#LoveWins

The following are all the #LoveWins posts that are documenting the positive steps that the United Church has taken towards equality and inclusion over the past 60 plus years.  We wanted to document these as we work to become an affirming church!

 

April 24

In 1962, the General Councilrecommended that ordination for women and also those working as deaconesses be open only to those who were unmarried, widowed or no longer required to be mothers at home. Some churches ignored this and ordained all women. #LoveWins 

May 1

The 1960’s were a decade of radicalism influenced by the Black Civil Rights movement - Black is Beautiful and The Personal is Political. The Stonewall Riots in June 1969 were also significant to the gay liberation movement. This also sparked seeds of change and awakened the United Church to the fact that its sexist attitude was affecting its decision making. #LoveWins

May 8th

In 1969, a Canadian Omnibus Bill decriminalized certain sexual practices. Then Prime Minster Pierre Trudeau affirmed that the state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation. #LoveWins

May 15th

In 1971, the first Canadian gay protest march takes place in Ottawa. #LoveWins

May 22

In 1973, homosexuality is withdrawn from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual as it has been declared not a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association. #LoveWins

May 29th

In 1980, the United Church task force “In Gods Image…male and female: A study of human sexuality was presented to the United Church not as a policy but as a resource for dialogue and debate. After its release, discussion on sexuality and marriage became very serious and more wide spread across the church. #LoveWins

June 5TH

In 1982, a new group arose to challenge the United Church and support it in its advocacy for gay and lesbian people. They called themselves Affirm. Their agenda, to support gay and lesbian people in the Church, and to worship together whenever we could. #LoveWins

Sept 4

A strange event happened at the 1988 United Church’s 32nd General Council.  A majority of delegates had come to the council with a bias against ordaining homosexuals.  They heard the heart wrenching testimonials of gay and lesbian church members. Many probably met an openly homosexual person for the first time.  They debated little else among themselves. They searched their souls and prayed.   Most changed their minds. #LoveWins

Sept 11

In 1992, Jim Stevenson of B.C. Conference was the fist self-declared homosexual to be ordained and, in 1994, Ken De Lisle was commissioned in the Conference of Manitoba and Northern Ontario.  #LoveWins

Sept 18

The United Church’s 1988 General Council decision and the resulting 1990 affirmation of membership regarding Ministry and Human Sexuality ushered in a time when the United Church tried to calm fears and increase support for gay, lesbian and bisexual members. They also dealt with threats of congregations leaving and it is clear that and already declining membership declined further in 1988 and 1989.  However, the United Church continued its mission to welcome everyone.  #LoveWins

 

Sept 25

In 1991, The United Church’s Affirm group launched a new program called Affirming Congregations (now Affirming Ministries) began actively working to enable and bring together those congregations that are publicly affirming of the participation of gay and lesbian people.  #loveWins

 

October 2

In 1992, the United Church’s 34th General Council called upon the Government of Canada and all provincial and territorial administration to ensure that the social charter in the Constitution of Canada which guarantees individuals access to basic social, health care, and economic services regardless of gender, ability, race, age, sexual orientation or place of residency was fulfilled. They further asked for a commitment from the federal government to the maintenance of national standards and federal funding to achieved the goals of such a charter. #LoveWins

 

October 9

In 1992, the United Church’s 34th General Council called for anti-racist initiatives and developed anti-racism resource material for worship and education.  It also requested resource material for congregations to deal with liturgical and pastoral concerns around same-sex unions. #LoveWins

 

Oct 16

In 1995, the United Church’s Division of Mission in Canada provided  a guideline called “Together in Faith”, for congregations that sought to be more inclusive of gays and lesbians, including the possibility of covenanting services for same gender couples.  It included resources for study, dialogue, celebration, and action.  #LoveWins

 

Oct 23

Affirm United was created in 1994 when United Church’s Affirm and Friends of Affirm merged. It supports actively working to enable and bring together those congregations that are publicly affirming of the participation of gay and lesbian people.  That same year General Council officially thanked Affirm for its work on promoting justice.  #LoveWins

 

Dorothy