Reconnect Couples weekend-all identities

Reconnect:  A Couples Weekend for all identities, November 24-26, Saskatoon

This event is co-presented by the Saskatoon Unitarians and Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble for people who are in intimate relationships and who want to enrich those relationships. People of all sexual orientations and gender identities are welcome.   Download the event poster here. (PDF)

The facilitator, Brian Mitchell-Walker, and our hosts, the Saskatoon Unitarians, will strive to create a safe, inclusive space with accessible main floor and gender-neutral washrooms so that those in relationship can learn to be in the moment with their partner and speak their truth.

There will also be an opportunity to explore how each relationship is unique and how we can support all to be in healthy and caring relationships.  Please help us promote this event by sharing the poster, and encouraging others to visit https://ucsaskatoon.org/event/reconnect-couples-weekend/ for more information.

Congregations are ask to consider sponsoring attendees that may benefit from a weekend away that might not be able to afford this low price of $125/couple.  If you have any questions you can contact Brian Mitchell-Walker at bmw@bemindfullywell.com or Kathryn Green at kathrynlgreen@gmail.com

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Gathering worship magazine focuses on LGBTQ+ experiences

Gathering, the United Church’s national liturgy and prayer magazine, has released its Advent/ Christmas 2017/ Epiphany edition. This issue shares worship materials that honour the diversity of sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions, and gender roles, and shares resources for speaking and acting inclusively in our worship and our congregations. 

Thank you to editor Susan Lukey for offering this important, joyful, and often painful focus as our church moves into the 30th anniversary of the 1988 decision that opened our LGBTQ communities to full membership.

If you aren’t already a subscriber, you can purchase a downloadable RTF file of the prayers only for $4.95.  Or purchase a print edition of the full magazine for $10 plus shipping.

Intercultural Network survey

Please help the Intercultural Network renew its work with our Conference. Co-conveners Nobuko Iwai and Brian Mitchell-Walker would like your thoughts on your own context and your wisdom on priorities for the work over the next year and a half. Whether you’re new to intercultural work or have been involved for years, your thoughts are very important. The survey will take 10-20 minutes to fill out and your responses can be confidential. Here it is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VVL63NZ

An Awkward Conversation in the Church event

Alberta-Northwest Conference “welcomes its neighbours” to a conversation about race that is more important than ever in light of racist rallies on both sides of the border. An Awkward Conversation in the Church: Race, Discrimination and the Mission of The United Church of Canada will be held October 4-6, 2017 at the Providence Renewal Centre in Edmonton.

Info and registration:  https://albertanorthwestconference.ca/14840-registration-open-octobers-awkward-conversation-conference/

The Intercultural network encourages you to consider attending. If you are interested in attending, please let the Intercultural Network conveners know; contact Nobuko Iwai or Brian Mitchell-Walker, or get in touch with Julie Graham at the Conference office.

Bill C-16 stalled in the Senate: take action for transgender human rights

Trans* people are ministers and leaders in the United Church and across the country. They are members of our families, our loved ones, our friends, colleagues, and neighbours, and they deserve to have their identities protected by the law. As an Affirming Conference, we invite you to support Bill C-16 through the United Church of Canada’s action.

Bill C-16 would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of gender identity and gender expression. It will also amend the Canadian Criminal Code to include gender identity and gender expression as a recognized group when offences are motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate.

Bill C-16 passed its third reading in the House of Commons in November 2016, and is now in its second reading in the Senate. Some groups are actively campaigning the Senate to block this bill. Please take action by contacting your senator as soon as possible, and urge the Senate to make Bill C-16 law.

Saskatchewan Senators: https://sencanada.ca/en/senators

Raynell Andreychuk raynell.andreychuk@sen.parl.gc.ca

Denise Batters: denise.batters@sen.parl.gc.ca

Lillian Eva Dyck: lillian.dyck@sen.parl.gc.ca

David Tkachuk david.tkachuk@sen.parl.gc.ca

Pamela Wallin: pamela.wallin@sen.parl.gc.ca

Black History Month

Black History Month or African Heritage Month in Canada, is a time to celebrate the many contributions of Black people to Canadian society and to the United Church. Black people have been part of the United Church from its beginning and continue to play a vital role in the church today.  Find out more and explore these United Church worship and study resources for Black History Month.

New video: Ontario Jewish – Muslim – Christian youth peace camp

Dear interfaith colleagues across Canada:   I am happy to alert you to a remarkable film about interfaith cooperation among youth here in Canada. As Canadians, we can be proud that this kind of interfaith youth cooperation is taking place in Canada. Here is a description of the film followed by a youtube link that will enable you to view this must-see film.

 What happens when Jewish, Muslim and Christian kids attend a summer camp in London, Ontario? Find out as Ahlulbayt TV brings you first-hand experiences of the young campers attending the London Interfaith Peace Camp. Interfaith work doesn’t stop there. London’s Mayor and two City Councillors also attended the camp as an interfaith team of Chistianity, Judaism and Islam emphasizing the importance of embracing Canada’s growing diversity. In a world often filled with challenges and uncertainty, “Peace, Salam, Shalom” will certainly inspire viewers to plant the seeds of friendship and understanding from a very young age. Kindly send your feedback to toronto@ahlulbayt.tv. Enjoy the documentary: https://youtu.be/MpYJq69Lif8