble works for the full inclusion of people of all gender identities  and sexual orientations in the United Church of Canada and in society.

We draw strength and hope from biblical stories of liberation; from the prophetic call to live justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with God; and from Jesus’ witness to God’s inclusive love.

We’re a voice and a support for people of all sexualities and gender identities and expressions, and we help ministries become truly welcoming safer sacred spaces through our Affirming ministries program.

Membership and participation are open to people of all gender identities and sexualities.

What’s New

The Kitchen Sink Series presents: Global Partners with Guest Speaker Rev. Tim Reaburn

Tuesday December 1st – 6:30-8pm EST all are welcome around the kitchen sink! Tim Reaburn is an ordained United Church of Canada minister who lives, works, and was raised on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario.  He is currently a member of the General Council Executive of the United Church of Canada and a member of …

Youth Group Revisited with Rev. Laura Fouhse – Kitchen Sink Series | Tuesday Nov. 17th 6:30-8pm EST

The Kitchen Sink Series presents Youth Group Revisited with Laura Foushe this Tuesday, November 17th at 6:30-8:00pm EST … Join us for a great, fun time on Zoom! Youth Group Revisited: Come experience  a Covid-style youth group (for all ages, of course).  Laura will lead us in some fun and bizarre online ice breakers and …

Affirming Ministries Program

Infographic summary of the Affirming process, part 1; right click to save.

The Affirming Ministries Program is a network of primarily United Church ministries that strive to be fully inclusive of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. You don’t have to be United Church to take part, though!

Before becoming formally Affirming, local churches, colleges, church courts, assisted living homes, outdoor ministries, and other ministries study and reflect on gender identities and expressions and sexual orientations; make a statement of welcome; make changes to key policies and their building as necessary; and commit themselves to work for justice and inclusion within their community of faith, the wider church, and their community. The program was launched in 1992. The United Church officially endorsed the program in 2000 and encouraged its ministries to participate. Right now there are over 100 ministries in the Affirming process and over 200 Affirming ministries in communities of all kinds in every part of Canada!

To open our updated 95 page resource Open Hearts: Resources for Affirming Ministries in The United Church of Canada click here. (PDF format, which helps you navigate through the table of contents and preset bookmarks.) And have a look at our 2017 two page graphic summary of the Affirming process as a poster, bulletin insertFeel free to right click and download the two JPG photos on this page and use in social media and PowerPoints. Finally, download our free PDF bulletin insert/ flyer, Why Become Affirming? and help get the conversation started.

Infographic summary of the Affirming process, part 2; right click to save.

If you are on a mobile device and want to see some content online, click on the following links to see two excerpts from our Affirming Ministries Kit: Open Hearts:

Please keep exploring this site and its many resources! You’ll find stories from Affirming ministries, worship resources, videos, handouts, and more. If you’d like to be part of ongoing conversations, join our closed Facebook group, follow our Facebook page, and find us on Twitter @AffirmUnited. Questions? Ask our amazing volunteer Affirming ministry coordinators or our part time communications staff person.

Membership

Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble is a member-based movement. Your support through memberships, donations, and your time and skills make a big difference to our work together.

Membership is open to all who support our purposes, and fees go into our annual operating budget.  (For more information on what your fees and donations make possible, see our donations page.)

Please note that if you are a PAR donor (pre-authorized remittance), your membership is automatically included in your PAR donation, unless you state otherwise. And then you don’t have to remember to renew! If you’d like to become a PAR donor, please click here.

There are two types of membership:

  • Individual/household membership ($50 tax-deductible)
  • Institutional/Group/ Affirming Ministry membership, noted on the invoice your ministry will receive.
    Our fee structure changed in January 2020; please click here for more information. 

Your ministry does not need to be Affirming in order to be a member. Members are entitled to vote at the Annual General Meeting, held following our Annual Conference. Each Institutional/Affirming Ministry membership includes up to 2 voting representatives at the Annual General Meeting.

Our membership information is kept strictly confidential.  It will not be shared with any other organizations or individuals.

To become a member either:

Thank you for your support!

How to Donate to Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble

Affirm United has always been a volunteer, self-funded organization. We use your donations carefully and gratefully; your time, money, and commitment keep us loud and proud. Through you, our national network keeps in touch and expands its reach, helping the United Church and Canadian communities become fully inclusive of people of all gender identities and sexual orientations.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW

The vast majority of our annual budget is funded by donors and individual or organizational memberships. We also thank the Mission and Service Fund of the United Church for its annual grant of up to $2,000.

Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble is a federally registered charity (Business number 87449 1772 RR0001). You’ll get a tax receipt for your membership, and a tax receipt for any donations you make.

When you make a donation, we’ll send a tax receipt. There are three ways to donate:

  1. by cheque/cash/money order,
  2. by joining The United Church of Canada’s pre-authorized remittance program (PAR).
  3. by credit card through Canada Helps

What does my donation support?

When you donate, or when you pay Affirming Ministry and personal memberships:

  • You help new ministries enter the free-of-charge Affirming process by enabling workshops and accompaniment for them- sometimes for several years. At least ninety ministries are currently in the Affirming process, and your donation helps them all.
  • You help keep our network in touch, in English and French, through the website, social media, newsletter, and more.
  • You support outreach and displays at national and regional events.
  • You pay for part time staff who focus on communications and networking.
    You support diverse participation at our annual conference.
  • You enable our all-volunteer leadership to gather face to face twice yearly
  • You support new initiatives like our participation in the United Church’s living apology to sexual- and gender-diverse communities, or pastoral care for those facing discrimination in their church.
  • And more!

Our annual report includes year-end statements and budgets that will give you full details on the work your contributions support.