At its meeting on April 16th the Affirm Committee drafted the resolution below and asked that the Executive call congregational meeting on June 3rd for the purpose of considering and voting on this resolution. If passed this will result in Sackville United Church declaring itself an Affirming ministry within the United Church of Canada.
The Executive at its meeting on April 24th concurred with the request of the Affirm Committee and set June 3rd as a date for a congregational meeting to consider the resolution below.
In the weeks leading up to June 3rd, each Sunday during the announcement time members of the Affirm Committee will speak to the resolution, highlighting their personal convictions and encouraging the congregation to participate in the decisionmaking process. It is our hope and prayer that all members of the congregation will engage in this important decision.
The Affirm Committee,
Brenda Allen, Lloyd Bruce, Judith Colwell, Janet Hammock, Sophie Hanson, Edward Knuckles and Bruce Moore
Whereas: the congregation of Sackville United Church has, since 1986 wrestled with issues related to sexuality and faith; and
Whereas: the congregation was blessed with the presence of the Rev. Dr. Eldon Hay who advocated persistently and tirelessly for the rights of LGBTQ2+ individuals and was the founder of PFLAG in the Maritime region; and
Whereas: the congregation adopted an open marriage policy in 2005 and has celebrated with a number of same-gender couples as they have joined in marriage; and
Whereas: the congregation has recently moved from a cathedral-like structure, with many stairs, where those present sat in fixed pews, distant from one another, and could barely see the table, to an intimate, physically accessible space, located in the centre of town where the table is in full view and open to all; and
Whereas: over the past 25+ years the congregation has embraced and been embraced by a number of LBGTQ2+ folk who have assumed positions of responsibility, authority and leadership within the congregation and become an integral part thereof; and
Whereas: the congregation in March of 2016 embarked on a process to be recognized as an Affirming ministry within the United Church of Canada and has since that time created a Vision Statement, reviewed and revised its Marriage Policy, and is actively engaged in an Action Plan that includes reflection and involvement in the following issues and situations: interfaith and intercultural relationships, reconciliation with Indigenous people, gender identity and sexuality, economic justice, poverty, hunger and mental health, and is committed to continued reflection and engagement on these and other issues;
Therefore be it resolved: that Sackville United Church declare itself an Affirming ministry within the United Church