Affirming Ministry Designation

Affirming Ministry Designation

Affirming Vision Statement:

As an Affirming Ministry we boldly declare that we fully welcome and include the full participation of all people in the life and work of the Ministry as we journey together, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, age, marital status, mental or physical ability, beliefs, cultural backgrounds, or economic circumstance. We are dedicated to being good stewards of God’s world, working and living towards justice and wholeness for all God’s people.

Action Plan:

  1. To reach out to LGBTQ groups in the City of Nanaimo and collaborate on initiatives that raise awareness and create safe spaces (eg PFLAG, LGBTQ safe gatherings, Gay-Straight Alliances in schools).
  2. To connect with First Nations in Nanaimo and district to explore together the recommendations of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission and our living them out as a community of faith within the United Church of Canada.
  3. To reach out to people of diverse needs, age, and abilities to discern how we might help them explore and celebrate their spirituality and walk with them in solidarity to create better lives for all (eg Spirit Well, children and youth ministry, justice-seeking advocacy).
  4. To explore opportunities to facilitate spiritual gatherings other than Sunday mornings.
  5. To inform the wider community of our Affirming Ministry designation through various media to include signage, website, brochures, articles, and education, and to help broaden the understanding of welcoming community.
  6. To revisit Brechin United Church’s Mission, Vision, and Core Values Statements to ensure they are current and reflect who we are.
  7. To discern ways to build community with the diverse multi-cultural and faith groups in the City of Nanaimo and district.

What does it mean to be an Affirming Congregation?

Brechin United Church has chosen to become a part of Affirm United (ause.ca) which is a justice-seeking organization of people in the United Church of Canada.  In doing so, we become a voice and a support for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.  "(Affirm United) draws strength and hope from biblical stories of liberation; from the prophetic call to live justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with God; and from Jesus' witness to God's inclusive love."

As an Affirming Ministry is Brechin United Church only concerned about these issues?

No.  We are not seeking to be a single-issue community.  We will continue to work on a variety of justice issues.  We know that the work of healing and justice-making, of being the church in God's world, is an ongoing part of who we are.  We have a wheel-chair accessible building that hosts a depot for Loaves & Fishes Food Bank.  We are a church that honours children as a vital component of our church family.  We provide space for a Parent Participation Pre-School and an addiction support group, amongst other community groups.  As a community of faith we will work together to animate and live out our Affirming Vision Statement and Action Plan.

Why do we post the rainbow symbols?

The rainbow symbol with the blue cross at centre is the logo for Affirm United and signifies our designation as an Affirming Ministry.  We have also chosen to display the rainbow triangle as it is universally accepted as a sign of solidarity with the LGBTQ community.

For more information on the United Church of Canada as a radically welcoming community go to:  http://www.united-church.ca/humanrights/gender.