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Greetings across the Prairies and North this cold January, as the light slowly begins to return, and we continue our many Affirming journeys and commitments alongside sibling Jesus. Below are a number of exciting invitations to events that are open to all, and are intercultural spaces that bring together diverse concerns and communities as a whole.
In light of the targeted attacks many in our communities are facing- most especially drag artists- here is a poem and author’s reflection on where Jesus is in the midst of these attacks: Jesus at the Gay Bar, by Jay Hulme.
Prairie to Pine Affirming connector: Equity and Diversity Committee
A reminder that the Equity and Diversity Committee carries the Affirming work of the Regional Council. Its members: Cathey Day and Jamie Miller (co-chairs); Linda Rodgers (secretary; Hope Mattus, Alan Gershuny, M Chorney, Kyle Kellar. You can contact them any time; please use firstname.lastname@example.org and the office will pass on your note; we try not to publish private personal email addresses in public spaces.
As always, click here for the web page and latest news. Have an Affirming event to share? Add it to the Regional calendar.
Affirming updates: PIE Day 2023!
Celebrate National Affirming/PIE Day on Tuesday March 14, 2023! Why PIE? PIE = Public. Intentional. Explicit. Those are the standards we hold ourselves and our welcome to when we seek to live into being 2SLGBTQIA+ Affirming, Welcoming, or Inclusive people and communities. This year, a number of PIE Day events are on offer, reflecting the 2023 theme, Year of Intention. And everyone is invited to contribute their own event, featuring PIE, pie, and pi: irrational and infinite love! Have a look at the PIE Day site to access resources and post your event or worship. Check out the liturgies and other resources already posted.
Be sure to post your PIE Day worship and events! Do it twice: once on the national PIE Day site, and once on your Regional Council site under Events/ Community of Faith calendar. Let’s rainbow the calendars!
In addition to your events, here are other opportunities:
United Against Hate: faithfully responding to anti-2SLGBTQ+ actions, Wednesday, February 15, 6:00pm MT, 7:00pm Central. Join Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble and Affirming Connections to learn about the malicious misinformation campaign and threats that have been launched against the drag and 2SLGBTQ+ communities across Canada-and what you and your faith community can do. We’ll welcome three great resource people who will guide us through the research, drag artistry, and faith community engagement aspects of this struggle. Registration and details are here. Please share the Facebook event.
And the official launch for the Year of Intention, 7 March, 6:00pm MT, 7:00pm Central, 8:00pm ET, 5:00pm PT. This year, we’re challenging you to think about the meaning behind the I in PIE. How intentional are you in the welcome you extend to 2SLGBTQ+ and other marginalized folks? And more importantly, are your intentions pointing you in the direction of action? Click here for full details and registration.
Affirming and intercultural news and events
Honouring Rev David Fearon
And as we move into this Affirming focus time, we also honour a life lived. Rev David Fearon was a United Church minister who, as a young student, challenged the committee which recommended the inclusion of the word “homosexual” in the new Revised Standard Version of the bible, using careful research to demonstrate how it was a serious and damaging mistranslation. He died this month on Vancouver Island; may we honour his memory and courage, and his identity as a gay man and a beloved child of God. Read a tribute to him here. He is also interviewed in this new documentary, 1946.
Winnipeg Indigenous women’s groups issue statement against “Freedom Convoy”
The continued Freedom Convoy/ anti COVID measures and anti vaccination broad movement known as the Freedom Convoy is planning on returning to Winnipeg February 17-20 2023, despite media reports to the contrary. Click here for a statement on this from the Winnipeg groups the Families and Survivors of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit, and the MMIWG2S+ Implementation Committee. This link includes a reminder of United Church statements on the “Freedom Convoy” that focus on concerns about racism.
More event invitations
In the spirit and intention of intercultural and intersectional commitments, here are just a few events to highlight in addition to all the upcoming PIE Day events. And many more will be posted at United in Learning before Lent.
Anti racism and the United Church workshops, Feb 7 and March 7, 2023
Part 1 with Selam Debs. Feb 7, 2023, 9:00 Central, 8:00 Mountain, 10:00-11:30 AM EST
Part 2 with Rev. Alcris Limongi March 7, 2023, same times.
Click here for full details. Brought to you by Antler River Watershed, Horseshoe Falls and Western Ontario Waterways Regional Councils, and the three regions have covered all costs. If you have any questions about this workshop or your readiness to participate in it, contact Thérèse Samuel at email@example.com.
Being Good Relations Network Lent book and learning circle, focused on Indigenous Writes, by Chelsea Vowel, âpihtawikosisân. March 1st to 29th, 2023 on Wednesdays, 7:00-8:30pm Mountain via Zoom. Facilitated by Grace Hussey, this circle is open to all, in the church and beyond. Bring your open spirit, good heart, and desire to learn about common myths, misunderstandings, and stereotypes that target Indigenous people and peoples, and how we go about changing that. Contact Grace for information: firstname.lastname@example.org