The Kitchen Sink presents: Should we Empower or Make Space? with Guest Speaker Thea Sheridan-Jonah on Tuesday May 18th at 7pm

You are invited!

Tuesday May 18th, 2021 – 7:00 – 8:30pm EDT

You’re invited to join Affirm United as we gather online every third Tuesday night of the month for a time of friendship and learning together in community. This is your chance to connect with people from across the country who share your passion for Two Spirit and LGBTQ+ justice and issues.

Thea Sheridan-Jonah will be talking about her experience as a youth in the church, the times when she has been empowered and the times when space has been created for her and others.

When we talk about safer and brave spaces we often don’t touch on the difference between empowering people and intentionally making space for people, their identities, their discomfort, their fears, their joy.

Thea will be focusing on how empowerment upholds the power imbalance and social hierarchies that exist in our society and how empowerment can be both necessary and harmful. There will be time for discussion, questions, and learning together.

More about Thea:

Thea Sheridan-Jonah

Thea Sheridan-Jonah is a Grade 12 student in Oakville Ontario. Thea is passionate about getting youth involved in church work, social justice, the environment and Affirming. Her home church is St. Paul’s United Church in Oakville, Ontario where she has served on various committees including co-chairing the Affirming committee since 2018.

Outside of her home church Thea has been involved in various UCC events such as attending GC43 as a youth delegate, and as a member of the Horseshoe Falls Regional Council executive. Thea can’t wait to share more about her experience with you soon.

What have you been up to? We want to hear all about it! It’s Affirming Ministry Annual Report 2020 Report time!

Rainbow Walk at Grace United Church in Barrie, ON

Spring  2021

This spring we celebrate over 242+ Affirming Ministries who continue to be Public, Intentional and Explicit in the welcome of 2SLGBTQ+ people!

COVID has created much change over the last year for congregations and Affirming faith communities across Canada.  We were delighted when ministries who were “in the process” and completed the Affirming Ministry program rose to the challenge of celebrating in the safest ways possible.  Many anniversaries, celebrations and P.I.E. Day events moved online to Zoom, Facebook and YouTube.  The creativity of these services and all the people involved with making meaningful services, has been inspirational!

Affirm United / S’affirmer Ensemble continues to work with national Regional Councils as they explore what it means to be Affirming in their transitioning entities. We are grateful to all Affirming Ministries for the continued commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The work of Affirm United’s Council continues to grow and we look forward to another Virtual Summer Conference in July, 2021. With thanks we continue to work this year with Ren Ito (General Council Office staff resource to AU/SE) who supports us in many ways.  

It is time once again to ask you to please submit your Annual Affirming Ministry Report and your updated contact information to Michele our Communications Coordinator no later than May 31, 2021

  • Affirming Ministries Report for 2020: Share what your Affirming Ministry program did in 2020 (events, programs, workshops, etc.), and tell us about your plans for 2021. You can submit the report about your Affirming activities as part of your church’s annual report OR as a standalone report written specifically for Affirm United.
  • Please send your report electronically if possible. Information received will be shared in a variety of ways, including with ministries that are in the Affirming process and/or looking for ideas or supportive contacts. Email the report to our Communications Coordinator, Michele at If you can only submit your report in hard copy, mail it to: Affirm United / S’affirmer Ensemble, Attn: Annual Report, PO Box 57057, Ottawa, Ontario K1R 1A1.
  • Contact Info Update: Send your Affirming Ministry’s primary contact name and email address to the Communications Coordinator, Michele. This will help us update our database and website, as well as keep the Affirming Ministries list on the United Church of Canada’s website, up-to-date!
  • Share Photos and Videos! Photos and videos from workshops, worship, Pride events and more are always welcome. If you have photos and videos to share, please send them to

It is always inspiring to hear what you are doing throughout the year. We will share news and stories received from Affirming Ministries via various communication tools (website, social media, eNewsletter). We encourage you to connect with other Affirming Ministries listed on the website and those ministries in your area that may be considering becoming an Affirming Ministry, to remind ourselves that “We are not alone, we live in God’s world…”

Thank you,

Linda Hutchinson

Liz Carter-Morgan

Jackie Harper

SOGIECE / Conversion Therapy Research Project

Help Develop Supports for SOGIECE/Conversion Therapy Survivors!

April 14-July 14, 2021

We encourage everyone who is eligible to participate in a community-based research project, created by survivors, for survivors.

2S-LGBTQ+ people who have been harmed by expectations of change (subtle or blatant, religiously-based or not), are invited to: Complete an Online Survey, submit an Email Response, join a Focus Group, request a One-on-One Interview.

Take the Survey at

Our focus is to listen to those who have been harmed, assess support needs through an intersectional lens, develop an advocacy plan, and work with Canadian partners to deliver the supports needed to recover.

This project is funded by The Women and Gender Equality Department of Canada’s LGBTQ2 Community Capacity Fund.

Affirming Leaders Day!

Join us from anywhere in the world for Affirming Leaders Day!
Affirming Leaders Day is a faith-based development & connection day for allied and LGBTQ2S+ folks
Featuring Civil Rights Activist Rev. James Lawson, Queer Singer/Songwriter Semler, and Pop Culture Critic/Scholar/Author Anthony Oliveira! 

