Affirming Ministry

Wondering what it means to be an Affirming Ministry?

 

We can use the acronym PIE - Public Intentional Explicit – to make sure we are truly welcoming of gender and sexual diversity

 

(the following is excerpted from Affirm United / Affirming Connections Pie Day 2019)

Public …When a ministry is Public in its welcome, it gives LGBTQIA+ people more space to be out and proud...An Affirming Ministry uses symbols and signs [of being LGBTQIA+ welcoming, such a Rainbow flags] which are echoed outside and inside the church building, in worship, and in all other facets of church life... The broader community should know what an Affirming ministry stands for: a witness to the wider community that God’s love extends to everyone equally and without reserve…

 

Intentional: Being LGBTQIA+-welcoming should always be an intentional act, not an afterthought or an easy assumption. Many people and groups, the church included, assume that gender and sexual diversity are now fully accepted, so “special” efforts are no longer needed. This isn’t true. The suicide numbers and the continuing violence alone tell us that we’re a long way from full acceptance. And even if LGBTQIA+ people were fully welcomed everywhere in Canada, the churches of today have inherited centuries of transphobic and homophobic oppression carried out in the name of the Gospel. Affirming churches are still a minority, and that minority needs to express radical love with intention…

Explicit…An Affirming ministry needs to be loud and proud about who it welcomes…Affirming ministries should explicitly indicate in their Mission and Vision statement – and everywhere else! - that the LGBTQ+ community is a part of and embraced in all facets of church life…..

 

We’re already welcoming! Why Become Affirming? Why PIE for us?

 

Many ministries and people feel they already welcome everyone and wonder why they need to become an Affirming ministry. LGBTQIA2+ people (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two Spirit, +) have experienced condemnation, exclusion, and hatred within Christian communities. A deep distrust or fear of Christianity is often the result. When teens come out as LGBTQIA2+ they continue to be kicked out of Christian camps, homes, and churches. A disproportionate number attempt or die by suicide. Many people of all ages still live in closets of shame or fear...  

 

By becoming an Affirming ministry you make a public, intentional, and explicit statement that you celebrate and honour LGBTQIA2+ people…

 

Working for justice on sexual or gender issues integrates with other work for justice—including antiracism or economic justice. To be Affirming is to be on a journey for greater justice for all the earth.

 

Learn more at: 

http://affirmunited.ause.ca/affirming-ministries-program.

To sign up for the Affirm United newsletter, please click the link below:

http://affirmunited.ause.ca/sign-up-for-our-newsletter/

For more information, including the Generous Space newsletter and the film 'Belonging in the Body: Transgender Journeys of Faith,' please visit:

www.generousspace.ca

For information about the 'Tell Your Pastor "I'm Affirming"' initiative, please visit:

https://www.generousspace.ca/tell-your-pastor-imaffirming/

How to order an Affirm Rainbow Pin: 

Have you seen the awesome Affirm Rainbow Pins our greeters are now wearing every Sunday?  If you like them and would like to buy one for yourself you can go to the Affirm website and order one HERE

 

They are $10 each.  Or, if you  prefer, you can also get in touch with Sandra Campbell (alohasandra@gmail.com) and she will order one for you.  

Pacific Spirit United Church

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