We are very excited to announce the hiring of our new Communications Coordinator! As you may recall, our previous Communications Coordinator Julie Graham moved on to her new work in Regional Ministry this winter serving Northern Spirit, Living Skies and Prairie to Pine Regional Councils.
Affirm United/s’affirmer Ensemble is pleased to welcome Michele Petick (she/her) to the team. Michele has been hired to work with Affirm United/s’affirmer Ensemble for 20 hours/week to support various aspects of communications such as social media, website management, newsletter writing and distribution, and working with the Affirming Ministry Program Coordination team. We are excited to see how Michele’s background in website development and design will help us better connect and engage with our many members and ministries across the country!
I am so pleased to join the Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble team! I look forward to listening and working with existing and exploring communities involved with the important mission of Affirming across Canada.
A very short bit about me, I have been in digital tech for over 30 years and involved in some form of employment or volunteer position with the United Church of Canada for over 20 years. My home base is Toronto. As trends and technology constantly evolve as do I, and am committed to learning new and old ideas each and every day I breathe. “Online” is my office, so please reach out anytime!
Dear friends of Affirm United/s’affirmer Ensemble,
The council of Affirm United in agreement with First St. Andrews United, London Ontario, have decided to cancel this year’s summer conference scheduled for July 23rd to July 26 because of the uncertainty being experienced with Covid 19 Virus. We will keep you updated about the work of Affirm United, and what decision will be made in regards to our annual AGM that normally takes place at our Summer Conference. We pray for you and all your loved ones and hope you are keeping healthy and safe during this time of disruption. Please follow the guidelines that our health experts recommend so we can meet again and share our gift of God’s love.
NOTE: this celebration has been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check back for an updated celebration date. All are welcome to a celebration of becoming an Affirming Ministry for Trinity Memorial United Church on Sunday March 29, 2020 at 4:30PM to 5:30PM, dinner to follow.
Trinity Memorial United Church,
33737 George Ferguson Way,
Abbotsford BC V2S 2M4 www.trinitymemorialuc.com
Please send a note of congratulations to people of Trinity
Memorial United Church through this private form:
Are you feeling called to be a part of the work of Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble? We are currently seeking passionate and dedicated people for volunteer and staff positions. The positions are:
Communications and Marketing Coordinator (CMC)- Deadline March 2, 2020. This is a paid position, focused on communicating with members and the public. The CMC develops strategies/goals and manages all communication tools (social media, print, website, etc.).
Co-Chair (2 positions available)– Deadline June 1, 2020. This a three-year term. The co-chair(s) are responsible for the success of AUSE and the effective operation and leadership of the council/organization.
Member at Large (2 positions available)– Deadline July 13, 2020. Serves as a liaison to the general membership. Duties may change as needed to fulfill the needs of the organization/council.
Federal government to work on criminalizing “conversion therapy”: our support for this and other initiatives needed
In the spring of 2019 many in our movement were disappointed when the federal government (a Liberal majority) said that it could not ban conversion therapy through Health Canada. It cited health as a provincial jurisdiction. (What is “conversion” “therapy”? See this overview from CBC.)
Many turned to, or continued, working with their municipalities, provinces, and territories, asking them to follow MB and ON’s lead and outright ban this deeply harmful practice. As one example, in December Edmonton city council prepared to debate a ban within the city, as Alberta has not banned such “therapy” and indeed, more than a few in the province and its government support it.
Thank you to all, including many AUSE members, who are carrying this struggle forward. Special thanks to Gary Simpson in Edmonton for his research, advocacy, and advice.
As some in our Affirming movement reminded us, we need
to speak out in support of this, although we also need to be aware that the
proposal has some problems and limits. For example, the proposed Criminal Code
amendment would only apply to minors, and this may be the only way such an
amendment would be permitted under the Charter.
Whatever the advocacy options, whether national or local, we know that our
advocacy and education efforts are important and much-needed. We must continue to advocate for regional and
local responses, like
the one currently before Calgary’s council. And we need to make it clear to
our faith communities that conversion therapy is alive and in practice across
Canada to this day.
Yet the federal government’s proposal is one promising step forward. And the
mostly Christian groups who support this abusive practice will be sure to be in
loud opposition. Please read up on the government’s plans, and then if you are
so moved, contact your Member of Parliament, no matter their party, and briefly express your
support for this measure and your opposition to so-called conversion therapy.
If you identify as a church member or Christian, also make that clear to your
MP. Consider asking your community of faith, congregation, or parish to write
such a letter.
If you’re a United Church member, remember that your Regional Council is one
place to advocate, and that proposals for advocacy initiatives is an important
way to move church policy or motivate action. Such proposals should be consider
now for regional gatherings in May and June.
We need an end to this Christian-justified, cissexist, heterosexist abuse. Please
add your voice where you can.
An Affirming Ministry celebration will be held for Knox United Church on Sunday March 15, 2020 at 10:30AM at: Knox United Church 567 Sackville Drive Lower Sackville NS B4C 2S9 Phone: 920-865-9216 www.knoxsackville.ca
Please send a note of congratulations to the whole community of Knox United
this private form:
(Article également disponsible en français)
Dear friends and members in the Affirming movement: We have important news related to membership fees. At the 2019 AGM in Calgary, members present voted to make changes to the institutional and individual membership fees for the first time in over 20 years. A print mailing is going out to all current members, and to the entire national list via our e-newsletter. In the attachments below you will find:
Current context: a brief overview
How the membership fee increase works: an explanation of the new institutional/group/individual/household membership fees
What your membership fees have been supporting, 2015-2019
What your increased membership fees will allow us to do over time: the beginnings of a vision of what extra funding could accomplish
Please share this letter and the accompanying background information widely in your ministry, especially with governing, finance, Affirming, and program or justice-related bodies. Please take time to read the entire letter, not only the summary. This is an important change for AUSE and our members, and we have tried to explain both the reasons and the process as fully as we can.
The people of Ralph Connor Memorial United Church in Canmore, AB, at their Affirming celebration in November 2019.
The AUSE Council thanks you for the safer sacred space you and your ministry continue to create. Thank you for all you as supporters and members have offered this growing movement of trans, non-binary, Two Spirit, intersex, asexual, pansexual, bi, lesbian, gay people and communities—and our cisgender and heterosexual allies. You are the reason for our name: ensemble (together) and united.
Public+Intentional+Explicit= PIE. These are our standards for the full inclusion and celebration of LGBTQIA+ and Two Spirit people. Get your recipes/ ice cream/ creative planning tools ready. PIE Day 2020, Saturday March 14, is happening!
Here’s the national Facebook event. And we’re constantly updating our online home, www.pieday.ca . There are already lots of free planning resources and ready-to-use graphics posted. Remember that the free 15 minute PIE Day video is still as fresh as ever- and we’re delighted to announce that three shorter versions will be available for free download too! No day olds here! At pieday.ca you’ll also find a form for registering your event, so please make sure you sign up your extravaganza.
All can participate: you do not need to be part of an Affirming ministry; you don’t need to be United Church; and pie substitutes are welcome. You just need to be enthusiastic or curious about a Public, Intentional, and Explicit celebration of diverse genders and sexualities in your community and place of worship. That’s all. Have at it!
This year we hope to draw the circle wider, with a stronger ecumenical and interfaith focus. Much more info to come- mark your calendars, dream of dessert, and start discerning how you can spread PIE love in your community!