In Spring 2017 Canadian Memorial began the United Church of Canada’s Affirming Ministries process. For the next year, we will engage in reflection and education on what it means to be fully inclusive of LGBTQ+ people. (Wondering what LGBTQ+ means? Check out this ABCs of LGBTQ+)

We will explore and learn through the coming year during Sunday worship, film nights, storytelling circles, workshops, art, and events in the wider community related to the Affirm process. The main resource for guiding the process is the Open Hearts document developed by Affirm United.  Read Affirm United’s annual report here.

Why being Affirming makes a difference

Hillhurst United, Calgary AB: Affirming Church, Affirming Ministry:

Riverside United Church, London ON: Being an Affirming church:

Draft Outline of CMUC’s Affirming Process for June 2017-2018

September  2017 – Storytelling Circles (personal stories of how issues of sexual orientation and/or gender identity have touched your life)

October/November 2017 – Shower of Stoles art exhibit at the Centre for Peace

November  2017 – Theological exploration of Biblical scriptures used to discriminate, also known as the “clobber passages” or “terror texts” / Film night

January/February 2018 –
– Educational workshop around gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, biological sex
– Exploring what would it mean for CMUC to be affirming?

March/April 2018 – Visioning for Affirming (vision statement/action plan)

June 2018 – Congregational vote

Interwoven through this time:
  -Publicizing events related to LGBTQ issues and awareness
  -Guest preachers
  -Testimony from congregation once every month/2 months during September – May
  -Film nights
– Monthly display table at coffee hour with resources, upcoming events, information

If you have any questions, ideas for events, connections, or would like to participate in helping host events/staff the display table/etc, please contact Toni Pieroni ( or Emily Simpson (

For more information on the Affirming process, check out our links below, especially our Resources page which is regularly updated. Upcoming events are listed below.

What is Affirming?
Why Affirming?
Past Events (a record of our past  Affirming events/activities)

Upcoming Events:

February 2018
February 2: Basically Queer Book Launch 6:30-9:00pm
1739 Venables St.
Quirk-e (the queer imaging & riting collective for elders) and YfAC (Youth for A Change) are thrilled to announce the publication and launch of their co-authored book:  Basically Queer: An intergenerational introduction to LGBTQA2S+ lives edited by Claire Robson, Kelsey Blair, and Jen Marchbank.Come listen to a few short readings by the youth and elder authors, buy your copy, enjoy a snack, and listen to tunes from the amazing Uku-loonies!

February 4:  Affirm Fireside Chat  12 -1:30pm
An opportunity to reflect and share together around how the first 6 months of the Affirming process has been going so far and considering where we want to go in the next 6 months. Light lunch provided. Please sign up in the office.

February 10: Invisible Disabilities Workshop, 10am-4pm, Christ Church Cathedral.

Hosted by Christ Church Cathedral, the workshop will cover issues related to invisible disability and the Christian faith and how these issues intersect with race, gender, and sexuality.  Filmmaker Cheryl Green will also show her film, “Who am I to stop it”, an award-winning documentary on isolation, art, and transformation after brain injury.  There is a $10 charge to cover the cost of lunch. An ASL interpreter is available upon request. The film has closed captions and described video. Any other requests for accommodations are encouraged and financial assistance is available for anyone who cannot pay the $10 fee. Registration for the workshop is through the Rev’d Helen Dunn. Sign up by phoning 604-682-3848 ext. 25 or by emailing

February 25: LGBTQ+ Educational Workshop,  12 pm – 1:30 pm,  CMUC Youth Room.
**  Light lunch provided. Childcare provided if signed up by Feb 22!**

Have you ever been confused about what all the letters in LGBTQQ2SIAl+ mean? Ever worried about saying the wrong thing or calling someone by the wrong pronoun? GOOD! Together we’ll explore terminology, inclusive language, pronouns, gain awareness and understanding, and gain skills towards unlearning exclusive norms and being more inclusive of gay, queer, trans, and gender creative folks in our faith communities. Please sign up in the office.

The workshop is led by Anna White (BFA, Emily Carr University) whose work is informed by 20 years of social justice leadership, facilitation, and program development in intergenerational settings spanning multiple sectors and audience. Her passion drives community development projects which: strive to embody radical welcome, create space for personal and group development, share tools for building inclusive communities, and spark positive and meaningful social change. She also recently led a Gender 101 Justice workshop for United Church of Canada youth in the fall.


March 2018
April 2018
April 29: Affirming Mission Statement & Action Plan Visioning Session
Lunch provided.