Some congregants ask: “We’re already welcoming, so why become Affirming?”
Some congregations already have many signs of inclusion. They may feel they include everyone and wonder why they would need to specifically mention sexual orientation or gender identity. When the question of becoming an Affirming Congregation arises, people may feel that they are already welcoming so there is no reason to become Affirming.
Offering More than Just a Welcome
Being an Affirming Congregation is not merely about welcoming people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Words like welcoming or inclusion suggest those on the inside have the power to choose to accept those on the outside. This makes it sound like an act of charity to welcome those who are different or marginalized. However, it is not our place to welcome anyone because church is not a private club and we are not the gatekeepers. As soon as one new person comes through the doors, the community becomes a new community.
Please contact any of the Affirming Church Team members if you have any questions or concerns: Renate Naghavi, Dianne Beech, Kellie Burdon, Ian Thomson, Kai Cerra, Sandy Mackenzie, Julie Batterbury or Rev. Linda. If you need their contact information, please contact Sandy Mackenzie at firstname.lastname@example.org 416-859-0722.
Read this FAQ page about Affirming Ministries.
Watch this video to hear from another Affirming United Church Congregation.