Every affirming process is unique and takes each congregation as long as it needs to take. Gladwin Heights’ affirming journey began in May 2017 with a proposal brought to the Church Board by Patricia Lockhart, a Ministry and Personnel representative on the Board. After a resounding “Yes!”, a committee was struck. Arlene Kropp, a Friend of Affirm from the early 1980s; Carlene Stein, President of United Church Women (UCW); and Gayle LaPointe, Board Chair, first met in June 2017 to plan a roadmap for the journey.
When the concept of an Affirming Ministry was brought to the congregation, the first question raised by this caring community was: “Aren’t we already?”. It was quickly understood that an intentional welcome to individuals of all gender identities and sexual orientation was necessary in order to promote justice, love and support.
A year-long process of education and discernment engaged the Gladwin family in activities such as film review/discussion and a presentation by Dr. Martha Dow, Department Head of Social, Cultural and Media Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley. Reverend Tim Bowman delivered thought-provoking sermons on the theology of inclusion.
On June 10, 2018, Gladwin Heights voted unanimously to become an Affirming Ministry and approved an updated Vision Statement.
Gladwin Heights United Church Vision Statement
Grounded in Faith; Together in Love; Justice for All
Gladwin Heights United Church, an inclusive and caring community, is called to be a ministry that celebrates God's goodness and love. Our congregation works for justice and encourages the full participation of all people in every aspect of the life and work of our church. Gladwin Heights United Church is inclusive of class, race, sex, age, ability, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Once all the Affirm United requirements were submitted and approved in August 2018, the Celebration planning began in earnest. The Gladwin Heights family participated in the creation of the 2:00 pm, October 28, 2018 Celebration. Halleluiah!
The Gladwin Heights Affirming journey continues, as we reach out to the greater community.
Affirm United works for the full inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in The United Church of Canada and in society.
For more information, visit the Affirm United website: affirmunited.ause.ca