Becoming Fabulously Affirming (Sat)
Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble’s single biggest struggle is not outright transphobia and homophobia. Rather, the most problematic belief we face in the United Church is that the work is done: LGBTQIA+ and Two-Spirit people are already fully embraced as members of our faith communities; profoundly harmful beliefs and theologies are a thing of the past; and there’s no need for a focus on our rights, identities, and struggles. This workshop will name and address these assumptions.
Fortunately, in this workshop we can also focus on a hope-filled counterpoint: the number of new Affirming ministries continues to break records year after year, despite the overall decline in the number of United Church ministries. These ministries are clear on the need for a public, intentional, and explicit welcome for gender and sexually diverse people and communities. Many also take an intersectional and intercultural approach by using the Affirming process to work alongside other communities facing oppression.
This workshop will highlight Affirming journeys and ministries through the presence of Affirming, and in the process congregations, presbyteries, Conferences, and outdoor ministries. We hope to include ministries from across the country, and hear their stories of transformation. We will hear how the Affirming process reconnects church groups with their communities. And we will hear how inevitable struggles and obstacles have been addressed.
Speakers: Julie Graham, Judy Amsbury, Linda Hutchinson, and Katie Vardy
Max number of participants: Up to 50, first come first serve