When: Saturday, May 22, 2021, 10am-4:30pm MDT

Where: Zoom Webinar

Tickets: $15-$30. Every ticket type gives you access to ALL of the sessions. 

Peace and Protest: Creating Change with Love and Intention

We explore the ways that our faith calls us to bring justice, love, peace, and hope into the world.

This year we reflect on the ways in which our communities have been strained and constrained by the pandemic and the increasing polarization of an “us vs. them” mentality. How do we resist the urge to “other” others, while still standing our ground and working for justice?


Rev. James Lawson Jr., Civil Rights Activist

Rev. James Lawson was instrumental in shaping America’s Nonviolent Civil Rights Movement. After incarceration for refusing to report to Korean War draft, he traveled to India to study Ghandi’s principles of nonviolence. After being introduced to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and moving to Nashville, he mentored a number of young students and future civil rights leaders at Vanderbilt, Fisk University, and other area schools in the tactics of nonviolent direct action. His students were instrumental in movements such as the 1963 March on Washington, the 1965 Selma Voting Rights Movement, and The Freedom Rides, to name a few. Rev. Lawson moved to Los Angeles in 1975, where he was the pastor for 25 years. He continues to be a civil rights activist and teacher on non-violence.

Rev. Lawson will be speaking on our title theme, “Peace and Protest,” and we will have a Q&A with him after his talk.


Semler, Singer-Songwriter

Semler recently became the first openly queer artist to hit Number 1 on the iTunes Christian music charts with their EP, “Preacher’s Kid.” The project explores Semler’s experience growing up as a queer person of faith. Semler has been featured on NPR, The Washington Post, and Apple Radio. Preacher’s Kid was recorded independently by Semler on a USB mic, and received over a million streams in just a few months.

We will have a Live Performance from Semler along with a special Q&A!

IG: @gracebaldridge


Anthony Oliveira, PhD, Author, Film Programmer, Pop Culture Critic

Anthony is an award-winning writer of prose fiction, graphic novels, essays, and journalism. He is also a recurring contributor to Marvel Comics, his work for which has won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book. He is the weekly host of The Devil’s Party, a podcast exploring the classics of Christian literature (including John Milton’s poetry and the Gospels) through a queer scholarly lens.

Twitter: @meakoopa


Congratulations Woodcliff United in Calgary, AB on your Affirming Ministry! Let’s celebrate!

Woodcliff United Church – Calgary, Alberta

Affirming celebration for Woodcliff United Church

5010 Spruce Drive SW, Calgary AB  T3C 3B2

Planned for: Sunday May 16, 2021

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

Date: Sunday, May 16, 2021 

Time:  10 am (MDT)

Location:  Online Service accessed from Woodcliff UC website or Woodcliff UC YouTube channel


Phone:  403-249-3121

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

Email for sending congratulations

The Kitchen Sink presents: Queer Friendship in COVID and Beyond!

You are invited!

Tuesday April 20th, 2021 – 7:00 – 8:30pm EDT

You’re invited to join Affirm United as we gather online every third Tuesday night of the month for a time of friendship and learning together in community. This is your chance to connect with people from across the country who share your passion for Two Spirit and LGBTQ+ justice.

This coming Tuesday we’ve invited Ally Phillips to be our guest speaker and will talk about how staying in touch with our LGBTQ2S+ siblings can be a challenge during times like these, how are you staying connected during these isolating times? What do queer friendships look like and mean to you? Let’s talk about the understanding, acceptance and love we can bring to each other in friendship and fellowship.

More about our guest speaker: Ally Phillips

Ally with Reese

Ally Phillips lives, works and worships in St. Catharines, Ontario with his favourite sidekick, Reese the blind beagie. Ally serves as an openly queer and trans person at Silver Spire United Church as Co Chair of council, member of the Affirm committee and youth group leader. Outside of church life, Ally enjoys working with youth, coaching lacrosse, caregiving for his Granny, cooking delicious gluten free food and being trans in public.

Topic: Kitchen Sink Series Event Zoom Information
Time: 7pm – 8:30pm EST

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 988 2809 7187
Passcode: 815307

Phone In instructions to ZOOM:

Canada (dial the number in your area code or use the Toll Free number below enter the meeting ID and the passcode with your key pad):

+1 778 907 2071
+1 204 272 7920
+1 438 809 7799
+1 587 328 1099
+1 647 374 4685
+1 647 558 0588
Toll Free: +1 855 703 8985

See you Soon at the Kitchen Sink!

Congratulations Runnymede United Church on becoming the newest Affirming Ministry in Canada!

Runnymede United Church, Toronto, ON

Affirming celebration for Runnymede United Church

432 Runnymede Road, Toronto ON M6S 2Y8

on Sunday April 25, 2021 at 1pm

All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Runnymede United Church on Sunday April 25, 2021

Time: 1 pm

Location: YouTube


Phone: 416-767-6729

Please send a note of congratulations to the entire faith community of Runnymede United Church through this private form or send an email directly to