Many Queer people have been so alienated from the church that we feel we have to choose between our true identity and our faith in Christ. This is the church that I’ve found in Langley where Queer people are welcome not only to sit in the pews and hide, but to openly participate in leadership as our whole selves.Bex O

UCOL has been open and accepting for many years already. The congregation has hosted workshops, the Board is in support of being welcoming, and queer and trans people have been hired for leadership positions. Many of the members of the new SHIFT ministry are either Queer or close allies of Queer loved ones. These new members have been active in the congregation by sitting on the Board (Treasurer), starting new ministry opportunities (the SHIFT podcast), chairing committees (the Affirm United Team), supporting our transition to online church technologically (with a budget and honoraria), and coordinating our Social Justice Program (as a full time staff member). We have clearly labelled gender neutral washrooms on both levels. Our children’s ministry provides a safe space for children and teens who are transitioning. 

The Affirm United Team is authorized by the Board to educate our members on allyship and discern, together with the congregation, if we will become a publicly Queer church, including decorating our building on the outside. We will continue to discern how we will live out this call. At this time, the Affirm United Team are taking the time to educate our members thoroughly and answer their questions. The Board has assured us that Queer folks are welcome here. As a church, we do not leave space for intollerance.

For further information, click on the links below:

1)  On Tolerance and Safety

2)  From our parent denomination: United Church of Canada statement on Gender, Sexuality and Orientation

3)  A Timeline on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the United Church of Canada