As an Affirming Congregation we seek to be a vital faith community within The United Church of Canada engaged in spirituality, justice and creativity informed by Jesus Christ and the Bible, and discerning the call of the Trinity as we celebrate diversity, inclusivity and abundant life.
Our Rainbow Flag: The Rainbow Flag – flying inside our sanctuary and outside above our front doors – has long been a symbol of LGBTQ+ Pride reflecting the diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities. The original gay pride flag flew in the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25, 1978. The six colours represent: Red – Life; Orange - Healing; Yellow – Sunlight; Green - Nature; Indigo/Blue - Serenity/Harmony; Violet – Spirit.
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The 5th annual Gender and Sexual Diversity Resource Fair is happening on March 21st. The event is for all LGBTQIAP+ and feminist-related organizations in Kingston and the surrounding areas. We welcome and encourage you to register and attend. Last year over 20 organizations and 100 people attended. The fair will be a great opportunity to strengthen the network of potential collaboration between organizations/services related to LGBTQIAP+ and feminism in the larger community. In addition, the gathering will provide a platform to showcase your organization/service to a wide audience, including but not limited to new and returning Queen’s students, as well as Kingston residents.
Celebrate a Rainbow Sabbath! A special invitation to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities to join us in a Rainbow Sabbath Potluck Supper and informal worship time on Friday March 24th from 5:30 to 8 pm in the SSUC Conference Room. Please, bring your favourite dish to share and, if you wish, bring a poem, song, reading or story for worship. Rainbow Sabbath is hosted by the Bay of Quinte Conference Affirming Ministries Action Group. RSVP to Linda Hutchinson firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-542-7645
July 22-24 2016: Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble annual conference in Ottawa at Glebe-St. James United Church. Registration is now available! Please click here for online registration or to download a printable registration brochure. Note that this is the weekend before the August long weekend.
Exciting plans continue to take shape. Have a look at our draft agenda! We look forward to welcoming Moderator Jordan Cantwell to the entire meeting, and to working with the United Church to welcome the presence of global partners.
Children’s programming will be available, and AU/SE and the planning group are working in partnership to ensure that francophones will feel welcome and be able to participate. The church is fully accessible.
This is going to be a diverse and wonderful gathering; please plan to join us in lovely Ottawa! All welcome, regardless of identity. Bring an open spirit, good energy, and ideas for widening a welcome for all.
Banner Making at Sydenham Street!
June 15, 2014: Kingston Pride Parade wound its way through downtown Kingston. This was the 25th Anniversary of Kingston Pride, and the 12th year that Sydenham Street United Church (SSUC) has marched with a congregational banner. At 12:30 pm SSUC marchers gathered in the Chancel to pick up the new SSUC Pride Banner and then walked to City Park to join the Parade which left at 1pm.
God’s Love Is For Everyone
Members and friends of Sydenham Street United Church took the message that “God’s Love is for Everyone” to the streets in the Kingston PRIDE Parade. "
Affirm United’s National Conference in July 2014
“Four people from Kingston attended the Affirm United Annual National Conference at Oasis United Church (an Affirming Ministry) in Penticton BC July 11-13. Joining together in community, participants explored the diversity of humanity through worship, workshops, drama, music and stories. Participants were encouraged to live faithfully together celebrating each other for who they are. A warm western welcome (39 degrees Celcius), great food, beautiful scenery and community of new and old friends resulted in a memorable and inspiring experience."
2014 has been a Rainbow Year!!!
Sydenham Street United Church wrapped up its 15th year of being an Affirming Ministry with a weekend filled with listening and learning, singing and sharing, as we hosted the Bay of Quinte Affirming Ministries Workshop on Saturday, November 1st November and held a Celebration Service of Recommitment on Sunday November 2nd.
Theme for the weekend was "Enlarge your Tent”
The guest speaker for the weekend was the Reverend Michael Blair, the United Church’s General Council Executive Minister for Church in Mission. At the workshop, Michael challenged those present – some from Affirming Ministries and many from congregations who are exploring becoming Affirming – to focus on
discipleship combined with ecology when we think about what is right and what is wrong in our world. As we live in God’s creation, rich with diversity, who are we to judge who is “in” and who is “out”? (Link to Photos of workshop)
During worship on Sunday, Michael praised Sydenham Street United Church for offering a safe sanctuary for people who have been persecuted, oppressed and turned away by the church over the past many years. He challenged us to be continually listening for God to speak to us . . . . God is always at work in the world. Will we join God in that work? And if we do, we must be willing to step out beyond our comfort zone to risk engaging in what God is calling us to do and we must step out with courage. Sermon
A highlight of the service was when people in the congregation, both members of SSUC and friends present, came forward to sign the framing matt of our revised Vision and Mission Statement, adopted on October 26th by the congregation.
As individuals did this, they also placed hands of blessing on a prayer shawl which was then presented to Michael with thanks.
A certificate of Recommitment was presented to the congregation by Judy Amsbury, Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble.
What will the next 15 years hold for SSUC? We anticipate the challenge of listening, risking and acting courageously as we live in God’s world, a world of diversity!