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Here's the latest news from Affirm United / S'affirmer Ensemble.
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Affirm United / S’affirmer Ensemble works for the full inclusion of people of all gender identities  and sexual orientations in the United Church of Canada and in society.

Nous puisons force et espoir dans les histoires bibliques de libération; de l'appel prophétique à vivre justement, à aimer tendrement et à marcher humblement avec Dieu; et du témoignage de Jésus à l'amour inclusif de Dieu.

Advent & Christmas Message

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 KJV

As the Fourth Sunday of Advent approaches, I am compelled to reflect on Love. The greatest expression of God’s love has been embodied in the person of Jesus our saviour, just as John said in 3:16. A kind of Love that was given to this world, not to condemn, but to save and set free. It is in this abundance of love that my husband, our two daughters and I, were invited to light the fourth candle of advent at our Church. 

It is the light in this candle that reminded me that Love is the golden thread running throughout the veins of our family. It is Love that binds us together and this Love cannot be forbidden nor taken away. A kind of Love that is an enduring legacy, and a light that will never fade away.  A light that no darkness can overcome; not the trials and tribulations of 2020; not the anxiety and isolation of our communities in the context of a global pandemic; not the cry and lament from systemic racism and social inequality.

It is this everlasting and amazing Love that enabled our family to approach the advent wreath sitting on the main Communion Table, and light a candle nestled in Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. In awe our family stood, Love shining in our hearts. A light that reminds us that Christ has come, that “in him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind”.

Dearest AUSE members and friends, thank you for your continued support. May the Lord bless you richly in friendship and joy and may the light of Christ shine upon your family this Christmas.


René Aguilar , Co-Chair
Affirm United / S'affirmer Ensemble


Car Dieu a tant aimé le monde qu'il a donné son Fils unique, afin que quiconque croit en lui ne périsse point, mais qu'il ait la vie éternelle. Jean 3 :16 LSB

Lorsqu’on attend le quatrième dimanche de l’Avent, humblement je vous propose une pause de réflexion. Ce merveilleux verset de Jean nous parle de la plus grande expression d’Amour de Dieu, en la personne de Jésus son fils. Une sorte d’Amour qui a été donné à ce monde qui est le nôtre, non pour condamner, mais pour sauver et libérer. C’est dans cette abondance d’amour que mon mari, nos deux petites filles et moi, avons été invité pour allumer la quatrième bougie de la couronne de l’Avent dans notre Église.

C'est la lumière de cette bougie qui m'a rappelé que l'Amour est le fil d'or entrelacé dans le tissu qui revêt notre famille, notre communauté et notre société. Une sorte d'Amour qui est un patrimoine durable et une lumière qui ne s'éteindra jamais. Une lumière luisant dans la noirceur et qu'aucune obscurité ne peut éteindre; pas même les épreuves ni les tribulations de 2020; pas l'anxiété ni l'isolement de nos communautés dans le contexte d'une pandémie mondiale; pas le cri provenant du racisme systémique et des inégalités sociales.

C'est cet Amour éternel et exceptionnel qui a permis à notre famille de s’approcher à la couronne de l'Avent sur la Table de Communion principale et d'allumer une bougie sise dans l'Espérance, la Paix, la Joie et l'Amour. Notre famille était en admiration devant cette lumière, l'Amour brillant dans nos cœurs. Une lumière qui nous rappelle que le Christ est venu, que « cette Lumière était la véritable lumière, qui, en venant dans le monde, éclaire tout homme ».

Chers membres et amis, nous vous remercions de la confiance et du soutien que vous continuez de nous témoigner. Que le Seigneur vous bénisse richement dans l'amitié et la joie, et que la lumière du Christ brille sur votre famille ce Noël.

 

New Affirming Ministry!

A new Affirming Ministry, McKenzie United Church in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba are planning a celebration for Sunday January 10, 2021 at 10:30am.

Send congratulations through our online form here!

