The Affirming process for Regional Councils

Key documents:
The Affirming Journey for Regional Councils of The United Church of Canada (PDF)
All other core Affirming documents and resources: See the Resources site section

A sea of raised hands holding pink voting cards.
Pacific Mountain Regional Council’s inaugural meeting votes unanimously to begin the Affirming process, June 2019.

Background: In January 2019, the United Church of Canada began a major restructuring, joining its regional (Conference) and sub regional courts (presbyteries) into sixteen new Regional Councils.

The seventeen presbyteries and eight Conferences that were Affirming as of 18 December 2018 passed into history, and processes for the new Regional Councils to becoming Affirming were put in place. (Background: Farewell and gratitude to Affirming presbyteries and Conferences).

These processes vary depending on factors that are outlined, along with the Affirming processes themselves, in the PDF document above. This restructuring does not affect the Affirming status of other types of ministries (eg, communities of faith, care homes, chaplaincies, national bodies.)

Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble is an independent partner of the United Church of Canada. It holds the process and designation for becoming “Affirming”: publicly, intentionally, and explicitly welcoming of diverse gender identities and sexual identities in all aspects of that ministry’s life and witness.

We welcome the commitment of Regional Councils to the Affirming journey and look forward to continuing to work together.

All Affirming journeys are unique to the needs and contexts of the ministry. And for Regional Councils, almost everything is new. We are excited to work with these new structures and ministries within the United Church, in the service of making the entire church a safer sacred space and a force for radical inclusion in Canadian society.

AUSE has worked with resource people in the new Regional Councils to develop a core document outlining the Affirming process for Regional Councils (click here or see above). And as more of the 16 Regional Councils become Affirming or start the process, we’ll post some of their own key documents here, with their permission. These will include Vision Statements, proposals or motions used for voting purposes, key policies and commitments, and Action Plans.

Questions? Contact our Affirming ministry coordinators. These are busy volunteers, and their response may not be immediate.