Summerlea United Church
225 50 Av, Lachine, Québec, H8T2T7, Canada. 514-634-2651
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Congregation Endorses Affirming Ministry 2009-03-29
Posted 29 Mar, 2009
After the Sunday service 29 March 2009, which featured Rev. Jeff Barlow on Sermon, about 75 Summerlea folks gathered in Acadia Hall to engage in the last step of becoming an affirming ministry.

What's involved?
A congregation must:
* adopt a mission statement indicating it is inclusive of all people and specifically naming sexual orientation and gender identity;
* set a plan of action for continuing Affirming work; and
* become a member of Affirm United, at a cost of $100 per year.

We are a welcoming church and permit same-sex marriage, why do we need to do this?
People in the lesbian, transgendered, bisexual and gay community still cannot be sure of a warm welcome in many, places including churches.

Designating ourselves an Affirming Ministry tells everyone - the general community, potential ministers, and the lesbian, transgendered, bisexual and gay community - that this is a safe place for all people.

The "big circle" format gave everyone the opportunity to express his or her views (twice, if desired). It was unanimous that Summerlea wishes to be a a church that welcomes all.

A few concerns were expressed regarding the need for the process itself and the emphasis on sexual orientation as perhaps suggesting a preferred group with implied exclusion of other minority views. It was noted, however, that the mission statement must indicate that the ministry is inclusive of all people, and specifically naming sexual orientation and gender identity;

Although the agenda called for preparing lists of pros and cons after the expression of views, it became evident as 2 PM approached that folks were impatient to get on with it, so the vote was held. Of the 74 ballots cast, 68 were in favour, 5 against and 1 abstained, so the affirming ministry process was endorsed by 91 % of the votes.

Now the Congregational Board must approve the decision and take the other steps to become an officially sanctioned afffirming ministry.

Folks listened attentively as other folks expressed their views.
2009 Affirming Ministry Endorsement 2009 Affirming Ministry Endorsement 2009 Affirming Ministry Endorsement
2009 Affirming Ministry Endorsement 2009 Affirming Ministry Endorsement
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