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AFFIRMING MINISTRY


affirming

WE ARE AN AFFIRMING MINISTRY.... We declare that St Thomas United Church is an Open and Affirming congregation. We believe that all people are sacred in the eyes of God, welcome at God’s table, and entitled to full and equal participation in the life of the church.

We recognize that churches have historically condemned and excluded some persons and groups of persons through active effort or complicit silence. In response to our understanding of Christ’s invitation to the table, we declare that we will continue our struggle to be open and affirming of all, regardless of age, ethnic, cultural or spiritual background, gender identity, sexual orientation, family composition, physical or mental capabilities, and we will work to show our understanding of God’s world as a place of diversity and justice by our actions and witness to the world.
As an inclusive church, respectful of our differences and loving in our solidarity, St Thomas United Church publicly affirms the following fundamental principles that have guided our actions in the past and will continue to guide them in the future:


• All are welcome in our faith community regardless of age, colour, ethnic, religious or linguistic background, gender, gender identity, social or economic circumstances, sexual orientation and physical or mental capabilities.
• All members and adherents of St Thomas are welcome to serve in any appropriate position within the Church, in accordance with their desires and abilities.
• All services offered by the Church, including Baptism, marriage, communion and pastoral care, are available to all members and adherents of St Thomas.

Affirming Plan

1. To maintain and develop a library of background material on Affirm United’s programme, educational videos, and publications.
2. To engage in advocacy and awareness training within the congregation regarding issues relative to being an Affirming Congregation.
3. To network, support and share with other congregations working on inclusivity issues
4. To move toward a full inclusion of other marginalized individuals and groups.
5. To ensure that inclusive language is used in all communications.
6. To continue to reassure and support members and adherents who have concerns about the public declaration of being an Affirming Congregation.
7. Explore ways to work more cooperatively with Affirm United bodies on projects and programmes of joint concern and to commit to the minimum financial support level of $100 annually to the National Affirming Congregation Programme.
8. To continue to seek justice with appropriate actions.