In May 2017, an Affirming Ministry Team was created to move Carleton Memorial forward in the Affirming process laid out by Affirm United. This small but dedicated group’s activities included creating a timetable for scheduling educational events, inviting guest speakers — Rev. Robert Oliphant, Rabbi Anna Maranta, and Quinten Gracequist — and revising the congregation’s Mission and Vision Statements and Marriage Policy. On Sunday, 10 June, a Congregational meeting was held and the congregation voted with a unanimous yes to pass the motion that:
Carleton Memorial United Church will become an Affirming Congregation with an ongoing commitment to being a safe space, and that we declare our identity as an open, welcoming, inclusive congregation, affirming the dignity and worth of people of all ages, ethnicities, abilities, sexual orientations, and gender identities.
Also, at this meeting, a second vote was passed, also unanimously, that approved the adoption of revised statements — of Vision and of Mission — and an inclusive marriage policy and the congregation’s continuing support for Affirm United.
Our veterans served and sacrificed so that we can live in a community where people are free to be who they are and feel that they are welcome. We prayerfully build on this foundation and commit to continuing to grow.
We further envision peace-making in an inward sense by being a spiritual safe- haven for all people, as we embrace differences in sexual orientation, gender identity, age, mental and physical ability, family status, economic standing, and cultural background.
Carleton Memorial United Church is a friendly and affirming Christian community welcoming all. We support and encourage everyone to participate in all aspects of the life and work of our congregation: asking questions, exploring faith, and cultivating gifts. We are one family.
Whether gathered for celebration and learning, or scattered in care and service, we seek to live out God’s love, peace, and justice with courage, humility, and joy for everyone and all creation.
We welcome all to a safe space and a diverse place with a variety of paths to belonging and becoming:
- Engaging in worship and music;
- Acting on local and global outreach with refugee sponsorships;
- Taking part in small-group ministries;
- Being active in lay leadership;
- Building teams with paid staff;
- Aiding in pastoral care and spiritual direction;
- Welcoming with hospitality to fun-filled social gatherings.
Where were some see chaos, we find peace. Where some see despair, we find courage. Where some see fear, we find confidence. Come to Carleton Memorial and find the difference.
Together, we can grow our better selves and build a brighter world. Thanks be to God.
Carleton Memorial United Church offers a welcoming and inclusive Christian environment for couples who seek to celebrate their new lives together, in loving partnership with each other and with God. Our Carleton Memorial community affirms that:
- Love and marriage are gifts of God, deserving of God’s blessing;
- A union based on Christian marriage is intended to represent a lifelong commitment;
- All individuals are accepted as persons made in the image of God regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity;
- It is our responsibility to support couples of all gender combinations entering into covenant relationship with one another not only as they prepare for the celebration of their wedding but also for married life.
A worship service in celebration of Affirm was held on Sunday, 2 December 2017 with guest speaker Jodi Fisher (MacKay United) and musician guests Maria Hawkins and Alan Sandeman. There were also other guests from Emmanuel United and Riverside United churches. A special thank-you to Karen Wlodarczyk for creating a beautiful Affirm United antependium (lectern hanging) and to Tessa Wlodarczyk for creating an amazing rainbow cake for the celebration.