Welcome to our Affirming Minsitry Resource Page!
Here you will find resrouces and information about all things related to what it means to be an Affirming Ministry within The United Church of Canada and the process of discernment for Trinity United Church.
What is the Affirming Ministry Program? The Affirming Ministries Program is a network of United Church of Canada ministries of all kinds that strive be fully inclusive of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. And it asks each ministry to take action.
Affirming ministries are at the heart of the Affirming movement. There are over 200 Affirming ministries and ministries in the process across Canada. The program was launched in 1992. The United Church officially endorsed the program in 2000 and encouraged its ministries to participate.
The program encourages all United Church bodies, and other Christian traditions, to study and discern what it means to be publicly welcoming and inclusive in their context. (Ministries include communities of faith, community ministries, chaplaincies of all kinds, care homes and supported living, outdoor ministries/ camps, Regional Councils, and more.) The Affirming program also encourages the study of other United Church resources that promote the inclusion of other marginalized groups.
What's the Affirming Process for Trinity United?
Story Telling – recorded stories about 2-5 minutes long answering the question, “why is Trinity United being an Affirming Ministry important to you?” The Affirming Stories will run from March to May.
Committees/Teams – Each group will be engaged with questions about being an Affirming Ministry, Why become an Affirming Ministry, what will change if we become an affirming ministry? Some of these conversations have already started (Men’s Breakfast, Fellowship, Worship) while others are starting now.
Education – in April and May host two congregational educational events focusing on what, why, when, changes, terms, culture, and understanding.
Partnership – One of the strengths of Trinity United is our ability to build partnerships that reflect our core values. The team will be working on developing partnerships with groups like: Positive Living North, UNBCQ, Pride PG, and related to issues like: housing, HIV/Aids, bullying, Coming Out, Identity, and Queer Faith.
Vote – The team is working with a timeline that has a congregational vote in June 2020.
Engagement – One of the goals is to reach out to the queer community to raise awareness of a safer space for all people to engage issues of faith and spirituality. The team is looking at different ‘soft’ forms of engagement that meet people where they’re located without saying “come join us!” or “You need to come to church!” We’re always inviting and want people to know they are wanted, included, and affirmed. However, many in the queer community are ‘leery of church’ at best and ‘church hostile’ at worst. Our goal is to break down barriers and shift perceptions. This will be very slow-moving ministry, yet programs/activities like Messy Church, Pride Fest/Parade, and Queer Labyrinth are all examples of ‘soft’ places of engagement.
I've got questions. Great. Having questions is a wonderful thing! It's part of having a living faith. Katherine Tuck, Kendra Mitchell-Foster, Rebecca Fillier, Rocky Hindmarch, and Rev. Bob are the team leading the discernment process for Trinity United. They'd love to talk with you! Seek them out. Ask questions. Engage in conversations. This is all about learning what it means to be an inclusive fellowship and how we can show that to people who after beleive and feel they're excluded from faith groups.
Here's 4 videos that help understand what being an Affirming Minsitry is all about.