Affirm United Summer update

In this newsletter:Affirm United Logo
* Final call, AU/SE 2015 Conference
* Nominations call for AU/SE’s Council. Share your skills and gifts with us!
* Affirming Ministry Coordinator: Call for volunteers and nominations
* Will you be at General Council in August? Visit our display!
* Final call: Award nominations

Final call: our annual conference in Halifax Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble is a big and diverse network. We don’t get to see one another often enough, so please think about joining us in Halifax for learning and celebration Friday July 31- Monday August 3. Bring your energy, ideas, and questions, and take the chance to enjoy beautiful Halifax at the same time.
Everyone is welcome, no matter your identity or faith background. See our website for registration, agenda, and details on accommodation and fees: Please help the planning team by registering as soon as you can. If you can’t attend – perhaps there’s someone in your congregation/ministry who you could support to come!
Dates: Evening July 31 through lunch August 3.
Location: St Matthew’s United Church (an accessible building), 1479 Barrington Street, Halifax, NS
Theme: A Time for Transformation, with a major focus on trans* identities and rights.

Call for Nominations to the Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble Council The Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble Nominations Working Group is seeking your recommendations to fill upcoming Council positions. We seek expressions of interest from across Canada, from all who are excited about being a part of the important work that AU/SE does. We’ll vote on these at our upcoming 2015 AGM on August 3. Below you see our current Council members and General Council staff.
Goal: Diversity is a general principle for the Nominations Committee and AU/SE. Diversity considerations would include at least the following: gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, geography, race, age and language.
Skills appreciated: We would love to see your skills used to maximize and deepen our ministry! Examples include: grant writing, communications, resource building and editing, record-keeping, design, finance, and legal experience.
Commitment: Council positions are three-year terms. This year, in addition to a few three-year position openings, we do have a one-year and a two-year term, to fill in gaps from previous Council members. Beyond their involvement in applicable action items, our Council members are expected to participate in five to seven conference calls per year, as well as two in-person meetings per year: three days of meetings in Toronto every February, and two days of meetings every year on location at the Annual Conference. Travel costs are covered by AU/SE.

Contact us! Would you or someone you know be a great fit for our Council? We would love to hear from you! If you are nominating someone, please include their name, contact info, and reason for nomination. If you are nominating yourself, please include your reason for interest and any applicable experience you may want to bring to the Council.

Nominations can be sent to our Co-Chairs, Pam Rocker and Collin Smith, via email to: and would be appreciated by July 20, 2015. (Nominations are also accepted at our AGM during the meeting.)

Affirming Ministry Coordinator: Call for volunteers and nominations Anne Hebb, our coordinator for Affirming Ministries in Eastern Canada, is stepping down after many years of helping ministries with their Affirming process. Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble is deeply grateful to Anne for her contributions. Along with Brian Mitchell-Walker for the West and Linda Hutchinson for Ontario, and their predecessors, Anne has helped more than 120 ministries across Canada become intentionally safer and more welcoming of the LGBTQQ2A community. Our thanks go to these skilled and compassionate volunteers who are at the heart of helping our church make its policies a lived reality.  As Eastside United Church’s new banner showed in Regina SK’s recent Pride parade, an Affirming Ministry represents a proudly public welcome. If you are interested in or feel called to this ministry, and would like to join the other two Affirming Ministry coordinators in this crucial and rewarding work, please send a note to the nominating committee of Affirm United at  More information, including a description of the work, is available on our website.

AU/SE at General Council 42 in Corner Brook, NL From Halifax, Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble will head east to the Grenfell Campus of Memorial University in Corner Brook, NL. If you’re going to be at the United Church of Canada’s triennial national meeting, the 42nd General Council, please stop by our display for a visit! (Note that visitors to General Council are welcome.) If you are familiar with AU/SE and/ or belong to an Affirming ministry or ministry in process, we also invite you to volunteer at the display for an hour or two.  Help us have good conversations with the commissioners, planners, volunteers, and guests. You can find us in the display area; please ask at the venue for location details.

Final call for nominations- AU/SE awards We want your nominations! Help us honour the ministries and people who inspire and widen our common work. The Volunteer of the Year Award honours individuals who have made a significant contribution to the work of Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble, furthering the welcome and inclusion of LGBTQ people in the church as well as in society. The Affirming Ministry Award recognizes outstanding examples of outreach and Affirming ministries. Nominations for both will be received up to the newly extended deadline of 20 July 2015.  Awards will be presented at the Annual General Meeting of Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble in Halifax. For more information on how to nominate, click here.

May your summer be a time of rest and renewal  Be inspired by this excellent photo of Rev. Gary Simpson of MacDougall United Church at Edmonton Pride: Chill out, have fun, be proud, and enjoy the wonderful creation God made and is making! We look forward to connecting through this newsletter in the fall, but you can also get updates on Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble through Facebook and other social media during our conference and during General Council.

Copyright © 2015 Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble, all rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Affirm United Canada
PO Box 57057, Somerset Stn
Ottawa, ONK1R 1A1


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