Affirming Congregation

Report for Affirm United – May 2017
Applewood United Church, Mississauga, ON

At the end of August last year, members of the Affirming Committee met with a planning group which focused on organizing Adult Spirituality and educational events for the year. The intent was to work cooperatively among committees so that all group needs were met without over scheduling events.

We decided that our committee would continue to show movies after church once a month, and the series ‘Grace and Frankie’ was suggested. This has been a very successful venture as between 20 and 30 members of the congregation look forward to getting together for viewing, refreshments and discussion after church on Sundays. We have finished watching season one and are starting season two.

We realized last year that the limited space and dated equipment in the Library would not be suitable for this type of event, so the Affirming Committee put forward a proposal to the Ann Graham Memorial Fund to organize a Media Centre for the Parlour. This was up and running in early January, and has been used for a variety of occasions by several different groups.

As well, our Mindful Steps subgroup has been very busy. They have adopted a section of Cawthra Road to keep clean, have introduced green initiatives in washrooms and the kitchen, and thanks to them we now have blue reusable water bottles. Members of this group will be full members of the Affirming Committee starting next year.

In April we welcomed Michael Coren to our Third Affirming Anniversary service. Michael was an inspiring speaker and was very well received by the Applewood Congregation. Our new Affirming Banner, purchased through the Maritime Conference, was on display for the first time and now has a permanent place at the front of the sanctuary.

Last fall we invited Diane Matheson-Jimenez, Hamilton Conference’s Minister for Social Justice, to join us at a meeting to help us find a way to connect with other Affirming Committees in our area. As a result of this meeting, there is now a group including members from Parkminster, Harcourt, Port Nelson, Applewood and possibly other churches who are planning to represent Affirming Congregrations at the Skylight Festival in Paris Ontario in July.

We continued to advertise in the Pink Pages and Our City: Mississauga Magazine this year.

We purchased a number of children’s books for our library from Parentbooks, in Toronto. They have a very good selection. www.parentbooks.ca

We continue to make regular submissions to the weekly newsletter and members of our committee cut out articles from the newspaper on a number of Affirming topics, and these are put out during coffee time once a month.

Our Minister, Joanne, has made contact with the Senior Pride Network of Toronto through the 519 and at some point we are hoping a representative will come to Applewood for a presentation and/or participation in a Worship Service.

We wrote an Article for ‘Contact’, Hamilton Conference’s quarterly Newsletter and it was included in the March 2017 issue. Our article was about becoming an Affirming Congregation but the newsletter also included articles by Gord Dunbar, Hamilton Conference President, Parkminster United, and Harcourt United.

We’re looking forward to meeting with members from the newest Affirming Congregation in Halton Presbytery, Port Nelson United, in the near future.

Marilyn Hayden
For the Affirming Committee