Broadview Magazine Article

On November 17, 2020 Broadview published an article titled, 

I boycotted the Sally Ann bell-ringers. Now I’m having second thoughts.

Many people in our community took great offense to the article, as did we and we responded to the editor and publisher Joceyln Bell with this letter:

Video Resources:

St. Paul's United Church - Oakville, Ontario Affirming Celebration Sunday November 22nd, 2020.

Jordan Sullivan shares a video reflection during Transgender Week of Awareness in November 22nd, 2020 with Kitchissippi and Rideau Park United Churches.

An inspiring read and recommendation from Jordan:
The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective, by Joy Ladin

The Affirm United Shop is now OPEN!

You can now buy your very own Affirm United / S'affirmer Ensemble merchandise from our newly launched store.  Pick up a mug, stickers, a tote bag, and many other wonderful items with our "Affirm United" logo printed for you.

Do you have a great Affirming Worship Liturgy to share?

Trinity Grace United, Vancouver, BC | 2019
We are looking to build our library of Affirming worship's for New Affirming Ministry Celebrations, Affirming Anniversaries, Pride services, Pride Sunday, World Aid's Day, Transgender Awareness Week and Day of Remembrance, PIE Day, etc.

If you have any liturgies you can share please send them to Michele at communications@ause.ca and we will feature them on our website with full credits back to you and your website.

Allyship in Action

Newly Affirming congregations spread the message of justice and inclusion


By Julie McGonegal

This past summer, Grace United Church in Barrie was bedecked with a splendid rainbow walkway—a vibrant profusion of colour on its pavement that made both public and explicit its allyship with the LGBTQ+ community. It took seven people—all youth and parents—and a whopping 14 litres of paint to accomplish the feat. “By putting this symbol on the ground in a permanent way, we were making our commitment as an Affirming congregation big and visible,” explains Jeffrey Dale, Grace United’s former youth minister coordinator who is now full-time staff with Shining Waters Regional Ministry.
 
Despite the long-held view—tragically borne out in reality—that churches are hostile to LGBTQ+ people, Grace United is one of many churches in the area that have recently become, or are in the process of becoming, an Affirming ministry. Affirming ministries are United Church congregations, regional councils, camps, and more that make a public, intentional, and explicit commitment to justice and inclusion around issues of gender identity and sexual orientation. Newly Affirming congregations across Shining Waters region are clear in this commitment. All are engaged in working toward the healing of creation and challenging bias and discrimination wherever they occur, in accordance with the stated aims of Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble, an independent justice-oriented organization that helps communities of faith navigate the Affirming Ministries program.

Continue reading here
 
Reprinted with permission by: Shining Waters Regional Council

PIE Day is coming March 14th, 2021

Some PIE Day resources to get you thinking about your celebration:

https://pieday.ca/

https://united-church.ca/worship-special-days/pie-day
NOTE: Membership Fees to Affirm United / S'affirmer Ensemble will remain the same for 2021.  Thanks so much for your continued support!
In an effort to embrace the full diversity of our nation, you will see Affirm United / S'affirmer Ensemble use new ways of sharing messages with each other.  This is part of the commitment we make to take turns in listening to different voices and our Affirming commitment to each other.

This might be a helpful link for your congregation members, it is a
free translation program offered by Google.  It is available for anyone on line to use and the program can translate in to many languages.
Donate Now to Affirm United / S'affirmer Ensemble
This eNewsletter is prepared with thankfulness on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit by Michele K. Petick the Communications & Marketing Coordinator to Affirm United / S'affirmer Ensemble with many thanks for content contributions from our Affirming Ministries across Canada, our community and national partners and The United Church of Canada.  Have an important story. resource or event to tell or share?  Let us know HERE.
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Our mailing address is:
Affirm United Canada
PO Box 57057 Somerset Stn
Somerset Stn
Ottawa, ON K1R 1A1
Canada

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