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.|
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.|